Fall Photography Workshop 2016

Create Refine Share! How often do you take a week to create great fall photographs in Muskoka? This year is it!

Registration is now open for my Fall Workshop 2016 at Muskoka’s Hidden Valley Resort. The event runs October 2 – 7, 2016.

The Workshop is ideal for amateur photographers of any skill level. I have structured this workshop to be accessible to almost everyone. The curriculum is dynamic with the course material adapted to match each student’s aspirations. Having taught forty semesters of University photography, I have a vast resource of materials to draw upon. The week’s theme is “Create, Refine, Share.” We will create photographs, refine them in the computer, share them with each other and learn from the process.
Registration Form 2016

The course registration is only $697 (all fees are in Canadian funds plus HST).

Photo: Opening day at the 2015 Workshop. Camera and tripod are almost at the water level to get this waterfall photograph.

Opening day at the 2015 Workshop. Camera and tripod are almost at the water level to get this waterfall photograph.

I have created a modular workshop where you control your time and costs. Attendees can drive their own vehicles or car pool to photography sites. If you do not have a vehicle let me know when you register and I will work with you to make arrangements. For instance if you are flying into Pearson Airport (YYZ) I can arrange pickup and transportation for you.

While you do need to get a room at the newly refurbished Hidden Valley Resort, I have negotiated quite good rates and have convinced the facility to not charge their normal resort fees, since for the most part we will be photographing off site. You can still use the indoor heated pool and all of the other amenities. The room rates are $129 for hillside and $149 for lakeview. After your register for the workshop I will provide you with access to our room block.

Photo: Attendees capture the fall colours by climbing a rock outcrop.

Attendees capture the fall colours by climbing a rock outcrop.

Meals are on your own, but the hotel does have a nice restaurant and will even make box breakfasts and lunches for you to pack off to your photo shoots. There is also an amazing assortment of restaurants in the Muskoka region. I will make a few supper reservations based on our shooting schedule for the group if you wish to join in.

We will begin the workshop at 7:00 PM on October 2 at the Hidden Valley Resort. An itinerary will be presented to you at that point based on the progression of the fall colours and weather forecasts. Before you arrive I will have spoken to each of you and discussed your desired outcomes for the workshop. These will be woven into the itinerary. We will spend the next six days (through noon on Friday, October 7) creating photographs, refining the images and sharing with the group. It will be fun, educational and rewarding. I’m glad you are going to join us.

How to Register

There are two ways to register: by filling out the form and emailing it to me or by phone.

Fill out the form

Use Registration Form 2016 to register. Download the form and open it. The fields can be completed on your computer and saved. Email it to me at photo@bobgallagher.com. I will be in touch to discuss what your expectations are for the workshop. If you are paying by money order, simply print off the completed registration form and mail it with your money order to Bob Gallagher Photography, P.O. Box 37056, Windsor, ON, Canada N9H 1S0.

Or call me

If you do not wish to use the form then call me at 1.519.563.7118. We can do the registration on the phone. Please have your MasterCard, Visa or American Express card handy.

I look forward to you joining us in Muskoka this fall. I realize you may have more questions and I  have prepared a list of answers for you. If your question is not here then just drop me a line at photo@bobgallagher.com or call me at 1.519.563.7118.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: When is the Bob Gallagher’s Fall Photography Workshop 2016?
A: It starts at 7:00 PM on Sunday evening October 2, 2016 and will conclude Friday, October 7 at noon.

Q: How much does it cost?
A: The enrolment fee is $697 plus HST ($697+90.61= $787.61 CAD). There are only eight spots available and once those spots are taken I will open a waiting list. But this is going to be a small group experience. Because of that intent I must insist that only those registered will be included in our program. I have no problems with couples registering. Also if you have someone who would like to come and stay with you, the rooms are double occupancy. Your partner is free to use the hotel and dine with you, etc. But I respectfully ask that when we are in session that only enrolled members will be present. There was an Early Bird rate available for those enrolled before April 30.

Q: Do I have to stay at Hidden Valley Resort?
A: Yes, please. Here is my disclaimer. I do not have any connection with Hidden Valley Resort. I am paying the same rates you are for my room. Having said that, the resort is supplying us with certain amenities based on the group registering for rooms. They are a hotel and that’s how they make their living. By all of us staying at the hotel I am able to reduce the enrolment fee to you because I don’t have to rent the room for us to meet in for critiques and classes. We are all registering for our rooms and paying the same rates. The other point is that you want to stay at Hidden Valley Resort to be close to the action.

Q: If I find the pace too fast can I skip a session?
A: Sure. But please let me know ahead of time. I don’t want to be worrying about where you are if you decide to skip a shoot. This is supposed to be fun for all of us.

Q: What kind of equipment do I need to have?
A: Any digital camera. It’s not the camera that creates the photograph, it’s the photographer. The equipment certainly can help you achieve your photographic goals, but a point and shoot camera can capture some great shots. Having said that let me give you a list of equipment that you will find helpful to bring.

  • A digital SLR or DSLR camera is fine. If your camera can create RAW files then terrific. If you haven’t shot in RAW before we will certainly be covering those options for you.
  • A computer to take the images from your camera or card. You will also want an editing program like Adobe Lightroom and/or Photoshop or other editing software. Adobe has a great combination as of this writing. They bundle Lightroom and Photoshop into a single package that rents for $9.99 per month. The software is always updated and works fantastically. Now to make sure you want to use this there is a 30 day free trial. I suggest you load it on about September 10th and work with both programs to get familiar with them. The 30 days means you have until October 10th to decide if you want to keep them. That’s three days after the workshop. Doesn’t get any easier than that. If you’re not sure about installation we can walk through it over the phone.
  • A tripod and cable release. I am a firm believer (pun was not intended but accurate) in using a tripod especially for landscapes. Your tripod should be strong enough to hold your camera steady and light enough that you will carry it. If you don’t have one talk to me before you go out and buy one.
  • Lenses are up to you. I carry a range with zooms from 24 mm to 400 mm. But you certainly can use any lens to capture great fall photographs.
  • Filters are very important. Especially the polarizing filter for fall colours. You simply cannot get those fabulous fall colours without a polarizer. i keep a circular polarizer on each of my lenses. It’s that old saying: Don’t leave home with it. I will address other filters over the week. Certainly if you have a selection bring them along.
  • Other bells and whistles are fine to bring. What you carry is up to you and your style of photography.

Q: Should I bring a GPS?
A: Certainly. Especially if you are planning on driving.

Q: What do my enrolment fees cover?
A: The enrolment fees cover the program of the week. They cover costs incurred to set up the program, admission into certain parks we will visit, reception costs, my time in creating and staging the week. After the workshop I will print for each attendee a 20 x 30 archival canvas print or a 24 x 36 archival paper print of your favourite photograph from the week and mail it to you at no charge. The print will be on the same type of material I use for my fine art photography. The print is sent to you rolled and you can simply take it to any reputable frame gallery and they will be able to stretch or frame it for you or you can do it yourself.
Just as a bit of background you may be interested to know I taught photography at the University of Windsor for 20 years and have offered many adult photography programs. I have photographed on six continents and my work hangs in collections in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. This workshop is not my first rodeo so to speak.

Q: How do I go about registering?
A: Start with sending me an email at photo@bobgallagher.com or calling me at 519.563.7118. That will start the process. You have a number of ways of paying: Visa, MasterCard, AE, money order or cash. Once you are enrolled I will send you the magic phrase you need to register at Hidden Valley Resort under our group block. Hidden Valley Resort will confirm your registration and we are all set.

Q: Can I withdraw once I’m registered?
A: Yes up to a point. Once you are registered then commitments are made on your behalf. There are costs associated with your registration. So you can withdraw up to July 29, 2016 and your enrolment fee will be returned to you less a $75 administrative fee. After July 29 your fee will only be returned if I can sell your spot to another individual. There will still be the same $75 administration fee deducted from your refund.

Q: I’m flying to the event. How do I get to Hidden Valley Resort?
A: Your closest major airports are Toronto’s Pearson Airport (airport code YYZ) or Toronto Island Airport (airport code YYT) which are about two hours from Huntsville. If you wish to have a car, rentals are available and should be arranged before you depart from home. Shuttles are also available or it may be possible to arrange a ride with another attendee. Don’t worry. We will make sure you are taken care of just let me know your requirements in advance.

Q: Can I arrange to stay longer/arrive earlier at Hidden Valley?
A: That will depend on when you are registering. Again depending on when you register the room rate may be different than our room block rate.

Q: Is there an indoor pool at Hidden Valley Resort?
A: Yes, with a great view.

Q: What else do I get for my enrolment fee?
A: Good question. Each attendee will have ample opportunity to cover those topics that are important to them. I will actively be asking each attendee what they want covered in this workshop. So the itinerary will be tailored to the group. I download all manuals for the major equipment you will be bringing and I go over those manuals to enable me to answer your direct concerns about your camera equipment. if you would like I will also send you the downloaded materials for your own records. During the time in Muskoka I will give each attendee my best attention possible while still dealing with logistics, safety, etc. I will let you do your thing but be nearby to answer your questions and give suggestions on technique for instance. Having marked thousands  of student photographs and being trained as a PPA photo judge I will offer you my sincere comments and suggestions about your photographs in the field and at our critique sessions. Then in the week after the event you and I will do a 45 minute one-on-one phone session about your experiences and what you learned. At that session you will send me what you consider your best photograph of the week for printing. And most of all, you will have an amazing experience and will learn to be a better photographer.

Q: Can I sell any of the photographs I make during the workshop?
A: Yes you can. I will ask each of you to sign model releases when you arrive. You will of course have to respect the wishes of anyone you have included in your photographs as to their willingness to be photographed. When you include other people in your photograph it will be up to you to obtain their consent(s).

Q: Why this week and why Hidden Valley Resort?
A: It’s a two part question so let me go at it that way. First, I hope that this will be the best week for fall colours in the Muskoka region. When are the best colours is always a gamble in any given year. Certainly in 2015 the week of October 2-7 was a peak week. Having said that we will monitor the colours and have outings north, south, east or west from the resort to try and give you the best colour. That is why I do not publish fixed itineraries. We will keep loose. If we end up with weather that is not conducive to photography then I will have indoor activities planned. The resort has been very accommodating in providing us with a beautiful hospitality room with flat screen TVs, etc. We will use these facilities for the Sharing Centre and in case of bad weather. That’s one of the pluses of the the resort. When I was arranging for this event I met with the Muskoka tourism folks and they sent out a RFP to all of their members. Fifteen properties submitted bids. I was able to short list five suitable properties and I did a personal site visit to each of those. When all was considered the clear choice was Hidden Valley Resort.

Q: Are you doing other events like this?
A: While there are no other events planned as of this writing I do plan to offer more events as my schedule allows. But don’t bank on missing this event on the chance I may have something later. I make no promises.

Q: Why don’t you allow our husband/wife/partner/mother/kid to be part of this experience?
A: Simply put I don’t think it is fair to you or to your fellow attendees. Let’s call them a non-photographing partner (NPP) for this discussion. This is nothing against your non-photographing partner. It’s just that when you have a NPP with you your attention is split between keeping them happy and keeping you happy. My wife is artistic in her own right and she is fabulous at letting me have all the time I need to do photography when we travel. But I am always conscious of her presence and her sacrifice on my behalf. Other NPPs may want to ask questions and take my time away from other attendees. It is just not a good mix. On the other hand, if your partner wants to take part in the event and registers then I have no problem spending time answering their questions since they are fully part of the workshop. Having said that, depending on the number of NPPs we have along we may set aside social time for everyone to get to know each other.

Q: Should I buy a new camera for the event?
A: No. Let me explain. Don’t buy a new camera on October 1 and bring it to Muskoka to learn how to use it. You are cheating yourself. While I will do my best to familiarize myself with your camera before we start this is not a “let’s get used my a new camera week.” You will get much more out of the event if you spend the week photographing and not buried in a camera manual. If you want to buy a new camera before you attend the event then by all means do so. But buy it now. Get used to the camera over the summer. Know how it works. Be able to use it without thinking about where did they hide that ISO setting button.

Q: Can I arrive on Monday or Tuesday?
A: Sure. But I hope you don’t. I plan this event to run over its entire length. Concepts I introduce to you on Sunday will be built upon Monday and then used for a different concept on Tuesday. You get the drift. If you must come late or leave early there is no prorating of the enrolment fee since your space cannot be sold for Sunday and Monday for instance. Your hotel booking includes all five nights.

Q: How old do I have to be to attend?
A: Mature. I’ve seen 16 year olds who would fit right in and then 28 year olds that are not ready for this kind of event. If you are under 16 you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who will be responsible for you. They must also be fully enrolled in the event. You can double up in the room since rooms are double occupancy. I do expect that all participants will be respectful of themselves and everyone else. Bullying and abusive behaviour will simply not be tolerated. We are all here to have a good time. Examine your behaviour in that light.

Q: Assuming it’s good weather what will our itinerary look like?
A: We will start Sunday evening with a get together at Hidden Valley Resort. Here we will share our photos and experiences with the group. This will help everyone to get a handle on your style of photography. I will present an overview of the event based on the colour and weather reports. You will receive our shooting itinerary for the next day with alternatives as necessary. The next morning we will be up before the sun and on the road to our first shoot location. It will be nearby as we make sure everyone is able to perform. We will shoot from just before sunrise until an hour or so after. Then we will take a break. Around 1:00 we will have another shoot in a location that is not so light dependant. I find many small waterfalls are so narrow that the light that reaches them is more ambient than direct. We will knock off in the late afternoon and you are able to go back to the hotel, select your photographs for critique and grab an early supper before you head out for sunset. After sunset we will group back at the hotel and do the day’s critique and learning session. Then we repeat. On Friday we will have a morning shoot and then check out of the hotel and head home around noon.

Q: How will we share photographs to look at during critique?
A: With the flat screen TVs that are at Hidden Valley the best way to show our work is to connect each person’s computer directly to the TVs with HDMI or VGA cables. I will have these available at the workshop. We will talk individually to make sure your laptop has one of these outputs or that we have the appropriate adaptor to connect. If you can not make a cable connection we will transfer photos via the hotel’s Wi-fi connection.

Q: Why do you run these events?
A: I like to teach and share. A famous Canadian photographer and I were talking one day and I asked him why he lectures so much. He said, Bob it takes six months to master the techniques I teach. I figure I need to reinvent myself every few months so by the time the students master what I’m teaching today I’m already doing something different. Besides it’s usually the person that only has a one horse show that doesn’t want to share. I find the better the photographer the more they like to give back to photography.

Q: I like your answers and I can be free that week. What should I do now?
A: Go back to the section How to Register and follow the steps there.

Q: Do you have more/other questions?
A: If you do, write me at photo@bobgallagher.com or call 519-563-7118 and ask.
I hope to see you in Muskoka.

So, you’ve gotten all the way to the end of the FAQs and you’re ready to register NOW. I won’t make you go all the way to the top again. Just click on the button below and get started. See you in Muskoka and welcome.

Registration Form 2016