Tom Gamache Bio:

The Masters Program
Photography Workshops

During the past decade, the Wandering Around Outdoors Photography Workshops have grown in popularity in numerous western locations including: The Santa Monica Mountains NRA, Sequoia NP, Death Valley NP and Mesa Verde NP. Two professional instructors, Tom Gamache of Wandering Around Outdoors and Van Webster of Webster Communications, bring a vast combined wealth of experience to every workshop program.

What is the Masters Program workshop?

Tom and Van have created a special workshop program for photographic artists who want to make compelling landscape images called the “Masters Program”. 

The Masters Program is a concise, easy to follow curriculum that will show you how to use your digital camera (or any camera) to capture both the beauty and complexity of landscape photography. Workshop days are divided between classroom presentations, in-the-field instruction and lively group discussions. Through the study of the great Masters of landscape art, the well-organized Masters Program investigates and explains the consequences of many of the Master’s theories and discoveries as translated into today’s digital photography language. 

During the workshop you will be presented with challenging field assignments derived directly from the classroom demonstrations. We also decipher and demystify the Master’s understanding and use of their creative tools and devices including: light quality, color and temperature, point of view, subject matter and color, shadow, shape, focus, sharpness and more. This Program will help you develop a better understanding of the creative element of outdoor photographic art by demonstrating and explaining, in easy to understand terms, the three central concerns of Landscape Photography.

o How light falls

o How space is organized

o The Recognition Factor, The many different ways of looking at nature

Each Wandering Around Outdoors Photographic Workshop is uniquely customized for its location.   Your are instructed and assisted throughout the workshop by two veteran National Park photographers with extensive experience and credits -  Tom Gamache of Wandering Around Outdoors  and Van Webster of Webster Communication (www.vanwebster.com).

Participants benefit greatly by having two instructors with decades of combined expertise and know how. Together, with their pooled depth of knowledge, Tom and Van offer a unique and stimulating learning experience while doubling the resource for more individualized attention.

Combining both classroom examples and field assignments, “The Master’s Program” is a concise and easy to follow workshop that describes and demonstrates the principles, devices and secrets used for centuries by the world renowned masters of both painted and photographic landscapes. You will be assisted in applying what you learn to your own photographs as the program pays special attention to explaining and demonstrating how to exercise control over your camera (digital and film).  You will learn to capture the beauty and complexity of landscapes just as the Masters did. Short, straightforward video lessons will help you to understand the central artistic concerns of the Master’s - how light falls; how space is organized; the Recognition Factor - the many different ways of looking at nature - and much more. You can then practice in the field these techniques, aided and escorted by the instructors.

In popular workshops for workshops for the University of California at Santa Barbara’s Sedgwick Reserve, Death Valley National Park and the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park, Tom and Van have successfully helped many photographers make important advances in their craft and vision.

Participants will be offered a combination of instructive examples and demonstrations including video presentations, field assignments and constructive critique and discussion of student images. The program is focused from a fine art perspective and is suitable for photographers of all technical levels and all camera formats who want to improve the artistic vision of their work.   Tom and Van create a friendly and easy-going learning experience as they answer your technical camera (digital and film) questions during the ongoing Digital Boot Camp sections of the workshop. They will demonstrate how to use your newly acquired knowledge to select a subject scene and capture it using a range of photographic disciplines and techniques.  Included will be detailed explanation of many art principles, “how-to” camera procedures and “pro secrets”.


What to Expect

Each Wandering Around Outdoors Photographic Workshop is unique.  The beauty of the natural landscape and the dynamics of the weather will influence where and when we work.  Unique to these workshops are the presentations by Tom and Van that will inspire and challenge your artistic vision.

Tom's slide presentation of the history of landscape art from the Greeks and Romans through the Renaissance to the present (with hundreds of examples) is a rich source of artistic inspiration. The visualization devices, with which these artists have observed nature and used in their art, painted and photographed, are described in detail in the classroom as well as demonstrated in the field. Many artistic compositional techniques as well as professional photography secrets are also shared throughout the weekend.

Van presents guidelines to artful composition as well as the use of photographic technology. By asking the question "What am I making a picture of?" students have an opportunity to seriously consider all aspects of their photographic efforts. The arrangement of the elements of a scene into a composition that communicates the artist's vision is demonstrated in slides and in the field. 

Digital photographic post production using tools such as PhotoShop has become an ever increasing part of an artistic photographer's expressive pallet.  While a course in PhotoShop is not within the scope of this short, field workshop, participants will find a wealth of ideas and practical tips for enhancing their own landscape images with digital technology.


Wandering Around Outdoors workshops are lead by two acclaimed professional landscape photographers, Tom Gamache of Wandering Around Outdoors and Van Webster of Webster Communications, who bring a combined experience of many decades to the workshop programs.

The name Tom Gamache has become synonymous with natural and cultural landscape photography of the highest quality. Twenty-five years ago Tom named his company “Wandering Around Outdoors” for good reason.  He began his adventures during the endless summers and eternal winters of his youth by wandering about exploring Nature in the evergreen hills and White Mountains of his native New England.  His present-day photography road-trip wanderings are legend, often covering many thousands of on-the-ground miles monthly discovering and resolving nature’s awe-inspiring effects and conditions in his own artful manner.  He has photographed extensively throughout the country’s public and private lands including more than 100 units of the National Park System.  His images are a delight of color, scale, shape and intimacy.

A recent project is a monograph with the highly regarded western writer Matthew Jaffe. The book is titled “Range on the Edge / The Santa Monica Mountains. It is published by Angel City Press. Tom was also recently commissioned by the Death Valley Natural History Association to create and install a 23-foot by 5-foot panoramic mural of  Death Valley’s own “Mesquite Flat (Stovepipe Wells) Sand Dunes” for the park’s visitor center. Tom’s work continues to be added to the collections of business, civic, public and private collectors.

Van Webster is founder and president of Webster Communications, a full service media production company serving the broadcast, business, and educational communities.  Webster's photographic work focuses on landscape and architectural subjects in California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii.  His early photographic efforts were in the journalism and documentary fields.  Later commercial projects included corporate portraits, studio product, and multimedia slide presentations.  Current production emphasizes video and computer presentations.  Principal clients include major recording labels and distribution companies, trade associations, and financial services companies.

Webster earned a Fine Arts degree at Claremont McKenna College with a Masters in Architectural Design at California State University, San Luis Obispo, CA.  He studied landscape photography under noted architectural photographer Julius Shulman. Webster was a UCLA Arts Extension faculty member and a program chair for over 20 years. 

Webster was a clinician and technical consultant to artists and business in photography, presentations, audio, video, and computer displays. 

He is a member of the Audio Engineering Society, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, the Game Audio Network Guild, and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

The Masters Program Photographic Workshops are a concise learning experience that will show you how to use your digital camera to capture the beauty and complexity of landscape photography based on pictorial imagery from the Masters of landscape art.

Tom Gamache

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