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Notes about workshops ...
Old 12-21-2006, 04:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Since the thread on tfp/tfpcd has gotten so long and since it has mainly been sidetracked into a discussion of workshops, I thought I'd make my comments here on a new thread. Several remarks have been made about various workshops and I'll address here the RG workshops since I believe I can be considered somewhat of an authority on them (see remarks below).

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So let's peer through the blinds and see what we can see.

First, I'm sort an un-official workshop junkie (I've attended around 50 work shops in the last 30 years (Collins, Gowland, Pierce, Gomez, etc) I think I can say a bit about which workshops work and which don't. I've also conducted workshops, so I can talk about the issues from both sides.

I'm going to mostly talk about RG's workshops since I probably hold the record for number of RG workshops attended (7 or 8) at this point. In all of those workshops there were at least 3 models and as many as 6 with an average of 10-15 photographers. As a general rule, at any given time there are 2 or 3 sets going and some photographers (the more aggressive ones) will do custom work (and light setups) at some other area of the workshop location. Each set is provided with professional lighting equipment and each photographer is free to adjust the lighting as they wish (although few usually availd themselves of this privilege).

Many are content to stand in line at the pre-built sets. Those lines form based on where the photographer chooses to line up. I for one liked to be in a line waiting my turn. It gave me a chance to evaluate the model, the set, the lighting, the model's posing range, and so forth, which allowed me to pre-plan what I wanted to shoot when it was my turn, and how I might want to change the lights or add a reflector or flag, etc.

In every RG workshop I've always gone away with 300-600 photos. I get a great number of keepers out of those shots. I enjoy getting the opportunity to work with top of the line studio equipment and that is what RG provides. Keep in mind that since most of the workshops are indoor, that you mostly use strobe lighting and that means you can't just do a gang shoot. That's why there are lines.

By the way, there is another important nice thing about the lines. You get to talk to the other photographers, compare notes, network, etc. In the typical shoot fest of some of the group shoots I've been to that was not usually the case.

Another way to look at the workshop experience is what it would cost to get several hundred good shots if you hired your own model and mua for a shoot. Suppose you hire a model for 4 hours and also a mua. That will probably cost from $600 to $1000. Will you get 4 hours of shooting in. Of course not. There will be time for lighting changes, wardrobe changes, make up work, etc. You might get 3 hours of shooting time. At a typical RG workshop you get in at least 3-4 hours of shooting time over the 2 days and your average cost is $500 (and that incudes buying a release from each model) and you have 3 to 6 models with all the different looks, styles, clothes, etc., that that entails. So, at a workshop you get a number good shots, it costs less money, you learn something about lighting, etc. Not a bad deal.

Now don't get me wrong. No workshop is perfect. Some will have problems. Some with have photographers that will just keep shooting even when there is a line and will take more than their fair share of time. Sometimes you even have a gasoline truck run off the freeway and knock out the electricity for the studio the workshop is being held in and RG will have to direct traffic to get all of the attendees into the workshop area and then you just have to make do for several hours with no power. Yes, there will be problems. And occasionally at a RG workshop, the lecture part of the workshop will go a little longer than some would like when RG gets into the story telling mode. Usually however the MUA or models keep him in line.

All in all, however, the RG workshops have been among the best of all those I've attended over the years. I suppose one would guess that from the fact that I've attended so many of them.

And so, to all, good night.

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Notes about workshops ... 


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Notes about workshops ... 


Until the next installment!

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Notes about workshops ...
Old 12-21-2006, 05:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks, I'm off to bed, been busy working on the new site, coming soon, right after getting back from shooting the Spurs. I'll be up in a few hours, need to get the other site going.

For the record, I don't give Roger discounts! (grin)

Seriously, we did have a gasoline tanker explode about 200 feet a few hours before we started our second day there at the last Dallas workshop, right off the expressway. Yep, I stood out there directing cars after talking to the police and convincing them we'd be safe, so with a bit a help from some attendees, we moved cones to let our folks in and had a personal police escort with each car. Power did come on right it was time to start shooting.

Oh well, enough about workshops, let's move on to other topics...wishing everyone the best, rg sends!
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Re: Notes about workshops ...
Old 12-21-2006, 10:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Roger, you summed it up quite well. Short, sweet and to the point! And even though Roger always pays me, I always get a CD from him. It's great.
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Re: Notes about workshops ...
Old 12-28-2006, 01:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolandogomez View Post
Seriously, we did have a gasoline tanker explode about 200 feet a few hours before we started our second day there at the last Dallas workshop, right off the expressway. Yep, I stood out there directing cars after talking to the police and convincing them we'd be safe, so with a bit a help from some attendees, we moved cones to let our folks in and had a personal police escort with each car. Power did come on right it was time to start shooting.

So where are the pics of the fire. We want to see them.
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Re: Notes about workshops ...
Old 12-28-2006, 01:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Heck, I was directing traffic at the other end of the expressway underneath the underpass that was barricaded off so my folks could get in, so I wasn't shooting. In fact, the fire was out and only smoldering a bit, so I'm not sure if anyone shot anything. There was one person killed too, and it was not fun when his sister came to me asking to get past the barricade. I even had to handle at least four or five media crews wanting to get past me--I turned everything over to the authorities as I took care of our folks with the authorities instructions on what they wanted--the last thing I wanted to do was upset a peace officer trying to do his job.

In the end, power came back on right as my lecture ended and lunch arrived, so we moved forward and by the time the workshop was over they had cleared a path for us to exit. Have to run, wishing everyone the best, rg sends!
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Re: Notes about workshops ...
Old 01-02-2007, 12:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I am looking forward to my first RG workshop in Ocala and need some feedback concerning what to bring. I currently use primarily my OLY E-1 and E-500 with the 14-45 and 40-150. I also have the FL36, Sigma 55-200 and an F8 500mm to fit these. I inherited a Nikon D70, but have not gotten as comfortable with it in the few weeks I have had it.

Any suggestions on what to add for the workshop or what to leave behind?

Thanks

Lyle
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Re: Notes about workshops ...
Old 01-02-2007, 12:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bratsscrappy View Post
I am looking forward to my first RG workshop in Ocala and need some feedback concerning what to bring. I currently use primarily my OLY E-1 and E-500 with the 14-45 and 40-150. I also have the FL36, Sigma 55-200 and an F8 500mm to fit these. I inherited a Nikon D70, but have not gotten as comfortable with it in the few weeks I have had it.

Any suggestions on what to add for the workshop or what to leave behind?

Thanks

Lyle
Depends on whether everything is indoors. If indoors, then the 500mm lens won't work because you can't get back far enough usually. The short zooms will work nicely. Just be sure to have adequate battery power, enough memory cards, and recharger. I always take a laptop so I can save off images for backup, or show photos from my portfolio. Bring business cards (I always forget). Bring enough money for buying a release from each model (you'll kick yourself later if you don't). Also bring a litte extra to tip the make-up artist.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Notes about workshops ...
Old 01-02-2007, 12:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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They will have extras available if history repeats itself but if you have a PocketWizard remote, it makes the shooting a little easier. ( http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...avigation ) If you don't, you can borrow one from RG's stash or another photographer who isn't shooting at that moment. If you have some extra Xmas money, this could be a good investment if you plan significant studio strobe shooting for the future. Have fun.

Cheers,
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Re: Notes about workshops ...
Old 01-03-2007, 12:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the feedback, and is there actually a photographer with extra money???

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups, aka congress.
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Re: Notes about workshops ...
Old 01-03-2007, 12:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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On the matter of the Pocket wizards, you don't need one for the workshop. Rolando is using the Hensel lights now and has a bunch of triggers for the flashes and he just passes them out to whoever is shooting at the moment. You just put in on your hot shoe and start shooting.
Cheers,
rfs
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