Glenn Randall’s approach to teaching landscape photography can be summed up in eight words: master the craft, and the art will follow.
For a landscape photographer, the meaning of craft goes far beyond such photographic basics as aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance. It includes mastering the four basic exposure strategies for landscape photography so that you can shoot in any kind of light and create the image you envision. It includes learning to refine your compositions until they clearly convey the essence of your idea. It includes mastering the techniques of shooting stitched panoramas, which allows you to see the world in a new way, without being confined by the rigid box of your viewfinder, with its 2:3 aspect ratio. It includes learning ways to achieve extraordinary depth-of-field through the use of focus-stacking and tilt-shift lenses.
Mastering the craft also means learning to use an array of apps and programs to plan your shoots to be in the right place at the right time. It includes gaining an intimate knowledge of the terrain where you plan to shoot. It includes an understanding of atmospherics optics, the science of light, which will help you predict the most vivid displays of alpenglow, where rainbows will appear, and how polarizers will interact with reflections. It includes studying geography, which will help you understand how the angle of sunrise and sunset varies dramatically throughout the year. And it includes learning how our visual system processes high-contrast scenes, which will help you create better photos of dramatically lit subjects.
So how does mastering the craft lead to creating art? Can a realistic landscape photograph actually be creative? The answer is yes, but to become more creative, you first have to understand where creativity actually comes from. We tend to think of creativity as some kind of magical talent that only a few gifted people possess. This mistaken understanding can easily lead you to believe that you can never be creative.
Nonsense! For a landscape photographer, creativity does not emerge, fully formed, from the void. It emerges when you make a new, unexpected, but suddenly obvious connection between bits of seemingly unrelated knowledge already stored in your head. Glenn Randall’s goal in this workshop is to help you gain the in-depth knowledge of the craft of landscape photography that will help you unlock your creative potential. Students will spend part of each day in the classroom mastering new skills and editing their new images and part of each day putting their newly acquired skills to use photographing the stunning scenery of Madeline Island. In addition to constant feedback in the classroom and the field, each student will have the opportunity for a one-on-one portfolio review. The workshop will include a boat cruise to photograph the spectacular sea caves in nearby Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.