Capturing the world of the small isn’t easy. Although the close-up world is all around us it’s most evident in gardens and parks. These environments provide the greatest concentration of subjects and reflect where many of us spend a lot of time photographing. This small-group, intimate course will introduce the specialized equipment and techniques needed to photograph the beauty and drama of the macro world. A special opportunity with a small-animal wrangler will let us interact with captive critters like frogs, lizards, spiders, mantis, and other insects in natural settings and terrariums.
WHEN: Aug. 1-2, 2015
WHERE: Santa Barbara, CA
COURSE LEVEL OF INSTRUCTION:
Highly intensive, small group courses that focus on a specialized genre or medium within the photographic industry.
Mild, light hiking, flat trails, near to cars
COURSE CAPACITY: Minimum 3 students, maximum 5
Ralph draws on his 29 years of teaching photography at Brooks Institute as well as his own success as a commercial photographer to answer questions about equipment and software with ease. He assists participants in the field by helping them find subjects to photograph and suggests different ways to capture those images. As an educator, he communicates easily with the unskilled, as well as skilled students, and he makes it fun for all.
COURSE CURRICULUM TOPICS
The emphasis in this specialized-level workshop course will be on using available light and light shaping tools, including reflectors and diffusers.
We’ll go over the tools you need to get close to small subjects and the pros and cons of each:
DIOPTERS & EXTENSION TUBES
Composition is a big element in creating strong images and you’ll learn all the tips about how to:
ARRANGING SUBJECTS WITHIN THE FRAME
CONCEPTS OF BALANCE IN AN IMAGE
THE IMPORTANCE OF SYMMETRY
Close-up photography introduces several problems and we’ll talk about how to solve many of these:
DEPTH OF FIELD & PLANE OF FOCUS
LOSS OF LIGHT AT HIGH MAGNIFICATION
Although the close-up world is all around us it’s most evident in gardens and parks. These environments provide the greatest concentration of subjects and reflect where many of us spend a lot of time photographing.
We’ll start off the workshop at 9am demonstrating equipment and techniques that everyone can use to create stunning close-ups. We spend most of the morning photographing in the garden putting what we discussed into practice. During this time we’ll work individually with each participant to cover your specific equipment questions and techniques. After lunch we’ll meet our animal wrangler and go over lighting for close ups, designing terrariums and sets, and handling small critters. She’ll be introducing us to some very special creatures and we’ll work together to create some really dramatic images of these amazing animals. This will definitely be the highlight of the weekend.
The second day of the course will start at a new park/garden location and practice some new techniques like focus stacking, using ambient lighting tools, and the art of finding the best subject. There will be new subjects and challenges and we’ll work with you to push your creativity. Following lunch we’ll meet at the Brooks Institute digital lab to review our images, including the focus stack set, and talk about what worked and why, how to solve problems that arose during our photo sessions, and how to apply what we learned to other subjects. The goal is to leave the course with an extensive set of new skills and the motivation to create some amazing close-up images.
ACTIVITY LEVEL & DESCRIPTION
Mild, light hiking/walking, flat trails, next to cars
This specialized-level workshop has specific prerequisites for all participants:
LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE
Requires understanding of camera operations & functions, standard photography principles of exposure & composition
All participants must watch the episodes of HSW.tv on content matter specific to this workshop course, as directed by their instructor. While the episode titles might reflect subject matter that is basic or rudimentary, all participants must watch each requisite episode as it is expected you will be knowledgeable and fluent on the concepts presented. (Each episode is comprehensive and short, about two minutes in length.)
That's the extreme basic misconception about exposure. If you come to the workshop with that premise and not what Episode #1 details, then you will be behind right from the start. All students need to be able to understand the instruction presented by the instructor, based off of the principles in the HSW.tv episodes listed below.
For this Macro Photoraphy workshop, your instructor has requested that you watch and familiarize yourself with the following episodes:
> HSW.tv SEASON ONE: Episodes #1 - #11
Ralph Clevenger grew up on the coast of North Africa and began diving in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea at the age of 7 with his father. He eventually went on to study zoology at San Diego State University and worked as a diver/biologist for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California before attending Brooks Institute of Photography. He holds a BS degree in zoology and a BA degree in photography. Ralph is the author of Photographing Nature, published by New Riders.
Ralph has followed his passion for the natural world by specializing in location photography and video projects of eco-travel, environmental portraits, natural landscapes, wildlife and undersea subjects. Ralph has traveled throughout the world on assignment including Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, Central America, Brasil, Antarctica, Alaska, Mexico, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa. Ralph’s stock images are represented worldwide by Corbis Images.
Santa Barbara is located on the California central coast, approximately 100 miles north of Los Angeles and 300 miles south of San Francisco, on Highway 101.
AIRPORT OF ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE:
Santa Barbara Airport (SBA)
TRAVEL TIME/DIRECTIONS TO WORKSHOP:
Travel time from Santa Barbara Airport (located in Goleta, a neighboring city and home to UC Santa Barbara) to downtown Santa Barbara is approximately 15 minutes. There are several car rental operations located on-site at the airport.
ALTERNATE AIRPORTS/DRIVING TIMES:
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), via Highways 405 and 101, is approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.
ALTERNATE TRAVEL OPTIONS:
Santa Barbara is served by Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner train from Los Angeles and Coast Starlight train from Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Carpool arrangements, if needed, will be reviewed and discussed in the workshop forum discussions
For the Macro Photography course, workshop participants are encouraged to make lodging reservations in either Santa Barbara or Goleta.
In order to balance the various individual meal and budget preferences, time is allocated for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day at one of the various dining establishments in Santa Barbara. While we may eat as a group, meals are the individual responsibility of each workshop participant. Each dining establishment is chosen to provide a wide variety of meal options to satisfy multiple dietary preferences.
In order to ensure availability for those on our waiting list, all workshop cancellations will have the following fees applied:
Cancellation up to and within 60 calendar days prior to workshop start date:
Full refund of workshop tuition; no cancellation fee (Refund applied within 3 business days of cancellation notice)
Cancellation up to and within 30 calendar days of workshop start date:
Refund of workshop tuition minus $100 cancellation fee (Refund/fees applied at conclusion of scheduled workshop; waived if workshop seat booked prior to workshop start date)
Cancellation up to and within 7 calendar days of workshop start date:
No refund of workshop tuition (Waived if workshop seat booked prior to workshop start date with applicable refund applied at conclusion of scheduled workshop)
A: No, there is not a deadline to sign up for the workshop. However, space is limited. We inevitably receive emails from those who waited until it was too late, inquiring if more spots can be added. Unfortunately, to keep the small group size and to ensure the critical one-on-one educational environment between the instructor and student, we do not add additional seats.
A: There is absolutely no requirement on which camera you bring. All cameras will work within the workshop curriculum as long as they have close-focus ability. This includes DSLR or Mirrorless models that utilize lenses or tools for close focus.
You can get close-up with tools such as:
• Macro lenses, available from 50mm to 200mm (typically they can focus to “life-size”
• Extension tubes, diopter or other tools to allow non-macro lenses to focus close
A sturdy, solid tripod is required. It can be anything from a Manfrotto aluminum tripod to the expensive carbon fiber tripods. We strongly advise against a “low-budget” tripod (in the sub $100 range), as they have never made it through any of the High Sierra Workshops. They are not designed to withstand regular tripod use, do not have the features and movements of higher quality tripods, and rarely if ever are solid and sturdy. A tripod with low ground clearance helps!
In regards to carrying your camera equipment, a small photo backpack, waistbelt, vest and/or chest harness (such as those from ThinkTank) is recommended as it will be much easier to carry your gear in this manner than with a bulky camera bag.
Your instructor has also requested that you have a Plamp, which you can order from here.
As for optional but suggested equipment:
• Mini diffusers and reflectors (your instructor will also have some to share)
• Portable electronic flash capable of TTL flash exposure
• TTL flash cord or wireless flash trigger, to get the flash off the camera
• Rechargeable batteries for your flash
In the non-photo gear required list, please bring knee pads and large trash compactor plastic bags.
If you have any questions about the equipment list, you can email your instructor via his bio, found above.
A: During the pre-workshop forum discussions, carpooling will be discussed, if necessary.
Did you know that HSW offers GROUP DISCOUNTS? Groups of 3 or more participants receive a 5% discount on tuition, while groups of 5 or more participants receive a 10% discount on tuition.
Plus, intermediate and advanced-level workshops are limited to only five participants, so your whole group can exclusively attend a workshop course together!
CONTACT US TODAY to schedule your group on any of our workshop course offerings.