MY DORSET’S JURASSIC COAST 2018 MASTER SERIES PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP: READ ALL ABOUT IT!
At the end of February 2018, after leading a couple of Workshops One-on-One, I returned to Dorset’s Jurassic Coast for my first Master Series Workshop, dedicated to a maximum of three participants. The southwestern coast of England, and Dorset in particular, features such a wonderful stretch of amazing seascapes that it has been rightfully declared UNESCO World Heritage. With its sea arches, sea stacks, white and black cliffs, coves, bays, beaches with incredible rock formations, Dorset’s Jurassic Coast definitely makes an impression. More, its inland is equally beautiful, with smooth hills, fields, rivers, churches and castles: in short, a true paradise for the landscape photographer!
My Master Series Workshops are normally dedicated to a maximum of three participants: this year, however, one applicant couldn’t make it to the Dorset’s Jurassic Coast Workshop due to medical reasons, and another decided to cancel, being worried about the uniquely severe weather that was forecasted to hit the south of England, something extraordinary for February there (it eventually did hit, with snowfalls never seen in the last century). While the weather didn’t stop us from photographing almost with no interruption during the whole 6 days, the Workshop effectively turned into a Workshop One-on-One for the sole remaining gentleman, whom happily enjoyed my undivided attention for the whole duration of the Workshop.
Designing my Workshops, I always make a point to choose locations that aren’t just spectacular, but that offer unique photographic challenges together with their exceptional beauty (see VIERI BOTTAZZINI WORKSHOPS for details). More, I always look for locations offering the most comfort as far as accommodation and eating goes, but still as off the touristic routes as possible, so that the group can work in peace. Dorset definitely makes the cut: its little villages and small towns are truly charming, and hospitality is of the highest level. While crowded in summer and during holidays, carefully selecting the period for my Workshop assured us to enjoy Dorset in perfect peace and solitude.
On the artistic side, it is important for me to choose locations presenting photographic challenges as varied as possible. This way, during any given Workshop I can help my participants to face and solve as many photographic problems as possible. For instance, while it’s relatively easier to photograph i.e. a wonderful sunset with a clear subject in front of it, what is most important for me is to teach people to “work against the odds”, so to speak. During my Workshops, we work together on finding successful compositions where they aren’t immediately evident. As well, while of course we hope for the best weather conditions, I work to make sure that participants learn how to put whatever light we find to the best use even when it’s not ideal. Not getting discouraged by the odds and being able to create great images under any conditions, in my opinion, is what truly makes a landscape photographer: this is what I aim to do myself, and what I teach my participants to do.
As I always do, at the beginning of our Workshop in Dorset I presented my photographic vision, my philosophy and my working system & workflow, together with a general look at the landscapes we were going to tackle. On top of that, I did a short briefing before each session in the field, where I presented each individual location’s challenges and offered suggestions to best solve them, always respecting our participant’s individuality and his approach to landscape photography. During our work in the field, I then offered specific suggestions and answered questions related to the photographic challenges we faced. As well, when I thought it could help, I showed him my own approach to a given location through my images.
Two unique features of my Master Series Workshops are their truly limited attendance and the opportunity to revisit some of the locations. During our daily post-processing and image analysis sessions, I point out things that could have been done differently, proposing alternative solutions to compositional and lighting problems: this way, participants can then try them out when revisiting a location. As always happens, in Dorset too I was very happy to see my participant’s confidence increasing each time we revisited a location.
Technically speaking, the gentleman who joined us in Dorset was a very accomplished photographer: as always, this makes a Workshop even more stimulating for me, pushing me to teach them more and more advanced techniques, which helps me grow and is deeply satisfying for me.
Last, but definitely not least, there is the human side of every Workshop, which for me is of the greatest importance. During this Workshop in Dorset, we spent 6 days with a perfect gentleman: a very enthusiastic photographer and a landscape lover with a very interesting life, well-travelled, well-spoken and with many interests. We had a great time both working in the field and during our lunches and dinner, when we talked about music, art and life in general, which made for great conversations photography talks aside.
I truly love the spectacular Jurassic Coast and inlands of Dorset, and I can’t wait to be back next spring, if not earlier! Follow the banner below to learn more about the 2019 edition of this Workshop and to book your seat:
If you seek an even more exclusive, tailor-made Workshop experience, you can book a Workshop One-on-One on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, completely designed around your level and requirements, running when you want, for as many days as you want and with a program made just for you:
THE PARTICIPANTS’ IMAGES AND COMMENTS
The gentleman who joined us for my Dorset’s Jurassic Coast 2018 Photography Workshop kindly sent me a few images to share here with you, together with a short testimonial about the Workshop. Enjoy!
As usual, I asked my participant to complete a survey to let me know what he thought about our Dorset’s Jurassic Coast 2018 Photography Workshop. The survey covered everything from the technical and artistic quality of teaching to the instructor’s availability both in the field and during our post-processing sessions, from the quality of the vehicle and driving to the choice and ease of reach of the locations, and more. I am very happy to say that feedback for this Workshop has been the highest ever, with a level of satisfaction of 100%!
FOLLOW-UP: THE FACEBOOK GROUP
Once my Dorset’s Jurassic Coast 2018 Photography Workshop ended, I added all Facebook-using participants to my VIERI BOTTAZZINI WORKSHOPS Facebook group. This is a closed group dedicated to my Workshop’s Alumni to share their work 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 summary of my Master Series Dorset’s Jurassic Coast 2018 Photography Workshops! 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 Leica V-Lux (Typ 114) and iPhone 6 SE.
Photographs kindly offered by Alexander van Hulsenbeek have been shot with Leica SL and various lenses.