About Italy Workshops
Our primary mission is to help you:
- Create the best images of your life
- Experience the culture of Italy
The Italy Experience
A Slower and Richer Experience
Twenty years of experience has taught us that slowing down, we actually see more. So we spend our time in one region at a time and experience it more deeply, rather than the “little of everything” tour.
Similarly, our workshop is not a boot camp, where photography is a competitive sport. Guests have helped us to understand that photographing calmly in a few wonderful village and landscapes with supportive critique is the best way to learn.
We embrace a casual, “traveling with friends” approach that has appealed to more than 600 workshop participants over the years, many of whom have traveled with us five and six times.
About Drake Busath
In-Depth Knowledge of Italian Culture
Drake created Italy Workshops in 1999, primarily as an excuse to more time in Italy. This was his escape from the vicissitudes of commercial photography, his occupation since 1980.
Having lived in Italy in his youth, Drake speaks Italian and possesses a deep affection for Italy, its beauty, culture and history, making him uniquely qualified to lead these photo workshops.
During the past 20 years he has hosted hundreds of guests in Tuscany, Venice, Liguria (Cinque Terre), Lake Como, the Dolomites, Umbria, Puglia and the Amalfi Coast. This year he adds tours in Sicily and Emilia Romagna.
Off the Trampled Track
Our tours that reflect our personal preferences for travel. This means:
- Choosing to unpack our bags and unwind in one region for a whole week, rather than fighting traffic and constant hotel checkins.
- Extra time in smaller villages and steering clear of the crowds and trampled sites that visitors usually encounter.
- Dropping in on local artisans and craftsmen and learning something more about their world.
- Searching out “hidden gems” of authentic cuisine and regional wines, and then allowing extra time to enjoy them.
Twenty years specializing in Italy’s most quaint villages, making friendships along the way, guarantees you a more intimate and memorable experience. Read some comments from our participants.
What can I expect on the workshop?
You can expect patient, personal instruction and encouragement, with small groups sizes, averaging one instructor to each six guests. Our guest instructors are chosen for their kindness, enthusiasm and accomplishments, in that order.
You can expect to improve your eye for composition and light. That’s the mission of Italy Workshops.
You will be encouraged to make images that are personal to you. We will rarely stand together and photograph the same subject. You’ll work on developing your own personal style so that you go home with a collection worthy of a gallery show or book project.
Classroom time (1-2 hours/day), is designed to help you create better images each day, rather than repeating the same mistakes.
Each day you will submit a few favorite images for review and critique. While this may seem a bit intimidating at first, you will learn much faster by seeing how others capture similar circumstances.
You’ll learn sound editing methods as the instructor adds his/her thoughts to the images that come up on-screen. You’ll go out to shoot every day with fresh new ideas and inspiration.
So why would anyone take a workshop without review and critique?
Classroom discussions include:
- Fast and accurate methods for proper exposure in a wide variety of situations
- Timeless landscape shooting techniques
- Street-shooting techniques for social images and photo-journalism
- Creative Motion Techniques (i.e., subject blur, camera motion and combinations of the two)
- How to find amazing light on any given day, and at any hour
- Design Elements: composition, balance, scale and dimension
- Content – or the absence of it – and how to create a powerful effect on viewers
Frequently Asked Questions
Non-photographer spouses, partners or friends will have a wonderful time as well. We stay at great hotels with terrific amenities and a relaxed schedule.
Non-photographers are not waiting around for hours nor are they dragged out of bed at 4 a.m. to go to a sunrise photoshoot (unless they want to!).
Enjoying the sidewalk cafès, shopping in unique boutiques, or meandering through ancient streets are all part of the experience of being in Italy, so we include plenty of free time in our schedule.
Any camera is acceptable, including smartphones. Automation for the beginner can make the trip fun and stress-free and, at times, increase creativity.
Participants who are very comfortable with their computer are encouraged to bring it along. Editing your images during the week can enhance your learning experience. We currently use Adobe Lightroom CC for our on-screen reviews sessions. You will learn new LR editing methods and workflow shortcuts during classroom reviews and critique. Even if you’ve used Lightroom, we highly recommend brushing up before the workshop by watching the free tutorials available on Adobe.com.
If you are not fluent downloading and managing digital images, you might consider leaving the computer behind and just focusing on camera work. You can still submit images daily for review, and perhaps find more time to learn about your camera and develop a discerning eye. (Not to mention sleep happily while others choose to edit into the night.)
Observer Participants may be beginner photographers, attending all instruction and field trips, but not required to submit photos for critique. This is a fun way to learn without pressure. You’ll still photograph the same things and we’ll still want to review your work on the back of your camera and offer individual instruction in the field.