In November 2009, I participated in an Eloquent Light Photography Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Being very inexperienced, Craig Varjabedian helped to ignite a passion within me for photography. The workshop was an incredible experience! It served as great motivation to move forward in learning new skills and to discover the beauty and significance of light in photography.
Almost five years later, I rejoined Eloquent Light for a White Sands Photography Workshop. Our small group hiked across the gypsum sands enjoying and photographing the beautiful scenery. White Sands put on a magnificent show for us and Craig guided us to the "best seats in the house!"
Thank you, Craig, for another wonderful experience! I look forward to our paths crossing again in a future adventure.
I got what I wanted from the White Sands Landscape Workshop, and much more that I didn’t expect. It was truly amazing. I didn’t need instructor Craig Varjabedian to turn me on to the magic of the place, but I sure appreciated his reverence for White Sands, and his deep intimacy with it. He encouraged each of us to feel and see it in our own ways, while also helping us to see in new ways.
I was thrilled to come away with photographs that capture some of the vastness and magic I felt there. Equally importantly, I came away feeing much more confident in handling my tripod, in using the histogram, in understanding exposure bracketing, in becoming aware of various post-processing options. But Craig made sure that the technical stuff didn’t overwhelm me or distract me from the importance of learning to see, or of trusting my eye and my instincts. He is an excellent teacher, who naturally paces information, technique, demonstration, and constructive feedback in concrete, individualized ways. I almost didn’t realize how much I was learning at the time, cause it was so fluid and natural.
Craig was easygoing yet attentive. He was keenly attuned to the weather, individual needs, and group dynamics, and managed to stay just a step ahead, anticipating changing needs. He made sure that we were in place to take advantage of the best light conditions, that each of us got the attention we needed, and that we learned from each other.
At times I felt a bit out of my depth — particularly when those in the group who were real gear heads and post-processing geeks got going — but Craig gracefully fielded questions and balanced group discussions so that no one person’s obsessions or another’s more limited experience dominated.
We all felt respected, listened to, and learned lots from the experience, while having a terrific time! I highly recommend the experience.
Anne Marie Hickey
I would like to thank you for a great workshop.
The Santa Fe & New
Mexico Landscape Workshop was a great introduction to this beautiful
part of the country. The workshop was a great mix of classroom and
location instruction. All the locations that we photographed were
perfectly chosen to get us there at the optimal times. I never felt
rushed and felt all my questions were answered. I am very happy with
the photographs I captured.
Over the years I have attended workshops by other photographers. Instructor Craig Varjabedian's workshop was my best overall experience. Craig makes his workshops both intensely interesting and educational. He is a true artist but is also well steeped in the technology (computers, software) and the hardware (cameras, printers, lighting etc.). Over his decades-long career in landscape photography Craig has truly "been there and done that". Most importantly to the attendees, he is more than willing to share his knowledge and techniques. Throughout the workshop, Craig stayed fully engaged, and continually checked in with each student to answer questions and offer tips on composition, perspective and technique, with zero arrogance or condescension.
Craig has an inherent jovial disposition and his positive, optimistic and enthusiastic leadership set the tone for our five days. All in all the workshop was a great experience in a beautiful place that improved my photography.
Under your guidance and in the company of a delightful group of photographers, I found the White Sands National Monument Workshop to be an extremely pleasant and valuable photographic experience. The variety of lighting, topographic forms, and your useful tips all blended into one of my most gainful experiences. Thanks very much.
J. David Levy
Craig's workshop is filled with just the right mixture of adventure, learning, camaraderie and results. He sets the tone with a great feel for what field photography is all about, which participants need assistance and when they need it, and, as a priority over his own images, is always available to the participants.
The Eloquent Light Photography White Sands Workshop was magnificent! We walked across the impressive dunes bathed in magical light as our talented photographer, Craig Varjabedian, led us to amazing places to photograph at various times of day and provided expert tips in the field. The last day in Craig's studio was very instructive and our well knit group enjoyed the final slide show of our favorite White Sands images. Kudos also to Craig's assistant, Tye Hardison, who shared his technical and aesthetic skills with us. The overall experience was memorable and as a repeat participant, I would highly recommend this workshop and other Eloquent Light Photography workshops to those interested in generating exquisite landscape photography.
The workshop was delightful for me. You have a unique talent for hospitality - not to mention your attention to detail. I especially appreciate the time you spent with me at Bandelier. Because of this, I was able to see the rock formation that makes my soul sing. Thank you for your gifts of grace and kindness.
Even though I have been taking pictures for many years and publishing many photos in professional annual reports, I have never spent time with a professional photographer. My two days with Craig Varjabedian were filled with questions and observations. My former expertise with Photoshop was reawakened and I learned many new helpful ways to work with digital photos. Most importantly, my enthusiasm for picture-taking has not waned; Craig left me with a fervent desire to increase my skills and techniques and to continue to search for that picture that's even more beautiful or fun than the last.
Richard Van Pelt
I truly enjoyed participating in your workshop Exploring B&W Digital Photography. Having attended one of your workshops before, I somewhat knew what to expect in this one. I was wrong. My expectations got blown away. Your ability to convey specific information in concise and easily understandable format is a great gift. I'm thankful for being a part of it again.
My objective in attending was to obtain a basis for expanding my black and white photography. Your analytical process was and will continue to be most useful. However, the best part was being able to experience your thought process prior to taking the picture. I came away from this workshop with the understanding that you do not take pictures. You feel the picture before doing anything else and I can see that's what turns your pictures into fine art. Everything that follows is just cookbook. That's what I've been missing. Thanks for opening that window. Now I'm really having fun with this.
The program seems to be intent on making sure that students experience New Mexico to the fullest, not only through the camera lens, but with the entire person. It's almost holistic! Northern New Mexico is one of the world's beautiful places, with a rich history. It is obvious that the school's regard for cultures is passionate and the program brings a kind of spirituality to the photographic experience that is contagious! I began the week wondering what I had gotten myself into, and ended it wishing the week could go on and on!
I recently attended a memorable Eloquent Light Photography
Workshop in the Grand Tetons. As a former workshop participant, I knew the
scenery would be grand and that Craig would lead us to the best places to photograph
and provide expert advice on obtaining and processing our images. I thought
everyone would enjoy sharing meals, conversation, laughter and our passion
and interest in photography but this group really synergized and I credit Craig
with attracting such quality people to his Eloquent Light Photography Workshops.
What I didn't expect were the extraordinary photographic and informative experiences we had due to Craig's pre-planning and willingness to survey participants and optimize on opportunities. In addition to re-imagining the traditional Ansel Adam vistas and touring exceptional art museums, we got to shoot the full moon at twilight, capture the sunset over the mountains bathed in mist and light beams, and take bright morning images of low hanging clouds between the old homesteads and Grand Teton mountains. Also, capitalizing on a tip Craig received, we were able to spot and shoot a grizzly bear eating on a carcass. Furthermore, based on arrangements Craig made, we were able to chat with a local cowboy and photograph him and the horses he trains for the forest service.
This description is just a sampling of the incredible experiences my group and I had.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of the exceptional Eloquent Light Photography Workshops to you.