From Rhode Island to Iowa
A Rhode Islander and Iowan are two of participants in my 2013 photo tours who traveled substantial distances to join us. We also welcomed photographers from Virginia, Ohio, New Jersey, Long Island, North Carolina and of course Upstate New York. While how far people may have travelled may be interesting trivia it’s certainly not as important as what they took home from their experiences.
After each tour I encourage participants to complete an evaluation which is designed to let me know if the tour came up short in any way as well as what might be done to improve future tours. At the end of each evaluation I ask (and so far have always received) permission to use evaluation comments.
Fred Burr from Kentucky discover our tour through an advertisement in Outdoor Photographer. While he would have liked a more detailed list of equipment to bring along for the tour, important especially for someone traveling a distance, along with tips on composition Fred noted that he went home having learned how to capture long-exposure, low ISO images. When asked if he had attended other workshops and how his latest experience compared, he indicated he had. He also noted of his previous experience, that “although I was able to make a few “keeper” photos, I was not pleased (with the tour leader’s approach).” Remarking on our Waterfalls of Letchworth State Park tour that he’s just participated in, he said, “This experience was much better.”
Kate Hibbard joined us twice, both times for tours hosted by the Adirondack Museum. She began her evaluation by noting, “I appreciated all of the actual (sic) photography time. It provided me with an opportunity to try one or two things at a time. Tom was always available for feedback, ideas, information, suggestions, etc.
“I have a better sense of how the different options (in my camera) work together (e.g. speed, aperture, etc.),” she said. “I am getting better at changing the options.”
Nancy Kieffer chimed in. ” I had a wonderful experience. The amount of time we devoted to shooting was wonderful. Then, the places were well picked. We were able to shoot in all types of light/weather. I learned more about my camera and utilizing it effectively.” Further, she was grateful for getting “help with creating a better picture by changing my position or utilizing diagonal lines in the picture … by ‘simplifying’ the picture.”
Nancy joined others in being complimentary of the format of her tours.
“I appreciated the time you (Tom) spent with each of us to aid in whatever we were attempting to shoot. I also appreciate that you gave us each our own space to develop what we were working on, the time you spent with this ‘newbie’ to help learn the camera and it’s functions.”
Laurie Green-Schillwaski, a Central New Yorker on her first photo tour/workshop, appreciated “the personal one-on-one learning and the image review sessions.” Fellow Central New Yorker Evie Dumanian is early in her photography. Like others she was pleased with the confidence she had gained to move from the “automatic mode” in her camera and become confident in the “manual world.” She, too, enjoyed the one-on-one attention the format for my tours accommodates. It was a format, unlike other workshops she’s attended, where she “felt comfortable asking for support.”
But, the proof’s in the pudding, as they say. In the case of our photo tours, that means it’s in the photos…like the participant images featured in this blog.