Minardi Photography

The Nikon School

The lights twinkled brightly as we pulled into The Disney Institute in Orlando, Florida to check in for The Nikon School. My wife, Kathy, and I were escorted to a cute modern bungalow directly across the street from the Cinema building where the school would be conducted all day Sunday. Since The Nikon School starts at 8:30 am and runs until after 5:00 pm, we decided to come over from Tampa the day before. The plan was to spend the night and be fresh to take in all that the Nikon course had to offer.

There was time to freshen up from the trip and dine leisurely at Fulton's Crab House riverboat restaurant in the new Downtown Disney. Manager, Michael Heamon personally made sure of everyone's wonderful gourmet experience at this Levy owned restaurant on Pleasure Island.

The next morning at 7:00 am sharp breakfast was delivered to our bungalow. Then off we went excitedly across the street where we met the lovely Ellen Coburn, The Nikon School Administrator, who cheerfully introduced us to the fantastic stars of The Nikon School, Sam Garcia and Bill Durrance.

Sam and Bill have been putting on the present Nikon School for the past six years, and they do a great job! It is quite different from the Nikon School multimedia spectaculars of 20 years ago, but possibly more real and personable. There is so much information packed into one day, and with a super presentation. There were a lot of handouts and free information, down to earth, useful camera and photo tips that even a seasoned pro like myself enjoyed.

Several of the people that I am coaching in photography were in attendance. They soaked up the photography school like little sponges. During the breaks we discussed many of the important points of the lecture. Everyone enjoyed themselves and we learned a lot also. Photography basics were covered in depth as well as new features. Cameras, lenses, flash photography, light, exposure, composition, telephoto, macro, depth of field, shutter speeds, and even films were covered expertly. Time was amply given for questions and answers. Even a great lunch was included for the $99.

Just as the school was concluding, I looked to my right and noticed Jay Maisel, the well known photographer had sat down next to me. I shook his hand whereby he informed me that he was there as a guest Nikon Speaker to give a seminar the next day.

Together we walked to the nearby reception area where he showed me some of his prints that were on display in the lobby. My wife, Kathy, joined us and so did the famous photojournalist, Eddie Adams. What an evening!

I made a present of my USMC hat that I was wearing to Eddie Adams who had also served in the US Marines. At first he acted shy about accepting it, but then remarked that he really liked it. I was sure glad. It made my day.

Also at this Nikon/Disney Institute week long Photography Festival was Frans Lanting, one of the great nature and wildlife photographers of our time. The Festival also included the well known photo colorist, Jill Enfield, and Newsweek photographer, Peter Turnley. Each were giving classes and seminars on their distinct style of photography during the week. The atmosphere there was very informal; and personal attention was paid to all attendees.

Watch for this Festival to happen again soon. Contact Nikon or the Disney Institute about their photography programs.

I personally recommend these types of activities to all persons seriously interested in photography. Hope you get to attend one soon.