Adam Marelli Photo http://www.adammarelliphoto.com Now Boarding Leica Air . . . Tue, 28 Jul 2015 21:33:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6.1 Behind the scenes: “How to build a series” seminar http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/07/behind-the-scenes-how-to-build-a-series-seminar/ http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/07/behind-the-scenes-how-to-build-a-series-seminar/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 21:30:29 +0000 adam http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/?p=7653 [more...]]]> Behind the scenes: “How to build a series” seminar

A\MARELLI workshops

N E W  Y O R K  C I T Y

Behind the scenes of the A\MARELLI seminar © Monika Houck

Behind the scenes of the A\MARELLI seminar © Monika Houck

The four corners of the globe

This past Saturday photographers gathered at my studio for the first “How to build a series” seminar.  While they did not exactly come from the 4 corners of the globe, a few did fly in from places like Germany and Florida which I always find very humbling.  One of the photographers Monika Houck, who you read about here took a few behind the scenes shots for everyone to enjoy.

Behind the scenes of the A\MARELLI seminar © Monika Houck

Behind the scenes of the A\MARELLI seminar © Monika Houck

Why a seminar

After years of running workshops, I discovered that a select number of photographers had no problem making good images.  They knew where to find good light, how to maximize a scene, and even how to select trip that would yield great pictures.  But they were not sure how to create a series.  They wanted to put together a collection of cohesive pictures that told a story.  Viola!  From this idea the “How to build a series” seminar was born.

It is styled after the great French salons of the 18th century when artist would get together and discuss their work.  They might have also drank too much, stolen each others girlfriends, and made fantastic claims of greatness, but how can we hold that against them?!   The salons were less about the details of production, rather it was a place to lend a critical eye to moving forward.  We always want to move forward…it is part of our nature.  If there is no challenge, no next level we get bored, lose interest, and eventually move on to other things.

Behind the scenes of the A\MARELLI seminar © Monika Houck

Behind the scenes of the A\MARELLI seminar © Monika Houck

To put the artists salon into photographers terms, it is a place to leave aside the technical end.  The internet tips the scales heavily in favor of camera reviews and “Top 10 lists of things you will NEVER need.”  In the seminar we dealt in something that is rarely seen online, constructive, critical discussion with solutions for the next steps in everyone’s series.  Or to let one of the participants speak on my behalf:

Behind the scenes of the A\MARELLI seminar © Monika Houck

Behind the scenes of the A\MARELLI seminar © Monika Houck

Adam,
Your workshop provided a strong set of ideas that will help drive how, where and when I shoot to create photographs worthy of theme and exhibition. The tool kit will be essential as I start to develop from capturing a moment to truly telling a story with an artistic impact. The richness of this process will clearly deepen my understanding of photography as an art form and provide more purpose than clicking away on the latest technologically advanced camera equipment. 
Many thanks to all. Looking forward to stay in touch and enjoy the photographic journey!
-Chuck Ludmer
Adam,
If you are looking for an excellent 1 day workshop to improve your approach to photography I have a recommendation.  Adam Marelli offered just such a course this last Saturday in his studio.  His approach is thorough, well prepared, and you will view lots of images that support his discussions. Rather than randomly making  photographs you will be able to conceive and plan your photographic outings.  This allows the photographer to take a proactive role in image making. Very highly recommended.
-Penny Breen
How to build a series manual © Adam Marelli

How to build a series manual © Adam Marelli

What do you actually learn

The participants were taken through a manual that I have built to outline how to made a series.  It is made into a PDF so they get to take it home and keep it as a reference as they build their next series.  Inside it breaks down the essential components of a series, the tools you can use to improve your approach, how and when to use each tool, and answers to some of the most challenging questions like “Why make a series in the first place?”
Behind the scenes of the A\MARELLI seminar © Monika Houck

Behind the scenes of the A\MARELLI seminar © Monika Houck

What’s next?

The next stop on the workshop tour is Venice (where one space actually opened up…a participant had a work conflict, so if you were thinking about coming, this is your lucky day! Drop us an email to claim your space theworkshop@adammarelliphoto.com )  After that we are off to Kyoto for two workshops and then in November there will be one more “How to build a series” seminar to round out the year.  We look forward to seeing you there.
Thank you Monika for the behind the scenes photos (which before anyone asks, were made on the original Leica Monochrom)

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Photographer at Large: Dirk Heyman with Philippe Dufour http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/07/photographer-at-large-dirk-heyman-with-philippe-dufour/ http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/07/photographer-at-large-dirk-heyman-with-philippe-dufour/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 13:49:17 +0000 adam http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/?p=7625 [more...]]]>

Photographer at Large: Dirk Heyman with Philippe Dufour

Philippe Dufour
L e  S o l l i a t  /  S W I T Z E R L A N D

Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

Horlogerie Compliquée

On a miserable grey and cold day (March 29) with storm warning 3 (in a scale up to 5), I had the opportunity to visit the atelier of Philippe Dufour with eleven other interested people. Philippe Dufour is a legend, especially in Japan where his meticulous attention to detail, craftsmanship and the respect for the traditions of watchmaking has won him accolades (and a fan club).
Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

He was not pre-destined to become one of the masters in the “Haute Horlogerie”. It happened by accident. Philippe Dufour was born and lived in the valley of the Lac Du Joux (Vallée de Joux) which was then a rather remote area of Switzerland.
Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

Watchmaking has shaped the social fabric of the valley since XVIIe century. It is what people did in the long winters when they were totally isolated, huddled in their farms with small windows while outside there was little to do to gain a living. Until the middle of the XIXe century, the organization was based on the model of “l’établissage” where the workers worked at home and were specialized on specific parts, and the “établisseur” organized the work, the final assembly and the commercialization of the finished watches. This fundamentally changed when, at the end of XIXe century, the advent of standardized and thus cheaper watches coming from America forced a rethink of the model. The “établisseurs” became the first brands but the industry was still focused around small and medium enterprises. The crisis of 1974-1982 lead to a concentration and the creation of the large groups such as Swatch. However, during all that time the valley kept its tradition of small enterprises and workshops.
Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

So what about Philippe Dufour, born in this remote valley? As he was not good at school, there were at that time two options open to him: become a farmer or become a watchmaker. As his parents did not have a farm, watchmaking became his only option. So he went to the technical school of Le Sentier (Ecole Technique du Sentier) at the age of 15 and from there started his career in 1967 with Jaeger-LeCoutre. He immediately found out that he liked this! As he was curious to see something other than the Vallée de Joux, he worked abroad in London, the Caribbean and then back in Switzerland. He learned that it is important to be open to other cultures, understand what people want, as well as the importance of customer service. He also understood that you do not need to be born in Switzerland in the Vallée de Joux to become an excellent watchmaker.
Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

As he was tired of working for the big well known brands, which he claims are only interested in profit margins and sales: “ils n’ont rien compris!”, he started his own workshop initially focused on the restoration of old watches. His personal enjoyment became a passion. By restoring these ancient watches he truly learned about the craftsmanship which passed from generation to generation: “our ancestors could do things which today with all our modern technology, we cannot match”.
Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

He is still passionate about watchmaking: the possibility to create a piece of art that people want to see (and want to buy). When jokingly asked if mathematics was still a problem as it was one of the reasons he left school early and is still a skill needed to design watches, he replied that he learned to be good at it: “Besides possibly in music, there are no prodigies in art. It is about the passion to create, focus, learning, hard work, patience, gain mastery”.
Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

He is well known for his 3 series of watches:
  • Grande et Petite Sonnerie Répétition Minutes: 1992, first ever that such a complicated mechanism was completed for a wristwatch.
  • Duality, double régulateur: 1996, first ever double escapement wristwatch.
  • Simplicity: 2000 hand-winding mechanical wristwatch (200 made), which is an example of listening to what people want. Not everyone could afford one of the above.
His workshop is small and filled with machines mostly from the 1920’s till the 1950’s which were largely discarded during the crisis of 1974-1982. At the technical school he learned to make his own tools, a skill he still has. Only in the design of his watches does he use modern software tools. He believes it is important that if you strive to be the best you can be, then you need to be as independent as possible and be able to have or to make the right tool for the right job. Only one machine had numerical control added to it. Some of the tools are surprisingly humble: for polishing he uses diamond-powder and branches of a local bush species which he collects in autumn: the best for the job.
Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

His watches are sought after all over the world, and cost on the 2nd hand market and auctions much more than the price for which he sold them. With a smile he told us that he could not afford one his watches: it takes him 8 to 9 months to make one. So the only Philippe Dufour he has and wears is a Simplicity. He does buy vintage watches and the only new one he bought and thought is good is a chronograph from Lange & Söhne.
Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

While his workshop has workbenches for five, he currently works alone. New apprentices do not stay long enough to master the skills. Philippe Dufour together with Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey (of Greubel Forsey) created in 2006 the project “Le Garde Temps – Naissance d’une Montre (http://www.legardetemps-nm.org/en/)“ to maintain the disappearing skills of ancient watchmaking. The idea is that one carefully selected apprentice learns all the skills by spending time at and learning from the 2 workshops. This apprentice would then pass on this knowledge to other apprentices and so create a network. It was French watchmaking teacher Michel Boulanger who was selected in 2009.
Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heym

Readers of Adam’s articles will, I am sure, note that there might be parallels. Globalisation and the drive for instant personal gratification and quick gains has brought havoc to ancient skills and traditions. But there is hope that they will survive and even thrive, although on a smaller scale. It is encouraging that as local apprentices lack the interest, stamina and will to acquire these ancient skills, people from other regions & countries step in. Just think about Eric Chevalier doing his apprenticeship at the Sasuke metal workshop in Sakai City (Japan) with master Yasuhiro Hirakawa. One can wonder, if in order for ancient skills to endure, the apprenticeship itself needs to become global.
Eric Chevalier, apprentice to master black smith Yasuhiro Hirakawa by Dirk Heyman

Eric Chevalier, apprentice to master black smith Yasuhiro Hirakawa by Dirk Heyman

I hope to be able one day to go back to Philippe Dufour’s atelier; the time spent there just passed away too quickly.
Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

Philippe Dufour © Dirk Heyman

All of Dirk’s images were made on the original Leica Monochrom using a 50mm Summilux f/1.4.
View more of Dirk Heyman’s images: http://www.dirkheymanphoto.com

 

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Lightroom won’t import ANYTHING http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/07/lightroom-wont-import-anything/ http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/07/lightroom-wont-import-anything/#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 20:54:49 +0000 adam http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/?p=7615 [more...]]]> Lightroom won’t import ANYTHING
What if the tools fail © Adam Marelli

What if the tools fail?  Simon from our workshop shoot at violin makers Hayn & Hayn in Berlin.  © Adam Marelli

Before the last workshops in Berlin and London, I needed to buy a new laptop, download Lightroom 6, and pray to the photo-gods that all would be well abroad.  Half way through the Berlin Workshop there was a problem.  Lightroom would not see any images when I tried to import.  I could bring up the import window, see my SD card, external drive and pictures on my computer, but EVERYTHING was grayed out.  Oh dear god what do I do?

Lightroom Import  when it is working properly looks like this.

Lightroom Import when it is working properly looks like this.

THE PROBLEM
If you have the same problem as I did, the issue is that you:

  1. Click the Import button
  2. The Import screen comes up
  3. All of your files, drives, or SD cards are grayed out and zero images show up in the center panel
  4. You start hyperventilating

I did what you are supposed to do in that situation. I rolled up on the floor and commenced crying. : ) Just kidding…David Farkas and I searched the Net first because many Lightroom glitches are known and documented online.  Chances are someone else has already been through the problem and published the answer.  This is one of the upsides of the Internet.  There are entire communities of people who would like to help you avoid the problems they encountered.  But what happens when the problem you are having is not coming up online?  If you have ever called Adobe Support, you already know that a third colonoscopy, a trip to the DMV, or a 12 hour flight next to a screaming baby sounds like more fun than calling Adobe.

Stepping outside for a second to clear my head, I noticed that the meeting room next to ours read “Welcome Adobe.”  As luck would have it, there was an Adobe meeting next door to the workshop.  Now, Adobe is a huge company, I thought, “What are the odds that this is the Lightroom team?”  When a guy in a tan sport coat walked towards the room, I asked him, “You don’t happen to do anything with Lightroom do you?”

He said,”Depends, what’s the issue?”

Standing next to me was the head of the Adobe Creative Suite.  There is not a better guy in all of Adobe I could have bumped into.  We showed him the problem, asked if he had seen it before, and with the BEST customer service response I’ve ever heard, he said,”Why don’t you give us the computer and we will work on it.”  Talk about hands on quality control.  He took the computer into the other room and went to work.

NEVER SEEN THIS BEFORE
They had not seen the issue I was having before and they tried a number of fixes, more than I can list here.  They fired a few emails back to the team on the West Coast of the US, so we needed to wait overnight.  Fortunately we were all staying at the same hotel, so we could reconnect over breakfast.  In the morning, they had an answer and a list of instructions to follow.

Praying for Solutions © Adam Marelli

Praying for Solutions © Adam Marelli

THE SOLUTION
After re-installing Lightroom and a few other attempts did not fix the issue, they recommended we try the following:

STEP 1
Start Lightroom CC 2015 with clean user preference:
  1. Press and hold the Shift+Option keys when double-clicking on the Lightroom application icon to launch it.
  2. Lightroom will show you a dialog asking whether you want to “Start Normally” or “Reset Preferences”. Click “Reset Preferences” to start Lightroom with a clean user preferences.
 STEP 2
Start Lightroom CC 2015 with clean presets:
  1. Launch Lightroom CC 2015.
  2. Go to Menu Lightroom>Preferences to bring up the user preference dialog.
  3. Go to the Presets tab, under Location, click on “Show Lightroom Preset Folder…” button.
  4. In the Mac OSX Finder, rename the highlighted “Lightroom” Lightroom preset folder to “Lightroom.original”.
  5. Relaunch Lightroom.

STEP 3

Smile, because all is well with the world and Lightroom works again.

Hopefully you do not encounter this issue, but if you do, I hope this article helps or that you bump into Adobe like I did.  And if you are in NYC I look forward to seeing you at my seminar on Saturday “How to make a photo series.”

AM_LOGO-Lightroom-Small

 

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How to find light, when you are standing in it http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/07/how-to-find-light-when-you-are-standing-in-it/ http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/07/how-to-find-light-when-you-are-standing-in-it/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 19:33:56 +0000 adam http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/?p=7602 [more...]]]> How to find light, when you are standing in it

K Y O T O  /  J A P A N

Model Naoko Fuchikawa Kyoto Workshop © Adam Marelli

Model Naoko Fuchikawa Kyoto Workshop © Adam Marelli

You are the picture

Would you like to grab your camera, step outside, and always find great light?  We scour the globe in search of good light.  Free from the tricks of the studio, the real test for a photographer is if they can find great light without any help from Photoshop or a strobe.  The magical light that we find in great pictures often eludes us on a daily basis.  The search goes on in vain…equipped with low light lenses and high ISO cameras the search does not seem to be any easier today than it was 50 years ago…but why?

Circling Barracuda in Papua New Guinea.  © David Doubilet

Circling Barracuda in Papua New Guinea. © David Doubilet

David Doubilet

Famed National Geographic photographer and fellow member of the Explorer’s Club, David Doubilet tells a story that everyone can put to use.  Many of you might not know David by name, but will certainly recognize his work.  On a dive in Papua New Guinea, David was surrounded by a school of barracuda.  As their silvery bodies encircled him, he decided he could not get a good shot.  In this moment, he realized that HE WAS THE SHOT!  The picture he wanted to take was of a diver in the middle of the school, not a picture taken from the inside.  So he went up to the surface, grabbed one of the other divers and told them to get in the picture. The result is one of the most famous underwater pictures of the last fifty years.

Workshop photographer Larry Hayden standing in the light © Adam Marelli

Workshop photographer Larry Hayden standing in the light © Adam Marelli

Kyoto Workshop

I tell the story of Doubilet often in workshops to ease the stress of many photographers.  Many photographers overlook the fact that the good light is ON THEM, not around them.  Last year, while we were in Kyoto on a model shoot, one of the photographers, Larry Hayden, felt stuck looking for light.  Most of the time Larry enjoys taking cityscapes in the early morning hours on a tripod.  The new challenge of photographing a model, in the back alleys of Gion (the Geisha district) challenged Larry’s sensibilities.

Being a teacher of good faith and a sense of humor, I told him he was the picture.  I snapped a picture as proof.  Confused, he looked at the screen on the Monochrom and laughed.  He was in the light the entire time, so he could not see it.  The rest of the shoot was a breeze for him.  He could step back and see what I was talking about, which made the afternoon more enjoyable and the pictures even better.

Next time you are struggling to find a picture, take a step back…you might be in your own shot.

AM_LOGO-Lightroom-Small

 

 

 

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Photographer at Large: Indrajit Khambe http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/06/photographer-at-large-indrajit-khambe/ http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/06/photographer-at-large-indrajit-khambe/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 17:22:08 +0000 adam http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/?p=7571 [more...]]]> Photographer at Large: Indrajit Khambe

How to shoot an emotional moment

 

© Indrajit Khambe

© Indrajit Khambe

Adam’s Note

How much distance can we put between the camera and our subject?  Is it a matter that can be measured in feet and meters or is the distance an invisible emotion that ties us to a moment?

When Indrajit, a reader of the site, contacted me, his email brought up a touching point.  His wife had just been through a stressful ordeal with the birth of their second child.  The premature delivery came with a number of risks.  It was an emotional time for them both.  But in spite of the situation, Indrajit felt compelled to capture this intense moment for his family.  There is no clear line where the photographer end and the participant begins.  It is something that everyone must work out for themselves.  Ask yourself, how close or how far do you feel from the pictures you make?

© Indrajit Khambe © Indrajit Khambe © Indrajit Khambe © Indrajit Khambe © Indrajit Khambe © Indrajit Khambe

Pre-Mature

by Indrajit Khambe

I live in very small town in India, which has a population of about 40,000.  It might not be the tiniest village, but for an Indian city it is on the small side.  Since 2002 I’ve run computer repair shop.  Photography is not my profession, but it is not a passion.  In 2012 I first picked up a camera. Once the internet availability came in to my town, I started studying various photographers from the history. But one photographer who struck me emotionally was Josef Koudelka. I loved his work a lot and it felt relevant when we were about to have our second child.

© Indrajit Khambe

© Indrajit Khambe

We got news at end of July that my wife is pregnant second time. The doctors gave us a delivery date around first week of April. Everything was all right until December 14th.  Then in first week of January a scan reported sudden lyker drop in a womb.  Doctors suggested two options. One is delivering 7 months pre-matured baby or Amnioinfusion (depositing lyker externally in the womb) treatment. But during this treatment there was a risk of disturbing the fetus. After long debate, we decided to take a risk and go for second option so baby can get a time to grow in mother’s womb. We did this process until the first week of February.  After a week the scan reported another lyker drop. So we repeated the same process around 12th feb. and again on 22nd of Feb. Then on 3rd of March scan reported lyker totally drained.  The doctor took a decision of emergency caesarean on 3rd of March. We blessed with quite a healthy weight (2.4 K.G.) baby.  The baby was 5 weeks premature. But when pediatrician examined baby they were quite happy with the healthy symptoms of baby and said there is no need of taking baby in to NICU.

© Indrajit Khambe

© Indrajit Khambe

My daughter Saee drew a sketch imagining that she is playing in a garden with her upcoming sister of brother. © Indrajit Khambe

My daughter Saee drew a sketch imagining that she is playing in a garden with her upcoming sister of brother. © Indrajit Khambe

My daughter Saee spending her time dancing on a song performed on the TV show. © Indrajit Khambe

My daughter Saee spending her time dancing on a song performed on the TV show. © Indrajit Khambe

© Indrajit Khambe

© Indrajit Khambe

In this process I spent around twenty five days in hospital with my wife and 4 year old daughter. Most of the time I managed things like medicines and food etc. No one from my family was available to help at hospital. So I squeezed in shooting when I could, even though I was juggling my four year old daughter at the same time.  I captured the best possible movements of our lives around those days. Sometime it was hard to capture some intense moments because I failed to detach me emotionally from watching my wife’s pain. But I tried my best.  In the end, I will allow the pictures to speak for themselves.

© Indrajit Khambe

© Indrajit Khambe

Emergency caesarean taking place in operation theater © Indrajit Khambe

Emergency caesarean taking place in operation theater © Indrajit Khambe

© Indrajit Khambe

© Indrajit Khambe

Nurse brought Seema out from OT after completion of operation. Seema is still under a effect of anesthesia © Indrajit Khambe

Nurse brought Seema out from OT after completion of operation. Seema is still under a effect of anesthesia © Indrajit Khambe

The baby is one month premature, nurse holding a oxygen mask which help baby to take a breath in external environment. Hence the baby is one month premature, nurse holding a oxygen mask which help baby to take a breath in external environment. © Indrajit Khmambe

The baby is one month premature, nurse holding a oxygen mask which help baby to take a breath in external environment. Hence the baby is one month premature, nurse holding a oxygen mask which help baby to take a breath in external environment. © Indrajit Khambe

© Indrajit Khambe © Indrajit Khambe © Indrajit Khambe © Indrajit Khambe
Baby boy holding his sister hand.  And the relationship continues. © Indrajit Khambe

Baby boy holding his sister hand. And the relationship continues. © Indrajit Khambe

 

 

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Workshop Shoot: Galleria Romanelli, Florence Italy http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/06/workshop-shoot-galleria-romanelli-florence-italy/ http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/06/workshop-shoot-galleria-romanelli-florence-italy/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 20:49:54 +0000 adam http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/?p=7540 [more...]]]> Workshop Shoot: Galleria Romanelli, Florence / Italy

A .  M A R E L L I  W o r k s h o p  J o u r n a l

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Rivers divide cities.  The division is pretty simple.  The guys in charge live on one side and the guys who work, live on the other.  The two groups are dependent on one another, but historically, prefer not to mix.  Nowadays the “working class” neighborhoods of any city are the most stylish places to live.  Lofts, warehouses, converted factories replaced the grand homes of the past as the cool places to live.

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

This urban formula can be found all over Europe…London, Budapest, Paris, Venice and yes, Florence.  The Oltrarno neighborhood got its name by literally meaning “the other side of the Arno.”  Home to many Florentine craftsmen, it has a real neighborhood feel, only a stone’s throw away from the madness of the Ponte Vecchio.  The food is cheaper, the feeling is more authentic, and you might meet an actual Florentine.

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

If you ever want to get a feel for a city, take a map and find the biggest tourist attraction in the place.  From that point, burn a hole in the map about a 1/2 mile around.  What you are left with are the places you want to visit.  What you burned away will be good for about 30 minutes in the morning, but will be mobbed for the rest of the day.  Better to see it in the off season.  If it is as tragic at New York’s Times Square, skip it all together.  Getting to know a city is not a matter of luck, but a deliberate act of avoiding tourist traps.  They will swallow you up like an “All-you-can eat Vegas buffet.”

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

On the first day of the workshop we were invited to photograph a unique studio in the Oltrarno.  Galleria Romanelli is a sculpture studio founded in the late 1800’s by Lorenzo Bartolini.  The building is a converted church from the 15th century.  Inside they produced everything from table top clay busts to full scale equestrian statues.

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Today, the two Romanelli brothers still run the place.  They each have a specialty.  Raffaello focuses on humans, where his brother sculpts animals.  The tag team duo is equipped to produce almost anything their clients can throw at them.  We spent a few hours inside with Raffaello looking through the vast archive…how vast?  Well, with a studio that was a former church, the ceilings are just shy of 50 feet tall.  The equestrian sculpture with mounted figure looked like a G.I. Joe on the floor.  The scale was staggering.

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

When you combine this scale with the diversity of marble, bronze, and plaster pieces, we had the DNA of Florentine sculpture laid out before us.  Whether you wanted a piece of the David, a bust of Dante, or studies from Roman sculptor Bernini, Galleria Romanelli was a fountain of spectacular options.

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

The photographers were given a chance to practice art techniques they learned earlier that day, without the rush and hustle of the streets.  It was the closest thing to a “perfect training ground,” to develop their own skills.  They had a chance to photograph Raffaello at work with one of his students, architecture, and a stock pile of sculptures blessed with incredible light.

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

DESIGN YOUR OWN WORKSHOP

If you could photograph any workshop in the world, we would like to hear in the comment section below:

  1. What would you like to shoot?
  2. And where would you like to go?

 

SPECIAL THANK YOU
During the Florence Workshop I shot a Leica M240, compliments of Photo Village here in NYC.

Upcoming Workshops:

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

Galleria Romanelli © Adam Marelli

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Salt of the Earth: Sebastiao Salgado http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/06/salt-of-the-earth-sebastiao-salgado/ http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/06/salt-of-the-earth-sebastiao-salgado/#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2015 20:19:26 +0000 adam http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/?p=7513 [more...]]]> Salt of the Earth: Sebastiao Salgado

A  f i l m  f o r  p h o t o g r a p h e r s

This weekend, a good friend recommended I watch “Salt of the Earth.”  The new documentary by Wim Wenders chronicles thirty years of Sebastiao Salgado’s work, life, and accomplishments.  While there are endless stories about famous photographers, there are not many films made about their lives.  The stories that make it to the big screen, like the Bang-Bang Club or a tragic adaptation that includes Robert Capa called “Hemingway and Gellhorn,” tend to get it all wrong.  They play up the cheesy parts, ignore the interesting parts, and never get into the heart of “Why we make pictures?”  

Sebastiao Salgado in the Sahel

Sebastiao Salgado in the Sahel

Wender’s project gets it all right.  He provides a look behind the lens and in front of the camera, of Salgado, as he works on massive projects like Workers, The Sahel, or recently Genesis.  It becomes apparent that while Genesis seems like a project of biblical proportions, almost all of Salgado’s works are large in scale.  The film adds a timeline to Salgado’s approach that is hard to understand when you pick up his books.  By tracing his roots as an economist, the film de-mystifies the motivation behind making the images, without removing the excitement  we experience when viewing them.

This was the image that inspired Wim Wender's to produce a film on Sebastiao Salgado.

This was the image that inspired Wim Wenders to produce a film on Sebastiao Salgado.

And further on the plus side, the film is interesting enough that you can watch it with someone who does not care about f-stops or dynamic range.  It is a carefully constructed story that illuminates three points that never receive enough attention in the photography world:

1.  Sebastiao Salgado has a clear point of view that is reflected in his images.

2.  The projects, while receiving plenty of news coverage, were not conceived as “news pieces.”  These projects took years to complete.

3.  When Salgado realized that “bringing exposure to events through pictures” was not enough, he did something about it.  His Instituto Terra showed how a strategic approach actually effects change and pictures make the topics more engaging with people who would otherwise be too busy to care.

Wim Wenders and Sebastiao Salgado reviewing Salgado's work.

Wim Wenders and Sebastiao Salgado reviewing Salgado’s work.

“Salt of the Earth” is playing at select independent theaters, but will be on iTunes or Netflix soon.  Check it out and let us know what you think of the film, Salgado and the pictures.

Sebastiao Salgado © Carlos Bertoni (an alumni of the A. MARELLI Workshops in Prague and Berlin)

Sebastiao Salgado © Carlos Bertoni (an alumni of the A. MARELLI Workshops in Prague and Berlin)

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The Bell Tower: Florence, Italy http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/05/the-bell-tower-florence-italy/ http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/05/the-bell-tower-florence-italy/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 20:08:40 +0000 adam http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/?p=7480 [more...]]]> The Bell Tower: From Florence to Chianti

A .  M A R E L L I  W o r k s h o p  J o u r n a l

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

Day Two in Florence started as every day should, with coffee and pastry on a terrace.  The wrap around terrace at Palazzo Guadagni makes me feel like I want to cut a hole in my apartment in New York and tack on a dozen columns and a roof to view the neighborhood.  It is one of the details that settles you into a city.  From this view, the towers of Cheisa di Santo Spirito and the top of Chiesa di Santa Maria Novella catch the first light of the sunrise.  For all the complaints that can be made about Italy, Florence still has the hierarchy of buildings in the right order.  Their resistance to put up glass and steel boxes is like urban therapy for the soul.  A few days on that terrace will iron out feelings you never even knew you had.  I look forward to it every year and am already looking forward to our return.

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

After breakfast and a shower, I start to feel human again.  The full day of travel which got us here always leaves a residue that requires a shower and a good night’s sleep.  Today we were off to meet a friend, Miniato Maria.  He is a young monk that I met last year.  This afternoon we were invited to the Gregorian chant in the crypt of the church.  No photography is allowed and honestly, the sound is so incredible, why bother with pictures?  Some things are better felt than photographed.

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

The walk up to San Miniato is long.  I joke that there are 10,000 steps from the bottom of the Arno River to the top of the mountain.  In reality it might be shorter, but the steep grade and ancient stairs are not for the faint of heart.  Even with my regular work out routine, we decide to take a taxi and opt for the walk “down” instead.  When we arrive, the dark doorway welcomes us to blackness inside.  It takes a few moments for our eyes to adjust.

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

Located in the back of the church, down a flight of stairs, is the crypt.  Its multiple columns and candle lit atmosphere feel like a cross between an M.C. Escher drawing and a Stanley Kubrick film.  When the monks file in through a side door, you are not quite sure what to expect.  It is a strange sensation because it’s really just twelve guys coming in to sing a few songs, but the combination of the crypt, the robes, the somber feeling and the candles gives it that much more power.  If they did this in a sunlit pavilion, it would be much less intense, but I am glad there is a bit of drama behind it all.

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

If you have never seen monks chanting, I’d highly recommend it.  I’ve had the opportunity to experience (and participate) in chanting with Christian monks, Brahmin priests, and Zen monks.  They are all outstanding experiences that immerse you into another world.  Not everyone will have the time or luxury to be able to live in a monastery but, if you have a few spare hours, a chanting session will give you a little taste.

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

Without any warning, the chanting begins.  Not two minutes in and someone has forgotten to turn off their iPhone.  Gotta love this woman, as she makes almost as much noise as the chanting, searching all twenty six pockets of her backpack as her phone rings.  Note to self, silence the phone prior to entering the church.  After this little reminder that technology is always with us, the chanting continues for forty minutes.

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

Once the monks finish, the candles are extinguished and they file out one by one.  The last monk closes the heavy metal door and locks it with a thud that sounds medieval.  It’s a dramatic close to the afternoon.  A few minutes later, Miniato Maria comes out to greet Stacy and I.  Five minutes ago he was sober as could be, but now he is all smiles.  It’s great to see friendly faces abroad.  He wanted to show us around to a few of the spots which are closed to the public.  Kindly, he reminds me that I am allowed to take whatever pictures I would like, or I can come back later to shoot.

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

Together we pass the velvet ropes which divide the public and private spaces, walk through a door under the organ, and make our way to a tiny, pitch black staircase.  He suggests we use our phones for light.  There are small windows cut through the thick walls.  They illuminate a few steps in the spiral and then it goes black again.  It’s impossible to tell how many turns we made, but eventually we are at the top of the bell tower.  Just above our heads is a bell that is at least 2 meters in diameter.  My first thought is, “If this bell rings, we are going to be deaf for a few hours.”

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

Miniato Maria said that it’s not scheduled to ring for another ten minutes so we are ok to check it out.  This bell is large enough that it has been automated.  Across the valley, on the other side of Florence, is one of their sister monasteries.  Those bells need to be rung by a rope.  And as the pecking order of the brothers would dictate, the young guys have to do the dirty work.  Miniato Maria and one of the other monks scamper across broken roof tiles, only to tie themselves to the tower, before ringing the bells.  The fear is that they will slip as they tug on the rope, and the roof has no guardrails.  He laughs it all off as a challenge for the “new kids.” 

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

One level up from the bell is the tower roof.  It is the single highest point in Florence.  On one side is Florence and the roof top of every architectural achievement from the Renaissance to today and on the other side is Chianti.  Famous for their wines, the region boasts an absurd skyline of another kind.  In the distance, Chianti looks like a labyrinth of castles and gardens.  The only thing missing is a cave where a few dragons might emerge.

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

We hang out on the tower and finally get a chance to catch up.  Miniato Maria is on FB and Instagram, so we keep an eye on each other, but it’s always better to hear how things are face to face.  Eventually, there is a moment where I sit back, look at the sunset and realize how incredible and rare this moment really is.  Stacy is chatting away with Miniato Maria…and here I am thinking, “I’m on the top of a tower, over looking a city, all virtually unchanged in five hundred years, in no hurry to move, and casually chatting like I was at a cafe in NYC.”  This is why I love traveling.

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

Sure there are luxuries that anyone can settle into…and don’t get me wrong, I love first class just as much as the next person.  But the things that really set one trip apart from the next are the unique, human experiences that solidify a feeling and suspend the sense of “what we know” in light of what we are doing at that moment.  It could all be an exercise of living in the present, which is easier said than done.  Though how often do our heads wander somewhere else? On this day, on that tower, with Miniato Maria and my girlfriend, it all came together.  What I did not know was that this evening set the tone for what was going to be an amazing two weeks and two workshops in Florence and Matera.

On Monday, we will be back with the start of the workshop and how a lucky email turned into an amazing shoot.

SPECIAL THANK YOU
During both workshops I was using a Leica M240, compliments of Photo Village here in NYC.

Berlin Photo Workshop with Leica Store Miami and Adam Marelli

Berlin Photo Workshop with Leica Store Miami and Adam Marelli

Upcoming Workshops:

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

A. Marelli Workshop Journal (Florence) © Adam Marelli

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The Arrival: Florence, Italy http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/05/the-arrival-florence-italy/ http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/05/the-arrival-florence-italy/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 16:18:04 +0000 adam http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/?p=7463 [more...]]]> The Arrival: Florence, Italy

A.  M A R E L L I  W o r k s h o p  J o u r n a l

 

Ponte Vecchio © Adam Marelli

Ponte Vecchio © Adam Marelli

Springtime in New York means the start of travel season.  The international workshops start once the winter winds and early spring rains come to a close.  With summer on the horizon we packed our bags.  We left for Italy and the start of a two week journey south under perfect conditions.

As always, the days before flying out are super busy.  You know how this goes, right?  Once the tickets are purchased the to-do list gets an extra burst.  It is non-stop deadlines, meetings that “have to happen,” and all the things you thought could be postponed magically need to happen before you leave.  This trip was no different.  Added to the mix were the much anticipated Slow Tools Collaboration Bags, which arrived a few days prior to departure (and we are happy to report all sold out.)

Florentie Fuel © Adam Marelli

Florentine Fuel © Adam Marelli

Fast forward a few hours and I am comfortably asleep on the airplane.  All is still, headphones are on, and I slip into a restful slumber.  When my phone starts buzzing, I wake up confused.  We are supposed to be in the air, but United just sent an update that the flight is delayed 30 min.  Then it is another 30 min.  Following a two hour tarmac delay, the captain finally says, “If you would like to get off the plane and stretch your legs, please be sure to take all of your things with you.”  It seems like we are going to be stateside for a while longer.  Fortunately we have a 5 hour layover in Brussels enroute to Florence, so the delay is less concerning for us.  Eventually, the engines power up and the familiar lift of the jet separates us from the US and brings us to Europe.

People often ask, “What do you do when you get to a city? Do you shoot the first day? What is the most exciting thing about arriving?”  They are all good questions because they set the tone for how I like to travel.

Stacy Double Fisting Gelato © Adam Marelli

Stacy Double Fisting Gelato © Adam Marelli

The first thing that strikes us, no matter where we fly, is the smell when we step outside of the airport.  It is usually a combination of taxi fumes and the scent of charred rubber that hits first.  By all accounts it should be a terrible smell, but it is invigorating.  Our other four senses, smell, touch, sound, and taste take over well before the camera is out of the bag.

This year, we noticed that Florence instituted a flat rate into the city.  That’s right, no questionable meters or run around scams, often encountered in other parts.  Not that I have been ripped off by taxi drivers in Italy before, but it’s nice to see a level of regulation upon arrival.  If there is one thing that city officials, especially in NYC, fail to understand, it’s that the airport taxi is your first point of contact.  They are the accidental ambassadors of your city.  Are they kind, gentle, helpful?  Or are they hurried, impatient crooks hellbent on extracting a few extra coins from tired travelers?

Drummers Santa Maria Novella © Adam Marelli

Drummers Santa Maria Novella © Adam Marelli

With a three hour delay and eight hours of flight time, my brain was a little mushy.  Like a cow lost from the herd, I was corralled down the sidewalk.  Suddenly it all came back to me.  My senses kicked in and we were off.  The driver said there was some rain expected this afternoon, but that the weather was going to turn for the better.

Twenty minutes later we pulled up to the small piazza of Santo Spirito.  Located on the Oltrarno, away from the hoards descending on the Uffizi, we have arrived.  The door of Palazzo Guadagni, where we are staying, is monumental.  Like a wooden version of the Pantheon, it has a small piston that pulls the door open.  Martina, just as we left her last year, buzzes us in.  My girlfriend takes the elevator, with all the luggage, to the top floor.  The elevator is no bigger than a closet.  There is enough room for her and our bags.  I opt for the walk up.  The stretch will do me some good.

Ceiling at Farmacia Santa Maria Novella © Adam Marelli

Ceiling at Farmacia Santa Maria Novella © Adam Marelli

On the top floor we are welcomed with the familiar hospitality known to those who return each year.  Martina says No.12, our room from last year, is just as we left it.  The large window faces a quiet courtyard, which is much appreciated at night.  Piazza Santo Spirito can get lively in the evening.  But on our side of the hotel the only sound comes from the morning classes held at the Italian school downstairs.

We set down our luggage, shower off, and get to the most essential of Italian fuels, coffee.  After a strong “caffe normale”, the first order of business in Florence is a trip to Santa Maria Novella.  In case you are wondering, no we are not devout catholics on a pilgrimage.  I endured enough catholic school to never want to sit in another Mass for the rest of my life.

Flag Procession © Adam Marelli

Flag Procession © Adam Marelli

Aside from being one of the most famous piazzas and churches in Florence, Farmacia Santa Maria Novella is a producer of some of the finest soaps, perfumes, and apothecary needs in the world.  Founded by Benedictine monks in the 13th century, their boutique is out of this world.  The vaulted ceilings and frescos put just about any other attempt at “an exceptional retail experience,” to shame.

Even if you are not into their goods, a trip to the shop and its many rooms or the cafe that overlooks the cloisters is well worth it.  Today, we pick up some soap.  Since we will be in Florence for a week, followed by Matera for a week, two bars of soap will do.  We find the combination of hotel soap and Tuscan water make you feel like a sun dried tomato.

We opt for the patchouli and the tobacco toscano flavors.  With everything paid for, we wander outside to grab a gelato and run into a procession of drummers practicing for the upcoming June activities.  We snap a few iPhone shots of the period-dressed Florentines and then retreat to the safety of the Oltrarno.  Tomorrow we will pull out the camera for the first time and visit with our friendly monk Miniato Maria, who we discussed in the Unfinished Business article.

Upcoming Workshops:

Miniato Maria and Stacy Berman © Adam Marelli

Miniato Maria and Stacy Berman © Adam Marelli

 

 

 

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Berlin Photo Workshop: Leica Store Miami + Adam Marelli http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/04/berlin-photo-workshop-leica-store-miami-adam-marelli/ http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2015/04/berlin-photo-workshop-leica-store-miami-adam-marelli/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:58:20 +0000 adam http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/?p=7439 [more...]]]> Berlin Photo Workshop with Leica Store Miami and Adam Marelli

Berlin Photo Workshop with Leica Store Miami and Adam Marelli

Berlin Photo Workshop

Leica Store Miami + Adam Marelli

U P D A T E

After our successful workshops in Prague and Florence, Leica Store MiamiAdam Marelli Workshops wanted to keep the European adventures rolling. This summer we will be heading to Germany’s capital city of Berlin.

Berlin is a laid back city with a friendly population that is home to world-class art, music and culture. Past and present come together in this diverse city, resulting in a bohemian vibe that makes Berlin a magnet for creativity. It is the perfect location to hone your photography skills. Whether we are chasing down a game of bocce ball along the river or shooting a model on location, Berlin is a brilliant backdrop offering a range of settings from classical architecture to the grittier relics of the post-war years.

In this four day workshop we will explore the city as backdrop, muse and your own personal photographic studio. Together, we will discover the connection between photography, art and the vibrant culture of Berlin. You will learn how to apply this holistic approach to your personal vision anywhere in the world.

Kreuzberg, Berlin © Adam Marelli

Fun along the canals in Kreuzberg, Berlin © Adam Marelli

Berlin 5 © Adam Marelli

Photographers aren’t the only ones who fondle their equipment.  © Adam Marelli

What’s included

  • Four days of guided shooting around our favorite locations in Berlin
  • A private shoot in a local artisan’s studio
  • A session with professional models with one-on-one instruction on environmental portraiture
  • Composition and lighting presentations by Adam Marelli that have been featured on B&H Photo Series, Petapixel, Art Photo Feature, and the Leica Blog
  • Technical workflow instruction for Adobe Lightroom from Leica expert David Farkas, who has 25 years experience in professional digital imaging and printing
  • Large selection of Leica cameras and lenses to use for the duration of workshop, including M (Typ 240), M Monochrom and legendary lenses like the 50mm Noctilux and the 50mm APO-Summicron
Last year we dropped into a graphic designer and photographers studio in Berlin © Adam Marelli

Last year we dropped into a graphic designer and photographers studio in Berlin © Adam Marelli

Adam’s Approach

Adam’s approach to photo instruction is very different from the usual photo workshop. His foundation as a painter, sculptor and craftsman add tremendously to his photography experience and his ability to teach classical composition and lighting techniques. In the one-on-one critique sessions, Adam is direct, honest and extremely constructive (and sometimes downright hilarious), getting participants to reach a new level of self-awareness in their photography. By the end of the workshop, you’ll find yourself hearing his critiques in your head as you frame prospective images. As a result, in just four days you’ll approach composition and image making from a new perspective and find yourself able to easily identify your strongest photos, while avoiding past mistakes.

Of course, you might also find yourself learning more than you ever thought possible about art and artists, as Adam has been known to bring to bear his encyclopedic knowledge of art history when discussing photography. We might even find ourselves taking a short break from photography, visiting a museum or gallery where Adam will walk us through some of the pieces. This is not your typical photo workshop.

For more information and to register, click here. If you have any questions, please contact us at
(305) 921-4433 or info@leicastoremiami.com

T E S T I M O N I A L 

First, I just want to say how much I enjoyed meeting you and Stacy and spending time with you in Berlin.  It was a fun, challenging, intellectually stimulating, and eye opening weekend.  I purposely waited a few days to respond to your email because I was waiting for the buzz to subside — I knew it couldn’t last — so I could think clearly about my impressions of the workshop and the lessons I learned there.

You’re right that I did give it my all, because I wanted to practice the lessons and be able to get direct feedback from you.  You are an excellent teacher and mentor and I was very impressed by your insight and judgement, your amazing ability to instantly recall images that demonstrate your points and bring them up on the computer, and the substance and clarity with which you answered our questions!  You’re the real deal, Adam.

You’re also right in that I anticipated hearing the design concepts you teach in your videos and writings, but looking back over the weekend, it makes sense to first develop us and help us bring ourselves into our photography.  To concentrate on the design aspects first, before you know what you want to shoot, would lead to a frustrating experience.  That was clearly the most significant take away for me — the process of going from not knowing what to shoot, to having an idea I could work, to getting your artistic and technical feedback on my first images.  This processed changed my relationship to photography.  It’s the first time I’ve ever felt like an artist. 

It was without a doubt the most transformational photography instruction I’ve ever had and it could never have come from an article, book, blog, or YouTube video.  Your workshop provided that invaluable experience!

I enjoyed the pace and rhythm of the workshop, too.  You’re very disciplined and focused, but you guided us in a relaxed manner and allowed the workshop to flow naturally without imposing a strict structure to it.  It was very well done.

Finally, I was impressed with the people you attract to your workshops.  It was so refreshing to get out of my own orbit and meet such accomplished people with interesting backgrounds and stories. Our lunches and dinners together were a highlight for me.  Please feel free to share my email with them as I’d like to keep in touch with everyone.   And please feel free to use/edit my comments for use as a testimonial.
Thanks again Adam!  It was a real pleasure.”

Sincerely,
–Greg Burke, Berlin 2014

Enjoy, relax, and shoot up a storm in Berlin © Adam Marelli

Shoot till you drop in Berlin © Adam Marelli

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