Photography Workshops and Tours - Reviews and Advice?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by TwoWheels, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    Real Name:
    Is there a thread somewhere on the forum that's dedicated to this topic? If not, I think we should have one. I've never been to a photography workshop, but I've been thinking about giving it a try in the next year or so. My photography has been a sideline activity in all of my traveling and I'm wondering what I can produce if I actually concentrate on it. It also seems enjoyable from a social perspective to hang out with some other photographers and get some "expert" input. It may also be an excuse to travel somewhere that I normally wouldn't go and see some new things...grizzly bear photography in northern BC or Yellowstone National Park in winter as a couple examples.

    In doing some research, there are a LOT of seemingly talented photographers out there leading many different tours and workshops--I'm mostly interested in the landscape/nature/wildlife genre. A lot of them are also VERY expensive.

    How do you choose? Any good or bad experiences? Is it worth the money, realizing that is a very subjective question? I'd love to see some reviews and get some first-hand feedback--good and bad--on specific workshops/tours you've taken. :coffee-30:
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  2. onewheeltom

    onewheeltom Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 18, 2015
    Cary, NC
    Real Name:
    Tom Karches
    I saw a presentation by Bernard Chen in Raleigh. He is out of Washington, DC and does workshops. Website is Bernard is very passionate about photography and I am very impressed by his work, though I have not been on one of his trips. Prices seem reasonable to me.

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  3. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Real Name:
    Jamie MacDonald will be holding a workshop with Mike B in Philadelphia in July. Info on the web.
  4. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    Hi, for less expensive look on Meetup for some local photo groups/clubs.

  5. Aushiker

    Aushiker Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 12, 2014
    Fremantle, Western Australia
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  6. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    Real Name:
    I know I should do that. But part of the reason to do a trip would be to see and photograph things that I likely wouldn't do on my own, either because I don't have the knowledge of where to go or because it would be difficult/expensive to arrange for a solo photographer. Here are links to several somewhat random examples that I've run across that look interesting:

    - Photographing grizzly bears in northern British Columbia

    - A bison and horse trip in Saskatchewan

    - Wildlife tour in Costa Rica

    There are obviously a lot of people who take these workshops/tours as many of the most interesting trips are sold out a year or more in advance. Maybe it's all the FF guys who take them? :D
  7. Tilman Paulin

    Tilman Paulin Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 10, 2013
    Dublin, Ireland
    Maybe try to identify what you want to get out of a workshop the most?

    - Is it socializing and input from experienced photographers? Then being in an "amazing" location is probably less important. It might even help to be somewhere which isn't a "once in a lifetime" place. Because in such a location people might focus more on "getting photos" than on talking to each other.

    - Or is it more the experience of going somewhere / seeing interesting wildlife? Then you might be able to do this even without a dedicated photo workshop? (You live in British Columbia after all ;) )

    I'd try not to cram too many expectations into one workshop. All these things can't be rushed. And a photo "workshop" that drives you to one spot and almost puts the animals in front of your lens might get you some nice pictures - but you may not necessarily take away more from it than that. I don't know... :)

    Just my thoughts. (Thoughts from someone who's never been on a workshop - so I might be off the mark :) )