Santa Cruz Photography Workshop
Santa Cruz's world-class coastline contains incredible features perfect for landscape photography. Remarkable sea stacks, layered shelves, and textured rocky forms create a photographer’s paradise set against the pounding waves and crashing surf that highlights the region's dramatic beauty. Join us as we explore and photograph the most interesting and stunning features that create the unique Santa Cruz coast.
Thanks to you both! [Your] explanations were very supportive: Why don't you try a portrait shot? Try to get closer - yes, even closer. Things like that were really helpful. Let me know when you offer [more workshops]. I will sign up. I am just waiting for it.
~ Sandra P.
Improve Your Composition
Learn the most important facets of composition and how to create depth in your images, how to draw viewers into your photos, and how to control their attention.
Learn camera settings and how they can be applied creatively to your images. The ocean provides a wonderful setting to try creative shutter speeds for visual motion.
• 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
• Lenses. Wide and ultra-wide angle lenses are highly recommended
• A sturdy tripod
• Footwear with good traction (waterproof or rubber boots recommended) and warm socks (very important!)
• Creativity and a positive attitude
• Warm clothes in layers, gloves, a warm hat, and a rain jacket
• A wide-brim hat and sunscreen
• A one-liter (or larger) water bottle
Highly recommended items• Filters (ND, Grad ND, Polarizers)
• Remote shutter release
• Camera rain sleeve
Fitness levelThis workshop is appropriate for photographers of most fitness levels. We will walk approximately 1-3 miles over the course of the workshop. This includes walking on sandy, uneven, and slippery terrain. All participants are expected to be able to carry their own camera, personal gear, and water during the workshop.
• ~5 hours of in-field shooting and instruction
• Water and snacks throughout the workshop
• A fun, positive, interactive learning environment
• Small class size of 8 students maximum
What's Not Included• Transportation. While students need to provide their own transportation during the workshop we will be carpooling as much as possible.
Jim Patterson has lived in Santa Cruz for over 16 years and practically put the area "on the map" with his spectacular seascape photography. From Half Moon Bay south all the way through Big Sur, Jim knows the area's beaches like no one else due to countless hours spent scouting and photographing the central California coast.
Josh and Jim are both 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 to the workshopThis workshop is based out of Santa Cruz, California. Santa Cruz is located at the Northern end of the beautiful Monterey Bay at the intersection of the 17 and 1 highways. Just 30 minutes south of San Jose, 1.5 hours south of San Francisco, or 5 hours north of Los Angeles, Santa Cruz is easy to get to from all parts of California.
Getting around during the workshopTransportation is not provided. While students need to provide their own transportation during the workshop we will be carpooling as much as possible.
ClimateSanta Cruz enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with mild temperatures all year round. In winter nights are typically chilly and days are cool, with temperatures ranging anywhere from 32°F to 70°F. Summer tends to bring cool, foggy mornings followed by warm, clear afternoons; temperatures range from the mid-40's to the 80's. Santa Cruz receives the vast bulk of its annual precipitation from November to March. Workshops during those months are more likely to experience rain, but also more likely to observe dramatic light.
Recommended clothingDue to the cool days and chance of getting splashed by a wave, we HIGHLY recommend bringing multiple layers of non-cotton clothing, a sturdy rain jacket, a warm hat, gloves, a change of socks and shoes, and waterproof or rubber boots to wear while shooting. We recommend a bringing a warm jacket regardless of the season as temperatures drop rapidly once the sun has set, even in the summer. A wide-brim hat, sunscreen and sunglasses, and a large water bottle will also be indispensable.
A few nice things folks have said about this workshop...Thank you for a great class. Both of you were so good at explaining things and so willing to help. Not only are you both good at explaining things, but you are both polite, knowledgeable, and helpful. My favorite part of the workshop was the one-on-one attention. It was so much better than a previous class I had taken. Thanks. [Because of this workshop I registered for the] Yosemite Class in April. A+ from this teacher. ~ Gwynne M.
The one on one instruction was perfect. I learned so much about my camera and settings. I can't wait to take another workshop. ~ Lori C.
You guys were really in tune with my level of experience. I learned composition and focus, especially using the live view and focusing manually, and to trust your histogram....lets just say I could not find anything I did not like [about this workshop].~ Bill M.
Both Josh and Jim were informative and easy to approach with questions. Both did a good job of circulating around the group while we were shooting. [I enjoyed] learning from other photographer's experience, and being guided to awesome locations I wouldn't have found on my own. I got a lot of good shots... ~ John B.
Thank you for a wonderful time. You guys have a great way of explaining difficult concepts and its always fun to learn from people who clearly have a passion for what they do. ~ MeMe R.