From both personal and photographic standpoints, this past summer – the summer of 2013 – was full of incredible blessings. It began with my move from Texas back home to Ohio where I began the process of reconnecting with the place where I’ve previously experienced the greatest amount of personal and professional fulfillment and of which I have the strongest emotional and family connections. I will always, always be thankful to have found Raptor Ridge – my eight acre farm in Beavercreek Township – where I have the blessings of beautiful nature all around me, everyday. It’s amazing. But there were even more incredible blessings that arrived this summer as well, ones that I did not see coming. To celebrate life in the grace of gratitude. To be able to capture images along the way is just icing on the cake. I am so thankful. Peace.
Join me as I guide and teach the art and craft of nature photography in one of my favorite locations in Ohio – Cox Arboretum MetroPark, just south of Dayton. Some of the reasons I love teaching at Cox include the beautiful and comfortable theater-style classroom and the variety of outdoor subjects to work with when teaching camera settings, lighting and composition. This will be a great opportunity to finally master the exposure settings on that new DSLR camera or pick-up new tips on working with directional lighting and digital editing. This workshop is open to all levels of skill and experience.
The best part about my workshops is that they are fun ! I am there to teach and help all learn and gain in our shared passion for photography. I encourage open discussion and sharing of tips and information amongst the students. The only photography I do on my own when teaching these programs is when I am demonstrating how I “find” a scene, work with the light and compose the capture. My role is to teach and encourage and honestly I have just as much fun with presenting these workshops as I do when I am actually photographing.
During this workshop I will cover the basics of exposure, the most important settings on the DSLR camera (if you have a point-n-shoot, that’s fine too), lenses, lighting, composition and basic digital file editing/workflow. Toward the end of the day I always like to allow for some time for students to share a few images for group/instructor critiques based strictly on positive reinforcement. All of us are constantly learning and growing in photography, whether just starting out or with many years of experience. The most important thing to remember is to shoot and have fun!
This is a full-day workshop starting at 8AM and finishing around 5PM. The $89 fee per person includes instruction, handout materials and box lunch from Panera Bread. I ask for a $20 deposit to register and reserve a seat for the program. The deposit can be paid by check to: Picture Ohio LLC 2581 Trebein Rd. Xenia OH 45385 or via PayPal to “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
For those looking for more of an in-depth workshop experience please consider my weekend workshop I will be presenting on October 25-27 2013 at The Inn at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills.
Email email@example.com for more information or to reserve a spot.
The price for the weekend workshop at The Inn at Cedar Falls, in Hocking Hills Ohio, is now just $280. This is my most popular workshop. The program will run from noon Friday October 25 to noon Sunday October 27 2013. I will be guiding the group to my favorite locations in Hocking Hills for fall nature and landscape photography, demonstrating camera settings, lens selection, composition techniques and awareness of optimal lighting conditions. The group will be limited to just 20 participants so that all who attend receive personal attention and instruction.
OPEN TO ALL SKILL LEVELS, beginner to advanced. I provide a valuable learning experience to all who attend as well as a learning atmosphere that is fun and inspires rather than intimidates. Just ask anyone who has attended one of my workshops in the past. The only photography I do of my own during my workshops is for when I am demonstrating a technique or tool. I am there for my students. Not to impress, not to capture new material but to teach, guide and encourage in our shared journey of capturing the beauty of nature in the incredible, haunting landscape of the Hocking Hills.
The fee includes expert field and classroom instruction, custom workshop booklet with maps and handouts, breakfast and lunch on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday (the food at The Inn at Cedar Falls is excellent) and a learning experience that will make a positive difference in your photography.
To register call 937-477-9324 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a $50 deposit requirement to reserve a spot for the workshop, payable via PayPal to “email@example.com” or by check to: Picture Ohio LLC 2581 Trebein Rd. Xenia OH 45385. More information about the workshop available @ http://jimcrotty.zenfolio.com/photography-workshops
I’ve been enjoying my return to my Ohio home. The last week has been a whirlwind of activity following my long drive from Texas. Even though I still have unopened boxes all around me I am getting settled into my new home in Beavercreek Township. It is a tremendous blessing to finally live in a home with an abundance of land, nature and wildlife all around me.
Yes, it’s a lot of work to maintain farm property with any amount of acreage but for me it is more than worth it (never thought a John Deere tractor could be so much fun). “Aperture Acres” is beginning to take shape. There’s much to be done before I can host my first workshop at this location but I am confident that the programs I will be presenting at this location will quickly become popular. It is a beautiful location. Just within the last week I’ve been capturing a scene or two and posting on the photography Facebook page for Picture Ohio, LLC. The responses I’ve been receiving have included such remarks as “I can’t believe this actually Beavercreek!”
I am thankful for being guided back to Ohio and to have found such a great place to call home. Take a look and let me know what you think.
Saturday, June 15 2013 was Nature Photography Day. This is an annual event started in 2006 by NANPA (North American Nature Photography Association.) Per the Nature Photography Day page on the NANPA web site “this day was designated by NANPA to promote the enjoyment of nature photography, and to explain how images have been used to advance the cause of conservation and protect plants, wildlife, and landscapes locally and worldwide.”
I’ve been an active member of NANPA since 1999. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to attend two of NANPA’s annual summit meetings and through this organization I’ve gained many great friends and valuable contacts.
It’s a great thing that June 15 has been set aside as a day to promote nature photography. The event builds a sense of shared commitment and enjoyment while bringing awareness to the need to protect and preserve those places of natural beauty, whether it be the metro park down the street, the wildlife preserve across the state or the National Park in the Western United States.
Last June 15 (2012) I was living on Hilton Head Island. For some reason I was preoccupied and not able to get out that day to capture and image or two. This year was different. I awoke in the pre-dawn darkness on Saturday morning thanks to some howling wind and booming thunder. A storm was blowing through my area of Texas, just north of Dallas. It lasted perhaps an hour and then the clouds started to break in the east for what I knew would be a spectacular sunrise. I love working on the backside of storms at sunrise and sunset because the last of the storm clouds can often be illuminated by the low sun and cast dynamic shapes and reflect beautiful color. I am also fortunate to live close to one of the few open fields remaining in the high-growth suburb of Frisco. This field is land owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers and is relatively undeveloped. What I also enjoy is that it is one of the few views here at sunrise where, if I position myself just right, I can eliminate the usual clutter of power lines and rooftops on the horizon line.
Two of the images below are of that sunrise this past Saturday, Nature Photography Day. The third was at sunset, from the parking lot of Wakeland High School in Frisco (once again my daughter Chloe waited patiently in my truck while I jumped out with camera and tripod). I’m thankful for the opportunity to capture these images and to share in the celebration of the day. The lesson learned is that no matter where you find yourself there is always natural beauty worth celebrating through photography, whether it be landscape, wildlife, plant life or the quite simply some amazing light int he sky following a passing storm.
And where will I be on June 15 2014 ? Back home on the farm in Ohio !