Tim Flach & Karl Taylor Photography Workshop: A Visual Journey

World-renowned animal and fine art photographer Tim Flach will once again be joining Karl Taylor for their highly successful ‘A Visual Journey’ photography workshop, where they will be exploring the science behind our visual system and revealing how, by understanding and applying these concepts, you can take your photography to a whole new level.

This exclusive four-day workshop, hosted from 31st March to 1st April 2020 at Taylor’s state of the art studio in the picturesque island of Guernsey, will feature a powerful combination of theory, practical and Photoshop sessions that will change the way you see (quite literally).

Guests will have an opportunity to observe or participate in four different photo shoots as well as follow along with interactive retouching demonstrations, working on images captured throughout the workshop. In addition, Flach, author of five best-selling books, will share valuable insight into how to publish your work, whether it be in the form of a printed book or exhibition.

Tim Flach exhibition
Tim Flach has published five successful books and successfully hosted a number of exhibitions around the world.

Flach will undertake an equine and alternative animal shoot as well as (for the first time) reveal his post-production techniques on some of his most iconic images. Taylor will also take participants through two advertising style product shoots and a beauty shoot where he will employ his exquisite control of light. Following this, Taylor will also reveal his best practise techniques for retouching.

The workshop will culminate on day four with portfolio reviews, a truly unique and valuable opportunity for any photographer. Flach and Taylor will both provide professional feedback on guests’ images, offering constructive advice and useful tips.

Accommodation with breakfast included is provided at a beautiful nearby country hotel as well as transport to and from the venue each day. Guests will be welcomed to an all-expenses-paid dinner with Flach, Taylor and the rest of the team on the second evening at one of Guernsey’s famous harbour restaurants, providing a wonderful opportunity to network and socialise at this prestigious event.
    Karl Taylor Product Image
    The human eye has the ability to differentiate between approximately 10 million different colors.

    Flach and Taylor are both industry leaders in their respective genres and are renowned for their ability to seamlessly combine light and color in the most aesthetically pleasing ways. Although they work with vastly different subjects, there is one particular technique they both employ in all of their images:  the science of human visual perception.

    The human eye consists of cone cells and rod cells, but our vision works through what you might call ‘two visual systems’, each with its own characteristics of perception. With the ability to differentiate between approximately 10 million different colors our eyes react very differently to each of them, depending on factors such as contrast, luminosity and opposing hues. The science behind this has led Flach, and more recently Taylor, to create images that apply this knowledge and thus deliver more impactful and engaging imagery.

      Monet’s Impression: Sunrise
      In Monet’s Impression: Sunrise our eyes perceive color differently, depending on factors such as contrast, luminosity and opposing hues.
      Monet’s Impression: Sunrise
      When converted to black and white the sun in Monet’s Impression: Sunrise is no brighter than the surrounding sky.
      Aivazovsky’s Ninth Wave
      We perceive the breaking wave in Aivazovsky’s Ninth Wave as brighter where the light shines through the water compared to the white breaker.
      Aivazovsky’s Ninth Wave
      Here we see the wave, in fact when converted to black and white, is darker than the crest.

      Upon initial inspection, one may be forgiven for thinking the sun in Monet’s Impression: Sunrise is the brightest part of the image. However, in reality it is no brighter than the surrounding sky. Similarly, one might say the breaking wave in Aivazovsky’s Ninth Wave is brighter where the light shines through the water compared to the white breaker. Again, this is not the case.

      The image below is another example of how our brains make predictions and assumptions rather than processing the visual reality. In the first image the top square looks far darker than the lower one. However, when we remove the surrounding area the two blocks are actually the exact same. So why is it that we perceive these differences?

        Cube image
        Blocks from cube image
        Here we see a classic example of prediction - our brain predicts what it should be seeing in order to save processing power.

        In order to fully understand how we perceive color, it is necessary that we understand the science behind the human visual system. Flach and Taylor will be exploring examples such as this, examining famous photographers and artists work, breaking them down to understand why they are so effective.

        They will then be applying these various concepts to their practical demonstrations throughout the course of the workshop, providing clear and relatable examples of why understanding human visual perception is imperative to their own photography.

          Understanding vision

            Color adaptation
            Color adaptation

            The above images demonstrate color adaptation. Although the two circles are the exact same in both pictures, the top circle in the left picture appears less yellow than the bottom circle. The cells that are sensitive to colour become excited and fatigued, slightly suppressing the visual spectrum you’ve been staring at and thus enhancing the opposing (complementary) colour. In this case blue versus yellow.

            For the photographer this means complimentary colours are especially dynamic as they play off of one another’s intensity as demonstrated in Karl’s exploding paint image as seen earlier in this post. Your eye wants to see that explosive pop of orange against the deep blue since they simultaneously stimulate different parts of the eye.

            In addition colours with equal luminosity values can enhance three-dimensionality and Flach and Taylor also use this and other depth perception techniques to enhance their imagery, making it feel more hyper-realistic but without the need for unnatural post processing effects.

                Lilac chaser

                The above illusion, also known as the Lilac Chaser, is a well known illusion. The moving gap we see is caused by perceived motion, caused by a succession of still images. This is known as phi phenomenon. The moving gap is then replaced by a green disk due to the science of complimentary colors. When the retina is stimulated with a certain color, the cones of the eye react to a loss of stimulus by activating the complimentary color. In this case, the disappearance of the magenta disk means our eye replace that space with the opposite color - in this case green, despite there not actually being any green present in the image. The disappearance of the magenta disks, which occurs when you focus on the centre target, is due to the low contrast of the image - because there is nothing to stimulate the eye, the magenta disks appear to disappear but the green remains. This is known as Troxler's fading.

                    Once we understand how and why we perceive particular colors, contrast and luminosity values it allows us to take our image creation a huge step further. This, essentially, is the difference between taking or making a photo.

                    Along with further in-depth sessions on the emotive qualities of lighting styles, exploring narrative and the importance of depth perception this workshop will provide you with a skill-set that has never been offered before.

                    With limited spaces available, the workshop guarantees the highest calibre of tuition and exclusive opportunities to watch and learn first-hand from two of the industry’s leaders. The workshop will be limited to just 16 places, with the first 10 early bird bookings available for £3875, (with spaces thereafter priced at £4260) To avoid disappointment, secure your booking here.

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                        Workshop Highlights:

                        • Venue: Karl Taylor’s 4000 sq ft fully equipped studio located in the beautiful island of Guernsey 
                        • Horse and alternative animal photo shoot with world-renowned photographer Tim Flach
                        • Product, Advertising and Beauty shoots with lighting expert Karl Taylor
                        • Post production techniques with Tim Flach and Karl Taylor
                        • Complex theoretical ideas explained clearly
                        • Practical and theory demonstrations on lighting
                        • Portfolio reviews
                        • Social and networking opportunities
                        • Publishing and fine art exhibiting explained by Tim Flach
                        • Hotel accommodation with breakfast and lunch included
                        • One evening dinner with Tim Flach and Karl Taylor and team
                          Tim Flach animal portraits
                          © Tim Flach


                          1. Hi Karl! Wondering if you will ever have a course on these types of things available on your website. I would LOVE to learn more about the perception science and how that informs our artistry as photographers.

                            1. Hi, it’s unlikely as we reserve this information for the workshop as it is 4 days of detailed presentations and practical examples that are harder to contain in a video and half of the information is from my colleague Tim Flach that I’m not at liberty to release. We may run the workshop again in the future at some point but Covid de-railed it on our second workshop and we’ve been so busy since that we haven’t had a chance to fit it in again.

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