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An intimate landscape photograph of a bush growing out of a sand dune at the Great Sandhills in Saskatchewan. Captured during a landscape photography workshop

Sprout – 2023

During my 2023 landscape photography workshop, we struggled with wildfire smoke for most of the week. To the guest’s credit, we remained flexible and open to shooting in different styles, using approaches not common during most photography workshops, even mine during a normal year. The one type of photography that seems to offer hope when conditions aren’t what you want them to be is intimate landscape photography. We spent lots of time in Saskatchewan’s landscapes that week with telephoto lenses on, capturing what interested us.

One evening, the smoke was particularly bad, and we debated whether it was even safe to be outside. Thankfully, the air quality improved enough for us to feel okay heading out to the Great Sandhills for more intimate photography. I spent my time photographing the guests exploring the dunes, checking in with them, and helping refine compositions when wanted.

I can’t take any credit for this image. During my rounds, I stopped by to see how one of the guests was doing, and as soon as she showed me what she was shooting, I set up right beside her and copied her image like any good photography instructor would do. That’s what I love most about teaching (both photography and classes for our non-profit): you learn as or more from those participating in your class than you ever feel like you could teach. It’s a rewarding experience.

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