Debbie Croft: Ansel Adams Galley in Yosemite offers variety of photography workshops

November 1, 2013 

The Ansel Adams Gallery is in the hub of Yosemite Valley. Surrounded by spectacular views of iconic cliffs and falls, what began as a studio of the famed photographer has since become a destination for Adams aficionados from around the world.

For the serious photographer, what better way to learn than one-on-one with a professional? The gallery offers a variety of excellent tutorials and workshops year-round.

Free camera walks take place several mornings a week and are led by gallery staff photographers. At 9a.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings the group departs from the porch of the gallery. On Monday mornings the group leaves at 9a.m. from the Ahwahnee Hotel. Topics include landscape composition, camera usage, the history of Ansel Adams in Yosemite and his photography. Group size is limited to 15.

“In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams” is a four-hour photography class, also taught by a staff photographer. Other classes cover how to use a digital camera and using a digital darkroom.

Or those who are interested can schedule a private guiding session for photographing choice Yosemite locations. These classes are available throughout the week. Classes and guiding sessions are fee-based.

Workshops are filled months in advance due to popularity and limited space. Now is the time to register for late winter, spring and summer sessions.

Next year’s workshops are:

• “Winter Light with Keith Walklet,” Feb. 11-15, for five days of capturing Yosemite’s frosty winter landscape. Brief instruction will be given indoors, but most of the time students will learn in the field. Topics covered emphasize identifying potential images, drawing out the essential elements of a composition and finding personal expression.

Walklet is a veteran Yosemite photographer whose work has been published extensively in books, calendars and magazines.

• “Ansel Adams’ Yosemite: The Art of Seeing with Alan Ross” is a workshop to be held May 5-9. This session emphasizes the approach and mastery of Adams using today’s technologies and tools. How to transfer the image in front of the photographer to what is mentally envisioned is one of the topics addressed.

Ross is considered a master photographer whose works are exhibited in galleries and collections worldwide. Working as Adams’ photographic assistant gave him knowledge and expertise not found in any other contemporary photographer.

• From May 13 to 17 Walklet will also lead the workshop “Yosemite in Spring – Color Landscape.” What better time to capture the beauty of dogwoods in bloom or the lavish mist of cascading waterfalls? With lengthy interactive sessions in the field, Walklet is known to pack a lot into his classes. And if time and weather permit, group members may enjoy the opportunity to take their cameras outside for moonlight sessions in hopes of photographing the phenomenal lunar rainbow.

• Later next year additional workshops will be taught by Michael Frye, Kerik Kouklis and Charles Cramer.

The cost for these five-day workshops ranges from $900 to $1,400. Instruction is sometimes based on skill level, and noted in the descriptions at the website.

Call (209)372-4413 to reserve a spot. For details visit www.anseladams.com and click on “Photography Education.”

Debbie Croft writes about life in the foothill communities. She can be reached at composed@tds.net.

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