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My Favorite Workshop

I love going on photography workshops - love it! My vacation time is very precious to me, and I've found that it's the best way for me to visit new locations and get the best images I can. If you put yourself in the hands of a good workshop leader, they've already taken the time to scout locations, making sure you're in the right spot at the right time of day. No need to waste precious time doing that yourself, you get to concentrate on learning and shooting.

My first workshop was about 12 years ago and I went out to Utah to shoot Arches National Park. Since then I've taken dozens of workshops from several different instructors. But my favorite workshop by far was to photograph the white horses in Camargue, France. It took me a while to find just the right instructor (and to save up for the trip). I went on this particular workshop with Denise Ippolito. I'd taken a couple of local workshops with her and admired not only her teaching skills but also her amazing talent behind the camera. Check out her website and you'll see what I mean. She's great!

I don't remember exactly when I saw my first image of the white stallions galloping through the water, but I remember being captivated, and knew it was something I needed to do. I love horses. They're such magnificent animals. And I find such inner peace just being around them. Words cannot describe the explosion of sheer joy I felt as stood in the water, watching these powerful animals through my viewfinder, thundering towards me. I don't think my finger left the shutter. I only paused when my buffer filled and I had to wait (rather impatiently I admit) for my camera to finish writing to my card so I could continue. But even better than watching them run was the time we got to spend with them while they rested after each run.

Now remember - we're standing in the water, holding all our camera gear, surrounded by these incredibly beautiful, but powerful white stallions. I planted my feet, trying to make sure I had the best balance available, because falling into the water with my camera gear was not something I wanted happening on my first day of shooting. As the horses milled around us, they seemed to pick the human they wanted to get to know better. I had the pleasure of one horse that just wanted constant attention. If I stopped petting him he would gently nuzzle me - but not too hard so that I lost my balance - until I continued giving him attention. Such a great experience.

We had 6 sessions with the horses before we continued our travels to the lavender fields, and I came home with thousands of pictures. I'm still processing them. And that's one of the great things about photography - you can always relive your experiences just by going through your images.

Here's my latest image that I processed from the Camargue photo shoot. This session was in a very marshy area with rather deep water. You can see the incredible power of these horses as water explodes around them as they make their way to shore.

As I continue to look through the images from this workshop, I think that it may be one that I have to repeat. :-)

(Clicking on the image will open a new full-sized window for viewing or purchase.)


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