Trip Report: Tuli Nature Photography Workshop, December 2013

Gerry van der Walt All Authors, Gerry Leave a Comment

Wildlife and nature photography is an amazing hobby and last week Andrew and I had the wonderful privilege of  spending 4 days with a group of photographers as we focused on the entire photographic process of creating a portfolio of images.

Might sound quite simple but I seriously do believe that a lot of people could benefit from taking the time to look at their work and put together a portfolio of their images.

You see, social media and the way we consume digital media has turned us into photographers who would rather post a single image now and then rather than taking the time to put together a portfolio of images that shows a story, experience or best of a specific destination.

From Wednesday to Sunday last week Andrew and my goal was to assist a group of photographers through every single photographic step from conceptualising to presenting a portfolio of wildlife and nature images.

Gerry van der Walt - Wildlife photography

After arriving at Tuli we settled in and after lunch the brief was simple – create a 12 image portfolio of your Tuli experience by using, and shooting for, 8 different categories of wildlife and nature images.

Some of the photographers on the workshop were pretty comfortable with the finer technical details of their cameras and Lightroom while for others many of the concepts we were going to work through on the day was very new and there was a nervous excitement in the air.

Tuli Nature Photography Workshop

Tuli Nature Photography Workshop

Tuli Nature Photography Workshop

Tuli Nature Photography Workshop

Fast forward to the last evening.

After a celebratory sundowner in the dried up Limpopo riverbed each photographer had the opportunity to presented their portfolio to the group on the projector that had been set up in the open-air workspace which had, up until now, acted as the ‘command centre’ for our workshop.

As with last year’s workshop it was incredible to see the work that everybody presented and both Andrew and I were incredibly proud of how much everybody improved!

After a lot of shooting, in the field exercises and lots and lots of Lightroom time, here are the portfolios that were presented on the last evening of our 2013 Tuli Nature Photography Workshop.  I urge you to take a few minutes to scroll through the images – great collections!!

What We See: Carol

Carol had never done anything in black and white and playing around with how to convert to monochrome.  At that moment she decided to step way out of her comfort zone and do an entire portfolio of black and white images.  Carol had also never really worked on Lightroom and in the end, she produced a wonderful collection of images.

[gdl_gallery title=”tuli-carol” width=”125″ height=”125″ ]

My Tuli Zone: Renier

Renier had, in the past, done our Wildlife Photography Course and had specific techniques and types of images he wanted to work on.  With a focus on these images and some fine tuning in Lightroom, he put together a lovely collection of images.

[gdl_gallery title=”tuli-renier” width=”125″ height=”125″ ]

Encounters: Lize

[gdl_gallery title=”tuli-lize” width=”125″ height=”125″ ]

Even though she had previous photographic experience, this was Lize’s first wildlife and nature photography experience.  In the end, she presented a very strong portfolio of images that told a story of encounters within nature.

A Tuli Summer:  Veronica

[gdl_gallery title=”tuli-veronica” width=”125″ height=”125″ ]

Veronica has been photographing wildlife and nature for quite some time and presented a portfolio which focused on the summer season in Tuli.  By focusing on the smaller techniques and a bit of finesse, Veronica not only created a wonderful portfolio but, as with the other photographers, learnt some valuable new skills.

As mentioned before, I cannot be more proud of Carol, Renier, Lize and Veronica as even though they were taken out of their comfort zone, they created great images and portfolios all round!

To me, this is what a photography workshop should be.

It’s not about a quick ‘this is Lightroom’ session, but rather an in depth look at how to process your own images.

It’s not about just shooting random images, but rather have a dedicated goal to which to work towards.

It’s not about the facilitator getting the shots and being the focus of the trip, but rather being completely focused on the group and each individual photographer.

The entire experience of our Tuli Nature Photography workshop is about photography, and we have done everything we can to make sure that each person, regardless of what experience level they arrived as, leaves a better photographer.

Add to this an incredible nature experience which includes a night sleeping out under – and of course photographing – the African night sky, and you can be assured of an incredible wildlife and nature experience.

Tuli Nature Photography Workshop

We will be releasing the dates for our 2014 Tuli Nature Photography Workshops soon so make sure to keep an eye on our Facebook page or drop me a mail so that I can let you know as soon as the dates become available.

Thanks a lot to Carol, Renier, Lize and Veronica for sharing an amazing experience with us.  We look forward to following and being a part of your photographic journeys!

Until next time.

Gerry van der Walt

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