National Geographic “Wyoming’s Cowboy Country” Workshop, August 9-15, 2015
August, 2015….and we just wrapped up another National Geographic “Wyoming’s Cowboy Country” Workshop. For 10 years, we’ve been making the drive to Dubois in summer, it truly feels like going home. We (Becky and I) started FirstLight in 2003 with the idea of building what we saw as an ideal photo workshop. The print show, the magazine, the assignments, all were part of the FirstLight magic…just ask anyone who attended one of those workshops.
Our good friend and regular FirstLight instructor, Jeff Vanuga, and I had discussed with the folks at CM Ranch the particulars of the proposal I was eventually going to write and submit to National Geographic. They accepted this workshop idea, and the rest, as it’s said, is history. We just completed the 7th “Wyoming’s Cowboy Country” Workshop, and it was a fantastic event.
We’ve had several attendees who are repeat participants, and I asked one about what it’s like coming back. Her response was: “it’s totally different each time.” Which is really the best way I can describe the workshop…this is also what I love about the style of photography I get to do, it is constantly changing, nothing is ever the same.
Our first event on Monday is outrageous…I won’t describe it as some of you may be considering coming to the workshop, and I don’t want you coming in with images in mind that you want to duplicate. Each workshop is a unique event and should be about the individual capturing their own vision. The workshop is constructed so we all shoot the same event…which works perfectly for this style event. One photographer will shoot the session one way, another photographer will bring an entirely different look to the shoot. In the projection sessions that occur daily, everyone is always amazed-and educated-by how differently the work looks.
It was a nice break, coming back in August after the two workshops in the last two weeks of June. The days were shorter, mosquitoes were pretty much gone, and the summer light is always beautiful in Wyoming.
In the workshop, I talk about visual narrative, which includes: sense of place, introducing your characters, bringing in detail, capturing the power of moments and closing your story are a perfect blend for the final event, the rodeo. This “template” of visual narrative translates perfectly to your own style of photography, as it works in capturing the story of your life…
Hope you enjoy the images from this last week of the CM Ranch Workshop, stay tuned.
One of the real amazing aspects of digital photography: how long exposures can really “open up” the night sky. The image above is the Milky Way, shot from directly in front of our cabin, Studio, at the CM Ranch.