If you enjoy the Abandoned America website, find out more about the books here
Abandoned America: Dismantling the Dream / Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences

Leap of Faith Workshop 3: 2016 Edition

Posted: 21st May 2016

I'm excited to announce the next Leap of Faith Workshop for 2016!

Location: It's a Mystery! (One hour north of Pittsburgh, PA, 3.5 hours west of Harrisburg)
Dates/Times Available:
August 6, 2016 10:30 - 3:00 Spaces Available!
July 9, 2016 10:30-3:00 SOLD OUT
Cost: $150/ea.

The Site: For the third year in a row, I am having a "Leap of Faith" workshop, where you just have to trust me that it is worth it. In 2014 the workshop was at a streetcar graveyard which remains one of my most popular workshop locations, and in 2015 the location was in a high school that had been closed for decades and was about the be renovated. Do not ask me for hints, more specific details on geographic location, etc., as I will not give them - the information here is all you get until you sign up. When you sign up, please be patient, and a confirmation email will be sent within a week with further details. Please keep those details to yourself! Here is what I will tell you:
- There is plenty of room and many areas to explore - you will have no problem filling your time there or having enough space.
- It is a rural area. There is no public transportation anywhere near it. You will need to drive there.
- You can find a variety of subjects here; photographers who enjoy landscapes and sweeping wide angle shots will have plenty to shoot here, but so will people who enjoy small details or abstract, pattern-based shots. It is also a good spot for drone photography or infrared.
- It is not the location of a previously held workshop.
- Sorry, no models!
- The horse(s) will be in an area that isn't a part of the workshop, mainly because we don't want anyone getting kicked, stomped, or bit by them.
- Any other questions? Check the FAQ page to see if they're answered there.

The Workshop: During the workshop I will be on hand to help you get better shots - these environments can be pretty tough to navigate photographically and I encourage you to come with questions. I know some of you are just taking the tour to see the location, and if that's the case we'll stay out of your way and let you do your thing, but we will be on hand to offer individualized instruction for the duration of the event. Learning to use a tripod, what file format to shoot in, how to compose shots better, what ISO, F-Stop, and shutter speed affect, and how to do things like exposure bracketing are very important to your results. Don't feel afraid to ask us even questions that may seem silly to you. We want you to leave with pictures you're proud of.

Safety: You need to be very aware of your safety. I encourage you to always pay attention to your surroundings. A site manager will be on hand and following their directions is critical. If you do not you may be asked to leave the site. You will be asked to sign a waiver before you enter acknowledging that you are entering a potentially unsafe environment and that you will not hold either the owners or myself liable for any harm that may befall you or your equipment. Obviously the first priority on the trip, even before taking great pictures, is making sure that you are safe - but you will need to be the one looking out for that. Please note this environment may have mold and dust that could be problematic for people with allergies or respiratory conditions. Factor that into your decision whether or not to attend. Respirators are recommended.

What to bring:
- respirator/dust mask (recommended)
- for darker areas, flashlights and/or an external flash
- a bottle of water
- sturdy boots that protect your feet
- your tripod
- a fully charged cell phone
- your camera manual if you're unsure how to change settings. I can help you find the information you need in the manual but most cameras have their own ways of accessing features and changing settings and that makes things a lot easier.

By signing up you agree to the following terms: Please make sure you check the email associated with your Paypal account for confirmation/updates! Your Paypal receipt is your confirmation, an email will follow with further details no less than a week prior to the event. You will need to sign a waiver to participate in this event, a sample of which can be found here. By signing up for this workshop you agree not to use information attained before or during the workshop to illegally trespass or set up competing workshops/events at this location. Because of the extremely limited tour spots there are NO REFUNDS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES if you have signed up for the tour except in case of workshop cancellation by Abandoned America. BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF THIS WORKSHOP, THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS. You may give a paid spot in the workshop to someone else if you are unable to attend but admission may not be transferred to another event. There is always a possibility that the workshop may need to be moved to a different date based on severe inclement weather or site manager's limitations. If this is the case notification will be given immediately and a refund will be offered if attendee is unable to make the alternate date. We cannot be held liable for travel, rental, or other costs incurred by attendee in the event of workshop cancellation. We do make every effort to ensure all events run on schedule. All sales are final.

If you have questions or are thinking about signing up, please read the Workshop FAQ Page! Send me a note at admin@abandonedamerica.org if you need to know anything else. If the PayPal link is immediately below this there are still open spots.

August 6, 2016 10:30 - 3:00

July 9, 2016 10:30 - 3:00
SOLD OUT (More dates coming soon...?)


Photo comment By Angela: Highly recommend this workshop. It's an amazing location. Lots of history and many facets to photograph. One of Matt's best...but then again all of his location workshops are the best!

Leave a comment

Your Name
Your Email
Your Comment
No info required here, please press the button below.