July 22, 2012

recap: photography workshop – Amsterdam, Netherlands (2012)

With my daughter, Janine, done with high school and ready to enter university, I thought it might be a great time for a kind of road trip for the two of us. One last time to hang out together before she leaves the house. There was just this small window now in July where both our schedules were open.

When I was in Amsterdam in 1986, I really liked the culture and the laid-back nature of the people here. Of course, it also helped that in being an Afrikaans-speaking South African, I could understand Dutch fairly well. And besides, the Dutch all speak English fluently. So on short notice, I decided a trip to Amsterdam might be a fascinating place for Janine and I to explore for a few days, and let her discover another culture.

With that, I thought it would be a good opportunity to announce a workshop in Amsterdam, since I’ve had several enquiries from The Netherlands and neighboring countries. I was quite thrilled that this workshop today was nearly sold out, even though I did announce it on fairly short notice.

I would like to thank everyone who attended, and especially who came as far afield as the UK and Belgium and France and Switzerland. A big thank you to our models, and to Frank Doorhof who helped me with suggestions about the workshop. It was a  good day, and part of an overall great experience here in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam – a short travelogue, shot and edited on the iPad 3


photography workshops


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{ 18 comments. } Add a Comment

1 Jean-Paul June 9, 2012 at 8:49 am

Very nice, Neil! I am looking forward to a great day of learning & fun. Nice to meet you in Holland!


2 Annelies te Selle June 10, 2012 at 5:51 am

Woohoo.. I just made the registration & payment… Very excited to attend your workshop. Can’t wait!


3 Kris Van de Vijver June 22, 2012 at 3:00 am

I’m looking forward to it as well … cool!


4 Erik Bastiaans July 13, 2012 at 5:50 pm

I’m really looking forward to this workshop, can you give an update already on how what, where exactly?



5 Will Smith July 23, 2012 at 1:35 am

Neil what about a workshop in South Africa?


6 Anette Scheepers July 23, 2012 at 5:16 am

Afrikaans sprekend??? Wat ‘n aangename verrassing. Neil, jy’t sopas my dag gemaak!


7 Annelies te Selle July 23, 2012 at 7:29 am

It was great!!! Thanks again for the very pleasant & informative workshop!
Enjoy your last day in Amsterdam..


8 Michael Fisher July 23, 2012 at 10:03 am

Neil, it looks like you are using the Radio Poppers with their little cradle. Are you using them for Nikon or Canon? Are you getting many misfires?


9 Neil vN July 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm

The RadioPoppers are far more reliable than the PocketWizard TT5 units in a multi-shooter workshop environment. Once the RPs are properly connected, they work very well. I do occasionally have to reset someone’s RP transmitter.

The beauty of the RadioPoppers are that you can set them up to work with either Nikon or Canon, by changing the settings.


10 Angelo July 23, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Hi Neil

Stop ducking and weaving a trip to AUSTRALIA.
When will we see you in the land of OZ.
Come on all us Aussies, let’s voice our say,, or maybe even intimidate him to visit our shores.
Let’s make him an offer he can’t refuse.
The more comments in this tangent, may persuade him :-)
PS: Neil, I hope you have read and understood. LOL




11 Neil vN July 24, 2012 at 3:57 am

The cost of hosting the workshops elsewhere than New York / New Jersey, are incredibly high. Airplane flight, taxis, hotel, venue, catering, models. It adds up. The moment I have to fly somewhere, I need to sell one workshops out completely to cover most of my costs. Not even all my costs, but most.

In other words,
– I need to sell out two workshops before I can run it as an actual business that pay for my living expenses, or
– there must be an ulterior motive for me (like in the case of Amsterdam), to do a workshop elsewhere than New York.


12 Joe Leong July 24, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I loved the Netherlands. Each city has a character of their own. People and culture : fantastic.


13 David Bell July 25, 2012 at 4:41 am

Thanks very much Neil for a fantastic workshop. After reading both your books and being a regular website visitor, it was great to experience it first hand. I can highly recommend Neil’s workshops to anyone considering attending one of them!


14 Erik Bastiaans July 25, 2012 at 10:13 am

It was nice to put all the information and knowledge to practice. I learned that getting good results is following the concept and pay good attention to the details. All with all it comes back to the same thing every time. It is so great if everything comes together and you are able to produce good results every time. It was also great to see the process of how you take pictures of the models. Due to your information and your workshop I can take pictures now I never was able to do before. Not that it is really complicated, but just I was not aware of how light works. With all the information you provided, I not only can exercise what you learned, but I also can explain what I am doing. But most of all I would like to thank the models. Their patience and professional attitude made this a very inspiring and worthwhile experience.

So I would like to thank everybody for this fantastic day.


15 Ujwal Bhattarai July 27, 2012 at 6:12 am

Hi Neil,

We would love to attend your workshops in Australia. One more vote for Australia.

I am sure selling out 3 or 4 or even more workshops of 10 people should not be an issue in Sydney or any other capital cities down under.

Cheers from Sydney.


16 Michael July 31, 2012 at 11:24 am

Hi Neil

I understand your point about the costs.

Just a suggestion : Paris the city of light and romance. You need to see this city and in the same time you can organize workshops :).

Many of us do speak english in France.



17 Alpheus December 7, 2012 at 5:14 am

Hello Neil,

What monopods do you use to hold your speedlights? I have been searching all over the web, and haven’t found anything to my taste yet.



18 Neil vN December 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm

I use the Manfrotto 680B monopod, but there are other monopods which might be slightly lighter.

Then I also use a stud to attach the softbox to the monopod.


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