Only 2 spots left | Auvergne in Autumn (update fully booked)

Blue auvergne

 

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
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Nog 2 plekjes. GEGARANDEERD VERTREK

voor de fotoreis die ik verzorg voor Nordic Vision fotoreizen: Autumn in Auvergne: Oktober 9-15, 2016
zijn nog 2 plekken. Voor meer informatie: Autumn in auvergne 2016
Dutch: Nordic Vision Fotoreizen

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info: www.visionsandnature.com
Dutch: http://fotoreizen.net/fotorei…/frankrijk/herfst-in-auvergne/
English: http://www.photographytravels.eu/…/fran…/autumn-in-auvergne/

View other work Kristel Schneider : www.kristelschneiderphotography.com

‪#‎fotoreizen‬, ‪#‎phototours‬ ‪#‎auvergnetours‬ ‪#‎photoworkshops‬ ‪#‎natuurreizen‬

Avoid disappointment by doing some research | Photo-tours & Photo-workshops

Avoid disappointment by doing some research
published (23-02-2016) on Nature Photo Portal
text and images by Kristel Schneider

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.

Best-of-Auvergne-Photo-Tour-2015_3

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.

Group size
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:

  • the photographer’s work/style (website, social media): are you being inspired?
  • the photography vision, the approach: how does the photographer present him/herself ?
  • the knowledge of the destination you are being taken to : does the photographer live in the area or did it regularly visit the area enough to know the good photography locations and  be flexible in the field.
  • feedback from former participants or customers.


Conclusion

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.

 

New year new beginnings!

Happy New Year !

New year new beginnings, I am happy to announce that I have joined Dutch photo-travel agency, Nordic Vision photo tours, with its great team of photographers : Theo Bosboom, Jan and Mart Smit, Wilco Dragt, Marten Bril, Charles Borsboom.  At the moment Nordic Vision organizes photo tours to spectacular photographic destinations such as Iceland, Norway, Scotland, Nordern Ireland, China, France or Spain.

My first tour for Nordic Vision will be organized in my own living area, Auvergne | France :  the best of Auvergne, 19-25 july 2015

A 7-day photography workshop : we will explore Puy de Dôme hot-spots, its diverse hillside landscape scenery, sunflowers and wine fields, which make it the so-called Tuscany of Auvergne. We will look at how the spectacular and unique light conditions play on the dramatic Massif Central mountains and volcano chains. Explore the Billom area and its picturesque villages, through the maze of small hillside roads and small hiking trails, in the later afternoon light. On the way you will discover one of Auvergne’s most beautiful valleys, National Reserve, Vallée de Chaudefour and get some fresh sparks at the many local waterfalls.

More information: here or here
Meer informatie: hier

Best-of-Auvergne-phototour facebook

First winter shots

Vallée de Chaudefour | Auvergne | France

The two participants of last Sunday were lucky  during their one-on-one workshop.
Weather forecast prediction was good, snow and cold temperatures with some sun in the late afternoon .
The sun came unfortunately a bit earlier than planned, this meant that we had to act fast to get some  shots with ‘frosty trees ‘.
Skies were changing during the day and the mountain tops appeared from behind the clouds.
A nice beginning of the winter season !

© Kristel Schneider

© Kristel Schneider

© Kristel Schneider

© Kristel Schneider

A short photo holiday in France

Tuscany-of-Auvergne-Photography-workshop-2014-facebookjpg
More info: Workshop page  (Eng)

Meer info: Workshop pagina (NL)

 

Nature Photography in Your Own Backyard

Nature Photography in Your Own Backyard
by Kristel Schneider

Nature Photography in your Backyard sounds easy but you still have to walk around and look for the right light, different angles and backgrounds to create an interesting image.
Yesterday afternoon I decided to remove the dust from my Sigma 150mm macro lens. I noticed that lately I was stuck to my 300mm L 4.0 lens for close-up photography so I made myself walk around with the Sigma lens and I looked for a nice insect or a nice flower.

This little Crab Spider (Thomisidae) was waiting for its next pray. I did not see the spider at first because it was white and sitting on a white flower.
For me ‘the white on white’ was interesting  so I looked around for some nice soft background light. I turned and turned to get another  flower  in the upper part of the frame to make the composition complete.

The white little spider has two orange/red stripes and while I was looking for different angles I noticed an orange Lily nearby. In my mind this could be a nice repetition of the two colors and the white from the flower against the orange background would provide a nice color contrast.  While waiting for the little spider to move into the right position on the flower I walked around and tried out different angles and positions.

Both images were taken with a Canon 5DMII -Sigma 150 Macro lens, natural light.

Nature backyard photography tips:

  • Look for an interesting  subject (flowerbeds, insects, different details, water movement, etc.) and study it.
  • Think about different compositions.
  • Look for the right light (natural light or fill flash, reflectors)
  • Look for a nice background color and/or elements.
  • Walk around your subject and try out different angles.

The first Woman Only Nature Photography Tour in Iceland

Iceland – Photography Workshop for Woman Only
Southern Iceland and Highlands in 9 days

Photographers: Kristel Schneider and Marketa Kalvachova
Date: 4 – 12 July 2013

Iceland, an inspiriting and unique popular destination amongst photography tourists. This is one of the reasons why Kristel Schneider and Marketa Kalvachova have chosen this destination for the first women’s only Nature Photography Workshop Tour. To explore top photographic locations in a female only environment participants will reconnect with themselves, develop their creativity and most of all feel free in a group who shares the same interests and creative mindset.

What to expect during this trip
Diverse scenery will take your breath away as well as the different light conditions and untouched nature sceneries. We will explore the South coast of Iceland by car and along walking trails. Although the main focus will be Landscape Photography those of you who like macro or close-up photography will have plenty of opportunities to indulge during the walks. You will get personal field instruction and photo feedback. There will be no competition or lots of technical talks but a great learning experience, and of course a lot of fun with great out-door activities. We will travel in a small group and sleep in guesthouses whose warm and welcoming owners will make you feel at home. In the evening we will share enjoyable nice local food.

Photographic topics
Glaciers, glaciers lagoons with ice rocks, rugged coastlines, waterfalls, meadows with wild flowers, spouting geyser, seals, hot bath and much more.

Term and duration
4 – 12 July 2013  – 9 days and 8 nights

Click here for more information.

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