Monday | Workshop | Day One

We start the workshop at 11am, running through a presentation on storytelling travel photography while sitting in a shady part of Luxembourg Gardens.  I’ve been restless all morning leading up to this point, filled with excitement, because I get to spend the week doing what I love more than anything else… I get to teach.

It is overcast when we start, with a light sprinkling of rain that comes and goes.  We use the grey skies to emphasis the importance of finding interesting subjects and moments when you don’t have great light to work with.  Our explorations take us through the park, to a cafe for lunch, and then on to visit a church.  Our journey then takes us through the streets of Paris, down to and across the Seine.  

The clouds parted as we arrived at the Louvre and we were bathed in warm sunshine, providing the opportunity to focus on incorporating interesting light into our photographs.  The evening ended with a wonderful sunset / blue hour shoot at the Louvre, capping off an 11 hour day spent behind the lens.  

There are times when you fight the camera all day long, where you can’t make an interesting photograph to save your life.  Other days however, days like this one, gift you with interesting images around every corner.  These are the times I live for as a photographer and it was wonderful to share them with my students.

Here is a set of of images from the day.  I hope you enjoy them.

Cheers,

Ian

Click here to view part five of this series

Friday | Departure | Airports

I say goodbye to my wife outside of the airport, my heart filled with conflicting emotions as always.  The excitement I feel for travel, for new photographs and new friendships, mixes with the sadness that comes from being away from my girls.  I have fought a dichotomy like this my whole life: musician and paramedic, paramedic and photographer, family man and educator.  It is par for the course when you pursue multiple passions I suppose… but it never gets easier.

In a few hours I board a plane to Paris, where I’ll be teaching a 5 day travel photography workshop with my friend Spencer Wynn.  I’m traveling light this week, shooting with a Fujifilm X-T3 and a pair of small lenses (the new Fujinon 16mm f/2.8 and the 23mm f/2).  I could do this trip with just one lens of course, my preferred gear pack for travel, but I’ve been looking forward to putting the new 16mm through its paces.  Add in my iPad, a few changes of clothes and a toothbrush and I am good to go.

Wheels up at 1:30pm… definitely time to make a few photos while I wait.

We land at Charles De Gaulle airport the next morning at 8:00am local time.  A lost day; a world away.  Early morning sunshine beams through the windows as we exit the plane and I am compelled to shoot a few frames before exiting the terminal. 

I speak to the customs officer in broken French, meet Spencer outside, and our week begins.

Note:  I will be blogging this trip a little bit differently than previous entries on this site; think of it more as a daily photo journal rather than the long structured articles I usually write.

I hope you enjoy it.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PART TWO

2019 Photography Workshop Schedule

I am very excited to announce new dates in 2019 for my street photography and travel photography workshops.  Next year will be my 24th year as an educator, up to and including teaching at the college level, and there are few things I love more than the process of helping a student achieve their goals.  I can’t wait to spend 2019 with you, doing what I love the most… teaching!

I am also very excited to announce that, for the first time, early bird pricing will be available on all workshops until January 31st, 2019!

Street Photography Workshops:

Street photography is an incredibly satisfying way to document the world around you, create new art and to express your vision as an artist.   Unlike portraiture or landscape photography that is often calculated and planned, street photography requires you to constantly observe, be fluid, and be ready.

What does this all mean for me?  It means that the world is a stage and that there is beauty on the streets waiting to be captured.  A good street photographer knows how to become part of the streets, how to blend in, and how to capture those rare but beautiful decisive moments that happen.  They understand that street photography is simply about capturing life.

A good street photograph tells a story.

My goal with these 2.5 day workshops is to help you find your own vision as a street photographer,  to enhance your creativity and to give you the tools to make the images you see in your head.  During the workshop you will learn about:

  • The history of street photography
  • Legalities and ethics
  • How to prepare yourself and your camera for a day on the streets
  • Considerations for crafting story-telling images
  • How to work effectively with light and shadow
  • Composition
  • Techniques for shooting candidly
  • Techniques for approaching strangers and making portraits on the street
  • Editing and post processing

Along the way you will gain confidence, have fun, make new friends and capture great images!  Throughout it all, I will be there right beside you offering advice and feedback.

Here are some of the things previous students have said about their workshop experience:

“Practical and inspirational are the two words that describe my feelings about the workshop I just completed. An evening of theory and classroom instruction. Then a day and a half of shooting to have lots of time to implement the theory and techniques. Then a half day of image review.  Small group and individual instruction. Ian keeps checking in encouraging you. I increased my confidence and now have a great set of techniques and compositional elements to work on. Workshop started and stayed on time. No wasted time. I highly recommend taking Ian’s workshops.  Thanks again for a great weekend. I hope to see you on the streets sometime.”      – Paul

“I found the course to be fantastic and totally worth the weekend!  I really enjoyed the interaction with the other students and seeing the pictures.  Their feedback was so valuable to my development as it allowed me to gain perspectives otherwise not available in the private workshop.  Thanks!”    – Jeremy

“Ian’s style of teaching is easy to understand and I found him to be accessible to me and to everybody.  I especially appreciated how he set aside time for each student, since that personal touch is what I am looking for when I take any sort of class. I liked how he “set us free” on Sunday to wander on our own and put what we’d learned to some independent use. I also was impressed at how he clearly explained some of the features of the Fuji X100T/F that I had not understood, even though I’ve had my camera for 18 months and tried to school myself on its various features. The possibilities are endless with this camera in my hands.  I knew that BEFORE this weekend, but AFTER the weekend I’m even more certain the investment was money well-spent.  What can I say??  A huge thank you, Ian.  I love your approachable and organized teaching style and look forward to meeting up with you again down the road.”      – Susie

“Truly excellent workshop. The skills I acquired over the weekend resulted in four of my favourite urban images, photos I would never have have taken prior to the workshop.”      – Doug

The following 2019 street photography workshops are available for registration (click each link for more information and to register):

VANCOUVER STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP:  JUNE 14TH TO 16TH, 2019
TORONTO STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP:  July 12TH TO 14TH, 2019
VANCOUVER STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP:  AUGUST 9TH TO 11TH, 2019

ALL OF THESE WORKSHOPS SOLD OUT IN 2017 and 2018, SO DON’T HESITATE TO BOOK EARLY and capitalize on the early bird discount!

Travel Photography Workshops:

Travel is a wonderful thing. It allows us to discover new places, to meet new people, to experience new customs and, of course, to make new memories. As photographers we are exposed to so many opportunities to create art while traveling that it can often be overwhelming: What gear should I bring?  How do I plan my shots? What time should I be on location? How do I tell the story of this amazing place I am visiting? These questions, and many others, will be answered at a workshop series I teach with Spencer Wynn entitled, “The Story of a City”.

In these workshops we will visit a city together for 5 days.  During this time you will be taught by two veteran photographers and educators as we explore everything the city has to offer.  We will get up early to photograph the sun rising behind iconic landmarks.  We will shoot throughout the day, capturing street images and the important detail shots that help you tell your visual stories.  We will shoot through sunset and blue hour and, most importantly, we will enjoy the company of like minded artists as we make beautiful images.

The following 2019 travel photography workshops are now available for registration (click each link for more information and to register):

The story of a city – St. John’s edition:  May 6TH TO 10TH, 2019
The story of a city – paris edition:  june 3rd TO 7th, 2018
the story of a city – toronto edition:  july 15th TO 19TH, 2019

We would love to have you join us on one of our photo adventures!

If you have any questions about these workshops, or anything else at all, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me through this site (a link to the contact form is in the main menu).

I look forward to working with you in 2019!

Cheers,

Ian