More than just a workshop in photography …

I have the privilege of being a photographer. I couldn’t imagine anything I’d rather be doing. But there’s more. I also get to teach photography. And in the process of that, I meet amazing people and I hear stories of how photography changes them.

Chris Harris and I just returned from our first Develop Your Creative Vision workshop of the year (two more coming!). It was an exciting week on Gabriola Island with 7 days of sunshine, stunning scenery, amazing people and openness to change.

We encourage people to build on the photography skills they already have by helping them to see more deeply and create images that more personally express their ideas. It’s new territory for most.

And then we get to hear how people respond to the 7-day experience. Here’s part of one email that came unexpectedly to us a few days after we got home.

I must tell you both that the week has really been more to me than just a workshop in photography.  I found it very emotional and at the same time so uplifting.  I have had a difficult past five years with health issues, and had not yet really found some stability.  With this new approach  I can make what suits and pleases me.  What joy, what freedom, what hope !!  Not only has this week changed my approach  to photography, it has totally enhanced my outlook on life. For the latter, I am so grateful !!

Thank you both for your instruction, patience and encouragement.  You have given me more than you can ever realize.  Hope to see you both again and in the mean time I will eagerly follow your journeys in photography.

Well, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for that. Chris and I just do our best to share our ideas, encourage and motivate, support and challenge. Everyone receives it differently and when a response like this comes along, we realize how powerful this stuff is.

We had an overwhelmingly positive response to the workshop and are already looking forward to the next one. Photography changes lives. It’s so much more than taking pictures.

Below are 12 images, one from each of our Gabriola participants. Hope you can feel the depth of their images.

part of a totem pole. Photography changes lives.
Doug has a rich connection with local First Nations. When he discovered the totem pole at The Haven (our Gabriola accommodations), he spent considerable time there. This image is one of many that interprets their art in a personal way.
arbutus tree at Develop Your Creative vision workshop
If you know the Gulf Islands, you may recognize this as an Arbutus tree. When Gail created this impressionistic image of a branch of the tree, the sky was darkening, creating a dramatic contrast.
Joan is an inspiring photographer who was with us for a third workshop. This image reminds me of an underwater fantasy, created in camera using multiple exposure.
Looking through a coloured window
You’d be forgiven for thinking we were in a church but with Judy’s keen vision and skilful use of her camera, she transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Photography changes lives and images too.
A stained glass window in the dining area takes on an entirely new look when Kathy works her magic.
Photography Changes Live, Ken Gray
Ken’s first workshop with us was an eye opener! Here, the beach is seen as never before.
Develop Your Creative Vision, Gabriola
The interaction of water and land takes on a painterly impression, thanks to Larry’s visual artistry.
Photography changes lives at Develop Your Creative Vision workshops.
The beach is all about transitions. Here, Leslie’s expressive image shows the delicate play between the moving water and the surfaces it encounters.
Photography changes lives at Develop Your Creative Vision workshops.
The Entrance Island lighthouse is well known to all the locals. Lois uses her camera to show it’s never ending relationship with the water surrounding it.
Photography changes lives on the beach of Gabriola Island
Thanks to a kind neighbour, bubble displays were common. Margot used one of the floating bubbles to show us the sunset in a new way.
Abstract photography, Develop Your Creative Vision, Gabriola Island
Moving beyond the literal interpretation of a scene to abstract, Phil creates a unique interpretation.
Develop Your Creative Vision workshops create expressive art
Finding colour, shape and texture on the beach, Ruth isolates her subject and shows it off with strong contrast.

About the photographs …

All of the above images are made within the cameras used by the photographers. Although software is used to crop, adjust contrast and colour saturation, Photoshop manipulation is not the goal here. Rather, the images are made on location so the photographer can use the camera to respond to the visual stimulation.

Each day of the workshop, visual challenges are offered. Then, after working in their chosen locations, each person shares a series of images with the group, receiving feedback, encouragement and suggestions.

The cycle repeats, each time going deeper into personal expression. It’s a process that is not linear, instead, like all creative works, there are periods of dryness and breakthroughs. And, the deeper we go, the more we learn about ourselves.

More information about the workshops is here.

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