sunset, mountains and ocean
Sunset from our location at the Tallheo Cannery Guest House.

Seven Days in a Photographic Workshop Changes You

“I can’t believe I made those photographs!” commented one of the ten participants in last week’s Develop Your Creative Vision workshop in Bella Coola.

It was becoming a common refrain as we worked through the week. Ten photographers came together to work hard on ‘going deeper’ with their photography. With an old fish cannery (now a B&B) as the backdrop, they engaged with a series of assignments designed to help them break out of the ruts we all create for ourselves and begin to see differently.

Our morning review sessions were exciting opportunities to share new discoveries and be inspired by the images made by each other. The week flew by quickly with friendships forming all around us as we shared this common interest. 

Often a brief workshop, such as an evening or weekend, is just enough to gain some ideas but lacks the opportunity for repeated practice and guided feedback. The power of a  7-day workshop however, in a location that is remote, free of distractions and super rich in subject matter, is the opportunity to really focus and make lasting changes in our practice. Transformational!

A few comments from our group of ten:

  • It was an incredible week for me … I thank you again for the support & ideas and expertise in teaching & sharing it all with us.
  • Dennis and Chris are a wonderful team that complement each other very well, providing an encouraging and supportive learning environment. They provide excellent constructive feedback on images and made themselves constantly available for any individual instruction.
  • I was pushed out of my comfort zone and my imagination was stretched.
  • In a few short days, with your help and guidance, my photographic journey changed course and once again it is exciting to pick up my camera.
  • The image evaluations really showed me how to start examining my images more critically. 
  • I leave with new ideas and a roadmap for improving my photography. Moving further up the photographic road is now up to me and I head out with a smile, looking forward to new destinations.

They say a good teacher learns from their students. I must be a great teacher then because I felt like I took at least as much away from the week as they did. I was totally inspired by their fresh ways of seeing (I have to fight the ruts too!) and their persistence in pushing through the visual barriers. We had a great week of collaboration, social times and more than a few happy hours!

I’m pleased and proud to share with you one photograph from each of our ten photographers.

© Robert Best
© Bruce Johnstone
© Colleen Walden
© Seamus O’Keeffe
© Don Tait
© Laura Tait
© Katie Hubberstey
© Lynda Miller
© Rob Hebden
© Wink Richardson

 

About the Workshop:

Chris Harris and I teach this 7-day workshop at the Tallheo Cannery Guest House in Bella Coola. If you are a photographer who has a good working knowledge of your camera and would like to push your image-making to a more personal level, we can help you get there. You can learn more about the workshop at Develop Your Creative Vision

Here are a few more pictures from the week …

two photographers
Two photographers discussing a shot.
Chris and a participant planning their next shot.
Participants bring laptops and process their images most evenings.
Bonnie lives in Bella Coola and played at Tallheo as a child when her grandmother worked here to repair nets. Now, Bonnie is one of the only people in the area who fishermen can go to for net repair. She visits us each year to show what she does and tell us a little about Tallheo’s past.
The scene from the front of the property.
retired fishing trawler
This old boat is a sister ship to the fishing trawler that once graced the back of our $5 bill.
campfire
A social gathering on a beautiful evening.
time exposure
While the campfire was burning, I made this 16 minute exposure as the sun was setting.
light painting
The machine shop is always a good place to photograph but light painting in there is even better.
night view of the guest house
This is the guest house, where the participants each have a private bedroom. It also houses our classroom.
classroom
Our classroom. It’s comfortable and cosy and facilitates conversation. (Chris Harris photo)
waterfall
A nearby waterfall is a great place to practice different photographic ideas.
our hosts
Our hosts: the Newkirk family. We couldn’t ask for more accommodating and hospitable hosts. Everything we need is quickly provided.
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