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A Photography Lesson at the Ranch

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Recently I posted some photographs of the Ranch from photographer Don Paulson.  While here Don taught some great classes on photography including how to use properly use exposure on your camera, how to shoot in the evening and a q & a session.  I have to say, I’m so glad I was able to attend a couple of his classes because I learned so much about how to properly use my camera.  I’ve been interested in photography for about the last five years or so, pretty much since I started blogging.  I bought the entry-level DSLR Canon Rebel and up until recently used the lens that came with the camera.  Now I use the much, much better 50mm 1.8 (a steal at only $110) and I can’t tell how much nicer my photos have been.  Plus, I can’t stress enough, learning how to properly use your camera is priceless.  I would say it wasn’t until last fall that I had a lesson how my Rebel actually worked such as the ISO, white balance, f-stop, etc.  I definitely don’t feel qualified enough to explain how these tools work, but I can tell you after working with Don, my photos are turning out better than ever.  I learned that a low f-stop allows you to really focus in on one thing (reference the photo above) which is great for when I take food photos.  I learned why shooting in RAW is so important to the look of the finished photo (something I was doing, but I didn’t understand why I was using RAW).

So anyhow, these are some photos I messed around with after my lesson.  The first one we were practicing the rule of thirds, the second I wanted to get a close up of the raindrops on the sculpture and the last two were really just about practicing with the f-stop.  If you love photography and have a chance to come to the Ranch next time Don is here, definitely go to his classes!  It was a great learning experience and Don is very knowledgeable and patient, which I very much appreciated!

You can learn more about Don at his website,

About Kathryn B.

Lover of wellness and blogger for Rancho La Puerta. View all posts by Kathryn B. →
This entry was posted in Art, Presenters and Workshops and tagged , , , , , , .


2 Responses to A Photography Lesson at the Ranch

  1. Jane Ferguson says:

    This May (14-21) will be my third visit to RLP with two daughters and now a cousin. My main disappointment with RLP is that no photography (as a lesson or as a hiking activity) is offered. Photography seems a natural for Rancho. I find the hikes too fast and strenuous, and only have completed one. A slower one stopping for photo-ops would be a great option. On the few hikes I tried to complete I found I was not enjoying the views, scenery – but was just trying to keep up with the person in front of me.

    • Scott D. says:

      Dear Jane,

      We appreciate your feedback. The photography hike is a nice idea and we offer them when we have photography specialist here. In fact, this week we have a photographer here teaching photography and she is leading a hike like the one you mentioned. If you check our website under the events calendar we list the presenters each week, so you could plan a visit when we are featuring photography. We have offered hikes as slower and photography hikes in the past when it is not connected to a specialty week and the attendance has always been low. I find that many of our guests take pictures on the regularly scheduled hikes, especially on Fridays. We put a leader, a middle person and a shepherd on each hike and encourage guests to go at their own pace. The woodlands, Quail and Alex Oaktree hikes all are great moderate hikes the lend themselves to photo ops. I agree with you that the Ranch is a haven for a photographer with so many great shots to be taken. I noted that you mentioned you have only taken one hike here, maybe when you arrive the fitness concierge could make some good hike suggestions to you that would work well for photos.

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