My Eddie Adams Workshop Experience (part 2) – Jason Prupas
We had six hours on Saturday and five on Sunday to complete our stories.
My first day shooting was spent up a tree, deep in the woods, perched on a platform waiting for deer to appear. We had to be very quiet and still which I found very difficult to do. We couldn’t even speak for the six hours and nothing happened. Wi-Fi would have been great.
Tim Hillriedgel, 19, climbs down from a tree stand that he uses to keep himself out of sight when deer hunting in Jeffersonville, New York. Hillriedgel, who primarily hunts primarily with a compound bow, will spend up to 12 hours in a tree waiting for a deer to come within range. (Photo – Jason Prupas)
Unfortunately, I was not able to produce a wide variety of photos because I was confined to one position and not a single animal was in sight. I found out later we never stood a chance since it was a windy day and the deer could smell us from a quarter mile away.
I was a little disappointed that the story was not complete by the end of the day. But you have to work with what you get and make something from it. I learned this very well that day.
Sunday went more smoothly. Cliff Hausner from Profoto joined me at the ranch and helped me light my photos with an off-camera monolight. I used the opportunity to try something a little different since I have not had the chance to use lights like that before.
Tim Hillriedgel stands with the horses he uses to wrestle steer in Jeffersonville, New York. Once a week, Tim travels an hour-and-a-half to train at this remote property in the Catskills to improve his “Bull doggin” skills. (Photo – Jason Prupas)
Initially they didn’t want us coming in close. But shooting with a long lens wasn’t cutting it. Fortunately, Cliff sold them on the idea of us getting in close with a wide-angle lens and they eventually allowed it. This really gave us what we were looking for in terms of photos. That was a great a day and a lot fun.
A friend of Tim’s demonstrates how to properly wrestle a steer. (Photo – Jason Prupas)
The Eddie Adams Workshop schedule is very compact. We spent most of the weekend in lectures, listening to legendary photographers share their wisdom. Portrait master Gregory Heisler, for example, spoke about his thought process behind each portrait. Jodi Cobb talked about her stories for National Geographic Beauty and Slavery. Presenters like John White and Tom Kennedy focused more on how to lead a fulfilling life and how to stay true to your vision.
After the presentations and assignments, we went back to the hotel so we could have our portfolios reviewed. Much like the Advisory Board meetings at Loyalist College, photographers and editors from a wide variety of magazines, newspapers and agencies offered their advice at the “11:30 Club”, aptly titled for its start time.
I got to meet and show my work to people like Michael Heiman from Getty Images, Diana Suryakusuma of Bloomberg Business week, Rodrigo Abd, and Caroline Couig, to name a few. This would go on until about four in the morning which left myself about two or three hours of sleep each night.
To be surrounded by the best in the industry was quite a humbling experience and the camaraderie we all shared is something I will never forget. My team leaders Carolyn Cole, Elissa Curtis, Bob Houlihan and Melanie Mclean gave me a huge amount of support and pointed me in the direction I need to grow as a photographer. For that, I will always be grateful to them and the Eddie Adams Workshop.
(The first part of this article is here.)
Jason Prupas is a culturally ambiguous Canadian photojournalist, based in Toronto, and a worldwide traveller. Some of his travel destinations include the Middle East, Southeast Asia, North Africa, Central America, Europe, and the Caribbean. He is a 2013 graduate of the Loyalist College Photojournalism program in Belleville, Ontario.
Jason’s passion for photojournalism started as a teenager while taking a photography course in high school. The following year, he completed a five-month internship at a Toronto community paper, Inside Toronto. He has also interned at The Windsor Star and Ottawa Citizen. Jason has also worked for such publications as Postmedia, National Post, The Belleville Intelligencer, The Trentonian, and Reuters (Indonesia). In 2011, he travelled to Indonesia, where he worked on a project about Muslim transgendered women living in a predominantly Islamic culture, as well as a project on sulfur miners in Kawa-Ijen, who work in one of the most hostile work environments in the world.