Joe and Mary Ann McDonald's

Wildlife Photography

Testimonials for our Digital -CNPC and our Adobe Photoshop Courses

A sincere thanks to both of you for providing me with a truly remarkable photographic experience at Mammoth Lakes. I have heard it said that true growth only occurs when you are in chaos. In a positive way, that is where I find myself now. You have challenged in in the way I do things mechanistically, artistically, and organizationally, Between our sessions and your CD (Digital Nature Photography -From Capture to Output) I now have a wealth of information to distill down to my personal needs and direction. In addition, it was a long-time goal realized for me by attending one of your courses and getting to know you both personally and professionally. In that regard, too, I had a great time.
Dave K, MN

I wanted to thank all of you for the terrific week at Digital Wildlife (sic-D-CNPC).... We have both had cameras about 2 years. We have gone to several 1 and 2 day seminars by top rated pros and taken their internet courses. We have read several books by the same Pros and others. This week was a revelation, we learned more in 6 days than in the last 2 years. And, we had a great time doing it.
Phyllis S, Georgia

Thank you, not just because it was perfectly coordinated, or the punctuality, the contents, etc., etc. Or because of all of what we learned and the fun we had ...Or because I needed to start a diet today to loose the many pounds I gained with the great food (and late night Negra Modelo beer), but because you opened your 'house" and your hearts to me during last week ... It was really VERY special.
Ignacio C, NJ

You've probably received accolades from all the June D-CNPC participants by now, and I want to add mine. Your course was terrific! You are both great teachers and gracious hosts. I enjoyed the course tremendously, and I certainly learned a lot about exposure (among many other things). Now, when I go out to shoot I feel very confident that exposure will not be a problem ... I never really felt that way before.
Tom C

Thank you so much for another PERFECT experience. In every way the hummingbird shoot exceeded my wildest expectations. My pictures are fabulous, all 500 of them.
Cynthia K, Arizona

Just a note to thank you for the outstanding nature photography workshop. Painful though it was, I was happy you forced me out of my 'matrix comfort zone' and taught me how to begin to properly meter a scene. I know everyone in my class thought the course was intense but very helpful. And we all enjoyed hearing firsthand from working pros ... Thanks again for the instruction. I can already see improvement in my photos.
Grady D, TN

Just wanted to let you know that I'm glad I took the course. It was what I needed. Although I stressed myself out too much, the class forced me out of my safety zone and into new areas ... Thanks again to you and your great staff.
Ellen D, VA

I just wanted to send off a brief but sincere Thank You. The expectations I had for my experience at Hoot Hollow were all met and, in many cases, surpassed. I now have an even stronger passion for photography, and feel like I'm armed with an entirely new arsenal of knowledge to help me carry out that objective. ...My experience with Hoot Hollow was nothing less than superb - from the very first emails and telephone conversations with Margie, Kay, and Maxine as I researched and signed up for the course - through Joe's quick response after returning from your Utah trip and onto the course. Margie, Kay, and Maxine are not only great ambassadors for Hoot Hollow, but contribute immensely to your product and customer.
John F, DC

From a parent's letter: ...Two comments I've heard him make were, "It's one of the hardest weeks of my life," and "I learned more in the first day -if it had been the only day - it was definitely worth the money.

From our California CNPC - Hi again. Just a brief note to say thanks again for the great class. It was everything I had hoped. There is still a lot to learn ...
Jim C., Ohio

I just wanted to drop you both a quick line to let you know how much I enjoyed the workshop in Mammoth Lake. It was by far the best workshop or seminar that I have attended (and my wife would argue that I attend too many). I am looking forward to the hummingbird workshop next spring ...
Tom A., Washington

Your hospitality, teaching skills, personal touches, and patience are world class. Also thanks so much for the use of your truck. You inspired me to work hard ... A Pro Wildlife/Landscape Photographer, Utah

I've been in education for 40 years. I've taught workshops and, of course, I've attended many, many others. However, I believe the 2006 Intermediate Photoshop Workshop has been the best workshop I've attended. Thanks so much for the opportunity to be with the BEST. I'm looking forward to future workshops. Jim P, Texas.

Thought the class was great! It reinforce things I learned in AZ at the Digital Nature Photo Course, as well as other places, and added significantly to my awareness of tools, methods and short cuts. Tom W, Pennsylvania

I really learned a lot his week in the course. The most important thing I learned was the use of layers and that raw is the only way to go. There were a few things that were a little hazy finally click into place when we went over the graduation pictures. Thanks to you and Ellen I have a good foundation to embark on a new great adventure in digital photography. Thanks for all the help and advice you gave to me during the course. Bill S, Texas

Thanks to Joe, Mary Ann and Ellen for the great week at Hoot/Hollow. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun.
My goal was to get better at masking and selections and that certainly happened. What was unexpected was being introduced to the creative side of Photoshop. Thanks so much, Mark

The class was well done and informative. We kept at a good pace with time to repeat what we did not comprehend.
All in all well worth it.
Very patient instructors.
Thanks, ar

and one more, in its entirety:

Hi Joe and Mary Ann,
Just read your web site and it is super, speaking directly to me, I feel. What I want to say thank you for is that I shot everything in Kenya using manual exposure and spot metering without exception and I thank you for teaching me how to do that. I couldn't wait on development when we got home so took five rolls into the local lab (even though it's double the cost) just to see how I did. Not a dud on exposure in the five rolls so I have big hopes for the 80 rolls remaining to be developed. Our group as you know were all very experienced shooters and many were using other methods of achieving exposure but all told us we were doing it exactly right and to not change or try something new on this trip even though they were sharing information on how they do it. It was good advice even though after taking the complete nature photography course I had no intention of using anything other than manual because I know I get easily confused and lack experience and I so wanted good pictures this year. I've attached a few to prove I did it right. What a feeling of accomplishment to get these wonderful shots back. XXXX and I both had the problem of the lenses not attaching properly to our EOS 3's, on occasion. (See Canon Alert!) Being inexperienced as we are we thought it was our fault this happened. Also, I had the focusing problem and blamed that on wearing my sunglasses. I would manually focus on subject then hit the AF button and the camera would refocus on something else. Luckily I trust my eyes more than the cameras ability to function properly and would usually go with my eyes which I am hoping saved most of my shots and while I could have just gotten lucky on the five rolls I've gotten back after reading your article I think it was a good choice to trust my eyes. I can't thank you both enough for the way you teach the complete nature photo course. After going one year to Kenya (without taking the course) and this year after we took it the difference it makes is positive proof that it is an absolute "must do" for anyone who is going anywhere to get good photographs. Thanks Joe and Mary, you are the best.

Contact us by e-mail:

Or FAX us at: (717) 543-6423.

Return to HomePage.