Workshop with a legendary Photographer

Saturday, November 12, 2011
Skillingebro Naturskole near Rebild, Denmark

For more than 20 years the Swedish nature conservation photographer and photojournalist, has dedicated his life to fight for nature and the environment. Staffan Widstrand is named one of the most influential nature photographers in the World. No other photographer has influenced nature photography in Europe like he has - to put it in perspective I think he is the "Steve Jobs" of European nature photography - a true pioneer!

It was not written in the stars, that Staffan Widstrand would become famous through his skill with a camera. Staffan Widstrand is self-taught as a photographer. The mission of his work is intended nature protection, but the most important benchmark for him is that his work should be useful; It should not only be good for him, but the word literally lead to a better world. Several of his books are sold in six-digit numbers Worldwide.

"I do not distinguish between work and leisure. I'm at work every day year round. But I only do what I want. When working in a creative process it is imperative to have fun and enjoy what you do - otherwise the result is not good, says Staffan Widstrand".

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

* Founding member and Managing Director of Wild Wonders of Europe
* Founding member and Marketing Director of Rewilding Europe
* Founding member of the "International League of Conservation Photographers, ILCP
* Founding member of the carnivore project "The Big Five of Scandinavia".
* Founding member of the Swedish Ecotourism Society.
* Numerous awards in International competitions.
* Nature Photographer of the Year” in Sweden 2001.
* Author or co-author of 13 books including: Wild Sweden, Ajunngilaq and the Wild Wonders of Europe books including the latest Wild Forests of Europe (3 of them awarded the title “Panda Book of the Year” by WWF).

New book about Europe´s forests! Photography by Wild Wonders of Europe. Available in English, German & French.


THE WORKSHOP

Driving to the workshop in the early morning hours on Saturday November 12, was pure magic, with frosty air and a clear sky. The moon was big and beautiful on the pastel coloured morning sky, in my rear-view mirror I saw the warm glow of the rising sun on the eastern horizon - it was very promising.

Arriving at Skillingbro Naturskole near Rebild, I was one of the first to arrive, two years ago I was invited to do a lecture at the Rold Skov nature photo Festival, talking about my Wild Wonders of Europe Mission to Luxembourg. On Saturday the festival was held at the Kino-revuen in Skørping and here You could meet some of the best nature photographers and Artists in Denmark. On Sunday the Swedish photographer Stina Deurell and I held a Workshop (In cooperation with Niels Fabæk and Kjeld Thomsen) - this year I was a student.

The workshop was open for everybody on all levels of photography, there were room for 25 paying students, but under 20 had registered and turned up, I think that is very sad for Danish nature photography, Staffan is a great asset and really worth travelling and paying for. It was a combination of a lecture and a practical workshop, but I think that was a big mistake, it was the same error made two years ago, seven hours is simply not enough time for a workshop! I would rather have had an all-day lecture about Staffan's work, this man can really entertain for hours and hours and that's a good thing! - he has lots of experiences to talk about.

To begin with, Staffan talked about his impressive work over the years and just before noon the group lead by Staffan headed out in the field, all students got a mission, to make images using a fresh approach or using a piece of equipment not normally used, I had a hard time doing that, mostly because of the strong noon sunlight, not that inspiring; I decided to concentrate my efforts on making pictures to this post instead.

In the afternoon Staffan gave image critique and talked about the importance of the "histogram" in capture and post-processing, followed up by talking about the rules of photo composition. One important discussion was about image alteration and fraud, a very interesting lecture!. All in all a good and inspiring day, together with one of the worlds greatest nature photographers - a true pioneer, visionary and legend.

Staffan talks about the importance of the "histogram" in capture and post-processing.

The abstract drawing made by Staffan, explain the rules of photo composition.

A great place for a Workshop, Skillingebro Naturskole in the twilight.


The workshop by Staffans Widstrand at Skillingbro Naturskole near Rebild was organized by Rold Forest Nature and Culture-center.

1 comment:

  1. I've just read "Trees and Forests" and enjoyed it very much. I expected good photographs and wasn't disappointed but was pleasantly surprised and delighted at the quality of the text. Oftentimes, books where photographs are the main content fall down on the text; it is sometimes seen as little more than a captioning of the photographs. This book has a concise high quality text.

    ReplyDelete