20 Questions with 2011 Weekends Instructor Tim Cooper

Our Weekends instructors have a unique combination of humor, knowledge and hijinx that will make you laugh and learn more about photography in two days then you ever expected. Our 2011 Weekends season begins tomorrow and we thought we’d give you a quick look into the world of our instructor, Tim Cooper. Tim, along with Tony Rizzuto, Doug Johnson and administrator Eileen Rafferty are the core of this traveling program. Check out the 2011 Weekends schedule to see if there is an event coming to your area this year.

What courses will you be teaching during our 2011 Weekends season?
Understanding Exposure, Workflow: Processing Your Images with Adobe Lightroom, Intro to Macro, Light:  Creating Mood & Dimension, Video for Photographers, Composition: Designing a Great Photo, Nature Photography.

What part of the Weekend do you get the most excited about? (Critiques? Info session?)
At a point during the lectures, we are treated with the look of understanding on the students’ faces.

In your years of teaching in the Weekends program, you have traveled with Tony and/or Doug to several locations across the country. Knowing that all three of you have finely-tuned senses of humor, there must be a few hilarious stories from the road. Can you divulge to our readers any practical jokes you have played – or that have been played on you?
Oh, boy…I don’t believe I can.

What do you like best about Tony and Doug’s teaching styles?
Tony’s humor and Doug’s sincerity.

What kind of a photographer are you? (ie: portraiture, landscape, architecture)

Where did you get your photographic education?
Summer Intensive 1992.

If you could be anywhere in the world shooting right now, where would you be?
New Zealand.

Which photographers do you look up to? Why?
Galen Rowell. He never lost his passion for his work.

What do you like to do when not shooting or teaching?
Practice my guitar.

What’s your worst horror story related to your camera gear? (camera gear stolen? Run over by charging buffalo? Finished a shoot and realized there was no CF card in the camera?
You name it, it has happened to me. From my entire camera system being stolen to dropping (at different times) most of my gear in either oceans, rivers or lakes.

What is your biggest pet peeve about cameras today?
The loss of the focusing and depth of field scale on fixed lenses.

Are you exploring video these days?

What is the highest high you have had in photography? (ie: cover of a National Geographic? Photographed the president?)
Being sent to New Zealand on assignment.

What’s your dream assignment/job in photography?
Hmm, something in Scotland.

Do you have a favorite photo that you’ve taken? If so, describe it.
I have two favorites. Triple Falls, Glacier Natl. Park  and Field & Barn, Western Montana. Both are black and white images made with my first field camera.

Printing. Do it yourself or outsource it?
Print it myself.

Coffee. Yes or no? Cream, sugar or straight up?
Always. Cream.

Pizza. Chicago or New York style?
New York.

Car or bike?

What did you want for Christmas?
Nikon’s 70-200mm F 2.8 VR lens!

Check out Doug Johnson’s 20 Questions.

4 thoughts on “20 Questions with 2011 Weekends Instructor Tim Cooper

Profile photo of Grant Nakamura


Nikon lens? What’s up with that?

Kathy Wright

I must say, this interview EXCITED me tremendously! I am beginning to use video with, and AS a way of expressing/preserving what I experience visually/viscerally, etc the world and my heart. Additionally, I am almost 50, and I am learning to play the guitar! I have a concern about “doing it all”, because I can’t get enough of the guitar. I am selfish, I realize, and I am constantly juggling priorties. My guitar is a Martin DSC-1, (I believe). Thanks for the article.

Profile photo of Grant Nakamura


I should make my comment clearer since I own two Nikon DSLRs and Tim has been a Canon shooter for as long as I’ve known him.


Good choice on the lens there, Tim. I wanted one of those for Christmas, too. A 50mm 1.4 or a tilt-shift would have been appreciated also…

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