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 12 spaces | $3,250* Closed
Creative Core October 26 - 30, 2015 | View other workshops

Zion with Charles Cramer and Justin Black

Map via Google

Zion National Park’s red rock and limestone cliffs and spires tower above sculpted canyons, grottoes, and waterways, forming a unique and awe-inspiring landscape at the convergence of the Colorado Plateau, the Great Basin, and the Mojave Desert.  Autumn’s arrival brings comfortably cool temperatures and fall colors in the maples and cottonwoods.  Zion is quite simply one of the gems of the National Park system, a highlight of the American Southwest, and one of our favorite outdoor photographic "classrooms."

Charles Cramer is a masterful artist renowned for landscape photographs that derive their power from their elegant and gentle calm. He has returned again and again to Zion over the years to draw inspiration from its astonishing interplay of canyon light, color contrasts, and dramatic forms. Garnering rave reviews whenever he teaches, Charlie enjoys nothing more than sharing his insights, creativity, and craftsmanship with other passionate photographers in an effort to help them refine their own vision. Assistant instructor Justin Black has led four prior workshops at Zion and is always struck by the way this landscape reveals its secrets like the layers of an onion being peeled back – every visit yields a new discovery and new qualities of light.

This all-inclusive workshop will be based at Flanigan’s Inn of Springdale, Utah, just outside the western entrance of Zion National Park, providing excellent access to field locations. Along with eight field sessions, Charlie and Justin will present projected lectures on composition, light, exposure control, anticipating and working through changing conditions, and essentials of digital workflow. Three critique sessions will provide essential constructive feedback on images created during the workshop.

Click "read more" below right for more information...

This Creative Core workshop deals heavily with developing creativity and visualizing compositions, with a great deal of photography in the field. Creative Core workshops are general outdoor photography workshops designed to expose participants to the full creative toolbox, but the emphasis of individual participants' work is up to them. Whether they wish to focus on classic landscape, 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. Charlie and Justin have decades of experience successfully accommodating a range of experience levels within the context of a workshop.

In advance of the session, we supply materials to get everyone up to speed with fundamentals of digital camera set-up and technique, as well as essential equipment recommendations, recommended packing list, and other guidelines to ensure that everyone is ready to make the most of the experience.

Note: This workshop is operated under National Park Service Commercial Use Authorization.

Charles Cramer

After spending seven years of college studying classical piano, Charles Cramer visited Yosemite National Park, and soon realized he wanted out of those tiny practice rooms!  Realizing the similarities between interpreting music and interpreting a negative, he soon became enamored with making prints. Thirty years later, he is recognized as a master landscape photographer and printmaker, first for his darkroom-based dye transfer printing, and for the last several years in digital processes.  In 1987 and again in 2009, Cramer was selected by the National park Service to be an artist-in-residence in Yosemite. 

He has taught workshops since 1988 for the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite. His Spring and Fall workshops there fill almost instantly.  He has also taught for the Palm Beach workshops in Florida, Anderson Ranch workshops in Colorado, and the John Sexton Workshops in California.

Cramer has been profiled in magazines including Outdoor Photographer, PhotoVision, View Camera, PhotoTechniques,  Outdoor Photography (UK), Camera Natura (Sweden),  and Popular Photography (China). His work has been published by National Geographic Books, Sierra Club, and the Yosemite Association.  He is also included in the books  “Landscape: The World’s Top Photographers,” published in 2005, and “First Light: Five Photographers Explore Yosemite’s Wilderness,” published in 2009.   His work can be seen at many galleries and at www.charlescramer.com.  

Praise for Charlie Cramer's teaching style:

"Charlie couldn't have been better. He's a gifted teacher - gentle - helpful - makes subject matter clear” –Tom U., California

"Charles is a brilliant instructor. He is organized, precise and thoughtful in approach.” –Woody S., Colorado

“Everything exceeded my expectations, exponentially!” –Julie J., Oregon

"Charlie is a national treasure as a photographer and an instructor.” –Kerby S., California

"That Charlie Cramer is a superb teacher is well known and firmly established. 
What is less well known perhaps is a crucial and distinguishing core element in Charlie's teaching: he makes it possible for people to make their own pictures, however differing in style and subject from his own work, and to make those pictures better.” –Jed W., California

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

  • Eight field photography sessions, maximizing opportunities during "magic hour" and in the warm glow of reflected canyon light.
  • Composition and creativity
  • 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

Accommodations & Travel

Package includes single-occupancy lodging, all meals, snacks and beverages, including adult beverages with dinner. Prorated fees are available for double occupancy and for those who do not require lodging. Flanigan's Inn in Springdale, Utah is an up-scale, comfortable, quiet, and welcoming lodge-style accommodation just outside the western entrance of the park. It provides easy access to both Zion Canyon and the high country and features an excellent restaurant on its premises, the casual but elegant Spotted Dog Cafe.

airplane iconcar iconfoot iconweather icon
The closest airport to Zion N.P. is in St. George, UT, (SGU) a little over an hour's drive away, offering daily flights from Salt Lake City, UT, and Los Angeles, CA. Airport shuttle service is available from St. George Express ( http://www.zionshuttleservice.com/ ). The closest international airport is McCarran Int'l in Las Vegas, NV (LAS), 160 miles away. We will carpool to field locations in Zion National Park up to an hour away from Springdale. Walks at our field locations are easy. Some locations involve traversing rugged, uneven terrain or wading, though this is optional. Highs will likely range from the low 60s to the low 80s, with lows ranging from the high 20s to the low 40s first thing in the morning. Precipitation is unlikely.

Expectations

Participants in this workshop should expect inspiring,  enthusiastic, effective, and generous instruction from Charlie and Justin, both in the classroom and hands-on in the field. Photography in the field will make the most of our familiarity with the phenomenal opportunities available in the area, and we will work with each participant to ensure their goals for the workshop are met. 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 energized and excited to apply what you learned.

Praise for Charlie Cramer's teaching style:

Charlie couldn't have been better. He's a gifted teacher - gentle - helpful - makes subject matter clear –Tom U., California

Charles is a brilliant instructor. He is organized, precise and thoughtful in approach. –Woody S., Colorado

Everything exceeded my expectations, exponentially! –Julie J., Oregon

Charlie is a national treasure as a photographer and an instructor. –Kerby S., California

That Charlie Cramer is a superb teacher is well known and firmly established. 
What is less well known perhaps is a crucial and distinguishing core element in Charlie's teaching: he makes it possible for people to make their own pictures, however differing in style and subject from his own work, and to make those pictures better. –Jed W., California