1. What is the difference between a photo workshop, a photo tour and a research tour? a. A photo workshop will have more critique, editing and classroom sessions. It is for the person who has a genuine desire to improve their photography. The workshop is for those who have a good grasp of photography techniques. b. A photo tour won’t have as many classroom sessions and is for anyone with a desire to take better photos. c. A research tour is when we are going to a place for the first time to arrange a tour for the following year. It’s more informal, has a smaller group and is cheaper than the other tours. All of our tours will still be organized around improving your photography and enjoying the local culture.
2. Is a workshop for beginning photographers?
While photographers without a lot of experience can benefit and enjoy a workshop, this is not the place to learn how to use your camera. Participants should be thoroughly familiar with their camera and it’s controls, and understand how those controls affect the final photo. The workshop does include an eBook which will explain exposure, ISO, shutter speed, aperture, color space, color balance and depth of field. The eBook will provide valuable information to those who are beginning photographers or to those who need to review these basic principles before arriving.
3. What equipment should I bring?
Bring a laptop, with an external hard drive, and with Adobe Lightroom software installed. You should also have a card reader, extra cards and extra batteries.
Bring the camera(s) and lenses that you own. If you are in the market for a new camera or are ready to change systems, we highly recommend the Panasonic Lumix LX100 for someone who doesn’t want interchangeable lenses. It is lightweight, has all the necessary manual controls, and a terrific Leica lens (24-70mm/f2.8) and 16 MP sensor. This is the camera we use for a lot of our travel and rarely go anywhere without it.
If you are interested in buying a new system (camera body with interchangeable lenses), we strongly recommend one of the new, lightweight mirrorless systems by Olympus, Panasonic/Lumix or FujiFilm. A body and 2 or 3 lenses from these companies will not break the bank, nor will they break your back after carrying them all day. Which lenses? It depends on your area of interest. If you love landscapes you should have a wide-angle of 24mm or shorter (35mm equivalent). We like short telephotos, such as an 85mm, for portraits. Don’t buy a new camera days before arriving. Make sure you know your equipment!
There will be low light situations. We recommend at least one lens for low light, f/1.2 or f/2. We also recommend bringing a small hand held video light for Antigua.
4. What about packing, camera bags, or luggage?
We love to travel light, but we also like to be comfortable. Once you have selected your trip, we’ll send a link to the weather that is likely for the location and the time of year. We NEVER check our cameras or laptops on flights. While we do have a rolling bag that holds a lot of camera gear plus a laptop, it’s a bit heavy when full. We prefer a smaller rolling bag for camera and lenses, and a backpack or soft briefcase to carry a laptop, charger, tablet and a few essentials. We only check our clothes on flights. For walking around the city or ruins, we like small bags that are messenger bags or sling bags. Lowepro makes some of the best. Jennifer uses a messenger bag she bought on etsy with inserts.
5. Is the Workshop/Tour open to non-photographers?
Since our trips take in many cultural and scenic sights, non-photographers will enjoy the experience, too. While the trip is designed for photographers, if you wish to bring a spouse or a significant other (since the rooms will accommodate two people), we will consider these requests on a case-by-case basis.
6. Should we purchase travel/health insurance?
Absolutely! Since you are traveling to a foreign country, we recommend that you make sure you have health insurance in place for any unforeseen medical expenses, especially medical evacuation to your resident country. It’s not a bad idea to purchase travel insurance to cover your workshop expenses and travel costs. Here are some of the more reliable companies that provide coverage at a reasonable cost.