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

E-mail: info@visionarywild.com    •    Tel: 1-202-558-9596 (9am to 5pm, EST).

Justin Black – Managing Director: 1-202-302-9030 • Email: justin@visionarywild.com

Sara Robb – Operations Assistant: sara@visionarywild.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Limit 15 spaces | $2,495* Closed
Creative Core March 26 - 30, 2012 | View other workshops

Point Reyes and Marin Coast with Jerry Dodrill and Justin Black

Map via Google

Point Reyes National Seashore and the Marin Coast are truly a photographer's playground, rich with diverse subject matter – landscape, seascape, flora and fauna –  with ever-changing light and the beautiful interplay of sun and marine fog. It's the perfect setting for a workshop focused on developing creativity and honing skills. The talented team of Jerry Dodrill and Justin Black will teach you to take control of the finer points of composition, exposure and tonal control, and specialized techniques for approaching this sublime coastal landscape.

Click the "read more..." tab below right for more information and to see the photo gallery!

Scheduled during the spring wildflowers season and during mid-week to avoid weekend crowds, we will spend our morning and evening field time at locations along the Marin County coast as far north as Tomales Point and as far south as Marin Headlands. Old-growth redwood forest, the blooming flanks of Mt. Tamalpais overlooking the Pacific, seastacks and cliffs, wild beaches, headlands, tule elk, seals, sea birds, and more make this place very special indeed.

My good friend and colleague, Jerry Dodrill, and I started our photographic exploration of this astonishing landscape when we worked with the late Galen Rowell, leading workshop groups to the Marin coast from Galen's gallery in Emeryville. Jerry has chosen to spend the last eleven years here, chasing storms and photographing along edges of land and sea, earth and sky, fog and light. As Galen pointed out in his book Bay Area Wild, this piece of coastline is a spectacular natural treasure, despite being within easy day-trip range of a major metropolitan area. Those who live nearby just might begin to take its wonders for granted, but it is amazing what you can find here when you approach it with eyes wide open. –Justin Black

This four-day, four night Creative Core workshop deals heavily with composition, working with changing light, exposure control, essential gear and creative tools, fundamentals of digital workflow, and introduction to digital exposure blending and stitching, and an intense schedule of photography in the field followed by constructive group critiques. Creative Core workshops are generalist outdoor photography workshops and the emphasis of any individual participant's work is up to them, whether they wish to focus on landscape, macro, wildlife (as the opportunity presents itself), abstraction, color, black and white, HDR, panoramics, multiple exposures, or all of the above. Any enthusiastic photographer will feel right at home in this workshop. In our experience, most participants will be solid intermediates with a couple relative beginners and a handful of advanced photographers. Jerry and Justin each have over a decade of experience successfully accommodating a range of experience levels at workshops.

Very often, we are amazed by the way in which the beginners teach the advanced students a thing or two about unrestrained creative openness and serendipity, while the expertise of the advanced students can be a welcome resource for the rest of the class. We supply materials in advance of the session to get newcomers up to speed with basics having to do with digital camera set-up and techniques, essential equipment recommendations, and other guidelines to ensure that everyone is ready to make the most of the experience.

Lodging, all meals, and beverages are included in the package.

Jerry Dodrill

Jerry Dodrill is an award-winning landscape and adventure photographer who in the early years of his career was a protégé of the legendary Galen Rowell. An unrelenting passion for photography and outdoor adventures made it clear that Jerry was not destined for a desk job. An avid climber for twenty years, he feels equally at home in a rocky bivouac or a soft bed. In college, pre-med classes gave way to studies in fine art and weekends spent scaling Yosemite's granite walls. Photography was at first a byproduct of his adventures but quickly became his artistic medium of choice as he captured each experience with a concise aesthetic and quality of light revealing his inspiration.

Jerry's adventures have led him around the globe. He has climbed all the major walls in Yosemite Valley, at crags across the West, close to a hundred summits in the Sierra, and peaks in Bolivia, Argentina, Kyrgyzstan, and China. His full embrace of the many disciplines of climbing have led to many adventures and tales best told late at night around a raging campfire.

Jerry holds degrees in fine art and photography, which in 1997 led him to work for acclaimed photographer Galen Rowell at Mountain Light in Berkeley. There, he managed Galen's gallery space and workshops, an amazing experience (akin to a photographer's bootcamp).

Since 2000, he has been pursuing his own adventures and photography career. Jerry's immense talent and creative eye have been well recognized through international awards and exhibition in fine galleries, such as the Ansel Adams in Yosemite, Mountain Light, Mumm Napa Valley, and the Banff Center for Mountain Culture. Through his numerous workshops for Mountain Light Gallery, Visionary Wild, and Sierra Nevada College, and college-level teaching at Pacific Union College in Napa Valley, he has proven himself as a highly engaging and effective photography teacher and workshops leader.

After running his own gallery on California's North Coast for five years, he now resides in the Sonoma County town of Sebastopol, California, focusing on commercial and editorial assignment photography, exhibitions of his work, and sharing his vision and expertise with others. Jerry's work has been featured in many ad campaigns, books, and publications and is represented by Aurora Photos. Editorial and commercial clients include The North Face, Vanity Fair, Sunset, Men's Journal, Outside, Alpinist, Rock & Ice, and Climbing magazines. Expert in Photoshop and digital color management, Jerry is regularly sought out as a color pre-press manager for high-end photo books, and as a fine digital printmaker. He was also recently recruited as a design consultant for the exciting new outdoors-oriented photo pack company MindShift Gear, a spin-off from Think Tank Photo.

Visit Jerry's website

Visit Jerry's blog

Jerry Dodrill portrait: © Grant Ordelheide.

Justin Black

JUSTIN BLACK is a photographer, writer, editor, expedition leader, photo workshops instructor, and an affiliate 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 is widely recognized as one of the world's leading photo workshops organizers.

A professional photographer continuously since signing his first agency contract in 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. His work has also been published by major news outlets in print and online, and has been used in advertising for MasterCard, Nikon, Fujifilm,

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

In 2015 and 2017, Justin was invited to serve as a judge for the Nature's Best Photography Africa competition. He 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. His limited edition fine prints are represented by G2 Gallery in Venice, California, and in Europe by The Art of Wild gallery.

An early career as a travel photographer and image licensing specialist led him to Mountain Light Photography in the San Francisco Bay Area, founded by Galen Rowell – a world-renowned National Geographic photographer, author, and mountaineer – and his wife and business partner, Barbara Cushman Rowell. 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, the Rowells invited Justin to relocate with them to California's scenic Owens Valley as Mountain Light's General Manager. Justin eagerly embraced his new responsibility, along with 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 went to work, 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, David Muench, and Jeff Foott. 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 with Mountain Light, Justin was recruited to take over the position of Executive Director of ILCP, a non-profit association of the best photographers worldwide working in the field of environmental and cultural 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 Valley (Canada, 2009), Yucatán (Mexico, 2009), and Chesapeake (USA, 2010), as well as a solo project for The Nature Conservancy, documenting the Dragon Run wetland on Virginia's Middle Peninsula. One of Justin's photographs from the Flathead River project appeared as a section opener in the Vancouver Sun newspaper – the first time the threatened watershed received significant coverage in that nationally important media outlet.  The photograph was later selected by the United States Senate for display in the U.S. Capitol Building, as Canada and the USA reached an agreement to protect the Flathead.

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 children Philippe and Alexandra.

Justin Black's limited editions portfolio

Justin's Outdoor Photographer Profile

Bringing focus and meaning to your photography

The Top 40 Nature Photos Project

Justin's Conservation Photography Projects

 

Justin’s Camera Bag

After using an array of 4x5, medium format, and 35mm film cameras in the first two decades of his career, Justin fully embraced digital cameras in 2010. His current gear includes Nikon DSLRs and Fujifilm mirrorless systems.

 

Fujifilm Medium Format Mirrorless:

GFX 50S camera

23mm f/4 GF Fujinon

32-64 f/4 GF Fujinon

120mm f/4 GF Fujinon

 

Fujifilm APS-C Mirrorless:

X-Pro2 Cameras (x2)

14mm f/2.8 XF Fujinon

23mm f/2 XF Fujinon

35mm f/1.4 XF Fujinon

50mm f/2 XF Fujinon

18-55mm f/2.8-4 XF Fujinon

55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 XF Fujinon

 

Nikon DSLR:

Nikon D810 cameras (x2)

24mm f/3.5 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

45mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

85mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

24mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

35mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

50mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

85mm f/1.8 G AF-S ED Nikkor

200mm f/4 AF-D Micro-Nikkor

500mm f/4 AF-S Nikkor

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

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

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

200-400mm f/4.0 G AF-S ED VR Nikkor

Nikon TC-14EII teleconverter

Nikon TC-20EIII teleconverter

Nikon SB-900 flash

Nikon SB-700 flash

Assorted Nikon TTL flash cables

Lumiquest soft boxes

Rogue Flashbender

Rosco gels

 

Filters

Nikon Circular Polarizer II

Singh-Ray Vari-ND

Tiffen WW IRND neutral density filters

 

Tripods

Really Right Stuff TVC-24L with leveling base and Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead or Arca-Swiss D4 geared head

Gitzo 1028 with RRS BH-25 ballhead

 

Photo Packs

MindShift Rotation 180 Pro

Mindshift Rotation 180 Horizon

Mindshift FirstLight 30L

Think Tank Photo (TTP) Streetwalker Harddrive

TTP Streetwalker Pro

TTP Airport Addicted V2.0

TTP Airport Acceleration

TTP Urban Disguise 50 V2.0

 

Highlights

  • Prime time for wildflowers
  • Eight field photography sessions, morning and evening, at Point Reyes National Seashore, along the Marin County coast, and on Mount Tamalpais
  • Composition
  • Working the scene through changing conditions and light
  • Understanding and using various qualities of light to best effect
  • Exposure and tonal control
  • Essentials of digital workflow
  • Three projected group critique sessions
  • Packaged with single-occupancy lodging, all meals and beverages

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.

Point Reyes Seashore Lodge in Olema, California, will be our basecamp and indoor classroom. Situated at the entrance to Point Reyes Peninsula on scenic Coastal Highway One, it offers excellent access to all of our field locations. A variety of excellent area restaurants serve great California cuisine, local seafood, and fine wines from Napa and Sonoma.

*Pro-rated package rates are available for double occupancy at $2175 per person, or without lodging at $1850. These options are available during online registration via the "Register" button toward the top of this page.

airplane iconcar iconfoot iconweather icon
For those arriving by air, Oakland (OAK), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), and Sonoma/Santa Rosa (STS) Airports are all about 50 miles away (1 hour to 1.5 hours depending on traffic) Field sessions on Point Reyes and along the Marin Coast will be by group carpool, to locations up to an hour from the lodge. We will access field locations via relatively short, easy walks. Late March average highs on the Marin County coast are around 67ºF, with average lows around 45ºF before sunrise. The weather is a mix of sun and fog, with the possibility of rain. March historically marks the transition between the rainy winter and dry summer seasons.

Expectations

Participants in this workshop should expect effective, enthusiastic, generous instruction from Jerry and Justin, both in the classroom and hands-on in the field. Early morning and afternoon/evening field sessions will make the most of our familiarity with the phenomenal locations available in the area. Three constructive group critique sessions will do wonders to refine your composition and techniques in the field, while allowing you to learn from the unique eye of each of your fellow participants. Most of all, this will be a fun, positive, and inspiring workshop that will exceed your expectations, provide new understanding and the keys to continue your development, and will leave you wanting more.