What memories of summer are strongest for you? For me, it’s the smells—freshly mown grass, hemlocks in the mountains of North Carolina, mint in my mom’s garden, burgers cooking on the grill, even that odd smell of lightning bugs. Do you have lightning bugs where you live? Perhaps you call them fireflies.
Anyhow, it’s summer and my thoughts are eagerly turning to the botanical photography workshop I’ll be teaching in Rockport, Maine, this August. Offered by the Maine Media Workshops, it is a week’s emersion into the subject with a small group of individuals who are passionate about plants and photography. It’s one of those few times you can leave everything else behind and focus intensely on learning, playing, experimenting and making new artistic discoveries.
Teaching at MMW is one of my favorite summer activities. (And before I began teaching, taking workshops there was tops on my list!) Rockport is a quaint harbor town sandwiched between Rockland and Camden. The gardens are enchanting—sometimes charming, other times sophisticated. The studio is spacious and well equipped. Meals, which are eaten outdoors under a large tent, are always worth writing home about. And the talented staff is truly a joy to work with.
This workshop is going to be a little different from those I’ve taught in the past, in that we’ll spend more time in the studio and concentrate more on photographing plants than gardens—though we’ll get out in some lovely gardens, too. Shooting in the studio is unique in that you have an opportunity to look at and work with plants in ways that are often difficult and sometimes impossible in the garden. You can slow down, have a bit more control over your subject, and explore it more fully. The days will include a mix of working in the studio, shooting in the garden or nature, class discussions, creativity exercises and reviewing work. We will work hard, play hard, get lots of hands-on experience, share ideas and have some fun in a great setting.
While you don't need any botanical photography experience to take the class, you do need to know how to operate your camera and use some kind of image-processing software so that you can work with and share your images. You'll need to bring a laptop with that software, your camera, a sturdy tripod and, ideally, a couple of lenses. I highly recommend a macro lens for getting the most out of the class. (You might consider renting one for the week or asking MMW if they have any loaner equipment that would suit your camera.) We'll also play around with our camera phones and apps. You don't need to be an equipment geek to take this class; our real focus is shooting.
Don’t you want to join us? [Click HERE for information and registration.] If you have questions, please shoot me an email or respond to this letter. Also, would you do me a favor and pass this along to anyone you know who might be interested? I sure would appreciate that! Hope to see you in August!