What’s New

What's New

Dear Fellow Shutterbug,

Photographically, it’s been an amazing year and it looks like next year will be even better.

I was thrilled to do spring photography workshops at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington D.C., then the wildflowers of Texas, followed by fabulous orchids and spring bulbs at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, all capped off by a very successful new 5-day workshop called “Great Gardens of the Mid-Atlantic Region,” which took participants to Chanticleer, Winterthur, Longwood Gardens, and Mount Cuba.

Over the summer, Anne and I had a terrific – and challenging — month-long visit to Alaska exploring all the national parks, even such remote ones as Kobuk Valley, Gates of the Arctic and Wrangell-St. Elias. I’m still editing the thousands of images I shot. I’ll let you know when I’ve posted them in “New Shoots.” I returned to another favorite destination, the Chanticleer Pleasure Garden, for a weekend workshop on ‘Digital Photography as Art.” Then Anne and I headed to Trinidad & Tobago to scout those islands for an upcoming travel photography workshop (see below).

In autumn, I returned to Chicago and Dallas to focus on fall color and business techniques, followed by a presentation in Orlando to the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

Now I’ve got my bags packed to take a group of adventurous photographers on a travel photography experience in India, a fabulous opportunity to see and photograph this colorful, diverse and fascinating country. Right after India, Anne and I will be going on a tour of Myanmar (Burma) and will see if this makes a good destination for future travel photography workshops. (If such a trip would interest you, let me know.)

It’s been a pleasure to see and work with many of you throughout 2014 and I look forward to meeting even more of you in 2015. You’ll find many great opportunities to hone your photographic skills, develop your creative potential, explore the ever-changing dimensions of digital photography, become more mindful and aware of the wonders around you, and learn with like-minded people who enjoy growing through personal interactions with the worlds of nature, flowers, gardens and cultures. So look below at the workshops I’ve lined up for the coming year.

Whether you are a returning student or a new participant, I hope to see you at one or more of these workshops to learn, have fun together and renew or build our connections.

All the best and hope to see you soon,

Allen Rokach

Upcoming Workshops

Upcoming Workshops

January 8-26: Travel Photography Adventure in South India; for details, click here.

April 9-12: Wildflowers of Texas; a 4-day photography workshop in Brenham, Texas; co-sponsored by the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden; for details, click here.

May 2-3: The Art of Digital Photography; a weekend workshop at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia; for details, click here.

May 23-31: Cuba’s People & Places: A Travel Photography Adventure; a 9-day photography workshop that will take us to fascinating locations around Cuba; for details, click here.

June 11-16: Maine’s Floral Landscape; a 4-day photography workshop based in Rockport, Maine; for details, click here.

July 17-18: Creative Perspectives in Digital Flower Photography; a weekend workshop at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, IL; for details, click here.

July 24-26: Creative Perspectives in Digital Flower Photography; a weekend workshop at Chanticleer Pleasure Garden near Philadelphia, PA; for details, click here.

October 16-18: Creative Perspectives in Digital Flower Photography; a weekend workshop at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, DC; for details, click here.

October 22-28: The Landscapes of Big Bend National Park; a 6-day photography workshop at Big Bend National Park in south Texas; co-sponsored by the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden; for details, click here.

November 13-21: Birds & Landscapes of New Mexico; an 8-day photography workshop at the Basque del Apache Wildlife Refuge and White Sands National Monument; for details, click here.

December 1-9: Cuba’s People & Places: A Travel Photography Adventure; a 9-day photography workshop that will take us to fascinating locations around Cuba; for details, click here.

On the Drawing Board

December 19, 2015 to January 9, 2016: Travel Photography Adventure in India; a 22-day travel photography experience that will take participants to the best locations for images of India’s people and their fascinating culture. Stay tuned for details.

February 5-14, 2016: Trinidad and Tobago: A Travel Photography Adventure; a 9-day travel photography workshop scheduled during Carnival and the height of the birding season. Stay tuned for details.

Travel Photography Adventure in South India: January 8-26

India

This unusual travel photography workshop takes participants to South India, one of the world’s most exotic and colorful destinations. I’ve been to India several times and can tell you that it is a photographer’s dream — visually rich and culturally fascinating. South India is home to fabulous Hindu temples, colorful markets, fascinating villages, unspoiled beaches, misty hillside plantations and much more, offering a stunning array of photographic opportunities.

This workshop will pay special attention to the needs of photographers. The group is limited to ten participants. That means you’ll have plenty of individual attention in the field and enough time in each location for serious photography. We’ll have opportunities to respond to the unexpected and even for review sessions every few days along the way. REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED FOR THIS WORKSHOP.

Wildflowers of Texas: April 9-12

Co-sponsored by the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Texas Wildflowers

I’ll be returning to the Brenham area of Texas, a prime spring wildflowers destination, for this popular 4-day digital photography workshop. We will go to several locations, including private ranches, to find the best places for photographing the eye-popping array of bluebonnets, coreopsis, Indian paintbrush, Texas winecups and other colorful specimens that blanket wide swatches of the landscape here. We’ll be photographing at sunrise and late afternoon to sunset with time in between for instruction on the finer points of digital photography, including after-capture techniques; review sessions; and personal exploration of the charming local towns. This workshop sold out last year so register early. For more information and to register, click here and check back in case the workshop is not yet listed.

The Art of Digital Photography: May 2-3

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, VA

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Digital imaging has revolutionized photography and liberated photographers. In this intensive two-day photography workshop, I will guide participants to the limitless possibilities of digital garden and flower photography, finding our subjects on the grounds of the beautiful Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. We will concentrate on creating images built around color, shape, line and texture, making strong visual statements using these abstract elements of design. We will also focus on portraying flowers in their garden setting, finding unusual perspectives for close-ups and groupings. While most participants will be working with digital SLR cameras, I will also offer instruction on creative uses of iPhone and iPad technology. Then, in our review sessions, we will explore ways to fine-tune and enhance our images in creative ways using today’s amazing but simple after-capture applications. For more information and to register, click here.

Cuba’s People & Places: A Travel Photography Adventure: May 23-31 and Dec. 1-9

Cuba's People & Places

With the recent announcement of plans to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, more people than ever will be interested in heading to this heretofore off-limits Caribbean island. All the more reason to get there soon, before its character changes.

This 9-day travel photography workshop has been arranged with an organization that has long experience running “People to People” humanitarian programs in Cuba – and has all the necessary permits and approvals, both from the US Department of State and Cuba. That means we can depend on going there and getting to great locations chosen especially for photographers.

Our journey, offered in May and December, will take us to Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Vinales and Havana so we can experience the full range of Cuba’s people, places and culture. We will include time at Cuba’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, districts with historic colonial architecture, cobblestone streets and picturesque port areas lined with fisherman and vendors of all kinds. We will visit many small art studios and cultural shops, open air markets with handicrafts, and will have opportunities to interact with local artists, writers, musicians, and dancers. We also will venture into natural areas of great scenic beauty – mountains, waterfalls, plants and beaches – and into the countryside for a glimpse of tobacco and other plantations, where we’ll meet typical Cuban farming families.

For more information, a complete itinerary and to register, email sharkeyfun@aol.com and put “Allen Rokach’s Cuba Travel Photography Adventure” in the subject line.

Maine’s Floral Landscape: June 11-16

Rockport, Maine and vicinity

Rockport, Maine and vicinity

Maine is known for its dramatic, rocky coastline. Less well known are the lupines and other wildflowers that bloom each June, beautiful in their own right and adding swatches of amazing color to the rugged and misty landscape.

In this 4-day photography workshop, we will explore the best locations around Rockport, Maine for this stunning combination of delicate wildflowers and craggy environment. Participants will learn how to work with all kinds of light and weather; effective composition for subjects in their setting; close-up techniques with macro lenses and other alternatives; and choosing the best lens for each situation. The workshop includes review sessions to see and learn from each participant’s images and practice simple after-capture techniques to improve and transform our images. For more information and to register, send an email to Allen at arokach@me.com.

Creative Perspectives in Digital Flower Photography: July 17-18

Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, IL

Chicago Botanic Garden

Digital imaging has revolutionized photography and liberated photographers. In this intensive two-day photography workshop, I will guide participants to the limitless possibilities of digital garden and flower photography, finding our subjects on the grounds of the beautiful Chicago Botanic Garden. We will concentrate on creating images built around color, shape, line and texture, making strong visual statements using these abstract elements of design. We will also focus on portraying flowers in their garden setting, finding unusual perspectives for close-ups and groupings. While most participants will be working with digital SLR cameras, I will also offer instruction on creative uses of iPhone and iPad technology. Then, in our review sessions, we will explore ways to fine-tune and enhance our images in creative ways using today’s amazing but simple after-capture applications. Stay tuned for details and registration information.

Creative Perspectives in Digital Flower Photography: July 24-26

Chanticleer Pleasure Garden near Philadelphia, PA

Chanticleer Pleasure Garden

Digital imaging has revolutionized photography and liberated photographers. In this intensive two-day photography workshop, I will guide participants to the limitless possibilities of digital garden and flower photography, finding our subjects on the grounds of the beautiful Chanticleer Pleasure Garden. We will concentrate on creating images built around color, shape, line and texture, making strong visual statements using these abstract elements of design. We will also focus on portraying flowers in their garden setting, finding unusual perspectives for close-ups and groupings. While most participants will be working with digital SLR cameras, I will also offer instruction on creative uses of iPhone and iPad technology. Then, in our review sessions, we will explore ways to fine-tune and enhance our images in creative ways using today’s amazing but simple after-capture applications. For more information and to register, click here and check back if the workshop is not yet listed.

Creative Perspectives in Digital Flower Photography: October 16-18

United States Botanic Garden in Washington D.C.

United States Botanic Garden

Digital imaging has revolutionized photography and liberated photographers. In this intensive two-day photography workshop, I will guide participants to the limitless possibilities of digital garden and flower photography, finding our subjects in the conservatory and surrounding grounds of the United States Botanic Garden. We will concentrate on creating images built around color, shape, line and texture, making strong visual statements using these abstract elements of design. We will also focus on portraying flowers in their garden setting, finding unusual perspectives for close-ups and groupings. While most participants will be working with digital SLR cameras, I will also offer instruction on creative uses of iPhone and iPad technology. Then, in our review sessions, we will explore ways to fine-tune and enhance our images in creative ways using today’s amazing but simple after-capture applications. For more information and to register, click here and check back if the workshop is not yet listed.

The Landscapes of Big Bend National Park: October 22-28

Co-sponsored by the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park encompasses the northernmost swath of the Chihuahuan Desert, a landscape of great environmental diversity and visual contrasts. This 6-day photography workshop will give participants many opportunities to hone their skills in landscape photography as we explore this subtly beautiful and ever-changing southwest Texas destination.

Daily outings at sunrise and late afternoon until sunset will enable us to capture each location in the most dramatic light; and we will focus on making the most of whatever light and weather conditions we find. We will work on portraying all aspects of the landscape, from grand desert, mountain and river vistas to the canyons, dunes, mesas, and rock formations typical of Big Bend. We will practice a variety of approaches to composition, such as capturing overviews, vignettes and details; integrating desert plants with the landscape; and looking for abstractions, shapes, lines and textures. Finally, in this remote natural environment, the dark night sky will give us a chance try long exposures for star trails. And those with in interest in wildlife can try their hand at capturing some of the many birds, mammals and reptiles in the park.

In the middle of each day, we’ll have time to hold review sessions to look at each participant’s photographic results, suggest ways to improve them and learn some simple after-capture techniques that can enhance our images.

For more information and to register, click here and check back in case this workshop has not yet been listed.

Birds & Landscapes of New Mexico: November 13-21

Basque del Apache Wildlife Refuge and White Sands National Monument

Basque del Apache Wildlife Refuge and White Sands National Monument

This unusual 8-day nature photography workshop takes participants to two distinctive locations in New Mexico to photograph two extraordinary aspects of nature. We begin outside Albuquerque at the Basque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, which is the winter nesting ground of huge flocks of frisky Snow Geese and elegant Sandhill Cranes, plus other birds and wildlife. We will rise early to experience and photograph these wild birds as they land in their watery feeding grounds, returning again toward sunset to capture their departing flights. We will practice various techniques for photographing these birds in action and in flight, capturing them against the dramatic mesas and foothills in the background. It is truly an awe-inspiring experience to watch and photograph these birds at such close range and in such a stunning setting.

Then we drive to White Sands National Monument for a chance to see and capture the remarkably pure white gypsum sand dunes outside Alamogordo. The sinuous shapes of the dunes and the fascinating textures along their surface are a photographer’s dream to play with in every kind of light. Finally, after reviewing our images, we return to Basque del Apache for another chance to photograph birds. For more information and to register, email Allen at arokach@me.com.