It was my pleasure to have the opportunity to lead and teach a group of 19 very talented and enthusiastic photography students during this past weekend's workshop in Hocking Hills, Ohio. They were also a very understanding group because as it turned-out, I was functioning with a torn left quad tendon just above my knee. The injury occurred earlier in the week while in South Carolina but it wasn't until I got in to see a doctor with the Orthopedic Institute of Dayton - on Monday following the workshop - when I found out the reason for so much pain and swelling. As a result I will be "mobile office" in Dayton, Ohio for a few weeks before returning to South Carolina.
One of the lessons learned - for both me and my workshop students - is the need for photographers to be able to adapt and adjust to unforeseen circumstances and changing weather when shooting for assignment, workshop or personal project. We were also working around some interesting weather coming in ahead of the super storm that was hitting the northeast and a cold front bearing down from the northwest. Lots of rain (more than I care to work with) on the Sunday of the workshop program.
The pain in my knee did become so bad that I had to end the program two hours early on Sunday afternoon but the group was very understanding. For that I am thankful.
Despite the challenges we had a great weekend for learning and photography in Hocking Hills. The locations I did manage to guide the group to included Cedar Falls and Conkle's Hollow. In those locations we concentrated on form, texture and composition within close-up nature subjects and selected sections of the landscape. Something new to this fall's weekend program was adding a section on portrait photography, both location/environment and inside at our meeting facility at The Inn at Cedar Falls.
Every workshop group and experience is unique in personality, group dynamic, theme and point of emphasis. But one thing is common - they are always positive, uplifting learning experiences. I know it is for me as the instructor and I hope these programs are reacted to in a similar way by the participants. I have yet to hear otherwise and once again, I'm grateful.
I think the highlight of this most recent session came on Sunday morning when took the group down an unexpected path by showing a clip from a favorite movie, "Dead Poet's Society." In this clip (apologies but the imbed option from YouTube was disabled) Robin William's character - Mr. Keating - talks about the importance of passion in art, in this case poetry, but what he is saying applies to all forms of art. "What will your verse be?" This is the question I presented to my workshop students. For us our poetry are the images we capture and share. Our legacy, our record of moments captured and stories set to the images that serve as our connection to what is felt within and with those who view our work.
Come injury and bad weather, the learning process continues, for student and teacher. The beauty of photography is that neither one ever truly arrives at an end point. For us the journey is everything and along the way we leave our "verses."
The following web gallery provides a look at the images captured during the Autumn Journey Workshop of October 26 - 28, 2012: http://jimcrotty.zenfolio.com/p803129561#h49792122