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Michael Seewald

Fine Arts Photography Workshop

My Christmas present in 1998 from son Matthew was a Photographic Composition Workshop. The two of us traveled about an hour and a half from our home to Del Mar, California. The workshop was scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and was to be limited to 8 participants. Matthew and I are both on Michael's mailing list and we had signed up for the workshop online. Michael, and wife Valerie have a Gallery in the Del Mar Plaza where we'd seen his work on each previous trip to our timeshare in nearby Wave Crest in Del Mar. I had purchased the following signed notecard from the gallery and later, while attending the Del Mar Fair, saw that Michael had won "Best of Show" with the same photograph.


We met the other participants: Bonnie, a physician in Oceanside who had recently been on a life-dream's wild animal safari to Africa, Mark, Frank, Matthew and me. We walked to the Del Mar Plaza from the gallery which is now across the street south of the plaza. We positioned ourselves in the table and chairs on the plaza, overlooking the Pacific. It was shirtsleeve weather and sunny.

Michael took about an hour telling us about his background in photography, an art-photography major in college, and journalism major in San Diego State. He originated the idea of prepaid sponsorships for photos he would take on trips to such places and China, Iceland, and Hawaii. He gets 12 sponsors who pay him $1,200 for a 24 by 30 picture, $1,600 for a 30 x 40, or $2,400 for a 40 x 50. He gives the sponsors their pick of 25 pictures a year after the trip.

We eventually were asked to tell a little about ourselves and our photo education background.

About 11:15 we started the Composition Rules:

We had been told to bring 6 photos each and as we had lunch together, we looked at our photos and cropped them to better apply the points he had mentioned.

Photos by Matthew:


Michael liked this photo Matthew had recently taken at Thanksgiving while in Victoria, Canada, with Sue.

His suggested cropping resulted in the following photo: