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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

If I were a photographer of any sort, I'd want to know more about these National Geographic expeditions and workshops

They offer all sorts of other trips too, with "teams of experts" --
Like this new 10-day expedition to Cuba, already "waitlist only" for all the currently announced dates (through May)


For more than a century, people have thumbed through the pages of our magazines and felt inspired by some of the best photography in the world. Now we’d like to invite you to travel to incredible places with some of the best photographers in the world. Our Photography Expeditions are designed for photographers of all levels. You’ll learn tips and techniques while exploring fascinating places with one of our renowned photographers. Our Photography Workshops, also led by a top National Geographic photographer, cater to those who seek more intensive instruction, and build photo editing, instruction, and critique sessions as well as photo assignments into each day’s schedule.
by Ken

Let's be clear that I am not a photographer. Anyone foolhardy enough to shove a camera in my hand with those famous last words "You just press this button" deserves the heartbreak that inevitably follows. But if I were a photographer, I would at least want to gather more information about these National Geographic trips I just got an e-mail about, planned with and/or around a bunch of their photographers, who -- let it be remembered -- are a posse of the world's best.

Normally I hate this business of theme-packaged tours which organizations peddle to their captive mailing lists. But this kind of makes sense, doesn't it?

Travel with National Geographic Photographers
Photography workshops and expeditions featuring in-depth instruction

Head into the field to hone your photography skills with National Geographic! Learn tips and techniques from some of our top photographers while exploring vast landscapes, iconic landmarks, or hidden corners of a city.

Camera in hand, venture among Alaska’s dramatic glaciers to snap images of orcas and humpback whales with guidance from Flip Nicklin. Spend a week capturing the eclectic architecture and effortless romance of Paris as you embark upon daily field assignments with Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson. Or enjoy a weekend with Ira Block photographing New York City‘s top spots including the Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park, and Fifth Avenue. Below, discover many more National Geographic photography workshops and expeditions in some of the world’s most inspiring, photogenic places.

First off, there's at least a chance that these trips are taking you to places that real, live photographers might actually want to go, and if I was serious about shutterbugging, those are places I might want to add to my "to visit" list. Then, presumably, at the destinations, tour members are going to prowl when and where you might if you were someone who takes pictures for a living for one of the world's most prestigious outlets for them. And then, allowing for the decencies of a group travel situation, you've got that poor sucker at your mercy, to observe how he/she approaches locations and thinks, well, photographically -- not to mention the opportunity to pick his/her photographic brain clean.

There are 4-day weekend workshops in New York (six scheduled between May and October, led by National Geographic photographer Bob Sacha, Ira Block, or Joe McNally) and San Francisco (five scheduled, with Catherine Karnow or Macduff Eveton); 7-day international workshops in Paris (May 2 and Oct. 24, with Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson) and Rome (Mar. 28, Apr. 20, Oct. 31, and Nov. 14, with Massimo Bassano or Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson); and full-fledged expeditions to Morocco (11 days, May 2 and Oct. 31, with Massimo Bassano), the Galápagos (10 days, two in May and two in November, with Mark Thiessen or Kevin Schafer), Mongolia (14 days, July 21, with Chris Rainier), and Alaska's Inside Passage (8 days, Aug. 25 and Aug. 26, with Flip Nicklin or Michael Melford).

Like I said, it's something I'd at least want to know more about -- that is, if a camera in my hands wasn't something close to a lethal weapon. The jumping-off point for all the information is the website, or specifically the Photo Workshops & Expeditions page, which has links for expeditions -- in addition to the above -- to Alaska, British Columbia, and San Juan Islands (12 days), Bhutan (12 days), Costa Rica and the Panama Canal (8 days), Santa Fe (7 days), and Barcelona (7 days); and for additional 4-day weekend workshops in Boston, New Orleans, Toronto, Tucson, Washington DC, and Amelia Island. There are also links for all the photog/tour leaders.


For starters, there's a new Cuba expedition, under "special license issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury" (10 days, already "waitlist only" for the so-far-announced dates through May). The listing of just the new trips for 2012-13 is pretty saliva-inducing.

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