The Lighthouse Photo Workshop Tour 2013
I have just come back from spending four awesome days with a lovely group of people as we explored several lighthouses of South Australia. This was the Lighthouse photo workshop tour that I ran in the middle of winter. I chose winter as my as I was wanting dramatic storm clouds ranging winds and great light. Although this is winter, it is still possible and it does happen when you can have clear skies and this is not what I was wanting. I designed this trip in winter to have the awesomeskies. For those who know me, you will know that I’m a great lover of the awesomeskies and for me , it is the dominate part of the landscape for me.
I love taking people away, I love teaching them and I love seeing them grow. People are always at different levels. I have some who are repeating tours with me and this is an honor as they don’t have to but the comments that I get back as to why you would, range from, you give us the fun factor and friendship in life, you get us to do things that I would never do if i was on my own or at home.You extend us in our ability to take shots that we thought was not possible for us .Coming on Tour with you gives an outlook that we thought was not possible.
When you are told these these comments one is very humbled.
On the opening day of the photo Tour to the Lighthouses we travelled what should have been 3.5 hours which turned into almost 6 hours as we had the most amazing weather. It rain, poured, and then the sun would shine and off course the awe inspiring rainbow would make a dramatic entrance onto the landscape. We stopped for several rainbows, one was very intense and I was able to get some of crew to stand on the main road as that was the best vantage point to get the rainbow. Others shot from the side.I’m always very careful with my crew ad never put them at risk.The shots that they were able to get from this shot was awesome and I was so happy for them and to see the chatter, the smiles and some hi fives was so rewarding.Yes I was equally as pumped and excited.
When you have several rainbows to shoot along the way you’ll be amazed how time flies and the stops all add time to where we are going. That’s how I run my photo workshops in the sense that if I see a moment, I will pull over the bus and off we go. I love seeing the joy people get when they have caught something that they haven’t captured before and it is above their normal standard.On day one the rainbows dominated the trip.Did we ever get sick of them , no way, we were always keeping a look out for them.
On day one we stopped at a ruin in a field as the sun was popping in and out and when it did come out it was such an intense green in the field of the newly planted crops.With such a gentle and yet, awesomeskies. I don’t have to stop at these things on the side of the road but I do with my crew as i want to make their time as much fun as possible and to teach them that sometimes, the unexpected shots come when you least expected it providing you make sure you stop when you see it and not to see you have to gun it to get to your next destination. It also breaks the trip up for them, although we arrive later, it doesn’t really matter.
Nothing could prepare us for the first lighthouse and what we were blessed with was a gift from God, there is no other way for me to explain it. As we made out way into Point Lowly Lighthouse we were traveling with an intense rainbow. For a good 10 to 15 minutes we travelled looking at it and we were all scared that it would go when we just arrived as the rainbow had been there for a while. As we pulled up, we were out of that bus as quick as we can and as it turned out the rainbow lasted only minutes before it went to sleep.
For me I was emotional inside as I stood there looking at the lighthouse and even for Pete, I have never taken a picture of lighthouse with a rainbow in it. I was speechless inside and as the others were doing their thing, for a short time the tears flowed from my eyes and there were lots of reasons fort this, but I just felt so blessed , so humbled that on my first Lighthouse Tour that He would give us a rainbow over the Lighthouse. Later I told the others never to forget that moment, never take it for granted what you were given on that day.
The shoot was completed and what an awe inspiring day. Could this day ever be surpassed? Well as it turned out, the day was never surpassed but it was equalled as each day after that, we were presented with the most amazing and awe inspiring skies which was simply perfect for the three lighthouses.The shooting was very intense as we had so much to work with .
There are times where I would just sit back and see people doing their own thing and it was just nice to see the sense of expectation within them, their concentration as they went about their work, moving their tripods to a different point of view.The wind for most of the time was ever present and yes it was cold but if you come prepared it lessens the blow and you can take part of the chill factor away .
On this trip we had Emma, Nola, Brenton( Anchorman)Jaime and all were a delight to be with.Nola is 70 and it was so good to see her out there doing her thing. There were times when she was in her own world which was so good as she has a good eye for the things that most walk past, she likes to highlight small things that are around. I could see the little girl within her exploring and that’s something that we should never lose within ourselves and at the age of 70 it was good to see that little girl within living her dream.I’m so proud of Nola as she has a bad knee but I encouraged her to come and that she wouldn’t be a burden as this is one trip where you can go at your own pace, walk as far or as little as you want as one doesn’t need to walk far to be at the lighthouses. Nola I’m so proud of you. You could have stayed home and if you did, you would have missed out on the rich time of fellowship with others and the rewards of light, form and texture and the awesomeskies that we were presented with.
On our first night it was cold, windy and I was teaching the crew how to do the ball of fire and Nola could have easily stayed back at the motel in the warmth on her own confines and yet she came out, she didn’t take any pictures as she wanted to experience the night and yes she was cold but she did it and I just admire her so much.
You don’t stop living because you grow older, you grow older when you stop playing. Never stop playing Nola:)
Nola came with her point and shoot camera,so you don’t need all the bells and whistles camera.love ya Nola:)
This was Emma’s first tour with me and it was so nice to see her out there wanting to learn more.I remember when I first spoke to her she expressed that she wanted to come along and learn how to shoot better but Lighthouses are not her thing really and she wouldn’t have chosen it as her first choice. Well during the trip I could see the excitement grow within her as she discovered the love of the skies, the importance of a good sky in the landscape that you were capturing and the excitement that she showed displayed that she had moved on from the notion,” Lighthouses are not my thing….:) “When people say things like that I smile deep within as I know that if they come on Tour, that outlook will change and change forever as Emma’s did. The more she excelled, the more I think she could see the value of any landscape that you are given.It’s all in the mind in how we approach the subject that we shoot. The trip also taught her the value of good lens vs kit lens and where do you want to take your photography.It’s a never ending learning curve.Emma, you did so well and this is reflected in the images that you took. I’m so proud of you in what you achieve in a short time.A teacher can teach but the proof in being a good teacher is in how the student executes what he or she has been taught, you did yourself proud:)
Jaime is such a quite person, there are times you have to look up to see if she is still there. In fact all the girls on this trip were quiet in personalities and character. This is Jaime’s second tour and it was good to have her along again and seeing her grow as well.Jaime is the type of person that although she is quiet, she is taking in what you are saying, she is soaking every bit of knowledge with the hope of moving froward in her photography.When she smiles after taking that awesome shot, for Jaime you can interpret that as she is doing massive cartwheels within her self and this is so lovely to see. Looking at her pics, over the last 12 months or so she has gone in leaps and bounds and her pics on this trip are at another level yet again. Her understanding of awesomeskies, light, form and texture are all sound and continue to grow.She might be quiet but inside she is a ranging bull pumped to the max with what she has taken.She did well to brave the cold as she is one person who feels the cold so much. She went around at one point to touch us on the face with her hands and to say she is as cold as a freezer is a complete understatement, so well done for braving the the cold as I know what pain you were enduring, although you had your million layers on hahaha
Anchorman whom I call affectionally as this is what he reminds me of, the Anchorman of the news, his real name is Brenton and this is his third tour with me. Wow I must be doing something right!!!! I admire Brenton so much as many when they get older, think they can’t do things anymore and although a tender 68 year old, he is not letting age prevent him from enjoying the pleasures of photography. Anchorman told me that he loves coming on these tours as being on tour he is doing things that he would never do on his own. He wouldn’t wait two hours for the light to pop but when you are with others, you do, time flies as you chatter and freeze you butts of with others hahaha I love the way he goes off and potters around and comes back with images that are nearly always from a different view point. He is rich in enthusiasm. Anchorman it was so lovely for you to wear a red shirt in my honor and a matching tie, how wonderful is that.
I never take whatever Photo Tour that I get to run for granted as I learn a bit about the people on tour, I see them grow, I see their hopes, their dreams and the joy that they get out of their photography. I reflect on life when I’m out there and I cant help but think, if people could do something like this once in their lives, and break the cycle of boredom, being nasty, being right all the time, getting away from their own little world and can see that it’s never just about us or me, but the bigger picture of life is about embracing life, with those around you and and to live a rich rewarding life based on the treasures of friendship and being prepared to step out of your comfort zone and seeing what lies beyond.
For me I hope my Photo Workshops indirectly do this.On tour you go away with a bunch of people you don’t know usually and by the end of the workshop there are new friendships formed, sharing and life can take on a new dimension, all through taking pictures.
Time McGraw said : ‘We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other”
If my crews can take a little of the love of skies when they leave, I’m quietly contented that I have achieved something in my teaching of those who venture on my photo tours.
If you like what you see below, why not join me next year and have an awesome time. June 16th to June 21st 2014