Sunday, August 23, 2009

Workshop was a Blast, Plus 4 New Friends

It's been a few weeks since I finished my week long workshop, assisting Craig Varjabedian at the Eloquent Light Photography Workshop. I have been VERY busy getting ready for my upcoming September show at the Alta Vista Gardens, but more on that in my next post.
Our last day for the workshop was on a Friday (July 31st). The group we had for the week consisted of 4 students (Chris, Patty, Victoria & Jim). I do not think any of them had participated in a workshop format before, so all four of them seemed a little unsure of what to expect during the week, as did I since this was my first time as an assistant. Victoria & Patty were friends, and had been shooting locally together many times before hand. Both of them along with Jim were all from the Santa Fe area, so it was pretty easy for them to get to and from the studio from their homes. Chris came from Washington DC. She was the only one that had traveled any distance to get to the workshop.
All four were extremely eager to learn, with tons of questions, and Craig obliged them all with his years of experience and patience.
The first day after the morning classroom time, we all went to Rancho de los Golandrinas, outside of Santa Fe. The start of our time with the students, was helping them get familiar with the use of their equipment, and applying some of the ideas from the classroom time. Initially, it took them all a little time, but within the first couple of hours, everyone was really getting into the shoot. The biggest issues with the students seemed to be some of their faulty equipment, in particular their tripods. This issue was resolved later on in the week through Craig loaning out some better legs for the one's having the trouble. I think after the use of the new tripods for a while, the wallets of a couple of the students became a little lighter, but their enjoyment of the shoots was a lot greater.
The second day was first heading out north of Albuquerque for a private tour of a area of Petrogryph National Monument. It was a short time in the field, due to the heat, and not great light, but a knowledgeable good time was had by all. From the hike, we drove down to Albuquerque Museum of Art & History to see Craig's current exhibit "Ghost Ranch and the Faraway Nearby".
It was fun to have a private tour from Craig, and hear his stories of each of the images.
The third day was heading out to Bonanza Creek Ranch
This day Craig & I each took aside one of the students to give them more of a "one-on-one private approach" to the teaching. I think it really helped them both. By days end, both of them had taken dozens of GREAT images, and the other two had improved by leaps & bounds. I was very proud of all four of them, and the strides they had taken in just a couple of days.
Day Four, was then up the Chimayo Church and to a hidden Morada that Craig had taken pictures of in his book "En Divina Luz" called Cruciform Morada from 1990. It was always one of his pictures that I loved, and now I was going to get a chance to make my own image. Besides the attack dog that came after us, & the approaching storm (that caused the "Assistant" to do some extra hiking to track down a couple wandering students) it was a GREAT shoot. I think all of us came away with many great shots.
Day 5, was then up to Bandelier National Park for some afternoon shots of the ruins, then over to Craig's home in White Rock for the workshop party.
First, I would like to thank Craig & Cindy for the opportunity to work for the workshop/school. I had a great time, learned alot, and anticipate being able to continue working for both of them in the future. Second, I would like to thank all four students for making my first workshop so much fun, and helping me find my own way in teaching and answering their questions. It was a learning experience for us all.
Lastly, any of you reading this that think you might like to get into photography, and in particular, love the southwest, I recommend highly the Eloquent Light Photography Workshops
Above are a couple of the over 800 images I took during the workshop. I have a few I am still working on that are excellent, but these should give you an idea of the work we did.
Thank you to Chris, Victoria, Patty & Jim, for the fun time we had.

And a big thank you to Mr. Frick!!!