Why I Love Weekends

For most people, weekends are a time to relax and unwind from the workweek. For me it’s when I get to work … and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Every year between January and April I take to the road. Friends and family get my voicemail as I get to trek around the country teaching RMSP’s Photo Weekends. This year I will be in Bend, OR, Albany, NY, Tempe, AZ and eight other cities in between.

“Weekends” are easy to get excited about as they’re equal parts education and inspiration. I like to think of these events as drinking through a photography fire hose. The photographers who join us in each city are treated to two days of non-stop photography education on diverse topics while seeing beautiful images and getting the scoop on how to create them.

The classes offered during each Photo Weekend are geared toward students of all experience levels and interests, and everyone leaves feeling like they got more than they bargained for.  Participants that have been shooting for years and have taken other seminars – even college level courses – often approach me during the breaks and say that for the first time they’ve really gotten it!  And for those who are brand new to photography, the basics are covered in depth. After Saturday’s sessions are over, many newcomers tell me they are ready to hit the ground running. We definitely don’t hold back on providing lots of information!

Curious to know what sort of things are covered on a Photo Weekend? Here are a couple of skim-the-surface sneak peeks for you. I will go more in depth with these concepts at the event.

In weekends I find it helpful to explore concepts individually and then show people how to put those concepts together.  It sure works for f-stops and shutter speeds but it’s fun to do in my composition class as well.  For example you may have heard that areas of sharpness or contrast in a photograph can draw the viewers’ eye and that warm colors, specific proportions or light and dark tones can influence the way your photograph feels, but how about thinking of them all together?  Here’s an example that I show in class that demonstrates all of those concepts in one photograph.

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In the Understanding Light class I discuss the different properties of light and help students take control so their photos have that magic quality!  One of my favorite times of day to shoot is civil twilight because of the magic it creates.  Below is a set of photos I use to demonstrate how much a scene can change between daylight and civil twilight.

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Myself, and all of the Photo Weekend instructors are working professional photographers that love sharing their passion by teaching the art and craft of photography. Whether you’re interested in the photography of people, landscape, macro or just need to improve your exposures and compositions, my colleagues and I have the real world experience to pass on what we know. More important however, we all have the desire to convey what we know.

Whether you’re just getting into photography, want to fill in the gaps in your photographic knowledge or need a healthy dose of inspiration, I hope to see you on the road this season. I would love for you to join me at any of the Photo Weekends listed below. If I am not teaching in your area, I encourage you to join one of my fellow instructors. A complete list of RMSP 2014 Photo Weekends can be seen here.

Charleston, SC    Jan 11th & 12th

Spokane, WA    Jan 18th & 19th

Clearwater, FL    Jan 25th & 26th

Bozeman, MT    Feb 8th & 9th

Bellingham, WA   Feb 15th & 16th

Tempe, AZ    Feb 22nd & 23rd

Albany, NY    Mar 1st-2nd

Dearborn, MI    Mar 8th & 9th

Bend, OR    Mar 15th & 16th

Dallas, TX    Mar 22nd & 23rd

Rapid City, SD    Mar 29th & 30th