Photography Photography - Black & White

Memories of Safari West

White Rhinos

In the late 2000’s I bought my first “big” camera – initially a Canon 30D digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) from Keeble & Schuchat, a large camera store on California Avenue in Palopho Alto which closed back in October 2016.

As I was getting back into photography and learning my way around, I discovered a podcast and blog from a writer and photographer named Derrick Story. At the time I came across him, he was working for O’Reilly Publishing where he wrote books on photography. In parallel he was developing his own business as a commercial photographer, blogger, podcaster – and workshop host.

In 2010, I became interested in one of the fall photography workshops Derrick was offering which was going to include a visit to Safari West, a private wildlife preserve located outside of Santa Rosa, California. I had taken a few other photo workshops earlier that year but this one with Derrick at Safari West was a real highlight. I captured some of the very best wildlife photographs I’ve even taken during that weekend workshop! Here’s my earlier post from 2010 where I wrote about it!

Early this morning I opened an email from Derrick announcing his upcoming 2024 photography workshops. The last one he’s doing next year is going back to Safari West – and reading that and looking at his description of that workshop brought back these memories of mine!

Derrick’s a great teacher. I’ve taken several other workshops with him and recommend them highly!


Just Back from the TDS Fall Photography Workshop

White Rhinos

I’m just home after spending yesterday and today at Derrick Story’s Fall Photography Workshop up in Santa Rosa. Derrick – who has a delightful photography blog at The Digital Story and a great weekly podcast available in iTunes – spent these two days taking a group of eight students through a wide variety of photography topics.

This was my third or fourth photography workshop in the last year – and it was far and away the best. Derrick’s hit on a near perfect combination – setting, topics, involvement with other students, unique photographic opportunities – along with some great instruction. Yesterday, for example, we spent about 4 hours in class and then left for a 3 hour photo shoot at Safari West – here’s my Flickr set from that adventure – and see the pair of white rhinos above kicking up some dust! Click here to see our group after our safari (that’s me on the left)!

Today, after a few hours of workshop instruction on portrait photography and the use of flash, reflectors, diffusers, etc., we set out to work with two models who helped us learn much more about outdoor portrait shooting. This was a really unique and valuable experience for us – as we put our new skills to use out in the field.

Somewhat amazingly, all of us in the class were Canon shooters – and we were all roughly at the same level – which made for a near ideal instruction environment. We were also all Mac users – and although we split between Aperture (most) and Lightroom (a few), again we were roughly at the same level.

If you’re interested in a photography workshop that’s among the best, you might want to sign up to be on Derrick’s reserve list for future workshops. He’s planning several for 2011 – and I can’t recommend them highly enough! To be added to the notification list, contact him via email: