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 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 January 3, 2015
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.
Category: foto workshop, Genereal Tagged: 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 photo tours, Photography workshops, Stages Photo en Auvergne, Visions and Nature
Posted on December 8, 2014
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 !
Category: foto workshop, Landscape Photography, workshops & tours Tagged: Auvergne, Auvergne Photography Workshops, auvergne workshops, foto workshops auvergne, foto workshops Frankrijk, France, Kristel Schneider, Nature and Landscape Photography, Photography workshops, Sancy, Stages Photo en Auvergne, Valleé de Chaudefour, Visions and Nature, winter, winter photography, winter shots
Posted on March 24, 2014
Meer info: Workshop pagina (NL)
More info: Workshop page (Eng)
Category: foto workshop, Landscape Photography, Macro and Flora Photography Tagged: Auvergne Photography Workshops, auvergne workshops, Billom, foto workshops auvergne, foto workshops Frankrijk, Kristel Schneider Photography, Livradois Forez, Nature and Landscape Photography, Nature Photography Workshops, Photography workshops, Stages Photo en Auvergne, Tuscany, Tuscany of Auvergne, Visions and Nature