Reflecting on Why I Continue to Attend Photo Education Events

Words and Images by Bob Coates

Even after twenty-five years as a professional photographer, I attend every education event possible. Many photo friends ask why I still participate in seminars, presentations and webinars as an attendee as well as a presenter, and I have only one answer: There is still so much to learn.

Here’s a classic example: Larry Tiefenbrunn, inventor of Platypod, was doing a presentation at the Kelby One Live Landscape photography event. His co-host was Larry Becker. Larry B related a story shared by Rick Sammon. Rick will occasionally pour a bottle of water on the ground to create a reflecting pool when shooting landscapes. Hearing that anecdote caused me to think about using that technique myself.

Instead of using a small water bottle, I pushed the technique a bit further by carrying six gallons of water almost a mile down a trail. There is a red rock plateau that views Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona. I saw photos showing reflections of the scene, but this area rarely gets enough rain to fill the pools.

Part of the trick in using this technique is to get the camera very low. Enter the Platypod Ultra with Benro ball head to get to ground level and still be able to quickly maneuver the camera into proper position. I’ll let the photo speak for itself… and continue attending photography education events to keep adding to my box of techniques to increase my chances of coming home with a winning image!

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