Jim & Magrit have intimate understanding of the most incredible vistas and spots to photograph in Tuscany. They take the time and have the willingness to share their knowledge and passion for the land, food, people and photography. Both helped me to see and begin to understand the art of photography. I improved my camera technique, including how to work with it and use it with increasing skill and comfort. This is a very action-packed trip and the reward is seeing and enjoying the Italian people in shops and villages, the amazing hilltop cities, sharing laughter, meals, and knowledge with my new fellow photographer friends. I would do this again in a heartbeat.
I have long admired the work of Jim Nilsen, so when I learned he was offering photo travel workshops I could not wait to participate. I have done plenty of “workshops” for photography, but nothing that combined travel and photography to this degree. Why not learn in a beautiful setting?
I could not have been happier with the pre-scouted locations Jim took us to. They were always breathtaking. The spontaneous spots we found were magical. The fact that Jim and Magrit had pre-scouted our locations, down to when the light would be right for them, enabled the participants to concentrate on their photography. Since I work full time, it was pure bliss for me to have that much time to immerse myself in photography without the hassle of trying to negotiate getting to the locations.
While we had an itinerary, it was flexible enough to allow us to do some spontaneous shooting when the light changed or we saw something worthy of investigation. We also had time for casual lunches and conversation.
Jim has a patient, laid back teaching style that worked great in a setting where people had different skill levels. I felt comfortable asking for help when I needed it and was happy to simply talk through and collaborate on shots with both Magrit and Jim. Magrit has an excellent eye for composition and can sometimes help you work out a problem shot. There were few formal ‘lectures’, but the on-location learning was reinforced daily and served to build good habits that I will continue to apply in the future. I do think people with some experience shooting, who are comfortable with their cameras, will benefit most from this type of experience. Learn the basics somewhere else. Use this workshop to explore your interpretation of what you see.
That’s just the workshop. The rest was magnificent – from the accommodations to the food to the good company. It was a trip of a lifetime.
But the best part is this – once I got home and starting editing my images I was amazed that I could literally see the improvement in my work – day by day. I knew I had learned what I set out to learn and had improved, but the evidence is right there in front of me.
Thank you Jim & Magrit! I wish I could go on every tour with you!
Our Tuscany photo tour was a great experience thanks to Jim and Magrit. Our accommodations in Pisa and Pienza were top notch and the restaurants where we ate had wonderful food and wine at reasonable prices.Best of all was the photography. Jim and Magrit seemed to have scouted every road in Tuscany in order to identify the most beautiful sites, as well as the best time to capture the ideal light. Jim is exceptionally knowledgeable and was able to provide individualized instruction to experienced photographers as well as to novices in terms that each participant could readily understand. We hope to travel to Europe again with Jim and Magrit in the future.
The recent photography tour with Jim Nilsen was easily the best tour I’ve ever been on. The surroundings stoked my creative fire immensely, and Jim and his lovely wife Magrit guided not just the technical aspects of the photography with a steady and encouraging hand, but also kept the itinerary running smoothly and at exactly the right pace. My photography improved by leaps and bounds, and I not only have a few gallery prints I couldn’t have taken before, but also left with fond memories of people, places and experiences I will cherish forever. Jim is a true master of the art and a fantastic teacher. I’ll jump at the chance to attend any workshop Jim and Magrit do in the future.
Jim and Magrit – Thank you so much for a wonderful workshop! I have been captivated by Jim’s photos for years and was quite anxious to learn from him.
The Tuscany trip was amazing! I loved the locations you chose for us, your flexibility at stopping the van whenever one of us became inspired by a scene . . . And the fact that you shot along side us, so we could learn how to see (or capture) the event better! You were both so generous with your time and knowledge. Thank you for that! I learned so much.
You two are an absolute delight to travel with! I will definitely be attending another workshop with you. Thanks again for everything!
Imagine that your friend from high school invited you to a place you’ve dreamed of visiting. It turns out he’s the same agreeable, helpful guy, and now he’s a professional photographer specializing in landscapes.
His wife notices when your gear is set up incorrectly before you do. They anticipate when you’ll get frustrated, fatigued, famished, or thirsty. They wait until you’re ready to accept help, and they always have a favorite restaurant nearby. They carry mental maps of the best places to get a cappuccino. They adjust easily to changes in weather and to individual requests.
Keep your seat belt buckled – Jim will stop whenever anyone spots a shot he wants. They plan for variety: an early morning shoot will be followed by an afternoon of street photography in a medieval or Renaissance hill town. Every flower will be in bloom. I’m convinced the residents paint their bicycles to match the color of flowers in front of their stone homes. Then make your fantasy come true, and sign up for Jim and Magrit’s Bella Primavera Tour of Tuscany.