Location: Forks, Washington
Dates: Apr 24-May 1, 2016
Instructors: Joseph Rossbach and Alex Mody
Group Size: Limit of 12 participants
Overview: Over the past three years, Alexand I have had great success springtime workshops in the Columbia River Gorge and Olympic National Park. For 2016, we will once again feature both locations in one Ultimate NW Photo Adventure, so that our participants can get the most out of their time in this beautiful and biologically diverse corner of the US!
Though we will have plenty of time for digital darkroom instruction, the main emphasis of this week-long intensive will be field work. We believe that rather than spending hours indoors listening to lectures, working hands-on in the field with us is, by far, the most effective way for one to further their art, craft, and vision.
The Columbia River Gorge holds some of most beautiful and lush scenery in North America. With vast hillsides blanketed with beautiful wildflower blooms, the greenest temperate rainforests in the Pacific Northwest, and 115 officially-named waterfalls, the Gorge is an amazing destination to create extraordinary springtime images of wildflowers, rainforests, waterfalls, and streams alike. Over the course of this workshop, we will photograph golden hour light in beautiful wildflower meadows, over a dozen picturesque waterfalls, jurassic-esque forest scenes - complete with mossy trees and four-foot tall ferns, streams with moss-covered boulders, and beautiful views across the river and into the mountains. Hood River, Oregon will be our base camp for this part of the adventure.
After our time in the Columbia River Gorge, we will venture to Olympic National Park. Referred to by many as being three parks in one, Olympic National Park is an incredible and diverse place. 95 percent of the park is designated wilderness. In this wilderness, one can find three drastically different ecosystems which exist in perfect harmony: thousands of acres of lush temperate rainforests - complete with massive old growth forests, over 60 miles of rugged coastline, featuring sea stacks and picturesque rocky beaches, and layers of jagged, glaciated mountain peaks that stretch as far as the eye can see. There is nowhere else in the contiguous US where all of these ecosystems may be found so close to one another, and it makes Olympic National Park a dream destination for a nature photographer of any skill level. Forks, Washington will be our base of operations for this half of the adventure.
Throughout this tour, we will photograph as much of what each location has to offer as we can in three full days, and one morning session. In the Gorge, we will go out for sunrise and sunset shoots among wildflower meadows, including locations such as Rowena Crest and Dalles Mountain Ranch, and during the day, when light and conditions allow, we will photograph beautiful streams and waterfalls, as well as lush rainforest scenes. In Olympic National Park, we will have sunrise and sunset shoots along the coast, including but not limited to locations such as Second Beach, Rialto Beach, and Ruby Beach. If road conditions allow, we will venture up to Hurricane Ridge at least one afternoon, in search of wildlife and scenic alpine vistas. During the day, when light and conditions allow, we will photograph lush, jurassic-esque scenes of mossy trees and gigantic ferns deep in the rain forests, as well as several waterfalls and streams.
you will learn a variety of techniques—both in the field and during our informal classroom sessions—that will allow you to advance both your technical skills and artistic vision. We focus on a number of professional field techniques to help you create dramatic and powerful nature images, including:
• Working with dramatic light, including sunrise and sunset
• Using less-than-dramatic light to your advantage
• The fundamentals of powerful composition
• Abstract techniques for creating artistic photographs
We’ll also teach you a number of professional “digital darkroom” secrets as well. Our hands-on informal classroom sessions - held during the middle of the day when the light is not conducive to successful photography - will teach you the fundamentals of image processing, and allow you to master important techniques including:
• Working with adjustment layers
• Layer masking and image blending techniques
• Making difficult selections
• Color management
• Special effects techniques used for artistic expression
• Exporting, sharpening, and saving images for optimum web presentation
Fitness Level: Like any outdoor nature photography workshop, a reasonable degree of fitness is ideal. We will not be engaging in any strenuous physical activity. The majority of the locations we will visit can be easily accessed by road, and short 5-10 minute walks. A few locations we may visit require short hikes to access, no more than 3 miles round trip and featuring anywhere from 0-300ft of elevation gain. When photographing the coast, we may need to get our feet wet in order to get the best shots possible.
Itinerary: On April 24, we will have a 2-3 hour meet and greet over dinner, in Hood River, Oregon.
April 25, 26, and 27 will be spent working wildflower blooms, waterfalls, and rainforest scenes in and around the Columbia River Gorge.
April 28th - Day off for travel from Hood River to Forks, Washington (apx. 5 hours drive time). Clients are free to shoot their own images in the morning and evening or sleep inn and rest in Forks after the long drive. We start fresh 1 hour before sunrise on April 27th.
April 29, 30, and May 1 will be spent photographing seascapes, rainforests, and waterfalls in Olympic National Park.
We will break around noon on May 1, after a final morning shoot, wrap-up brunch, and optional post-workshop image-sharing session.
Though our places of lodging and travel dates are set in stone, we do not have a set day-to-day itinerary for this workshop. We are professionals - we will take into consideration the tides, weather conditions, as well as our participants' personal goals, and we will make decisions to put our clients in the best position possible to create compelling images. For the duration of the workshop, we will be out in the field each day, photographing before dawn, and late into the evening, breaking after sunset. What we do in between depends upon the weather. If conditions are conducive to making images throughout the day, we will do so. If they are not, we will hold informal classroom sessions, going over basic and advanced digital workflow topics (as mentioned above.) We will break for meals, and we will also be certain to plan for a few hours each day to rest, relax, and back up images as needed. An email with exact meeting times and places will be sent to all participants a month before the workshop begins.
Accommodation: All participants are required to find their own lodging. Joseph and I are staying at the Sunset Motel in Hood River, Oregon, for the first leg of the workshop, and Forks Motel, in Forks, Washington, for the second. We suggest that you do the same. Our places of lodging will be our base of operations and meeting points for the workshop. There are a number of campsites around our shooting locations, but beware that they may be up to 45 minutes away from where we will meet in the mornings.
- Expert instruction and guiding in the field
- Informal digital darkroom instructional sessions
- Image critique sessions with both Joseph and I
- Transportation (Participants are asked to carpool. Due to insurance reasons, we are not able to drive any participants.)
- Lodging, meals & incidental costs
- Digital SLR camera (w/extra batteries and memory cards.)
- Wide to standard zoom lens, with their lens hoods (I carry 14-24mm and 24-70mm lenses)
- Telephoto zoom lens for extraction and abstract scenes (I use a 70-200mm lens)
- Cable or electronic shutter release
- Circular polarizing filter
- Graduated neutral density filters (if you use them.)
- Rocket blower and micro-fiber cloths for keeping glass surfaces dry and clean
- Flashlight or Headlamp
- Rain jacket and pants
- Waterproof hiking boots
- Bag to carry photo gear and extra food/clothing
- Waders or river shoes
- Clothing for comfort anywhere between 35 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (bring extra socks!)
Final Payment: The final balance is due and payable 60 days before your workshop departure. Seven days prior to the due date you will receive a reminder email that your final payment is due. If full payment is not received by the 60 day deadline, we will charge the balance to the credit card on file. If you are paying by check be sure to send it before the deadline or your reservation will be subject to cancellation. If you want to pay by Paypal, we will send you an invoice.