2018 Asilomar Intro to Coastal Photography - Ken Fong Photo Journeys

This is a weekend workshop that represents everything one should know BEFORE signing up for their first (expensive) photographic workshop. The sessions will be in classrooms, with groups, and with individual one-on-one coaching on the field.

2018 Asilomar Intro to Coastal Photography


This comprehensive workshop covers the creative workflow of landscape photography that I use to create the majority of my images. It is intended for photographers who are, at the minimum, comfortable with using their cameras in manual mode, acquainted with tools such as Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, and wanting to grow beyond the practice of taking "snapshots" to developing their photography as a fine art craft.


NOVEMBER 2-4, 2018 Cost: $520 for workshop fee only; $100 cancellation fee; seat can be transferred.  Workshop fee does not include accommodation, travel, or food. Recommended accommodations include Deer Haven Inn, Rosedale Inn, Pacific Gardens Inn, and Best Western (The Inn & Suites Pacific Grove).  You can also book a hotel-style room at the Asilomar Conference Grounds if they are available. 
There is an OPTIONAL Photoshop primer course offered before the start of the workshop for a en extra fee of $59.

Capacity: 12 STUDENTS 


A minimum of 4 students is needed by Sep 1 for this workshop to happen. 
(Note: as of 9/1/2018, the minimum student requirement has been met.)


Photographic scouting is the least appreciated or practiced skill by most casual photographers, yet this skill is the most critical for creating a unique composition. Do you rely on your photo guide to "give you fish" or do you want to "learn how to fish"? Relying on a guide for composition may limit you to their vision. The following scouting topics will be taught in-class and reinforced on the field including how to:
- rapidly identify key compositional elements
- understand the role of light and topography apps
- pre-visualize a composition
- use the appropriate tools for scouting

How do you make your photographs look less like snapshots and more like fine art? Do you rely on famous landmarks or features to "carry" your composition? Famous landmarks may earn you a lot of Facebook likes, but can delude you into thinking that you have a strong composition, when it really isn't. The following composition topics will be taught in-class and reinforced on the field including how to:
- visualize a composition
- scout a location to identify favorable foreground and background elements
- arrange the elements to rule-of-third guidelines
- find and develop visual direction

How do you make sure you are capturing useful information while on the field in order to create a masterpiece after you leave? The following capture topics will be taught in-class and reinforced on the field:
- simplifying capture workflow so that you can spend more energy on composition
- capturing optimal exposure for post-processing
- hyperfocusing: maximizing focus at the optimal aperture
- determining shutter speed to achieve your visualized composition
- basic camera settings and best practices

Composing and capturing a photo is only halfway to your masterpiece...post-processing is the other half and represents a big chunk of what defines your unique artistic style. And I'm not just referring to simple adjustments like cropping, white balance, and exposure adjustment. Post-processing takes a longer time to master, but is something anyone can get started on right away. As long as a photo was captured optimally (see the "CAPTURE" section), the image can always be revisited again for processing as one gains more experience. The student will be exposed to various methods in order to have a reference of what is possible. The student can then pursue it further with more coursework. Each student can choose any method to practice during the workshop according to their comfort level. Post-processing topics will include:
- survey of different methods: pros and cons
- basic Lightroom (Camera Raw) adjustment
- introduction to Photoshop adjustments 
- using luminosity masks
- using post-processing to achieve the composition that you pre-visualized
For editing techniques, I will be teaching both destructive and non-destructive methods.

OPTIONAL PHOTOSHOP PRIMER (taught before start of workshop)
It is virtually impossible to learn everything about Photoshop in one class...the good news is that you only need to be familiar with a few tools to get started.  This optional class is meant for those with no formal Photoshop training and will introduce all of the tools used in the weekend's workshop.  The content of this course will cover:
- the basic tools used in the weekend's workshop
- working with layers and creating masks
- why luminosity masks are essential
- (optional) pen tablet setup


1) Ability to operate a camera comfortably in MANUAL mode
2) Familiarity with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop
3) Your own camera gear including a DSLR, an ultra-wide zoom lens, and a sturdy tripod
4) A notebook PC with Adobe CC (Lightroom and Photoshop) installed. Do not use Photoshop Elements or any "light" version of Photoshop.
5) All participants must also sign a liability release prior to participation.


Asilomar is an extensive conference ground located in Pacific Grove, CA just north of Pebble Beach. The grounds are located conveniently close to the beautiful Asilomar State Beach, which offers many options for photogenic foreground and background elements including tidal pools, wildlife, rock formations, kelp, and other coastal features. And by intention, there are no famous landmarks in this area so that the students can develop strong compositional skills without relying on notable landmarks. A unique aspect of the Asilomar area is that it is the only location in Monterey that has the potential for BOTH sunset and sunrise coastal compositions. Students are encouraged to book their stay at Asilomar in order to be close to the classrooms and participate in spontaneous group outings and discussions.


This event is planned to happen rain or shine. If a storm is forecasted, we will try to adjust our schedule to photograph in between storms or during storm breaks for optimal (dramatic) clouds. Any photographic session that is completely rained-out will be replaced with more classroom time or post-processing workgroups. Students are encouraged to bring their earlier work (RAW images) for post-processing demos and practice in the event that not enough images are captured from the workshop sessions.


Nov 2:

(1-330pm: Optional Photoshop Primer)
4pm: Workshop Start (Introduction)            
5-645pm: Sunset and magic light photography            
8pm: Seminar: Scouting   
Individual Coaching and Assessments

Nov 3:
630-8am: Sunrise photography           
10am: Seminar: Composition           
2pm: Seminar: Capture           
4-645pm: Sunset and magic light photography           
830pm: Seminar: Post-Processing Theory and Demonstration

Nov 4:
630-8am: Sunrise photography           
10-12noon: Post-Processing Technique
130-330: Post-Processing Practice             
4-645pm: Sunset and magic light photography and wrap-up

NOTE: Any video recording (i.e., by camera or smartphone) of in-class instruction is NOT permitted.


The first option below is for registrants who paid a deposit

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