Week 4 is here and the subject/topic is Landscape.  (I guess we weren’t very imaginative this week).  Anyway Lisa was out for the day so Abi and I hit the road.  We decided to head for Marymoor Park and see what we could find.  We walked down to the Sammamish Lake water front and took some shots there, then we walked over the this huge windmill and shot some of that, next we headed over to this old building that’s used as the Marymoor’s offices and shot that.

All the images were nice but none of them really grabbed me.  We were going to head home and we noticed that the sun going down over Redmond made the sky look amazing.  But where to shoot it!

So Abi and I started driving around looking for something to be in the foreground of the sky and sunset.  Then we passed the sports fields.  Wimbledon was currently on and the tennis courts were empty so I thought I’d try there.

We set up and immediately I knew I had a great shot.  We stayed there for another 20 minutes and I took loads of shots of the sunset.  The picture below was my favorite and I’m really pleased with the end result.

It’s week 3 and time for a new topic to shoot.  This week we had to shoot “Natural Light” and I figured, what’s more natural than a sunset. So I jumped in the car and headed over to Alki Beach in western Seattle.

It’s about a 40 minute drive and a lovely part of the city.  It has a large beach area where people picnic and play beach volleyball.  There are loads of hip restaurants and coffee shops along the shore line and it’s full of people just enjoying the water and sun.

When I got there it was still around 30 minutes to sunset so I just walked along the beach shooting what I could.  You have to be a little careful as it can come across as a little creepy walking around with a camera while people are in the swimming costumes.  (But I can do discreet :-)

Eventually the sun started to go down over the Olympic mountains and the sky broke just at the right time so I could see the sun in the distance.  To add a little foreground interest I shot the image next to a beach telescope, positioning that so it didn’t get in the way of the suns reflection over the sea.

So that’s week 3, natural light.

For the last two years I’ve visited Las Vegas for the Photoshop World photography conference in September. While the conference is great fun and you learn a load I thought this year I’d try something different. So for a change I decided to go on a Photography Workshop. I looked online for a workshop I liked the sound of and found a local Photographer (based out of Seattle) who ran a number of workshops all over the county.

Justin Resnick (here’s a link to his site) is a landscape photographer who travels all over the world. He has workshops all over mainland USA and others in Hawaii, New Zealand and Iceland. As some of the overseas workshops are pretty expensive I wanted to make sure I learnt something from Justin first and liked his training/teaching style. So for my first workshop I opted for “Palouse”.

Where the heck is Palouse I hear you say?

Well Palouse is an agricultural region in western Washington. It’s right on the Washington, Idaho border spanning down to the top of Oregon, and the best bit is I can drive there from Seattle in around 4 hours. The thing that makes Palouse interesting is the land formation. Imagine miles and miles of undulating hills, all different shades of green! It’s really something amazing to see.

So I booked a place on the workshop and off I went.

The workshop lasted four days and was pretty intense. We would get up at 4am go out and shoot sunrises, come back to the hotel for 6am, have breakfast and go to sleep for a few hours, head out at midday and shoot until sunset. Try doing that for four days.

During the workshop I shot around 3,500 images and I’ll still be processing the shots in August. This blog post just includes a few of the early processed ones I really liked.

So what was the workshop like? Well there were only 5 students in total so we all got lots of time with Justin. Justin was just fantastic. He’s an amazing photographer and spent the whole time making sure our experience was great. All he cared about was did we get the shots we wanted, did we have any questions, where did we want to go to today?

At each location he would tell us what to look for, where best to set up and what the best composition was. I really learnt a load and will definitely attend one of his workshops again.

One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to Palouse Falls for a sunset shot. This is a huge waterfall in the middle of nowhere. In fact it’s now the official waterfall of Washington state. When we arrived Justin explained how we had to set up right on the cliff face. This was pretty scary but definitely gave us the best view and some amazing shots.

Anyway I LOVED the workshop, and will try and get on another one next year. Hope you like the images.

So here we are, week 2 and it’s time for another picture.  OK, I admit it, I created the weekly list and deliberately picked the topic for week 2 as “Green” knowing I’d be in Palouse :-)  What can I say I’m a cheater.

Anyway this image was taken from the top of Steptoe Butte in Palouse and as you can see it’s definitely Green.

So Job Done I’d say.

The interesting thing is I had thousands of images to chose from, but this one was the greenest so it made the weekly shot.

I don’t know what you all talk about over lunch but at work we talk about cameras – quite a lot in fact.  We cover everything from exposure and aperture settings to lens choice and camera brands and tripods.  If you don’t own a camera or are not interested in photography I guess it could be a little boring – if fact it’s incredibly boring.

Eventually we wore down one of the new team members and he went out and brought a camera. Then the conversation changed to “what do I shoot now?”  This went on for a while and eventually I figured I’d provide some recommendations.  This conversation turned into a list of suggestions.

We even talked about the idea of shooting something every day but I immediately put a stop to that.  Instead we came up with weekly photography list and the goal to try and shoot something every week.  OK, I know what your thinking, I’ve said that before!  But last time I was on my own, now I’m shooting with a group.  So the list was created and the first item on the list was a car shoot – who doesn’t like cars?  Besides we did this on a Friday and there was a car show on Saturday in Redmond :-)

Anyway, we are now shooting weekly and I plan to blog my pictures each week.  Here’s week one, my car shot.