After some discussions in the Big Island thread
, and number-crunching to bring the price way down, the lava workshop is back on!The basics:When and where?
September 11 - 15, 2016 in Hawaii.
We will meet in Hilo Sunday afternoon and depart early Thursday afternoon.What is it?
An intensive, all-inclusive photography workshop. Over four days we will explore Hawaii's wonderful Big Island, learning how to take stunning pictures. The small group size will ensure that everyone gets individual, unrushed attention throughout the workshop.
You will learn everything from basic camera operation, to more advanced techniques, to the basics of post-processing.
The main goal of this workshop is to see and photograph the Kilauea volcano and the active lava fields, especially where the lava flows into the ocean. What's included?
All instruction and guidance, transport, lodging, delicious kosher meals, national park fees, bike rentals to enable us to reach the lava flow easily, and more.
See the Details
section below for more information on all this.What's not included?
Airfare to and from Hilo, snacks, and incidentals (alcohol, souvenirs, etc.), snorkel gear, and optional boat or helicopter add-ons.What's the cost?
$1499 per person, if there are 4 or more participants.
$1749 per person, if there are only 3 participants.
$600 deposit is due at booking to confirm your spot.
See "Details" below for booking and payment information, balance due date, and changes and cancellation info.Who is this for?
Everyone who wants to see one of the most incredible natural spectacles on this planet, and is interested in learning to take better pictures. Whether you're a beginner and just starting out, or are comfortable with a camera and want to take your photography to the next level, you'll get personal, customized, hands-on instruction.
You will need to be able to do some easy-to-moderate hiking, as well as ride a bicycle.
The workshop is open to any level of photographer, and to men, women, and children. Everyone is welcome.The details:What will I learn?
- Basic skills: How to achieve correct exposure in a wide variety of situations, how to compose a compelling photograph, white balance, camera settings, tripod and accessory usage, etc..
- Advanced skills: How to create ethereal long exposures, filtration techniques, advanced composition methods, shooting for HDR, using off-camera flash, showing motion blur, maintaining the highest level of sharpness, RAW vs. JPEG, in-depth focusing skills such as focus bracketing and AF tracking, and more.
- Post-production: We will cover culling and choosing your best images, and during every session we will choose a few images to edit. Using free or low-priced tools, we'll cover topics such as RAW processing, color and contrast, sharpening, B&W conversions, creating panoramas, and HDR processing.What will we shoot?
While the main goal of this workshop is the lava flow, we will be shooting a myriad of other things as well.The volcano:
We will shoot the lava flow at least twice (more depending on weather and the group's preferences). We will photograph both late in the day and into the night, as well as pre-sunrise to early morning. This will enable us to capture the lava in all conditions: glowing like liquid fire in the night, bright orange against the blue of twilight, and in daylight. We will hopefully be able to walk right up to the lava and get up close and personal, as well as photographing the fountains of lava pouring into the ocean, creating a massive, glowing plume.
We will also shoot some astrophotography, creating ethereal images of the lava against the Milky Way and a billion other stars.
We will also spend time photographing the rest of Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park: Halemaʻumaʻu Crater (both by day and at night, when the lava lake lights up the gigantic plume), steam vents, and otherworldly rainforests.Other Big Island sights:
Mauna Kea: We will shoot the sunset from the summit of the world's tallest mountain (measured from its base), and stay after dark to take advantage of some of the darkest night skies to be found by shooting the stars above, the telescopes in front of us, and the clouds far below.
General landscapes and waterfalls: We will explore the famous Saddle Road, the gardens and waterfalls of lush Hilo, Waipio Valley overlook, and much more. We will of course enjoy and shoot the "quintessential Hawaii": Tropical waters, black sand beaches, and towering palms.
(Note that these locations are not guaranteed and are subject to change based on weather, group preference, or other factors. The lava flow could of course change course at any time, even cease completely; based on historical activity all signs are pointing to fantastic activity when we are there, but I could of course not guarantee it...)How do I get to Hilo?
The best way is via Honolulu. Pretty much every carrier flies to HNL, and there are a few options to connect to Hilo from there, most notably Hawaiian Airlines.
At the time of this writing, United has excellent award availability on the direct from NY flight for 38k miles round trip in couch, as well as a myriad of options in saver business class on the outbound (not direct though, unfortunately). What will we eat?
One of the unique aspects of this workshop that you won't find in any other is the kosher food situation. All meals are included in the workshop fee. The workshop officially begins and ends at ITO airport, so that works out to 4x breakfast, 4x lunch, and 5x dinner (one extra for the flight back).
There will be more than enough food and a nice variety to choose from. A typical breakfast may include rolls, wraps, spreads, cheeses, coffee, hot cereal, and more. Lunch will generally be pack lunches, consisting of tuna and assorted cold cuts sandwiches and wraps. For dinner we will have the wonderful POM meals (you will be able to choose the particular meals you want ahead of time).
If you have any specific needs, wants, or ideas regarding the food, please let me know when you book and I'll do my best to accommodate you.
Snacks and alcohol is not
included, so please bring those from home or buy locally.What camera gear do I need?
This workshop is geared for all levels of photographers, so you do not really need any fancy equipment; any fairly recent (last couple of years) DSLR or mirrorless camera will work just fine. Here are the bare minimums:Required gear:
- DSLR or mirrorless camera
- Lens (or lenses) that covers the wide-to-medium range (18-55mm, 16-50mm, etc.), and a telephoto (80-400mm, 70-300mm, 55-210mm, etc.)
- Remote shutter release. Wireless is best, but any remote will work fine.
- A decent tripod. No particular requirements, other than it be strong enough to solidly support your camera and heaviest lens.
- Circular polarizer and 3-stop ND filters for at least one lens.
- Spare batteries and a charger.
- Memory cards
- A headlamp with spare batteries, preferably with a red light option.
- Camera bag that could carry your tripod as well (backpack or sling is preferable)Optional, but highly suggested, gear:
- Fast, wide angle lens. Examples include the Canon 10-22mm, Rokinon 14mm, etc. This will take the night photography to a new level.
- Higher-quality medium-to-wide lens. A typical kit lens will do the job, but there's no getting around the fact that a higher-end lens will create better quality images. Lenses like the 16-35mm and 24-70mm fall into this category.
- Rain protection for your camera.
- 10-stop ND filter.
- Laptop for backing up and editing your pictures. Preferably with Adobe Lightroom or similar installed.
- GoPro or other underwater camera for snorkeling breaks.
I will of course be happy to discuss any and all gear-related questions you may have. I will also be able to lend filters if needed.What clothing should I bring?
- A good pair of hiking shoes or boots - preferably waterproof - is absolutely critical. Walking on lava requires a solid pair of footwear.
- A sun hat is another important item; there is no shade on the lava.
- Long pants are also needed when shooting lava (shorts are fine the rest of the time).
- A winter coat and hat for the summit of Mauna Kea - it's get really cold up there!
- If your hands tend to get cold easily, bring a thin pair of gloves as well. These are also useful on the lava, which have pretty sharp edges.
- A light rain jacket will most likely be useful at one piont or other.
- A bathing suit.
- Your own snorkeling gear if you have them. You will be able to rent on the island as well for a couple of bucks.How do I book?
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or a PM here and we'll take it from there.Payment schedule:
Workshop cost is $1499 per person if there are 4 or more participants, $1749 if there are only 3.
Deposit of $600 is due at booking to secure your slot.
Balance of $899 or $1149 (depending on final number of participants) is due by August 28th, 2016 (14 days before departure).
There is a minimum of 3 participants for the workshop; if we don't meet the minimum the full amount paid will be credited back to you. I recommend that you don't book flights until the minimum is met, as only the workshop fee will be refunded, not airfare or the like.
My suggestion is to book the United flights using Singapore miles - not only is it cheaper than using United's own miles, but the miles are refundable for a $30 fee. That way you could both grab a seat on the flight and still be able to cancel if need be.
If you pay the fee for a 3-person trip and a fourth subsequently joins, the price difference will be credited back to you.
Bookings are on a first come, first serve basis.
Participants will be entitled to a 10% discount on future workshops as well.Cancellation policy:
Up to 18 days before departure: 100% refund.
17-21 days before departure: 80% refund.
20-14 days before departure: 70% refund.
13-10 days before departure: 50% refund.
10 days before departure or less: no refund.
If your slot is subsequently booked, regardless of date, you will receive a 100% refund.
(The slightly unusual time frames are due to the fact that the trip is so soon, considering that we can't wait to long as the lava flow waits for no one)
This policy is in place due to the fact that many aspects of this trip need to be booked in advance and are generally not cancelable; Unfortunately, I do not have a choice with this. Note that the refund amounts listed will be minus credit card processing fees, if applicable.Legal stuff and fine print:
I highly recommend you purchase travel insurance for your workshop and travel expenses. Such insurance may provide coverage for losses suffered in the event of trip cancellation and interruption, travel delay, loss of baggage and travel documents, baggage delay, medical emergencies and the like. A signed limit of liability form may be required to attend the workshop.
The volcano and lava fields are a dangerous place. We will take and and all precautions to stay safe, but any and all harm or injuries shall not be the responsibility of Morris Hersko Photography Corp.
Morris Hersko Photography Corp. shall take no responsibility or liability for personal or property damage during the duration of the workshop, or be liable for non-refundable airline tickets.
All information provided above is for informational purposes only and is subject to change.