It was a sad farewell on Saturday as we dropped of the Chinese attendees from the PODAS in Death Valley to airports and hotels in Las Vegas. Not quite sure at the beginning of the week how things would go, we quickly saw that as long as we share the same passion, language and other differences can’t stand in the way. The workshops was an exceptional experience not nonly from the terms of photography but also new friendships bonded. As in all PODAS workshop we aim to give great education, but we also work hard to make sure we have fun doing it. There were lots of laughs, new phrases, shouts and cheers as we all became closer and had fun shooting some great images. We started the last day on top of Dantes Peak shooting the whole Death Valley from the highest vantage point at dawn. After a great breakfast we had a program led by Kevin and Jeff on Now That You Got The Shot What Do You Do With It. This was followed be several hours of free time to work on images. Everyone contributes to the final night slide show with 5- 10 images. After lunch we tried our hands at shooting people and this was fun. Locations were the resort gardens as well as the pool. It was fun to see the Chinese try to direct english speaking only models. Good shots were made though. After dinner we had our PODAS closing ceremonies involving toast to our new friendships and finally a fun slide show recapping our week together.
So we are on our way at 5 AM again. Today we head to the dunes for sunrise. And, what a beautiful sunrise it was. We are having a lot of fun and the Chinese attendees are enjoying what Death Valley offers up photographically. We had a great big breakfast followed by a morning program. After a burger cookout we headed to Beatty, NV for a taste of the true west. This was followed by shooting in Rhyolite Ghost town and capped off with a fantastic sunset. We closed the evening with a dinner of prime rib or turkey and a pasta bar. Bottom line we are taking great images, making some fantastic new friends and having lot of fun.
Ask anyone who has been on a PODAS and they will tell you don’t expect to sleep much because you will be busy. Today we left at 5AM for sunrise at Badwater. Cool place to shoot as the sun comes up. After a great breakfast Kevin Raber presented the intro to Capture One with Fai Chan’s help as the translator. We had the chance to see how by using Capture One you could turn a plain image into a dramatic shot. We had a great lunch and then were treated to a program by Jeff Schewee. Jeff is a brilliant presenter and filled everyone’s heads with new techniques and ideas. It wasn’t too long and we were back in the vans to shoot sunset at Artist Palette. This place just lights up during a sunset. Then we had a barb b q chicken and ribs dinner for a taste of true america. The Chinese attendees loved it and are having a great time.
Today we are coming to you from Death Valley. Yesterday a contingent of Chinese photographers arrived in the USA for a PODAS workshop adventure in Death Valley. I was not sure how this would work but I can say without question that we are off to a fantastic start. Today we left the hotel at 5:00 AM for a sunrise shoot at Zabriskie Poi. Images were excellent and everyone braved the morning cold to shoot some great images. Sunrise and sunset in Death Valley is always something special. After a hearty American breakfast we boarded two special four wheel drive vehicles and headed to the Race Track a remote part of Death Valley that not too many people visit. This mazing place has moving rocks. See the images below and you can see these rocks move and leave tracks where they have moved from. All a big mystery but as you can see provided us with a lot of great images. After we exhausted the image possibilities there we headed to do our ceremonial placing of the tea pot at Tea Kettle Junction. We also did our group shot here and we will publish the group shot on Thursday. From there we made two more stops before photographing a magnificent sunset where the sun hit the mountains as a nearly full moon rose behind. Oh what a day!!! After arriving back at the resort we all enjoyed a great dinner together filled with toasts and lots of laughs. Not even differences in languages can hamper things when everyone has a passion for photography. It was just simply a great day!!!!!
We are in Death Valley now preparing and setting up for a PODAS workshop with visiting photographers from China. This will be our first language specify workshop we have held. While it will have some challenges as far as difference in Languages we are ready. We begin Monday afternoon and will continue all week long returning the attendees to Las Vegas airport on Saturday morning. So, stay tuned and watch as we have fun shooting in Death Valley.
PODAS Chicago is moving fast. Hard to make posting to the blog as we are going npn-stop. Day two and we are off to do interior photography at the Fireman’s Fund insurance offices. This is a great space as you can see in the images below. The space is large and has a fire truck in the middle. we broke up into two groups and Jeff Totaro took one group and Chris Barrett took another group. It was amazing to see how they picked angles and approached the shot. More amazing was watching them light the shot. Everyone participated and the 3.5 hours went very fast. In the afternoon everyone went out shooting at various locations. We followed that by a boat tour of the Chicago architecture and then journeyed out on the lake where we shot some skyline shots. It was terrific fun and educational day. Everyone is enjoying themselves and the weather has co-operated the whole time. Sunday will be classroom day. Check back tomorrow for the latest update.
At each PODAS workshop we have a classroom discussion about “Now That You Got It What Do You Do With It”. This part of the workshop covers ideas about what to do with all the images you are making, especially those on the PODAS workshop. We discuss book publishing, framing, mounting, printing and how to share images using the web. One of the topics on the web part is starting a blog and putting your work out there. One of our recent Death Valley PODAS Attendees did just that. Jay Lolli came back from PODAS and started his own blog. You can visit Jay’s blog here. Please consider joining us on one of our PODAS workshops and you will learn all sorts of ideas on many topics and most of all you will take your photography to new heights.