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Springtime in Vienna and Budapest

Hello to all my fellow photographers, especially those who enjoy traveling and love photography…which would include all of you! What better combination could there possibly be?

I’m introducing my next “springtime” workshop description so many of you have been asking me about. For those of you that know that besides the workshops I do for organizations, I’ve been conducting my own personal workshops for several years going back to my first one in Prague.

I always try to release my descriptions as soon as possible, since a lot of people that work for corporations need up to a year to get the vacation days they want.

“Springtime in Prague” was in 2011, and a woman (and very good photographer) name Katka with help from her husband Petr (also very good) helped me produce it. Since then, Katka has been involved in my workshops in Tuscany, Portugal, and last Autumn in Provence.

Well Katka is back onboard for my “springtime in Vienna/Budapest workshop” starting next May 31st, 2017.

As a lot of you know, Katka and Petr have been instrumental in making my workshops such a success. Without her amazing knowledge of Europe, organizational skills, and ability to speak several languages, I would not have been able to conduct these memorable workshops.

The history of Vienna dates back to 15 BC when the Romans fortified it to guard against Germanic tribes to the north. People really began living there in 500 BC.

In 1483 Vienna became a cultural center for Arts and Science, and in 1804 during the Napoleonic wars it became the capital of the Austrian empire.

Tour my country says this about Vienna in May: http://www.tourmycountry.com/austria/vienna-in-may.htm

US News/Travel says this about Budapest: http://travel.usnews.com/Budapest_Hungary/When_To_Visit/

So my fellow friends and photographers, here are the places Katka and I have selected for the workshop participants to go to with me and photograph. As most of you know, I will go several days ahead of time with Katka to scout both cities and the locations we’ve picked to go shoot.

The itinerary I’ve written is not in stone and subject to change. Until I check all of the locations out I want to make sure you’re at the best possible location at the best possible time.

The pictures I look at on the Internet could have been taken anytime of the year, and could be years old. Having said that I don’t want to wind up at a location that’s only interesting at other times of the year or ones that are no longer accessible or even exist.

For every location that might not work out, there’s always at least one to replace it. We try to pick places that are well known, and will also support a lot of hungry photographers without them stepping/falling over one another.

So to get things started, here’s a well-known musical piece to get you in the mood:


MAY 31st, Vienna, Austria:

For the traditional “meet and greet”, we’ll meet in the late afternoon in the lobby of our hotel (TBD) for a short walk to a restaurant Katka and I will have chosen.

JUNE 1st:

For those of you that have gotten over any jet lag, we’ll be walking around Vienna’s Historical Center: https://www.google.com/search?q=historical+center+of+vienna,+austria&biw=2560&bih=1225&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj1u52jpYzNAhUISVIKHVOSAOAQsAQINw

At some point in the first morning, we’ll meet and look at five images from everyone that was shot prior to the workshop. It just gives me an idea where each of you are photographically.

Remember that this is not a competition so don’t worry whether your work is on the same level as the others. You can also choose not to show anything at all and just watch, no one will mind; although it’s not necessarily in your best interest.

The afternoon will also be spent in Vienna:

Homburg Castle: https://www.google.com/search?q=historical+center+of+vienna,+austria&biw=2560&bih=1225&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj1u52jpYzNAhUISVIKHVOSAOAQsAQINw#tbm=isch&q=Homburg+castle+vienna%2C+austria

If Katka can make it happen, then we’ll shoot indoors at the Lipizaner School.


It won’t be during one of the actual performances, but even better we might get permission to shoot during the morning exercises.

JUNE 2nd:

Again, depending on the logistics and opening times, we’ll be continuing our shooting in Vienna. We’ll meet sometime after breakfast for the first critique. Here are some of the places I’ll be scooting for photo ops: both at sunrise and sunset:

Schonbrun Palace and outdoor gardens:


Katka and I will also be scouting for any outdoor street markets, and will be looking at the schedules for the many festivals that occur in May.

Vienna Prater could be a great place to shoot the sunset and blue hour. It’s energy, color and lighting will be in sharp contrast to the rest of the city:


For a change of pace, we’ll be looking in to going to the Donnau Insel either at sunrise or sunset:


JUNE 3rd:

The morning will be free for those that want to sleep in, spend time editing their photos, or walking around on your own.

Around ten, we’ll meet for the daily critique followed by lunch. In the afternoon, an excursion out of the city to some villages, wine production, or monastery grounds will be in order. Katka and I will be researching them to determine the best ones to go to.

For those that are interested in taking the afternoon off, there are local Danube River tours such as this one:


JUNE 4th:

This will be a day off to travel (in the morning) to Budapest, Hungary.

Budapest is the capital and largest city in Hungary. It’s the country’s major political, cultural, commercial, and transportation center.

The Mongols pillaged the first settlement in 1241, and the re-established town became one of the centers of Renaissance culture by the 15th century.

Budapest has been cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe with extensive world heritage sites; some of which we will be photographing.

Again, to set your mind right, here’s one of my all time favorite musical pieces:


JUNE 5th:

Depending on the scouting, we’ll be shooting in the morning at the historic Chain Bridge:


After breakfast we’ll meet for the daily review, break for lunch, and continue the critique.

In the afternoon (the time TBD) we head to Fisherman’s Bastion:


Buda Castle hill:


JUNE 6th:

In the morning we’ll spend time at Szechenyi Furdo, one of Katka’s favorite spas. The scout will determine whether we are able to move around freely (without bathing suits) to take photos.

If it is necessary to wear a bathing suit to walk around and shoot, that might be fun to do for something different. Bring your favorite small and lightweight camera for this one. Katka has friends there and will see what she can do.

For those that don’t want to do this, we’ll have an alternative plan.


Aquincum (the history of Budapest began here) will be a good alternative:


After breakfast, the morning critique, for a change of scenery and lunch we may want to go to Holloko, a UNESCO heritages site ninety minutes to the North East. Depending on the time of year (May is before tourist season), it can be a bit touristy, but its charm makes it a worthwhile photo op:


JUNE 7th:

 This is the last day, and we’ll spend it on any location we weren’t able to shoot while in Budapest. If we’ve been able to cover everything Katka and I wanted to show you then we’ll have an extended time for critiques in the morning.

The afternoon will be your time to shoot what you’ve been wanting to but haven’t had time for, edit your photos, relax, shop, and sightseeing.

In the evening we’ll meet in the lobby for my final dinner.

JUNE 8th:

We’ll meet at 10:00AM for the final critique, say our goodbyes and the workshop will officially end at 1:00PM.

As you know, at any time you can venture off on your own if the locations that have been selected for any of the days are ones you’re not interested in seeing. This isn’t boot camp, it’s an opportunity to experience two great historical cities at one of the best times of the year.

For those of you that for one reason or another would rather not participate in the daily reviews, that’s entirely up to you and won’t be a problem. Some people just like to come to see other photo and listen to the critiques.

The price for the workshop will be $1595.00 for photographers, and $500.00 for non-shooters that are spouses, friends, etc. For the photographers this will include the meet and greet, transportation to all the locations too far away to walk or taking the local tram, from Vienna to Budapest, and the final dinner. Non-shooters are always welcome to join us for any of the shoots. They are also considered part of the “meet and greet” and final dinner. Their transportation is also provided in their fee.

Katka and I are working on the hotel and we’ll pick one that’s centrally located and priced for everyone.. As usual, there might be people that want to stay at another hotel close by for budget concerns. That’s not ever a problem, as we always meet in the lobby of where I will be staying when we go out to shoot.

When the hotel is selected, each of you will be responsible for your own reservations. I do this to simplify things since everyone wants a different type of room. Please make your reservation sooner rather than later as these are popular cities, and May is a popular time because it’s not yet tourist season when the rates go way up.

Also, since the workshop is limited to ten photographers, please let me know as soon as you can if you’re interested. You’ll want to secure hotel reservations right away.

I hope you can join Mikki and I for a memorable week, and the opportunity to visit two incredibly beautiful cities that are full of history dating back a very long time; and are actually older than I am.


Here’s what just a very few have to say about my workshops:


Joe Baraban’s workshops are enriching in every way. I have never met someone who is so encouraging, who gives so much personal attention to photographers at every level of expertise, and who makes learning an absolute pleasure.

The workshops are well planned and provide many different settings so there’s always something challenging and fun to shoot. I came home with new inspiration for my own photography and expanded appreciation for the works of others.

It really has made a difference and the lessons I learned will continue to improve my work. Oh, and there’s the camaraderie with other photographers, the great food, the well-chosen accommodations and transportation and the well-planned classroom settings.

What a great way to discover a destination and expand your abilities at the same time.



I thoroughly recommend Sicily (or any city and country) as a destination to do a workshop with Joe. The beautiful light really helps one to understand the use of light in photography. The program was very varied and I specially found the daily analysis of other people’s photographs a real help to improve my own photography. Participating in a workshop also helped me to realize all the things I learned from Joe’s excellent on line courses.



Joe Baraban’s Sicily Photography Workshop was a wonderful and rewarding experience. Joe presents his instruction and critiques in a way that helps you ratchet your skills up a notch or two; he’s very insightful and inspiring. We visited so many interesting locations, that presented great and challenging photo opportunities.

Joe’s logistics preparation and attention to detail was impeccable as were the communications and production staff for the entire workshop.  We were very well taken care of from the first meet and greet to the farewell dinner. Both my wife and I had a lot of fun.

Friends and family have stopped asking me what kind of camera I have. Instead they now comment on the light, or the scene, or the impact of the image.  All thanks to Joe.



This workshop in Sicily was my second workshop with Joe, and like the first one in Paris, provided a wide range of photo scenarios – mountain and coastal villages, markets, urban scenes with many of Sicily’s famous cathedrals and a rich environment for street photography. Joe’s daily critiques helped me to improve my photographic ‘eye’ both at the taking stage and later in evaluating my photos. One of the best workshops I’ve ever taken!



I love ALL of Joe’s classes. I have learned so much from both online classes and the travel workshops. I have to say the travel workshops are the highlight of my photography. I have gone on 2 trips so far with Joe and his wife Mikki. They are so wonderful, pleasant and fun!!! Good people.

I am charmed by the travel workshops since I can learn new photography techniques in locations I have never been. I get a good dose of culture experience, meet new people (locals and from the workshop) and see great places; while eating well.

I love that Joe has everything planned out to perfection and yet it is all so flexible. The hotels and places we visit have been well thought and are top-notch without being stuffy. The price is nominal for such a well-organized international trip.

I always say to myself this is the trip of my life. I hope to do 100 more!

I just can’t say enough about the workshops; it’s priceless.



I recommend Joe’s photo workshops for all to improve photographic skills, and also have a great travel experience.

The on-line classes are optional but practical.  The in-person workshops are extraordinary.  I am looking forward to my fourth workshop with Joe. In these workshops, great places are seen in a different light, and from a new perspective.   Joe works with local artists to find off-the-beaten-track, visually interesting locales.   Great photography – but also, a great travel experience!

The groups are small in size so everyone gets individual attention and advice tuned to their skill level.  The experience is collegial.  I appreciate the skills found within the travel group – some are Joe regulars – so there are many ways to listen, watch and learn.

My wife, starting as travel tagalong ignited an interest in photography – and is now also a participant- Ok, and now we talk the same photo language and I am learning from her!

Joe’s style?  – well, it is just fun!  Whatever you run into on your photo journey, Joe will help you find a new way to see it and take it to the next level  – to go beyond taking a picture to “make a picture”.

John Butler


I’ve had a great time in Sicily and finally got over the Hump The workshop was very much appreciated, thank you.

It’s true that my work has changed. I have not shot much since my Prague Workshop with you, but photography is always on my mind and your words on the final day of that workshop has changed my way of seeing. You said, “Find the light and you’ll find the shot”. It’s true.

I now see light in a way I didn’t back then. I didn’t realize how much my work has changed until you told me in Palermo. Thank you for letting me know, and thanks again.



I recently returned from a workshop with Joe in Sicily.  I’ve lost count of how many workshops I’ve been on with Joe, but I think this might have been the eighth workshop!  Why do I keep returning, you might ask. The answer is very clear. Joe is absolutely the best instructor I have had, and that’s saying a lot. Besides years of being a commercial photographer, Joe’s greatest passion is in teaching photography and seeing his students “move up a notch”.

Joe’s workshop format is the perfect combination of shooting, hands-on instruction in the field, and invaluable critiquing in a classroom setting. Joe’s workshops are always very well organized and executed.  I look forward to joining Joe on still more workshops in the future.



I attended Joe’s Paris workshop and received a lot of valuable information in less than a week.

Joe’s workshops begin with a meet and greet where participants and spouses/guests are able to meet all other attendees in an informal setting with food and wine.

Usually, each day starts before dawn with an air-conditioned private bus trip to a pre-scouted shooting location.  Joe gives suggestions for shooting before and during each shoot.  And, Joe moves around to each participant during the shoots and gives “hands-on” tips and suggestions that are wonderful and very instructive.

During each day, usually between 10 AM and 2 PM, Joe conducts an instructive session where each participant presents 6 photos that were taken the day before.  Other participants are able to comment on the photos, along with Joe who gives instructive criticism.

I have not attended many formal workshops and I was happy that the comments of the other class participants and those of Joe were very helpful and allowed each participant to get real feedback, very soon after shooting.  I can truly say that the workshop immediately helped me, and I believe that my photos have much improved.  It was a wonderful experience to make me a better photographer and it gave me a chance to meet other interested photographers.

John B


I have been on many of Joe’s workshops as a non-shooter with my wife. We have gone to Cuba, Sicily, Provence, and Napa/Sonoma. Spouses are always welcome, and even though I don’t carry a camera, the workshops gives me the opportunity to see parts of the world through photographer’s eyes, and locations I would never see on my own.

The trips are well organized, and Joe always scouts the locations in advance of the start of the workshop. Joe makes everyone comfortable, even us non-photographers, and I always look forward to meeting everyone for dinner after the day is done.


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