X-Peditions: Strobist Location Workshops with David Hobby


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Join David Hobby from the Strobist.com on a X-Pedition to discover fascinating cities - photographing, exploring, making new friends, eating new foods—stepping outside of the boundaries of your normal life—is a catalyst for significant growth.

  • Date: To Be Announced
  • Destination: Tentative: Hanoi, Marrakech, Dubai
  • Genre: Travel, Lighting, Street
  • Skill Levels: All Skills Levels
  • Group Size: Max. 12

Workshop Details

X-Peditions are small, private photo workshops in some of the most world's most interesting cities.

At their core, they are about learning how to travel and think more like a photojournalist.

Over the course of a week, you'll grow both more observant and more technically proficient as a photographer.

But just as important, you also reserve the time for you to simply soak up a city, existing more as traveler than as tourist.

The latter is important to help feed the former. Striking that conscious balance makes you a better traveling companion for future trips with family or friends.

Chasing the Light

When the light is great, you'll be out shooting.

Because that's when the best pictures are most likely to happen. You'll learn how to tweak and exploit the beautiful light at the edges of the day.

You'll learn to approach your composition more three-dimensionally.

You'll discover the value of patience, waiting for that extra layer to coalesce within your frame. You'll learn to hope for bad weather.

In daily discussions you'll work through those subjects and more, when the sun is high in the sky.

Then you'll apply them when the light is right.

Nighttime (when you're not out shooting, at least) is for dinner, drinks, edits, and sharing photos from the day.

David Hobby's approach is that of a group of photojournalists, working for different publications, all on assignment in the same city.

David Hobby travel picture

Growing into a Traveling Photographer

As you progress through the week, you'll grow to think of yourself less as a tourist and more as a traveling photographer.

You'll also talk about different ways to approach your photography within the context of your other strengths—i.e., photography not as an end to itself but as a catalyst for other things.

In locations where it is practical, you'll even spend one or two days in a small-class lighting bootcamp. (Cuba, one of the planned destinations, does not allow the import of radio triggers. So you skew more towards photojournalism for that week.)

You'll get plenty of time to explore the city individually, or along with a fellow traveler if you prefer.

You'll gain the confidence to choose from a much larger selection of possible future destinations.

Just like lighting, traveling off the beaten path can sometimes be intimidating only because you have not yet tried it. 

For that reason, the selected destinations are designed to expand your horizons.

To take you somewhere where the culture, or economic structure, or primary religion might be very different than in your home country.

That is how you grow. 

And because you are a photographer, you'll come back with not only new friends and memories but also photographs that will always evoke a meaningful week in your life.

Starting the Lighting Revolution

Twelve years ago, David Hobby began Strobist to help dispel the notion that lighting was intimidating, complicated or expensive.

Because lighting is something that anyone can easily learn how to do. Lighting also unlocks amazing new worlds that photographers can explore to evolve and grow.

Just as there has always been a perception/reality gap with lighting, there is for some people a similar gap with travel.

Yes, many people already visit well-trodden destinations like New York, London or Paris. But places like that can be surprisingly expensive.

And because of their popularity, they are also increasingly homogenous experiences; another box to tick for the traveling horde.

Approached more thoughtfully, travel can be both less expensive and more rewarding.

For all of his adult life David Hobby have been a traveler: for 20 years as a photojournalist, for another 12 as an educator. And all the while traveling with wife and family as a curious tourist.

During that time David Hobby has also encouraged some of his fellow photographer friends to join his in going to places they otherwise might not have visited. He has watched them grow from typical travelers into photographers who would be comfortable being dropped almost anywhere in the world.

Streamlining the Approach

You'll be encouraged to learn to travel both with less photo gear and less baggage. Every possession is a burden, and nowhere is that more true than when you're on the road.

The name X-Peditions is a nod to Fuji's X-cameras, for which David Hobby ditched his heavy DSLRs years ago. You don't have to shoot Fuji, of course.

But you will encourage you to travel lightly; to aim for an experience with more purpose and less stuff.

Speaking of baggage, would you be comfortable heading to a remote city for a month with only a carry-on for both your photo gear and clothing?

If not, this experience can help you get there.

Joining the X-Pedition

X-Peditions is a small-scale and very personal project that David Hobby have been saving for the time when his children are off to college. For that reason, over the next two years, he'll progress from one city to four.

X-Peditions travel in the winter, to warmer climes. They'll be in Havana (already filled) for winter '17/'18. To that David plans to add Hanoi in winter '18/'19, and then add Marrakech and Dubai for winter '19/'20.

Because these workshops are put on privately, without embedded marketing expenses, you get strong value for dollar.

X-Peditions also offer the flexibility (both financial and geographic) of flying with the group or meeting them onsite.

The workshops will not necessarily be announced on Strobist. There are limited spaces (12 people per trip) and they'll likely be filled with those who have previously expressed an interest in being notified when new trips are being planned.

If you'd like to be included on this notification list (trips are announced 6-8 months in advance) please click on the "Get Notified" button below to submit your name and email to David Hobby.

The list is only used for this purpose, and your info won't be shared. You won't be obligated to anything. You'll simply receive a heads-up when a workshop is being planned and/or open for registration. 

David hopes to see you soon, someplace really cool!