GUEST POST: Steve - Cambodia Workshop (Asst Instructor)

Note:  This post is written and all photos by Steve Porte (less portraits of Steve) who travelled to Cambodia with us as assistant instructor.  Steve shot with a combination of Canon 1D Mk IV and 5D Mk III throughout.  These are his thoughts on the workshop:

(Steve is always having a laugh and a joke, enjoying life - here we were setting up a lesson in 'off camera lighting')

Last week, I traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia with F8 Photography owner Gary Tyson and four other photographers.  Unlike our casual visit in July (described in a previous post that can be seen here) this trip was to host a formal photography workshop in and around Phnom Penh.  The group consisted of four participants, Gary and myself.   Here are my thoughts on that trip...

(The motley crew - Andrew, Ian, Susan, Terese, Steve & Gary)

On our last visit, we had great weather and beautiful light.  This time, there were daily rain showers - but the rain had little effect on our daily routine.  Both during and after the rains, we were bathed in the same soft light we have come to expect in Cambodia, and the rain actually became an interesting element in several of our images.  Just like our last visit, the combination of colourful infrastructure, verdant landscape, warm and friendly people, and the soft light, made for a wonderful photographic experience.

(5D3, 85mm, f/1.2, ISO 200)

(1D4, 27mm, f/3.5, ISO 200)

(1D4, 16mm, f/6.3, ISO 200)

(1D4, 34mm, f/3.2, ISO 200)

The biggest surprise for me this trip was the quality of work produced by the workshop participants.  The four arrived ranging in experience from first-day-with-a-new-point & shoot, to an experienced nature photographer.  Although this was billed as a basic-skills workshop, each participant produced some very good images on day one.  After four very long days of shooting, group and individual tutoring, and nightly post processing lessons, each participant was putting up some very strong images, with a much-improved keeper rate.  Very impressive.

(Steve (top right) tutoring Ian (left) whilst Terese (front) studies her images captured so far)

As always, the real treat shooting in Cambodia was interacting with the local people.  We met some well to do folks, and some less fortunate - but regardless of their situation, all were warm, genuine, and displayed the winning Cambodian smile.  The warm welcome we received from everyone made the trip wonderful, even without raising a camera.

(Steve engaging some subjects with his infectious smile)

 (5D3, 85mm, f/2.2, ISO 200)

(5D3, 85mm, f/1.4, ISO 200)

(5D3, 85mm, f/1.2, ISO 200)

(1D4, 35mm, f/6.3, ISO 200)

This trip, as usual, we delivered portraits taken on the previous trip (and some shot early this visit).  Every person to whom we delivered prints beamed at seeing their own images.  I’m not sure who was happier - the subjects at receiving the prints, or us at seeing their reaction.  A true win-win situation.

(1D4, 22mm, f/5.6, ISO 200)

(1D4, 35mm, f/2.8, ISO 200)

In my last F8 guest post, I mentioned that Cambodia is a wonderful place to visit, to shoot, and to use as an effective teaching venue.  The atmosphere is relaxed, there is abundant local and international food cuisine, the light is beautiful, and the people are wonderful.  I’m happy to report that nothing has changed.  For me, it doesn’t get any better than this - even in the rain....

(5D3, 85mm, f/1.4, ISO 400)

Note from Gary from F8 Photography:  Just want to say a special thank you to Steve for joining the workshop in this capacity.  His assistance, experience, humour and character were a great addition to the workshop, helping everything along smoothly and all the participants have expressed their thanks already.  The workshop was a much more fruitful experience for all with his participation.  Cheers Steve.

More of Steve's photography can be seen via this weblink.

(Steve quietly ponders which flavour milkshake to try next at the Riverside bar and grill, Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh :-))

We have other posts from the workshop attendees as well as behind the scenes shots and video coming soon.  Please stay tuned for that, you can now ‘search’ the blog on the left side of this post to find subject posts easily, try typing ‘cambodia’ to find all our posts from there if you wish to read more.

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F8 Photography provides commercial photography and photography and video training workshops, more details can be found via the ‘courses and workshops’ link and upcoming events via the front page of our website.