Ultimate Iceland Workshop

Joshua Holko is putting together the ultimate Iceland workshop. Check out all the details straight from him.

Daniel Bergmann and I have now finalised the dates and itinerary for our 2014 Iceland summer workshops. We are leading two identical workshops with a brand new custom designed itinerary for 2014. Our new itinerary has been designed to take in the very best the country has to offer in a single experience - ‘Ultimate Iceland’.

In order to ensure we visit and photograph the very best locations and landscapes Iceland has to offer we will spend eleven days circumnavigating the Island. Just some of the location highlights for these expeditions include: The wondrous Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, the Volcanic highlands of Landmannalaugar, the steaming geothermal areas at Myvatn, the mighty Detifoss and Selfoss waterfalls, Godafoss waterfall and many more of Iceland’s gems including some lesser known but no less spectacular locations such as the surreal black sand volcanic region of Veiðivötn. We will be using hotels and guest houses as our bases that are functional and clean for the duration of the workshops. Each has been chosen for its suitability and proximity to our target locations. If you can only travel to Iceland once in your life, then this is most definitely the itinerary and workshop you want to experience.

For 2014 we have added an extra day to the workshops making them eleven days / ten nights. All food (excluding alcohol), accommodation and in country transport is included in the workshop from the moment you land in Keflavik, Iceland until the conclusion of the trip eleven days later. We will be utilising modified 4-wheel drive super jeeps to enable us to get into the very best areas for photography. We will travel on both bitumen and off road tracks to reach the best areas. Our goal is to ensure we are always in the best locations when the ‘magic’ happens and as such we may stay out late or rise early in order to give ourselves the best opportunities under the spectacular midnight sun. These two workshops promise to provide the ultimate Iceland experience. Wether you are travelling to Iceland for the very first time, or are a seasoned veteran these workshops will leave you having experienced the very best Iceland has to offer. 

If you would like to join us then you can chose which dates work best for you and then complete the appropriate attached booking form and return email. You will be spending eleven days with people who are just as passionate as you are about photography in the most spectacular parts of Iceland. Bookings are taken strictly on a first come, first served basis and both workshops are fully accredited by the Australian Institute of Professional Photography.

Stepping Up To DSLR

Since the advent of camera functionality on phones, everyone with a thumb has become a self-proclaimed “photographer”. While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there’s no denying that it takes skill to make great photographs. Some may think self-proclaimed, phone-wielding photographers are ruining the photo industry, but the opposite may also be true. 

Ask any photographer with experience and the standout advice is to just keep shooting. Shoot everything and learn from every shot.

Henri Cartier-Bresson is famously quoted for saying, “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”

Those phone photographers may be on the right track. Admittedly, many never aspire to learn more about manual photo composition and detail outside of the point-and-shoot mentality. However, sprouting out of the mass, there is a consistent flow of brilliant photographers. So how do these originally self-proclaimed phone photographers put on their Speedo and dive into the deep waters of more advanced photography?

Recently we posed this question to our Facebook fans. Here’s a few snippets of advice for those looking to take the next step in their photography.

Michael J. Samaripa: buy a used DSLR, don't buy new. Cut your teeth on something like a 5D classic, a 50mm 1.8 or 1.4, and a simple full manual flash.

Christina Stallard: Don't start a FB page and call yourself a pro right off the bat. Learn your settings, be humble, and always be open to improvement.

Thomas Lieser: use manual mode. never full automatic

Billy Gibbons: Disagree with Thomas. Shooting manual mode without a light meter does nothing but teach chimping to check the histogram. Shoot Av or Tv and learn to use exposure compensation for light or dark scenes.

But, buy something used! A 5D2, a D700 and prime lenses!

Lynne Glazer: Depends what subjects you shoot! If action, buy a decent but reasonably priced piece of glass, like the Canon 70-200 f4L. Don't hang out a shingle just because someone tells you that you take great photos. Lots of people say "great photo" when they mean "great moment". Av or Tv, learn the exposure triangle and enjoy the journey.

Derek Baehr: I agree with Michael. I started with a 10d, and slowly moved up to the 7d, and have my sights on a mark series soon. the only thing i will add is TAKE PICTURES EVERYDAY!

Bk Kapella: DSLR is not necessarily the answer. Get as big of a sensor as you're willing to carry everywhere, some good primes, AV, RAW, LR, and good legs. Lots of experimentation.

What do you wish you would have known when you started out? Leave your answers in the comments below. 

Namibia Trip Report - Andy Biggs

Trip Recap

Andy Biggs took a trip to Namibia last year and put the Bataflae to work. More info and pictures here on his blog.

Back in late September I lead a trip to Namibia for Phase One as part of their PODAS series of workshops. My good friend, Bill Atkinson, was the other instructor on the trip, and we had an excellent time together with our travelers. Our trip began and ended in the capital city of Windhoek, and we flew between 3 different locations across the country.

Since I have been to Namibia many times in the past, I tried to put myself in a different creative mind on this trip. My goal was to find new compositions with shorter focal lengths, which isn’t always easy with all of the far away types of shots that Namibia has. I did use my Phase One camera system this time, which limits me on the long end anyway, and it is probably the best camera system for that type of environment: huge huge files from 40, 60 or 80mp digital backs for crisp/detailed images with rich color fidelity.

Our first destination was in the sleepy town of Lüderitz, which is a coastal town that was built to support the diamond mining efforts at the beginning of the last century. While at Lüderitz we were able to photograph the abandoned diamond mining town of Kolmanskop, where I have been many times in the past. This was, however, my first time to visit and photograph with a medium format camera. We spent 2 nights there, and had 2 separate shoots at Kolmanskop on separate days.

Click here to see photos and read more about the trip on Andy’s blog.