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September 3, 2014

ANPAT-14 has slots available

Blog-ANPAT-14-SQ_125.jpgOnly two seats are left for the 14th Annual Nikonians Photo Adventure Trip (ANPAT). Our founders, J. Ram?n Palacios (jrp) and Bo Stahlbrandt (bgs), urge any members trying to make a last-minute decision to sign up now. 

The ANPAT, at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, USA will be held from September 28 to October 4.

The park is a photographer's dream location with classic landscapes, sweeping panoramas, and giant mountain vistas. The adventure is based out of Estes Park, Colorado.

Check the official Nikonians Academy ANPAT page for more information. 
To see what the attendees are discussing in advance of the adventure, click here

Next week begins our San Francisco workshop series taught by Steve Simon (Sept 9-15).

He's running workshops on the top Nikon cameras as well as his signature Passionate Nikon Photographer Two-Day Mastery Workshop.

Looking Ahead


September is a busy month for workshops. We have trips leaving for Sri Lanka, Galapagos, Bishop and Yellowstone. We still have a couple seats open for our Eastern Sierra/Owens Valley and Yellowstone Wildlife trips if you are interested.

The Eastern Sierra workshop runs Sept 18-21, and the Yellowstone Wildlife adventure dates as Sept 22-25.

For those of you interested in urban landscape photography, we encourage you to take a look at Rick Hulbert's Urban and Street Photography workshops that are scheduled all around the world. Next up in his highly rated workshop series are Los Angeles (USA) starting December 11, London (UK) starting May 14, 2015 and Munich (Germany), starting May 25, 2015.


Special Edition Interview

Nikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen recently interviewed Rick Hulbert for the Nikonian eZine and thought we'd republish it again here for the blog:


Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your background in architecture and what is your background in photography?

I have been a licensed, practicing Architect and Urban Designer for 4 decades ? and I have been enjoying Photography both as a hobby and commercially for half a century. In my Architectural Firm, I have been consistently relying on photography as a wonderful communication tool.

You are currently teaching workshops for the Nikonians Academy but you also teach workshops for other groups. Tell us about those.

I started my educational career in Photography teaching at Vancouver Photo Workshops, a Vancouver, Canada based academy of photography.

I have now expanded my teaching to include lecture courses at Colleges and University such as Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. Additionally, I am proud to say that I have been a featured speaker on photography to a number of groups including the New England Chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers.

The photographic subjects of my workshops and lectures include Urban Photography, Street Photography, Travel Photography, Garden Photography, Panorama Photography, Heritage Photography, Infrared Imaging, along with High and Extended Dynamic Range Imagining.


For the Nikonians Academy, I have chosen to focus on Urban Photography, which includes everything from buildings and bridges to people and their activities, to urban travel and vacation photography.

The content of my workshops includes not only techniques that will enhance your photography, but also ?composition.? I use the knowledge I have gained in my education in Architecture, Art and Music to show how you can create great images.

Finally, I teach how people see and visually perceive the world around them, and how that knowledge can enhance your photography. Wouldn?t you like to know how people will view your images? ? especially if you are trying to win awards or want accolades from others!

While I don?t teach software specifically, I use software when reviewing student images showing each workshop attendee (with their permission of course) how they can enhance their initial RAW files. This process allows students to get a taste of my personal workflow and hopefully get some valuable tips.

My students include those for which photography is a casual hobby, passionate enthusiasts, along with professional and fine art photographers.

How important is knowledge of architectural design principles to getting a great urban photo?


As an Architect, I have had a rigorous training in the art of composition. As an Urban Designer, I have learned how Cities are structured and organized and more importantly how people actually perceive the urban experience.

Knowing and teaching how our brains interpret edges of objects and people can give photographers a big advantage in portraying the myriad of photographic subjects available to us in Cities and Towns.

How do urban photography locations change around the world? . . . and what makes one urban photo location better or worse than another?

Every city, town, and village offers exciting opportunities for photography. If I am planning ahead, I look for specific locations that fall on ?edges.?  These include waterfront or riverfront edges, street edges, edges of parks, plazas, squares . . . you name it. Urban edges are a great place to start.

If I have not had a chance to plan ahead in advance, I look to intercept great light. We talk a lot about ?Intercepting Great Light,?  and what that means in my workshops.

 What do you find people most often neglect when they start taking photos in an urban area?


We need to recognize that cities and towns are designed for people. Urban areas comprise a series of indoor and outdoor spaces for people and their activities. We talk about the importance of learning how to photograph "3-D space".

Lots of people know the great landscape photographers by name, but what photographer do you think has done the best job of capturing the urban aesthetic?

WOW, let me think here?great photographers of buildings include master Architectural Photographers like Julius Schulman. For ?street photography? of people in candid situations, I most admire Henri-Cartier Bresson. Intriguingly, no single photographer comes to mind that actually combines both the constructed environment along with people and their activities in a consistently great way. That is, humbly, what I am trying to accomplish.

If people cannot afford a tilt and shift lens, what is the next best option for them to consider for architectural photography?


Architecture, and actually the vast majority of the designed and built environment is made up of straight lines or what I refer to as straight ?edges.? Traditionally, to photograph and to portray these edges as our brain interprets them, photographers had to employ the very best lens optics.

Today, with the sophisticated software available at very reasonable prices, almost any lens can be used to create sophisticated architectural images. This is true for single buildings indoors and out, and it is true of glorious cityscapes. I carry a couple of tilt/shift lenses with me so that workshop participants can see how they work if so desired, but they are definitely not necessary. A standard or super wide-angle lens is a great place to start.

 Over the years you have used a number of different camera systems. Do you find that one format works better than another for urban photography?


All camera systems have their benefits depending upon the subject. For instance, smaller cameras are less threatening for candid images of people in the urban environment.

I personally enjoy and appreciate an SLR with live view. While I love my Nikon cameras, I welcome all types and brands of cameras from point and shoots (including camera phones) though mirrorless camera systems, range finders along with single lens reflex cameras and large format cameras.

My past students have brought along cameras and lenses from numerous manufacturers and it has proven my belief that all cameras are capable of serving as a tool for allowing the photographer to make great images.

Why are you passionate about urban photography?

I am passionate first about photographic education. I believe that the camera is the best tool for learning how to better see and perceive the world around us. I find the constructed environment a target rich palate of unending opportunities, and these great opportunities are often not far from home.

What do you wish more people understood about urban photographers?


I want us all to learn to appreciate both the natural and man made environment and how they interact with each other?how they come together. Understanding how cities and towns are designed and used will make your photography all that much better and more appreciated by others.

You've been running workshops for quite a few years. What do you find to be the most common mistake new urban photographers make?

As I mentioned earlier, I teach the importance of recognizing edges in photography?edges of structures, edges of the urban landscape and especially the 4 edges of the photo itself.

The thing to appreciate is that our brain sees these edges first and that it is light that highlights these edges and the surfaces that connect them together. I want photographers to realize the importance of what a difference the quality of light can make in an image. Since there are no ?rules? for photography, I guess one could argue that there are no ?mistakes.? However, knowledge of how we see and interpret images can be incredibly powerful and fulfilling in your quest for great images.

What is the best city in the world for urban photography?

The best city is the one in which you find yourself.

Most people think of urban photography as downtown Manhattan or San Francisco. What aspects of photographing in these areas can be translated to smaller urban areas or suburbs?


I am glad you brought that up. My workshop teaches what ?urban? means and you will find that the principles of photography that apply to big city cores, also apply to any area consisting of designed and constructed objects and places. These objects and places don?t just include buildings, but all constructed elements large and small, from roads and pathways to damns and power plants and from fences to telephone poles.

Even gardens and parks are planned and designed and are part of the urban context. When you add people and their activities into the mix, you can see how the principles of ?urban photography? can apply to almost anywhere that humans have made a visible impact on our environment.

Anything else you want to tell us?

I am most proud of the testimonials from my students.

If anyone is interested in my Nikonians Academy Workshop, they should have a look at my website

. . . and especially check out the comments from former attendees.

My upcoming schedule of workshop locations are listed on the Nikonians Academy Website:

Posted by flashdeadline at September 3, 2014 12:08 AM