Workshops & Tours
What You Will Learn From Rod
"I teach field techniques that
work for both film and digital photography. You will
discover new ways to explore and experience the
wonders of the natural world from an unmanipulated
and non-commercial perspective. Regardless of your
skill level or imaging format, these offerings will
take your photography to a higher level than you
ever thought possible.
My instruction both in the classroom and in the field follows the field process of nature photography from the moment you find an inspirational subject to the creation of an image that is properly exposed, razor sharp (where and when it needs to be) and dynamically composed with strong visual integrity.
Throughout the week we will explore composition, exposure, equipment and the techniques used for capturing that location's unique subjects.
We will discuss how the subjects you chose to photograph should be your inspiration. To grow creatively you must expand your concept of what a subject is or can be - whether you photograph landscapes, small subjects or wildlife.
Along with subject selection, focal length selection (lens selection) will be discussed in detail. You will learn why focal length selection should be a decision borne of creative necessity.
Once you have found an inspiring subject to photograph and given great thought to your choice of focal length, you now must place equal importance on deciding where the camera should be placed and how the elements you have selected should be visually arranged. Throughout the week you will learn how to capture visually stunning images that feature the hallmarks of any great nature photograph: simplicity, balance and visual harmony.
No week would be complete without lots of instruction on everybody's favorite topic - exposure. Even with the sophisticated metering systems of modern cameras, learning how to consistently capture proper exposure is still a challenge for many photographers. During the course of the week I will discuss how to get most out of your camera's metering system. I will also explain why it is critical for digital photographers to read the camera's histogram while in the field and then show you how. I'll also explain why you expose differently when shooting in raw versus jpeg. You won't leave the workshop without knowing how to read a histogram. There will also be lectures on aperture selection and the use of tilt lenses.
In addition, we will share our digital workflow which was developed to caption, catalogue, safeguard, convert raw files and print images.
In Standard Workshops we cover most of the topics listed in the highlights during classroom programs. We then tailor each participant's field instruction to their own needs and skill level.
In Advanced Workshops and Tours, instruction is more streamlined to fit both the needs of the participants and the photographic possibilities of the chosen location.
The Moment Of Discovery
Focal Length Selection
The subject is your inspiration (or at least it should be). Whether you photograph landscapes, small subjects, or wildlife, to grow creatively you must expand your concept of what a subject is or can be. After finding a subject you then need to select a focal length (a lens). This section teaches why focal length selection should be a decision borne of creative necessity.
The Elements Of Design
Fine Tuning The Image
Once you have found an inspiring subject to photograph and you have given great thought to your choice of focal length, you now must place equal importance on deciding where the camera should be placed and how the elements you have selected should be visually arranged. You will learn how to visually create stunning images that feature the hallmarks of any great nature photograph: simplicity, balance and visual harmony. Aperture selection and the use of tilt lenses will also be covered in this section.
Getting The Exposure You Want
Once you have your subject, focal length, camera placement and aperture selected, then and only then does getting proper exposure become relevant. Even with the sophisticated metering systems of today's modern cameras, consistently capturing properly exposed images remains one of the toughest challenges in photography. Rod teaches you how to use your camera's metering system to achieve proper exposures consistently.
(A step by step description of this program is included in handouts.)
Photographing The Little Things In Nature As Well As The Feathered And Furred
Rod discusses special equipment and techniques for photographing small subjects such as wildflowers and insects as well as what equipment and techniques work for photographing birds and mammals. How and when to use fill flash in nature photography will also be covered in this section.
Workshop and tour participants will be given the opportunity to have me critique their work. The critiques are generally conducted during group sessions. I encourage those interested to take advantage of this powerful learning experience by bringing a diverse selection of their images. To accommodate our clients who are utilizing digital capture we have added the convenience of a digital projector along with a film projector for critique sessions."
Small group size is the hallmark of all of our
workshops and tours. The maximum number of
participants we accept in our programs is 12. In
some of the advanced programs only 6 participants
will be enrolled. This small group size assures
maximum interaction between instructors and
participants. During the instructional programs,
lectures and numerous photographic field trips, you
will have many opportunities to ask questions and
receive individual attention and explanations. In
addition to Rod Planck, Marlene Planck, a highly
qualified assistant will also be available on field
trips to provide additional instruction.
Professional film processing is available for those
who want to see the
progress they are making during the workshop.