Guest Post by Professional Sailing Coach Andrew Kerr-
Very often, back on shore after a day’s racing, some very familiar post race stories are told by competitors – “We ended up barging at the start and got shut out” or “We were doing really well and then over stood the weather mark and let four boats in” – or perhaps “We ended up over standing the leeward mark and gave up three boats on the inside when that shift came in.” Sound familiar? It has happened to all of us and it costs places in races and regattas and all of them relate to lay lines.
A team is certainly not going to nail every lay line but they can have a set of principles that can help them increase there chances of making a good call. Let’s look at some lay line scenarios around the racecourse.
But first lets clarify the term lay line. A lay line, for this article, is the straight line course you would sail to fetch an object (e.g. a mark of the race course). Thus lay lines exist at every mark of the course, including those that define the ends of the start and finish lines.
Scenario 1: The race committee has set up the starting line with the committee’s signal boat on the starboard end of the starting line. Wanting to start at the starboard end of the start line, so that they can be the first boat to tack onto port, the team gets caught barging into too small of a space between the RC boat and the nearest competitor. They have to “bail out” and re-approach the start line – ending up very late (and behind). How do you win this coveted (but dangerous) position on the line?
Action: The solution is to better identify the time and place to make your final turn upwind to the starting line so that you don’t accidentally leave too much space between you and the RC boat (for someone to barge into) or too little space to operate in, thus becoming a barging boat to the next boat down the line. Key to making this approach is to identify a “safe” layline to the starboard end of the starting line and to make your final approach slightly below this line. The “safe” lay line is the close-hauled course that will put you about a boat length or so to leeward of the RC boat – leaving room to head up if a leeward boat luffs you or to defend against a boat trying to barge between you and the RC boat.
To find this lay line, reach below the RC boat, on starboard tack, to the point where you think you can fetch (when sailing close hauled) the RC boat end of the start line. Go about half a boat length further and then head up to close-hauled. You are now on the “safe” lay line. Note the compass heading for future reference.
The next task is to pick your distance, along this lay line, to make your final approach to the start line and to make a mental note of it. This will be the place to sail to, whether approaching on port or starboard tack. In a shifting breeze, note that this “turning point” will move significantly. The following diagram shows how the turning point moves in location due to 15 degree shifts (left and right). The diagram below presumes that you always want to turn onto your final approach from a common distance from the start line (i.e. enough room to complete a tack, make some tactical steering changes, accelerate, etc.)
Note that as the wind shifts further to the right (presuming the RC doesn’t reset the line), the turning point moves down and to the left and vice versa for a left shift.
If the line is restricted pre-start, go upwind out side the RC boat and watch the compass numbers on starboard tack. The team needs to be aware that if the wind shifts the lay line shifts and consequently ones initial assumptions have to be reassessed.
So if you detect a late wind shift (don’t forget to take periodic head-to-wind compass readings), make a note to adjust your turning point to compensate.
Another key part of being able to hit (and stay on) the starboard lay line accurately is to know what’s happing with the currents (a topic unto itself!). A good move is to bring a current stick (a water bottle with just a bit of air inside will do) and to test the current near a fixed mark – well before the start and see which way it drifts and at what rate. This will help you assess its effect on the lay lines and also your approach to the starting line.
It is worth noting that one knot of current is equal to approx. 5 knots of sailing wind and for each 1 tenth of a knot of adverse current, you have to compensate in your tacking angles by at least 4 degrees of tacking angle.
Scenario 2: The team has a tendency to over stand the lay line to the weather mark and lets boats get inside room for the rounding.
Action: When sailing upwind before the start, note your tacking angles by watching the compass carefully. These angles will be different in every wind and sea condition. Practice calling lay lines to a practice mark and see how you do. Try to judge the lay line when much closer to the mark – make it a rule of thumb to judge the lay line no further than 8 to 10 boat lengths away and you will be a lot more accurate!
It is always good to bear in mind that once you find your self on the lay line, your chances of gaining in a subsequent wind shift are about zero – that is an encouragement to stay off it and play the shifts to keep your options open.
When the wind is oscillating, try to stay on the lifted tack (i.e. on the tack that sails you closest to the mark) as much as possible. This helps avoid getting punched to a corner and then trying to judge a lay line from a long way out – a sure way to make an already tricky call much harder!
As you approach the lay line – on port or starboard tack – try to assess what phase the wind is in. If it is a left phase and you are on port tack (port tack is currently lifted) then you will know that you have to go further to be able to make the mark because you will be headed when you tack onto starboard to make the rounding. If it is a right phase and you are on port, then you know that you can tack well before a conventional lay line and then get lifted up o the mark on starboard. Again, being closer to the mark when you judge the final tack will vastly increase the chances of making a good call.
Scenario 3: The team has trouble judging when to jibe for the final approach to the leeward mark and either over-stands, forcing the team to sail extra distance to fetch the fetch the mark, or is shy of the mark, forcing the team to sail lower to fetch the mark but slowing down as a result.
Action: A very similar approach to upwind lay lines will be helpful – when your team is going downwind before the start – do a number of jibes and note the angle of the turns on the compass. You will be able to get a sense for the jibe angles in the given wind and sea conditions.
Try to stay on the closest (i.e. most headed) jibe to the mark as long as possible. Start your down wind leg with the knowledge of how the wind was shifted as you approach the weather mark. If the wind was in left phase (i.e. you are headed while on starboard tack), stay on starboard on the initial portion of the down wind leg so that you maximize being headed downwind. Some people remember this by sailing downwind on the opposite tack as what was the lifted upwind tack.
When the wind lifts (wind shifts more towards the stern of the boat), we jibe to play the shift and keep the boat sailing at the deepest angle toward the mark – the exception to this is when there is simply more wind on the other jibe. In essence, this keeps your team away from the corners downwind and thus reduces the chances of trying to make a lay line call from a long way out.
Like going upwind, the trick is to judge the final jibe close to the leeward mark – the closer you can get to the mark the better the call is likely to be. Current is also going to be a factor (sweeping from left to right or adverse etc.) so using the current stick before the race as well as taking a bearing on the leeward mark with a hand bearing compass to see the effects the current may be having will help the team decide when to jibe.
In summary, measure your environment (wind angles, current, etc.), make your approaches to lay lines closer to the mark to be fetched, and practice, practice, practice.
Best of luck and have fun at your next regatta.
© Andrew Kerr with special thanks to John Papadopoulos for the illustration.
You just received a brand new set of sails, invested in fairing your bottom, hired a rigger and have the best sailors in the area on your boat, and you are still losing. Maybe you should invest in yourself and crew rather than your boat.
This weekend kicks of the North U Tactics Tour 2011. Bill Gladstone and Francine Wainer have put together another great 27 city tour on sailboat racing tactics. Geared to help improve your race results for those regattas you are planning to enter later this year.
This is a full day seminar with an experienced North U instructor. Their instructors have real time experience out on the water and have won many championships themselves. A great example would be Andrew Kerr who will be teaching San Francisco Bay sailors at the Berkeley Yacht Club on February 26, 2011. Kerr is one of the best sailing coaches in the business and has won his share of championships in the Santana 20, J/24, J/27, J/35, J/80, J/120, ID35, Melges 24 and the Firefly classes to name a few.
Kerr’s teaching and cruising records are also very impressive too. 16 years of teaching seamanship classes at the Boston Sailing Center, Offshore Sailing School, and the famous J World sailing schools. In 1989 he competed in the ARC rally cruising boat transatlantic race – Las Palmas to Bridgetown, and Barbados. Also cruised the west coast of Africa and the Canary Islands. Extensive family cruising in the UK, France, Ireland, Holland, Portugal and Spain. Even raced in the Hong Kong to San Fernando, Philippines, (cruising boat race) in 1977 and sailed across the China sea from Hong Kong to Manila, Philippines twice and cruised the coast of the Philippines.
This is not some boring day long power point presentation, but a state of the art multimedia presentation that gets the student involved. You get nothing but first class instructors when you attend a North U Seminar. Plus. you will learn how to use the tools that the professionals use for their winning results. In addition, you will see first hand videos and photos from real races, that will help you learn from other peoples mistakes.
The North U Tactics Tour course outline for the action packed day includes these headings.
- Race & Win
- Race Prep
- Starting Strategy and Tactics
- Upwind Strategy and Tactics
- Downwind Strategy and Tactics
- Mark Rounding and Finishing
As an added bonus, each participant receives the updated North U Tactics CD for home study and review. The first 20 Skippers to enroll at each location receives the exclusive North U Tactics Tour Long Sleeve T-Shirt! Be sure to list your shirt size in “Comments” when you register.
Make the investment in your sailboat racing program, and get the whole crew signed up today.
“You are one click away from making your crew click out on the water” ™
North U Tactics Tour 2011 Registration
They say things happen in three’s. Last week it was Jay Maisel’s 80th birthday and today it is Julie Miller’s 50th and Dennis Dimick’s 60th birthday! Do not start thinking that my blog is about birthdays. All three people Jay, Julie and Dennis have played a part in my development as a person and a photographer.
What is the saying? Age before beauty? How about beauty first this time?
In high school, I use to photograph a lot girls. They were great friends that helped me become a better photographer, and I was truly bless to have so many willing to help.
There was one that stood out different than the rest. First off she was taller. She had just moved into town and our fathers worked for the same company. So even before meeting her I knew we had something in common.
Her name was Julie and believe it or not her nickname was Babe. I just had to photograph her for my portfolio, so one day I walked up to her and introduced myself and asked if I could take some images of her. The reaction I got was different than what I expected. Me… why me? I know you photograph all the pretty ladies at the school, but me? I was shocked by the reaction, all the others never responded that way they always said sure. Maybe it was because most of us grew up with each other and had known each other for so many years. Lucky for me she said, sure and we set a time.
Out on the shoot we really hit it off, and I think we spent more time talking and laughing than shooting. I showed her the images later in the week, and we planned to head out again that lead to many more times.
Babe was not only stunning, but she had this beauty inside of her too. It is just hard to put into words, but if you met her you would agree. It seemed like she was always helping some one or there when a person needed her the most.
We lost contact like so many of us do as we grow up and go different directions, but to this day when I am shooting a model I think of her and those good times we spent.
Well as most of us know, Facebook has been real good at getting people back connected. I received a friend request from one of her old friends named Dia. I met Dia during my the later part of my 13 year ski career as a coach and instructor. I knew I needed to get back into photography and invited Babe and her friend Dia to come up to do some modeling in some ski clothing.
Once I was connected with Dia, she shared with me how she got an A on a college paper writing about her time hanging out with Babe and Ed which lead to getting back connected with Babe.
She became a fantastic mother and is a registered nurse working in an emergency room. I know if I was in the emergency room, I would feel like God had sent me an angel just seeing her walk in with that smile she always has on her face. That laugh and that sparkle in her eyes makes a person feel alive.
Enjoy the special day my friend and thank you for all those times we shared, sorry I could not make it in person! Rain Check.
Happy Birthday Babe!
I first met Dennis when he was working for a small paper in Eastern Oregon while covering a baseball game in Milton Freewater, Oregon. A long haired guy with an old battered Nikon F hanging off his neck and one on his shoulder. We did not talk much, but being from the Walla Walla Union Bulletin a much larger paper, my plan was to school this guy. After all baseball was my game, and I been covering all the games of a single A pro team called the Walla Walla Padres that summer.
I could not wait to get my hands on the East Oregonian paper to see what he got. I told our sports Editor Jim Redding to let me know the minute it came in as I handed him my image that they would use from the game.
I walked into the news room a week later and Redding yelled at me and held the paper above his head. As I walked up Jim and already turn to the page with a huge image. I was schooled and looked at the cutline to get his name again. Dennis Dimick. Little did I know that was the first of many lessons that Dennis would teach me.
It seemed like weeks later he was working at the same paper. We just hit it off and I could tell he was different from the rest of the photographers that I had been working around. Dennis was a photojournalist and his photographs told stories.
I had been assisting with two of the best portrait and wedding photographers in Eastern Washington. Marty Huie and John Gallagher those two really help give me a strong foundation in photography, lighting and business, but I wanted to be a photojournalist or maybe move to New York and be Irving Penn’s assistant until I broke out on my own as a fashion photographer.
They gave Dennis a desk in our so called studio at the paper, and it was not long before he had full page photo stories hanging behind his desk from papers from all over that knew how to display good photojournalism.
Dennis had his own apartment in the basement of N. Christian Anderson III our managing editor’s house. I can remember hanging out there learning about photojournalism and talking photography till late at night. Dennis had me hooked on a drug called photojournalism in no time.
Those two changed the look and feel of the paper almost overnight. The images became larger and the photo pages changed from being pretty pictures to images that told stories to our readers.
My senior year in high school, I had an independent study and “Dimick” as I called him back then. He rode my ass and ever shoot we had a sit down review… I did I could never please this guy… he pushed me… he questioned me… he was a drill sergeant, but I could not wait to be around him. I did not know it at the time, but he was not only teaching me about photography and photojournalism, but he was teaching me about life.
He had me get Clifton C. Edom’s book, Photojournalism: Principles and Practices and started to lay a foundation. He would talk about Rich Clarkson and what he was doing at the National Geographic, and share papers that saw the value in photojournalism. If a big shooter was going to be in town, he made sure I knew so I could meet them. Not every day a Pulitzer Prize winner comes to Walla Walla.
One day I got called into Anderson’s office. He said, have a seat Ed and closed the door. As I sat down, I thought to myself what did I do… There was a little chitchat and then I hear… “Normally this is only offered to people in college, but I would like to offer you an internship this summer at the paper. I just hired a guy named Ethan Hoffman as our photo editor and it would be Ethan, Dennis and yourself creating images for the paper.” I was floored and said yes, with a big smile. I left his office and ran upstairs to tell Dimick. As I ran in the door, he looked at me with a big smile and before I could get a word out he said, “Mister Broberg you earned it.”
Wow, what a summer it was. I learned so much and had so much fun that year. I covered the Padres and hung out with a few of the players, one guy named Ozzie Smith and another named Rick Sweet… I had full access to the Washington State Penitentiary and would spend eight hour days out there doing images for the Seattle Times as well as the Associated Press and my portfolio.
After the internship ended, I stayed on as a stringer until one day Ethan and I had a spirited discussion in the darkroom. It was over images that I had taken at the Penitentiary. He wanted me to make prints of my images so he could give them to inmates… I told him how the inmates were playing him and brought up the fact that I knew he was staging shots for a book he wanted to do. Things got out of hand and I quit and walked out of the darkroom. As Ethan headed to the news room, Dimick pulled me aside. He could hear the two of us. After talking with him, he gave me the biggest life lesson I have ever received. He said, Mister Broberg, do not quit in reaching your goals to being the best you can be as a person or a photojournalist Learn what you can from them to make you better, and let the rest go and move on your path.
I did not listen and walked out on becoming a real photojournalist. I cannot express how many times I have looked back on that day and have heard his voice in my head say those three words “do not quit.” It took many more years to learn what I could of learned that day.
I have met many people that know Dennis as a friend, and have worked with while he was at The Courier Journal and his current position as the executive editor for environment at National Geographic Magazine. They have all expressed respect, praise, and had many good stories about Dennis. He has made a positive impact on so many people lives and careers over the years, and has participated as a faculty member for the famous Missouri Photo Workshop over 13 times.
He also has a great blog that is worth checking out called Signs From Earth.
Dimick your the best! I cannot thank you enough, I am sorry I did not listen to you back then. Trust me, I will never quit on myself or my photography again. I am looking forward to our paths crossing soon.
Happy Birthday Dimick!
Today is Jay Maisel’s 80th Birthday.
“Try to go out empty and let your images fill you up.” has to be one of my favorite quotes of Jay’s.
I first met Jay in the late 80′s during a workshop in Vancouver, BC. I can remember sitting there listening to him speak about Color, Light, and Gesture for the first time. I already knew his work from when I was in the ninth grade, but to hear him speak and to see his new images was something else.
Later, that night I was lucky enough to spend a private evening at Albert Normandin’s house (Jay’s past assistant) with Gregory Heisler, John Gallagher and Jay. At some point during the evening after dinner, Jay looked at me and said can you speak? My reply was, I think it is best if I keep my mouth closed and just listen and learn. Jay looked at me and says, “your fucking right and smart too.”
The next time I saw Jay was in Yakima, Washington to speak to a group of photographers . It was only going to be a couple of hours, but I made the 4 hour one way trip, because I knew it was going to be well worth it.
As I walked in to claim a seat up front, I noticed Jay over by the slide projector making sure things worked. I walked up to him and reintroduced myself and handed him 3 Partagas cigars. It is not often that Jay is speechless, but he was and could not believe that it was his brand too.
Many years later in 2007, I attended the Rich Clarkson’s Photography at the Summit Fall Workshop in Jackson, WY. Jay was one of the many guests instructors at the workshop and the main reason I was coming to attend my third workshop that Rich had that year.
While us students entered the theater to start the workshop, I could see Jay sitting off to the side. I walk up to him and said, I am looking forward to spending the next few days around you and handed him 3 Partagas cigars. Again, he was speechless. Later, they broke us up into groups and I was lucky to get MaryAnne Golon (Time magazines DOP at the time and whom I had learned a lot from in the Spring workshop) and Jay. We all sat in a round circle and Jay just kept staring at me while MaryAnne was leading the group. Out of no where Jay says in his booming voice, “How the fuck do I know you?” From that moment on I knew I was in for another great time being around Jay.
Rich’s workshops are the best! The team teaching, world class instructors like Bill Allard, Dave Black, Joe McNally, and Jodi Cobb to name a few. But with that said, I am sure everyone including Rich would agree, having Jay Maisel there makes it that much more special.
The time flew by and it was inspiring to listen, watch, and learn from Jay again. He has a way of getting you out of your comfort zone, that stretches you as a photographer and a person. He has some great one liners, that keep you on your toes as well. My time ended having the opportunity to seat next to him at the final dinner.
Since that time, Jay now has his own workshop that he does out of his home, the historic 35,00 square former Germania bank building in New York City. I have not attended “The Jay Maisel Workshop” yet, but is limited to ten people on a first come, first serve basis at $5000.00 a person. Worth every penny! Any questions you should contact Jamie Smith his workshop producer.
If you are too cheap to attend Jay’s workshop or when he is at one of Rich’s, then head over and at least watch “A Day with Jay Maisel!” Rumor has it that Scott Kelby has another one in the works. Take some time to visit his website too at www.jaymaisel.com. John Ellis his studio manager has done a great job with the new site.
In December of 2009, I was fortunate to be on a short list of people he interviewed for an open position as studio manager. It was great to see him again, and to learn he had quit smoking cigars as I handed him 3 Partagas Cigars. I guess the next time I see him it will have to be a bottle of Red Wine. Maybe a 1994 bottle of Araujo Cabernet, that he can share with his friend Seth Resnick who calls Jay… GOD.
Happy Birthday Jay! I know Jamie and John has some surprises for you today. Enjoy the day and many more to come.
Looking forward to our paths crossing soon my friend.
In my last post, I talked about the value of your work. The email responses to that post have been overwhelming, so I figured I would follow up a little bit about about protecting that intellectual property.
Some people call intellectual property the currency of the 21st Century. The way us creatives can protect our intellectual property is to copyright our work. Copyright is defined as, the exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same.
By law, when you create an image at the moment that you fix the image on film or in pixels, you own that image outright for your life plus 70 years. Unless, both you and your client sign a written agreement transferring copyright ownership to your client. Or you sign a valid “Work Made For Hire” purchase order or other contract. Or you create the image not as an independent contractor, but as an employee.
When you own it, you can register it, keep it, license it, even re-license it, or heaven for bid you can sell it.
It is very simple and affordable to register your work. You have a couple of options; you can fill out “form VA” from the United States Copyright Office and send off the completed form and the work you want to register, or you can go online using firefox as your browser (only browser that works), and save some time as well as money registering online using their electronic copyright office called eCO.
Personally, I use eCO for the following 6 reasons.
1. Lower filing fee of $35 for a basic claim (for online filings only) 2. Fastest processing time 3. Online status tracking 4. Secure payment by credit or debit card, electronic check, or Copyright Office deposit account 5. The ability to upload certain categories of deposits directly into eCO as electronic file. 6. Available 24 hours a day, except for routine maintenance every Sunday from 12:00 midnight to 6:00 AM Eastern Time
In closing, here are 5 resources to help you understand more about copyright and how to register your work.
I hope this post gives you a kick in the butt to start registering you work if you haven’t started already.
What is your image worth? That is a question that we as photographers and creatives are always exploring or should I say questioning. How does USD$ 1200.oo for one limited edition print 13x19in (33×48 cm) sound? What about offering to license an image with worldwide- editorial- web promotional- 1/4 screen for up to a 31 day period for USD$ 1386.00?
The auction triumvirate Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillip’s de Pury & Company held their special New York Photography sales in October 2010. The stars of these sales were a portrait of Pablo Picasso by Irving Penn ($182,000 at Phillip’s de Pury & Company), a reprint of Robert Franks’s US 90, En route to Del Rio, Texas that sold for twice its high estimate ($215,000 at Sotheby’s), Edward Steichen’s Wind Fire, Thérèse Duncan on the Acropolis ($115,000 at Sotheby’s), a print of Ansel Adam’s Grand Tetons and the Snake River ($270,000 at Christie’s) and a daguerreotype entitled 261. Paris Etude de plantes by Joseph Philibert Girault De Prangey ($195,000 at Christie’s).
Pricing your work can come easy for some and a real struggle for others. Take the time to do your own due diligence, so you will know what the value of your work is for your market. Grab a copy of John Harrington’s book, Best Business Practices for Photographers, Second Edition. After reading Harrington’s book you will see that it is a comprehensive guide to achieving financial success and personal satisfaction in your business as a photographer. Hence, you will have a better understanding of the cost of doing business (COB). Plus, he has some great input on how to copyright your images.
NPPA has a great CODB calculator worth using for a starting point. Once you understand what your CODB, pricing the images becomes a little easier.
Another book that is worth taking a look at is called Pricing Photography: The Complete Guide to Assignment & Stock Prices by Michal Heron and David MacTavish.
You can buy a program from Cradoc Software called fotoQuote. With so many photographers using fotoQuote, they have become the base line for current photography prices.
There are some pretty good articles online as well. Artbusiness.com has a couple that are worth a read http://artbusiness.com/pricerealistic.html or http://artbusiness.com/pricetipscont.html
Mary Virgina Swanson has a blog about marketing images. Maria Piscopp has a program that she offers called, “Taking charge of what you charge.” Plus, Graphic Artists Guild just came out with a new handbook called The 13th Edition Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines too.
There are always these professional organizations to help us too. Just one of the many reasons to get involved with one if not all of them. America Society of Media Photographers, America Photographic Artists, America Society of Picture Professionals and National Press Photographers Association. One of the best perks to becoming involved in a professional organization, is you gain access to other professionals you can ask and share ideas on pricing your work.
Take the stress off your back and have Seth Resnick and Jamie Spritzer of D-65 price your stock sale or assignment. They provide the necessities for a competitive price with their Pricing Service. This service is only $50.00. All you have to do is fill out the form and hit submit. You will then be asked to pay the $50.00 fee. Once paid you will receive an answer within 24 hours.
This coming year the American Society of Media Photographers is doing their Strictly Business 3 Conference in three major cities, so I am sure you will learn some information there to understand what you need to charge so you can stay in business and be competitive.
I hope that after looking at some of the links you will have a better understanding of the value of what you produce as an artist. After all it is your intellectual property!
Expecting light rain for the start of game two everyones attitudes changed when a shaft of sunlight hit the South Beach Harbor area around AT&T Park during the start of the World Series last night. The crowd outside the park was a lot smaller than for game one. It still had your clowns, more room in McCovey Cove to move your boat in and out, and even the San Francisco Ferry Building got into the spirit by using orange lights on the outside of the building and in their clock tower.
Home Security was close by making sure that the event was safe. I had talked with a couple of K9 officers the night before, but used tonight to get a few images of the dogs in action. Having been a search and rescue dog handler, I respect what these animals can do.
On my way back towards the city I had the opportunity to meet two gals having the time of their life’s on the way to the ball park walking down the Embarcadero.
With the World Series in town why sit around and watch it on the television when you can experience it first hand. Not having a press pass nor tickets it did not stop me from heading down to AT&T Park and hanging out to feel the excitement and grabbing some images.
People were all over wanting to buy tickets some gave up and started watching the game on their Apple iPad’s outside AT&T Park. There was Kenny the Clown Juggling and making things out of balloons, and my friends at the Java House were doing their own entertaining too!
It was a hoot! Plus, the Giants won game one!
Off for game two now. Go Giants.
This years Fall Photography at the Summit just ended last Friday.
In 2007, I had the opportunity to attend three of Rich Clarkson’s Photography Workshops. Two were in Jackson, Wyoming in the Spring and Fall and then his Sports Workshop during the Summer in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Back in 1977 during my internship at the Walla Walla Union Bulletin my mentor Dennis Dimick insisted that I buy Cliff Edom’s book on Photojournalism. While reading that book I became aware Rich Clarkson. So thirty years later I got to meet the man himself.
That experience ranks right up there with the time I called W Eugene Smith as a kid wanting to learn more about photojournalism and black and white printing. I learned early on in life that it pays big dividends to learn from others experiences. I was lucky to be around a great group of people to give me a strong foundation for the start of my career as a photographer.
The image above was taken before my first workshop in the spring in Jackson, Wyoming. I was so excited I could not sleep, so I headed out to Mormon Row to photography one of the famous Mormon Barns during sunrise. I was hoping for a glow on the Grand Tetons, but it never happened since a cloud blocking the sun.
I personally feel that Clarkson offers the best workshops available. You are shoulder to shoulder with some of the top professional images makers in the world day after day… Not just one top professional, but many at one time… Team teaching… Photo critic after critic… You come out seeing things differently… It is an opportunity that every photographer should experience if they want to take their photography to the next level.
You even get a chance to tryout the latest Nikon gear from camera bodies to a wide variety of lenses. Nikon Professional Services has their top notch staff on hand to assist you each day of the workshop.
If you are looking at turning pro, I cannot think of a better place to get the foundation started to achieving your goals as a professional photographer. The first hand tips and feed back that you will get is priceless.
Clarkson’s Workshop Director is Brett Wilhelm. Wilhelm is not only a great guy, but a great photographer as well. He is committed to making sure that your experience during the workshop is beyond learning the technical ins–and–outs of photography, but pushing your creativity to a new level.
Both Clarkson and Wilhelm encourage participants and faculty to get together and relax – swap stories and get to know each other as people, not as instructors vs. students. Over the years at the Summit workshops, the evening programs have ended with informal gatherings at a “local watering hole”—enabling you to spend social time with the instructors and fellow participants.
I would encourage everyone to attend these informal gatherings at the “local watering hole.” The people that attend these workshops are great and you form new friendships with people from all over the world.
During my first workshop I met a guy name Cal McKitrick that worked less than 20 miles from where I lived. I think to this day he has one of the best images ever taken during the workshop. It is of Bear 399 with her three cubs.
Between the workshop and those 399 Bear images got McKritrick excited enough to retire from being a CSI for the Valejo Police department. He is now a full time freelance photographer that also teaches classes at his local college as well as his studio.
Grab a mason jar and start saving your pennies for next years Rich Clarkson’s Photography at the Summit Workshops. Trust me it is worth every penny spent.
Passage Yachts hosts a great event each year for their Beneteau customers. It is called the Passage Yachts Beneteau Rendezvous. This years event was held at Brickyard Cove Marina in Pt. Richmond, California.
During the two day Rendezvous, Passage Yachts offers seminars both on the water and off. This year the guys spent time inside learning engine maintenance and spinnakers, while the ladies were out on the water learning anchoring and docking with the help of Ed Polkenhorn an instructor with Tradewinds Sailing School.
After having a catered lunch, the sailors head out on to San Francisco Bay for a fun sailboat regatta in the afternoon. With the new owner of Annika, Jon Turner winning the race in his Beneteau First 45 using North Sails.
After the race, the fun meter peaks during their evening theme dinner with prizes for everyone that attended. This year’s theme was Gilligan’s Island. The image to the right is just some of the amazing staff that Passage Yachts has to offer their clients.
Hope to photograph you at next years Rendezvous in your new Beneteau!