It's great to get feedback about my teaching abilities, but above all, it's really just knowing that my participants enjoyed their time with me that's the main thing.
Raynor Czerwinski (Colorado, US)
Isle Of Eigg Workshop - April 2013
At the time of Bruce's workshop last year, I have been photographing landscapes for about 15 years, the last 6 of which I have been a full time landscape photographer/gallery manager.
I remember thinking this will be a great experience, and maybe ill pick up a few handy tips here and there. Boy was I in for a surprise. Bruce is an amazing teacher. He will meet you at your particular photographic skill level, and help you elevate your vision, style, and technical proficiency in countless ways. Bruce was more than happy to answer any questions you had, and the hands on help in the field was delivered in a clear, concise, and personalized way that was instantly assimilated.
My "Day job" of 20 years was being a chef, and let me tell you, the food was fantastic. The locations we visited were drop dead gorgeous, and our base, The Lageorna B&B, was fantastic.
If you are in your first, fourth, or even fifteenth year of the photographic arts, Bruce's workshops will advance your craft and your vision in ways you did not think possible.
Bruce also has fantastic taste in music, if you are looking to expand your musical palette, look no further ;-)
Many thanks for what was a great trip.
I've been chewing on the lessons learned from the last week of interaction and instruction, and feel I made a strong step forward (I'll be chewing on them a bit longer as well.)
As always there is more to learn, but-- for lack of better words--I have a new appreciation for how to "feel" the landscape. It's an interesting place to be. Thanks again.
Jeff Bannon (Arran workshop August 2014)
Having taken your Patagonia tour last year, I came to Eigg with impossibly high expectations. I am happy to say those expectations were entirely justified!
I really enjoyed photographing in this beautiful corner of Scotland, while learning how to make compelling images by paying attention to the visual flow, symmetry and balance. It was equally exciting to learn how to bring the essence of a picture into focus in the digital darkroom. You showed us that successful images work because the elements in the frame relate to one another and how we can strengthen those relationships in our edits. This was a real light bulb moment for me! Thank you, Bruce, for your expert guidance together with your gentle encouragement to push myself just that little bit further.
I truly believe that the Eigg workshop is an important milestone in my photography journey. I cannot wait to join you again on another photography adventure, be it in the Bolivian altiplano or Iceland or somewhere else.
All the best,
Atri Ray, Canada
After having participated in your Isle of Arran workshop, I would like to thank you again for all what you have been teaching us. I am realising that my perception of what is good light might well have changed for good! I have also made a quantum leap in composition - I believe - and in my photoshop skills, while observing what you were doing to our pictures during the in-door sessions.
I am touched and grateful by how generously you shared your knowledge with participants, not only on the field, and in the in-door sessions, but also through the documentation that you shared with us.
More: unlike other photographers, you did not use the time during the workshop to take your own pictures, but you dedicated it all to tutoring us. Very appreciated!
Thank you again, you are a wonderful teacher.
Once again thank you very much for a fantastic week in Scotland. I enjoyed all aspects of the workshop (even the weather).
The Isle of Arran – a fantastic place, although without your eyes I wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate its charm. I really admire your talent to instantly find symmetry and beauty (= a good composition) in every rock pile.
Thank you very much not only for good organisation of the workshop, but even more for your devotion and patience to discuss for hours on how to improve our photography ( composing and editing skills).
The great thing about standing for two hours in a scenic, if inhospitable, area, in near-freezing temperatures, at 5:30 in the morning and with rain whipping your face and your camera – which by the way is way more water resistant than I used to give it credit for – is that you have nothing else to do than to focus on the photography. You pay attention to every detail, you find tiny rocks you’d never have thought could be so interesting, and spend ten minutes trying to get that creek in your frame just right.
More than anything else, what has stayed with me since is how much one needs to think about the frame and the scene and the relationships between elements to capture a successful image, and how conversely concentration allows one to find and bring out interesting elements in an otherwise unassuming scene. I used to walk through areas, take a quick look around, and if nothing caught my attention I’d just walk away to the next place. As these things go hand in hand, I was equally nonchalant in my compositions, only to realize in front of my computer that they were off somehow. I try to be less casual now. I can’t claim that all my compositions are successful, but at least now they’re deliberate.
The workshop has left a lasting impression on me. The great thing is how it doesn't just apply to landscape photography; I'll be framing for a portrait or an everyday life scene, and I'll notice elements that I would have missed before, and that allow me to adjust the composition for a more effective picture. I see bits of Torridon in quite a few of my most recent images (as a matter of fact I just finished a small website, if you're curious; you might recognize a shot or three: http://www.wtbphoto.com.
The company during the workshop was great, and the organization, accommodation and food were top-notch. I appreciated the fact that you were truly present and dedicated to the group and divided your attention effectively among everyone. I can’t say how pleasantly surprised I was at your practical, down-to-earth approach. I’ve seen people tear each other to pieces over topics such as film vs. digital, post-processed vs. straight out of camera, camera brands and what not. You just go with whatever works best for the photographer and for the image, and I found that to be very refreshing.
I definitely look forward to joining you again on a workshop.
All the best,
Wealon Bouillet, France
After doing quite a lot of one-day photo workshops I was convinced that they are a waste of time because of the poor quality, so after a while I decided to abstain from them.
Last october a good friend of mine showed me your website. Your style appealed to me and, on that moment more important to be honest, it was a good excuse to come over to Scotland. So we decided to take a week of and head for the isle of Arran with you.
Coming to Arran turned out to be a very good decision. The group were a nice collection of international photographers.
Bruce you are very energetic! Both during the shoots and the very detailed discussions on the work of the individuals. You explained in your very pleasant manner your vision on composition, practical tips during the shoot and helping out whenever possible.
What was especially appealing to me was the fact we stayed together in one hotel, this enabled me focus on photography from early in the morning till (long) after sunset.
This was the first time I really learned useful stuff in a photo workshop; when you are into landscape/nature photography doing a workshop with you, I feel, is an absolute must.
I’m pretty sure I’ll sign up again (provided there is any space, since your workshops have a tendency to be sold out quite rapidly ;-) )
Francois Clemens, The Netherlands
I came to your workshop on Eigg knowing that something was missing from my photography but unsure what it was. The time i spent on Eigg with you helped me to really think about my photography and develop a different approach, especially in terms of visualisation.
I learned so much in those days on Eigg, not just technical aspects of photography but interaction of the person in making the picture. I would not have this knowledge without your mentorship on the course.
I look forward to spending more time in learning from you in the future and thanks again for a productive and enjoyable course.
I have really enjoyed both the workshops I have done with you in recent years.
Each day “working” with you has been fun, low key and very informative. You have such a positive manner that I found it necessary to curb my own enthusiasm with other participants on the second workshop!
Personally I found your structured days, choice of locations to shoot and places to stay, unbeatable.
Words give a clue to your results, but a quick glance over the participants photos on your web-site say it all to me: they would all be top ten in in most competitions I see...
All the very best, Dom
I’ve taken two of your workshops and I’m looking forward to doing it again. I must admit that I went on the first workshop expecting instant improvement and to get that “trophy image”. However, I came away with something much more valuable - I learned to see (the images were pretty good too). The critique and technical information sessions were invaluable - I learned a lot.
It didn’t all happen at the workshop. It kind of snuck up on me after I got home. I’d be framing up a shot and I swear that I could hear Bruce Percy’s voice whispering to me about composition. I had developed a bad habit of putting the camera in machine-gun mode and hoping to get something. You gave me permission to slow down and look at the light.
I’m ever so grateful for the help you gave me. The small class size certainly allowed for a great deal of personal attention. I don’t mean to sound as though it was all very deep and didactic. The groups at both workshops were great; we had a lot of fun. And your Scottish sense of humor still has me chuckling when I think of some of the things you said. By the way, since I got back to the US I’ve been able to act as interpreter at several Scottish events.
I would be remiss for not thanking you for having a special rate for non-participating partners. That allowed me to bring my wife along (she is not a photographer) to enjoy the wonderful scenery and the great company.
I look forward to honing my skills under your tutelage at a future workshop.
Cheers (I think that’s UK for thanks & goodbye),
Your 5 day workshop on Eigg has been a turning point in my photographic life. Through your guidance, I now have a much better understanding of the elements that make for a successful and compelling landscape image.
I found your emphasis on the artistic, rather than just the technical aspects, to be just what I had hoped for and for these reasons, I would recommend you very highly.
All the best
Mike Allen (Eigg April 2014)
The trip surpassed my expectations in terms of scenery, company, hospitality and of course creative input. I hope you mean what you said when you mentioned in the cafe in Stornoway that there might be a landscape photographer in me.
You have taught me how to slow down, consider and reflect and learn.
Something clicked inside me on the course. I know how to use a camera but didn't know how to use myself. I'm chuffed to bits with the images I got and can see how to improve already.
All the best Bruce
Dudley, Duds, Dug, Duggy
Describing the trip as FANTASTIC would be a gross understatement!
Aside from beautiful country and great people, I really enjoyed walking around with you and watching how you see. That is what I came for, and certainly gained from!
Meanwhile, I'd love to hook up when you come to the Bay Area. Let me know as soon as you have dates so I can be sure to reserve the time. Got to get to work, so again I'll just say how happy I am that I was able to join you.
Best wishes, Paul , CA, USA
Thanks again, I'm really glad it worked out on short notice. I
had a great time and you left me with a lot to think about in terms of composition, technique and even gear.
It was great to have a weekend of immersion in photography whether it was taking photos or just talking about places, gear, photographers, etc..
I think the workshop had a great balance of shooting and critique.
I will definitely do some more of your workshops.
Best, Bob, NJ, USA
I just wanted to thank you for a great weekend. My heart's in the Highlands....I had forgotten how good for the soul the semi-wilderness is and what a wonderful part of our wee country Assynt is.
I learnt a lot in a very short space of time and it has certainly inspired me to get up early or stay out later in the wilds of Dumfries and Galloway.
My equipment may not quite be up to scratch but I was really happy with what I did produce in the short space of time - thanks in all ways to your very generous and very gentle suggestions and help.
The Ceilidh Place was a great place to stay and makes me want to go back and stay longer - the hospitality was so good and the staff were so relaxed.
My aim is to go and practice now what you have taught me and think about investing in a few better bits of gear in the future. I shall keep an eye on your website and blog for further news and will certainly think about future courses with you as Eigg and Bolivia/Patagonia seem too good to miss - will need to start saving hard.
Thanks again for a superb weekend.
Will keep in touch and will go and try your link again...
Catriona Macdonald x
Having been on three of your workshops I have found each one to have learnt something new.
You have the rare ability to communicate your message that I find myself alone repeating these mantras.
For me I found the benefit in sharing ideas and experiences in the company of like-minded souls whilst enjoying great food and sumptuous accommodation made the time away so relaxing and a perfect atmosphere to be inspired to make great images.
The weekend workshop was excellent and I have learned a lot. Probably more than I realise. It certainly has whetted my appetite for more. F
I will probably come back and do another workshop sometime. I certainly hope we meet up again.
Regards, Leslie Tait, Orkney
I just wanted to say thanks for the Harris workshop; it's been a great help to me in my photography, as well as being a thoroughly enjoyable trip!
I confess that I was ... 'a wee bit concerned' at the idea of a week in the Outer Hebrides in late November, but that was unfounded. As it was, the fine weather meant very comfortable shooting conditions and a different style of image than I was expecting: calm and wistful skies, rather than stormy drama. It's a 'win' either way, and I'd certainly go there again at the same time of year.
Quite apart from the superb location, the workshop itself was excellent and met all my expectations, both artistically and logistically. As I expected, it was an intense few days of photographing and critiquing, which was just what I was looking for! Notably, it made me get out to locations before sunrise - something I'm not exactly good at. The experience of the quality of light at that time of day has meant that I've done this again since, and my images are now benefiting from the soft light and remarkable colours on the cusp of night and day.
There were several specific things which I learnt to appreciate and use (the merits of low light - how dodging and burning is a major boost to many images by directing the eye and adding emphasis - what makes a strong composition - and many more things), but the main feature of the workshop, for me, was the opportunity to be in a creative environment for several days, learning things through discussion with both you and the other participants. I'd put this group dynamic, which you created, and the ensuing discussions, coupled with your strong artistic vision, as probably the major element in producing such a successful and entertaining workshop.
I'd also like to say that you are very good company and meaningfully inspirational about photography. I'm currently considering attending an Eigg workshop, if time allows; looks like a fantastic place!
Hi Bruce -
I hope you are enjoying a well-earned rest.
This quick email to thank you again for all your energy, guidance and help making this a great week.
I definitely plan to return on another workshop.
And if you do choose to visit Glacier National Park or Denali, please let me know beforehand and I will do my best to join up with you, I can even assist with the planning. I just need a LOT of notice.
Keep up the great work, all the best on booking those workshops!
And now I am off on my flight back across the pond.....
....Steve Naor, Ontario
Firstly I did really enjoy the workshop; as I said at the time you have scored the highest marks out of the workshops I have done this year.
Ian Cameron will really have to deliver something special in November to score higher - yep it was that good :-)
But enjoying it is one thing, but did my photography improve? I certainly think it did. Looking back I realised I didn't explore the beaches as much as some people, but I am more use to working just one location and not exploring with the camera. However, as I sit here and process my shots (I know I should wait a couple of weeks but I couldn't resist) I see that some images are real stunners (to me anyway).
But, even though the great location and the excellent in-the-field guidance helped make these images the real change in my photography has come from the review and processing sessions we had.
These sessions made the workshop "leaps and bounds" ahead of the competition.
Seeing how you process the images to introduce "presence" and to lead the eye using post processing techniques was a real eye opener.
I think you yourself really poured everything into the workshop; Your approach is very good and you had time for everyone; I don't think I could have asked more of you.
So in summary, it was great and I will be booking another trip with you when I work out which one I want to go on. Skye, Assynt, Harris, Torridon are all very attractive :-) Unfortunately I think Harris in November is a bit too close to my workshop with Ian Cameron, otherwise I would be very tempted. Anyway, thank-you for a great time and I hope your trip to Ethiopia goes well Regards.
Phil Corley, UK
I must say that, I've take a long time to answer because I needed to take this time to think about what I've learned, what I've experienced, how I embodied the ideas, feelings and knowledge from you and from the other participants.
Let's start with the points you've suggested:
Being on the Isle of Eigg was a tremendous and marvelous experience; I couldn't imagine that the Isle would inspire me the way it did. I can remember the first morning shooting there... I was like experience something I dreamed about... the light, the shapes, the surroundings, well, all the place itself. I can assure you that being on Eigg (and Muck) was, at the moment, the most fantastic and creative experience I've already have.
Being on an Isle, surrounded by sea, is, in itself, a very challenging experience and what I felt was very different with my daily experience in the "hard" mountains near my home; so, for me, viewing and making a picture on Eigg was a challenge for my creativity and I do like daily challenges; I feel that Eigg was like a kind of "creativity juice" I needed to carry on with my vision. Definitely, the Eigg workshop made a very big difference to how I'll view/experience a picture in the future.
About the schedule, well... I do like to sleep in the morning :-)! Kidding, I think it was a very well planned schedule to photograph. I think it's universal that the golden hours are the sunrise and sunset, and, well, cloudy days, when the light is softer. But, I must say that the planning was well made, I think, in the near future, I'll adopt this schedule in my own workshops.
Did the trip meet my expectations? Oh, it sure it did. Well, it surpassed my expectations highly. I can assure you, the trip/workshop was one of my best life/personal experiences I've already have.
About your approach, well, my expectations were surpassed as well. You can't imagine how your "words"/thoughts/experience resonate with me; as I told you in the beginning, I had a "creativity juice" with this experience, and you were the main "sponsor". In fact, I must say that the couple of hours we discussed the photos were the higher moment of the workshop, I learned so much, it was so helpful that, today, when I shoot, I stop for a while, take a deep breed, feel the moment, the photograph, and remember all that know-how I've learned with you (and with your thoughtful and inspiring ebooks). In the end, I feel happier with my "new" method, approach to photography. Even the 4x5 format... well, I'm in love with it! Really!
As you know, words are insufficient to describe the feelings, thoughts and ideas about this unforgettable trip and workshop. But one thing you must know: after the workshop, I feel I'm a better photographer; I think, as well, I'm a better person. Sincerely, thank you for all. Thank you for being one of my inspirational "muses". Thank you for being a friend of mine. Thank you.
João Pedro Silva
Since I am such a beginner (and bloody lazy manual reader I have to admit), the short session together with you on the first evening gave me loads of inspiration for the rest of the week because you made me understand the camera better. I know you mentioned some people do not even know their camera and I am one of them, definitely, still not having the routines or all understanding about photography in principle... You don't run a camera workshop after all, I am aware of that. But despite you were very patient with me, pointing out the clouds and trying different exposure times with me while besides teaching me about some basics and my camera really. You made me feel very comfortable about it because of your approach, not a second I felt like a dumb-ass or stupid idot, on the contrary - it was a very valuable kick-off for me for the week. Lacking talent or not, I was happy and confident strolling off on my own for most of the week after that with my music in the ears and experiment and learn for myself.
I felt the hostel was great and a perfect base, food very good too, and lovely friendly hosts. The schedule worked very well. As you mentioned it's all logistics dependent - so that one is just ideal I guess because of the short ways. Because of my beach dependency I personally would have loved to spend a session or two more on Singing Sands, but I also understand that because of the tides that would not have made sense. So I'll just have to come back.
Personal most happy memory: the night on Singing Sands where I saw you get off your boots and I thought... wow that's just great, I'll have to do that too, why didn't I think about that myself! I just love to wade barefoot in the water and the sand and I just felt happy like a little girl those two hours.. didn't want it to end :-).
Thanks again for a very good week Bruce. I really enjoyed it!
Best wishes, Sonja Grubenmann, Swizerland
One of the best ways to get inspired is to surround yourself with enthusiastic people in an inspiring environment and I think you directed us well.
I improved my technical skills, both with your help and by asking the others. Also learned to look for patterns and shapes that aren't so obvious at first but come out quite a lot when the camera has recorded it.
I think the schedule was very good, it was a a schedule for people who love photography and who wants to make the most of their stay, and I'm one of them.
The trip exceeded my expectations! The afternoon critique sessions were really helpful, and to be honest I would have expected people to be quite nervous around them but I don't think anyone was.
You did a good job making us feel comfortable, letting us introduce ourselves and create a friendly atmosphere. You know the importance of letting everyone know what's gonna happen next which is key to have people more relaxed.
I think your approach was quite direct and "no bullshit" and at the same friendly. It was maybe a bit repetitive to have the same schedule all five days, maybe one photo shoot could be a task given by you. Just one session, to break the pattern a little.
I found you very friendly Bruce, but I gotta admit I'm the kind of person who asks too few questions and I feel I could gotten more out of your tuition but that's my problem, not yours!
Might be way I would have liked an assignment or task during one session, cause that probably would have had me ask more.
I liked all the other participants which I really hadn't expected, there's always someone not playing along - hey maybe that was ME! :-o
Thanks for a great workshop,
take care and best regards,
Mats Berglund, Sweden
wow, what a wonderful time it was on the islands, not only the dramatic finish on Muck!
I very much liked the unusual schedule of the workshop, it was for the first time I really appreciated the early morning and late evening hours (=> magic moments!). Sometimes I found myself in a kind of hassle as I wanted to enjoy the moments and felt a pressure to take pictures at the same time! But I had my great moments when I could enjoy a good shot! I always felt completely exhausted after the sessions, but I consider this as a good sign! I think I improved a little, not only could I sharpen my eyes for outstanding shapes and figures "on the set" but I also found the critic sessions most useful. It was then that I found you most helpful. Maybe one suggestion: As we had about eight sessions and we were eight participants it may have been useful to have the possibility to "hire" you for one session - not exclusively but in the sense that each participant could work with you continuously during a whole session. Maybe another kind of dialogue would be possible, maybe more intensive... This of course not mandatory but on a voluntary basis!
Thank you, Bruce, for an outstanding experience. I very much look forward to seeing you again in Switzerland next year. I wish you all the best, go on with these workshops but don't forget the work/life balance!
I want to thank you for a great time at the workshop.
I had big expectation to the workshop and the trip to Eigg. I must say that you and the workshop (and Eigg) exceeded beyond any expectations I had! It was really a fun, educational and a great experience for me.
First of all – it was a great group. It seemed like everybody enjoyed themselves. There was a good synergy and everyone was keen on sharing there skills and ideas.
And you Bruce have great human skills. I loved you approach about wanting to figurer everybody out skill wise, so you could shape your help accordingly. Everybody has different needs of help and even with big differences in peoples skill level, I think that everybody got something out of the course.
Another good thing was that you listen to input and wanted the dialog. This made the workshop alive and made one feel that they are a part of it. And you have a great sense of humour – that is important.
Furthermore – you were well prepared. It was a good idea with the hardcopies you handed out. As for the schedule, it could not have been more perfect for me. The critics during the daytime were important if one wants to develop themselves though a few days.
I did find the trip very inspiring and I learned a lot. Most important was the time of day so we could capture the good light. And the use of grade filters.
Finally the workshop wanted me to go and take pictures and I think that is what is most important.
Thank you for a good time in Scotland and Bruce, if you are coming to Copenhagen please drop by for dinner or a cup of coffee.
Christian Egedius Bendtsen, Copenhagen, Denmark
I had an amazing time on Skye, the course far surpassed what I was expecting. I found the whole thing to be very enjoyable, and tiring, but in a very good way !!
I thought there was a really nice dynamic to the group. I will definitely be booking for Eigg at some stage in the near future.
I think the workshop has really helped to progress my photography which whilst at an early stage can do with some direction. I think it will certainly save me from making some of the "schoolboy errors" in the future.
I hope you enjoyed the week too, it was nice to be in a very small group and hopefully enabled you to have a nice relaxed end of year workshop to finish 2010. I'll keep in touch every now and then through email and your blog, take care. Simon.
Simon Hillier, Portsmouth
Thanks for your nice comments, it has been a pleasure as always! Actually, this time and our trip to the "Old Man of Storr" left a lasting memory :-)
This course again provided a lot of benefit for me, I have been reminded that you never stop growing as a photographer, and that you should set yourself new goals every time. On the Syke course, longer focal lengths and a more careful approach to making images were my personal goals.
I am pretty satisfied how I managed to get a away from my favorite 24mm length (I was a bit married to it) and discovered the potential of longer lengths, opening the door to a new world of landscape photography. Regarding a more careful approach to photography and slowing down, here I have to keep on working on myself, but I think I am on the way...
I always enjoy coming to Scotland and I like the setting of your courses very much, let alone you as a teacher and person, so I will come again in the future
Peter Boehi, Switzerland
The weekend was a fantastic experience throughout:
enthusiastic people setting out before dawn to explore a gorgeous landscape in mystical twilight,
driven and inspired by a competent and entertaining tutor.
I can only think of one improvement: participating in a longer workshop!
Best wishes, Hartmut Schirmacher
thanks again for a brilliant weekend!
I just loved every minute, and got so much out of it. In my usual academic way, I need to describe it in words as well as pictures, and so you might like to look at my blog - there are 3 entries relating to the weekend, and a fourth one will follow later this week, as I explain at the end of the third
I know that I have 'upped my game' enormously as a result of this. Even coming in to work today, I stopped in Bridge of Allan and photographed Stirling Castle (on my FM2 with a 50mm lens and Velvia film!) in a consciously different way this morning - the light was great, after all the rain yesterday.
All the best,
Michael Marten, Edinburgh
Thanks again so much for a fantastic workshop.
It was such an adventure- getting up before dawn and squelching through the grass with our headtorches to find a good spot before the sun came up-back to the hotel for 9 ish for a huge breakfast, critiques of the morning shoot, and then out again in the afternoon, till well after the sun went down. I loved it!
You managed to pack so much into the short time we were there- from our well-organised trips to the photoshop sessions, and then the critiques which were incredibly helpful to see what could be improved in our shots.
Everyone had at least one shot they were proud to show off by the second day, but more importantly, everyone was fired up to get out and take more pictures!
It really didnt matter about the rain (well most of the time!) and it really helped that the rest of the group were such good fun, and were up for getting out and about no matter what the weather. Nobody wanted to waste a single second.
Learning to use the ND filters was an absolute revelation- it's like learning a secret that other great photographers must be keeping to themselves!
You are such a patient teacher, great fun, and generous enough to share your own work processes, so we can learn from them.
I found the workshop inspiring, and I've come home with a new buzz about my photography.
I'd recommend the experience to all photographers-no matter what your skill level, it will improve after this workshop.
Mabel Forsyth, Edinburgh
Thanks once again for one of the best weekends I have had for a long time, unfortunately I now cannot concentrate at my work for the want to go and put all of this into practice again.
I really enjoyed myself and feel that I took so much from it, and for that, I really do owe you genuine gratitude.
Your delivery, pace and general attitude towards teaching others was simply outstanding, this combined with your own inimitable style should make you proud of not only your photography but also how you inspire others, I could have read any amount of books and still not have learned as much as I did this weekend and been bitten by the bug in this way. Im looking forwards to lots of cold, wet and very early mornings (I think), trying to capture something special myself now.
If ever you are looking for another testimonial let me know because I cannot recommend this highly enough and will definatly return for more.
You know, when I first saw your website a year or so ago I was pretty stunned actually. It is rare that I react like that to other photographers' work. Some photographers can produce one or two stunning images, but the mark of a real talent is being able to produce a body of work and keep adding to it without it becoming more of the same. I think that's what you do. And that's why I came up to Glen Coe for the weekend. To shoot an awesome landscape but to chat with you, share what we both do and learn what I could from the group.
Thanks for showing us some amazing locations, for ordering that unreal light on Saturday morning, and I look forward to the next time we can do more of the same. Thanks again.
Kieron Monahan, London
I just wanted to say thanks for a great workshop. It was even better than I had hoped it would be.
Before I booked the workshop I was looking at an article on workshops by Brooks Jenson of Lenswork and he said that many great photographers do terrible workshops because they can't communicate their ideas verbally. He said that you need a good communicator as well as a good photographer. From listening to your Video "Scotland - on landscape photography" I knew that you could communicate well as well as produce stunning images.
As I said in my long questionnaire response, I was looking for help in seeing what to photograph and how to select the shot from a big complicated landscape. You have really helped with this. I was thinking about each shot much more, using the tripod for the final fine tuning of the composition and above all, simplifying.
There were a few things you said to me that have really stuck. The first was from the very first set up I did on Saturday morning when I had some bits of heather and a big rock in the foreground of the shot. You said that I should look at the scene through one eye to reduce it to 2 dimensions and that when I did, I would see that the heather just became a mass of random lines. You were, of course, correct.
The next was about getting low to take the middle distance out of the shot or getting higher to bring it in more.
I think the big thing for me, though, was the importance of simplicity. I like the idea that painters decide what to put in a picture and photographers decide what to leave out. You had several ideas on this that were very helpful. One was the idea that if something is going to be in the shot, it should be right in it and not lurking at the side. I think the best thought I will take away with me, though, is that every part of the image is like an actor in a play and they should all have a purpose. If they don't, remove them from the frame.
I was also impressed by your ability to see what no one else could. The small piece of ice shot at the Lochan on Sunday morning was classic. We had all walked past that several times and missed it. I will be practicing looking for images even when I don't have me camera with me, in the hope that I can start to see more.
Anyway, thanks again fro a great weekend and I hope your upcoming course in Torridon goes well.
Norman Bews, Fife
The highlight for me of course was the Torridon workshop with you and my fellow light chasers. It was only a weekend but it seemed a million memories and experiences were wrapped up in those few short magical days , thanks to your enthusiasm, innate teaching ability and your interest in making sure we all got the benefit of your knowledge. Thanks also for the invaluable info package you gave each of us. I can't wait to get started using the suggested workflow.
Thanks so much again, Bruce, for giving inspiration to the rest of us. I'll be looking for your " omnipresence" on my next photo outing and having a chuckle over that one.
Lynda Taylor, Ontario, Canada