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Our Philosophy

When we (Diane and Bob) take a group of photographers to a special place for a photography adventure, we have a number of goals in mind.

It is our primaray goal that each participant come back a better photographer. For some people, that means learning new techniques. For others, it means mastering the equipment they carry with them. For most, it means improving one's ability to "see", to compose, and to visualize a finished image. For all, it means reviving one's energy and inspiration by sharing special experiences and places with others who view the world in terms of creative compositions.

We believe that nature photography requires a foundation of technical knowledge and skill, but that the ability to "see" compositions all around you, and then choose from all those compositions the ones that excite you, is the most important part of photography. Then, of course, skills and technical knowledge need to come into play to translate the idea into an image.

Our adventures and workshops are designed around a small number of participants. We accept varying levels of photographic accomplishment, with the understanding that all can make progress on their individual goals - and that everyone, no matter what their level, has new things to learn in a changing photographic world.

We encourage participants to bring equipment that can be used manually. We believe that unless you can control your camera, you can never truly control your images. We don't demand that you use your camera on manual settings all the time, but our technical discussions will be based on your ability to understand and use your camera in manual mode. We don't spend a lot of time teaching you how to get around the limitations of various program modes - rather we spend time teaching you how to get your camera to deliver the exposure you seek.

We work hard to get participants to special places, full of exciting compositional opportunities, when the light is working. To that end, many of our nature photography adventures are designed around places we know well, and have photographed in a variety of conditions. We build in enough time in these special places so that people can design and execute quality images.

When we get to a special place, we concentrate on helping participants see it their way, rather than having everyone copy a composition that we find. We talk through design issues and compositional tools, and discuss technical challenges to accomplishing photographic goals in the situation.

We also feel that the natural world is very special, and that everyone who goes to a special place deserves to learn a bit about it. We feel this understanding makes them better photographers and enriches their travel, so we mix in natural history, culture, and anthropology information along the way. We usually stay in nature lodges or small hotels that are located in special natural settings. We employ talented local guides to help us move safely through unusual terrain and understand both the natural and cultural worlds we are visiting.

Our photography adventures take place out in the natural world. Sometimes we walk a ways to get to special places. Interesting weather yields interesting photographic opportunities, so we generally don't quit when the weather is active. At the same time, we don't put our participants in situations that make them very uncomfortable or risk health, safety, or camera gear. For each adventure we provide prep materials that help you plan clothing, personal gear, and camera gear - and let you know in advance about physical demands.

A bottom line for us, is that each photography adventure be a fun experience for both participants and leaders. To that end, we try to mix intense photography with other entertaining situations. We choose dining opportunities that enable the group to experience regional flavors. We try, whenever possible, to lodge with a view, or at least close to the special places we intend to visit. We ask everyone to be prepared to have fun and to be fun - and to flex to the unusual situations that evolve when traveling and working with a group in nature.

Finally, we believe that tourism should be handled in a way that is environmentally and culturally responsible - that resource use should be sustainable. We believe that each of our visits should contribute to the conservation of the special places we visit and should benefit the people who live close to those resources. We do our part to accomplish that in the way we design our adventures and choose to purchase services. We ask our participants to help by treading lightly in the precious places we visit and supporting local artisans when you buy souvenirs. There are times when we may all or individually choose to donate funds to an organization or agency that works to protect the natural or cultural resources we are visiting.

If our philosophies make sense to you, we'd love to have you join us for a photography adventure!