In addition to the new digital video workshops I am leading with David Wright, in partnership with National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions, Sisse Brimberg (my wife) and I also often lead city based photo workshops, most recently in Paris, France. The other day we responded to a couple of questions from National Geographic Expeditions about our workshop series.
Q: What makes Paris a great subject for photographers?
A: Paris is one of our favorite city locations to shoot in, most because of the variety of subjects and light. The city offers lots of opportunities to refine your skills with street (people) photography, architecture, and food. Paris is an elegant and refined city capital, every time you walk around a corner, there is always a new tableaux or scene that unfolds in front of your camera. The light is very special as well. Its ever changing and dramatic. One of our favorite activities is shooting photos at the local markets, where we enjoy seeing and tasting the produce from France. Of course the food is displayed in in fresh and colorful ways that lends itself to strong photos. Sometimes we will focus just on the textures of the food. Over the years, Parians have become more and more open to having visitors come to their city and photograph life in the streets.
Q: What is the most important thing a participant should bring to this workshop?
A: The most important thing the participant should bring to the workshop is an open mind to new ways of shooting, as well as formulating some sense of how he/she wants to improve their photography. We really stress the importance of understanding “light” and how this impacts your photography and how you can utilize it to your advantage.
It’s also important to bring a laptop and software that you are familiar with using, we do not spend oodles of time discussing photo processing e.g. Photoshop, but you should be comfortable and quick with your editing workflow. The great advantage of this workshop is that we allow time for constructive critiques and feedback which really helps the students understand light, composition and other photographic concepts.
Q: Tell us about a favorite photo you took in Paris.
A: One of the favorite photos we recently took in Paris was this simple reflection shot taken into a window on Place de la Madeleine. Here the photograph of the model in the window display seems to be looking out into the square. Paris provides ample opportunities to shoot reflections and play with the light, and the juxtaposition of the photo and the location make for a fresh new angle.