One of Jim’s joys in photographing nature is to help others improve their techniques and skills in compositional design. He also likes to make sure they have fun while doing it. If you are interested in having Jim conduct a seminar (classroom instruction only) or a workshop (classroom and field instruction) for your group, please email Jim. Jim’s seminars, workshops and tours include a healthy dose of natural history as well. Be prepared to learn a thing or two about this wonderful world of nature.
All seminar programs include ample time for questions and answers from the audience. Additional time can be allotted for student image critiques as well.
Seminars and workshops can also be crafted for the audience or topic of interest. Although focused for beginning and intermediate skilled photographers, all levels of photographic experience will benefit from these sessions. More instructional seminars are under development, so be sure to check back for updates.
Nature’s View: Tips for Capturing Outstanding Images of Nature - Long Version
This seminar/workshop provides participants tips and techniques for capturing nature images that exemplify a sense of place. The workshop establishes a foundation for understanding (1) the basic techniques of nature photography; (2) the importance of developing a personal style; and (3) the use of compositional guidelines. Topics include basic guidelines for nature photography, including wildlife, wildflowers, landscapes, and macro/abstracts.
The program can be offered as a four hour classroom seminar, one-day classroom seminar, or as a two – four day photography workshop, which includes time for photographing in the field. Student critique sessions are also included in the two – four day workshops.
For more details instruction, classroom sessions can also include modules in basic, intermediate and advanced techniques, digital photography, basics of writing, and the business of photography.
Methods of instruction include classroom lectures and discussions, program presentations, questions & answer sessions, and practical exercises that help students experiment with new techniques. From one student: ‘Thank you for the best short course on photography that I’ve attended in more than 40 years of pursuing photography as a hobby and quasi professionally. Your pictures, discussions and slide programs were excellent and inspiring.”
Nature’s View: Tips for Capturing Outstanding Images of Nature – Shorter Version
This is a 60 – 90 minute shorter version of the program above. If you are having a conference, festival, or some other special event, this program might just do the job for you. This session provides quick tips for nature photography, including guidelines for wildlife, landscape, close-ups, and wildflower photography. Student image critiques are not included in this program. This is a classroom session. From one student: “You encouraged even the most experienced members of the club to find something different in the world around them. We were touched by your humor and candor. We were charmed by your passion and your smile. We learned from your experiences that you shared with us. You moved us, motivated us, and inspired us.”
Capturing a Sense of Place
After understanding the technical aspects of photography, the next step is to develop an ability to “see” a landscape – to convey on film and in words a true sense of place. Drawing from personal experience and the personal perspectives of other photographers, this session explores ways to effectively capture the essence of a landscape. This one – two hour seminar explores approaches for both short-term and long-term projects that can help create a portfolio of images and writing that transports the reader on an intimate journey through the landscape. This session makes a great complimentary/add-on session for the other shorter programs listed here. From one student: “Jim continually drew participants into the ongoing dialogue, giving him an opportunity to see if they were getting it. The participants at every level left with new skills and inspiration. I don’t know how we could improve.”
Crafting the Landscape Image
This session explores various compositional techniques and approaches for creating powerful landscape images. Jim explains how to use different focal lengths, perspectives, and basic compositional guidelines for creating images that pack a punch. The session will emphasize the importance of developing a personal style and vision to compose images that speak to the heart. From one student: “Your nature photography workshop really got me revved up about taking pictures! You’ve help put me at a much higher level of quality. I can’t believe what is coming out of my camera now! I cannot thank you enough for teaching me how to dramatically improve my photography!”
Taking the Next Step – Bylines and Publications on a Part-Time Basis
This session explores the approaches a part-time photographer can consider in getting images published in magazines and other forms of media. The session offers suggestions for incorporating writing in a photographer’s toolbox and offers tips on how to better manage time to achieve results. From one student: “I attended your session “Quick tips for capturing images of nature” and “Taking the next step”. I will be starting to re-vamp my web site this week and my business. I will be starting in the office today, getting re-organized and prepared for taking this very seriously.”
Presentation Skills for the Nature Photographer
Public speaking is a tool for nature photographers to consider in diversifying their business potential. Yet, public speaking remains something that many folks fear or become nervous when asked to present. Public speaking is a learned skill and with a little bit of practice, knowledge, and time, anyone can improve their ability to speak before an audience. Jim’s career as both a wildlife ecologist and nature photographer provided him with countless opportunities (and assignments) to give presentations. As a past trainer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jim helped others gain confidence in preparing for and giving presentations. Since the late 1970s, Jim has presented more than 500 programs around the country. This “rapid-fire” session offers tips and techniques to help instill confidence in presenting programs. Suggestions will be given in preparing for, during, and after a program. Length of program: 2 hours. The program can be expanded to give participants an opportunity to prepare a presentation and have it evaluated by Jim.
From one student: “Your calm and generous spirit always makes your audience feel good, feel connected while learning. I did find myself critiquing the other break out sessions’ delivery styles after hearing your program.”
Another student wrote: “I just wanted to let you know again how much I enjoyed your breakout session at NANPA this year. Having done a few presentations in the past I learned what I had been doing right but more importantly, how I can do things a whole lot better. It has been a few years since I have done any type of public presentation but your session has inspired me to get out there with my programs. You were just the inspiration I needed. Thank You!”