Sask. Tornado hunter putting on photography workshop in Prince Albert

Jodi
Jodi Schellenberg
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He has a passion for photography and would like to share it with others.

Greg Johnson, a photographer and tornado hunter from Regina, will be hosting a photography course in Prince Albert on Fe. 22-23. Submitted photo

Greg Johnson, a tornado hunter and photographer from Regina, will be holding an introduction to photography class in Prince Albert on Feb. 22-23.

“The last time I was in Prince Albert to do one of these workshops in Prince Albert was two years ago,” Johnson said. “It will be a lot of fun and a great weekend.”

Although he is a tornado hunter, Johnson said photography is his first love.

“First and foremost I am a photographer, so that is what I teach,” Johnson said. “It is all about learning the camera.”

In 1995, Johnson moved to Regina from Ontario and “immediately fell in love with prairie thunderstorms and lighting storms and all those types of things.”

His interest in extreme weather led him to learning more about his camera so he could take photos of tornados and thunderstorms.

“Basically I self taught myself about the camera and spent the next 20 years trying to get better at it,” Johnson said. “Now I am teaching others how to use their camera.”

He doesn’t use textbooks or other gimmicks to teach people about photography.

“The whole project is hands on -- there is no lecturing or book theory or anything like that. It is completely 100 per cent hands-on,” Johnson said.

His focus is on understanding the camera first, unlike many photography classes.

“These fancy digital cameras that they sell, there are lots of moving parts and buttons,” Johnson said. “People tend to use them like they are point and shoot cameras because they don’t understand how to use them properly.

“Once you understand how the camera works, you can pretty much make it do anything you want it to do,” he added.

Many people will buy an expensive digital SLR, try reading the manual and then quickly give up, Johnson said. He wanted to help them unleash their inner photographer.

“I think, according to Facebook, the No. 1 hobby in the world is photography and there are a lot of people who are interested and passionate about it,” Johnson said. “The number of people who can translate that into good pictures with a digital SLR camera is very small.”

Johnson’s passion was the extreme weather on the Prairies and gave him the push he needed to learn about his camera.

“The weather is something that appeals to everybody -- It is part of the Canadian experience,” Johnson said. “We all talk about the weather, are affected by the weather, we follow and watch the weather so I think people, no matter where you go or what’s your age, sex, race or religion, people have that connection to weather. They are interested in what I am doing.”

He would like people to combine their other passions with photography to make great art.

“I think by combining those two passions that everybody has can be pretty powerful,” Johnson said. “The other part of it is to be able to capture that on film, bring out their own passion.”

The workshop will also work on different techniques, from portraits to outdoor landscapes, he said.

“We talk about all those types of things but at the end of the day if you understand how the camera works, you can work on any kind of project like that,” Johnson said.

Although he would like to take the class outside, Johnson said if it is cold out they will not have much of an opportunity to practise shooting outside.

“We will do most of it inside, depending on the weather -- the forecast right now looks like it might be gorgeous out that weekend so we may be outside more,” he said.

The weekend will also give people the opportunity to network.

“We are going to be doing a weekend workshop and it is an opportunity for people to connect with others who have a similar interest.”

Those interested in the workshop can register online at www.tornadohunter.ca or by emailing tracylalonde1@gmail.com. The workshop costs $425.

Geographic location: Regina, Sask., Ontario

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