“Money very well spent”
Ten days ago, I spend two days with the professional photographer Eric De Vries who has made his life in Siem Reap. I chose Eric as I liked the ‘simple’ style of his photography and thought he was someone I could learn from. Well that decision turned out to be a great one indeed.
Over two days, I learnt how to THINK more about creating an image with the emphasis on the light, the subject and the background. His teaching style is very direct initially and you are encouraged to use ‘x’ settings. Then adjust the settings and see how they change the image. Then you start adding in composition and the different ways of seeing what is in front of you. Next task, creating an image on your own. The most confronting part is the critique. Very direct in a ‘dutch way’ but oh so spot on. Each time Eric critiqued my images, it was a case of “you are so right.” His patience in going through this process and willingness to share is knowledge is endless.
I did the Angkor Workshop and the Siem Reap Countryside Tour with Eric. What Eric does on these trips is take to you a specific location with the sole purpose of teaching you something about creating an image. He will teach you and challenge you at the same time. The beauty of this approach is what he teaches you can be applied later when you explore the temples without his brilliant tutelage. Never mind that he isn’t there with you as I can assure he leaves sufficiently strong imprints, he is there in your ear! I also did the Lightroom Workshop which was also great. You get great images and then he shows you how to make them AWESOME. I look at some of my shots and wonder if I really did take them.
I must also add, not only is Eric a great photographer, but his laid back nature and sense of humour makes him good company.
So to sum up:
Would I recommend spending some time with Eric? Absolutely. Did I learn from him? Definitely. Has my photography improved because of him? Categorically. My images from this trip are by far the best by a long way that I have created.
And I must add this is my fourth trip to Siem Reap. Would I do more workshops or tours with him?
YES. I’m just trying to work out how and when I can fit it in.
Now can’t wait to apply what he has taught me when I go to Nepal and India. Maybe I will see you there Eric :-)
The last thing I would like to add is, if you are going on a workshop or tour with Eric around the temples, make sure you allow yourself a few days to explore the temples on your own.
Thanks for everything Eric. Jane.
Visited September 2014
Thanks for this stunning review, Jane… and yes, your smokin’ monk picture is awesome…
(Photo credits Jane S)