This three-day course in Yosemite National Park is an intensive exploration of how the mind responds to a scene and how the eye can find the photographic composition … intuitively. With a complete disregard to the technical instruction, we focus purely on the visual challenges presented to each of us, compounded by the prejudices and existing mindsets that keep us from truly capturing the photos that place you in the same level of the masters, understanding what separates a photographer from an artist.
This course is limited to five students to ensure an intimate environment, fostering the best learning opportunities possible. Certain course prerequisites are required for course registration; please see “Prerequisites” below for more information.
WHEN: OCT. 20 - 22, 2017
WHERE: WAWONA, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
COURSE LEVEL OF INSTRUCTION:
Highly intensive, small group course that focuses on advanced visual concepts and challenges.
Mild, light hiking, flat trails, near to cars
COURSE CAPACITY: Minimum 3 students, maximum 5
Strict course prerequisites in place; see "Prerequisites" below.
As I have come to expect from your workshops, it was well planned with a progression of “classroom” sessions & experience in the field to reinforce the knowledge. The exercises truly assisted in establishing the process of consciously creating an image instead of just taking a picture. I have found myself naturally evaluating a scene & consciously deciding the parameters of the composition before “firing away”.
Of the 10+ photography workshops I have participated in, “Advanced Photography: The Zen of Thinking” was the best of all. I needed to break out of my creative box & Michael provided real tools and a paradigm to do just that. This is going to change the way I do photography. Thank you!
Waking up this morning with all the snow was a perfect ending to finest photo workshop that I have ever attended. My sincere appreciation to Michael for incorporating the theory and practical with such an even balance.
Leave your comfort zone to move beyond the photographic world you are locked into and go to a level of learning that you didn’t realize existed.
Push the boundaries of how the “industry” says photography is supposed to be done. Go beyond the mass conformity that “everyone” is doing.
Follow the mindset used by the masters of photography. It is only by accepting this open approach to the visual — trying something new — that one can expand their photographic potential.
Challenge how you see photographs by understanding that the visual component in photography reigns supreme.
We take the “rule of thirds” and throw it out the window, moving forward to explore, challenge and apply far more extensive visual components.
Do you feel like you are stuck in a rut? Try as you may, you just can’t move beyond where you are, despite all the online reading, forum browsing and workshops that leave you thirsting for more?
Do you see other pictures but just don’t understand how the photographer ‘saw’ that scene? Do you wish to “see” and “read” a scene to the point that it becomes second-nature? Instinctual?
Are you tired of everyone focusing on the technical part of photography, as if the knowledge of how to use your camera functions will actually make you a better photographer? Do you want to move beyond the constant and seemingly endless chatter about megapixels, image quality, camera control, and gear talk?
Just as the classic joke goes about a chef being complimented that they must have nice pots in order to cook such a great meal … the camera does not make the photographer. A photographer that is true to the art knows that the make and model of the camera is irrelevant to the picture.
And that is how we approach this course. We don’t care what camera you bring. We don’t care how many lenses you want to carry. We don’t care about megapixels.
What we DO care about is if you have the desire, passion and focus to challenge yourself to improve your photography as an art form.
And that starts with understanding how a photograph is made. How it is created in the mind’s eye. Understanding that finding and creating the image is not analytical, but rather based on intuition. That a photographer true to the art listens to their heart—not their brain—when it comes to photographic inspiration. How to truly create a grand work of art.
COURSE CURRICULUM TOPICS
This advanced-level workshop addresses these course-specific curriculum topics:
DECONSTRUCTION OF THE QUESTION "WHAT IS ART?"
ANALYSIS OF HOW FRAMING IS ART
THE THEORY OF "WHEN GOOD ENOUGH ... ISN'T"
GETTING IN THE OFT-CITED 'ZONE'
DECONSTRUCTION OF THE RULE OF THIRDS/INTRODUCTION OF ART-MINDED DESIGN
STEPS FOR SELF-ANALYSIS OF ARTISTIC VALUE OF ONE'S OWN WORK
EXPANSION OF CREATIVE THOUGHT VOID OF TECHNICAL PROCESS
DEFINED STEPS TO RESPOND INTUITIVELY TO THE SCENE
IMPLEMENTATION OF LIMITATIONS INTO THE CREATIVE PROCESS
INTRODUCTION OF 'BRAIN-BREAKING' METHODS TO OPEN EXPANSIVE CREATIVITY
PROCESS TO CHANGE PERCEPTIONS OF WHY WE TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS
EXERCISES TO FREE CREATIVE THOUGH FROM SOCIETY'S EXPECTATIONS
EVALUATIVE LOOK AT MENTAL PROCESSES THAT INHIBIT NATURAL CREATIVITY
This three-day advanced course is broken down into daily 'themes' that narrow the focus for that day's curriculum, lecture and shooting goals. Each day's curriculum is presented in a discussion format, versus a traditional classroom lecture, fostering group communication and comparative analysis amongst the workshop students. Considerably more time is spent at each shooting location to allow for well though-out implementation of the course's principles.
The course begins with a requisite 9am welcome orientation, course review and first of three daily morning presentations and discussions. The days goals and shooting points are shared before heading to the first application location after lunch. The second location of the day, going up to sunset, is in a prized yet challenging 'secret' location known only to local photographers.
The second day of the course closely mirrors the first day, with a morning round-table discusson of the day's theme, goals and shooting principles, followed by lunch and the first of three shooting locations, concluding the day at the same location as the Day 1, but with the rules changed.
The final day starts with an early-morning departure to our first location, followed by the academic round-table discussion leading to a challenging exercise in non-traditional landscape photography. The workshop concludes at the same evening location, albeit with the 'rules' changed again.
ACTIVITY LEVEL & DESCRIPTION
Mild, light hiking, flat trails, near to cars
All locations are easily accessible from parking areas.
As this course is intensive and with a curriculum that transcends both the technical and visual instruction found in most High Sierra Workshop offerings, students must be receptive to fresh, new thinking and approaches in the visual realm of photography, and willing to challenge their current ideals and mindsets.
Flexibility in current thinking is a must for a student to embrace and implement this mode of thinking and shooting.
Technical proficiency must include the ability to comfortably and regularly shoot with ease in manual exposure, and with a solid comprehension of the shutter speed, aperture and ISO scales along with their secondary effect aside from exposure control.
All students in this course MUST have either previously attended a High Sierra Workshops 200-level Intermediate course offering led by instructor Michael Mariant, or MUST provide a link to an online portfolio, a brief statement of intent, and have a brief conversation/web chat with the instructor PRIOR to class registration. It is imperative that all students are at the same minimum technical experience level, while also being of the same mindset and acceptance to challenge their way of thinking, to graduate on to a new level of seeing in photography.
All participants must watch the episodes of HSW.tv on content matter specific to this workshop course, as directed by their instructor, 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.)
For this workshop, your instructor has requested that you watch and familiarize yourself with the following episodes: HSW.tv SEASON ONE: Episodes #1 - #11
Michael Mariant is a travel & documentary visual journalist based in California. Following several years as a newspaper photojournalist and desk editor, Michael moved away from local and regional coverage and up to wire service photography. For over a decade, Michael has been a contract photojournalist for The Associated Press, responsible for coverage of the Central Coast of California along with sports and entertainment assignments in Los Angeles, notably anchoring the agency’s coverage of the Michael Jackson trial from 2003 to 2005. Michael is also the consultant & multimedia coordinator for the Semester at Sea study abroad program, providing lectures & instructions to the college students while shaping the direction of the programs multimedia efforts in video & still photography through social media. While still taking on editorial and Associated Press assignments, Michael has shifted his shooting focus to commercial video & his B&W landscapes. Outside of shooting, Michael leads educational travel photography workshops as well as university & industry lecture engagements.
View Your Instructor's SlickPic Gallery | Your Instructor's Website
Yosemite is located in the central part of the Sierra Nevada mountains, easily accessible from several major cities as well as the closest city of Fresno.
AIRPORT OF ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE:
Fresno-Yosemite International Airport (FAT)
TRAVEL TIME/DIRECTIONS TO WORKSHOP:
Travel time from Fresno-Yosemite International Airport to Wawona is approximately 1.5 hours. There are several car rental operations located on-site at the airport.
ALTERNATE AIRPORTS/DRIVING TIMES:
San Francisco International Airport (SFO), via Highways 80, 580, 205, and 120, is approximately 4 hours.
Sacramento International Airport (SMF), via Highways 99 and 120, is approximately 3.5 hours.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), via Highways 5, 99 and 41, is approximately 5.5 hours.
Carpool arrangements, if needed, will be reviewed and discussed in the workshop forum discussions
For the Advanced Photography: Zen of Thinking, Yosemite course, workshop participants need to make lodging reservations at lodging establishment near the south entrance of Yosemite National Park, either at Wawona or in the adjacent community of Fish Camp. Please do not make reservations at lodging in Yosemite Valley, Yosemite West, El Portal or Oakhurst. In addition to the lodging choices listed below, there are several B&B and vacation rentals in the Fish Camp area.
Wawona Hotel: Located in Wawona
Tenaya Lodge: Located just outside the park boundary in the community of Fish Camp.
Narrow Gauge Inn: Located just a bit further down Hwy. 41 from Fish Camp.
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 Wawona and near the nearby communities.
While we will 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.
A: No, there is not a deadline to sign up for the workshop. However, space is limited. And it does sell-out, as it is one of our most popular courses! 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.
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.
As for lenses, we do not recommend a specific lens or set of lens for the workshop, as that is always dictated by one’s own personal preferences and budget.
We do say that, in general terms, you will need a wide angle lens to medium-length lens to long telephoto lens for the workshop. Essentially, something in the range from ~16mm on the wide side to ~200mm on the long side. How you choose to fulfill that is at your discretion. Would an 18-200 work? Absolutely. Would all prime lenses work? Absolutely. Do I need a 400/2.8 with a 2x tele-convertor? Not really, unless you like carrying that hunk of glass around AND have an idea for a shot you want to accomplish.
In regards to carrying your camera equipment, a small photo backpack, waistbelt 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. When packing and choosing your gear to bring, remember one thing: keep it simple and light!
A: In the non-photographic equipment, a hat and sunscreen is a must.
Good light-duty hiking boots with excellent traction are REQUIRED as we will be off-trail and might be doing some light boulder scrambling at times and good foot traction and strong ankle support is necessary.
Another highly recommended item is hiking/trekking poles. Many workshop participants in the past have utilized the poles and commented that they couldn’t have done it all while carrying the heavy gear without the trekking poles.
NOTE: Everyone is required to bring at least 1 water bottle of 32 oz. capacity.
A: During the pre-workshop forum discussions, we will make carpooling choices to avoid having a caravan of vehicles with one driver in each vehicle! Three to four cars will easily support transportation needs each day. If there are members of this workshop group who have a vehicle ideal for carpooling and are willing to volunteer, we applaud you for your efforts.
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)
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.