Archive for the ‘field instruction’ Category

Come join me for a private workshop session in Yosemite!

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

Autumn Elm and Sunbeams, Cook’s Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California 2014

 

Rock and Water, Cascade Falls, Yosemite National Park, California 2011 / Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III__EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM__1/2 sec at f / 27__ISO 320

Rock and Water, Cascade Falls, Yosemite National Park, California 2011

I have been running my Yosemite Private Workshops for ten years now. Although I taught group workshops around the world starting in the early 1980s, I have greatly enjoyed the one-on-one sessions and personal connections I’ve had while showing my approach to landscape photography in my beloved Yosemite Valley.

The best times to come photograph YV are the last two weeks of April and the first two weeks of May, or the end of October or the first two weeks of November.

Here are a few endorsements from past students:

Bill Henderson:      My William Neill workshop experience was exceptional! The most significant outcome was the change in perspective. Bill finds images everywhere, his ability to see photographically is something you can’t learn from reading, it’s a gift from many years of hard work and study. This is what I found so interesting and helpful.

Now I didn’t walk away with his skill, but I learned something significant that has stayed with me. I still find that workshop useful today.”

Rick Hardt:      “I have always been drawn to Bill’s work, because I think he leads the pack in the arena of “Less is More”.  His images define the idea of “Clean and Simple”.  Through that perspective, he communicates powerful feeling that I don’t often see in other areas.

He is extremely present and open during the process.  What I felt from him was kindness and patience.  I never felt judged for my lack of experience or ability.   Seeing through his eyes for subject matter and lighting really opened my eyes to things that I’d completely missed before.

In the end, I walked away with a pocket full of images that I cherish to this day, AND a much better understanding of how to get more on my own.

Lastly and most importantly, the conversations that we had during those times, often come to mind when I’m in the field looking for new images. 

I continue to get benefit from a class that I took some time ago.  Amazing.

 

Bob Cole:    “I greatly appreciated the personal attention Bill provided in our two-student, two-day Private Workshop. The limit to one or two students is a significant advantage. There were many other photography workshops happening in Yosemite Valley at the same time, with van loads of students for one or two instructors. Bill’s Private Workshops are simply superior in the personal attention he provides.

                The Private Workshop provided a great opportunity to explore Yosemite beyond the obvious icons. Bill provides a wealth of information about the Yosemite environment and history. Understanding the place is important to helping one see the what is really there beyond the often photographed icons. This leads to more photographic possibilities. Bill helps the student “see” nature in new ways that translate into stronger, more creative photographs.

                I created better images during the two-day Private Workshop, and that improvement continued after it was over. When I consider the many ways photographers spend their resources on cameras, lenses, other gear, software, and travel, I can think of no more effective way to improve one’s photography than the William Neill Private Workshop.

 

Antoinette Addison:      “I have done a couple of private workshops with Bill in Yosemite. It was incredible. First, his knowledge of the Yosemite area allowed him to put us in the right place at the right time throughout the day.  We moved through the valley with the light, not just to the well-known photo spots, but all over the place. I thought I knew the area quite well, but I discovered many new, hidden spots. We would find ourselves at the perfect spot over and over throughout the day. It was incredible. 
         We took different kinds of photos in different areas, from classic landscape shots to black ice photos, close-ups, impressions. It was magical. Bill helped me make subtle technical and positioning adjustments that made a big difference and brought my photography to a new level.
        The portfolio review was also useful, educational, and inspirational. I could not recommend these workshops more strongly.
Brad Rank:     “My personal workshop with William was a surprise birthday gift from my Wife.  At the time I was just starting with a DSLR, only a short time from upgrading from simply using an iPhone for my photography.   I learned from the internet, and there is so much advice as to equipment, settings, composition, etc.  It was overwhelming and I was concerned about having the “right” thing and being such a novice working with such a professional as William.    We started our day shooting at Tunnel View and he says to me to change my camera settings for “bracketing”, and I pulled out my manual.  I think he knew then what he was in store for in the day as there was no hiding my lack of experience, and I was bracing for his response.   In that moment, he had the ability to negatively or positively impact my relationship to photography.  He could have said I had the wrong equipment or that I’m unprepared, or many many things, but he choose patience,  he choose kindness, he taught.  As I got to know him better through the day, I realized that this wasn’t a choice, it’s just who he is; a great photographer, but also a great teacher.  I learned so much about photography that day and my confidence rose dramatically to not worry about the rules and the prescribed “noise” of what should be done.  However, the most impressive thing I learned was about the man, his vision, relationship to the natural world around him, and his joy to pay it forward from his experiences as well.  Whether a beginner or a professional you will learn something.

 

See this link to see details, instructional content options discounts for small groups or multiple day sessions:

Private Yosemite Sessions

Instructional Content Options

William teaches simple ways to capture quality images in order to focus more on your expressive vision. These methods are what he uses for his own photography. Potential topics to be covered include:

Improve your Creative Vision

Learn to see deeply, to convey your emotional connection with the subject

Exposure Techniques
Using Histograms, HDR, Long Exposures

Composition
How to create clean, well-balanced designs without distractions

Planning Your Photographic Sessions
When to photograph and where, weather and seasonal considerations

Photo Critiques of New and Previous Images
Learn about your strengths and areas for improvement in your prints and downloaded digital files from field sessions.

Digital Camera Workflow
Basic and Advanced Techniques in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop

Photograph with William in Yosemite
Guidance while you photograph with in-field suggestions
Explore alternate perceptions and locations

Watch and ask questions as he selects and photographs Yosemite subjects.

Techniques in Impressionistic Photography
Learn how to create “light paintings” with intentional camera movement. William will demonstrate how he creates his Impressions of Light” photographs, and guide you with your efforts in the field.

 

Yosemite Autumn Explorations

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

During late October and early November, I spent seven days in Yosemite Valley working with private students.  We explored many of my favorite locations along the Merced River and in the many meadows around the Valley.

During these sessions, I worked closely with each student on refining their compositions, handling various lighting conditions and dealing with any technical issues that arose.  One of my main focuses while teaching is helping with aesthetic decisions to better enable them to express their own personal response and vision of the landscape before them.  When working one to one and side by side, I can show you my own decision-making process as I create new images. I also worked with those students interested in how I create my Impressions of Light images.

if you are interested in learning from me, see my Yosemite Private Workshops!  To see photographs by those who have attended my sessions, visit my Flickr group page which includes images from all seasons!

Below is a small portfolio from our sessions. Please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below, tell your favorite photographs, and share with friends.

To all of you who celebrate Thanksgiving Day, Happy Thanksgiving!   I am so thankful for the love of my friends and family, and the profound beauty I see in the world around me everyday.  I am also thankful for the gift of being able to share my photographs with others for the past 30 years.  Thank you for following!

Ride the Light,  Bill

 

 


Autumn Elm and Sunbeams, Cook’s Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/180 second at f/22, ISO 200
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Yellow Maples, Cedar and Pine, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1.50 second at f/16, ISO 640
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Sunrise over Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/20 second at f/19, ISO 200
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Cottonwoods reflected, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/6 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Maples Leaves and Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM +2x,
1 second at f/45, ISO 400
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Grasses reflected in the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/2 second at f/22, ISO 200
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Grasses and El Capitan reflected in the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/6 second at f/32, ISO 200
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Moonrise over Half Dome and Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM +2x,
1/60 second at f/9.5, ISO 320
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Grasses reflected, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/45 second at f/19, ISO 400
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Autumn Leaves and Ripples, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
1/250 second at f/2.8, ISO 800
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Ripples, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, TS-E90mm f/2.8,
1/500 second at f/2.8, ISO 800
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Grasses reflected, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1000 second at f/2.8, ISO 800
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Grasses and reflections in the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/350 second at f/2.8, ISO 200
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Maple leaf reflected in the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/60 second at f/4.5, ISO 320
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Yellow Maples and Granite Boulder, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1 second at f/22, ISO 400
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

 


Thimbleberry Leaves, autumn, Yosemite National Park, California 2014
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
2 second at f/32, ISO 400
Copyright © 2014 William Neill

Return to the Field of Possibilities

Thursday, June 26th, 2014
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Corn Lilies, Summit Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California 2014

Last week, I spent four days filming an interview with the crew from The Luminous Landscape website.  For years, they have offered excellent videos such as the Luminous Landscape Video Journal which features interviews with photographers such as Jay Maisel, Art Wolfe, Charlie Cramer, Bill Atkinson, and Jack Dykinga: Luminous Landscape Store.  They are launching a new series called Seeing with the Masters, for which my interview is the first. Luminous Landscape also ran the Antarctica photographic adventure for which I was an instructor early this year.  To learn about this ultimate journey, see Antarctica 2014 – A Most Amazing Trip. I plan on returning to Antarctic in 2016 with Luminous Landscape! I am also a contributor to the site with a series of essays: Essays by William Neill.

One location I had to share was my favorite meadow along the Glacier Point Road.  Here I found this above group of corn lilies.  In order to find a high, downward view, I had to jump up on two fallen logs, balance my tripod to aim down to capture this pattern.  This high-angled view also allowed me to find another image, shown below.

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Last year, I photographed in the same meadow, and wrote the following article for my Outdoor Photographer “On Landscape” column.  Enjoy and share!

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Field Of Possibilities

Using technology like focus stacking, William Neill creates an otherworldly photo of a roadside subject

Corn Lily Leaves, Yosemite National Park, California  2013

Corn Lily Leaves, Yosemite National Park, California 2013

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF 50mm ƒ/2.5 Compact Macro, five frames at ƒ/11, ISO 200, focus stacking by Zerene Stacker.

“To see a World in a
Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour…” —William Blake

One of the main dilemmas for nature photographers is how to frame an image. The choice of camera position and lens angle greatly affects the image design. Nature often provides us with chaotic lines, shapes and colors from which we must distill and extract the essence of our subject. What we include in the frame, as well as what we exclude, is a key factor in the success of our compositions.

I was in Yosemite National Park recently photographing one of my favorite subjects, corn lilies. Returning to a favorite patch, I was happy to see they were still fresh green in spite of recent hot weather. The leaves were covered with pollen and a light rainfall added some water drops. The wind was blowing, which meant the leaves rarely held still for my camera. On top of that, the best camera position was on the shoulder of the road, with tons of traffic moving the plants as it zoomed past a few feet away.

I tried dozens of framings, using a 24mm tilt-shift, 90mm tilt-shift and 50mm macro. The black-and-white photograph was made using my macro lens [left]. The depth of these leaves was too great to capture, so I tried a simple, but effective application called Zerene Stacker. I exposed five frames, focusing the nearest edge of the leaf, and incrementally turned my macro focus slightly until I had focused on the deepest area of corn lily. Then, I added those five files to the software, which created an image with good sharpness throughout the field of view. While processing the final image, I adjusted the contrast and density to make the spots of pollen and leaf lines stand out.

From my past experiences, I was a little late for most of the corn lilies since they had grown tall, making it difficult to aim downward where the leaf patterns are most strongly visible. Also, other plants in amongst them made for a difficult composition to simplify. I usually prefer to zoom in tightly for a very graphic portrayal. In the wider composition shown here [below], I chose to embrace the chaos by using my 24mm tilt-shift lens. The tilt-shift function helped me retain focus from front to back of the subject area, just like I often did with my 4×5 camera while still using a fast enough shutter speed. I shuffled my location around, trying to find a pleasing and well-balanced pattern in the lush vegetation.

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Field of Corn Lily Leaves, Yosemite National Park, California 2013

While creating the black-and-white corn lily image, I clearly remembered one of Paul Caponigro’s finest and most famous photographs. It’s a photograph of an apple that reminds most who see it of a galaxy of stars. I happily acknowledge that inspiration. You can read John Paul Caponigro’s blog post (Paul Caponigro’s son) at www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/blog/7846/masterworks-in-my-collection-paul-caponigro-apple-new-york-city-1964/. I highly recommend that you visit the link or Google to see the image! As I photographed the corn lily, time vanished. Wind, rain showers and sunbeams came and went. I waited for still moments in the wind and for breaks in the traffic. I hid from the mosquitoes inside my parka hood and slapped away the ones that broke through my defenses. In spite of the challenges, I was “in the zone,” blissfully focused on the beauty I saw and felt, and on finding ways to convey it all photographically. Before I knew it, I had spent two-and-a-half hours photographing within a 10-foot section along the road and made over 200 images. That’s my job, and I felt blessed. As I drove home, I was greeted by the most amazing sunset, with golden light shining through pouring rain accented by red clouds. As the rain drenched me, I howled loudly simply for the joy of it all!
__________________________________

William Neill, an American photographer and resident of the Yosemite National Park area since 1977, is a renowned nature and landscape photographer. Neill’s award-winning photography has been widely published in books, magazines, calendars, posters, and his limited-edition prints have been collected and exhibited in museums and galleries nationally, including the Museum of Fine Art Boston, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, The Vernon Collection, and The Polaroid Collection. Neill has received the Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award for conservation photography.

He is the photographic author of many books including The Sense of Wonder, The Tree, By Nature’s Design, The Color of Nature  and Traces of Time. A portfolio of his Yosemite photographs has been published Yosemite: The Promise of Wildness and a retrospective monograph of his landscape photography entitled Landscapes Of The Spirit

To learn about William Neill‘s one-on-one Yosemite workshops, ebooks and iPad app, see his latest images and learn about his online courses with BetterPhoto.com, visit www.williamneill.com.

If you like this post, please sign up HERE to receive the latest updates to my Light on the Landscape Photoblog.

Yosemite Autumn 2012 Collection / Private Workshops

Friday, August 9th, 2013

If you have dreamed of photographing Yosemite Valley during the best autumn color, now is time to reserve a private Yosemite workshop with me. I welcome single students, as well small groups for 1 or 2 day sessions.

The dates for prime fall color run from the last two weeks of October, and the first week of November.

If you have any questions, message me or contact me through my website:

William Neill Private Yosemite Workshops
http://www.williamneill.com/one-on-one-workshops/yosemite_private_workshops.html

Below is a small collection of photographs made during last year’s autumn season.  Enjoy and share!

I hope to see you in Yosemite this fall!


Yellow Maple Leaves, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/125 second at f/4.5, ISO 400
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

 

 


Yellow Maple Leave Impressions, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/2 second at f/5.6, ISO 100
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

 

 


Oak and Pine, autumn, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/90 second at f/4, ISO 100
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

 

 


Backlit Black Oaks, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/15 second at f/22, ISO 400
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

 

 


Bigleaf Maple and Merced River, autumn, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
6 second at f/27, ISO 100
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

 


Black Oaks in afternoon backlight, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/8 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

 

 


Merced River reflections, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1.50 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

 


Oak reflections and the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/2 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

 

 


Oak reflections, El Capitan and the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2012
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2012 William Neill

 

Yosemite Spring!

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

During the past month, I made many trips to nearby Yosemite Valley, and so I’d like to share a collection of these new images.  Even though I have lived in or near Yosemite since 1977, I found fresh compositions and light/weather conditions that made for invigorating sessions, and new work for my ongoing Yosemite portfolio.  What made this spring season more special was that I was able to share my love and vision of Yosemite with private workshop students.

Many of my students have shared the photographs created on my  William Neill Private Yosemite Workshops Flickr Group page.  This collection also includes images from last fall and winter, which will give you an idea of the photographic opportunities for those seasons too.  Here are some of my images from last fall: Yosemite Autumn. One of the images was the feature image in my Outdoor Photographer column entitled Natural HDR.

If you are interested in exploring Yosemite’s autumn color season, now is the time to make room reservations, and book a day or two with me.  The peak of color is generally late October and early November. Please note that I am also happy to work with small groups.  If you have any questions about the possibilities, just send me an email.

William Neill Private Yosemite Workshops 


If you have a favorite image from below, or comments, please add below!

Ride the Light,

Bill

 


Wind-Blown, Bridal Veil Fall, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM +2.0x,
1/3000 second at f/5.6, ISO 200
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Cascade Falls, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/4 second at f/9.5, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Dogwood Forest and Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
6 second at f/16, ISO 200
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Dogwood Blossoms, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
2 second at f/11, ISO 200
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Dogwood and Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1.50 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Rock and Water, Cascade Falls, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1.50 second at f/22, ISO 400
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Morning Mist over Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/10 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Morning Storm Light, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM,
1/125 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Dogwood and Morning Light, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1 second at f/32, ISO 200
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Sunrise over Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/45 second at f/9.5, ISO 400
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Dogwood and Merced River Impressions, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1/1 second at f/5.6, ISO 400
Copyright © 2013 William Neill

 


Dogwood Blossom, Yosemite National Park, California 2013
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
1 second at f/32, ISO 100
Copyright © 2013 William Neill