Tag: workshops

Art and commerce of selecting a workshop teacher

(Disclaimer, I am a workshop teacher as well as a veteran professional photographer)

I am a professional photographer. I am VERY proud of the fact that I make my living through my photography. I have been lucky in that most people who pay to use my work appreciate the skills it took me decades to master. I have, over time, expanded my repertoire to include workshop teaching. Over a period of years I have been working to master and excel in the process of helping others get better at their photography. As I have been doing this, I have been reminded again and again, that teaching is like any other skill: It involves practice and takes decades to fully master. Also, much like publication photography itself, the world of photography workshops is being flooded with people who have little or no skill as educators. Read More

Photography workshops as creative communities

I just finished teaching a great class in street photography. The students were lively, the locations we photographed were interesting and the creative community where I was teaching was incredibly stimulating. During the time I was working at the Maine Media Workshops, I dined with, talked to and saw the work of some of contemporary photography’s masters. In the class I was teaching, there were people who had the potential to be the next generation of photography’s masters. On the way home from Maine, we stopped in to see an old friend, a former assistant who I had worked with years ago at the Workshops. It was eight great days immersed deeply in the community of people who love photography. It got me thinking….. Read More

War stories, part two

In the first part of this series of blog entries, I wrote about recent ethics controversies spurred by student photographers going to places like Haiti in order to develop their skills and their portfolios, as they photograph the horror of that nation’s earthquake/disaster. I appreciate the ethical issues raised by such actions, but my overarching question was, and still is, how do aspiring conflict photographers develop the skills required for covering war/disaster? In this blog entry, I will talk about how I developed my own, limited skills in that area of photojournalism and what I learned in the process of gaining those skills. Read More

War stories, part one

For the last few months I have been carrying around a copy of a commentary written by the National Geographic photographer, turned university professor, Steve Raymer. It appeared in the March, 2010 issue of the magazine, News Photographer (which is published by the National Press Photographer’s Association.) He talks about the photography of Haiti’s earthquake/disaster as well as the ethics of students going to places like Haiti in an attempt to develop their portfolios as they photograph that horror. All of this, and last week’s “bandh,” here in India, prompted me to tease out some of my own “war stories” and put them down in type. Read More

Thoughts on getting feedback

The class that I was teaching in India ended on the same note that many of my classes do. The students had made good progress and wanted to keep their creative growth going, after the class ended. I teased them, saying that about a week after the class they would all be “master” photographers. I say that to almost all my classes, because the things learned in a workshop take about a week to become an innate part of any student’s photography. The follow-up point is that about another week later, the skills they had learned in the class would start to diminish. The end of the joke is that about a month later, they would still be better photographers than when they entered the class, but no longer the “masters” they had briefly been. So what did I tell them to do to try to hold on to the “mastery” they had briefly achieved? Read More

Singaporeans and Creativity

I just finished classes in Singapore and India, two countries that could not appear to be more different. In Singapore I taught evening seminars, while in India, I taught a class over four days on “light, shadow, twilight and night.” Regardless of length, all the classes were journeys of sorts, physical and/or intellectual. On all of these “trips,” I was accompanied by different groups of Singaporean photographers. Working in such divergent countries, just a few days apart, got me thinking. Read More

Autumn’s grab bag of web resources

I am just back from a fast and fun workshop on Cape Cod. The Autumn weather was great for photographing. The many subjects we photographed (beaches at sunrise, cranberry harvesting, etc.) were fascinating. I am about to head off to New York City for the big Photo Plus Expo, the annual trade show “for professionals and advanced amateurs in the photographic and imaging industries.” I expect to leave that show with lots of info to share. Today’s blog is another grab bag of similar information I have been gathering that I hope you find worthwhile. Read More

Group questions versus individual questions

I just finished teaching a workshop in Berkeley, California. Being in the San Francisco Bay area, the light was great. The group was very supportive of each other and the work they did was interesting. The questions they asked were many and good. They got me thinking about the questions I am often asked in workshops, in general and what I am trying to do with this blog. Read More

Working outside of the Photo-shop centered mainstream

On my ride home from the Maine Media workshops, where I was teaching a class in street photography, I reflected on everything that happened during the workshop. It was a great group of photographers, who grew as individuals AND supported each other as they went through the sometimes-difficult process of growing and changing. Many things that were said and/or done are potential seeds of blog entries. One difficult question that I heard from two different photographers is what I am writing about this week. Read More

Welcome to the Wells Point

What exactly is The Wells Point? It is podcasts and free information for aspiring and accomplished photographers. These materials have been designed to stimulate your creativity and improve your craftsmanship.

The phrase the Wells Point also refers to an important tool to better appreciate how light, time of day and the resulting light's direction can be utilized to immediately improve your photography.

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