1. Robert Hopp's Gallery

Dear friends

From the years 1994 – 2004 I went on 10 photography workshops all out West and the country of Canada with the intention I could get the best quality photos I could hope for.

The purpose of a photography workshop is to get you to a prime location at the right time of day. The days are long and tiring from sunrise to sunset. We took a break from 11:00 A.M. to 3 :00 P.M. due to poor overhead lighting. Each photo stop is timed 15 minutes to 1 hour or more depending on the amount of hiking involved. I flew from Atlanta where I lived at the time to Fresno Ca. airport where I met my photography instructor Joe Lange who is from Grand Junction Colorado.

The cost of a photo workshop back then was around $1,200 - $1,800 depending on the length and location of the workshop. The fee includes pick up from and to the airport, all ground transportation to all the photo sites and all lodging. It does not include food or air transportation.

This being my first photo workshop I really did not know what I was in for. But I found out quickly that Joe my instructor was strict about how each photo site was timed to be on time for the next location.


Example: We were driving on a road at Yosemite National Park. We were heading to a parking lot where we were to photograph a water fall AT A CERTAIN TIME!

We arrived 15 minutes ahead of when the shooting was to begin. Joe instructed us to set up our tripods and attach our cameras to the tripod. BUT DO NOT SHOOT!!!!! A little BG information is due currently. During the 10 years I went on these photo workshops all the photos were taken with SLIDE or Negative FILM or both = costly. Digital photography was just getting started. Thus, Joe’s instruction DUE NOT SHOOT!!!

When the magic time arrived to begin shooting Joe pointed out to us that at the bottom of the waterfall a rainbow was starting to form and traverse up the waterfall. And Joe said now you know why you are here at this location at this precise time of day! = Unbelievable. = Timing is everything. But that is what you are paying for.

Elevation and how it affected my ability to think clearly.

During the 10-year period that I went on those photo workshops I lived in the city of Atlanta Georgia. ELEVATION 1050 FT above sea level.

No problem right = WRONG! We were driving up this incline road to photograph Half Dome Elevation 8,846Ft. = OMG Upon getting out of the van my mind went completely blank. I went to Joe and told him my problem. His first question was where you live, and I said Atlanta Georgia. He said that is a major location problem. He said for me to go on any future out West or Canada workshops i would have to do major cardiovascular training prior to each trip. The higher the elevation the more training involved. This meant 3 hours a day 5 days a week for 3 months. For the most part I always worked the night shift in the printing industry. Mostly from 4:00 P.M to midnight. That meant I still got enough sleep and was able to train during the day. There is a old saying you get out of life what you put into it but there were many times when I questioned that old saying especially in hot Atlanta.

Back to photographing Half Dome

Obviously, I needed help badly. So, I was able to mount the camera on the tripod, but I could not think clearly as to what the camera settings should be. Joe said to me that he does not know anything about my camera settings. He asked me if I could compose the shot and I said yes. He then said there is a letter P on the top of my camera. He said it stands for 2 things automatic program = the camera will set the correct setting.

The other meaning of the letter P is PANIC MODE and that is where you are at. Just compose the shot, hit the letter P and everything will be fine.

Being I was shooting with a film camera I had to wait until I got back to Atlanta to have the film processed and prints made. Lo and behold allthe shots turned out great.

I hope that all this behind-the-scenes information did not bore anyone. There is a saying that behind most photos taken there is a story to be told. And this being my 1st photography workshop out West proved to be true. It also helped be to be better prepared for future photo trips out West especially Colorado and the country of Canada.


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