Specialty Workshops

A Customizable Workshop Experience

Our Specialty Workshops are a detailed and thorough exploration of creative techniques, and the ways you can apply them to your photography. Each 90-minute workshop is designed to give you a comprehensive understanding of every detail needed to creatively use the special techniques in your own images. Register for any 3, 4, or 5 Specialty workshops and save 15% on tuition. Register for 6, 7, or 8 Specialty workshops and save 25%. Register for 9 or more, and save 35%. Simply add your choices to the cart, and the discounts will be automatically applied.

If you’re unable to attend live—or if you’d like to review any of the shared techniques—each session is also recorded and available for viewing later.

Click any of the links below to go directly to a workshop specialty:

The Liquid Lens

Mixing Water, Oil, and Glass

A droplet is like a camera lens: It magnifies, focuses, and creates a new reality. When you place dozens of water droplets on a sheet of glass, a kaleidoscope of colors explode into multi-layered imagery. Change the droplet to oil, and spherical worlds emerge into infinite possibilities.

In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to choose great subjects for your droplet images, why the shape of the subject plays such an important role in the final image, how to create an inexpensive platform for droplet photography, what type of glass is best, lighting techniques to add color and shape, and how to precisely create the perfect droplet. The workshop is interactive, and we answer every question throughout the session.

Workshop Highlights:

  • Creating Perfect Droplets
  • Setting Up the Glass For Success
  • Choosing the Right Subjects
  • The Water and Oil Balance
  • Why Light is the Critical Element

Recording Available

90-Minute Session

The Liquid Lens Workshop


Deep Focus

Focus Stacking and Infinite Sharpness

The fascinating images created using focus stacking are often described as three-dimensional or hyperreal. The results appear razor-sharp, multilayered, and with textural quality that’s impossible to reveal in a single capture. Focus stacking is the simple process of capturing a series of images all focused on a different part of the subject and then merging them to create a single image that is precisely sharp—everywhere you want precise focus. And, recent technology makes the process nearly automatic.

In this workshop, you’ll learn the details and insights that will make your focus stacking successful. We’ll discuss the gear choices that will deliver perfect captures, review appropriate camera and lens settings, consider workflow and software options, and recommend subjects that will make your attempts at focus stacking a success. The workshop is interactive, and we answer every question throughout the session.

Workshop Highlights:

  • The Many Ways to Use Focus Stacking
  • In-Camera and Macro Rail Stacking
  • Selecting the Correct Menu Settings
  • Choosing the Right Focus Stacking Software
  • Stacking Refinement and Retouching

June 6, 2023 @ 4:30pm PT

90-Minute Session

Deep Focus Workshop


Look Closer

The Wonders of High Magnification Photography

When we move the camera close, subjects reveal intricate details, fascinating patterns, and intense colors unseeable with the naked eye. High magnification transforms the most ordinary subjects into panoramas of a nearly invisible world measured in just millimeters.

Your camera is a window into the magnified world, and in this workshop, we’ll share all you need to know to capture every detail. We’ll explain how to move beyond life-size and into the world of high magnification on your DSLR or mirrorless camera. You’ll learn to successfully increase magnification to 2x, 5x, and even 10x life-size. We’ll also share best practices for precisely adjusting both camera and subject, specialty gear that creates more magnified possibilities, and how to create interesting light—even when it’s measured in just millimeters. The workshop is interactive, and we answer every question throughout the session.

Workshop Highlights:

  • Extending the Macro Lens
  • Precise Subject Positioning
  • Working With Microscope Objectives
  • Specialty Gear and Techniques
  • Precision Lighting for Color and Detail

June 13, 2023 @ 4:30pm PT

90-Minute Session

Look Closer Workshop


Light on the Edge

High Key and Low Key Illumination

Light impacts every photograph we create. It reveals texture and form, color and tone, highlight and shadow. Light is what we see within every photograph, and its qualities are what shape our subjects.

This workshop will share how light can define your subject using very simple and easy techniques. We’ll discuss why minimal light is often the clearest path to much more interesting photographs. Whatever your style or specialty, we’ll share creative techniques that will open up new possibilities and change how you create light. The workshop is interactive, and we answer every question throughout the session.

Workshop Highlights:

  • The Ways Light Leaves Clues
  • Creating the Perfect Highlight
  • Using Light and Reflections in Harmony
  • Refining the Edge of Light
  • Producing the Perfect Shadow

June 20, 2023 @ 4:30pm PT

90-Minute Session

Light on the Edge Workshop


Light in Motion

The Artistry of Light Painting

Light painted images are unique because they can appear crisp and sharp, yet also completely serene. Pictures are detailed and textural, while also richly nuanced and gently illuminated. Light painting creates possibilities that are impossible using any other lighting method or technique. And, the effect is incredibly creative, fun, and simple to achieve.

In this workshop we’ll share insights on how to make a great light painting on your first attempt. We’ll also discuss the best light sources to choose for light painting, easy methods for controlling the light beam, how to introduce softness in your light paintings, and why light painting makes seemingly impossible light a reality. The workshop is interactive, and we answer every question throughout the session.

Workshop Highlights:

  • Creating Layered Illumination
  • Choosing the Best Light Sources
  • Shaping and Coloring Light
  • Diffusion and De-Focus Techniques
  • Creative Light Blending

June 27, 2023 @ 4:30pm PT

90-Minute Session

Light in Motion Workshop


Infinite Illumination

Shaping and Reflecting Light

Light is like the 8-ball on a pool table. It travels in a straight line until strikes something in its path. When we insert mirrors, reflectors, cards, and fabrics into a beam of light, we can change that single beam into almost anything—including more light sources!

In this workshop we’ll share the remarkable versatility and power of reflected light. We’ll show you the ways that illumination changes when it’s shaped, how to create many lights from one, and why some reflected light can completely change how light behaves. The workshop is interactive, and we answer every question throughout the session.

Workshop Highlights:

  • Turning a Single Light Into Multiple Sources
  • Creating Perfect Highlights
  • Controlling the Tone and Depth of Shadows
  • Using Specialized Reflectors and Mirrors
  • Precisely Shaping the Light Beam

July 18, 2023 @ 4:30pm PT

90-Minute Session

Infinite Illumination Workshop


From Capture to Archive

Strategies for Naming, Sorting, Finding, and Protecting Your Images

Pictures from our cameras, our phones, and even the images created on film all need to be organized and protected. But the sheer volume of digital images we create can feel nearly impossible to manage properly. But taking control of your image files is easier than you may think.

In this workshop, we will introduce you to proven strategies that will help you organize every digital image you possess—old and new. We’ll share how you can reduce your storage space, safeguard your pictures from loss, and most importantly, locate any image in seconds. The workshop is interactive, and we answer every question throughout the session.

Workshop Highlights:

  • Strategic File Naming
  • Protecting Your Images with Metadata
  • The Pyramid of Keywords
  • What to Keep, What to Discard
  • Simple Backup Strategies
  • How to Locate Any Image in Seconds

July 25, 2023 @ 4:30pm PT

90-Minute Session

From Capture to Archive Workshop


Perfect Printing

Creating Gallery Quality Prints From Your Best Work

There are few things in photography more enjoyable than making a fine print of your work. Whether it’s an image to display in your home, or a collection for display in an art gallery, creating beautiful prints is a uniquely satisfying pleasure.

In this workshop we’ll explore a variety of techniques to help you obtain brilliant prints. We’ll show you how to match your printer to your monitor, which papers are ideal for which kinds of subjects, software settings that will lead to repeatable results, considerations for making beautiful black and white prints, and simple solutions for difficult print subjects. The workshop is interactive, and we answer every question throughout the session.

Workshop Highlights:

  • Getting Results That Match Your Monitor
  • Choosing the Ideal Paper Surface
  • Printer and Software Settings for Repeatable Results
  • Enhancing Color and Contrast
  • Special Techniques for Monochrome Printing
  • Tips and Tricks for Challenging Prints

August 1, 2023 @ 4:30pm PT

90-Minute Session

Perfect Printing Workshop


Photography Deep Dive

The Details Behind Dozens of Images

This workshop has just one goal: Sharing how images were created—right down to the very last detail.

What makes the workshop unique is that you select the pictures we discuss. We’ll display dozens of thumbnails during the session, and you choose which images you’d like to learn about. We’ll share how the images were illuminated, what type of gear was used, how an athlete or celebrity was posed, post-processing techniques that enhanced the final result, or any other detail that went into creating the photograph. Understanding the details of how an image was made leads to new ideas, new techniques, and new ways to make pictures. The workshop is interactive, and we answer every question throughout the session.

Images Displayed For Discussion:

  • Celebrity and Athlete Portraits
  • Product and Food
  • Conceptual and Abstract
  • Macro and Close Up
  • Architecture and Landscape

August 8, 2023 @ 4:30pm PT

90-Minute Session

Photography Deep Dive Workshop


The Idea Factory

Discovering Your Creative Potential

Have you ever looked at an amazing photograph and wondered, “How did they ever come up with that?”

Creativity can seem like a rare talent—something you’re born with, or an ability available only to a few. But exceptional creativity is accessible to anyone, and can be summoned at any time. Creating successfully is a repeatable process—and we’ll share how you can use it to successfully create with your camera. You’ll learn how to generate unique ideas, why visualization is your creative secret weapon, and how to transfer your ideas to your camera’s sensor—and beyond. The workshop is interactive, and we answer every question throughout the session.

Workshop Highlights:

  • How to Generate New Ideas
  • The Power of Creative Visualization
  • Illuminating, Revealing, Concealing, and Shaping Your Vision
  • Using Color for Emotion and Effect
  • Taking Your Images From Good To Great

August 15, 2023 @ 4:30pm PT

90-Minute Session

The Idea Factory Workshop


Workshop Features

Program Design

Each workshop session builds toward a higher level of expertise, with both Joe and Joey addressing specific topics to help you extend your knowledge. The session concludes with a corresponding project that will reinforce the insights from that day’s presentation. The next session begins with a thoughtful review of the project images where we’ll discuss techniques to enhance the visual appeal of each image.

What You Can Expect

Expertise, insight, and transparency. Whether it’s the techniques we employ, the gear we use, the resources we rely on, or how they merge in the creation of images, we want to share that knowledge with you completely and openly. Your progress is greatly accelerated through knowing what to embrace—and what to avoid.

Visual Learning

Our online workshops are presented live from our Media Studios located in California and Colorado. Each space is equipped with high-resolution cameras, cinema lighting, professional audio, and production systems that deliver a visually rich learning experience. The sessions are easy to see, easy to hear, and deeply informative.

Skill Level

Although a progression through a series of workshops will always offer the most potential for growth, every individual workshop is created as a complete learning experience. Each of our workshops focuses on a particular area of interest that will introduce you to new concepts and techniques that you can use in the creation of fresh images. We encourage you to chat with us about which of our workshops may be most beneficial for you.

Workshop Size

Deep learning and understanding are at the core of what we do, so we limit the size of our workshops—both online and in-person. This gives us the ability to connect with each photographer to discuss individual objectives. This is the foundation for rapid improvement, and it leads to the creative application of new ideas and techniques.

Photographic Harmony

Digital photography unites the imagination, the camera, and the computer—ultimately leading to a finished result. Because each part of the process is dependent on the others, the most refined photographs become possible when the steps are creatively fused. In every session, we explain how each process enhances the others, leading you to the finest possible results.

Shine a Spotlight

Your success in photography is how we measure the success of our workshops. If you have questions, comments, ideas, or requests, please let us know.

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