Visionary Wild, LLC • 2200 19th St. NW, Ste 806, Washington, DC 20009

E-mail: info@visionarywild.com    •    Tel: 1-202-558-9596 (9am to 6pm, EST).    •    Justin Black’s iPhone: 1-202-302-9030

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Limit 10 spaces | $3,750* Closed
Vision January 10 - 14, 2012 | View other workshops

Catalina S.P. Arizona with Jack Dykinga, John Shaw and Justin Black

Map via Google

The majestic Santa Catalina Mountains will be our backdrop in a landscape containing over 5,000 saguaro cactus – our outdoor classroom for this workshop, part of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction designed and presented by world-renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw.

The creation of a truly great finished photograph is part of a process from initial concept and vision through execution in the field to digital workflow and creation of a high-quality, final master file ready for printing or publication. Vision workshops with John Shaw and Jack Dykinga address the two greatest challenges faced by photographers as they advance. The first of these is the tendency for original creative vision to reach a plateau in development, and the second is a digital workflow in need of streamlining and refinement to make the most of your images.

On Creative Vision:

When we experience images that really move us, we are aware that they have impacted us, though we may not know what it was in the image that made it so powerful. In other words, we know when it works, but can be difficult to quantify. I try to teach the time-honored components of fine photography to build successful compositions…even in ordinary situations. People ask me, “What’s the difference between a pro and an amateur?” My response is, (a) the amateur has better equipment and (b) the professional photographer must create a publishable image every single time. To be successful, the professional must be the practitioner of a disciplined approach to situations that will result in compelling images that inform and move people. This workshop is designed to unleash that creativity in my students. – Jack Dykinga

Jack will focus on advanced seeing and ways to unlock creativity in situations that require conceptual and compositional ingenuity on the part of the photographer. In other words, he'll answer the questions, "How do I make a great photograph when the subject matter and composition don't suggest themselves to me, and how do I avoid photographic clichés when the situation offers up  a beautiful composition that is almost too obvious?"

On Workflow:

As photographers have switched to digital, one fact has become apparent:  we are drowning in files.  We’re shooting more images than ever, and digital file sizes are increasing with each new generation of cameras.  Without a smart, logical workflow – and a familiarity with programs such as Lightroom and Photoshop – we will quickly be overwhelmed with data.   – John Shaw

John will focus on teaching a logical, effective workflow that ensures the highest quality for your work, as well an image archive that is stable, consistent, and retrievable over the long term, and that ultimately liberates rather than burdens.  He will cover step by step the process from shooting RAW files in the field to optimizing the final image in Photoshop.

Workflow topics to be covered include:
• File formats for shooting and for archiving
• Exposing for digital
• Downloading for automatic image organization
• Proper file naming
• Cataloging of images: Lightroom or other software
• Keywording and captioning of images
• The many uses of metadata
• Processing the raw file
• Using the tools in Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom’s Develop Module
• Color spaces for the best results in different media
• The many faces of Bridge
• Creating panoramic images
• Color adjustment strategies
• Using Photoshop to finalize the image: dodging and burning, adjustment layers and layer masking, controlling luminosity and contrast, sharpening for output
• Creating a PDF electronic book
• Color-managed workflow from input to output

The workshop includes field sessions, classroom lectures and ample hands-on instruction, critiques, single-occupancy lodging (prorated fee available for double-occupancy or for those who do not require lodging), and all meals and drinks. Justin Black of Visionary Wild will be present to serve as assistant instructor and to ensure everything runs smoothly. As always, all three instructors will be present to teach and assist students throughout the workshop.

Field sessions begin the evening of the first day. Each morning and evening, we'll be out to photograph first light before breakfast, and out for evening light after dinner. During mid-day hours, Jack and John will make presentations on advanced seeing, composition and creativity, digital workflow, and maximizing image potential. Critique sessions will follow each day before returning to the field for photography in afternoon and evening light. Saturday morning will be the final field session, followed by critiquing until the final lunch and break up at 2:00 pm.

Jack Dykinga

Taste life and strive to make a difference.

Pulitzer Prize (1971 Feature Photography) winning photographer Jack Dykinga blends fine art photography with documentary photojournalism.  He is a regular contributor to Arizona Highways and National Geographic Magazines.  His ten wilderness advocacy, large format books include: Frog Mountain Blues, The Secret Forest, The Sierra Pinacate, The Sonoran Desert, Stone Canyons of the Colorado Plateau, and Desert: The Mojave and Death Valley.   He authored and photographed Large Format Nature Photography, a “how to” guide to color landscape photography.  Jack Dykinga’s ARIZONA, released in 2004 from Westcliffe Publishers, a compellation of Jack’s best Arizona images and: IMAGES:  Jack Dykinga’s Grand Canyon released by Arizona Highways, May 2008, reflect Jack’s love for Arizona. Jack’s latest book: “Capture the Magic” released November 2013, delves into composition and the creative process.

Dykinga’s fine art images were featured along with the work of Ansel Adams in an Arizona Highways Magazine retrospective shown at the Phoenix Art Museum, The Center for Creative Photography, and the Museum of Northern Arizona. 

Recent work includes:

Texas/Mexican border highlighting the biological diversity of protected areas along the Rio Grande River, appearing in the February 2007, National Geographic Magazine.

His illustration of the wilderness lands of Native American Tribes is featured in the August 2010 National Geographic.

Jack has donated his talents to the International Leagure of Conservation Photographer’s RAVEs (Rapid Assessment Visual Expeditions) El Triunfo, Mexico, 2007; Balandra 2007, Baja Sur, Mexico; the Yucatan 2009, Yucatan, Mexico; the U.S./ Mexico Borderlands 2009, as well as the 2010 Patagonia, Chile RAVE and the September 2010 Great Bear RAVE in B.C. Canada.

In each case, Jack and teams of celebrated photographers from all over the world pooled their collective talents to highlight potential environmental degradation.

 In April 2010, Jack’s image: “Stone Canyon” was selected as one of the forty best Nature Photographs of all time by the International League of Conservation Photographers and he received: The 2011 Outstanding Photographer of the Year Award from the Nature Photographers of North America in March 2011.

 He and his wife Margaret live in Tucson, Arizona.  His daughter Camille Bralts lives in Champaign-Urbana. His son Peter Dykinga lives in Tucson and manages Jack’s image collection.

Arizona PBS Interview with Jack:

An Interview with pre-digital Jack:

The Nature Conservancy's Director of Photography interviews Jack

National Geographic gallery of Jack's Native Lands project

Video: Profile of Jack Dykinga

Video: Interview with Jack Dykinga

Learning to See: an interview with Jack Dykinga

Visit Jack's website

 

John Shaw

I think a good attitude to have is that the next frame you shoot is going to be the better, definitive frame.

John, a natural and dedicated teacher, has been a professional nature photographer since the early 1970s. His work has been published in many publications and books, including National Geographic, Nature's Best, National Wildlife, Audubon, Outdoor Photographer, and many others. In 1997 he received the first-ever Outstanding Photographer Award given by the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA). Nikon chose him as a featured Legend Behind the Lens in 2002, while Microsoft designated him an Icon of Imaging in 2006.  He has been part of Epson's Stylus Pro fine art print makers group since 2001.

John has published six books on nature photography, plus five eBooks on Photoshop and Lightroom.  He has photographed on every continent, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, from Provence to Patagonia.  While he once used a variety of film cameras, he much prefers the advantages of digital capture.

Visit John's Website

Testimonials

I just wanted to thank you personally for the best two days of photographic instruction that I've had in my 52 years. – Bill A.

The breadth and width of information that John Shaw provided both as an artist/photographer and his knowledge of digital software was impressive. His ability to communicate the information even more impressive. – Ric K.

John Shaw is a great leader and photographer and I always look forward to traveling with him. – Gordon K.

Justin Black

How do you find your unique creative vision? Start with your passions.

Justin Black is a nature photographer, writer, and photo workshops organizer, and an affiliate member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP). Through both Visionary Wild and Galen Rowell's Mountain Light Photography (1999 – 2009) he has created inspiring and effective educational photographic experiences for thousands of passionate photographers. He has been recognized by American Photo and Sunset magazines as one of the world's leading photo workshops and travel organizers.

A professional photographer since 1995, before founding Visionary Wild he served the ILCP as Executive Director, and for seven years was General Manager and Curator of Mountain Light Gallery.
Justin's photographs have been published by magazines such as National Geographic Adventure, Sierra, Sunset, American Photo, Outdoor Photographer, Rock & Ice, and Nature Conservancy.

Among conservation NGOs that have used his photographs in their campaigns, publications, and annual reports are The Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, Land Trust Alliance, Earth Justice, The Wilderness Society, Conservation International, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, ILCP, and the Wild Foundation.

Justin has also served as an editor and contributor to numerous award-winning photo book projects, including Galen Rowell: A Retrospective; Freshwater: The Essence of Life; The Wealth of Nature: Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity, and Human Well-Being; Our National Parks: America's Natural Heritage; as well as Flying South: A Pilot's Inner Journey by Barbara Rowell. He is represented by the G2 Gallery in Venice, California.

An early career as a travel photographer and image licensing specialist led him to Mountain Light Photography, founded by world-renowned National Geographic photographer, author, and mountaineer Galen Rowell and his wife and business partner, Barbara, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Beginning in May of 1999, Justin managed marketing of the Rowell image collection, assisted Galen on assignments and in his workshop program, and taught seminars on nature photography. In April 2002, Galen and Barbara invited Justin to relocate with them as Mountain Light's General Manager at the present location in California's scenic Owens Valley. Justin agreed and eagerly embraced the sublime Eastern Sierra Nevada landscape as his new home.

Four months later, Galen and Barbara perished in the crash of a chartered plane, leaving behind a tremendous creative and visionary vacuum. Justin refocused his efforts, building on the impressive Rowell legacy to reinvigorate Mountain Light by establishing a seasonal series of guest photographer exhibitions, expanding the image collection, and relaunching the highly acclaimed photo workshop program through collaboration with Galen's leading professional peers, including Frans Lanting, Pat O'Hara, Jack Dykinga, John Shaw, and David Muench. In May 2008, Justin's successful efforts were recognized by both Sunset and American Photo magazines, as each magazine featured editorial recommendations of his workshop program at Mountain Light.

After ten years in California, Justin was recruited for the position of Executive Director of ILCP, a non-profit association of the best photographers worldwide working in the field of environmental conservation. At ILCP, Justin oversaw an explosion of productivity in expeditions, publishing, multimedia production, and the achievement of successful conservation outcomes. He contributed photographic coverage to ILCP's Rapid Assessment Visual Expeditions (RAVE) program, including Flathead (Canada, 2009), Yucatán (Mexico, 2009), and Chesapeake (USA, 2010), as well as a solo project documenting the Dragon Run watershed on Virginia's Middle Peninsula for The Nature Conservancy. One of Justin's photographs of the Flathead River appeared as a section opener in the Vancouver Sun newspaper – the first time the threats facing the watershed had any prominent coverage in that regionally important media outlet.  The photograph was later selected by the U.S. Senate for display in the Capitol Building.

Justin left his position at ILCP in late 2010 to establish Visionary Wild, building on his successful leadership of the Mountain Light workshop program and applying expertise gained at ILCP to provide superlative workshops and expeditions for passionate photographers seeking to advance to the next level of creativity, quality, purpose, and meaning in their work. His own work continues to evolve in new directions, driven by the ongoing search for extraordinary qualities in our world's dynamic landscapes.

Justin lives in Washington, DC, with his brilliant wife, Lena (Visionary Wild's Director of Operations), and their son Philippe.

Limited editions portfolio

Outdoor Photographer Profile

Bringing focus and meaning to your photography

The Top 40 Nature Photos Project

 

 

Justin’s Camera Bag

 

After using an array of 35mm, medium format, and 4x5 film cameras for much of his career, Justin has switched fully to Nikon digital SLRs and Nikkor lenses. His current gear includes:

 

Camera Bodies (Nikon)

 

D800E (x2)

D7100

 

 

Lenses (all Nikkor)

 

24mm f/3.5 PC-E tilt-shift

45mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift


85mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift


18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S ED

24-70mm f/2.8 G AF-S ED

70-200mm f/4.0 G AF-S ED VR

200mm f/4 AF-D Micro-Nikkor


200-400mm f/4 G AF-S ED VR

500mm f/4 G AF-S ED VR


TC-14EII teleconverter


TC-20EII teleconverter

 

 

Flash


 

Nikon SB-900

Nikon SB-700

Assorted Nikon TTL flash cables

Lumiquest soft boxes

Rogue Flashbender

Rosco gels

 

Filters

 

Singh Ray LB Polarizer

Singh-Ray Vari-ND
Tiffen

Singh-Ray Graduated ND (1-5 stop, hard and soft)

Tiffen WW IRND neutral density filters

 

 

Tripods

 

Really Right Stuff TVC-24L with leveling base and Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead


Wimberley Sidekick for long lens work

Gitzo 1028 with RRS BH-25 ballhead

 

 

 

Photo Packs

 

MindShift Rotation 180 Pro


Think Tank Photo Streetwalker Harddrive


TTP Airport Addicted V2.0


TTP Airport Acceleration


TTP Urban Disguise 50 V2.0


TTP Retrospective 7

Highlights

  • Small group of ten participants, with a student-to-instructor ratio of just over 3 to 1
  • Advanced seeing: Learn to find new and unexpected compositions
  • Breaking through creative block and making great photographs in challenging situations
  • Mastering a logical, efficient, and consistent workflow, from capture to final master image, that frees you to focus on creativity
  • Ensuring the highest-possible final image quality
  • Output and outlets for your work
  • A magnificent Sonoran Desert landscape beneath the imposing Santa Catalina Mountains, full of images waiting to be discovered.

Accommodations & Travel

Package includes single-occupancy lodging, all meals, and adult beverages with dinner. Prorated fees are available for double occupancy and for those who do not require lodging.

The Wingate by Wyndham in Oro Valley will be our basecamp and indoor classroom, just down the road from our outdoor "classroom," Santa Catalina State Park. This workshop is packaged inclusive of single-occupancy accommodation at the Wingate, with prorated options for double-occupancy or without lodging if you live nearby or prefer to make your own arrangements.

Wingate by Wyndham, 11075 N.Oracle, Oro Valley, AZ 85737, (520) 544-2100

airplane iconcar iconfoot iconweather icon
Nearest Airport: Tucson International (TUS), 23.4 miles away. We will carpool the very short distance to our field locations among the tall stands of saguaro cacti on the flanks of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Morning and evening of each day, we will make short hikes on good trails to our field locations. Winter weather in southern Arizona is gorgeous, typically sunny to partly cloudy with lows around 40ºF predawn and highs in the mid 60s.

Expectations

Participants in this Vision workshop should expect to come away with an advanced skillset for finding original compositions and new approaches to subject matter within a grand landscape. Opportunities abound for compelling abstraction, motion studies, designs, patterns, details, multiple exposures, panoramics...not to mention stunning landscape compositions. We will approach oursubject matter with an eye toward avoiding clichés and creating original photographs.

This experience is best suited to passionate photographers seeking to work with a small group of peers who are familiar with their equipment and photographic fundamentals. We will gather each day for lectures and projected group image critique sessions. This workshop is ideal for photographers seeking to refine their approach to previsualization, working a scene to find original compositions, and bringing greater creativity to their work. Please feel free to contact us with any questions about recommended experience level, recommended equipment, or anything else that you are curious about.