If you are a novice photographer, it is important to try to improve as much as possible and if you are a member of PSRI, it means that you want to learn more about photography. Attending a workshop can help elevate your images to a better level; however, it is essential to attend the correct workshop for you. A tour is not a workshop: it implies an intermediate to advanced knowledge of your camera and photography, and usually involves a tour leader getting you to the best places to shoot with minimal personal assistance. A workshop, on the other hand, is ideal for beginning photographers but there are some things you must do before attending a workshop; things that will help it be a success for you.
I have attended many workshops and tours, some of which were amazing, and some that were almost disastrous and everything in between.
These checkpoints may assist you in choosing the correct workshop:
- Know the tour leader’s work. Check his/her website. If you don’t like their photography, what’s the point in going with them?
- Know your style of photography or your tendencies when you shoot. If you like landscape, don’t do a portrait workshop unless you want to try that genre.
- Read your camera manual. Know the basic operation of your camera..a workshop leader will have other people to help, too and if you monopolize the leader, there may be revenge from others…you want to return home in one piece.
- Get a tripod…if you want sharp images, this is a must…
- Know your limitations…if the leader lists the itinerary and it requires miles of hiking to an area, be certain you are capable of doing it. Personally, I love the work of Marc Adamus, but I am too darn old to camp and hike long distances, which is what his tours usually involve, so I don’t go and embarrass myself.
- Be prepared with the correct clothing for the conditions…I was on a tour in Canada when it was February with temps -29F and one woman showed up in jeans, tshirt and light cotton jacket…
- Find out what camera equipment is necessary…try to bring a spare camera body. If your camera goes belly up, it will be on the workshop.
- If you can talk to others who have been out with the workshop leader, it will give you a realistic idea of what to expect.