New Photography & Photoshop Workshop: Can you help?

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: March 25, 2011

Category: General

Ok so this coming Sunday (27th March) I’m going to be in the studio for a day long ‘tester’ of a new workshop I’m putting together covering both Photography & Photoshop…

I’ll be joined by 8 other photographers, all of varying experience and skill levels who have been invited along to play the part of ‘students’ for the day so they themselves will get hands on with the shooting and editing. Most importantly though they’re there to give brutal, honest feedback (*gulp*) on what we cover: what works, what doesn’t work, what should and shouldn’t be included and so on.

When we ‘go live’ my intention is to have a workshop that’s basically split in two with the first half of the day being spent setting up the lighting and shooting to achieve a specific look and then the second half of the day spent editing the images to get the kind of results you see above covering compositing techniques, portrait retouching and all the kind of stuff that you see me posting here on the blog. What I don’t want is for this to be just another workshop on Photography, which is why I’m going through this ‘tester’ process and also where you can maybe help me out…

Can you help?
I think it’s fair to say for the photographers out there that most if not all of us have been along to a workshop at some point…some good and some maybe not so good; but what was it that made it so? If you were coming along to this new workshop what kind of images and techniques would you really like to get ‘hands on’ with and see being covered from start to finish?

What I really like the idea of is coming along to a workshop knowing exactly what you’re going to be able to achieve by the end of the day. So, if it was up to you and looking over the kind of work I do, what would you want it to be?

We’re all going to have our own thoughts on what the workshop should include and how it should run so with that being said if I could ask you to post your thoughts either in the comments section below, on Facebook, Twitter or email me directly (glyn@www.glyndewis.com) that would be a massive help, thanks.

Oh, and I’ll be sure to post what we got up to at this Sunday’s ‘tester’ at some point next week,
Enjoy 🙂

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23 Comments

  1. daniela

    i’m just a beginner but a big fan of your work. i find just about anything you do just outright stunning, so let me just say, no matter what you do, i’m sure it will be worth the money for any of your students. i won’t give you advice on holding a workshop, you’ve got more experience in that field than i do, i’ll just tell you what i like about your tips and teachings on your blog and see if maybe you can take some of that into “real life”.
    what i very much like is your attitude how it’s all exciting and fun! it’s always so much easier to learn something from an enthusiast rather than a mere lecturer.
    your humor is sure fantastic to ease things up (one learns better when one is relaxed rather than tense).
    i appreciate the background info you give – like in your video tutorials you don’t just say “use high pass at 24 radius” you explain why it should be in the range of 24 rather than 48 or 12 or you say you’re doing this and that to achieve this or that effect. it’s easier to follow and remember steps when one knows where they should lead.
    one last thing that i didn’t like about a workshop i once went to was that there was hardly any time to take notes AND try out the stuff and the amount of stuff we were shown was just overwhelming so by the end of the day my head was all dizzy and i didn’t remember much of anything plus i didn’t have any notes to refer to later. so it’d be nice to either have a handout or allow time for notes i believe.
    don’t try to cover to much but rather go into depth with the things you do cover – as you already so wonderfully do on your blog and video posts.
    that’s all i can say. nothing new i’m sure but i still wanted to share.
    i also want to let you know that i’m still super interested in attending one of your workshops some day, so i’m wishing you all the best for this experiment as well as the real thing 🙂

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Daniela…Thanks so much for taking the time to put together your comment. What you say is really encouraging so I thank you for that…very kind of you! Having fun is definitely a big part of it cos I remember having been on workshops where I was struggling to keep my eyes open for one but wanting to pull my teeth out with the boredom too…lol 🙂

      The idea of the handouts is definitely something I’ve thought about but more as a .pdf (ebook) as that method is becoming more and more called for…what do you think?

      Thanks again and yeah would be great to see you at one of the workshops in the future; who knows huh 🙂
      All the best to you,
      Glyn

      Reply
  2. Miguel Campos

    Hi Glyn.
    You know that I am a big fan of your work, and like it was mentioned above You do explain very well in your tutorials.
    Who ever goes to your workshops will learn a lot, and I know for a fact it will be good value for money.
    Regarding asking opinions about Workshops, well, you are a Professional and not only that, you like what you do.
    I know that this one and others will be a success.

    All the best mate and keep up the good work 😉

    Miguel

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Miquel…Very kind of you to say, so thanks very much for that.

      Best wishes to you,
      Glyn

      Reply
  3. Steve

    Glyn, sounds like it will be a great day, lucky people!

    For me I would like to spend time on lighting setup/techniques with minimal kit ie 2 speedlights (no modifiers) & camera. I would’nt want to be overwhelmed.

    Spending more time going through the settings on the camera and speedlights before attempting a shoot so I would understand how changing anything effects the end result.

    Next for me would be workflow best practices, import into LR, adjustments in LR/PS/onOne/Nik. The importance of backups and versions etc. Output (printing, web etc).

    You cover most of what I look for to be honest Glyn here on your blog, but if was to spend a day with you, the above is what I would be quizing you over.

    Cheers
    Steve

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Steve…Thanks for the comment. Hadn’t given much though to showing my importing workflow but I think you’re spot on there, so again thanks for the pointers.

      Cheers,
      Glyn

      Reply
  4. DaveT

    Hi Glyn,

    Here is a summary of some of the things I liked/disliked from various courses/workshops I have attended.

    Positives:
    Positive and friendly approach of the trainer.
    Open to questions, and responsive to participants needs.
    Knowledgeable trainer/leader
    Making sure that the workshop/ course covered what it said it would
    Comfortable environment
    Positive learning environment
    Fun but focused learning experience
    Coming away motivated and feeling that the experience was worth the money

    Negative:
    Trainer/leader looking after their own needs and not that of the participant’s
    Leader/trainer using the workshop to get their own photographs at the expense of the person paying to be there.
    Poor value for money
    Poor facilities
    Not enough equipment to allow proper participation by the student

    Hope this helps
    Dave

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @DaveT…Cheers for the positive and negative lists. Totally with you on the 2nd negative point cos that is something I have definitely experienced in the past; well that and turning round to say goodbye to the instructor and seeing he’d already shut the door 🙂

      Thanks too for the email which I’m just about to head over and read.

      Regards,
      Glyn

      Reply
  5. Michelle Lovegrove

    Hi Glyn,

    having followed your work with interest I think the main things I would like to learn from one of your workshops would be:

    Effective lighting using flash for studio or location
    Principles of posing to get the best out of your models
    Efficient Lightroom Workflow
    Post production of portraiture work to minimise artifacts and give a natural but glamour look.

    I think to cover all of that in a day would be more than enough for my brain to cope with in one sitting whilst being invaluable experience that could be utilised in countless situations.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Michelle…totally with you there on the point about covering just the right amount. I’m thinking that working on 3 set ups and editing those; would be about right…what do you think?

      Glyn

      Reply
  6. DaveT

    Hi Glyn,

    Regarding Daniela’s point of handouts, and your idea of supplying them in PDF format.

    Yes good idea, particularly if it can be read on an Ipad/phone/touch which has the added benefit of being used as a potential set of field notes.

    This option would also be cost effective for you in terms of output. But, it may be worth having paper option’s available too in case people don’t have access to devices to read from, or prefer something they can file away for future reference.

    Dave

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @DaveT…Yep, totally agree mate. The only thing I’ve found with a paper version is that over time it gets torn and tattered but as you say not everyone will have access to an iPad, iPhone etc… But then I guess, if it’s in pdf they can have it safely in digital format on their computer and then print out if necessary. Best of both worlds?

      Reply
  7. Dave

    Hi Glyn,
    I think workbooks which can be taken away by the student covering the key points/techniques taught are vital as when you see something in the session there is that “aha!” moment where it makes sense seeing it being done, then you go home and a few days later, suddenly it doesn’t seem so clear!

    I think another key thing to get right is the amount of time each student gets to be “hands on”. When I first started out and would go to workshops, we would all watch the tutor all day and then get a few mins to try the lighting setup (usually actually put togethedr by the tutor) and take maybe 2 or 3 frames before having to let the next person have their go. If you are new and nervous, there is a tendancy to rush and just fire off 3 crap frames. You come away with 3 bad pictures and no actual experience of setting up the shot.

    Finally, try not to pack too much in to one workshop. One workshop will not fit all. Pitch too high and newbies wont benefit. Pitch too low and intermediates and above will feel like it wasn’t worth their time and money. Decide what you want to teach (maybe 2 or 3 main topics and a number of “tips” along the way)focus on teaching those well and making sure everyone gets it. Be clear on your promotional blurb as to what can be expected from the course.

    Hope that helps,

    Dave

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Dave…Absolutely mate. Nothing worse on a workshop than, as a student, feeling rushed into taking a few quick shots and stepping aside; been there for sure 🙂

      It’ll be interesting tomorrow to see what everyone there thinks about ‘how much’ is being covered and if in reality it should either be condensed, made into a 2 day workshop or actually 2 separate workshops. It’s all this info that is so valuable to gain…thanks mate 🙂

      Reply
  8. daniela

    sure, pdf handouts would be perfect! people can concentrate on experimenting and when they get home they have the pdfs with all the technical bits for future reference.

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Daniela…Yeah seems like the best option and for those who prefer a hard copy I guess this is the best of both worlds i.e they have a digital copy plus they can print it out if they wish.

      Thanks again 🙂

      Reply
  9. Tim Gonzalez

    Hi Glyn!

    So you’re studio shooting, right? I think going over you “should” or for that matter why you don’t need to use a Flash meter. I know loads of photographers that do not use them. Though admittedly there is a certain benefit to using a flash meter. Also since someone else mentioned your workflow (Michelle Lovegrove), perhaps ya might want to at least approach the subject of RAW shooting vs jpeg. (Its always a sensitive subject I think). oh and though I know your are doing a photography & post processing workshop. PLEASE remind your students, that getting “IT” right in camera, is not only better but saves you so much time in post processing. Of course that should be obvious, but I’m surprised how many times people will say, “OH I can just fix that in Photoshop” That just slays me when I hear that.

    Take care – Tim

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Tim…Thanks for that. I actually went through a bit of ‘workflow’ having read your comment and it seemed to go down well so thanks for the pointers there.

      Cheers,
      Glyn

      Reply
  10. Neil Holmes

    Hi Glyn,

    Just catching up on reading blogs.

    When you read the comments above different people want different things, If I attended one of your workshops I’d be there because I like your work and I’d like to see you shooting and post producing (I wouldn’t want to be shooting), I’m interested in the things you can only pick up face to face. I’d like to be in a small group (6?) with people of a similar level.

    Hope this helps 🙂 Cheers Neil

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @Neil…Sounds good to me mate, thanks for that. One of the guys that came along did exactly that…turned up for the editing side of things but did squeeze just a little shooting in too.

      Cheers,
      Glyn

      Reply
  11. David Kelly

    Hi Glyn – apologies for playing catch-up here on your blog. I know we’ve talked about this before, but I guess my key points in a lighting/PP workshop would be:

    – keeping the class since small. This will facilitate the instructor being able to keep an eye on all the attendees and see if they’re keeping up with things or looking blank ;-). Hopefully it will also give the instructor more time to offer 1:1 support to those who need it.

    – being completely upfront with the course content / objectives / skills required. This should help ensure that everyone who attends knows what they’re going to get out of the course. Hopefully this may also help to get people with similar experience levels on the course.

    – Good course notes being supplied (with electronic versions / pdfs also being supplied). The recipe idea I talked about with you previously I think would really work here for me. With a iPhone compatible pdf file I could look to follow the recipe for say, set up #2, when I try to recreate it and apply in the real world, a fortnight on from the workshop.

    – friendly, supportive tutor (think you’ll do fine on that count :0)) who’s prepared to spend time with everyone on the course not just a chosen few who seem to become teacher’s pet during the course of the day (been on one of those courses before)

    – back up theory talking with practical demonstration / application. So for instance let’s say when talking about for example the rapid fall off of light on a subject, you show image(s) which demonstrate the meaning of this. This is particularly useful when taking the untouched image captured to the retouched composite image that the tutor has in mind from the outset.

    – the tutor conveys their thought process in their approach to a scene / subject, what they’re trying to achieve with certain modifiers, why one modifier is better than another (& again demonstrating the difference).

    – enough equipment / projects for all attendees to be working something simultaneously, as opposed to have to wait and form an orderly queue would be good.

    – active feedback to individuals throughout the day

    – regular breaks to discuss / recap progress so far. this will allow attendees to ask Q’s on what they’ve encountered so far during practical sessions as well as helping the tutor understand how people are retaining the info presented so far and any issues encountered

    – in learning about artificial lighting, for me it would be really beneficial to learn more about getting the most out of speedlites when you don’t have access to studio quality lighting.

    Not sure how different this is from what you did at the first tester but I guess I’ll find out when we talk later this week 🙂

    Regards,

    David

    Reply
    • Glyn

      @David…Thanks for the input here mate; lots to think about and definitely alot in there that I’ll work on. Cheers 🙂

      Reply

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