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Coffee Chat: Wildlife and Nature Photography with Lisa Langell

Coffee Chat:  Wildlife and Nature Photography with Lisa Langell

Are you getting started with nature photography?  Do you have questions that you wish you could get answered by someone who is helpful, non-judgmental, and specializes in photographing wildlife? Do you want to share your stories with others in our group? Discuss ideas? Get advice?  Learn a few tips? Participate in gentle, supportive critiques of work?  Lisa will help get our discussion going!

About Lisa: I have been a bird watcher since the age of eight.  I received my first “serious” camera at age 13 (Canon A-1) and have enjoyed observing and photographing nature ever since that time.  Transitioning to digital photography in 2007, I have enjoyed photographing wildlife from Florida to Alaska and beyond.  I've won numerous awards and conduct workshops locally and in Alaska.  I genuinely love helping people along on their own personal journeys as photographers.  I rely on my in-depth experience to help you find more success in doing what it takes to “get the shot.”    

You may view my work here:  http://www.langellphotography.com

About Coffee Chats:

Coffee Chats are on the last Tuesday of each month.  7:00pm-8:30pm.
Paradise Bakery at 8777 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 302, Scottsdale, AZ, 85253
(On Scottsdale Road at Doubletree Ranch Rd, 1 mile south of Shea Rd.)

NOTE:  If for any reason a meeting must be canceled or re-scheduled,  I will notify the group via Meetup.com.  Please check your messages for updates.

Registration: Registration for our Coffee Chats will open approximately 30 days in advance of each session.

Monthly Themes:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014:  “All Things Alaska:  Where to go, what to do, and how to experience Alaska as a photographer”
(Registration opens after 5/27/2014 Coffee Chat)
Having returned from her 36th trip to Alaska only one day prior to this coffee chat, Lisa will share her experiences fresh from the tundra with you.  Have you ever dreamed of going to Alaska?  Or wanted to return again someday?  Lisa leads a photography tour and workshop in Alaska each summer.  Learn what wildlife to see when, how to find iconic species, what gear is best, where to go and how to get there.  Contrary to popular belief, did you know that there ARE ways to see Alaska besides a cruise?  Did you know about Alaska’s lotteries to see bears, Denali National Park, and more?  Know the secrets to finding moose -even within Anchorage itself?  Discover where to find the best places to photograph Arctic Terns, whales, puffins, and more!  Lisa will help you get your questions answered about this incredible state from a photographer’s perspective.  She will also bring a few photographs and scenarios for the group to discuss and critique. If you would like to bring 1-2 photos to share, discuss, and/or have the group critique, please do so.  (Limit 2 per person.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014: "Photo Contests:  The good, bad, and ugly about submitting your work for the chance to win"  
(Registration opens after 6/24/2014 Coffee Chat)
Is the photo contest you're about to enter respectful of your rights as a photographer?  Or is it a classic "Rights Grab" that takes your image with the weakly distant promise of a prize and notoriety?  Learn how to consider the fine-print carefully when entering contests.  Also learn tips for making an image stand out from the crowd.  Lisa has won top honors in contests such as the Professional Photographer's Association (PPA), the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), the North American Nature Photographer's Association (NANPA), and more.  She'll give you her best recommendations for entering contests --and also when to steer clear of them. If you would like to bring 1-2 photos to share, discuss, and/or have the group critique, please do so.  (Limit 2 per person.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014:  “Photoshop Processing Secrets for Wildlife” 
(Registration opens after 7/22/2014 Coffee Chat)
Typically, less is more when it comes to processing wildlife images.  That said, there are a few techniques that can help you bring out the best in your images--and even rescue a few from a doomed fate.  Via Photoshop CS6, Lisa will show you a few methods for bringing out eyes, choosing the best image from a series of "sister shots," cropping, composition, directing the viewer's eye through use of light, and more.  (If you do not use Photoshop, the techniques will still be available in most mid-grade or higher editing tools. ) Lisa will also bring a few photographs and scenarios for the group to discuss and critique.  If you would like to bring 1-2 photos to share, discuss, and/or have the group critique, please do so.  (Limit 2 per person.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014:  “Fall Foliage:  Shooting in any weather to get beautiful foliage shots in and around Arizona.”
(Registration opens after 8/26/2014 Coffee Chat)
Lisa will share a few tips on getting great foliage shots in any weather scenario.  Additionally, the group is welcome to share their favorite locations for fall foliage around the state, share their techniques, and more. Lisa will also bring a few photographs and scenarios for the group to discuss and critique. If you would like to bring 1-2 photos to share, discuss, and/or have the group critique, please do so.  (Limit 2 per person.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014:  “Making Holiday Cards, Calendars, Books, Montages, and Gifts from your Photographs” 
(Registration opens after 9/23/2014 Coffee Chat)

Lisa will discuss her tips for shooting, processing, and producing items to gift or sell to your friends, fans, and family.  The group is welcome to contribute their own experiences, ideas, tips and suggestions as well.  If you have samples of your items that have been transformed into cards, books, calendars, etc., please bring them along.  If you would like to bring 1-2 photos to share, discuss, and/or have the group critique, please do so.  (Limit 2 per person.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014: “What  makes a ‘good’ wildlife shot?”  
(Registration opens after 10/28/2014 Coffee Chat)

A general, open-discussion, Q&A style, recurring discussion about capturing images of wildlife that move beyond “documenting that you saw it,” to powerful images that express how you experienced the moment.  Composition, lighting, approach, location, techniques, and mental state all play into how wildlife is expressed via a photograph.  These sessions evolve based upon the needs of the group and will occur periodically throughout the year.  Lisa will also bring a few photographs and scenarios for the group to discuss and critique.  If you would like to bring 1-2 photos to share, discuss, and/or have the group critique, please do so.  (Limit 2 per person.)

December 2014:  Not scheduled due to holidays.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015:  “Photographing Birds:  What must you know?” 
(Registration opens after 11/25/2014 Coffee Chat) 
Bird photography is Lisa’s passion.  She loves to “get the shot” by capturing special moments.  Learn tips and techniques for exposure settings, photographing birds in flight, gear choices, and more.  You’ll also learn about some of Lisa’s favorite locations in and around Phoenix to photograph our feathered friends.  Lisa will also bring a few photographs and scenarios for the group to discuss and critique.  If you would like to bring 1-2 photos to share, discuss, and/or have the group critique, please do so.  (Limit 2 per person.)


Tuesday, February 24, 2015:  “Your Personal Journey as a Photographer”
(Registration opens after 1/27/2015 Coffee Chat)
Photography is not just about taking pictures.  As artists, photographers blend imagery with a personal journey and perpetual growth experience.  Each photographer's journey has its own course, pace, and topography.   

That said, there are barriers that get in the way of our progress along our personal journeys.   Emotions that cross the spectrum from feeling incompetent or ego-filled, inexperienced to professional, or stagnant to creative interplay with our ability to consistently make personal growth with our work--and sometimes even create barriers for others' journeys as well.  

Tonight's discussion will explore the emotional side of photography.  Being "one with nature" isn't just a cliche phrase--there really is something to it.  Learn how to put yourself in a state where you are more in-tune with your own work, the natural world, and can better envision your journey ahead.  When we are in a better frame of mind, the natural world looks differently--we experience it differently--see it differently--and thus photograph it differently (and more beautifully).

Attendees are invited to share a short story about your personal journey--whether it be an awe-inspiring moment in-the-wild, a frustrating experience, or a goal you have for yourself.  Lisa will also bring a few photographs and scenarios for the group to discuss and critique.  If you would like to bring 1-2 photos to share, discuss, and/or have the group critique, please do so.  (Limit 2 per person.)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015:  “Selling Your Work:  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the business of being in business as a nature photographer” 
(Registration opens after 2/24/2015 Coffee Chat)
Lisa will discuss her experiences selling photography while also inviting the group to discuss their own needs, desires, and prior experiences with selling photography.  Can you make it as a nature photographer?  What expectations should you have?  What skills do you need?  How do you set up a business?  Is a photography business right for you?  Lisa will also bring a few photographs and scenarios for the group to discuss and critique.  If you would like to bring 1-2 photos to share, discuss, and/or have the group critique, please do so.  (Limit 2 per person.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015:  “Gearing Up:  What gear do wildlife photographers need vs. want?”
(Registration opens after 3/24/2015 Coffee Chat)
Do you feel like you never have all the gear you need to do the job?  Certainly, we almost all wish for better gear, but how do you maximize the gear you have for the budget you want to work within?  Lisa will discuss tips about purchasing lenses and bodies for wildlife photography.  This is also a time where you are welcome to bring in your gear to show others what it looks like, how it works, etc., if you wish to do so.  (Keep in mind that we are in a restaurant and space is limited, but if you have a couple of lenses or tools you love to use, you’re welcome to share them.)  Lisa will also bring a few photographs and scenarios for the group to discuss and critique.  If you would like to bring 1-2 photos to share, discuss, and/or have the group critique, please do so.  (Limit 2 per person.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015: “What  makes a ‘good’ wildlife shot?”  
(Registration opens after 4/28/2015 Coffee Chat)
A general, open-discussion, Q&A style, recurring discussion about capturing images of wildlife that move beyond “documenting that you saw it,” to powerful images that express how you experienced the moment.  Composition, lighting, approach, location, techniques, and mental state all play into how wildlife is expressed via a photograph.  These sessions evolve based upon the needs of the group and will occur periodically throughout the year.  Lisa will also bring a few photographs and scenarios for the group to discuss and critique.  If you would like to bring 1-2 photos to share, discuss, and/or have the group critique, please do so.  (Limit 2 per person.)

Additional sessions forthcoming. Schedule subject to change.

Join or login to comment.

  • Kim G.

    Excellent information about a Alaska! Nice meeting everyone!

    1 · June 25, 2014

  • Bob

    Lisa did a great job,very well informed and great presentation

    1 · June 25, 2014

  • Laura F.

    Great meetup, lots of insider tips, amazing person & group!

    1 · June 24, 2014

  • Nicholas P.

    Still one last spot

    June 24, 2014

  • EJ

    I have to cancel tonight. I'm sorry. I wanted to hear about your trip so much. I hope it went well

    June 24, 2014

  • Nicholas P.

    LAST Spot who wants it??

    June 24, 2014

    • Bob

      Nick my wife and RSVP for tonight but I am not sure of I have paid. Can I pay tonight ?

      June 24, 2014

    • Nicholas P.

      bob you look like you are paid for 2 people

      June 24, 2014

  • Nicholas P.

    Last few spots!

    June 20, 2014

  • Nicholas P.

    Get a seat while it lasts!!

    June 10, 2014

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