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2012-03-11  

Bartlett Lake Photo Workshop, AZ
2012-03-1140 by
 
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Bartlett Lake Photo Workshop, AZ  
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desertgirl
My birthday and Xmas presents came early from Ambika this year. She treated me to "Capturing Wildflowers" Workshop with AZ Highways. It's an extravagant gift to be sure and especially apropos for "Tibber" :) .

To make sure she got her money's worth, I spent the week studying my camera including the manual, online information and videos. I focused mostly on macro shooting. This did pay off at the workshop as I was the only one with just a digital camera there so I didn't appear like a total idiot when it came to the operation of my camera.

Colleen Miniuk-Sperry was our trainer. She is the co-author/photographer of the recently published guidebook, "Wild in Arizona: Photographing Arizona's Wildflowers; A Guide to When, Where, and How". If you haven't seen the book, it is a winner that delves very deep into the title. I had also read a little from that book before the workshop. (Just wish the scenes of the published photos in the Bartlett Lake section were here this day)

We got instruction mixed with hands-on-help. Of course, the wildflowers were not nearly as prolific as past years but there were more than I expected. Anyway, I consider this a lifetime gift from desertgirl because:
    It made me learn more about my camera. I have set up a Custom Scene for scenery altho I'm not completely happy with the settings as they seem too warm.
    It made me ask myself why do I want to take a certain photo.
    It made me realize you can lower the exposure further than I thought I could or should.
    It made me shoot in RAW... well almost, I'm shooting in both RAW/JPG (though this does slow down the write speed).
    It made me realize you can change the ISO to fit the conditions rather than relying on auto ISO. For example, for windier conditions in near shots, you increase the ISO.
    It made me really try to understand that "f" thing and depth of field though I'm still trying to grasp the total concept (lower "f", lower depth (more for macro) - higher "f", higher depth (more for landscape).
    It made me try editing my RAW photos rather than JPEG... wow, what a difference and I'm still learning.
    It made me put that white overexposure blinker on as that is very helpful in adjusting your shot.
    And this one is for you Nick: shooting in vertical/portrait can make a better or at least more interesting shot (tho I never really shied away from portrait).


That's all I can think of right now but you get my meaning. So if you have the opportunity to participate in a photo workshop, it may seem a little expensive and extravagant but what you learn will last a lifetime. :thanx: Ambika. I wasn't sure this workshop was something for me but as you can tell, it paid off big time. Tibber is very happy and HAZ may be too since I will hopefully be posting less but higher quality photos. Well let's just say higher quality photos ;) .

Oh, I hadn't been out to Bartlett Lake since 1981 so that was fun. The lake is quite low. It is also surprising to me how much elevation you lose going down to the Lake. Saddle Mountain is the most visible mountain from where we were shooting photos.

Here's a little video of the area: http://youtu.be/TrCwe5dZ2Y8
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
_____________________
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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