All images © Helene and Alan Magruder.
Retired college professor Alan Magruder and Bonsai artist Helene Magruder joined us in Santa Fe for a weeklong focus on digital workflow with Jerry Courvoisier, digital programs director. This type of workshop is a change from the destination workshops the couple usually takes, but as Alan remarked, "With digital we take so many photos that we had to get things straightened out."
Susan Hayre Thelwell, digital lab assistant, caught up with this globetrotting, photo-making duo from Indianola, Iowa.
Susan: Tell me about your first workshop with SFPW?
Alan: It was about two years ago in San Miguel with David Alan Harvey and Ralph Lee Hopkins and...
Helene: … Raul.
A: Yes! Raul Touzon. Who is fantastic!
H: Oh, we loved Raul.
A: We had taken other photography workshops but [Raul’s] was our first workshop with SFPW and that one hooked us!
S: And what did you take next?
H: We did the travel photography workshop with Ralph here in Santa Fe last summer.
A: And then we went to Oaxaca.
H: With David, Raul and Eniac.
A: Those workshops [in Mexico] are similar in structure to the workshops here in Santa Fe. It was an excellent workshop.
S: And you had studied with David and Raul before?
A: They remembered us believe it or not!
S: Tell me about your experience in Africa. Had you visited before?
H: Yes, five times. But this [workshop] was all safari.
A: And it was with Ralph, who is very, very good. There were only ten photographers and we were in vehicles where we each had an entire seat, so wherever you were you could take pictures without anyone getting in your way.
The guides were great. One morning, we watched two young males lions try to take over the pride from the old guy. We spent the whole morning watching that take place and it was incredible. We got great images of the lions.
S: Yet this workshop on digital workflow is different. You two are spending a week in the dark in front of computers! What on earth compelled you, after all these adventures, to take this workshop?
H: Well, we made such a mishmash of our files (laughing) we decided we needed to figure out how to handle them!
A: That, and Ralph told us. He said, "You guys have gotten to the point where your pictures are good enough you need to take them to the next level." And so, that’s what we are trying to do.
S: So, what have you gotten out of this week?
A: We found out we were using Lightroom...barely.
H: We were messing up..
A: ...but using it incorrectly and nowhere near its potential. The week was kind of in two phases. The first was learning to manage Lightroom (asset management) and the second aspect is all you can do to improve and enhance your pictures (develop module). Now we need to practice what we have learned.
S: So, what's next? Where do you go from here?
H: Were going to take a little trip out to California and hit some national parks and do a little photography.
A: But we have also signed up for your trip to the Yucatan with Raul. It will be a lot of fun!
S: Have fun in California and Mexico, best wishes with integrating Lightroom into your workflow, and thank you so much for your time.
A/H: You’re welcome!