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

Jennifer Woolley – Director of Operations • Email: jennifer@visionarywild.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Limit 10 spaces | $3,495* Register
Creative Core October 8 - 12, 2018 | View other workshops

Ricketts Glen with Justin Black and Jeff Foott

Map via Google

The National Park that would have been, but never was.

Little-known Ricketts Glen State Park, located where Pennsylvania's Allegheny Plateau meets the Appalachian Mountains, is a must-visit destination for passionate landscape photographers who enjoy working with waterfalls and flowing water in the midst of autumn color. Featuring 2,000 acres of old-growth forest, twenty-four named waterfalls, and numerous cascades, President Franklin Roosevelt was in the process of making Ricketts Glen a national park until World War II got in the way. Fortunately, Pennsylvania's state government bought up the land and preserved it as a highlight of its own park system.

This fall, join Jeff Foott and Justin Black for several field sessions to photograph the park's most spectacular waterfalls and watercourses, as well as the rare eastern virgin forest in fall color. They will share insights that will help you to refine your creative vision, composition skills, and field techniques, understand the practical implications of human visual cognition, explore ways to use the element of time to expand your creative horizons, and help you find ways to add greater purpose and meaning to your photography.

Field sessions begin the afternoon of the first day. Each day, we'll be out to photograph during the best light – whether that be early morning, afternoon, or even mid-day if it is overcast – following the daily weather conditions to make the most of opportunities. During field sessions, Jeff and Justin will offer hands-on guidance on your composition and technique, suggest creative ways to capture the mood and spirit of the place, and provide tips on creative use of aperture, shutter speed, filtration, multiple exposures, exposure blending, and panoramic stitching.  Jeff and Justin will also teach on the topics of composition and creativity, light and exposure, digital workflow, and maximizing image potential through post-production. Two constructive sessions critiquing the group's photographs will empower you to revisit and improve upon your creative ideas during subsequent outings. Friday morning will be the final field session, followed by critique until we adjourn at 3:00 pm.

Any enthusiastic photographer will feel right at home in this workshop. Jeff and Justin are both experienced at successfully accommodating a range of experience levels in photography workshops. We supply materials in advance of the session to make sure all participants are prepared to get the most out of the experience.

The group size is limited to ten participants, and the package includes the workshop itself from 1pm on October 8th to 3pm on October 12th, four nights accommodations at Hotel Harrington (without question the best accommodation for miles around), all meals, snacks, and drinks (including adult beverages with dinner). The rate for single-occupancy is $3,495; double-occupancy is $3,295 per-participant; for those who do not need lodging arrangements provided, the rate is $3,095.

Workshop will be operated under a special use permit issued by the park.

Justin Black

JUSTIN BLACK is a photographer, writer, editor, expedition leader, photo workshops instructor, a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers (ILCW), and a former executive director of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP). Since 2011 with Visionary Wild and for ten years at Galen Rowell's Mountain Light Photography, 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 since 1995 when he signed his first picture agency contract, 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 others. His work has also been published by major news outlets in print and online, and has been used in advertising for brands such as MasterCard, Patagonia, Nikon, and 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 2017, he entered the world of motion pictures as an Executive Producer on the award-winning documentary film, Headhunt Revisited: With Brush, Canvas, and Camera, produced and directed by Michele Westmorland. Justin was invited to serve as a judge for the 2015 and 2017 Nature's Best Photography Africa competitions. He has also been 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 available through his portfolio website at www.justinblackphoto.com

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, 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

 

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

 

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

 

Filters and Light Modifiers

Nikon Circular Polarizer II

Singh-Ray Vari-ND

Tiffen WW IRND neutral density filters

Photoflex reflectors and diffusers

Lumiquest soft boxes

Rogue Flashbender

Rosco gels

 

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 Backlight 36L

MindShift Backlight 26L

Mindshift FirstLight 30L

MindShift Rotation 180 Pro

Mindshift Rotation 180 Horizon

Mindshift Rotation 180 Panorama

ThinkTank Airport Addicted V2.0

ThinkTank Urban Disguise 50 V2.0

 

Jeff Foott

Having had the good fortune to work and play in nature most of my early life, it became obvious to me I had to spend my life outside. After working as a National Park Ranger, a mountain climbing guide, ski patrolman and a few other lesser jobs, I went back to school in marine biology – doing research on sea otters – which at the time were in trouble.

I had come to love these creatures and set out naively thinking that if I could only portray to the public how they survived the ocean storms, raised their young and the danger of extinction they faced, then the otters would be saved. This was my entry into photography.

I first took still pictures for lectures and magazine articles, and then started a film about this unique creature. The film was eventually shown in over 100 countries to an estimated 100 million people. I had found a platform to speak from. Forty-five films later, for National Geographic, Discovery, PBS, BBC, etc., I am still working to portray what we have in the natural world and its importance to our spiritual direction in a time where the calm of nature is less reflected in our beings than at any other time in the history of man.

Along the way, I added art to the biology. My last film for The Living Eden series, Patagonia, was a finalist for an Emmy for cinematography. I have continued to shoot still pictures, now often focusing on the simple beauty and design of nature. I have changed mediums from large format 4x5 to shooting digital. I have never lost touch with the original motivation of using the photography medium to show people the wonder and beauty of nature, and making a plea for sanity in dealing with our natural environment. Pristine natural environments provide optimum opportunity for each of us to experience the calm and wholeness of our being, which is really our natural state. While searching for photographs, I rely on what touches my center, and then with logic and camera I make the effort to pass on to the viewer the original feeling that drew me to the scene. – Jeff Foott

 

Jeff has been widely published in the U.S. and internationally.  National Geographic magazine, National Geographic Traveler, Audubon, National Wildlife magazine, Nature's Best, Outdoor Photographer, Sierra Club calendars, Audubon calendars are a few of the publications that use his work. He is an Associate of the International League of Conservation Photographers and has donated his time and photographic talent to the ILCP Borderlands and Patagonia Rapid Assessment Visual Expeditions (RAVEs).

Video: Jeff's project to fight the pine bark beetle invasion

Video: Jeff gets an amusing endorsement deal! (circa 1982)

Highlights

  • Ricketts Glen State Park, one of the best places to photograph waterfalls and flowing water east of the Mississippi.
  • Eight field photography sessions, morning and evening
  • Composition
  • Creative use of shutter speed
  • Working the scene to capture its essence
  • Using various qualities of light to best effect
  • Exposure and tonal control
  • Essentials of digital workflow
  • Optimizing images in post-processing
  • Constructive 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. Dushore, Pennsylvania's comfortable Hotel Harrington (the closest decent accommodations to the park) will be our convenient "base camp."

airplane iconcar iconfoot iconweather icon
The closest airports to Ricketts Glen State Park are at Williamsport (43 miles away) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (61 miles away). Ricketts Glen is just a few hours drive from several major cities in New York and Pennsylvania. We will carpool to locations during the workshop. Final approach to the waterfalls of Ricketts Glen (and other nearby falls) will be accessed on foot on hikes or up to a mile on easy to moderate trails. A basic level of hiking fitness and stability are necessary to access our field locations. Temperatures at this time of year generally range from 65ºF during the day to 40ºF first thing in the morning. Weather can vary from sunny to overcast, with the possibility of rain showers.

Expectations

This workshop offers the next step for those who feel they are photographing with a fairly good grasp on the technical fundamentals of digital cameras, exposure, and a basic digital workflow, but who are ready to focus on more specialized development in the areas of refining composition, applying creative techniques and tools, and polishing digital development. The small group size and two gifted instructors will ensure that everyone receives plenty of one-on-one time to address their particular interests, challenges, and priorities.

In addition to a warm welcome, great amenities, an expertly managed itinerary, and superb locations, you can expect highly engaging, insightful, and effective instruction from Jeff and Justin, both of whom have earned stellar reputations among their workshop students over the years. Jeff is a life-long naturalist and visual storyteller, which led him through a long and successful career as a preeminent nature cinematographer and still photographer. Justin had the fortunate opportunity to assist renowned photographer Galen Rowell on assignments and in his workshop program, and has gone on to teach alongside such luminaries as Jack Dykinga, John Shaw, Frans Lanting, and Art Wolfe among others. Along the way, his own work has become highly respected by his professional peers, amateur fans, editorial clients, and collectors of his fine prints. To top it all off, Jeff and Justin's upbeat good humor and thoughtful care for the needs of their clients make for a truly winning combination.