A Once in a Lifetime Experience

Other essays in this series

Navajoland Commuting, Monument Valley

Have you considered signing up for one of our workshops? Perhaps you are hesitating, not sure if it is really for you. I know exactly how you feel. I have been there myself and I have found that in this situation the best help is listening to those that have been there before. That is why in the Reflections on Photography and Art series I have published letters Natalie and I have received from workshop participants. Today I am publishing a letter by Jan Tofte, Navajoland Workshop participant. It will show you, better than I ever can, how our workshops can not only help you get to the "next step" with your photography, but also be a once in a lifetime experience.

Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2005 21:06:14 -0400
From: "Jan A. Tofte"
To: alain@beautiful-landscape.com

Subject: Thanks for the Navajoland workshop

Hi Alain and Natalie,

I would like to thank you for the terrific Navajoland workshop. I had certain expectations in mind before attending your workshop, for the most part how the workshop would help improving my photographic skills. Your expert guidance on photographic skills and developing a personal style, as well as the excellent choices of photographic locations, exceeded all my expectations.

Unexpectedly, the workshop turned out to be much more than this. The workshop was very inspirational as well as spiritual. It was this excitement and special atmosphere that made the workshop so special. Coming together with a group of likeminded people to discuss not only photography, but also to enjoy the outdoors in spectacular surroundings while reflecting on what brings us happiness in life, was a very important part of the experience.

Landscape photography is not just a term used to describe the subject being photographed. It's the incredible experience of being spiritually connected with Mother Earth and a way of expressing our appreciation by using our state of mind to capture these special moments into images. This workshop delivered a full package of experiences, not just a package of photographic skills development.

The very friendly and open-minded personalities of you and Natalie helped create this special group atmosphere. When the native American tunes from Travis Terry's flute started to whisper through Canyon de Chelly at sunrise, I knew this was not just a workshop on photography, it was a once in a lifetime experience.

One thing we all appreciated was your willingness to go out of your way to share all your personal experiences in the process of becoming a professional landscape photographer where you get to do for a living what you like the most. You did not keep any secrets, and shared detailed knowledge that would take years to acquire. This was very valuable knowledge that cannot easily be read or studied.

Yes, on the internet and in magazines you can read all about how to operate the latest digital camera, and the many ways you can take pictures. However, nothing compares to being in the field and acquire knowledge first-hand from someone like you who cannot stop sharing „secrets‰ and personal experiences. A very important part of the learning process was your constructive feedback during the daily print reviews, and the opportunity for the group members to see and discuss each others work.

I have been busy with work, and maintaining my computer system since I got back from the workshop. I will go through the pictures over the next week or two, and will send you the best shots.

Thanks again for the wonderful workshop. Special thanks to Natalie for taking such good care of us!




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