A workshop photography kind of DIY


Twice a year, my friend Dan hosts an artistic workshop that focuses on routered and hand sculpted work combined.

These are my samples you’ve seen in my own home. I have quite the collection growing, as I help at the workshops. But this round,  Dan had something else in mind. He wanted me to specifically take pictures, and LOTS of them.

See, here’s the deal. When my point and shoot was starting to fail, (story HERE) I borrowed Dan’s camera to get by for the Copy Me Challenge. But that didn’t fly for long.

“Go get a camera!”



“No! It’s too expensive!”

“Get one, because at my next workshop, I want you to take the pictures with YOUR NEW camera! Mine’s on the way out. Now go get it! Today!”

“… no…  wimper… OK!” (tires screeching down the driveway)

Don’t you just love permission for those expensive items? 🙂

 So I gave my new camera a real workout, figuring out the white balance challenges I was having the day OF the workshop. Whew…  and made out like a bandit with 570 pictures. And not one of them yellow. 🙂

Naturally, not all 570 turned out! However you’re sure to get a great few if you take that kind of volume.

So… here’s what I did this past weekend.

~ The great folks that made the event come to life ~

dad and daughter, above (isn’t that the coolest?)

husband watching wife… (love this!)

~ The tools of the trade ~

~ The masters that taught ~

~ The silent learning moments ~

~ The artistic son that made me proud ~

 ~ The sillier moments to further brighten the day ~

Heavy texture x 10000000  means a heeeaaavvvvyyy brush!

If you hate your bug, a good cry always helps…. 🙂

The big camera dual… “Gotcha!” ” NO, I got YOU!” x 20 clicks

No, you will not get a good pic of me! I’ll goof off and make sure of it too!

~ Special moments caught ~

Grampa and grandaughter, above

Taking moving photos is sooooo much different than still shots. It was a whole new learning curve. But it was a pleasure to give it a whirl with kind folks in an environment that was a given for me.

Thanks Dan, for the fun opportunity! And a big hello to the wonderful group of folks that made me laugh and smile all weekend long. Thanks for some great new memories!

So… how did I do? 🙂

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Categories: Photography

24 thoughts on “A workshop photography kind of DIY

  1. I’d say you did a fantastic job and I’m sure Dan loved the pictures. It looks like fun was had by all. Some great creativity going on that’s for sure.


  2. Great photos! I’d love to go to a workshop like that. I love sculpting and creating things like that. I always thought I should have worked for Disney because I love to design cartoon characters and better yet create them in 3D and I don’t mean video. My dream job would be to make characters for stop animation like for Tim Burton movies. I love to make little clothes and accessories for little creations. Dan’s workshop looked like so much fun. You are so lucky to be surrounded by such creative friends. It always pushes you to be even better yourself.

  3. Donna, not only is the quality great, the perspective is really great as well. A mix of close-ups, wide angles, quiet moments, interactive moments, really made me feel like I got a sense of the event and want to go myself next time! What a blessing to have a friend who not only encourages but pushes you as well. Take care, Laura

  4. The photos are great; the event looked fun, warm and welcoming. What are the letters made of? Surely not wood or plaster of paris; maybe high density foam board?

  5. If you are this good with a new camera, wait til you learn what it can really do and how to use it. I think the fact that you must have been laughing also made it hard to get a still shot, and you did wonderfully at that.
    What a great class with all ages involved! I want a bunch of leaf floating bugs for my pond area.

  6. Looks great! What a neat, fun project. Now…please tell me that the handsome man, with the great smile….and PLAID jacket….is single, and you two are going out for coffee this week. 😉

  7. I finally got a quick look through the photos last night (after our last guest departed) I was exhausted but happy for this was a great event largely formed by those who attended. Donna’s photos captured so many great moments through the weekend. It was a tough shoot for the lighting is not idealized for photos at all. Things were happening fast with everyone constantly on the move. Yet Donna captured this event so very well. Thank you my friend! Well done. (as I knew you could)

    Initially in my quick look at the photos I picked many of the same ones she did. But there are so many more great ones too. I look forward to sorting them out in the next while. They will appear on my blogs and in publication too. THANKS!


  8. what a fun filled weekend…your pics were great and so was the artwork. looking to get a new camera as my little kodak is limited. i had fun in high school photog class (long time ago) with my brother’s slr…now its available in digital format. woo hoo.
    i took a peek at dan’s business site and it’s like a kids playground! what a fun place this must be to work.

  9. You did great! Indoor shots of people are always so hard. I usually mess up the Christmas pictures big time. So you really learned to work your big girl camera fast. Btw, if you shoot in RAW you never have to worry about white balance anymore, you can fix that perfectly in the RAW editor. And add exposure afterwards too (that’s how I get my indoor shots so light, my house really isn’t that light).

  10. Great, just like everything else! I’m glad Dan made you go get that camera–now you’ll be even better – oy! is that possible? Did you say what kind of camera you purchased? Hugs, girl. Kim

  11. The pictures are great, and I’m sure they’ll help sell the workshop in the future.

    I do have a question though. I thought it was metal sculpting. Is that metal the people have sculpted into figures? It appears as if some of them have poured a different substance into a mold – maybe a metal mold? And then there looks to be plaster of some sort on others? How much of the products are metal? And if not all of it, do the participants get to shape their bases from metal? And do they metal coat them in the end?

    Sorry for so many questions. I used to use a metal coater to “dip” things to make them appear as full metal surfaces, and I’m curious if this is the same type of thing. I remember he used to have to put my things through 2 firing processes.

    I’m intrigued for sure.

  12. Awesome photos!
    I think you did a great job of capturing some of the scale of areas like the library. And even though the light maybe wasn’t ideal, you used it to fullest advantage. I felt like I was back there again (my workshop was last June).
    I have no doubt you are a photoshop whiz….and with just a few tweaks on a couple of these photos (vibrance/saturation maybe?) they’d go from stellar to magical.
    It’s been a pleasure to discover other artists just from taking Dan’s workshop. You’re doing wonderful things!

  13. I have literally 100’s of pictures from my trips to Dan’s, its a really great way to refresh memories, and remember good times. 🙂

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