PREPARING FOR YOUR WORKSHOP

Iceland 2019

Our Workshops are instructional, fun and inspiring. We dedicate all our energy and experience to prepare them down to the tiniest detail to offer you the best, most unique Workshops on the market and to make sure that you’ll have a wonderful experience with us. Behind each Workshop there are multiple trips to the Workshop’s destination, to scout and explore all the locations in different seasons, under different light, with different weather, different tides, and so on. For your safety and comfort, nothing is left to chance.

We did our part! Now, to make the most out of our Workshop together there are a few things we’d recommend you prepare for as well. Please follow the guidelines in this page to make sure that you’ll be ready for the physical demands of your chosen Workshop, that you’ll be comfortable enough operating your camera, that you’ll have all the necessary gear, and last but certainly not least that you’ll be “dressed for the occasion”. This way, you’ll fully enjoy your time with us, concentrating only on creating the best images you can, for a truly unforgettable Workshop!

WORKSHOPS DIFFICULTY & FITNESS

Vieri at work in Tuscany, ItalyAny given Workshop’s overall difficulty level is a combination of the Workshop’s walks’ lengths and terrain, together with the weather and temperature, all finally related to your personal fitness level. Any given Workshop might feature locations with very different fitness requirements, and what is easy for someone might be difficult for someone else. Therefore, it is hard to categorise a Workshop’s difficulty and fitness levels precisely.

At Vieri Bottazzini Workshops, rather than deciding on a set of arbitrary definitions of difficulty levels, we decided to tell you what kind of walks and hikes you’ll face and on what terrain. A look at the clothing requirements for your chosen Workshop, together with a quick check of the average temperatures for your chosen dates and destinations, will tell you whether we’ll be working in mild, cold or hot environments. Add all that to your personal fitness level, which only you can know, and you’ll have all the elements to decide whether a Workshop is for you. If you have any doubts, please don’t hesitate
to CONTACT ME, we are always happy to hear from you!

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL WORKSHOPS

During any given Workshop we’ll be busy every day, from before sunrise to after sunset, and this can be tiring. To attend any of our Workshops, you should be able to:

Should you require assistance to do any of the above, please let us know in advance and we’ll be happy to arrange it for you, if possible.

Below you’ll find a description of the walks levels & terrain difficulty levels used in each Workshop’s page.

WALKS & HIKES

EASY
All Workshop’s walks will range from within a few hundred meters to 2-3 kilometres (2 miles) from the vehicle and back, on even ground. Walks uphill and downhill, when present, will feature smooth and small changes in elevation.

MODERATE
Possible walks of 3-4 kilometres (2-3 miles) or more, on easy ground. Possible hikes of 2-3 kilometres (1-2 miles), on uneven ground, with moderate elevation gain.

DEMANDING
Possible hikes of several kilometres, with elevation gain of hundreds of meters and on uneven ground.

TERRAIN DIFFICULTY LEVELS

EVEN
All walks are on even ground and clearly marked paths.

UNEVEN
Possible walks on uneven ground and / or on boggy ground.

ICE, SNOW & SAND
Possible walks on ice, snow and / or sand. Under-boot Ice Crampons required for ice.

WADING
Possible locations where wading or standing in water is needed, with slippery underfoot. Chest Waders required, studded soles highly recommended.

TESTING YOUR FITNESS

Below you’ll find some easy tests you can do at home to check your fitness level. Load your camera backpack as you would during your Workshop of choice, put it on and:

If you can do all that without any problems, you’ll be fine for all of our Workshops, short of custom-made Adventure level ones.

IMPORTANT

Please note that for your own safety, and to ensure that you’ll enjoy your time with us in complete comfort, upon application I will inquire about your physical fitness. Since I rely on your answers to provide me with a correct picture for me to assess whether a particular Workshop is right for you or not, I kindly ask you to be open about your fitness level and about any injuries, illnesses and / or surgeries you might have or have had.

For your own safety as well, I reserve the right to ask you for a doctor’s note if I feel it’s needed due to your fitness level and / or medical history as presented to me. As well, I reserve the right to refuse you participation to any Workshop if I deem that your fitness level will make your attendance a risk to yourself or to others. Finally, if during a Workshop I find your fitness level to be lower than what you represented, for your own safety I also reserve the right to limit your participation from hikes and locations that I feel could pose a danger to yourself or to others. In such a case, it will be my pleasure to suggest alternate locations for you to enjoy, if available.

Please CONTACT ME if you have any further questions about your fitness level for a particular Workshop.

IMAGE REVIEW AND POST-PROCESSING​

Glencoe & Isle of Skye 2020

During every Vieri Bottazzini Workshops, I will share with you my Workflow in detail, from shooting to printing, including all the tools I use. While I am familiar with various RAW converters, such as CaptureOne, Phocus and Lightroom, I personally use CaptureOne and Photoshop CameraRaw (same engine as Lightroom) as my RAW converters. I favor doing as much processing as I can at the RAW conversion stage. I then finish all my images in Photoshop, using LUT tables when needed, and at present I am using DxO Nik Collection as my only plugin suite.

In case you are already using a different RAW conversion software or a different plugin suite, I believe that it’d makes very little sense to force you to use a completely new software and to learn a completely new Workflow in a short week or so together. Especially so, if you are comfortable with your own Workflow and are not interested in changing it. So, by all means bring the software you are used to, and comfortable with, and I’ll help you make the most out of it.

However, I assume that at least part of the reasons that made you join one of my Workshops is because you like my photographs and their look & style. So, I definitely encourage you to try and familiarize yourself with my suggested software & plugins before the Workshop, if you aren’t using them already, so that you’ll be able to try all or part of my suggested Workflow and see what fits.

KNOW YOUR CAMERA, LENSES & EQUIPMENT​

Asturias & Northern Spain 2017

Our Workshops are open to photographers of any level, from beginners to professionals. On the first day, we’ll go through my recommended camera settings for landscape photography. I find giving such recommendations to always be useful, even for experienced photographers: if nothing else, use them to confirm your choices.

No matter your level and experience, getting to know your camera before coming to the Workshop is the best way to get the most of your time with us. All the time you’ll spend in the field trying to figure out your camera’s settings, is time you can’t spend taking photographs and improving your skills. While it’s great to be excited about a new camera, a Workshop is not the best time to be using it for the very first time. In any case, thanks to our trademark group size limited to 3 people and to the presence of both Zeynep and I, you can be sure that we’ll help you solve any problem you might encounter in the field with your gear.

Below you’ll find list of recommendations for you to have a look at before hitting the road, so that you can use all your time with us to create great images!

CAMERA

To make the most of your time with us, I’d recommend you to:

LENSES

To make the most of your time with us, I’d recommend you to:

FILTERS

If you already have a square filter kit, to make the most of your time with us, I’d recommend you to:

If you don’t have any square filter system, or if you aren’t familiar with filters, we got you covered! A full set of Formatt-Hitech Firecrest Ultra filters will be available on all our Workshops for participants to experiment with. If you plan on purchasing a kit before the Workshop, I am happy to offer you a 10% DISCOUNT to get your kit on FORMATT-HITECH and FORMATT-HITECH USA at a 10% DISCOUNT! Just use code

VIERIB10

at checkout to enjoy your discount. Disclaimer: I am a Formatt-Hitech Signature Artist and Brand Ambassador.

A THOROUGH WORKSHOP’S CHECKLIST

Whether this is your first time on a Workshop, or whether you already have a lot of Workshop experience, we thought it might be useful to provide you with our list of recommended gear to bring when joining us. Upon booking, it will be my pleasure to ask you for a detailed list of your gear and offer you dedicated equipment recommendations for your Workshop of choice.

MUST HAVE

CAMERA

Digital or film, DSLR, mirrorless or tech camera. The best camera is the one you are familiar with, and if you just bought one for the trip please dedicate some time to learn its functions and menus before hitting the road, it will help you enormously to make the most out of your trip and of our time together!

BACKUP CAMERA

Cameras are prone to failure like everything else. No matter how reliable my cameras are, having a backup is a must for me. If possible, I recommend carrying two identical bodies, or at least two bodies of the same brand and “family” to minimize the need for extra lenses and accessories, and to be able to switch between bodies seamlessly in the field.

BATTERIES

Bring extra camera batteries. Since we’ll be out for most of the day, you’ll likely need them. Bring USB or car chargers, if available for your camera, to be able to charge batteries in the car at a pinch. If you'll fly to the Workshop, remember to bring all your batteries with you in your carry-on, to comply with airlines regulations.

LENSES

For most of our Workshops, lenses covering the range between ultra-wide angle (15-16mm is standard fare for me, wider welcome) and moderate tele (200mm max) are all you need. Upon booking, it will be my pleasure to send you detailed lens recommendations tailored for your Workshop of choice.

TRIPOD

A sturdy tripod is fundamental. I love and use Really Right Stuff tripods, but there are many good brands out there. If you need to upgrade yours, let me know and I’ll be happy to offer you my recommendations.

BALLHEAD

A solid ballhead is just as important as a good tripod. I love and use the Arca-Swiss P0 Monoball, because of its great ergonomics, and because of its genius design allowing for amazing stability for its size and weight (see my review of it HERE). Really Right Stuff ballheads are also very good.

CAMERA L-BRACKETS & LENS PLATES

I definitely recommend L-Brackets versus camera plates because they allow you to use your camera in portrait orientation while keeping its weight on the weight center of your tripod, for maximum stability. While I don’t currently need one for my PhaseOne XT, thanks to its built-in Arca-Swiss compatible foot and built-in rotation mechanism, for all my other cameras I love and use Really Right Stuff L-brackets and lens plates, they work great and you are pretty sure you'll find a dedicated one for any camera or lens you own.

CAMERA STRAP(S)

Even if we’ll use our cameras mostly on a tripod, and even if you aren’t normally used to a strap, I find a good strap to be extremely useful for extra flexibility when moving around in the field and to prevent accidents. Most cameras do come with good ones, and there are so many third-party ones that work great. I love Harry Benz straps and use them on all my cameras (see my review of them HERE), but any brand is good as long as you are comfortable with it.

MEMORY CARDS

The more the better! Ideally, you’d need to have enough cards so that you never have to format one during a Workshop. As far as size, for reliability I never use the last and largest; one size down still gives you plenty of space while minimizing failure risks. At the moment, for my 150 Mp PhaseOne IQ4 150 Mp digital back cameras, I favor Prograde Gold 128 Gb cards.

LAPTOP OR PRO TABLET & SOFTWARE

Bring your choice of laptop or pro tablet you are familiar with, and please make sure that both your computer or tablet’s OS and the post-processing software you use are up to date. If you use subscription-based software, please log out and log in again before the trip to have 30 days of use in case we won’t find a good internet connection.

CARD READER

If your laptop or tablet doesn’t have a built-in one, please remember to bring a card reader.

PLUG ADAPTERS

Fundamental if you are traveling internationally. Please check the plugs in use in your chosen Workshop’s country and bring the necessary adapters with you, if needed.

LENS CLEANING CLOTHES

Fundamental for dust, rain and fresh-water spray. I favor Zeiss microfiber lens cleaning cloths.

LENS CLEANING WIPES

Fundamental for salt-water spray. I love and use Zeiss Cleaning Wipes.

SENSOR CLEANING SUPPLIES

Bring at least a rocket blower, I favor the Rollei one due to the presence of an air filter. Sensor wet cleaning supplies are useful if you feel comfortable wet cleaning your sensor yourself. I use and love Visible Dust products.

CAMERA RAIN COVER

There are many out there that works great. For my PhaseOne XT, I use a Think Tank Photo Emergency rain cover, which works great to protect my camera & lenses in all kind of weather while allowing me to work comfortably with it. More, I always have a shower cap with me in case of emergency: it takes up zero space in the bag and works just as well.

BACKPACK

There are many great ones out there. Backpack choice is as personal as the choice of shoes, but there are some important things to consider. A backpack should be comfortable to carry on your shoulder, should have great weight distribution, and it should keep all your gear well organized. A weatherproof bag with a rain cover is a must. Sternum strap and waist belt are a must for comfort, aluminum frame and adjustable harness are very welcome. I love and use Shimoda bags.

HEADLAMP

Fundamental to navigate our way to our sunrise locations, and to come back from our sunset location. Obviously, they are necessary for night photography as well. Ideally, you need one featuring both white and red light, and even better if with selectable intensity. I use USB-powered Nitecore headlamps and flashlights.

POCKET KNIFE, SWISS ARMY KNIFE OR LEATHERMAN

I always have them with me, and they often come in very handy. If you'll fly to the Workshops, just make sure you leave them in your checked bag and don’t carry them on the plane by mistake!

CLOTHING & FOOTWEAR

Being properly dressed for your Workshop’s weather conditions is fundamental to make sure you’ll enjoy your time photographing in the field with us. While we don’t want you to overpack and bring extra dead weight for nothing, it’s always best to be prepared for the worst. Please check the recommendation list for clothing and footwear available in your chosen Workshop’s dedicated page to get ready. Please make sure your clothes, and especially your footwear, fit comfortably and are properly broken in.

A SECOND FORM OF ID

Extremely useful on international trips in case you lose your primary ID, sometimes mandatory for credit card use in some country. Keep a photo of your passport with you as well, might save the day if you lose the passport itself.

RECOMMENDED

FILTERS

Filters are amazing tools for landscape photography, so if you have a kit, most definitely bring it with you, you won’t regret it. If you aren’t used to them or don’t have a kit yet, don’t worry. On all our Workshop we always have a full Formatt-Hitech Firecrest Ultra kit available for the group to experiment with.

SPECIALTY LENSES

For some destination it might be useful to have specialty lenses such as fast wide-angle primes for night photography (either starry skies or Northern Lights), tilt-shift lenses, Macro lenses and so on. We’ll let you know if your chosen Workshop will need any such lens.

WIRED / WIRELESS REMOTE TRIGGER

My camera doesn’t, but if your camera needs one to manage long exposure, Bulb mode and interval exposures, most definitely bring one with you.

EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE

For extra safety, I always recommend having an external hard drive or a similar backup solution. To prevent possible card corruption problems leading to image losses, I favor cameras with dual card slots. I always use my second card as backup and I also backup my images daily both on my laptop and on an external HDD when traveling.

POWER STRIP

Hotel rooms never seem to have enough power outlets. A power strip, with a plug adapter if you travel abroad, will come in very handy.

KNEE PADS

Great to get low with your camera on rugged terrain, sharp rocks, salt flats, dusty places and the like without risking hurting yourself, damage your clothes or just for that extra bit of comfort.

WALKING STICKS

Walking sticks are a must for someone, while someone else finds them totally useless. Bring them with you if you are more comfortable walking and hiking with them, they’ll make your hiking easier and safer.

ANY QUESTIONS?

If you have any further questions about any of the above, please don’t hesitate to CONTACT ME, we are always happy to help!

SHARE THIS PAGE ON:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on google
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Don't miss your next Workshop,
Subscribe to my Newsletter!

let's develop photography together