Last weekend, I attended Zack Arias’ One Light Workshop in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco and spent 14 hours learning more about and practicing off-camera flash photography using speedlights. Here are some of the photographs I shot. Next up: memorizing reciprocals, practicing a lot, and pumping up more gravity-defying ideas with the one-light techniques I learned. Thank you for the well-run and -taught workshop, Zack!
Archive for the ‘Workshop’ Category
The month of October for me was bookended by two entirely different photography workshops. A few weeks ago I posted about the Eddie Adams Workshop, a photojournalism mecca where reality, observation, timeliness and documentation are essential. The polar opposite would then be an emphasis on creation, illusion, and trickery. And, for that, I chose to attend a one-day levitation workshop in Los Angeles with Natalie and Brooke.
Levitation is not a new subject for me; but levitation without jumping? Movement in low, all natural light? Definitely new. And definitely inspiring. The experience reminded me of my college days as a print journalism major who realized too late that I would have fit in much better as a creative writing or radio/tv/film major. One of the highlights of college was definitely the insane amount of hours I spent with three RTVF majors recreating the depths of Dante’s Inferno for a multimedia journey through hell.
Truth or fiction? I appreciate both sides of the coin as far as photography goes. Neither (when good) is easy. They both require patience, vision, and a skill for storytelling. The primary lesson I learned from both workshops is that when the photographer feels something, it will come out in the pictures. In New York, I felt like someone socked me in the emotional gut almost the entire time that I was shooting pictures of a man who simply and clearly wants to die. And while the image above was not created wholly in camera, it wasn’t until l actually felt discombobulated looking at it that I sensed it was heading where I wanted it to go.
What do you think? Do you feel anything when you look at it?
Night 1 sleeping time: 3:30 am to 5:45 am
Night 2 sleeping time: 3:15 am to 5:45 am
Night 3 sleeping time: 2:45 am to 6:15 am
Mini time-lapse power snooze on Day 4: priceless.
Thank you, Eddie.
In other news, only 10 more weeks to go in my 52 Project and in 2010!
It will be awhile before I fully process my experience at the 23rd Annual Eddie Adams Workshop. One thing I can say for sure is that I experienced magic at Eddie’s barn.
During a 1:30am portfolio review, an editor flipped to the 2nd page of my book and told me that she remembered seeing my jumping photos during the selection process over the summer when 1,500 photographers applied for 100 spots at the workshop. Her feeling back then was similar to mine: what was this person thinking? Doesn’t she know this is a photojournalism workshop?
I am so glad that doubt didn’t get in anyone’s way, and that I made it to upstate New York this past week. Yes, there were times when I felt like a fish out of water among all the documentary photographers, but it was one-sided. Everyone I met made me feel welcome. And inspiring presentations by Howard Schatz, Al Bello, and Henry Leutwyler showed me that this workshop is for photographers who love movement too.
Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, I spent 11 hours with the superb Gray Team at an adult home for our team assignment “The Fall of Life.” I had picked a name out of a hat that indicated I would be following the Jeffersonville Adult Home’s eldest resident, a 94-year-old man who mostly stayed in bed. Could my assignment have been any more different than what I am used to shooting? No, and that’s the whole point of EAW: be pushed and challenged, get out of your comfort zone, fall, pick yourself back up, stretch, grow, see differently, see more.
It became clear early on that there was zero chance that I would get a shot for this week’s 52 Project while on assignment. With an average of 2.75 hours of sleep each night and days filled with presentations, shooting and editing, I accepted that I wouldn’t even have a chance to take pictures of the autumn foliage while I was there. Then on Monday, the last morning of the 4-day workshop, Miguel Anaya, a workshop participant and former dancer with Bill T. Jones, the White Oak Project and many other dance companies, approached me saying he had seen my portfolio from afar the night before and wanted to talk to me later. I asked why, and he said: Because I’m a dancer.
In a sea of photojournalists, a dancer looking for a photographer found a photographer looking for a dancer. Magic.
…and your little dog too! —Wicked Witch of the West
…when true love’s kiss, the spell shall break. — Good Fairy Merryweather
…like netted birds, when we are caught by desire! —Belva Plain