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© 2007-2015 Eva Polak.

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Advanced Students of Light
Photographic Journeys 2015

I'm talking to some of my students who completed the Impressionist Photography Advanced Workshop
white flawer

Elizabeth Mather

New Zealand

What did you most enjoy about the workshop?

I enjoyed the weekly challenges based on the theme for the week and the sense of satisfaction at having completed it. The weekly study set was well thought out and presented us with inspiring images. The YouTube clip on Goethe and his theory of colour really inspired me, and I am going to view it again and try to work with his theories. Overall, there was a sense that I was developing more of aconscious awareness around image-making. Sharing and communicating with the other participants was also extremely valuable and enjoyable. It was also great to learn and be inspired byothers. Even though we were not physically together there was a good group ethos and I felt part of a class. In addition, being aware of different techniques and practising them was fun and informative. Eva's feedback was very constructive in that it made me take a fresh look at what I had done, especially when it came to cropping out irrelevant detail in an image. This at times generated some interesting online discussion.

What was the biggest frustration?

Frustration is too strong a word as I never felt that. It was winter in Aotearoa/NZ so I had to work with low light, overcast days and not a lot of colour, while others in the Northern Hemisphere had lots of light and sun and colour to play with. I felt I had to work harder to feel inspired.

Name one thing in the course that surprised you?

Often when I received the week's assignment I would think, "I can't do this !" But something always seemed to present itself, like the Illume Festival or a frosty morning. There is always an image waiting to be created, and it is up to our creative vision to discover it and employ an approach that will make the ordinary into an inspiring work of photographic art. Indeed, that is our continuing challenge.

Which topics did you wish there was additional or follow up instruction on?

At this stage I can't say there was any. We were given enough to work with.

Did you learn anything that will change how you do photography?

I will spend more time in developing a conscious awareness of what I'm trying to achieve when capturing an image. It is important to be in tune with my feelings towards the subject and understand why I am drawn to create that particular image. I have normally worked quite spontaneously and I don't want to lose that, but I want to add a more considered dimension to my work. I have a vision of what I want to achieve with my images and this course has given me tools and motivation to keep striving. Another thing for me to work on is to be more reflective and analytical with my images. What I like is that there is still so much to achieve on this photographic journey.

8. Where can we see your work?

http://elizabeth.artifisphotography.nz/


Salwa Afef

Netherlands

1.What did you enjoy most about the workshop?

Unlimited possibilities and horizons of the art of photography! Eva's style of analysing and improving the photo, especially cropping and rotating! Feeling relaxed and encouraged to express my emotion and mood, very important for improving my ownstyle!

2. What was the biggest frustration?

Never felt this about art! I'm a happy photographer; I accept my mistakes and learn from them and I'm not afraid of new experiences.

3. Name one thing you learned in the course that surprised you.

Just one?
Defocusing technique is very important, not just for creating an artistic photo but to adjust the composition before I press the shutter. I use it with any kind of photography; it helps a lot to develop the composition and understand the light when I see the graphic design of my photo!

4. Which topic(s) did you wish there was additional or follow­up instruction on?

More about Multiple Exposure secrets, and maybe the Photoshop part!

5. Did you learn anything that will change how you do your photography?

I can be creative and enjoy any kind of light or bad weather, even midday's harsh light or white sky or street light, windy or rainy days, etc. There's a huge revolution when the photographer realises the existence of this concept of creation. I just need a lot of practice!

8. Where can we see your work?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/39938668@N08/


Karen H Colbert

USA

Thank you so very much for sharing your time and expertise with me during your Advanced Impressionist Photography Workshop. I found this workshop most valuable because it allowed me more opportunities to study, practise and enjoy the varied techniques you taught us in the 'Fundamentals' Workshop, in addition to adding new techniques along the way. I know that producing art is a very personal process and yet having a comfortable group setting in which to go deeper into concepts and share results with invaluable critiques is, for me, so important and necessary in order to learn and grow.

If there were any shortcomings with the structure itself, I could only suggest more exercises and practice in between giving new techniques. Don't get me wrong; I love a challenge but I also love to have the opportunity to really understand a concept prior to learning a new one. I am certain that the pace was fine for the group as a whole, though.

This would be the one thing about your course that surprised me the most. We were introduced to ideas that I thought I handled fairly well intuitively but discovered that I had more to learn.

The topic of "Mystery of Mood' is the one concept that I would benefit most from more training. To me, thinking through before releasing the shutter (lighting and composition aside) as to what 'Mood' I wish to portray in my image, is the basis of Fine Art photography. As I said before, applying the mood I wanted was something I thought I was doing but now realise I was only scratching the surface.

Although I have heard throughout my limited Fine Art Photography studies that we need to 'slow down' and 'think', all before releasing the shutter, your workshop and your instrumental critiques have really brought this concept to bear. I now appreciate this all much more than ever before.

Thank you very much for teaching this workshop and bringing the incredible joy of photography back into my life

http://www.karenhcolbert.com


Michaela Hanke

Germany

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself. When did you start your photographic journey?

About 15 years ago. Eight years ago I started with a lensbaby, than I had two babies myself and decided to make my living with photography.

2. Why are you interested in impressionist/abstract photography?

It keeps my hobby and passion for photography alive. I feel I do art in an instant, other than creating (amazing) documentaries of others. Iimpressionist images are about me, not about the others.

3. Was there any specific reason for taking this workshop?

I followed you for a while and waited for your workshops to come out, and it was well worth it.

4. What did you enjoy most about the workshop?

The exchange of comments with you, the reading of your fabulous workshop lessons, so well written and illustrated with your images.

5. What was the biggest frustration?

Not to have sufficient time to do what I like to do. I took all my images (of all lessons) in less than two hours; I wish it was two days!

6. What was the most significant thing that you learnt from this workshop?

The impact of light and colours, how they work with each other (or independently) to create a certain mood and/or a personal story. It was a significant move for me to speak out about what the images communicate.

7. Name one thing you learned in the course that surprised you.

I was surprised by your basic camera techniques. I had thought you were using more special things like lenses, filters, vaseline etc.

8. Which topic(s) did you wish there was additional or follow-up instruction on?

I wished to know what focal length you are using; that is quite essential for me, because depending on focal length, exposure effect is quite different on the blur of an image. Also, topic-wise I wish to know more about inspirations for good images and visual stories (artists, books, magazines, websites...)

9. Did you learn anything that will change how you do your photography?

Affirmation of overexposure, which I was never quite sure about. But the images are just magic that way. I will try to include them in my "paid" jobs to create little wonders.

10. What are your goals for the future?

Mount exhibitions, print images and get exposure. Facebook group is a good start, though, for feedback!

8. Where can we see your work?

www.frischbild, www.michaelahanke.com


Anne Williams

Australia

1. What did you enjoy most about the workshop?

There were several things that I enjoyed about this workshop. Learning from an impressionist photographer whom I admire, andwhose images I love, is an exciting and assuring experience. I loved how the workshop lessons we received were so clear and so easy to understand, and that the learning for each one built upon my experience and understanding from the previous lesson. I loved how lots of example images were provided, which made it easy forme to see what was required for the weekly assignments. I loved how there was extra information that I could research to further develop my understanding and knowledge.

2. What was the biggest frustration?

I did experienced one frustration. This was when my creativity was blocked by an emotion with which I needed to deal. But it was wonderful to know that you were so understanding about my lateness with my assignment. I also often find it quite hard to know how to compose my image forthe best outcome. Whether I should have vertical horizontal or square format, and also how much to include in my shot. I think this will come with experience and practice?

3. Name one thing you learned in the course that surprised you.

I think that I was surprised with one of your images amongst the lesson notes, Eva, and how I thought it was a wonderful image of ballerinas dancing in Swan Lake, taken from an upper balcony in at heatre. I thought about that image quite a lot, imagining how it was being shot, and possible settings used. Then it appeared in our Eloquent Water section of one of our lessons! I was very surprised and wondered why an image of Swan Lake was amongst other images of water! Then I realized it was an image of waves breakingon the shore. So I was surprised by just how much an impressionist image can evoke the imagination and appear like something else.

4. Which topic(s) did you wish there was additional or follow-up instruction on?

I wished the whole course could go on forever.

5. Did you learn anything that will change how you do your photography?

I learned heaps from this workshop. The most important was to stop, feel, look and really, really see, and to think about what it is that I wish to convey through my image. This has been very important to me, and I am endeavouring to slow myself down when I want to photograph and employ this thinking with every shot that I take.


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