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Workshop Daily Sessions

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The Workshop Daily Session

Daily sessions for most of our workshops all run in a similar format. Morning sessions with mostly technical and creative instruction occur each day beginning between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. wrapping up between noon and 1 p.m.. After a wide variety of options in the afternoon, we reconvene in the evenings from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. for evening presentations by the faculty, which are also open to the public (and of course your family and friends). Our schedule allows time for photography during the early morning, mid afternoon and evening light, emcompassing a wide variety of lighting conditions for our students to experience.

Nikon provides a variety of equipment for students to use during the week, but we highly recommend bringing whatever equipment you normally shoot with to the workshop, especially if you currently use the Nikon system (so you can use your personal lenses with Nikon's digital SLR bodies or vice versa). Attendees must provide their own laptop (or other workstation) on which to download and edit their images. We also recommend an external hard drive to have an onsite backup of images you download during the week.

The First Day

For most programs, the week begins with an optional State of Digital Photography sessions, getting attendees up to speed on the latest advancements in digital photography, technology and workflow. Following the first afternoon's state of digital session, we have a welcoming reception for all attendees in the workshop. We end the week with a final dinner. For both the reception and final dinner casual attire is fine, though most attendees might go as far as business casual for these. The rest of the week is very casual as attendees often come directly from morning shoots or are prepared to leave into the field to photograph after lunch, and weather in the Rocky Mountains can be fickle and change rapidly.

The Classroom

The morning sessions open with a light continental breakfast and time to review images taken the previous day and earlier that morning. Attendees spend about an hour each morning reviewing images their own laptops, editing their take down to their top three images to be reviewed during the student critique later in the morning. During this time instructors and other staff members are roaming the room to assist in the editing process or workflow issues. Once selects have been chosen, images are transferred to our workshop server to be displayed before the group later in the morning.

Following the editing process, we move into morning instruction emcompassing technical, creative and business topics, usually two to three presenters each morning. Some sample topics might be "maximizing the power of RAW format" or "getting your foot in the door with editors". Between 11am and noon we begin the student critique, where the top three images from each student are displayed before the group and instructors comment on what works, what doesn't work and what could be done better to strengthen the image.

Optional Sessions

Once we've completed the student critique, the group breaks for lunch and attendees are free to spend the afternoon photographing on their own, following an instructor-led group into the field/on location, returning to the classroom for more specialized instruction or meeting with instructors one-on-one for portfolio reviews or career counseling. The classroom closes each day at 5 p.m. with students reconvening at 8 p.m. in an auditorium style venue.

The Evening Sessions

The evening presentations, usually open to the public, consist of one or two of our faculty giving 60-90 minute presentations on a topic of their choosing. This might be an overview of their career, a current project they are working on, or possibly a look inside their newspaper or magazine. The sessions are more inspirational and entertaining than instructional in nature and offer a chance to sit back, relax and enjoy an evening of fine photography.

Photos left to right: © Rich Clarkson and Associates, LLC, Tom Ewart/NWA Photography, Lance Wynn  

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