Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Workshop with John Fielder

Before leaving Colorado, I could not resist the opportunity to sit in a workshop with the premiere Colorado nature photographer John Fielder. Apparently he does a workshop as a donation for the Summit County charity organization, Domus Pacis Family Respite every year. The session was scheduled to be in the fall color season but it was late this year so there was only a bit of color in the aspens. The pano below was taken 9 days later.

While all photo  workshops (well most anyway) turn into beginner sessions to some degree, I still found it really interesting and enjoyable to hear John discuss some of his great photography in detail. The workshop was at his house and included a gourmet dinner. John was engaging and an interesting leader. I enjoyed the day. Best quote of the day, "photographers are hunters of the anomaly".

I also really enjoyed the shooting session where we wandered around Fielder's neighborhood...with this view of the Gore Range:

8 Frame merged panorama: Nikon D3, Nikon 24-70, 1/125, f/16, IS0 200, tripod mounted. Merged with Photoshop CS 5.

...and see what caught his eye. It was an interesting way to do the shooting portion but could have been more in-depth. Basically, we wandered down the road, John would shoot something that caught his eye with his pocket cam and everyone would give it a try. There was lots of feedback and it was fun to see "through his eyes". If you have the opportunity to do this with John, I would recommend it. However, I  was disappointed that there wasn't more serious shooting. We were encouraged to keep moving before anyone could refine a shot of their own for the most part. Though I did capture a few keepers, see below.

Here are a few shots from that day that interested me...More black and whites than is my usual for nature shoots but I think that was prompted by the flat light and lack of fall color that afternoon.

The group was shooting in this area but I think I was the only one that turned and saw the great reds in the grass behind the aspen trunks. Nikon D3, Nikon 70-200, 1/60, f/8, IS0 800, handheld.

This shot was probably suggested by John. We spent quite a bit of time on the graphic elements of the aspen trunks. Nikon D3, Nikon 24-70, 1/100, f/16, IS0 800, handheld. The softness and glow are from the clarity slider in Adobe Camera Raw. Black and white conversion was Nik SilverEfex Pro.
This shot was probably suggested by John. We spent quite a bit of time on the graphic elements of the aspen trunks. Nikon D3, Nikon 24-70, 1/100, f/16, IS0 800, handheld. The softness and glow are from the clarity slider in Adobe Camera Raw.

This shot was probably suggested by John. We spent quite a bit of time on the graphic elements of the aspen trunks. Nikon D3, Nikon 70-200, 1/400, f/2.8, IS0 800, handheld. I was working on compressing the grove with the telephoto on this one. Black and white conversion was Nik SilverEfex Pro.

John was suggesting a wider landscape of these trees with the Gore Range in the background here. I didn't like that shot so went vertical and tighter. This black and white conversion of this shot shows how flat light does not always ruin the day. This shot in color is quite dull. Nikon D3, Nikon 70-200, 1/3200, f/2.8, IS0 800, handheld. Black and white conversion was Nik SilverEfex Pro.
Final timely note, Fielder's newest work from Africa is set to debut at his gallery in Denver on Saturday, October 15, 2011. I saw a few proofs and it looks really interesting. The images are all in a panorama format.