DECEMBER 2016’S LEICA AKADEMIE ITALY WORKSHOP IN COMACCHIO: WHAT A GREAT EXPERIENCE!
In December 2016, almost a year ago, I did my first Leica Akademie Italy photography Workshop in Comacchio and the Po’s Delta, dedicated to exploring the wetlands around the Valli di Comacchio. Contrarily to my WORKSHOPS FOR THREE and my WORKSHOPS ONE-ON-ONE, these LEICA AKADEMIE WORKSHOPS are shorter in duration (they are more like minibreaks, or long weekends, than regular Workshops) and feature a larger group of participants. The organisation is left in the capable hands of Leica Akademie Italy, and participants have the unique opportunity to use Leica equipment for the whole duration of the Workshop. In particular, in Comacchio all participants had the amazing Leica SL equipped with the 24-90mm Vario-Elmarit-SL available to them for three days!
On December 2, 2016 we met in Comacchio with the 9 participants who made the application before the Workshop was Sold Out, and the Workshop went underway. As it always happens with groups, the 9 participants’ level was very diverse, as was their mind-set towards landscape photography, their equipment and so on. Happily, the group’s attitude was extremely positive, and I have been very pleased to work with them all for these three days in Comacchio. More important, I noticed that all participants ended up with some very good photographs after the class and that the approach of many of them towards landscape photography changed, as did their awareness of the problems it presents and what the solutions to these problems can be.
As a general rule, designing my Workshops I try to choose locations that not only are beautiful and photogenic, but that present different photographic challenges. This way, during the course of a Workshop I can help people not only to create beautiful images but also to face and solve a wide variety of photographic problems. As I always do, in Comacchio the Workshop started with a short presentation of the landscapes we were going to photograph, and short briefings were held every day before starting to work on a specific location.
As usual, I brought along a full set of Formatt-Hitech Firecrest filters (Grad NDs, solid NDs and polariser), making them available to participants to experiment with. While some participants were already used to take advantage of the power of filters, others either had just got their own set before the Workshop, or didn’t have any; for them using filters was a completely new experience, and once again I was happy to see how using filters radically changed for the best their photographing experience. For landscape photography, filters rule.
During our work in Comacchio and the Po’s Delta, we explored the Valli di Comacchio (man-made lagoons dedicated mainly to fishing) where we photographed fishermen’s huts and the so-called “Casoni di Valle”, houses built in the middle of the Valli themselves; we also went to the Sacca di Scardovari, to photograph more seascapes and more man-made houses and fishermen’s dwelings. The landscape in the area is the result of the long, constant struggle of man against nature, for ages battling to get control of ground and water, and this is what I found interesting when choosing Comacchio as a location for this Workshop.
I was very happy to see that all participants loved these amazing landscapes and were as inspired by them as I am, and to see them enjoying working with the Leica SL, a camera that I love and a great tool for landscape photographers. I really enjoyed seeing the group working enthusiastically and producing beautiful images of these scenes while retaining their individual look and approach to photography. This is my goal as a tutor, and to see it happen made me once more extremely happy. Last, but certainly not least, is the personal aspect of the Workshop. I have been teaching for decades now, and I always enjoy meeting new enthusiast photographers, the exchange of ideas and experiences in the field and out of the field, and seeing them going home full of energy and motivation. Not to mention the great fun we had during these three days together, the food and the laughter!
See you in December 2017 in Comacchio, for the second edition of this COMACCHIO AND THE PO’S DELTA Leica Akademie Workshop!
THE PARTICIPANTS’ COMMENTS
Some participants to my Comacchio and the Po’s Delta Workshop graciously sent me a few words of comment about the Workshop:
FOLLOW-UP: THE FACEBOOK GROUP
Once the Workshop ended, I added all participants to the private Facebook group dedicated to my Workshops, to share images and keep working both with me and between themselves on developing and post-processing their photographs.
Thanks for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed this recap of my Photography Workshop in Comacchio and the Po’s Delta! Why don’t you share it with your friends, or drop me a comment to let me know how you feel about this?
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Photographs kindly offered by Zeynep Paftali have been shot with FujiFilm XS-1 and iPhone 6 SE.