Photography Workshops in Enderby, BC!

Hi all, due to much demand in the Shuswap and North Okanagan for quality photography workshops in the area, I have put together some sessions to be held this month in beautiful Enderby, BC! Whether you’re just learning about photography, or you just need some professional tips to truly inspire and elevate your imagery, these workshops are fun, and affordable!

Please click here to download the PDF which outlines the dates, prices and workshop descriptors! Book your spot now by emailing me at darren@darrenrobinsonphotography.com or by calling (250) 838-6195. Hurry, space is limited!

Introducing the Purcells!

Well I’ve been talking about this for quite some time now and I am now very excited to announce it’s a GO! Join me this BC Day long weekend and vastly improve your knowledge of photography in one of the most iconic (and secluded) mountain playgrounds in the world – The Purcell Mountains.

Through Discover BC Photo Tours, come discover BC as you unleash your creative and technical savvy in one extraordinary wilderness landscape. Let the unmistakable Mt Sir Donald be your backdrop as you explore this vast mountain wilderness through your camera. This is considered the very centre of where the Columbia, Selkirk and Purcell ranges meet, so if you yearn for the mountains, this is undoubtedly your workshop!

Get up close and personal as we shoot some amazing waterfalls, mountain streams, forests, fiery meadows of indian paintbrush, fireweed and western pasque flowers and so much more! The grassy meadows of the area allow for some really great opportunities to see and shoot wildlife such as elk, moose, caribou, whitetail deer, black and grizzly bears, and mountain goats. With over sixty-three species of birds identified in the area, your bound to return home with some amazing stories to match the breathtaking imagery you’ll get to show off.

But don’t think for a second that just because we’re in the middle of nowhere (or everywhere!), doesn’t mean we’re sleeping in tents and sharing cans of pork ‘n beans after our field shoots. No, no, the incredibly astounding Purcell Mountain Lodge will be our headquarters for the long weekend. Luxurious mountaintop accommodations coupled with delectable meals using organic ingredients (all included in the workshop rate I might add), means that we can solely focus on the task at hand; vastly improving your photography!

Image provided by Purcell Mountain Lodge

All weekend long we’ll cover topics such as camera basics, lighting, exposure, composition, depth of field, essential gear, patterns and textures, creative approaches, working with subjects, landscape essentials, impactful portraiture, architectural photography, lightpainting and other in camera effects, post-processing and more!

To access the Lodge we will depart from Golden on August 3rd via helicopter! The flight is 15 minutes long and will take us over incredible mountain peaks and ancient glaciers, before dropping us off at the Lodge to begin our weekend of learning and exploring. Because participants will likely need accommodations in Golden on August 2nd (flight leaves typically between 8-9 AM), I am waiting on some discounted one-night rates exclusive to us. Before booking your Golden pre-night stay, be sure to ask me who to book with!

Also, if you plan to get new gear before our workshop, make sure you visit The Camera Store in Calgary, personally, I wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else for my photographic needs.

And I would also like to welcome the newest sponsor Experience the Mountain Parks! EMP is a fantastic resource for anyone wanting information on visiting the mountain parks of BC and Alberta. Publisher Bob Harris is not only responsible for creating this useful and beautiful guide, he is just a fantastic person and I am so happy to welcome him and CMI Publishing as an event sponsor!

The workshop takes place August 3, 4 and 5 and there is a maximum of 8 spots available! Booking deadline is April 30th, 2012!

To view the complete details and prices in PDF form, click here! You do not want to miss out on this workshop! Email me at darren@darrenrobinsonphotography.com or call (250) 838-6195.

Oh, I cannot wait for this one!

Discover BC Photo Tours announces new People & Places workshops in Kelowna

My good friend and business partner, Kelly Funk and I have completed our 2012 Kelowna workshop schedule and we think you’re going to like it!  The theme of the workshops is: ‘People & Places’.  We’re offering 3 dates for each theme, for your convenience. The workshops are a full day and all the details can be seen on by clicking here. We’re very excited about these and we hope you will be too. We welcome all levels of photographers to explore their creative visions while perfecting any technical issues. Space is limited so be sure to book for your preferred dates early!

Mt Robson workshop confirmed for this fall!

For those of you that don’t know, my good friend and fellow professional photographer Kelly Funk and I have started Discover BC Photo Tours, a series of experiential photo workshops that will take participants to some of the most breathtaking locations in the province, where they will learn the art of photography from two pros.

Kelly and I started this endeavor earlier this year and we have now just added our latest workshop to the series – Mount Robson Provincial Park.

Up to 20 participants will join us September 16-18, 2011 in the iconic mountain park for two days of photography instruction in some of the most breathtaking locations within the area. The weekend includes a “Camera Basics” session on the first evening to ensure everyone understands the basics of composition, aperture, lighting, depth of field, camera functions, safety and working with wildlife so that our time in the field is maximized. And to welcome everyone to the weekend in style (and to Valemount, BC which will be our base), Tourism Valemount is sponsoring a wine and cheese meet and greet.

The next couple of days will be all about field instruction, shooting splurging waterfalls, towering snow-capped mountains, changing autumn colours and potentially any wildlife we encounter along the way.

Tourism Valemount has also sponsored the transportation to and from each shooting location for the duration of the weekend.

The workshop is perfect for novice, intermediate and/or aspiring pros who wish to elevate their photography. Kelly and I pride ourselves on tailoring the one-on-one instruction to satisfy all skill levels.

The weekend is $359 per person and Valemount accommodators are offering incredible hotel rates exclusive to workshop participants. The Valemount Hotel has set a $50/night room rate for the September 16-18 weekend!

And for an extra $99 per person, you can extend your instruction and join Kelly and myself on Monday, September 19th as we lead you into the infamous Valley of 1000 Falls. This will be an incredible way to put your newly acquired skills to work and to keep the learning going. For safety, we will need a minimum of four participants for this extra day.

So if you have always wanted to experience the magic and awe of Mount Robson Provincial Park AND improve your imagery, book your spot today as seats will go fast.

You can download the PDF with complete workshop info right here.

See you in September 🙂

See things differently

See things differently. This was our theme for the Fall Photography Workshop which happened over the past weekend. Technical and artistic knowledge aside, I really wanted to stress to my workshop participants the importance of seeing things differently. With so many images in the world and so little time to appreciate them all, as a budding photographer, this is how you best get your images noticed. Start seeing things that others might have missed. Look at your subject from a different angle. Climb a tree for a bird’s eye view. Hit the ground and compose upwards. Shoot that stunning mountain meadow through a pair of mirrored sunglasses. Challenge yourself to constantly see things differently. By doing so, you will become a better photographer, blowing your audience away with your fresh perspectives on subjects they have likely seen time and time again.

Looking up into the towering trees at Haslam Lake

Zooming into the eye of a bighorn sheep

Sir Donald through the sunglasses

Contrary to the Coast in Focus workshop earlier in the year, the weather that we experienced this past weekend was outstanding. Dramatic clouds, vibrant early fall colours and flat lighting only when we needed it – shooting the many waterfalls of Appleton Creek. This was the ideal workshop setting and I had the ideal group of participants.

I was instructing a very geared and excited group of individuals. After some “inside time”, covering topics ranging from camera basics, exposure, lighting techniques and the rules of composition we hit some of the most amazing locales where participants were able to put what they just learned into action.

And did they ever.

What I love most about these weekend warrior workshops is that I get to witness some very amazing transformations in my students in a very short period of time. During the first few field shoots, most participants tend to stick close by me, ask a ton of questions and timidly wait for subject matter to smack them in the face. But as the weekend goes on, their confidence levels increase dramatically as they take in knowledge and they become unstoppable image hunters in the field. This group was very much the same. By the time Sunday’s Appleton Creek waterfall shoot came around, my students were self-sufficient, waterfall shooting maniacs. I was excited to see them climbing waterfalls (safely of course), shooting low, shooting high, eagerly attacking the beautiful scenes from all angles. I actually had to pull them out of the field against their will so we could cover post-production techniques before the weekend ended. I love creating monsters.

My students, no…friends, are now well-armed with the knowledge and confidence to take their respective photo sectors by storm. I had an amazing time with each of them and wish them all the best in their future photographic endeavors.

Participant Carolee Penner's shot of Gorge Falls

My view of participant Candace Roadknight getting low and shooting the creek

Coast in Focus 2010 ~ That’s a Wrap

The Coast in Focus photography weekend is now officially over. But for the fifteen students that took part in the workshop, the learning has just begun. First, I wish to thank and congratulate the budding photographers on muscling through the endless rain that challenged us all weekend long, and they still showed up eagerly at every shoot with smiles on their faces. It was brilliant to see and to be a part of. We can control our compositions and exposures…..we cannot control the weather 🙂

We started the weekend at the Town Centre Hotel here in Powell River with a Friday night welcome session and Camera Basics workshop. After some intro presentations from the three pros, Kelly Funk led a session on Camera Basics, a hands-on session aimed at understanding exposure, lighting, camera functions, shooting modes, ISO, composition basics, etc. The biggest challenge we threw out there was that all participants shoot in only Manual mode from here on out. Although some were admittedly a bit intimidated by this at first, the Camera Basics workshop armed them with the right knowledge to achieve this goal. Goodbye Auto Mode!

Everyone was ready to get some sleep and head out into the field bright and early on Saturday morning.

The rain continued to hammer us on Saturday as we headed out to beautiful Stillwater Bluffs south of Powell River, a location that offers some incredible vegetation, vistas and wildlife….when the weather cooperates (see image of the bluffs below from two short weeks ago).

Stillwater Bluffs

The group was told to “find their vision first” and start capturing it in-camera by applying some of their newly acquired knowledge. The pros spent the next few hours one-on-one with the participants, helping them to achieve their image objectives. We got soaked, but wow was it ever fun. And we quickly saw a vast improvement in quality of imagery from this group.

Coast in Focus group shot at Stillwater Bluffs ~ by Kelly Funk

 Off to the next location ~ Eagle Falls. Some of the group opted to go dry off, while the rest of us ventured up the highway to iconic Eagle Falls to learn the art of shooting water. The wet weather created an ideal lighting situation for long exposures and high apertures. The group really enjoyed this leg of the shoot. Below is a photo of Eagle Falls in happier (sunnier) times.

Eagle Falls - Darren Robinson Photography

After a quick lunch, we headed back into the classroom for a more in-depth look at lighting and exposure with Kelly, followed by a workshop session on compositions led by myself. The group really started to get a firm hold on the elements that comprise great imagery during these sessions. Then it was time to apply these elements to their own works. Before the event, the participants sent us what they believed were their three best images for a professional critiquing. During this session, the group really started to see what they would change about their images and their techniques.

After dinner we headed out for our….ehem….sunset shoot. Okay, so there was no sun around to set, but that didn’t stop us from playing with lightpainting. Lightpainting is an artifical lighting technique that, if done properly, can render some very surreal and impactful images. Basically, while shooting in low-light situations, you use long exposures and “paint” light on your scene (or scene elements) using a bright artificial light source, in our case a 10 million candle spotlight. An example is my image below. The exposure was 20 seconds just after dusk as I painted the log for the duration of the exposure. Again we got soaked. Again we had a blast and learned a lot!

Log Lightpainted at Palm Beach

Sunday turned out to be the highlight of the weekend, location-wise and weather-wise. We went to the Appleton Creek trail north of Powell River to shoot a series of captivating waterfalls.

Bandit Falls headwaters on Appleton Creek ~ Darren Robinson Photography

CIF participant reviewing image at Appleton Creek waterfall

The group starting producing some great imagery here and got really inspired by the overwhelming beauty of the area. We spent about three and a half hours here and in all honesty I had to pry many away to our next endeavor…..Willingdon Beach. We wrapped up with some field demonstrations on action photography by having them capture Kelly and myself taking turns swinging through the air on a zunga (rope swing).

All in all, the weekend was a tremendous success and we look forward to next year. We are currently evaluating the possibility of offering a fall workshop series on the lower Sunshine Coast, stay tuned for details as we iron them out!

Cheers!

Twenty-five days till Coast in Focus!

Well, here we are in May and summer is fast approaching on the appropriately-named Sunshine Coast. For those of you that choose to put your cameras and tripods on the shelf over the off-seasons, now is the time to dust them off and recharge those batteries. And why not brush up on some of your skills and knowledge of the art form by joining us in Powell River for the first ever Coast in Focus workshop, May 28-30. Outdoor Photography Canada magazine contributor, Kelly Funk and myself will be leading our particpants on a weekend of extraordinary field shoots, informative workshops and a straight-up, old-fashioned good time. Our mission is to help you “Unleash Your Creative Side” and we will do so by covering an array of photo topics including Camera Functions, Lighting (natural and artificial), Creative Compositions (the rules and when to best break them), working with subjects, ISO, F-stops and Histograms (demystifying the technical-side), essential equipment (filters, tripods, etc) and working in the field.

We have capped the event at 20 people to ensure optimal one-on-one time for our participants. Join us in some of the most captivating locales (and some of the best places to learn) in the Powell River area for the west coast photography event of the year! E-mail me at darren@darrenrobinsonphotography.com or call (604) 485-4427 to book.

See you soon!

Shooting Eagle Falls

The Gift of Better Photography

Howdy everyone,

It is that time of year when retailers shamelessly plug their products as the best “Christmas Present EVER”, well they are lying…because I have the best “Christmas Present EVER!”

For this is no flashy trinket, no fruit cake, no new piece of exercise equipment that promises you titanium abs, no discount boob job, no tacky tie, or any other lame gift that will surely lose its lustre come February (except for maybe the boob job, that might last a whole year before it ruptures and seeps dangerous materials into your body). No, no, no. This is the gift that truly keeps on on giving. The gift of learning. You see learning is scientifically proven to add years to your life, what better gift is there than that?

Do you, or does anyone you know, want to learn how to take better pictures or vastly improve their photography skills? Wow them this year by securing them a spot at Coast in Focus, the cannot-should not-would not-don’t dare-miss photography workshop event of 2010. Click CIF Poster to download information on the event.

Join myself, Kelly Funk and Emma Levez Larocque in the classroom and more importantly in the field as we share with you the fundamental tips needed to really bring your imagery to life! Whether you are a passionate novice shooter, or you just need some fine tuning to get you to the next level, this workshop will be your meal ticket to enhancing your skills and knowledge of the fine art.

We’ll cover topics such as camera functions, lighting and lighting techniques, composition, working in the field, shooting wildlife (without a gun), accessories and so much more. Please see the attached PDF for more details.

Stay tuned as we post more info on Coast in Focus (May 28-30) in the New Year. Happy Holidays and cheers to ridding the world of tacky ties and rupturing boob jobs 🙂