Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Eastern Sierra Fall Color Photo Workshop at Mountain Light Gallery

I took my very first photography workshop last week.  Sara and I went to her home town, Bishop, California, between Death Valley and Mono Lake on the east side of the Sierra.  It used to be Galen Rowell's stomping grounds, and his business the Mountain Light Gallery is still there.  Last time we visited Bishop I noticed that the gallery had workshops and signed up for this one.  It was led by Gordon Wiltsie, a noted adventure photographer who did a great deal of fantastic work for National Geographic and many other publications.  He was ably assisted by Jerry Dodrill, also an adventure photographer and climber, who used to work for Galen Rowell at the Mountain Light Gallery.

The workshop ran from 2 October to 5 October with an evening kickoff and an afternoon finish.  Each day in between we were up and out before sunrise to local locations to catch the morning light and Friday and Saturday nights we were out late for sunset shooting as well.  We shot at North Lake, on the road to South Lake, out by the Owens River on 5 Bridges Road, near Big Alkali Lake off Benton Crossing Road near Lake Crowley, Convict Lake, Bishop Creek, and up in the White Mountains near the Schulman Grove.

In between Gordon and Jerry provided instruction via slideshow, critique, and Lightroom training.  On location they were very hands on, suggesting locations, shots, techniques, and always answering questions.

It was great.  Here are six images I took:

North Lake Dawn, Evan Robinson,
near Bishop, California

Sunset Tree, Evan Robinson,
near Bishop, California

Mountain Rays, Evan Robinson,
Owens River Valley, near Bishop, California

Dawn Mirror, Evan Robinson,
near Mammoth Lakes, California

Mounts Morrison and Laurel, Evan Robinson,
near Mammoth Lakes, California

Ancient Sunset, Evan Robinson,
near Schulman Grove, White Mountains, California
It occurs to me that each of these pictures is looking west.  That's where the light is, I guess :-).

I took about 700 images.  I have 30-ish that I think are pretty good, many of which I think are among the best images I've ever taken.  I look forward with trepidation to going over my ~30K previous images with my new eyes.  To be fair, I was going to have to do that anyway since my workflow is moving from Aperture to Lightroom because of Aperture's demise.

Right now I feel like I learned a lot.  But the real test will be what images I'm creating next month.  Regardless, this workshop was a test of whether I would enjoy workshops and learn from them.  I did and I did, so I'll be doing more of them.