What our students are saying...
"Josh and Jim were GREAT. Easy to talk to and had alot of enthusiasm toward instruction.
[They] made us feel comfortable and were more than willing to share their knowledge and creativity. They made a point of spending time with each participant" - Bob and Paula S.
"It was great to hear your insights on composition, and to know that you only expect one keeper per shoot. That really put things into perspective for me. [You were] very committed to giving students a new skill or additional knowledge. Clearly passionate about photography, which is always a joy to share!" - Juli G.
The words "Big Sur" conjure up romantic notions of dramatic scenery, incredible vistas, and a rugged coast. Big Sur also has a number of spectacular beaches, complete with towering rocks, massive arches, and golden sands. These singular features make Big Sur an overwhelming joy to photograph. Join us as we explore and photograph some of the most interesting and jaw-droppingly beautiful coastline California has to offer.
This workshop will help beginning and intermediate photographers create wonderful images of the beautifully unique Big Sur coast. The workshop focuses on producing striking and powerful compositions, as well as telling a story with your photos. There is also a strong emphasis on understanding your camera's settings in order to break into new creative realms. This workshop is limited to 8 students.
The day begins about 7 hours before sunset at a common meeting point. We then carpool to Pfieffer Beach, well known within the photography community for its "glowing portal". We will spend about 3 hours at Pfieffer, pointing out the highlights and working one on one with the students. Mid-afternoon we head back to the cars for snacks and to drive north. Depending on conditions we may stop at another Big Sur icon, Bixby Bridge, for a classic Big Sur view. Then it's off to gorgeous Garrapata State Beach. Garrapata is a wonderfully photogenic beach thanks to its white sands and unusual black rocks. We'll stay at Garrapata till 30 minutes after sunset, working with shutter speeds, compositions, and capturing the sunset colors. Once it's too dark to shoot anymore, it's time to call it a day.
Transforming your artistic vision into memorable photographs
Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO - their relationship to one another and how to change them for exposure control
Metering and getting a correct exposure
Histograms, how to read them, and how to fine-tune exposure
Creative depth-of-field effects using aperture control
Capturing motion within your photos using different shutter speeds
Timing waves to capture crashing spray, water streaks, and sandy reflections
White balance and creative coloration
Creating perspective, depth, and a sense of "being there" in your photos
Creating powerful compositions with impact
Composing to control your viewer's attention in your photos
Compositional Balance, Tension, and Visual Flow
How to use filters to capture dramatic light or create long-exposure effects
Digital SLR camera
Lenses. Wide and ultra-wide angle lenses are highly recommended
A sturdy tripod
Footwear with good traction (waterproof or rubber boots recommended)
Creativity and a positive attitude
Ability to walk 1-5 miles over uneven terrain
Warm clothes in layers and a rain jacket
Warm socks (very important!)
Highly recommended items
Filters (ND, Grad ND, Polarizers)
Remote shutter release
Camera rain sleeve
A change of clothes, especially shoes and socks
Quality, professional, 1-on-1 photography instruction on par with your level as a photographer
Water and snacks throughout the workshop
A fun, positive, interactive learning environment
This workshop is appropriate for photographers of most fitness levels. We will walk approximately 2 miles over the course of the workshop. This includes some walking on sandy, uneven, and slippery terrain. All participants are expected to be able to carry their own camera and personal gear during the workshop.
Josh Cripps and Jim Patterson are professional photographers from Santa Cruz, California. They have been teaching together since 2010 (and separately since 2008) and have developed a tag-team approach to helping students understand photography concepts. Through a combination of theory, philosophy, examples, and on-the-spot feedback, they help students reach those "a-ha!" moments that take their photography to the next level.
Getting there: Big Sur is located south of Monterey and Carmel on Highway 1. This workshop meets in Carmel, which is about 1 hour 20 minutes south of San Jose, 2 hours south of San Francisco, or 6 hours north of Los Angeles.
Where to stay: if you decide to stay overnight in the area there are numerous lodging options, from budget to luxury. You will find the greatest choice among hotels and motels in Monterey, Carmel, and Pacific Grove.
Register for this workshop
More questions? Contact us or read our Workshop FAQ