Photography and Art

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Off on a Photo Workshop

Travel is wonderful in three ways: you get that tingling feeling of anticipation as the months pass by and your trip becomes imminent, then you get to actually experience the trip itself and finally, you get to re-live it as you look at your photos or just sit and daydream in the office.

I've been anticipating a min-vacation for months now and the departure date is now close at hand. Back in March, I enrolled in a photo workshop with Alain Briot. The itinerary sounds mouthwatering:

Friday, October 10th, 2008
We will be meet you in Lone Pine, California in the parking lot of the Best Western Motel at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time, which is the same time zone as Las Vegas, NV.

On this first day we will start with a workshop orientation and introduce each other. We will then photograph sunset near Lone Pine.

Saturday, October 11th, 2008
We will rise early to photograph the Sierras at Sunrise. After breakfast, we will start on an all day exploration of the Eastern Sierra . We will photograph such famed locations as Mount Williamson, Mount Whiney and Manzanar, and we will also visit the exact place where Ansel Adams created some of his most famous photographs. You will be able to stand where Adams stood and visualize the difference between the scene as it is and the images that he created. We will end our day at a our chosen location where we will photograph sunset. This will be a day to remember. We will spend Saturday night in Bishop.

Sunday, October 12th, 2008
On Sunday we will focus on photographing the Bristlecone Pines near to Bishop. We will spend all day exploring the mountain and the groves where they are located. Sunday will also be print review day. Make sure to bring 4 to 6 prints of your work, 8x10 or larger. Our print reviews are comprehensive and friendly, lasting from 20 to 30 minutes per person. The print review provides a superb opportunity to ask any and all questions about your work. It is also a wonderful opportunity to get feedback on your work, not only from Natalie and I but also from other workshop participants.

Monday, October 13th, 2008
On Monday we will travel from Bishop to Lee Vining. We will photograph along the way, then explore the Mono Lake area in search of a great location for afternoon and sunset photography. We will also continue our print reviews. Sunset will be at Mono Lake and we will be staying in Lee Vining that night.

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
Tuesday morning will see us return to Mono Lake for sunrise, to a location we will have found and selected the previous evening (we can't find the best location in the dark !). After the shoot is over we will have breakfast in Lee Vining. The workshop concludes in Lee Vining after breakfast, giving everyone plenty of time to drive back.

With any luck, I'll return from the workshop with a better ability to see. I was discussing this goal with a colleague today and used a musical analogy. There are many singers who can read music and belt out a tune, but there are very few who can interpret music in a magical way and convey the emotion of the song. Similarly, there are many photographers, myself included, who know how to point a camera and expose the scene correctly. We may also know how to develop the photo in Lightroom or Photoshop and print the photograph out in a pleasing way. But, this doesn't mean that our images engage the audience in such a way that feelings and emotions are conjured up. My goal is to learn how to make my photographs more transparent so that the viewer can see through the image into the heart of the photographer.

More on this next week when I return.

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