In my previous post, we looked at some different resources and tools available that could help one to become a better photographer. My favorite to this point would be to attend a photography workshop. Photography workshops come in all shapes and sizes, being held at a variety of locations across the country and the world, depending on the goal of the workshop. Some will focus on portraiture; some landscapes; others will appeal more to those interested in wildlife or sports photography. Needless to say, you will have no problem finding a workshop that suits your needs and interests.
I attended my first photography workshop last October (Rick Sammon's Southwest Photo Caravan, www.ricksammon.com). The primary goal of this workshop was to visit some of the most popular national parks in Utah and improve our landscape photography. Over the next few blog posts, I will touch on some of the highlights of this workshop experience and hopefully provide some insight for those who are considering attending a workshop themselves.
One recurring theme you will see throughout this and the subsequent posts will be that the workshop was an amazing experience. Not only did I learn a lot and feel that my photography improved tremendously, but also felt a dramatic boost in my confidence as a photographer.
Off the Beaten Path
After loading up the car with photography gear and other necessities to get me through the next 10 to 11 days, I headed to the west toward Moab, Utah, where the workshop was to begin. I had decided to drive rather than fly for the added adventure that a road trip would provide and also to allow me more flexibility in my travel schedule. It's a long drive from northwest Missouri to Moab, and my plan to was to make a stop along the way to photograph the sunset. Approximately 20 miles south of Oakley, Kansas, and 5 miles to the east on some gravel/dirt roads, is one of the "8 Wonders of Kansas", known as Monument Rocks. Monument Rocks consists of a series of buttes and arch chalk formations reaching heights of up to 70 feet. It's really quite an unusual site to see in an area that is otherwise relatively flat.
I was unsure that I would arrive here in time to catch sunset, but the timing was perfect. Although the "roads" leading into the monument were muddy, causing me to question whether my car would make it, I decided to go for it. I'm glad that I did. This is one of the advantages and one of the reasons that I wanted to drive, even though it meant spending hours and hours behind the wheel. But I think it was worth it...see a few of the images below. The next time you take a road trip, allow a little extra time to see what is along the way, even if you have to venture off the beaten path.