The Art of Landscape Photography Workshop Fall 2015

October 30-31, November 1
Radisson Hotel, Plymouth, MA

This past weekend was The Art of Landscape Photography with Ron Wilson-Plymouth workshop with Ron Wilson and Bob Bergeron. Eleven photographers registered for the workshop. Students were asked to bring 3 images on thumb drive to introduce themselves and their work.

Friday - 5:00pm

We met at the Radisson Hotel in Plymouth. After the meet and greet, we began a presentation of the "Art of Landscape Photography" power point. In the presentation we cover both the aesthetic and technical aspects of landscape photography. There were light refreshments available in the conference room. We discussed the details of weekend schedule and then called it an evening.

SATURDAY – Sunrise 7:13am - Sunset 5:39pm

We met in the Lobby at 6am to head out for the first morning field session, 6:30 – 10:00am.
The Saturday morning field session found us at Minot Beach in Scituate.


Jim Foley - Minot Beach
Minot Beach - Jim Foley

After the early morning chill wore off and the sun came up everyone worked hard finding the light, which was especially beautiful as the sun illuminated Well Rock raking it with sidelight and turning it a golden hue.

Khalid Alkhatib - Minot Beach
Minot Beach - Khalid Alkhatib

It was one of those moments that stays with you and makes the early wakeup call worth it.

From there on to Macombers Ridge in Marshfield on the North/south River estuary. This is a big space with salt meadow and tidal pools with an unusual milky pale blue.

Macombers Ridge - Dan Maclellan
Macombers Ridge - Dan Maclellan

The landscape here is essentially flat with no vertical elements so it can be a challenge.

Breakfast was from 10:00 – 11:00am and was followed by individual instruction and image selection, and then from 12:30 – 2:00pm we had a group critique and review.

With fewer hours of daylight at this time of year we had a lot to fit in to the day. We began the afternoon field session at 2:00pm and headed into Myles Standish State Forest.

Myles Standish State Forest - Diane Collins
Myles Standish State Forest - Diane Collins

Our first stop was at small unnamed pond right on the road. This pond is ringed with marsh which had given up most of its color, except near its root which had a crayon box like orange. Next on to Three Corned Pond where walking is very comfortable. It's possible to walk the perimeter without even getting your feet wet.

Ron takes a moment to grab a shot - Bob Bergeron
Ron takes a moment to grab a shot - Bob Bergeron

As a big bonus, the surface of the pond was absolutely still. Working with reflection became a theme throughout the weekend.

Myles Standish State Forest - Ron Wilson
Myles Standish State Forest - Ron Wilson

From there we headed to East Head Reservoir near Headquarters.

We drove to a cranberry bog with adjoining creek and pond.

Cranberry Loop, Carver - Bob Bergeron
Cranberry Loop, Carver - Bob Bergeron

The cranberry harvest had completed prior to the workshop, but there is plenty to photograph in the bog especially when the leaves turn to crimson, a color they retain until spring.

It looked like there was the possibility of a good sunset, but I've not found many locations on the south shore where it is possible to photograph the setting sun over water. We stopped at Sampson Pond.

Group Photo - Ron Wilson
Group Photo - Ron Wilson

The pond’s surface was like glass and the sun was setting behind us, but the clouds in the sky were getting some light bouncing back and they picked up some subtle tones of magenta.

Sampson Pond - Dan Maclellan
Sampson Pond - Dan Maclellan

SUNDAY – Sunrise 6:13am – Sunset 4:37pm

Everyone managed to “fall back” and meet at 5:00am in the lobby for the Sunday morning field session from 5:30 – 9:00am. Powder Point in Duxbury is a favorite location of mine and is one place I can go and photograph sunrise and sunset over water. This morning there was some cloud cover, which made the light very flat.

Powder Point Bridge, Duxbury - Khalid Alkhatib
Powder Point Bridge, Duxbury - Khalid Alkhatib

Even with conditions somewhat unfavorable, there were some good monochrome images made of the bridge which offered some contrast in an otherwise bland landscape.

From there to Round Pond, one of many conservation trust properties in Duxbury. While the light was not good for the beach, that same low contrast diffused light was the right light for photographing in woodlands.

Round Pond - David Lieu
Round Pond - David Lieu

Even after “Priscilla” had blown a lot of foliage off the trees during the previous week, there was still good color to be found. The pond itself was edged with yellow leafed shrubs and high bush blue berries with dark red leaves, all reflected around the edge of the pond.

I've been here myself several times, always seeing the photographic potential. On this morning I saw that potential materialize.

Breakfast was from 9:00 - 11:00am and we spent Sunday afternoon reviewing and critiquing a selection of images chosen by each attendee. Viewing some 50 images can be very instructional and inspirational, seeing what others found in the same location reveals how differently we all see the world and is an important part of the learning that happens in a workshop setting. We wrapped up the weekend by 4:00pm on Sunday.

All members of the group worked hard and the group dynamic was a cooperative and friendly environment.

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STUDENT PHOTO GALLERY

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Hi Ron and Bob,

Thanks so much for a great weekend. I really loved the experience, met some very nice people, and always enjoyed your guidance and suggestions.

Diane Collins

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Hi Ron,

I can't believe how much fun and enjoyment I had last weekend. It was truly a very memorable three days. You and Bob did awesome job of presenting Plymouth, Mass. When I left I spent the rest of the afternoon at the art show presented by the cape guild. Congratulations on your award in the art show.

John Benoit

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Thank you both for a wonderful weekend workshop. I came away with some great images and am still working on several of them.
Despite the weather, we got a lot accomplished and I really enjoyed the camaraderie of a wonderful group of fellow photographers.
Even the shots that didn’t turn out as I hoped have taught me what I need to do next time.
Thanks again.

Susan Simon

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