CUSTOM PHOTOGRAPHIC AND PRINT WORKSHOPS : ONE ON ONE
Specificity in vision, idea and purpose is essential to meaningful photography. In the early 20th century, Alfred Stieglitz referred to his own photography as, “…the equivalent of what I saw and felt…” . What he was telegraphing to us in the contemporary moment, is that it is essential for a photographer to marshal authentic feelings and interpretive abilities in order to create more than “…what I saw…”. We can all see things in a similar way with our eyes, but it is through specific method and vision that the photographer conveys the nature of things. This is what makes photography the influential juggernaut that it is, now entering its third century. It takes significant advantage of the emotional role ‘seeing’ occupies in our living experience. At its best, it transposes feeling to sight… sight to feeling. By that definition, if you’re not asking yourself questions while viewing a gallery exhibition, you’re not looking at much in the way of successful photography.
This, in short is the frustration in the all too accessible world of photography; having a camera does not make you a photographer. It just allows you to capture likenesses of what you see. Static filters, software and apps, in and of themselves, are weak substitutes for your own urges and judgement. But the capture is, no doubt, an essential starting place and establishes the architecture for any process that follows. With persistence in refinement of techniques, education and reflection, the camera owner can be transformed into a photographer who can develop the capture into feelings and attitudes in visual form. What I like to call, “Truth Made Visible”. But understand that “Truth” in creative expression, is necessarily subjective and can contain ambiguity and provocative questions... and “Visibility” alone, does not make a photograph. The connection from “Truth” to “Visible” is where the creative photographer's process lives; as with the transition from “cameraman” to authentic “photographer”. Photography cannot be one big click, as we wish. It is actually layers of tissue-paper-thin acts and decisions that are, at it’s best, seamlessly integrated to make a specific and meaningful expression. Both planned factors, combined with a keenness for reading spacial potential, can be combined in a unique way to produce the kind of image that will challenge both authoring photographer and viewer alike.
As a teacher, I espouse specificity in process and expression at all levels. They’re your ideas and feelings; respect and choose the tools for their potential and their limitations, in your own way. I am here to foster that uniqueness by sharing with you the subtlety and plasticity of the tools and techniques, as well as your imagination.
The topics outlined here, are not individual workshop titles or compartmentalized study. They’re suggested topics that certainly, in my experience, have vast connectedness with each other. This is where the “personalized” nature of my teaching becomes more than rhetoric; your and my ability to choose and interconnect topics and willingness to add or subtract on the fly as our educational dialogue evolves.
•] Truth Made Visible (The Nature of The Photographic Act)
•] The Camera-Photographer Relationship (The Camera’s Viewing System Defines the Relationship)
•] Your First Editing Tool: The Frame (It's Not a Zero-sum Game!)
•] Want to Produce More Interesting Photography? (Become a More Interesting Person)
•] Define Your Truth… Then Make it Visual (Shoot Things You Care About)
•] Understanding Where You Are (Otherwise Known as Landscape Photography)
•] Honest Portraits are a Chance Collaboration (Ambiguity is Welcome)
•] Focal Length and Proximity to Subject (Degrees of Abstraction)
•] Camera Formats and Aspect Ratios (Choose Wisely & Appropriately)
•] Camera Exposure (Opening the Door to Interpretive Seeing)
•] Digital vs. Analogue: The False Debate (Two Paradigms With More in Common than You Think)
•] A Flexible and Expandable Approach to Photoshop (Warning: Un-intimidating Content).
•] Cooperating With Your Materials and Tools (Not The Other Way Around)
•] Myths and Truths Regarding The Fine Print (Process & Material Artifacts are OK)
•] Intro to Post Editing (Finding Your Voice in The Pile)
•] Conceptual Portfolio Building (The Sum is Greater than the Parts…but every part counts.)
•] Interpreting Architecture and Interiors (Making 3D into 2D; and back again.)
In terms of workshop structure, it’s best to look at these topics in terms of five major forms of activities: 1] choosing where to be and what to shoot, 2] camera work, 3] editing, 4] image processing and 5] expressive printing. This form will cover most of the selected topic content and more in procedural terms. It also accommodates flexibility in our dialogue which can only enhance our experience. The invisible sixth activity, is repeat and refine the first five until it looks like what you feel.
This natural procession will of course encourage the inclusion of more of these topics. It’s up to you, but I’ll always suggest a next or concurrent topic to adopt…. because there always is one and I’m endeavoring to create an educational relationship that takes you to an authentic place in your creative work.
Ansel Adams said, “…. Remember that a photograph can hold just as much as we put into it, and no one has ever approached the full possibilities of the medium….”
If you are truly interested in the possibilities of this medium, let's set up a time to meet. Bring 10 of your images you consider successful... and 10 you consider unsuccessful, with reasons for each. A critique and discussion over that will point the way to our first topics.
•$150 per hour, with a 2 hour minimum per scheduled meeting.
For our first meeting only, the first half hour is not billed and is considered an orientation and exploration of topics.
•$550 per half day. 4 hours. Time in my studio or in the field.
•$950 per full day. 8 hours. Time in my studio or in the field.
•Multi Day Field trips. Full days that can be built into structured multi day field trips that we can plan together, with special pricing.
•Remote portfolio reviews and ad hoc advice via telephone or email, at $75 per hour, in 1/4 hour increments.
Existing clients receive one un-billed ad hoc advice via telephone or email, as follow up to the most recent meeting or when a future, in person meeting has been booked.
Payment via personal check. Booked meetings equaling or greater than 8 hours, require 50% in advance.