I want to echo what others have said about Per’s workshops with respect to their scope, purpose and affect on the greater community of photography. I’m not a young dude (though I play one TV ;-}) nor am I new to photography, and yet I feel as though Per and the other photographers who participate in his workshops are providing an apprenticeship-type education to me in large format photography. Were it not for Per’s enthusiasm, generosity and willingness to invest himself in the community of photographers who frequent his workshops, some of us may have moved on, or moved over to -- eeek! d*g*tal capture -- out of sheer frustration. Heck, he’s even got me gearing up to soup my own negs, and that just wouldn’t have happened without his frequent, workshop-grounded support.
So, to answer the question, does Per offer a “service” of inherent value to others that could warrant a fee? Damn straight he does. The difference for me is that his service and all the benefits they accrue go back to “the community” at large rather than into his own pocket.
Thanks, Per. You go, boy!!
There really is a whole range of workshops out there from free to expensive that offer a range of things, and I don't see them necessarily competing with each other. I've paid modest fees (under $100) for workshops that were essentially "regional get-togethers in a learning environment," which sounds like an apt description of what these are, and they've been completely worth it. I met some interesting people, learned a few things, taught others a few things, and got access to interesting locations, which was exactly what I wanted. They're a great way to get motivated and motivate others to use the medium.
I don't think free and low-cost workshops necessarily compete with workshops that are more like a master class, or intensive study with a widely recognized artist or practitioner or someone who has particular technical experience in a specialized process.
This is why I called my Gathering last year a "Gathering" and not a "Workshop".
I had no intention to teach, and the word "Workshop" to me implies that teaching will be perpetrated. Instead I wanted to gather resourceful people from a large part of the globe in a very unusual setting, and see what developed (literally).
We'll do that again - Stockholm this summer!
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
Agnes participated in The North Coast Free Workshop,
came back for more at The Mount Shasta Free Workshop
and to the first Zion workshop.
Here is her comment after participating in the North Coast Workshop:
I loved the experience. I was able to learn so much
valuable information that on a college level I had not been taught.
Professors may talk about a photography previsualization,
but you showed it. Clicking the shutter is only the starting
pint of the journey to a great image. That image is
closer and more attainable now that I can visually see
how to correct the exposure the way it should be done.
October 25 - 29
While this is more
of a Gettogether the following
will be covered:
Analysis of Form
Creative use of exposure
High altitude photography
AZO = myth or fact?
Alternatives to AZO
This above is the direct from Per's workshop page about one of his get togethers. You can access it by going directly to pervolquartz.com and going to his workshop page. He even admits it is nothing more than a get together. They are great if you want to do the get together thing and share with others. They are not about the teaching aspect.
Ole summed it up best! Considering I knew absolutely nothing about LF when I attended the Redwoods gathering, Anything was more than I had been taught at the college I went to where only two select MEN were allowed to learn about LF and others were discouraged from doing anything other than 35mm. We were given a fast little demon on previsualization for the darkroom with actual workprints we brought with us. From there he went on to tell us how to do it with PS and a computer. Yes this is something I had not seen before. was it a full lesson? No. It was a teaser, and from there I had to go learn how to really do it. I was asked by Per to write something good about his get together back then, hence the blurb.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Thank You for the Blurb, Aggie!
"I was asked by Per to write something good about his get together back then, hence the blurb."
I appreciate it very much!
And I am glad you did learn something too!
Learning photography is a life long endeavor. Not something that can be understood in a week day or even months.
The technical aspects are easy. Anyone who wants to spend the time and money learning photography and purchasing the best equipment can create sharp images.
Paraphrasing Edward Weston (sorry for not having the correct word-for-word quote at hand):
"In photography is is stupefyingly easy to create an image; yet incredibly difficult to create an important photograph."
Before studying design, painting and photography at Art Center College in Los Angeles I was an apprentice in a small advertising agency for 3 years - in the old country. There I learned from others by observing and doing actual work. For me this was a very effective learning environment. In fact that is what I hope to do with the free workshops: create an environment that intersperses learning by doing - with short presentations of technical issues.
I can accept that some people like this way of learning and that others do not.
I do use Gettogether and Workshop at liberty because the free workshops contain both great learning experiences, great times and camaraderie.
"Considering I knew absolutely nothing about LF when I attended the Redwoods gathering".
This was in May of 2003!
In just 2 1/2 years you sure have learned an amazing amount about photography, Aggie. Obviously enough to have become an expert!
Why Free Workshops? Why Not? It is about giving and sharing in an open forum in a nice neighborhood! See you all soon in Galli Country!
PS BYOP (bring your own petzval)
Matt will probably be designing a Petzval Madness Tee Shirt!
In my early days of Photography I attended a lot of workshops, mostly in Santa FE. Paid for them all. Only one was a bust. The person treated it like a get together and we were all her freinds. She had little knowlege but was very social. What a waiste of time (and money) My definition of a "workshop" is to go meet like minds and learn from an experianced person who is beyond my ability to access thier experiance. If they have done the work to achieve a level of experiance and exposure then they should have the confidence in themselves to charge. And should be paid! Why would someone give away something so valuable? In 5 of the workshops I learned more than I had, in school and working as an assitant. These guys are the cream of the crop. Had to work my ass of as did they. Worth every nickel I spent! There are a lot of people out there that "learn as they teach". Some charge some don't. On two occasions that I attended I walked away. Dissapointed at waisting the time. Ironic that, having not spent a cent I felt ripped off. As others have said, like minds getting together and playing together is a great thing. But "It is what it is" a gathering. If you want to develop a teaching program that you can charge for maybe try guest lecturing for local schools. I've done this for the college here. Learned as much as the kids did. Not photography but about teaching and am far from qualified to sell my services as a teacher. But if I was I would expect to be paid.
Stop trying to get into my mind, There is nothing there!
As the spouse of the person Per's playing his little childish games with here, I feel that I'm probably as qualified as any to weigh in.
#1, based on the last message I saw, LF does not equal photography in general. Aggie's had cameras as long as I've known her. And we just celebrated our 25th anniversary, so that's a bit longer than 2 1/2 years. Maybe LF photographers think they're the only true photographers, but that's as dumb an assumption as the C programmers I know who think they're the only true programmers.
#2, The whole 'workshop' vs. 'gathering' discussion is a canard. Call it whatever you want, as long as you're not charging for it. Nobody can complain if something free turns out to be something other than what they originally thought it was. How else can we explain all the 'free' vacation offers that are really attempts to force people to listen to obnoxious hardsell sales pitches.
#3, The nonsense about all the 'learning' that goes on during the free workshops. I had the chance to attend one, along with Aggie, in Shasta. While my negative feelings about camping out aside (Motel 6 is roughing it for me), I didn't see much learning going on. There was a lot of exposing people to new things, as that's about all you can do in the short increments of time (45 minutes to 90 minutes) used. From what I can see, the 'free' workshops cost me a lot, as once Aggie learns that something interesting is out there, she won't rest until she gets good information about it. So I've ended up paying for a lot of real workshops and seminars for her to get complete information on things she's been exposed to.
#4, The focus on Aggie. I'm rather curious as to why Aggie's being focused on here. She's not the only one who feels that using the word 'workshop' to describe Per's whatever-they-are's isn't correct. When you factor in the snide apology emails she's getting from Per today, along with the publicly condescending attitude he's displaying, the resulting picture isn't pretty. Sorry Per, but women can be photographers too. And they are even entitled to opinions as well. Maybe it wasn't like that in the 'old country', but it certainly is here. Welcome to the new millennium.
Ash nagh durbatuluk,
ash nagh gimbatul,
ash nagh thrakatuluk,
agh bursum-izi krimpatul
Inscription on this ring I found...