Why Participate in a Hans Kruse Photography Workshop?
In the following I will divide the reasoning by experience level of the photographer. The beginner might believe that a workshop is too advanced for him or her and the advanced might believe that there is not much to gain at their level. Therefore each level is addressed separately in the following. For each level there is a short definition. Clearly one can be advanced in one aspect and not in another at the same time.
A beginner is a person who have only photographed for a short period of time and is still not completely familiar with the camera being used. Also finding interesting scenes to shoot is a challenge and even when found the pictures are not that great. The beginner will typically have a DSLR (or similar) which may be entry level and a few lenses. The post processing is often only minimal. To elevate the beginner to a more advanced level will take a lot of effort, however beginners are in fact on many different levels since very successful photographers were once beginners and others do not advance to this level. The workshops will help the beginner to realize how to find interesting scenes and how to compose interesting photos from the scenes. The beginner will learn from the instructor, see how and what he is shooting and from fellow workshop participants. The beginner will benefit from always having the instructor at hand for questions and suggestions when needed and desired. The instructor also steps back when the individual photographer wants to work on his own.
Back in the working room in the middle of the day pictures are reviewed and critiqued and during this process the beginner will see what more advanced members of the workshop have achieved and will thereby be inspired to change the style of their shooting on the following shoots. Several critique sessions will make it possible to get feedback again on different ways to shoot the same scenes. You will get constructive critique of your pictures in several critique sessions during the workshop. Thereby you can practice what you learn in subsequent shoots.
The workshop group is taken to locations at times that has been researched before the workshop to be suitable in the timing and weather conditions at hand. Despite all participants going to the same location there is an infinite number of ways to shoot a given location and this is where the beginner can learn a lot about this. The group is taken to locations where there are many compositions and viewpoints possible and with the best possible light and timing.
The technical aspects of photography can be daunting with the digital cameras of today. Not only their features, but also how to maximize image quality and get the desired result in post processing. The workshops are organized in such a way that it is possible to discuss and get tips on post processing and especially the flexible 5-7 days organization makes it possible to do this outside of the formal workshop. Post processing is a huge topic and there is no way this can be covered in a workshop like this, however the beginner will get feedback on how to improve and learn the details of post processing, e.g. by web based tutorials.
Following the workshop there is a post workshop critique session done via e-mail and website posting of the images for the group that participated in the workshop. Each member will have the opportunity to supply images for the critique and critique the pictures of the other members. The instructor also critique the images and will also when applicable provide edited versions of the pictures to exemplify how pictures could be post processed better or different.
The intermediate level photographer has learned to master the camera technically in most aspects and can get sharp and detailed pictures to the level that the equipment is capable of. However framing and composing the most interesting photos on location is a challenge and in fact this a often a quite long process of getting beyond this level. I believe that with hard work and studying the work of others and practice and practice, the intermediate level photographer can advance to the advanced level. Clearly some on this level are still struggling a bit with the technical aspects of getting the optimum technical quality and tips are offered around this. The more challenging aspect is the shooting and the post processing. Often I see photographers on this level mastering rather well the technical aspects and have good compositions, however the post processing do not bring out the potential in the pictures. There are tips being given on this and the critique sessions will give the intermediate level photographer inspiration from receiving critique and seeing the work of the other participants.
This is the photographer who masters the technical aspects and can find the best compositions at the locations and find new angles on how to photograph the scenes. The advanced photographer masters the post processing so well that the potential in the pictures are brought out and know the various tools and techniques to accomplish the task. The advanced photographer will benefit from a workshop in coming to researched locations in an otherwise unknown country or location. Finding the locations worth while photographing is a time intensive process and the advanced photographer will benefit from this and especially when limited by time. The advanced photographer despite being very successful in finding the good compositions will benefit from being with the group where even beginners finds interesting angles not seen by anyone else. So this level of inspiration works for any level of photographer. The experienced will benefit from beginners seeing pictures that the advanced might skip and maybe somewhat hindered by all the gained experience.
Regardless on what level the photographer is there is on a workshop an opportunity to find new friends for the wonderful interest/hobby/passion that photography is or can be. The camaraderie, the inspiration and the pictures brought back from a workshop are very memorable. There will be much inspiration on how to photograph and see the opportunities in a scene and how the picture through post processing can be transformed into art work. There are techniques learned that will forever improve the photography of the individual. Also the entire organization of the workshop in terms of hotel, meals and schedule is taken care of and the workshop itself is fully inclusive such that the workshop fee includes hotel, all meals and the instruction.