Posted on January 2, 2017
Online brochure : Workshops & Photo tours 2017
Posted on August 7, 2016
Only 2 spots left. DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
For the photo-tour I am leading for Nordic Vision Phototours: Autumn in Auvergne: October 9 – 15, 2016
are only 2 spots left, for more info: Autumn in auvergne 2016
Nordic Vision photo travels: info
Nog 2 plekjes. GEGARANDEERD VERTREK
Posted on June 8, 2016
by Kristel Schneider
A couple of months ago the local newspaper La Montagne asked me if I was willing to join in their video series “La Montage Images” featuring local photographers. Their aim was to create short videos to promote photography to a wider public. The first season hosted all the photographers who work for the local newspaper and because of the success they decided to start a second season along with local photographers who would explain a photo subject to the general public. So not too technical, but rather show that photography can be fun to explore. I decided to talk about ICM technique – a technique which to be used whenever you want to create abstract images by moving your camera about.
At the end of April we did the video shoot in a woody area, close to Ravel in Auvergne | France. My timing was right for the fresh green leaves on trees, which resulted in a nice
subject for the image example. I must say, it was difficult to stay serious while I was talking, especially as I had two cameras pointing at me while a guy with big headphones and microphone was moving about.
I first only agreed on doing this video if I could speak English. Indeed I did not feel comfortable enough to do this all in French – hence the voice-over performed by a French native speaker.
English link below the video.
(Put on HD for better image quality)
For more ICM images click: here
To listen to this video in English click: here
Category: foto workshop Tagged: abstract photography, camera movement technique, foto workshops Frankrijk, ICM, Intentional Camera Movement, Kristel Schneider, Kristel Schneider Photography, La Montagne, Nature and Landscape Photography, Nature Photography Workshops, Stages Photo en Auvergne, Visions and Nature
Posted on February 24, 2016
With all the social media networks you can find tons of publications about photography workshops and photo-tours. One even more appealing than the other, accompanied with stunning images from breathtaking destinations. When reading such a profusion, where do you start? What do you look for? What will fit your photography skills ? To avoid disappointments afterwards you have to start by asking yourself some questions and do some research.
First things first
There you are, you have just bought your camera ; and now you know almost nothing about the basic photography techniques. Or let’s say that you are still a beginner and you would like to find out more about the basics of photography. You tell yourself, “Why don’t I join a photography workshop ?” There, it is true, you will be able to observe, learn and discuss your ideas with trained photographers.
That is a start, now you know that your goal is to deepen your photography skills and knowledge. Good, from now on you can look for workshops with subjects where your personal interests lie (landscape, close-up or macro, wildlife -photography etc.). Personally I think that everybody who is interested in photography, from beginner to professional, could benefit from workshops, to deepen their skills or just to get a fresh look at a photography subject and get inspired again or just challenge yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone. Moreover, and that is also a point worth mentioning, it is also fun to be surrounded with people who have the same interest and talk ‘the same language’ as you do.
A lot of workshops are organized by enthusiastic amateur photographers who really want to share things about their area or about their favorite subjects. It is all very thrilling and exciting but, now is the time to think things over and maybe ponder on the experience of a photographer. Can he/she actually teach you something new ? Photographers who work full-time in the field and make their living from it, can often bring out a wider range of photography expertise and give you maybe just that little extra that you are looking for.
I approach photography workshops as a two-way process. As photography is an art of seeing, a form of art, the professional will be the guide to show you the right directions so that you can work towards your own process and style. Another great way to explore your photography is to join a photo-tour instead of a workshop.
What to look for
A photo-tour can be a great experience ; there you explore new destinations, focus on photography without interruption, improve your skills or work on a private subject. In addition to all this, you are with same-minded people with whom you can really interact and exchange with.
The benefit of joining an organized tour is that everything is taken cared of and your ‘hands are free’ to do just that what you want to do : photography. The professionals know the right places and are there to guide you. Because of all the offers on the net and the huge amount of publications, it can be challenging to find the right tour that will fit your personal interest and needs. Not all trips need to take you to faraway exotic places. Indeed everything depends on what you are looking for and what you want to focus on.
Another element you will take into account before making the final decision is often the price. Of course this is important but it is not always the best criteria to base your decision on. Look at what is included and what is not. Do you get photography guidance or not? Is there enough time for you on the different photography spots to discover the area and compose your images. Some tours ‘run’ from one hotspot to the other with hardly any time for you to take photos. Are you out in the field at the right time of the day? Do they offer photo discussion ? Is the tour part of a travel organisation (think about insurance for instance).
Travel organisation benefits
You can find a lot of photo-tours organized by individual photographers, be aware that these tours often do not have the same guaranties as booking the same destination with a photographer who works with a specialised tour operator. For a single photographer it is very expensive to buy in a liability insurance for a group. And it can occur that you will not have the same financial guaranties when the tour is cancelled. All this can make a difference in the photo-tour costs. And we have not reached the point of quality yet.
To get the right amount of individual attention it is important to look at the group size of the tour you are about to book. You have to admit, there is nothing more irritating than going in to the field with a big group and walk in each other’s way or waiting for guidance when struggling with camera handling or image composition.
Who is leading the tour?
Okay, now you think you are ready. You know where to go, which tour to join. And indeed you have taken everything into account, and the budget fits perfectly well. Have you checked who the main tour-leader is ? No? Why not? Well, no hesitation, you read that the leader of the group is a famous photographer !
A ‘big-name photographer’ as a tour guide is not always a guaranty for success. To lead a tour is not the same as being an artist. The great artist label does not come along the “great teacher” tag. Teaching is not just only about passing knowledge along – otherwise we would be experts just by reading books. Communication skills are not a given fact ; not everybody can be a teacher and knowledge has nothing to do with it. A lesser-known photographer can be just as talented and maybe even more driven and enthusiastic an instructor.
Other useful things to consider are:
To choose a photo-tour or photo-workshop is a decision you make for yourself. It is very personal as you are the only one to really know why you want to do it. There is no good or bad reason why you want to do this. However it is also important to bear in mind that like any product on the market, the most fashionable does not always fit you perfectly. It will give you the impression to have done something but also leave a bitter taste if in the end you have not really achieved what you were originally looking for. How many cupboards are there without THE pair of shoes that seemed impossible to walk in the street without, and that proved terrible to even wear after 10 minutes ?
To organize and man a photo-tour is a job, maybe not so old a profession but it is developing and the people participating are customers and photographers at the same time : they are looking for something special, something that not everybody can satisfy them with. Sometimes enthusiasm is not enough to provide such a service: photo-tour leaders require a combination of skills that go beyond the desire to do it. As we all know it, it is not just because you can do “something” that you can pass that “something” along to other people and accompany them to their own representation of what that “something” is.
Posted on October 27, 2015
#6 Auvergne region
Published on Lonely Planet.com
Cast your eyes upon the Auvergne’s dramatic volcanic landscape and you could be forgiven for thinking you were in Iceland rather than the heart of France. And yet this region has been overlooked by visitors. No more, though – the Auvergne is reinventing itself with a series of ambitious art projects and a growing portfolio of wilderness adventures …– Loneley Planet Best in Travel 2016
The travel guide Lonely Planet placed the Auvergne in the world’s top 10 regions at #6 to visit, as one living in this region, knowing its beauty, I can say this nomination is well deserved !
This overlooked region has such a diversity in nature wilderness, a real (Nature) photographer’s candy box.
Also want to see with your own eyes why Lonely Planet put the Auvergne region in the world’s 10 regions to visit, join me in the field and photograph
its remarkable scenery with glacier-carved valleys and volcanic peaks, the Chaîne des Puys, (a 40km chain of craters and lava domes), volcano lakes, waterfalls and springs, the Tuscany the Auvergne and much more. Every season has its own beauty, that’s why I organize workshops and photo tours (in cooperation with Nordic Vision Photo tours) all year round.
Click here for an overview .
What workshop-photo tour members are saying:
” This photo workshop was a great enrichment! Kristel not only showed me a different approach to photography but also one of the probably most impressive valleys of Auvergne” –Guillaume/France
“…We loved Auvergne – it was absolutely the most interesting and beautiful of the regions of France which we visited (including Paris and Dordogne) – and we intend to return as soon as possible, probably this time in autumn for fall colors. And we definitely will have a return engagement with Kristel! Highly recommended! ” – Steve / USA
Read more click here
Category: Genereal Tagged: #NordicVision, Auvergne, Auvergne Photography Workshops, auvergne workshops, foto workshops auvergne, foto workshops Frankrijk, Kristel Schneider Photography, Lonely Planet, Nature and Landscape Photography, Nature Photography Workshops, Nordic Vision photo tours, Stages Photo en Auvergne, Visions and Nature
Posted on October 11, 2015
I am happy to announce that I am one of the Bloggers for the new Nature Photo Portal, THE new Resource & Community for Nature Photographers.
Already a great blogger team with photographers: Andrew George, Bas Meelker, Kyle Mc Dougall, Marijn Heuts, Mart Smit, Niklas Virsen, Ville Miettinen.
Ready to Explore, Connect, Learn, Engage, Inspire? Have a look at Nature Photo Portal and join us.
– INSPIRED BY A SINGLE TREE –
When I was asked to publish my first post for their blog, it was really difficult for me to resist the temptation to write about trees. For those who know me, trees have been a big source of inspiration for a very long time. But I did my best, I did resist! And I decided that, indeed, trees being my favorites, I was not going to let myself drift into such an easy task. As a consequence I decided that, maybe, it was time to restrain and write about… just one tree : that just one single tree ; the one standing just outside my home ; the one I see when I look outside my bedroom window. My Facebook “friends” will smile, as they will immediately recognize that recurring little insignificant subject on my Timeline, my “Window-view series”.
A common subject
In my journey through photography, I have seen amazingly creative images by other photographers, images which have that special “WOW-impact”. Most of them show faraway places, and their subjects thrive in originality, beauty and never-seen-ness. But how about where we live, where we love to be? How about our everyday places? Is there beauty and emotion in what our eyes do not even notice any more? Can something that is so common become the necessary ingredient to create a powerful image?
To think about it, however, I think that the tree itself was just an excuse. Was it just the tree or was there something else about it, something which made me start the series in the first place? The question includes the answer: when you look at it more closely, the only thing that does not change throughout the series is the tree but, what changes IS what everything is all about. The reason why I started looking through the window was not the tree but the weather conditions at a particular time – be it the rain, the wind, the snow or an astounding storm. What really inspired me back then, and even now, were the dramatic and overpowering forces of nature that expressed themselves through the sky, the clouds, the light and the atmosphere. The tree was just grounding them; the tree was just the link between nature and me. My imagination and my camera did the rest. I was changing the ephemeral into something that would last longer.
(View bigger: click on one of the images)
Had I just focused on the tree itself, it would have resulted in taking a tree throughout the seasons. This has been done by many photographers of different talents. The results are charming and appealing indeed, but not always. And that was not my goal. The truth is, I find it difficult to take just one type of tree image over and over again. I have noticed that over the last couple of years I have liked to experiment more, in order to translate my own personal feelings about nature into an image, by playing with light and depth of field. It all depends on my personal mood of the moment and on the way I think a certain nature scene comes out best. Sometimes it can be a very realistic translation, but captured immediately, on impulse. Or, there are other moments when I think the light is perfect for a more abstract and creative cadre.
My approach is always different and varies according to what is at hand. When I adopt a realistic approach, I do a pure registration of the scene and create a mood with natural light and elements that are there at that particular time. In a more abstract approach, I play with the natural elements (light, wind, snow falling) or with Intentional Camera Movement technique. Finally, in a more graphical approach of the tree, I do not only just use natural light but work on the tree itself too (I capture it as a silhouette for example) or I use two color tones.
(View bigger: click on one of the images)
To put it in a nutshell, in my journey through photography I have come to the conclusion that traveling was not a prerequisite. There are endless subjects close to home that can make the eye wander (and wonder) and invite the viewer to experience a real change of scenery.
(Text and Images by ©Kristel Schneider, adapted by Fabienne Rousseau)
Posted on September 12, 2015
New in 2016
one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. A season full with colors and atmosphere
During the 7 days we will explore this beautiful mysterious forest landscape and visit a couple of lakes in the middle of the forest. We will explore the high Chaumes du Forez with its wetlands and open landscapes. You will discover a beautifull old glacial valley, Vallée du Fossat. We strive to organize at least two photo discussions, focusing on how to create effective compositions (what works what does not) learning to look differently (eye for detail) and depending on the groups experience some basic image processing. The program includes short walks in nature to forests and lakes (depending on the weather conditions) and we will drive higher up in the mountains. This is not just a photo-tour but a workshop with professional guidance, where the group is kept small so that everyone gets personal attention and practical tips in the field.
Other photo-tours in 2016: overview
Category: Genereal Tagged: Autumn photo tour, Auvergne, Auvergne Photography Workshops, auvergne workshops, foto workshops auvergne, foto workshops Frankrijk, Kristel Schneider Photography, Macro Photography, Nature and Landscape Photography, Nature Photography Workshops, Nordic Vision, Stages Photo en Auvergne