The idea for my experience offerings had been developing for awhile. There are a plethora of photography workshops and excursions with a lot of focus on technique, equipment and processes. These are all important in photography because it's a technically heavy medium. But I want to teach how to see, not only how to capture. Seeing is more about artistic meditation than camera body and lens choice.
The final push to create this space was born on a foggy morning along the Oregon Coast. Our extended family had all gathered for a vacation and like so many mornings I had risen early to capture the morning light. My sister hopped in the car with me. We headed for Hug Point, just north of the town of Manzanita. It was low tide. A ribbon of fog was hanging just off shore and previously unseen rocks were dotting the lower beach. The light was soft and slightly diffuse, and the fog clouds were slowly rolling in from the ocean. I found three beautiful, large rocks in a trifecta configuration, and the simplicity of the layout was quite interesting. I setup my camera, framed and metered the scene for contrast, and waited. Like I often do, I just stood there thinking; thinking about fog, about how deep the shadow underneath the central rock would record on film, how much movement I wanted in the distant ocean. But I also took in the first birdsongs, the ceaseless background roar of ocean surf, that slightly sticky coastal air with just a hint of seaweed and salt. It was very peaceful.
And when I turned around, my sister was equally content, just watching. I called her over to look through the viewfinder. I gave her my light meter and explained how to spot for contrast and scene movement, and generally described why I was photographing this particular subject.
And the idea of taking people out into nature, to help them slow down and see their own particular vision was born.