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Prague and Vienna

Apr 23

In Seminars & Workshops, Travels at 4:59am

This past week on the Charles Bridge in Prague, I touched this image, below the statue of St. John Nepomuk. They say, if you touch this icon, you will return to Prague. I certainly hope so.

Just came back home from what has been a non-stop airplane fueled whirlygig of a travel sked that started in early February. Thankfully, we closed on a high note, with Annie along, and a workshop week in two of the most beautiful cities on earth, Vienna and Prague. It’s always a thrill to teach with Annie, as, even apart from her company, she remains a wonderfully informed, kind and patient teacher. She does amazing things for any class, especially any group just spooling upwards on camera technique. We also had Cali there, who, apart from his well evident charm, did great work with all the participants, showing them the ropes for camera work and lighting.

The workshop was, totally and completely, born of Liza Politi’s energy and organization. She wrangled locations, and arranged great hotels, meals and transport for all of us. It became a great environment to teach in, as I didn’t have to sweat the logistics, as I knew they were handled.

We had a great group of participants! From all over! And, we had Roland Voraberger, a native of Vienna, and a wedding shooter based in that fair city. Little did I know how industrious he was being all week, as he shot BTS stuff relentlessly, and just posted a sum up of the week over at his blog, which, by permission, and with some editing, I post below. A fun week, with lots of light, clouds, rain, sun, and pictures. (Below, pictures and text courtesy of Roland! And a few wry observations from me:-) Sharing this on the blog as it was simply a fun week of photography, with a wonderful bunch of enthusiastic photogs.

From Roland, in words and pictures: What a workshop, what an adventure! To be honest I was a little bit nervous when I was on my way to the 25hours Hotel in Vienna.

First come together with Joe McNally

Talking with Joe McNally for the first time, I found him to be an easy going human being. It is just fun to spend your time with this photographer. I was also a little bit astonished that I was the only German speaking guy in this room. A bunch of very nice people from UK and US came the whole way down to Vienna for being part of this fabulous workshop.

After a brief getting to know, we enjoyed our first dinner at the Museumsquartier in Vienna. The next day we first visited the Stephansdom and the Graben for taking some pictures. We had critique class every day for some hours after we took our pictures. A very efficient way to grow with the quality of your picture. And Joe McNally is very honest with his critique…most of the time ;-)


Bad weather? Doesn’t matter as a photojournalist

On Monday it started to rain very hard when we visited the Naschmarkt. On Tuesday we were in my neighborhood Schönbrunn and later in the Prater. It was my first ride with the “Riesenrad”. At the prater we also began with the first flash-exercises for Portaits together with available light.

Lets go to Prague – for the first time in my life

Wednesday morning we left to Prague. With a short stop in “Telc” – a very nice town in Czechia. On Thursday we stood up very early for a sunrise-shoot on the famous “Charles Bridge”of Prague. After the critique-session we also visited “Castle Quarter” in the Afternoon. In the evening it was time for another great flash-sunset lesson with Joe. (Below, Annie helps Fred with his relentless fascination with cobblestones!)


From the Jewish Museum to the old town

On Friday we visited the Jewish Museum in the morning. Afterwards it was again time for some class with Joe. In this class he teached us some more interesting points about flash and how he did pictures for “National Geographic” and so on. I was very impressed how simple it could be sometimes to make an amazing picture. Joe knows all about the tricks. He showed us everything from the beginning to setting the last flash for his pictures. Wonderful. (Below, Cali works with Stephanie and Sonny and then offers, visually, what seems to be an opinion on what I’m saying.)


Time to say goodbye

On Saturday we visited the new town of Prague and in the afternoon is was time for our last class with Joe. On our last evening we first watched our slideshow with the “Best of”-Pictures from all participants of the week and went for a great dinner at the Danube afterwards.

Wrap up

It was a great week with wonderful people. On the top were of course Joe McNally and his wonderful wife Anne. I also really enjoyed all the tipps and tricks from his great first assistant Cali. A great guy who enjoys to share his knowledge. Overall it was the best organized workshop where I have ever been. I learned a lot about seeing and trying to make pictures with a story. Dealing with flash and gels was one of the most interesting things for me during this week. I think and hope that there will be a second workshop with all these great people in the near future.

Output of the workshop

If you are interested in some of the street photography-output of our week…you find the impressions here.

I enjoyed it very much and wish you all the best and safe travels!

All the best from Vienna,

Same back to you, Roland! We have one more of these this year, in St. Lucia, which is more specifically about location lighting, with a dose of post production thrown in by RC Concepcion. And, stay tuned to Politi’s site, where she will soon post about our going to Scotland next year. More tk….

Irene Robertson says:

on April 23, 2014 at 7:35 am

Awesome!! One of the best things i’ve ever done, Joe is a genius and a gentleman and what a team, Annie, Cali and Liza all got so involved that no one could fail to progress over the week. Thanks to all and can’t wait for Scotland :)

Rumi says:

on April 23, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Hey Joe, I see that you’re using your DF a lot more. Can you give your overall impressions with real world use? There’s so much controversy surrounding this camera, I’d like to know your final thoughts.

Roland says:

on April 23, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Thank you so much for sharing my blog Joe! I am so proud. As I wrote it was just a great experience with you, Annie, Cali and Liza here in Vienna and Prague! Hope to see you again. Wish you all the best!

Lukas Kala says:

on April 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Greetings from Czech Republic and we are very happy That you liked so much in Prague. We hope you will visit this country again.
PS: Thanks for the nice meeting u dinner on Wednesday. Next day I had to tell everything to my schoolmates and teachers.

Mario Vargas G. says:

on April 24, 2014 at 7:12 pm

Fantastic pictures of the workshop
Many talented people plus Joe equal fantastic shots
greetings from Lima
Hope some day have Joe in LIma

Marcelo Sánchez says:

on May 12, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Hello, I wanted to know if the DVD The Language Of Light with Joe McNally comes with subtitles in Spanish? thanks

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