by Ben Willmore | May 6, 2013
This is for all my fellow photographers and photo enthusiasts. I’ve got some spots open in my Iceland photography workshop and I’d love for you to join me! The dates are August 11-17, 2013 and this is a great time to be visiting the “Land of the Midnight Sun.”
Not sure if this would be the right trip for you? Here are my top reasons for coming to Iceland with me this summer:
To take amazing photographs: The country of Iceland is just plain stunning. There is a photo to be made everywhere you turn. From waterfalls, to sweeping landscapes, to storybook horses, to glaciers and icebergs, you are guaranteed to go home with some incredible images.
To hone your photography and post-processing skills: This workshop will combine photography instruction in the field with post-processing instruction in the classroom to ensure you have the most control over your photographs.
To get one-on-one, personalized training: We keep the group size small so that the whole experience is more personalized. This allows us to have students of all levels, getting the one-on-one attention they need. During our last Iceland trip, we had absolute beginners as well as advanced shooters and everyone went home happy.
Iceland is so accesible!: Iceland is much more accessible than most people think. It’s only a 5 to 6-hour flight from New York and just about everyone in Iceland speaks English and is very welcoming to visitors. With most other exotic locations, you’d be looking at some REALLY long and expensive flights.
For the adventure!: For one week, you will be an explorer, venturing into some of the most unique, breathtaking, and sometimes even bizarre territories you have ever seen. We travel in heavy-duty, all-wheel drive vehicles that can drive over pretty much everything. This way, we can get to the “off-the-beaten-path” locations.
For fun: Because these trips are so intimate, it allows everyone involved to really get to know each other and create new friendships. In between all the shooting, exploring and learning is a lot of laughing, chatting and storytelling.
For more information on this upcoming trip (as well as some more photos), visit the “Discover Iceland” page. It’s going to be a blast, and I’d love for you to be there!
by Ben Willmore | Feb 18, 2013
This past week, I’ve been able to hang out in one of my all-time favorite shooting locations: Iceland. Usually, I travel to Iceland to teach photography workshops, but this trip was a bit different. I taught a Photoshop class in the capital city of Reykjavik and then stayed for several more days to go exploring and shooting. I was also location scouting for my upcoming photography workshop in August (even though the landscape will look much different than it does now in February.) If you’re interested in joining us for the summer workshop, check out the info page HERE.
I stayed at the Grand Hotel in Reykjavik, which I’m very familiar with from past events. From there, I went out exploring the countryside. One of the days, I met up with Einar Erlendsson and spent hours shooting and scouting. Einar runs Focus on Nature, the organization I’ll be teaching my upcoming workshop with. This time of year, the sun rises late and sets early, so I wanted to focus on some night photography and also try to shoot the northern lights. When I’m back here in August, the light scenario will be much the opposite: The sun will rise early and set very late.
In addition to shooting in the dark, we also visited some abandoned buildings, where I played around a bit with my circular fisheye lens. Below are some of the shots from the trip so far.
A semi-frozen waterfall under the night sky
One of my favorite things to shoot is “Abandoned America.” I guess I can now extend that to “Abandoned Iceland” as well!
Another circular fisheye shot of a funky abandoned building.
We were able to capture a bit of the northern lights one evening. I plan to head out again to get a more vibrant shot of them.
Another northern lights scene.
Like I said earlier, Iceland is one of my favorite places to photograph, so I’m going to spend the next few days exploring and shooting as well. I fly back to the bus mid-week and then immediately get ready to head to Seattle for Photoshop Week at creativeLIVE! I’ve you’re a Photoshop user and have not yet heard about Photoshop Week, it’s an online, live conference that is free to watch while it’s live. There will be 12 instructors and over 40 classes. Click here to learn more.
That’s it for this week, everyone! There will be more Iceland pics coming up!
More to come…
by Ben Willmore | Feb 11, 2013
Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. For me, the entire past week has not been all that exciting. It has, however, been very productive. We are still parked in the Portland area, and I’ve been spending the past several days working on the handbook for my upcoming seminar tour, Photographic Artistry with Photoshop CS6. The handbook is nothing short of a small book, so needless to say, I’ve had my hands full! It’s going to be a good one though, and I hope you’ll come out to see me if I’m headed to a city near you. Click HERE to learn more about the tour.
I’ve also been getting ready for some upcoming travel. This week, I’ll be heading to Iceland to teach a Photoshop class in the country’s capital, Reykjavik. Iceland has always been one of my absolute favorite places to shoot, and because of that, I have been there several times and will even return again later this year. The landscape is something out of a fairy tale. From waterfalls, to story book horses, to mountains & volcanoes, to quaint chapels by the sea, it’s a photographer’s paradise. If you’re interested in visiting Iceland (and I HIGHLY recommend it) we still have some seats available in my upcoming workshop this August. I’d love to have you join me and experience the magic of the place… and of course learn tons about Photoshop and digital photography. Click HERE to learn more about that trip.
Finally, in just two weeks, I’ll be teaching at Photoshop Week, which is creativeLIVE’s first ever online, live conference. It’s 6 days, 12 instructors, over 40 classes, and best of all… it’s FREE while it’s live. If, however, you would like to be present in the studio audience in Seattle, creativeLIVE is now accepting submissions and you can learn how to do that HERE.
While this week was 99% work, we did manage to sneak out of the bus once and we were glad we did because we found one of our new favorite restaurants! It’s a crepe place called Le Happy in downtown Portland, and it was just excellent. I’m not a huge fan of crepes, and I’m not a vegan, but the demi-vegan peanut tofu crepe was one of the best meals I’ve had… ever. Many of the other crepes on the menu sounded excellent too, so we’ll definitely be making a return visit. The place is located in a tiny old building and the atmosphere is quite charming, both inside and out.
Well, that’s it for this week folks. I’m sorry this wasn’t as exciting a post as some, but productivity is good! More to come!
Le Happy, in downtown Portland
by Ben Willmore | Nov 7, 2012
Iceland has always been one of my favorite places to explore and go shooting. In fact, I’ve been there at least six times! One of the things that sticks out to most people who visit Iceland is the sheer number of waterfalls. It’s hard to go a day in that country without photographing at least one waterfall. And many of them are just spectacular.
Lately, I’ve been revisiting and processing more of my photos from previous Iceland trips, many of them waterfall images. I posted three of them below, and they should give you an idea of how big these natural wonders are. In the last photo, you can even see a tiny person standing near the foot of the falls.
I have a lot of tips for shooting waterfalls. In fact, I’m even writing an e-book on the subject. But here’s a quick tip I’ll leave you with now. There are three things I always carry with me when shooting waterfalls and can often be crucial to getting a decent image. 1. A tripod: Waterfalls usually require longer exposures, especially if you want to get that silky water effect. 2. A lens cloth: If you’re shooting close to the water, chances are you’re going to get a lot of spray, and little droplets on your lens could mean the death of your image. 3. A neutral density filter: I don’t always need this, but it’s come in handy more times than I can count. This filter will let you shoot with longer shutter speeds, even during bright days. You need longer shutter speeds to get the silky, water-in-motion look. (I used ND filters in two of the three shots below).
Click on the images for a larger view
Join me in Iceland
I’ve got two photography workshops in Iceland coming up in 2013 and I’d love for you to join me there.
Winter in Iceland • Feb. 17-23, 2013
Iceland’s winter landscape offers amazing opportunities for photographers. Ice caves, frozen waterfalls, light painting and the northern lights are just a sample of what’s in store for you in this amazing country. When we’re not in the field shooting, we’ll be in a classroom environment, editing and refining our images. Click here to learn more.
Discover Iceland • Aug. 11-17, 2013
Get ready to discover one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Iceland features black sand beaches, waterfalls, geysers, volcanos, geothermal features, glaciers, icebergs, lighthouses, turf houses, storybook horses and interesting architecture, all packed into a country that is 1/95th the size of the United States. Click here to learn more
by Ben Willmore | Jul 10, 2012
Hi gang! After a great workshop in Iceland, we returned to the bus in Colorado and headed to Rocky Mountain National Park. Unfortunately, the weather was extremely stormy/rainy while we were there, but it gave me some time to regroup a little after the trip, get some work done and focus on future events. I wanted to use this post to talk about what’s coming up. I hope you’ll be able to join me at one of these great events/workshops in the future!
Namibia: Sept. 19- Oct. 1, 2013
Join me and Journeys Unforgettable on the photographic adventure of a lifetime. In this two-week journey to Namibia, you’ll be staying at the best camps, working with the best guides and photographing the most amazing sights your lenses have ever focused on! From wildlife, to the iconic sand dunes, to the breathtaking Skeleton Coast, you’ll be seeing it all on this adventure. If you’re looking for THE trip, the one you’ve been waiting your whole life for … this is it. Learn more HERE.
The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Oct. 4-7, 2012
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a world-renowned attraction and destination for balloon pilots and photographers. For more than three decades, the first week in October brings the smell of roasting chiles and the beautiful, magical moving picture show of hot air balloons sailing silently through the crisp fall air. This will be my third time photographing the Fiesta, and I can promise you that it’s a true feast for the eyes… and the lens!
The colors and textures will boggle your senses and you will come away with some of the most incredible images you have ever taken. We’ll throw in enough HDR training if you want to get a bit crazy with your creativity. Learn more HERE
The California Photo Festival • Oct. 10-14, 2012
The California Photo Festival is five days of digital photography immersion. Intensive workshops, seminars, lectures, shooting, parties, and more with over 15 industry leading photographers and digital industry gurus designed to boost your creativity, spark your passion, and take your photography, art, or business to the next level. Click here for more info
Zion National Park
Thurs., Oct 18 thru Sun., Oct. 21, 2012
Massive canyon walls ascend toward a brilliant blue sky. To experience Zion, you need to walk among the towering cliffs, or challenge your courage in a small narrow canyon. These unique sandstone cliffs range in color from cream, to pink, to red. They could be described as sand castles crowning desert canyons. We will be experiencing the beauty of this tranquil place when the trees are the most colorful. Click here for more info
Mastering High Dynamic Range Photography
Nov. 29-Dec. 2, 2012
At the Light Workshops, in Los Osos, CA
Learn to capture the full brightness range of a scene and present it to your viewer as either a photorealistic image or as an image that more closely resembles a hyper-detailed drawing.
With over two dozen choices of HDR processing software, you’ll learn which software is worth using and which should be ignored. You’ll also see why you should avoid Photoshop’s standard HDR processing and how to use alternative methods in Photoshop and Lightroom to produce far superior results. Click here for more info
New Iceland Event in the works! Special sneak peak!
If you’ve been following this blog in the recent weeks, you’ve read all about my amazing workshop in Iceland. We just wrapped up last week, and I’m still processing all the incredible images I captured there. Iceland is one of my favorite places to visit and photograph… and that’s why we’re already planning two workshops in 2013! We’re still arranging the details, so consider this a special insiders’ heads up to my blog readers. Here’s what we know so far.
Workshop #1: Our plans for the next Discover Iceland event is in the works for the summer of 2013. It should be a week-long workshop where we are out in the field shooting 80% of the time. When we’re not out on location, we’ll be in a classroom setting doing some training and photo-editing sessions. Iceland is a true paradise in the summer… from breathtaking waterfalls, to iceberg-filled lagoons, to vast green mountains, to storybook horses… Iceland has got it all. Stay tuned on the blog for exact dates and more details. We should have those solidified in the next few weeks!
Workshop #2: I’ve been to Iceland several times, but never in the winter. This is something I’ve been eager to experience and we’re finally making it happen. We have room for up to 12 eager photographers on this adventure. Now, you might be asking what there is to photograph in Iceland during the winter, given it’s dark out most of the time. Well, for a night photographer, this is a dream come true! And night photography will be our focus during this trip. We’ll be capturing some long exposure landscapes, we will light paint, explore the eerie and serene ice caves (that you can only enter in winter) and maybe, just maybe, be fortunate enough to photograph the northern lights. Our target time range will be the second half of February 2013. Again, stay tuned as we finalize the arrangements.