Category Archives: Workshops

5 Steps to a Successful Photo Workshop

Vancouver Skyline from a photo workshop

Vancouver skyline and convereted to b/w using Nik Silver Efex Pro. Olympus OMD1MII 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400, 18mm

To start off my summer right, I attended the Vancouver Island Arizona Highways Photo Workshop with photographer, Shane McDermott. This workshop offered it all: wildlife, macro, landscape, and waterfalls on Vancouver Island. Although I have attended workshops before both as participant and instructor I decided to create a list of pointers to make the most of a workshop.

  1. Prepare – Be sure to read all the information given to you by the trip leaders. And more importantly, read it in a timely manner. You will need the correct shoes and clothes based on the temperatures. If you need to purchase these items, you may need time to break in something like water proof shoes/boots. Also, research the locations. Get familiar with where you are going, this will help you know what to expect. If you have the chance, arrive early or stay late. I arrived in Vancouver 2 days before the trip and enjoyed spending time on Grandville Island that wasn’t on our itinerary.

    bald eagle photo from a photo workshop

    Bald Eagle preparing to dive for a fish. Olympus OMD1MII 1/2500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400, 200 mm

  2. Gear – Plan early if you need to rent or purchase gear for the trip. Practice packing your gear to make sure it fits in your bag. Remember, you will need to carry your own gear. Before the Vancouver trip, I had tendinitis issues in my left wrist which made operating my tripod’s ball head difficult. So, I purchased a used pistol grip tripod head for the trip to ease my pain.
  3. Meet new people – Even though I knew several of the participants on the trip, I made a point of getting to know everyone. At each meal I ate with different people and the reward was hearing the interesting stories from the other participants.
  4. Be flexible – Prior to the workshop we received an itinerary but to provide us with better shooting scenarios, Shane altered it. Shane is familiar with the area and locations and always had the participants experience in mind. I tend to be a schedule follower, so this concept was hard for me. But, I learned to relax and enjoy the locations and photograph what captured my eye. Prior to the trip, I thought I would shoot mostly macro (like I often do), but found myself shooting many landscape and wildlife photos too. It was a freeing experience to not worry about a tight schedule.
  5. Ask Questions – As an educator, I often see students hesitant to ask questions. But, on a trip like this, you
    yellow flowers captured on a photo workshop

    Olympus OMD1MII 1/640 sec, f/4.0, ISO 1250, 100mm

    have dedicated time and money to get there, so make the most of it. Even if you think your question is silly. Shane answered every question in the field and in the classroom. He volunteered additional information and created a strong learning environment. I asked about his photo processing workflow and he showed us without hesitation.

So, when you sign up for your next workshop, or as you prepare for one, keep these pointers in mind to make the most of your photo workshop. Find out about more workshops by visiting

Also posted in Photographic Techniques

Bucket List

One item on my bucket list has been checked. I am so thankful that Arizona Highways Magazine chose my photo to run in the Sept 2015 issue advertising their photo contest. This is one bucket list item I would be happy to repeat! #ArizonaHighwaysMagazine #AmyHornPhotography #WatsonLake

Arizona Highways Magazine, Sept 2015

Arizona Highways Magazine, Sept 2015

iPad on the Run

Processing images at the track meet.

Processing images at the track meet.

I love my iPad. There may be some tablets that do these same tasks, but I began on an iPad and it is what I know. Last Saturday, my son was running in a track meet in Phoenix and since I love photographing sports, I contacted our Flagstaff newspaper to see if they had anyone covering the meet. With such a tight budget, journalists are rarely sent out-of-town. So, I was told I could send in photos and with the coach’s report of highlights of the day, they would try to publish something. Track meets are long. So, after 7 hours of shooting and 300 action photos of the athletes, I talked to coach and reviewed the results of the day. It was time to select the photos for the newspaper. This is when I began my iPad workflow….

To read more, head on over to the Arizona Highways Photo Workshops Blog where I explain how simple it was to use my iPad to process and submit images for publication. Or join me on June 20, 2015 in my iPad Workflow for Photographers workshop by signing up at

Austin Horn setting his pace in the 3200 m race.

McKenna Bryce moving on to the finals in the 100 m hurdles.

McKenna Bryce moving on to the finals in the 100 m hurdles.

Also posted in iPad, Photographic Techniques, Technology

Capturing Motion Workshop

Let me begin by saying this was a fun day. We had an energetic group of 20 photographers from the Flagstaff and Sedona Camera clubs that were willing to stretch their photography beyond landscapes to capture the motion of dancers.

As part of Sedona Photofest, I was asked to teach a workshop on capturing motion. We met at the Sedona Arts Center and spent the morning practicing the use of shutter speeds to capture motion. I brought in spinning tops and hot wheel cars for a hands-on experience. The participants evaluated the low light scenario and varied their shutter speeds to capture the motion. Using fast shutter speeds to stop action and panning with slower shutter speeds. Then we added flash units to see how that light would impact our moving subjects. Throughout the morning session we watched short ballet clips so that we could learn to predict the dancers movements.

After returning from lunch, our afternoon was dedicated to capturing motion of the dancers. Varying shutter speeds, flash and ISO settings the participants had fun. For variety, I set up portrait lights and a backdrop for posed portraits. Then, I gave them three days to process their images and send them to me. Here is a short video of our day capturing motion using participant photos and video clips. Enjoy.

Also posted in Photographic Techniques