You'd have learned a bit about color photography from one of the best wilderness photographers in the United States, Claire Curran.
Claire gave a presentation at night - in a board room - no wine, sorry - and followed up the next day by taking those interested on a 65 mile 4wdr dirt road to some of her secret photographic spots.

If you had been there perhaps your photography would have improved to a point where even you could be called a photographer?

Just because someone posts a lot in a forum on the internet does not in any way make them an expert!

A creative photographer to some extent needs technical skills. However, the central issue, and difficulty in photography - as in any art form - is visual content and ideas. This is learned by doing.

Free workshops act as a catalyst to increase the awareness and excitement about photography.

Specialized workshops such as the one you mentioned - as well as my fee based darkroom workshops - become secondary steps on the ladder to being able to communicate what you see and feel during making the initial exposure.