Just before New Years I had the opportunity to take part in a Landscape Photography workshop at Stowe. It was offered as a resort amenity during the holiday week but it was also possible for local residents to take part as well. The fee was really quite minimal for a workshop lasting the better part of a day, especially as it included two meals at one of the resort's rather plush restaurants. The course was instructed by Brian Mohr and Emily Johnson of Ember Photography, two dedicated outdoor photographers; their work has been featured in various outdoor related magazines and in catalogs for various gear manufacturers.
December 30th, the day of the workshop, was marked by a cold front coming through with a little snow, falling temperatures, and howling winds; not the most pleasant conditions to be wandering around the tundra-like fairways of a golf course. One of the lessons of the workshop was how to handle a camera in less than optimal conditions and that a modern DSLR is a pretty rugged device that does not need to be treated too gently.
It was heartening to observe professional photographers at work who had a very minimalistic approach to gear. Most of their work is shot with one workhorse 24 x 70 mm lens and under most conditions they do not use accessories like lens hoods, filters, tripods, etc. I have found that reading photography forums to be quite demoralizing because there are many proponents of buying a specific lens (often quite costly) for a specific use and other lenses for other applications.... commodity fetishism. I, on the other hand, try to make do with what I have most of the time.
Some examples of my very prosaic images from the workshop are posted here.