Last weekend, Feb 19-21 2010, co-host Frederick Van Johnson (host of TWiP and and I ran the first TWiP Weekend Workshop, in Joshua Tree, California. You can read about the build-up to the workshop and how we decided to go as “big” as we did on Frederick’s blog post, here. The short version is, we decided if we were gonna do it, we were gonna do it right.

18% Grey lesson. Photo credit: Alenka Vdovič (click to view more)

It was an all-expenses included weekend in Joshua Tree, commencing with a lecture Friday night and a welcome BBQ at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Twentynine Palms—Joshua Tree National Park hotel (where we stayed for two nights), two fantastic locations on Saturday including a gorgeous “boulder garden” on private land and the 1940’s-built movie-set of an “Old West” town called Pioneertown, covering topics such as basic to advanced lighting and working with models, lunch at the deliciously authentic Pappy & Harriets, and to close the day, a beautifully hosted cocktail party followed by dinner and a photo-sharing presentation at the Joshua Tree Business Center. Sunday morning, Frederick delivered a presentation on Adobe’s Lightroom 2 and beta-3, and I gave a tour of the new Aperture 3, followed by lunch and an afternoon of studio lighting demonstrations where everyone had the opportunity to plug their camera into the “big lights” and experience a studio shoot.

The success of the is best spoken by the attendees, who said…

“What a fantastic weekend… It will be a lasting experience for a novice like me. The setting, the learning, the fellowship and the overall experience were first class—far beyond my wildest expectations.” — Harry Schaefer, attendee

“Joshua Tree was simply magical, thank you all for making the workshop such a rewarding learning experience and fun time regardless of the lens cap being on or off.” — Topher Martini, attendee

“I got so much more out of the workshop than I had hoped for. Even getting to practice with one lighting technique would have made the weekend worth the trip but we got to practice with 4 different techniques—all the way from ambient light to studio strobes.” — Nancy Nehring, attendee

“The weekend was a first class event!  The instruction was informative and presented in a manner in which I felt comfortable asking questions. Thank-you!” — Jennelle Marcereau, attendee

“The weekend really exceeded my expectations in every way.  It was perfectly organized and well instructed.  Our group seemed to be best friends after the weekend and we all left having learned a LOT of great stuff!!!” — Paul Cook, attendee

“That you for making this such a great experience” — Latti, model

In a follow-up post, I’ll describe the process we went through with the students to produce some of the following shots.

Simulated sunset, single strobe. Attendee Paul Cook modeling 

Multi-strobe gelled shot with Honl Photo modifiers. Model Latti modelingStudio lighting setup; Profoto in 4’x6’ softbox and two-light white seamless. Assistant Alenka Vdovič modeling