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Author Topic: Photography workshops..useful or not?  (Read 11188 times)
GWStudioLA
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« on: May 26, 2013, 11:02:37 PM »
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Hi everyone! I'm brand new to this forum. Recently, I returned from Korea and moved back to my hometown LA  Grin

I've been hearing a lot about photographers giving workshops..some who aren't so great but some with some nice work. Has anyone here attended any that were helpful? Just wanted everyones input on their experiences with them.

While I was in Korea, I bought this amazing photography book called ICONS by Markus and Indrani. Coincidentally, I found out that Markus is giving a workshop here in LA ( www.markusklinkoworkshops.com ).  It's pretty pricey, but I think it sounds really extraordinary.


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orchidblooms
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2013, 08:00:34 PM »
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workshops can be very helpful....  the one you linked to...  seems expensive for a one day event... - in reading the blurb... it seem to perhaps be a 'look over the shoulder' event as opposed to a roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty sort of training event - ask allot of questions - make sure you are comfortable with the answers before you signup...
« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 08:04:09 PM by orchidblooms » Logged
Ellis Vener
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2013, 09:30:58 PM »
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That is a ridiculous amount of money for what is essentially and can be nothing more than a seminar due to  the range of listed topics and brevity.
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Ellis Vener
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Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
Tony Jay
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2013, 03:49:07 AM »
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Ellis is right - this workshop seems highly overpriced for what it can offer.
Also, if you are a relative newbie to photography there is much better value for money out there if you want to go the route of workshops.
Perhaps, if you are already an accomplished photographer, and trying to 'get noticed' in the fashion photography industry this may be a way in but, personally, I would be sceptical.

Tony Jay
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2013, 10:16:09 AM »
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+1 

How much can you learn in one day of listening?
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2013, 05:12:48 PM »
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As someone who makes the main part of their living giving workshops (albeit for a lot more reasonable price) I can only say it depends.  I stopped advertising the much more lucrative 'group' workshops in favour of individual workshops for the simple reason I enjoyed them more and the student gets much more out of it.  They get a full day that centers around their needs vs. trying to meet a set of objectives which might or might not fit the individual.

I still do groups on requests but I make known my druthers and I'm okay from there.  But it's very tiring not to mention a bit hectic trying to keep track of 4-5 students at a time and provide them meaningful instruction while doing so.

A quality workshop, imo, should ideally be centered around your skills and where you want to go.  Often times there's more between here and there than a person realizes, but properly explained they can understand why.  Like math, certain gaps in knowledge must be addressed before going forward. r If at all possible gear should be made available for a student to "experience", this by itself can save the student more than the cost of the workshop. 

Most of all, be sure you can talk to the instructor.  If their replies are too abbreviated and don't answer your questions consider this might extend to their teaching style.  Ask a few questions when feeling out a workshop and see how the instructor answers them and see if this is compatible with your learning style.  Even if you understand the answer say you don't and ask the to explain again, any decent instructor should be able to explain any concept 4-5 different ways and switch between them on the fly as your eyes register understanding (or not).

And do keep in mind.. you won't learn in a single day what took a pro ten years to learn.  If you're lucky enough to get a good instructor you get on well with, and they'll center the class around your needs, keep your expectations reasonable.  It's far better to spend 30 minutes on a single concept and fully understand it, than to spend the same time on 4-5 concepts and not be sure you understand.

Workshops above all else should be fun.  If you're not a pro them you're an amateur and you're doing this for recreation/enjoyment/fun.. so it should be.  It should also be safe which is a big consideration where I hold my workshops.  Vehicles should be insured, medical insurance available if not provided, and a really really good instructor.. they'll have batteries for your camera charged and in their bag just in case.. ;o)

Good luck.
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orchidblooms
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2013, 07:41:51 PM »
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Often times there's more between here and there than a person realizes, but properly explained they can understand why.  .....

.... Ask a few questions when feeling out a workshop and see how the instructor answers them and see if this is compatible with your learning style.  Even if you understand the answer say you don't and ask the to explain again, any decent instructor should be able to explain any concept 4-5 different ways and switch between them on the fly as your eyes register understanding (or not).


Steve - great advise - had a similar - bit much more condensed answer for this same 'workshop' at dpreview....   ask questions!
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Bullfrog
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2013, 08:43:19 AM »
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My limited experience in photography workshops was related to Photoshop.  I signed up for a course thinking it would cut through a ton of learning and was really disappointed.
The instructor was obsessed - yes obsessed, with short cut keys.  While I think short cut keys are great - my perspective at the time was WHO CARES - I can learn that later once I have learned some basic techniques which is what I thought I paid for.

As another posted, the classroom had at least 10 or more people and it took over 1 hour just to get people signed in, and their computers on line.  I was really put off by that and combined with this obsessive instruction on short-cuts (vs functional workflow) I left at break (10:30 am).

That was 3 or 4 years ago.

On photography workshops, they are now a dime a dozen and I think you really have to know the qualifications of the instructor.  I think there is no question I could learn new things, the problem I have is what another stated, what I WANT to know may not be what they teach.  And its managing expectations.  I agree a one on one course would add more value.

At present, I would pay to learn post processing techniques - things that provide saleable images.  Example - using epoxy  and using wax.  (Cannot remember the name so forgive me)

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NancyP
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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2013, 10:24:24 AM »
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I enjoyed a 16 session weekly night course on Lightroom (first 8 weeks, beginners; second 8 weeks, refinements, plugins, problem solving, more workflow strategies, etc) given locally by an Adobe-certified LR instructor. The advantage of a longer night course is that there is time to practice the concepts taught in the last session, and ask questions if needed.

I would go to a similar weekly Photoshop night course. I might also consider a printing workshop.The basics.

The other type of "workshop" or photography tour I would like would be one providing access to wildlife, with a naturalist and an experienced photographer as guides. My bucket list includes the Galapagos Islands, and I would also like to take an Indian tiger and bird tour with a local photographer who used to be a conservation officer in the pertinent Indian parks. An Arizona hummingbird session is also on my list. I am less inclined to want to take the sort of landscape tour where everyone lines up to take identical photos at pre-scouted locations.
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Rand47
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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2013, 06:37:32 PM »
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Keep an eye out for the Palm Springs Photo Festival in the spring of each year.  The have workshops, seminars, etc. and sometimes have really fine presenters.  I've taken a couple of seminar classes given by Mac Holbert and greatly benefitted.  Pretty reasonable, and a nice locale.

http://2013.palmspringsphotofestival.com/

Rand

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nma
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2013, 03:30:30 PM »
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I would be skeptical of workshops who advertise themselves as suitable for all levels, from beginner to advanced. Such workshops are so superficial and broad as to be worthless. The photo workshop has become a cash cow for pros and pro-wannabees. You have to ask yourself what you can actually really learn in 3 hours consisting of an introduction, a section on the meat and a closing.

It also depends on how you learn. Can you learn from a book or a video? If so, I would suggest you save your money. On the other hand, if you are seeking inspiration and can find a speaker who can communicate same, it will be worthwhile.
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