Charles Glatzer Testimonials
A heartfelt thank you to all those who have participated, rest assured your words and support are greatly appreciated.
Close Enough Never Got You Anywhere: Charles Glatzer and the EOS 7D Mark II
The photos I took on the Yellowstone trip (after just a few days of help and suggestions) were the finest photos I've ever taken. The beauty and clarity of precise focus, vibrant exposures even in dim light, sprinkled with just an ounce of your vast post-processing ease: my photos improved 10,000 fold in just one short trip. And plus, you're funnier than heck. Highly recommended teacher who gives whole-heartedly to teaching and helping.
Ever since I first saw Chas's wildlife photos, I have been hooked.
I just came back from Chas's Winter Yellowstone Workshop which brought so many good memories, new techniques, and new ideas that I will remember a life time. Not only is each of his photos technically perfect, be it exposure, f-stop, shutter speed, sharpness, colors, and compositions, but his photo has extremely strong visual impact and always tells a story. I wish my photos were like that. And after reading many of his online educational articles, I found that I really like his philosophy. So I took his workshop, knowing that the best way to learn is to be in the field side by side with him. I am glad I did. He is really tech savvy, so much fun to talk to, and has never ending interesting photography stories to tell thru his career. Chas is the very rare bred of pro photographer who had formal master education in photography so his theories are superb. He had many high profile clients before, so he had no room to mess up in each project. What that means is that he really mastered the use of light, understands how light illuminates and shadow defines, and bring all the best stuff from these experience in different photography fields into wildlife, creating image after image of creativity and stunning impact.
Some of the numerous things I learned from him in this trip:
Try to get the best photo in camera, before post processing. Many people nowadays rely on digital, always thinking about cropping afterwards for composition, darken or brighten an image if metered incorrectly, etc. His mantra is "if I buy a camera which has 21 mega pixels, i want to make use of all these 21 mega pixels". Chas strives to catch the moment with the right exposure, composition, etc in camera, which maximize the capability of the digital camera, be it noise control and pixel counts. I think its a perfect way to train myself to pay attention instead of take it and fix it later if possible.
Though Chas pushes for the best photo in-camera before post processing, he is a master of photo editing. His emphasis is to bring out something in the scene that's not possible from the image (e.g. dynamic range) while those data were "hidden" in the raw file, e.g. as long as the whites are not blown out, one can always extract those details afterwards. Basically Chas thinks very differently when he takes a picture. He already knew what the limit of the camera is, so try to get the best in-camera first and then knowing what data can be recorded, he brings those hidden data out from post-processing.
Chas makes the best use of any nature condition be it good or bad. For example, it was snowing really bad in Yellowstone, shooting condition was bad, yet when he saw the bison walking along the river, he immediately sees that the dark river which can add as a backdrop to show the white snowfall, which wouldn't be possible with a white snow background.
He is very good with animal behaviors. He would tell us the pronghorn is going to jump, bison is going to dash down the hill, crossing the river, and would give us suggestions how to capture that moment. I made sure to try to stay not too far from him in the field so I can learn what he's thinking in certain condition and why, which helped a lot. He is always paying attention to avoid distracting lines that cut off the subjects, the placement, and how one should leave some space for the legs even if the legs of the animals were blocked by foreground objects.
, did I say Chas is a lot of fun, he kept feeding us good info on photography whenever he can and he seems to have unlimited energy.What I am glad to know is that when I look closer to his photos, every time I learn some new things, which I didn't pay attention to before because he intentionally avoided those distractions with careful placement in order to let readers focus on the story itself. He really pays a lot of attention to the details to create each image.
The service in his workshop is first class, he takes care of all the luggage transfer, always put us in the best vehicle and best lodging and never cuts corner.
only thing bad from the workshop is that after learning all these new things from Chas, when I look back on my old photos, I want to throw most of them away and start all over.I had a great time in the workshop and really enjoys the company of all attendees. Most of the time we were laughing and enjoying so much of our time!
I highly recommend Chas's STL workshops.
Tin Man Lee
Shoot the Light exposed – It’s almost one year since I went on a Shoot the Light workshop and had the privilege to learn first-hand from Chas. Prior to signing up I’d pondered for some time the merits of joining a photography workshop, unsure what such an investment would deliver... would I learn, would I enjoy the experience, would I have fun and become a better photographer? Well… read on and discover a little about what I took away from time with Chas, and whether I’ll be back for more Shoot the Light memories!!
Let me take you back to last November – the location is Bosque del Apache, wintering grounds for some 20,000+ Snow Geese (ok, Ross’s too!) and 2,500 Sandhill Cranes, with a scattering of other birds and animals. I’m there attending a 4-day Shoot the Light technical workshop. I’d actually arrived a day early, to blow the cobwebs off the Nikon gear and become acquainted with the area – arriving a day early gave me the chance to get to see the area where we’d be shooting, and release some of the trigger happiness that tends to preside the first day or so when I go somewhere new filled with great photographic opportunities. It also allowed me to reflect upon how I approached my photography prior to standing beside Chas and how I approached it after… without spoiling the entire story, it was a deeper change than I ever expected.
Curiously, I’d signed up for just a couple of sessions, but once I got started I had no hesitation signing up for the full set. After just a short time with Chas it was clear that I was in for a treat – learning with Chas is easy and fun. His technical knowledge is exceptional (just take one glance at his portfolio), but couple that with his ability to present topics simply, then add to that his ability to show you how to apply it in the field and then combine that with his understanding of wildlife and behavior - this is Chas’s gift to all who attend one of his workshops. And that’s before you get to post-processing! Chas really excels, and throughout the workshop was always willing to answer one more question, take one more peek at some images, and also to let me have the odd hand warmer - the mornings can be COLD, but come the afternoon you may find yourself in a t-shirt!!!
During my time with Chas I learnt a tremendous amount and came away with greatly improved photographic technique – the course, without doubt, elevated my skills to a new level (I’m convinced I would not have reached such a level so quickly, if at all, without his guidance). But more fundamentally, time in the field with Chas altered the way I approach photography and introduced me to a side of photography that I hadn’t realized was missing – and that’s being in tune with the light, understanding how to “read” the light - almost “feel” it. This was a great step for me personally, and has added a new and essential dimension to the way I approach photography.
A year on, I am I still using all the tips and techniques I learnt from Chas in Bosque Del Apache... Absolutely. And this again is testament to how effectively Chas teaches and imparts his knowledge. One final observation… would I go again? Unreservedly! And due to the kind generosity (and patience) of my fiancée, no wait, as of early September, my wife I shall be with Chas next May, getting up close and personal with black bears – I can’t wait for another opportunity to further advance my photography under Chas’s careful and thoughtful guidance.
Good afternoon Chas,
Hope all is well with you and your family! I want to extend a heartfelt "thank you” for putting together a trip of a lifetime to Africa. I have traveled the globe during my aviation carrier and have to say this trip stands out as the most memorable experience. My expectations were exceeded by a landslide. Your professionalism and wealth of knowledge with animal behavior, camera systems, Photoshop and Lightroom and the way you deliver your knowledge as an instructor are impressive.The accommodations and staff members at each camp were superb. I honestly had reservations staying off the grid in Africa; however, the warm welcomes by the staff and accommodations put my fear at ease. I was so happy to share majestic Southern Africa with my family, but also with you and the rest of our photography gang. The memories of this trip and our group will bring smiles and laughter for a very long time!
Blue skies, Sherri
Africa has called me back many times and this was what I was looking for ... exactly!! When I was able to pre-visualize what I wanted and have it fall in to place right before my eyes, well, this Chas guy must know something!! It was definitely an "A HA" moment! I saw my imagination coming to fruition in real time. I have a lot more keepers to peruse after meeting this Chas Glatzer, that's for sure! Thank you Chas, you've been a superb teacher and mentor, but most of all a good friend ! I'm not alone when I say this ... and that is an understatement!!
I so thoroughly enjoyed this trip!!
Till next time. Take care my friend,
Good morning, I have just returned from the most amazing 5 days of my "photographic life". To digress, I started in photography in college, when we carved petrochromes on cave walls. Over the too many years since, I have spent many frustrating hours, days and dollars trying to reach photographic nirvana, first in the black and white darkroom and then on the computer, eternally frustrated by the total inability to reach a consistently acceptable result. Understood the basics--rule of thirds for composition, magic photo triangle of ISO/aperture/shutterspeed for exposure--but could never bring a grasp of success within reach. And then I discovered Charles Glatzer and his Shoot The Light organization and concept. From the first viewing of his YouTube videos, he" clicked" and the combination of his message and his presentation sucked me in. I first did a One on One day with Chas and then instantly signed up for his Western North Carolina, Fall Foliage Workshop. You have to experience Chas to fully appreciate his ability both as a photographer and as a teacher. The man has infinite patience and the wonderful ability to present new concepts in as many ways as it takes to get through the thickest of skulls and the most stubborn indelibly etched unsuccessful prior teachings.With his decades of experience in many and varied fields of photography, Chas has a wealth of knowledge on equipment for most levels of photographers and interests in photography which he shares willingly. If you want to take your photography, especially the art of exposure, to the highest level of predictable, solidly founded and supported concepts, then you, too, have to meet Charles Glatzer and become a disciple of the teaching of Shoot the Light!! You will forever be rewarded by your results straight out of the camera! And,as a side note, Chas's staff, especially she who must be obeyed, and his assisting photographers all function as a close group to make his workshop events a well-oiled and enjoyable experience for all. Dan R
Thanks for another great photography experience.
Other than the fact that you are a rock star in the photography world and your knowledge and skill are amazing here are some of my thoughts about why I think you stand out among photographer/teachers. First, you emphasize that the approach you are teaching is intended to allow us to develop our own creative approach. Not every teacher is as open minded. Many put forth the notion that their approach is the one and only. Your approach allows us to develop our own vision.
Second, you never once made me or anyone else in the class feel stupid or inadequate. Even after you have explained something for the umpteenth time, you maintained your willingness to teach and explain. That quality is unique among rock stars. To teach with patience and understanding recognizing that we are all learning is wonderful.
Third, your ability to analyze your approach to capturing an image and your willingness to share that knowledge is amazing. Some artists are not as skilled. I was once at a workshop where a renowned photographer saw me working on composing an image. He came up, asked me to move over and started working with my camera. I asked him to explain his process and thinking, he explained he was "making a photograph". Not exactly the knowledge I needed to learn from what he was doing. I am excited about the Lake Clark trip and many more.
Take Care, Don T.
"For anyone wanting to hone their photographic skills, Shoot the Light’s Technical Workshop in St. Augustine, Florida is a must. Thanks Chas for a great 4-day workshop at the Alligator Farm May 6-9. Though at the end of each day I was exhausted, the combination of classroom and field time was perfect. I have attended many photography workshops and classroom technical sessions, and I can say without a doubt this workshop was the best I have attended to date. What made it so special was your 30+ years of photographic knowledge and your down to earth ability to express that knowledge in a way that made it easy to understand and fun. Your story telling was outstanding and a highlight of each day’s classroom session. Couple that with your teaching style and I had blast. Your teaching style was practical and down to earth allowing participants to be very comfortable with you and ask questions they may have been hesitant to ask. Your approach to metering and to the use of flash took complicated subjects broke the techniques down to their lowest common denominators, allowing me to walk away at the end of the session with a new set of tools for my photo toolkit. The final day session on post processing gave me new insights on how to use Photo Shop effectively and Dave Kelly’s presentation on the use of Lightroom opened many new ideas for me to explore.
Thanks for the experience!” RS
The below reference is from the heart. Albeit a bit too long but why cut you short? You give us all so much time why not give you what you deserve. In fact it’s really too damn short if anything. Like any middle aged Type A person, I bought what I felt was the best gear money could buy and promised myself I was going to study every aspect of photography I could via workshops, online courses, self study, private lessons and books. I have invested an incredible amount of time and money into taking that “perfect shot” which we all strive for. Along my journey I have had the honor of working with and/or interacting with many of the countries more popular wildlife photography workshop leaders. Honestly there are quite a few wonderful leaders and some that are less than wonderful. Yes, I am a critic and it takes a lot to impress me. It did not take me long to find Chas as just about every wildlife photographer here in New York either knows him personally or has studied with him. As of now I am one of the lucky ones who has spent 3 separate times with Chas in the field and/or classroom learning anything and everything he was willing to share. Chas has such a varied background in so many different aspects of photography and has been shooting for over 36 years now that he has so much to offer. Yes, there may be others that know certain styles very well, but can they do flash underwater and understand the physics of refraction, shoot Annual Reports and executive portraits for Fortune 500 companies, sports, product, advertising campaigns, and more? I think there are few photographers alive who can perform at this level. What I do know for sure is that there is no one alive who can TEACH this breath of knowledge as well as Chas. What is the point of attending a workshop with an award winning photographer who has written books, had photos published in National Geographic, won a BBC award, etc. if they are not going to help us take better photos? Are we not concerned about OUR performance and want someone to teach US how to shoot and not pay someone’s bill so they can travel for free around the world taking pics at our expense? It has taken me quite the effort to get to where I felt comfortable enough as a photographer to actually sit in waders 2 feet deep in 48 degree river water for 5 days in remote Alaska with about $18,000 worth of camera gear surrounded by Grizzly bears. Yup, I was determined to go all the way and get that “perfect” capture and I had 5 days and 21 flights to get an 800lb bear charging directly head on to dive for the sockeye. A dream shot, and yes I was dreaming like all of us dream. This was not an Instagram “million likes” shot, for me this was far more. I admit I was a bit reserved and anxious that second to last day of the trip knowing I may not get the photo but I was determined to push and even say a prayer…or two. Shaking from the cold while fixating on my viewfinder, my buddy to my right asked why I work so hard as a physician. He in fact told me "Greg, everyone is replaceable so why do you feel you need to push yourself?" I angrily moaned quietly to myself. Out of fear of being eaten I looked around over my left shoulder and there, about 150 yards behind us and up on a bluff was the world’s most famous and well know wildlife photographer with his workshop participants trying to capture images of the same bears. “Really?” I said to myself “from so far away?” Wow, I suddenly appreciated just how lucky I was to be sitting here safe and sound among a half dozen Grizzlies getting the photos of a lifetime from the perfect vantage point. Those of us who push ourselves know the extreme emotion of success under adverse circumstances and I was waiting for mine. Finally, along came a beautiful charging bear at eye level head on to my 600mm lens and I was fired up. Every little lesson, camera setting and skill set that I had came to fruition for about 2 full seconds. Again, again and again it happened. When the bear stopped jumping for salmon I nervously scrolled back through my images in my LCD display and bang, there is was…my perfect shot. I wanted to scream with joy or at least slap the water but the bears would have none of that behavior. My emotions over took the best of me. My journey hit its target and I knew I owed it to my hard work and to those that helped me get here. Like a baby I walked up onto the beach, sat on a rock, put my head into my hands and cried with joy. Life is good when you push yourself and surround yourself with the best of the best. I had finally reached my goal and Chas was there for me the entire time from the beginning to my truly award winning capture. I was thrilled and he was psyched for me. My thrill came from reaching my goal; his thrill came from helping me get there. Chas is a rare bird in that he is a true professional, a mentor and a friend. The world is a better place with Chas. When I flew out of Alaska that trip I struggled with whether or not I am in fact “replaceable” as a physician but I was at peace knowing Chas is most definitely not replaceable.
Good luck on your journeys with light. G. G.
I just wanted to say thanks to each of you for your part in making our Loon adventure one to remember. It couldn’t have been better! The lodge, food, and our hosts were awesome, as were the cooperative subjects. To label our instructor as a Master Photographer far understates his expertise. His skills with the camera are well documented, but his talent as a patient competent instructor, LR and photoshop guru, and his passion for his profession can only be understood by spending a few days with him. In addition, he regularly shared little gems from the great book of life. I now realize that life’s story is best told when viewed in context, rather than compressed by a long lens. For this I will be ever grateful.
Thank you all. Danny & Denise Womack --------
I just finished the STL workshop and it was a wonderful experience. I am in the beginning stages of my photography journey and Chas was a wonderful instructor. I could not believe that someone with his background and experience would have the patience to answer my questions...but he did and often went beyond what I expected from him. There are many talented photographers, but few that have the rare ability to pass on their knowledge to others in a kind, caring and respectable way. Chas was patient with everyone in the group and treated all of us with respect, regardless of our skill level. Chas went out of his way - he actually insisted - that I borrow one of his lenses for a session because I expressed an interest in trying the lens before purchase. During sessions, Chas would put the participants first, giving us the prime locations in relation to the light and the subjects. He would also give us advice during the sessions so that we could improve our images. He was definitely there to help teach the participants...not to get the best locations and shots for himself. During the teaching sessions he was very professional; during down times he was very warm and funny and he went out of his way to make everyone feel at ease. Chas' knowledge of all aspects of photography, Lightroom and Photoshop is amazing. To work with someone as knowledgeable as Chas is truly an incredible experience. Before going on this workshop, I read the testimonials and thought they were too good to be true. Well, they are true. Chas is an amazing teacher and photographer as well as an awesome individual. I consider myself lucky that I was able to attend a workshop with him. I fully intend to go on further workshops with Chas and am proud to now consider him my photography mentor.
Chas is one of a kind. Smart, hard working, creative, personable, and with seemingly endless energy. I've watched him teach quite a few people his way of nature photography, and it's impressive to see the results. One word of advice, though: bring an audio or video recorder, because once you wind Chas up and get him started teaching something, he'll teach you fifty things a minute and keep going until YOU collapse in exhaustion.
LOL. Thom Hogan
Chas took me to a place that existed only in my dreams and showed me a world that blew me away. I developed such love and hate relationship with him. I loved how he saw things and instantly composed to knock my socks off and I hated how easy it is for him to come away with compositions even after being in the same place often While I struggled to do so. Without a doubt he is the most gifted of all the photographers I have met.
I guess the most important thing I have to say is that I came out of no where with this hobby and in a short time I have spent a lot of time with over 10 professional photographers all of which I admire and have lots of respect for. However, you really must know deep inside that there is only one Chas. I am not sure if it’s just your experience, ability to communicate, competitive edge, social skills, financial drive or just your overall good person drive but you really are the best of the bunch. I am lucky to have spent time with you, learned form your teaching and I am beyond honored to be able to be on the roster to work with your three times next year.
This is a note of thanks for the magnificent Ultimate Polar Bear Workshop. We had outstanding photo opportunities galore with lots of polar bears and good light often both at the Seal River Heritage Lodge and on the Tundra Buggy extension. You personally added significant value to the trip with your knowledge of polar bear behavior, your guidance on how to take advantage of the photo opportunities, and sharing your capture & post processing techniques. I have been on many photo workshops but you are at the top as a leader, nature photographer, & teacher. Your style is very friendly and welcoming. The fact that all but one of the participants were repeat STL clients is testimony of the highest order for both you and STL. Many of the participants have been on multiple previous STL workshops. This was my third STL workshop, and I am eagerly looking forward to two more STL workshops.
I've been studying the portfolios and testimonials of other workshop leaders, and felt that the best way to remedy my annoyance at some of them was to provide positive feedback for the ones who actually know what they're doing. In an occupation where professionals are increasingly under pressure to switch from stock photography to teaching workshops, a competitive edge too often favors skills in photoshop, marketing, or self-promotion. Yet, there are still a few workshop leaders who are genuine masters of their art. Of these, Shoot the Light happens to be among the cream of the crop. Not only does Chas have, arguably, one of the most comprehensive and beautiful portfolios, but he has a rare knack for being able to share it. In the field, Chas does not give a couple intuitive tips, take the best spot available, and spend the rest of the day collecting shots for his website; instead, he actively makes recommendations to each individual and is more than willing to assist with questions. In the middle of a shoot, he may even stop and explain how to predict the behaviors of wildlife, or give a lesson on using flash. Somehow this does not prevent him from snapping off a few 5-star shots through the course of an explanation. Indeed, it can be frustrating when you realize that Chas's recycle bin resembles the "highlights" page of most above-average amateurs (and professionals, for that matter); but no matter how often you participate in a Shoot the Light Workshop, you are sure to improve your own techniques each time. One of Chas's most important lectures is "Visual Design in the Field". If you thought you had a "good eye" before, this course will show you how to select angles, backgrounds, and photographic paradigms you hadn't even considered. Even at locations where photography has become near-cliche, such as the grizzlies at Brook's Falls, Homer and its bald eagles, or Bosque del Apache (where geese come to see flocks of photographers), Shoot the Light produces images that are head-and-shoulders above the rest. Apart from these examples, Chas provides some of the more unusual opportunities available, from a month-long safari in the Arctic to photographing tigers in India. Formerly best-known for his marine work, Chas even has an underwater workshop, focusing on the manatees of Crystal River. Meanwhile, his wife Sherri is extremely efficient at making arrangements and returning calls and emails--another truly rare quality among photographic workshops. Regardless of whether you join Shoot the Light in Russia or Japan; Yellowstone in the dead of winter, or in a relaxed summer setting in the Michigan lakes, you'll be glad to be part of the experience. I highly recommend Shoot the Light and look forward to many workshops to come.
Best wishes, Ivan
In my hot pursuit to become a proficient amateur wildlife photographer I hired Chas on recommendation for a three day one-on-one session here in New York. I had no idea what I was in for other than some “theory” time and time in the field with cameras and birds at Nickerson Beach. Having zero personal knowledge of Chas or his style of teaching, I was curious as to how the three days were going to proceed. We all know the internet has an abundance of “wildlife photographers” who claim to teach, run workshops around the country and regularly produce nothing but award winning photos for contests such as the BBC, National Geographic, etc. but how many are worth hiring? Unfortunately while there are many “wonderful” photographers willing to teach the art and science of capturing wildlife via digital SLR cameras, there are almost NONE that are truly talented instructors worth the investment. Having taught junior high school, attended medical school, residency and now teaching in a medical school, I can be a bit critical of those who claim to “teach”. Many claim to teach but few can do so well. Then there’s Chas. Chas and I first met over dinner once he arrived from the airport and we had a wonderful time. I was a bit nervous as such a novice photographer about to spend time with one of the best photographers in the country but immediately Chas made me feel comfortable. We had many laughs over dinner and I knew right away the next three days were going to be exceptional. Chas shared some of the most fascinating stories of his trips around the world, the people he met and the animals he had encountered. I was enamored and wanted to sign up for every workshop I could afford before we even finished dinner. The three days we spend together were broken down into an orderly sequence with photography theory (perfect exposure, camera settings, flash, animal behavior, being pro-active, etc) day one, the challenging world of post processing day two, then work in the field with camera in hand the last day. I was smart enough to bring along my notebook the first two days as I wrote over 25 pages of notes. During the post processing session Chas was patient and kind enough to take my laptop and set many actions, and recipes/presets for MacPhun, Google NIk and other recommended plug-ins so I could streamline my workflow. I doubt there are many workshop leaders willing to take such an extra step for their clients. Once we finally made it into the field again Chas continued to teach by reviewing camera settings and technique. Just watching him work a camera and approach birds was a lesson in itself. Aside from the formal teaching I can say Chas is an engaging, funny and kind gentlemen who was as patient and dedicated to my photography issues as he was to my 10 year old daughter when she shyly asked him to show her his giraffe photos from Africa. Chas is a class act and we are lucky to have him as an educational resource and friend.
Dr Greg Gulbransen Long Island, NY
Shoot the Light, Charles Glatzer – Ranks number 1 in photographic workshops! After going to Yellowstone with Shoot the Light and Charles Glatzer, I felt it necessary to write a testimonial to my experience. I procrastinated. But now after two weeks with Chas on his Falklands workshop (he had been there 10 times) I feel remiss in not having written about Yellowsetone. I feel remiss because Chas’s workshops are really special and I want those who like me look for the best workshops to know what they can experience with Chas and Shoot the Light. I have been on about 10 photographic workshops with other leaders to some of the most beautiful places. Chas's workshops are without peer. Chas’s workshops are all about the participants. He shares, teaches, shows, and most importantly interacts in every step of the process. His greatest delight is that we get the images not that he does. His knowledge and ability to explain difficult processes concisely and at the same time profoundly, while being patient with us, results in an unequaled experience. In addition it becomes quickly clear the he knows where to go and when to be there. His wildlife knowledge is second only to his photographic knowledge. Also, the logistics work amazingly well. You only have to look at Chas’s images to know that he is an extraordinary photographer, but based on my experiences with him he is also an, extraordinary naturalist and teacher. He holds nothing back he shares what he calls his “process” which is being prepared with equipment, locations and most importantly an idea of what image you are looking to capture. Also he explains his philosophy and how processes his images. Those of us who want to progress to the highest levels of photography should not forego the opportunity to learn from a truly rare talent, Chas. In addition to all I have said I must add he is a great guy to hang out with…….their are no ego trips.
The goal of the STL Technical Series Workshops is to provide you, the photographer, with tools that will enable you to capture a more satisfying image, whatever your vision! Yes, they are all about you and improving your fundamental knowledge and skills. Its not about Chas Glatzer. Chas brings his knowledge and skills as a photographer and naturalist gained over 36 years of diverse experience and offers it to you in a friendly, amusing, and memorable fashion. Chas and his team mentor you constantly, and clearly delight in your achievements. They are there to teach, and it doesn’t matter whether you are a participant, or just another photographer on the boardwalk struggling with your gear, you will get the same kind of patient attention. This old fart learned so much in those four days he was exhausted. But, it was a wonderful experience. Thank you Chas, Mike, Tom and Dave!
I trust your second workshop in Jasper has gone well. Thanks again for a fabulous experience in Jasper. It was terrific to work with Chas in Jasper National Park. The workshop provided awesome photographic opportunities from golden aspen groves to brilliant turquoise lakes all nestled below the towering mountain peaks of the Rockies. The wildlife was stunning, abundant and cooperative. The workshop also was a significant learning experience for me; Chas is a superb wildlife photographer and teacher with an uncanny sense of animal behavior and outstanding technical skills that he shares easily and willingly. In the workshop Chas emphasized the importance of composition, lighting and selective focus and the relative advantages of manual exposure. Chas explained them all in a clear and concise manner reviewing the less intuitive features until he was sure everyone understood. It was obvious that Chas’ #1 priority was helping us create outstanding images, always coaching and making suggestions and ensuring we were in the best locations. It’s two days after the Jasper workshop and I’m already planning for my next Shoot the Light workshop.
CP, Redmond, WA Carlo
Can't thank you enough, Chas, for the incredible time I had at your NC Tech Series! I learned so much from you and your team that I have taken huge leaps forward in my abilities as a wildlife photographer. As everyone knows, your skills as a photographer are amazing; your photos are proof positive of that. But equally amazing is your vast knowledge of photography and ability to convey even the most complex concepts in an easy to understand fashion. To say I was impressed would be a giant understatement! Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for taking me to the next level, and doing it in a fun, humble, and enthusiastic manner! Say hi to the Churchill Polar Bears for me!
What a blast we had this April at the Shoot the Light Workshop in St. Augustine! It was not only fun but the lectures and field sessions were fantastic. Thanks for the best photo learning experience of my life! I was pushed to think and photograph like never before, and my head is still spinning. With 4 instructors milling around about 20 students it was easy to get all of my questions answered. I have been telling everyone how much I learned, now all I have to do is put this knowledge to work. Margaret and I cannot wait to go on a photo workshop with you in the future.
Wayne & Margaret
Charles the classes were inspiring! This old man learned a lot. You are obviously a good photographer, but truly amazing as an instructor! The two do not always come out the same! Thanks a lot for the seminars, ALL 4 of them! Florida's Birding & Photo Fest
Robert H Carney
Photo Travel Review Magazine; In the world of nature photography, one name stands above all others Charles Glatzer. He is recognized worldwide as the absolute master of light. Publisher, writer, mentor, teacher, photo entrepreneur, he is legendary and is one of very few photographers who has earned a Masters of Photography Degree. Shoot the Light Workshops by Charles Glatzer has earned the Photo Travel Review Magazine rating of six stars the highest rating the PTR Team has given any workshop provider. We have done so in view of Glatzer's contribution to the photographic community over many years, and for his continuing willingness to serve as mentor and teacher to others who strive to improve their photography. Moreover, the testimonials of hundreds of workshop attendees speak loudly about how well his tours have been received. If one wants to attend a photographic workshop that offers adventure, opportunities to learn and improve ones photographic skills, one cannot go wrong in choosing Shoot the Light in our view the best of the best. Read the entire review, click HERE
NIK Pro Talk Interview When you see the nature and wildlife photography of Chas Glatzer you can't help but think he was born to do this.
Click HERE for the interview
Practicing photography has many pains associated with it: * The pain of trying to keep up with all the useful things Chas Glatzer says at a workshop because you can't write that fast. Heck, you can't remember that fast. Thom Hogan
I learned more on this one trip (Yellowstone) about photographic technique than on my previous 22 trips under different settings. Manual metering was so rapid and straightforward that I never had to worry about ever blowing out a histogram. This allowed me to focus on the picture composition without concerns about the imaging quality. Chaz is a remarkably gifted natural teacher and is able to explain the complex in simple comprehensible terms. He manages to do it in a natural and very amusing way so that it sticks with you. His compositional and post-production skills are equally amazing. Because he is currently in the process of converting many of his photographic principles into short movies, this will eventual become available on the net for any one with an interest in improving their photographic skills. I look forward to the experience both in film and future workshops.
Thanks for a great trip to Yellowstone. I went in thinking I was a pretty good photographer but knowing there was much I could still learn. What I didn't expect was the complete epiphany I experienced when taking your advice to shoot in manual exposure mode. I have always shot in Av mode and while my exposures were generally okay, I was constantly battling the metering system with exposure compensation, especially when compositions changed. I just assumed there was no real alternative, believing manual exposure mode was too complex and slow for wildlife photography. Your teaching method made clear it was not complex at all (in fact, it is very intuitive and logical) and afforded the opportunity to focus on composition as opposed to worrying about the proper exposure. It's really a photographic-altering experience for me. I'll never (or rarely) shoot in Av mode again and can already see that my images have taken a step up. Many thanks!
If his photographs alone do not indicate Chas's diverse level of skills and his unnatural eye for creativity, his dedication to participants is more than enough to make his workshops the best possible way to study the art. Chas is unique in that his enthusiasm enables participants to transform the most daunting concepts into second-nature within a couple sessions. An instantaneous recognition of metering, flash, visual design, and timing within the field are essentials he will help you excel in. In addition to his prestige as a photographer, Chas has a background in marine biology and an inherent understanding of animal behavior that sets him above any other wildlife photographer I know. In addition to seeking out the most favorable--often obscure--locations, Chas imparts his knowledge of the subjects in such a way that one learns to predict their behaviors and movements for the perfect shot. He also has a well-developed "naturalist's eye"--rare even among the best-known professionals--that incorporates the ecological settings of the subject to tell a much more powerful and accurate "story" of its natural history. Most importantly, however, Chas is the type of teacher who enjoys seeing his participants improve their skills. Few instructors are as willing to put down their own gear to coach you through a shoot. He frequently initiates suggestions that a novice might not think to ask about. In poor light or bad weather, Chas makes use of the time to focus on classroom work or hone in on specific skills. Even if the animals don't show up, he is happy to go the extra mile to ensure that you get the most out of the workshop. No matter what you sign up for, I have no doubt that you will discover that the hours you spend at an STL workshop surmount to years of experience.
Owen from California
This is a note of thanks for the magnificent 2012 Ultimate Polar Bear Workshop. We had outstanding photo opportunities galore with lots of polar bears and good light often both at the Seal River Heritage Lodge and on the Tundra Buggy extension. You personally added significant value to the trip with your knowledge of polar bear behavior, your guidance on how to take advantage of the photo opportunities, and sharing your capture & post processing techniques. I have been on many photo workshops but you are at the top as a leader, nature photographer, & teacher. Your style is very friendly and welcoming. The fact that all but one of the participants were repeat STL clients is testimony of the highest order for both you and STL. Many of the participants have been on multiple previous STL workshops. I have been on many photo workshops. Yours are on my short "A" list which means i shall be a repeat client beyond the four I've done with you in the last 10 months.
Liz here from your Technical workshop in Florida at the Alligator Farm I want to let you know the impact you have had on my life, photography is a passion for me, I spend a huge amount of my spare time with my camera and after your workshop my skill level has been elevated to a point I am ecstatic with. Your workshop was the 4th I had taken all with different professional photographers and although I learned something from each professional, I also learned that not all workshops are the same and not all professionals have the ability to teach. Now in fairness to those other workshops, I have taken something different from each one; however, your workshop was head and shoulders above all others I have attended. I made huge progress in such a short period of time and above all it was apparent you care about why people are there. Not only are you a highly skilled photographer but you are a great teacher with an amazing ability to simplify the issues, with a great attitude and down to earth personality, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend your workshops. I will be forever grateful for the knowledge you have shared with me and unfortunately you will have to put up with this crazy Scottish lady a little longer as im coming back for more :) For me, you took the hard work out of photography and made it what it should be, FUN! I no longer stress about the technical issues that been simplified so I actually "get it now," you have given me the greatest gift, the freedom to focus on the creative aspect. Thanks Chas for allowing that penny to finally drop for me, and I am so looking forward to the Falklands, Botswana, Russia, and Manatee trips. To sum it up Chas, you've got it right!
You are one of the very few workshop instructors that I have observed that doesn't let his own ego get in the way of providing the best instruction and oportunities for the students. After observing Chas teach two students in the field for three days a couple of weeks ago, I would have to agree - probably the best "in the field" instructor I've run across.
Thanks again for a great STL Technical Workshop, and for taking the time late on the fourth day to review a few pictures - much appreciated. The workshop certainly advanced my technical abilities, but much more importantly has introduced a new (and fundamental) dimension to my photography that was missing before (and I don't think I even realised it was missing): a genuine understanding of the light around me (and that illuminating the subject), how to read the light (quality, direction etc) and apply this knowledge to creative photography. This will change many aspects of my approach - where I stand, waiting for the subject to enter the "zone", how and when I press the shutter and everything in-between! More on the Tech Series click Martin's Blog
Keeping art a side, for me producing technically perfect images is essential in the process of growing as a photographer. I have been working on this for a long time and I believe understanding the basics is more important than walking out with bunch of great reproduction images. I spent my share of time reading tutorials on exposure, metering and composition. For sure, I understood the theory behind it, but putting it into practice was not at all easy. Chas STL series workshop was so wonderful putting me right where I wanted. His exceptional skills as a teacher, photographer and creator are beyond my imagination. The amount of personal attention and guidance I got in this workshop was outstanding. His willingness to walk an extra mile to make sure I understand the technical side of the settings right from basics is amazing. His knowledge and explanation on flash techniques was one of the best lessons I ever learned in photography. A highlight of the class was his technique in producing 3rd dimension in photographs with shadows. I was quite surprised to see a computer science paper discussing similar techniques to produce a 3 dimensional feel for gaming characters. His creative compositions at Bosque are out of this world. Overall, the STL Tech Series Workshop put my photo career on steroids. I guess it would have taken another 2 years to learn what I did from Chas in 2 days. You might learn what setting to use and how to shoot at any workshop. But, if you really want to understand the fundamentals and what it takes to produce perfect images, I think there is no other workshop like this. I felt it was a privilege being part of such a great program, learning from, and shooting with Chas.
If you spend any amount of time on the nature photography forums you will see many fine images but when you see the images by Chas, you will realize that he is in a class by himself. Not only is Chas a world class photographer but his skill and experience in PS brings his images to another level that few can achieve. I have been on several workshops with Chas and discovered that he is also a very good and willing teacher. Chas is an "open book" - whether you want help on composition, exposure, or fine tuning your camera, Chas is very knowledgeable. But that's only half the story - Chas uses the middle of the day when the light is poor to show his PS techniques that make his images so special. He is very happy to share anything that he has learned over the years - and he knows a lot of cool stuff! We spent several hours working on images to make sure I understood how to make them look their best. If you are serious about your photography and want to get better, Chas can help you in many ways. I also found him to be a nice guy - he's fun in the car as you drive around and during the meals. He sounds so serious on the forums but in person, he's always smiling and having a good time.
Steven Berkowitz, VMD
Passion for photography is not enough; I need teachers who are both willing and able to explain what they are doing and why they are doing it.With Chas, both of these points are met. Regulars on the web will have seen enough of Chas's images to know his abilities are exceptional. Chas routinely produces images that differ not only from what others are creating, but also from his own work. His images contain both technical and artistic elements that make them unique. By attending one of Chas's workshops, I hoped to gain some insight into his photography so that I could incorporate some of his ideas into my own work. And, I got what I was looking in the New Foundland workshop. Chas approaches each photographic opportunity with an open mind. Rather then preconceived ideas, each opportunity is evaluated based on the situation. Instead of imposing his vision on the situation, Chas determines how he can produce the best possible image given the current conditions. If the conditions don't fit the idea, the idea is modified to fit the conditions... Throughout the workshop, Chas worked with each participant to develop their skills
Let me start off by saying that attending your "Loons and More" workshop was one of the highlights of my photographic endeavors. In a very short period, you helped to elevate my photography to the next level. Your instruction and guidance has given me a solid photographic foundation upon which all of my future work will be based. It was truly an honor to shoot beside you. To me, observing you shoot "in-the-field" was as important as the valuable classroom instruction you provided. I got to see first hand what proper technique looks like. To top it all off, I found out that you're a great guy. I felt a little intimidated before I showed up for the workshop, but you immediately put me at ease. After meeting you, it was obvious that your goal was to help us improve our photography, and that you truly cared about our success. Your generous and humorous teaching style helped to make the learning process fun and effortless. The way you presented the information made everything make sense. For me, you took the mystery and guess work out of many key issues I had. I'll be a much more deliberate and proactive photographer in the future because of you. Thanks for everything!
It was a pleasure to spend a bit of time with you at the VS sanctuary last month. Anyway I just wanted to say and let you know how much I appreciated meeting you. I have spent a fare amount of time in the bush with photographers and few have impressed me as much as you. Your care for those around you as well as the welfare of the bears was refreshing. I now understand why VS staff speak so highly of you. In my experience most photographers are often testing the limits set by the guide or property owner and are tolerated only because of the revenue they bring in. Folks at the sanctuary trust and respect you and look forward to you arriving. I enjoyed watching how you provided your clients with the best experience they could possibly have. I hope to see you at the sanctuary again but until then, enjoy the blessing each day brings and capture as many of them on film as you can.
I recently returned from a four day Technical Workshop with Shoot the Light wow!! I had no idea how little I knew until Chas started explaining metering, flash, postproduction and visualization. We worked both in the classroom and in the field from dawn to dark and I learned more in four days than I would have on my own in years. Metering; Chas went through the basics of five different metering methods and explained when to use each. He thoroughly explained the difference between incident and reflective metering and why you use your cameras reflective meter sometimes and your incident meter other times. He really helped me get my head around the whole metering concept. Flash; Good golly, who knew how versatile that little item, could be outdoors. Chas showed us six different situations where flash would enhance a photo or enable you to shoot when you otherwise wouldnâ€™t. I was amazed at the versatility of flash as an extra tool in the bag. It allows you to shoot much earlier, much later, and much more in the middle of the day than I would have ever imagined. Post Processing; Chas introduced us to various programs that greatly expedite workflow and he showed us tons of shortcuts. It would have taken me forever to figure all that out. Chas background as a former lab owner and commercial photographer enables him to see colors and tones better than most and he understands the nuances of post processing in an amazing way. He is fearless about exploring the possibilities of PhotoShop and its obvious from his vast amount of knowledge that he has spent hours working with this program. Visualization; What can I say; you can just look at Chas photos and see someone on a plane above. Chas sees artistically and thinks technically and his photos show mastery of both. Looking at his work and listening to his thoughts on lighting and composition was extremely helpful. Chas is a great teacher with endless enthusiasm who makes every situation fun. I would highly recommend this workshop to anyone who wants to increase his or her technical knowledge and have a good time in the process.
I recently attended two STL workshops to Jasper National Park and to Churchill for polar bears. On both trips, Chas was a walking encyclopedia of photographic knowledge. He stresses the importance of students becoming comfortable with fundamental technical skills so that they can then concentrate on the more artistic and creative aspects of creating truly outstanding images. He teaches in a stream of consciousness manner while in the field as well as presenting organized lectures on topics such as exposure, flash, composition and Photoshop. He is a natural teacher who enthusiastically individualizes his instruction to clients at any level of skill or experience. One of his trademark themes is the development of a greater appreciation regarding the quality and direction of light in order to create images with a three dimensional appearance. His large base of repeat customers serves as a testimonial to the fact that he inspires workshop participants and meets the needs of clients at any skill level. Each of the two trips I attended provided wonderful wildlife encounters with memories (and photos) that I will cherish forever. Chas is a world-class photographer who displays the relaxed and fun-loving personality of an old friend. I eagerly anticipate signing-on for another trip in the coming year.
Oh my gosh, where do I begin? It is phenomenal the wealth of information Chas possesses and shares at his workshops. It’s true; the man is as nice as they say. Not once was he impatient with any of us for asking the same question two or three times. I have struggled the last two or so years with my photography. I love photography, knew it had to be easier than I was making it. I read the books, manuals and asked questions of friends, but still I struggled. The problem, I wasn’t getting my information from the correct sources. I now use what Chas taught me both in field and indoors. And it works! As my first photography workshop, I thought the tech stuff was the way to go (STL Technical Workshop Series in Venice, Florida). I’m so glad I did! You don’t have to be a beginner either to benefit from Chas’ tech workshops. There were others there with more skill and experience than I was. Chas somehow can explain beginning and advance techniques all without making you feel left out or overwhelmed. The workshop was written up as a 9-5 but he was available at 7 for a morning shoot even if it rained. When five o’clock rolled around, we kept shooting until the sun was well past the horizon. We had as much time in the classroom as we did in the field; I never thought he would cover as much information as he did. We were also given a written packet of information to augment our learning experience (which is good since I am not one to take a lot of notes). I now achieve consistent exposure along with a better composition and he has taken the mystery out of flash. When it comes to image processing with software, his talent continues there as well. Also, I would like to note that in a male dominated field I was concerned I would be the only female at the workshops. Not true; it was 50-50, but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway since everyone was so nice. There were other photographers at the rookery that also knew Chas; one evening we all got together for dinner. I enjoyed meeting them and listening to their stories. The workshop was a great experience: the participants, the other photographers and all the learning. Chas is a unique individual and an excellent teacher, and it shows in the company he keeps.
See you again, Chas. Kate Montague
Although I had considered myself a proficient photographer I decided to join one of Chas’ workshops to a location that I knew that I’d never be able to reach on my own, Churchill, Manitoba. The participants and Chas met at the gate in the Winnipeg airport and as the saying goes, “hilarity ensued”. I don’t know that I’ve ever been so fortunate as to have had a group of talented and mutually supportive photographers with little if any ego. Chas set the tone as an ever-present mentor forever ready to give appropriate support or specific recommendations about shooting or post processing in any number of different applications. He is truly gifted with the ability to read the needs of both the group and the individual under all conditions. It was an outstanding learning experience and overall good (great) time. My only caution to potential first time participants is that having taken one workshop, you’ll likely sign up for another. I did.
See you in Homer! JB Goessman
Chas Glatzer’s STL De Soto Workshop – A Wrap Up All in all this was the best technical workshop that I have ever attended. I saw an immediate improvement in my shooting technique that translated to improved images both compositionally and technically. The flash and Photoshop instruction were my favorites, but each day’s instruction was invaluable. Besides the expert instruction, Chas’ personable manner made the workshop a pleasurable learning and social environment for all. I did not hear one word of disapproval from any of the participants. Of particular importance to me were all the little tidbits of info Chas told us about marketing your photos. Like his 4x6 business card portfolio and when you shoot a subject, shot a horizontal, a vertical, a tight shot and a wide shot. That makes it more sellable then 20 shots of the birds head moved ever so slightly in each. Chas’ passion for the bears makes me look forward to taking a bear workshop with him in the future. I give a hearty recommendation to anyone considering one of Chas’ workshops.
I have attended numerous workshops over the years. Every one of them taught me something. Some were good for the package deal on the location and setups we were shooting. Some were good on Photoshop. Some were good on photo in the field. My latest one was with Glatzer. Here is a guy who has done nothing but photography all his life. He has been in the studio and he has been in the field. He has had formal training and education. And he truly loves his wildlife and nature. I can tell you that if you want to master exposure and flash using manual mode for complete control (believe it when I say its easier than auto anything-- by a mile) you'll learn it from Chas. You will learn the latest and greatest Photoshop techniques from someone who grew up on it and the digital age. He spends all his time on the student. He gets you asking questions. You will see a lot of his stupendous photography, which he will unselfishly share the insights and techniques that went into creating it (mono y mono if you just ask), with me at least, a picture teaches faster and more thorough, then a lot of words. I met Chas in Florida at about 5:30 in the morning at the Venice rookery. I was light painting a great horned owl in a tree when he pulled up. We introduced and talked. Right off, he applauded my experimenting and supported my efforts. I was impressed with his infectious enthusiasm and boundless energy. Just to be around him brings you more into the photographic realm. You just get into it more. We shot that day, and the next day at Cape Coral with the burrowing owls. So, before any workshops I was learning a lot from this guy. He just sheds information and creativeness---a natural teacher, and an artist.
Paul A Leverington
Chas, I just returned from a workshop. I have to tell you...because you may question yourself sometimes...you are the BEST workshop leader out there!! The workshops I have been on with you have always been at the PEEK season of the "things" we are trying to photograph. You guide people in the field..."wait until you see both heads...wait until it turns its head into the light...check your meter". Believe it or not, that is not always done by other leaders. You have a gift of gab that is funny and interesting during our down time...not in the field when you are trying to photograph. You are a good leader man...you have the GIFT. Why I go with anyone else is beyond me. I have found you and I will be with you as often as I can. I wish I could think of a way to market this skill of yours to other people so they know you are the best. Just keep doing what you are doing.
I recently attended Chas’ STL Technical Series at Ft. De Soto Park. What impressed me immediately was that he has the rare ability to take very complicated subjects, distill them down to just what you need and get you using those concepts to make great shots of your own. I went with the intent just to learn flash techniques and came away with a wealth of information and improvements in my shooting techniques, in addition to mastering my flash. In short just take one of his workshops, you will be amazed at what you learn and how much you will improve your abilities under his instruction.
Jason Hahn www.jasonhahn.com
I recently had the pleasure to participate in a STL Technical Series Workshop with Charles Glatzer in beautiful Brevard, North Carolina. To say it was worth it would be the understatement of the year. Before taking the workshop, I researched most of the top photographer web sites available. There was something about Charles's photography that stood out among the rest. His ability to capture the perfect image was evident in every shot I looked at. So I decided he was the one to go with. I think I was right on. Charles is like a Guru of photography with the demeanor of your best friend. His knowledge of the subject is unlike anything I've ever seen. The man is a walking encyclopedia, yet he is able to break the information down and present it to you in perspective that you are able to grasp and understand very easily. His wit is entertaining. The class size is small. And the area is chocked full of opportunities to capture wonderful images. I highly recommend to all who read this to treat yourself and further your education by enrolling in one of Charles's workshops. I can assure you, you won't be disappointed.
We have just returned to the UK following our workshop in Yellowstone, and one of my first jobs is to send you this e-mail. First of all I would like to thank you for the advice and tuition that you gave me throughout the tour, I have been on four previous tours and it is no exaggeration to say that I learnt more from you in the time we spent together than I gained from the previous four trips. In particular, your tuition on light/exposure, picture composition and animal behavior was superb. You have given me some tools that I can use to significantly improve the quality of my images. I also greatly appreciated the insight you gave me into some of the facilities in Photoshop. During our first discussion when we looking at the lighting and composition of some of your images I realized the huge difference in the quality of images that you produce and the ones that I produce and I was somewhat daunted. However under your guidance I could see the improvement in my images over the 5 days and whilst I still have a way to go, I believe that I have means to continue to improve my photography. Chas it was great fun, thank you. It goes without saying that I am really looking forward to my next trip with you in June. I have also strongly recommended you to one of my photographic friends Regards, Michael