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Travel Photography
Instructor: Alan M. Thornton                                                          Duration: 4 Weeks            Cost: US$169            

empty Traveling is one of the great pass times for many photographers; the culture, new sights and sounds, new landscapes, new faces. So much of what we experience in travel inspires us and helps us see things anew and fresh. This course is to help ensure that we have the right skills and knowledge to capture the sights and essences of the places we travel too, whether a far away exotic country, or simply a newer look at our very own neighborhood.

You don't need to be a master photographer or well versed world traveler to make great travel photos. Sometimes it's being in the right place at the right time, and having that camera in your hand. Other times it's learning to find the image, or creating it out of nothing but technical skills with the lens and camera. The camera is a great door opener to so many great opportunities and moments. What better way to make new friends or learn more about the world around you than having that camera in your hand as you walk the streets turning your afternoon into a scavenger hunt for that one image that captures the day, the place, the time? Have you ever wanted to walk up to a guy with a million tattoos, and big long beard sitting on his pride and joy Harley, and ask him if you could make a portrait of him? Maybe there was that one amazing meal you had at that outdoor café one late summer afternoon, with the great light and the food presented so beautifully. These are all those great moments and events in our lives that we describe later on to our family and friends. Our course together will help us capture those moments and places not as a plain snap shot, but as a thought out and crafted photograph that we will want to hang on our walls with pride!

Our travel course is geared towards those of us that have a basic understanding of our cameras, as well a sense of curiosity. We will be strengthening some of our basic camera skills and understanding, and applying them to help create the images we see in our minds as we explore. Through a series of exercises and assignments we will be building a small tool kit to pull from both technically, as well as creatively. There is nothing more frustrating than being wrapped up in the excitement of a moment, only to struggle fumbling with camera settings, or 'which f/stop, what shutter speed', and missing the action, the expression or the very moment that captivated us. We have all had that experience of photographing something we think we will never see again, only to go back to the hotel room later on and look at the images on our computers, disappointed to see they weren't as good as we thought and hoped, or even as good as they looked on the back of the camera. By the end of our four weeks together we will be able to see our images in our head, create them though the viewfinder, and confirm them on the back of the camera. There will a lot of experimenting and building new 'memory muscle' as well to help us learn to see things differently and uniquely from new perspectives.

We will also be discussing gear and equipment that is best for travel imagery, but also how to effectively use what you already have in your kit. As is often stated, the best camera is the one that is in your hand, so we will be pushed to be sure that our camera is always with us every where we go to capture every opportunity.

Each week our lessons will incorporate short lectured text explaining principles and guidelines of strong imagery design and composition, various approaches to some of the most common topics of travel imagery, and anecdotal stories to illustrate the point. There will also be sample images accompanying each lesson to help illustrate the concepts and approaches for you, with variations to try and explore on your own, as well as technical pointers and explanations to use that will help make those stronger photographs. Lesson assignments will be focused on capturing a person, place, thing, and event. They will be geared towards encouraging you to create an image the way you normally would, then exploring and applying some of the new techniques and concepts discussed in each section. You will then be able to compare your 'before and after' imagery, marking your advances and new skills. Each assignment will be carefully outlined to help easily follow guidelines ensuring that each principle can be both mentally and physically experienced, with the result being an image you never thought of creating before.


This course will cover the following topics:

    • Equipment and gear
    • Planning and Prepping
    • Reviewing f/stop and shutter speed
    • Lens choices
    • Choosing the right mode for the right moment
    • Capturing a sense of people, places, things and events
    • Isolating your subject from the back ground
    • Movement
    • Capturing the moment without interfering
    • Dynamic Perspective
    • Capturing the landscape
    • Portraits
    • Approaching a stranger
    • Light and time of day
    • Telling the story
    • Dealing with rejection
    • Being anonymous, or be in the middle of it all


Course Requirement:
  • A camera with full manual ability
  • A basic understanding of your camera in manual mode, shutter speeds and f/stops, a digital or film camera and the ability to (scan film) upload your images for critique.
  • A healthy sense of curiosity and wonder are a huge help, but not mandatory.
  • A variety of lens choices, or a lens that can cover a wide focal length range, (18-200mm)
Instructor: Alan M. Thornton

Alan M. ThorntonAlan M. Thornton has been an advertising, editorial, and fine-art photographer for 16 years, working with such clients as John Deere, Land Rover, Nike, Apple, Hewlett Packard, and TV Guide, Improper Bostonian, Tasteful Magazine, and Santa Fean. His company's current work involves classic and contemporary styled portrait illustrations for advertising and editorial clients that are captured on location or in the studio, and. Alan also integrates his fine art landscape and nature photography to help round out his business and to help satisfy his artistic endeavourers.

Alan has also been a dedicated photographic educator and consultant for over 8 years for various professional photographers, photographic workshop companies as well as photographic trade schools and institutes. He has been on the faculty of Boston University's Center for Digital Imaging Arts in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., as well as for the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Western Mass. He instructs on various topics from Location Portraiture and Studio Lighting to Business Fundamentals and Editorial Story Building. Alan also performs his own workshops at the Newspace Center of Photography, Connecticut Media and Photographic Institute, The Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, Sunglow Ranch Workshops, and the International Center for Photography in New York. He currently serves as a consultant and mentor for new professional photographers as well as established photographers to aid in creating a stronger market presence and development of a distinct style and photographic approaches.

Alan balances out his roles as educator and editorial business with various photographic documentary projects. Alan's current portrait project has taken him to Cambodia where he has interviewed and photographed the Khmer Rouge survivors who testified in the countries war tribunal hearings. His previous project took him to southeastern Turkey, where he explored the mountainous regions of the border of Turkey and Northern Iraq in pursuit of making large-format black-and-white portraits of the nomadic Kurdish people who live there. His work has been featured with Hewlett Packard, which has earned him the Prestigious Photographer sponsorship, as well awards from The Center For Fine Art Photography and the IPA Merit Awards for his travel and documentary work.

His Web site address is:
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