Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending a photography seminar put on by the National Geographic called Putting the WOW in Your Nature & Outdoor Photography. The seminar was talk by Eddie Soloway and Tim Davis.
Soloway and Davis have very different styles in photography with Soloway focusing on more fine art nature photography (sometimes abstract) and Davis on more wildlife and animal photography. Each of them contributed one of my favorite parts of the seminar.
Soloway did a segment called “How Come Mine Don’t Look Like That?” where he shared some pictures he took just out of high school and some of his first commercial pictures and critiqued what was wrong with them and how he could have improved them. Since they looked like some of my photographs that was a great lesson in looking at a scene as a photographer.
Davis has gone to Antarctica to photograph Emperor penguins, Borneo to photograph Orangoutangs, and elsewhere. He talked a lot about what kind of shot would sell such as composing a photograph so that an editor could use it and have a place to put the text of a story or shooting a theme (like “follow the leader” with penguins) that an art director would buy to use in an ad campaign. Editorial photography is how to make a name but commercial photography is how to support your family. Since I recognized a number of the photographs he showed this added special value.
The seminar covered the following areas:
- Lighting Your Fire for Nature Photography
- What Are the Skills A Nature Photographer Needs?
- How Come Mine Don’t Look Like That?
- Gear: Keeping It Simple
- On Assignment: Behind the Scenes, From Start to Finish
- Breaking Out of Your Box
- The Spirit of Nature Photography
- Your Next Steps
If you have a chance to attend a seminar by either Soloway or Davis I would recommend it.
Check out the list of future photography seminars.