Below are some of the possible courses being offered. If there is a link it will take you to a brochure page with dates and pricing (if available at the time)
If you are contemplating learning Adobe Photoshop, OR if you have Photoshop and feel lost with the program, OR if you use Photoshop in a very limited way and would like to learn more, this is the course for you. We'll give you a complete beginner's course that will make you completely familiar and comfortable with this exciting program. You will know, and more importantly, you will UNDERSTAND Photoshop! If you think you know Photoshop -- you still need this course. We highly recommend this course for everyone except those who absolutely know Photoshop.
I cannot tell you how often students in this course worried that they already knew what they needed to know, only to find out how little they actually did. We could fill this course every week of the year with photographers of that description!
This course is designed for those already familiar with the basic operation of Adobe Photoshop, and with the basic tools one can use and the basic adjustments one can make to an image. This course will take you beyond these basics, allowing you to fine-tune an image in multiple ways, as well as showing you ways to create images of your own -- including panorama composites and high-contrast composites -- that will allow you to depict what you have really seen, or what you truly had envisioned.
We'll be combining Photoshop and Photography in this fun-filled and illuminating course that truly will take your photographic and creative vision to THE NEXT STEP. Price includes great food, lodging, computer supplies, and a wonderful portfolio of photographic subjects. All the courses include FOOD and LODGING and all materials necessary for the course.
Each course is Limited to 10 students and with TWO INSTRUCTORS.
This Digital course will not only teach the critical photographic skills necessary to make a great photograph, but will also emphasize the power of DIGITAL imagery in doing so. Workflow -- what do you do with a digital image once it is captured; Exposure -- what the heck does that Histogram do?; basic Photoshop and RAW image conversion via Photoshop and Lightroom-- there are simple adjustments that will make a good image even better, without requiring you to be a Photoshop whiz; and perhaps most exciting ...
You'll learn to use your digital camera to go beyond the limitations one has with a film-based image. You'll see how easy it is to make a digital composite to solve exposure-contrast problems and to make broad panoramas. Our Hoot Hollow-based courses at the McDonald Digital Institute in central Pennsylvania features state of the art computers and the latest software, with a limit of twelve students.
This course should be the foundation of your photography, and we wish that everyone who travels and photographs with us would take this course first! The work shows the results.
Hoot Hollow West - D-CNPC
In April, we sometimes conduct special D-CNPC classes at the Santa Rita Lodge, Madera Canyon, in southern Arizona. This is an extremely target-rich
environment where in addition to landscapes and wildlife, you'll have the opportunity to photograph hummingbirds using our high-speed flash equipment!
The course has the same topics as the one offered at Hoot Hollow, but has the added benefit of photographing hummingbirds. This is the perfect course for those travelling from the West Coast.
Digital Workflow using Adobe LIGHTROOM
We will be offering two Adobe Lightroom Courses in 2014.
(Click link for details, dates & pricing)
We'll show you, step-by-step, how to use Adobe's LIGHTROOM to manage and edit your digital files as well as to fine-tune your RAW images with the Lightroom's powerful RAW converter. Lightroom won't replace Photoshop, however, and you'll learn when and why you'll still need Photoshop for particular tasks -- if indeed your workflow requirements require further tweaking! This course will include some shooting time in the field so that we can apply your new skills in a real-time, practical way.
Limit 10 participants
We'll be photographing bubble-net and lunge-feeding of this, the most photogenic and accessible of all the great whales, as well as coastal black and grizzly bears. In our off time we'll be doing mini workshop/seminars on Digital Photography, Workflow, and tips and techniques in Photoshop to maximize our time in this very productive area.
Our Digital Lab is located near McClure, Mifflin County, an extremely photogenic area of central Pennsylvania, about 45 miles SE of State College (home of Penn State University) and 90 minutes NW of Harrisburg, the state capital. All major airlines serve Harrisburg, where car rentals are available for anyone flying in for our courses. By car we are about 3 hours from Philadelphia or Baltimore, 4 hours from New York City or Pittsburgh. Our location is within a day's drive of much of the eastern, southeastern, and mid-west states. For example, the North Carolina border is around 8 hours away, and Indianapolis around 10. If you prefer to drive, rather than fly, we're really not that far away from much of the eastern US. Leaving the main highways, as you drive through the rolling farm country or cross over mountain ridges, one might think we are in the middle of nowhere, but I can assure you that our Digital Lab is absolutely state of the art. The scenic possibilities in the area are fantastic. The farm and our Digital Lab are located in a broad valley framed by Jack's and Shade Mountains, and within a few minutes one can be filming within a hemlock forest, or driving along ridge top roads through miles of deciduous forests, or wandering the country roads through rolling hills in Amish and 'English' farm country.
Our lab is located on our property where we also conduct our various nature photography courses in the Hoot Hollow Institute, a separate building located deeper in our woods. Our property, and the farm vacation lodge where our participants stay are both target rich environments for photographers. Our property is a mix of flower gardens, wild fields, streams, ponds, and forest; the home to flying squirrels, bluebirds, goldfinches, treefrogs, and more. We've recorded 100 species of birds on our property and virtually every species of nonvenomous reptile and amphibian recorded in central Pennsylvania, as well as most mammal species. It's not unusual to see six or more species of mammal in a single day. In summer there are a variety of insects, including swallowtail and tiger butterflies, and in spring and fall the foliage change (the green wave of spring, the vibrant reds of autumn) makes for dramatic images. The location and landscaping is perfect for breakout sessions and for shooting images that you may wish to incorporate into your digital imagery.
The Mountain Dale Farm is a working farm, with chickens, horses, dairy cows, cats, dogs, peacocks, and more. It is a farm filled with 'Americana,' antiques, statues, old wagons, etc., etc. -- so filled with potential images that the participants of our Complete Nature Photo Course shoot their 'scavenger hunt' final exam on the property. The countryside around the farm, with rolling hills overlooking farm fields and barns, as well as the deciduous forest surrounding the farm, offers the potential for forest, fern, fungi, and macro images.
Participants stay at the Mountain Dale Farm, a farm-vacation facility similar to a bed and breakfast. Breakfasts and dinners are served at the farm where our participants eat AS A GROUP family-style. Lunches are served here at Hoot Hollow (the name of our property). We feel this aspect of our course is unique and special -- people traveling alone are not alone once they arrive, and the time spent together as a group provides participants with the opportunity to share information, have fun, and build friendships. One warning, however! The meals both at the farm and at Hoot Hollow are tasty and filling. and we cater to special diets as needed, so don't expect to go hungry during your stay! You will not lose weight! One of the advantages, we feel, that we offer is simply the fact that everything is self-contained and included -- the lodging, all meals, drinks, etc., both at the Digital Institute and also where you spend the night at the Mountain Dale Farm. We feel that the camaraderie and 'family' that developed from sharing meals is an important aspect of the entire experience. Students get a chance to unwind, of course, but to also ask questions and discuss PS or photography outside of class.
Our lab is set up with PC/Windows computers equipped with 1 gig of RAM, 120 gig of Hard Drive, Pentium 4 processors, 19" flat screen CRT monitors, all networked together with a server where images can be downloaded, uploaded, and shared. Each student has a memory card reader and shares a printer. Epson and Canon have both supplied printers (Epson 1280s and Canon S9000s) that allow students to see the color differences, speeds, and quality both deliver. A large printer will be incorporated into the lab in 2004.
Our Digital Lab hours and class time generally begin at 9AM and continue until around noon when we break for lunch. Our classes resume after lunch and continue until approximately 5PM or later. Dinner is served at 6PM, and students return to the Lab by 7:30PM for an optional lab session. Our instructors are present throughout the day and evening sessions. During the day the formal teaching is done, with two assistants present to assist with the teaching and with helping students. In the evening, the instructors are present and available for helping the students as they work on personal projects, applying what they've learned in class. On some evenings, additional instruction and classroom sessions are conducted if the need arises.
Our lab is designed for NINE students with, of course, each student having his or her own computer. Each course has either one primary instructor or a dual instructor for a team-teaching approach, with a third instructor (usually me, Joe) as an additional assistant. Our instructors are on-site and available both during the day when most formal teaching is conducted and in the evening when students generally practice their skills.
Unless noted specifically in a particular brochure, your time at the Digital Institute is spent at the computer. For some courses there are short breaks or shooting sessions where students work on making images for a composite or a portrait, but most of your time is spent in the computer lab. Some additional courses are offered that involve more time afield in shooting digital images, but those courses are clearly noted. For the most part, expect to spend quality computer time while you are at our courses.
Joe McDonald has been a full-time professional wildlife and nature photographer since 1983. He is the author of six books on wildlife photography and another on African Wildlife, as well as a how-to video produced with his wife, Mary Ann, on Photographing on Safari. His work has appeared in every major nature and wildlife publication published in North America. Along with operating their own stock photography business, Joe is represented by over a dozen stock photo agencies worldwide, including Corbis, Animals Animals, Auscape, Okapia, and others.
In addition to maintaining an active and informative website, www.hoothollow.com, Joe is columnist for OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHER, writing the 'Focus on Big Game' column, and Joe and his wife Mary Ann are Field Correspondents for NATURE'S BEST Magazine, and KEYSTONE OUTDOORS, writing a photography column, and for both Joe Van Os's web magazine, www.photosafaris.com and the Nature Photography Network, where they write a regular column on wildlife and nature photography.
For over fifteen years Joe and Mary Ann have been teaching photography courses and leading photography tours and workshops. Their very popular photo tours and safaris have them afield for over twenty-five weeks each year.
Joe has worked with Photoshop for several years, mainly for creating sales promotional material and for web site use. Now, with the advent of digital cameras, he is using Photoshop nearly daily. He is a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.
Mary Ann McDonald, who runs the business end of the Digital Institute as well as food-kitchen-cooking team, has been a full-time professional photographer since 1990. Mary is the author of 29 children's books on natural history, including titles on Leopards, Flying Squirrels, Jupiter, Horses, Mosquitoes, and other diverse topics. Mary Ann is a Field Correspondent for NATURE'S BEST Magazine, and is co-author for photography columns for both Joe Van Os's web magazine, www.photosafaris.com and the Nature Photography Network.
Ellen Anon is a freelance photographer who specializes in all types of outdoor photography. Her images are poetic statements, vivid in color and intent, imaginative in their portrayal, and comforting in their beauty, and are included in collections in several countries. Ellen earned a Ph.D. in psychology and is a clinical psychologist who evolved into a professional photographer in the mid 1990's. She is represented by a stock agency in Japan and her photos have been used in numerous books (including Sierra Club's "Mother Earth"), articles, calendars, posters, promotional items and billboards. In addition she has been Art Morris's teaching assistant for several years on his larger bird photography workshops.
In recent years she has become increasingly involved with the various aspects of digital photography from scanning film images to using digital SLR cameras to using Photoshop to enable her to make her gallery prints at home. She has attended courses at the Lepp Institute of Digital Imaging. She has begun sharing the knowledge she has acquired via individualized instruction and now these workshops, so that other photographers can make the transition into the digital world with ease and fun. Ellen is a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.
Rick Holt has been involved with photography for over twenty years. In the last three years he has become a Photoshop junkie. After taking courses at the local art schools and colleges he found that many Photoshop courses were too oriented towards graphic artists as opposed to the photographer. Feeling unfulfilled, he took a workshop with George Lepp which as just the beginning. Rick now teaches "Photoshop for Photographers" classes at local colleges in the Lehigh Valley. He continues to attend workshops throughout the country to "keep up." In the last year he has attended workshops with industry leaders like Tim Grey, Sean Duggen, and Dave Cross. Rick believes that the digital darkroom has brought the creativity and control, once recognized by black and white photographers, to any photographer with a computer. You can go beyond the limits of film and recreate what you saw and felt when you recorded the image. In Rick's past life he was co-founder and CEO of Fiberoptic Medical Products.
Rick is a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.
If you've read the above biographies, you'll see that all of us are dedicated photographers that are interested in sharing our knowledge and helping people. I've been involved in teaching my entire adult life, from teaching assistantships in graduate school to a six-year stint as a high school biology teacher before starting my career as a wildlife photographer and photo workshop instructor. In this role I've been a full-time professional photographer and instructor since 1983. Ellen has taught college level courses as well as individual instruction, and has been assisting Art Morris with his birding workshops for years. Rick teaches Photoshop at a number of colleges in eastern Pennsylvania, and feels, as both Ellen and I do, that knowing Photoshop will take you (quoting from Rick's bio) "beyond the limits of film and recreate what you saw and felt when you recorded the image."
I intend to make our Digital Courses every bit as successful, in terms of the knowledge conveyed, the quality of the experience, the intensity, and, just as importantly, the amiability and fun, that we've done with our CNPC and ANPC courses here at Hoot Hollow. Our first year, 2003, was a resounding success and I feel we accomplished these goals in spades. We only expect to do even better in the years ahead.
Office Phone: 717 543-6423
Or FAX us at: (717) 543-5342.