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Gerlach Nature Photo Workshop, Recommended?

Douglas Stemke , Feb 02, 2002; 09:45 a.m.

I see that John and Barbara Gerlach are running a Nature Photo workshop this Spring in Indianapolis. I was wondering at what level this course was offered at and if it is worth the $75 price. Rod Planck also is running one in town too, I've been to this one however about 4 years ago (very well run and full of excellent insight I really got a lot out of it, it was a little bit of a Canon-lovefest for my Pentax blood). The reason I ask is that I will be teaching a Nature Photography course in Southern Indiana and am always looking for other outlets for the students.

Thanks in advance.

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Steve Thompson , Feb 02, 2002; 10:54 a.m.

I have been to John and Barb's workshop and a couple week long seminars. I did write about that HERE scroll down to the Gerlach section, a couple other reviews are there too. I would say the level is very diverse, something for everyone. Some good basics, good for both newer photographers and review for more the experienced. As well as great advanced tips and tricks to help you progress. I don't know to much about Rod other than he and John worked together some years ago. Last I knew John used Canon while Barb used Nikon so you have a wider array of opinion plus they offer equipment suggestions by third parties. In my opinion if you come out of the day with one or two things to help you or your students it is worth the $75 and travel costs. Also very inspiring to see so many wonderful photographs in a short period of time.

Shun Cheung , Feb 02, 2002; 12:12 p.m.

I have never been to John and Barbara Gerlach's one-day workshops, but my wife and I went on a photo safari to Kenya with them back in 1997. That trip was very well run, and some of the other participants had been to their one-day workshop before joining their photo safari. Therefore apparently they were very happy with the one-day workshop. Keep in mind that was almost 5 years ago now.

Both of them are excellent nature photographers. Barbara Gerlach is one of the nicest people we have ever met; that is more important for a trip than in a workshop. And John Gerlach used to post to this forum occasionally.

By the way, back in 1997 John was indeed using Canon and Barbara Nikon. I asked them why they used incompatible equipment, especially in a remote area. (If Barb's camera broke down, she could not put her Nikon lenses on John's Canon body.) They said that they would like to keep current on both brands so that it was easier to discuss equipment details in their workshops, as they had students using different brands.

Jonathan Ratzlaff , Feb 02, 2002; 12:46 p.m.

We had them as guest speakersat our 1999 APAC seminar (wwww.apac.bc.ca) They also did a one day seminar on the day folowing. They put on a very good presentation. I would say that you would get good value for your money. John also has a good handle on colour exposure as well that is very useful. As far as a Canon love fest is concerned, at the time of our seminar Barbara was using Nikon and John was using Canon so the discussions were not equipment oriented.

Bruce J Leventhal , Feb 02, 2002; 11:19 p.m.

Doug,

I had gone to the one day Gerlach seminar in Minneapolis about 3 or 4 years ago. The seminar will hit many levels of nature photography, but what I found particularly useful was John's method for spot metering subjects. His technique for metering nature has now become the one that I exclusively use... You will get a very useful hand out, and a nice education on determining zones relative to neutral.

Enjoy the Seminar and regards,

bruce... http://www.owlseyenaturephotos.com

John Womack , Feb 02, 2002; 11:54 p.m.

I attended a meeting with John and Barbara Gerlach several years ago and enjoyed it very much and learned some important concepts of exposure. The pictures are unusually good, and unusually many, and they are lovely people. I highly recommed them to anybody. Go. John. Dancing Trail Gallery and Studios http://home.earhtlink.net/~pathways

Danny Burk , Feb 03, 2002; 12:18 a.m.

Hi Doug,

I haven't been to the Gerlachs' one-day workshop, but I attended their Upper Peninsula (MI) fall color workshop (1 week) in October 2001, and was both pleased and impressed. John and Barb know their stuff, and as everyone has indicated, they're both extremely nice and go out of their way to accomodate everyone's needs. The workshop included discussions which, as far as I know, duplicate the contents of their 1-day seminar; I would recommend any of their programs without hesitation.

Derek Isaacs , Feb 04, 2002; 04:32 p.m.

You Bet ! I went to a workshop with John back in College (1985-Santa Barbara) and it was outstanding. He had a great deal of influence on my work. I just had a gallery showing of my Flowers/Butterflies (Macro work) that his workshop "opened up" for my interest and abilities. I would say that there is definately something for everyone. Good grounding in the basics, and then more advanced techniques depending on where the students are. Also - great tips and tricks for long term learning. He helped me get beyond being an "Equipment freak" and focus (no pun intended) on the image itself. In my opinion if you come out of the day with one or two things to help you it is well worth the $75. Good luck and good shooting.

John N. Wall , Feb 04, 2002; 10:49 p.m.

One of the great things about John and Barbara's clinics is that they give you printed copies of the notes at the beginning so you can just listen and watch the images without having to try to take notes. They do a great job. Wish they'd come back to our area. But Rod Planck does a great job too. Rod was a Nikon shooter when he came through here a couple of years ago; has he changed to Canon?

Also recommended is the weekend event run by the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. They bring in several speakers and cover nature photography but also lots of other kinds of photography as well. They have 3-4 sessions running simultaneously; fortunately, they repeat most of them at least once during the weekend. A TRULY great weekend of classes.

Edward Woods , Feb 05, 2002; 03:56 p.m.

I attended their workshop 4 years ago. It was a bargain. Several things I really appreciated were that they take their craft seriously but don't take themselves seriously. They were very respectful if not reverent toward the other masters of photography and they left me with the belief that I could do it to. Since then I think I have bought every book from every well known author in the field of nature photography but still go back to the advice in the monographs they provide with the course and update regularly. I would recommended them to anyone and plan to interact with them again. They are great teachers as well as great photographers. Aloha, Andy


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