Magic Words

No, your eyes do not deceive you.

Wait (rubbing eyes)….oh, good…my eyes do not deceive me, either.

I’m going to Santa Fe this October to take a National Geographic photography workshop from Ralph Lee Hopkins!

Who is Ralph Lee Hopkins?  He’s a cool sounding dude!  He calls Santa Fe home.  He’s photographed for National Geographic for 25 years.  He’s a hiker.  And a geologist.

And his work?

Looks something like this:

Go ahead.  Click it.  Take a look.  You know you want to.  You know I want you to.


I think I can learn a few things from Ralph Lee Hopkins.  Just a few.  Pop my head open and dump in the knowledge!

How did this happen?

Well, I was considering attending a photography conference in Seattle in October.  But, it just didn’t feel right.  I found myself trying to fit into the conference because it was conveniently close.  However, most of the classes were about photographing people (primarily families..babies…children) or putting together a business that involves photographing families…babies…and children.  Not my cup of tea.

So, I began looking at other opportunities.  And remembered National Geographic, which my sister-in-law mentioned to me a number of months ago as a workshop type that might interest me.  Obviously, I wasn’t looking to travel overseas.


Well, you’ve met the husband, right?  Perhaps not met, but you’ve gotten to know him through the blog.  We tend to travel together.  Because we like each other.  And we like to travel together.  I don’t think I’d want to go overseas without him.

Two workshops caught my eye:  San Francisco and Santa Fe.  San Fran sounded interesting, but it was all in-city.  Meh…not looking to develop cityscape chops.  Santa Fe, however…that’s a different story.  Lots of outdoor space in Santa Fe, and the 4-day workshop is designed around that.  The husband and I have also traveled to the Southwest a couple of times in recent years and are quite taken with it.  In fact, when we were in Taos last year we told ourselves that we needed to check out Santa Fe sometime.

I’m checking it out!

Now, the decision-making process was not an easy one.  It means the husband and I won’t be traveling together this fall.  It means delaying a project we were considering for the summer.  It means the husband and I won’t be traveling together this fall (honestly, that was the hardest part of the decision-making process to make).


I’m going to Santa Fe for a photography workshop!!!

What do I hope to learn?


Well, maybe not everything.  As much as possible.  I’ve been operating in manual mode for approximately one year.  I feel like I’ve come a long way, but have so much more to learn that it’s hard to assess, looking at my photos, what kind of improvement I’ve made along the way.  In talking with Anne at National Geographic it sounds like it’s a perfect time for this workshop…I know enough to be dangerous but am still a sponge.  I want to know about light…and composition…and how to be thoughtful instead of taking too many photos in hopes of getting a few that are decent.

And I get to learn stuff like that in Santa Fe!  From a National Geographic guy!  Whoo-hoo!





10 thoughts on “Magic Words

  1. That’s fabulous! Congratulations. His photos are eye-popping gorgeous. You are a lucky Lanae. The husband might fit in your luggage, but eh, probably not a carry-on. You would have to pay to check him.


    1. I am very lucky! We’d just pay for him to go, but I’m going to be in the workshop all day, so he’s going to stay home with the large orange cat.


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