Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
OK, now that we've stopped getting personal, can we return to our regularly scheduled discussion?
Its all about creating renewed interest and excitement about film based photography.
These workshops provide a setting where newbies and seasoned pros can get together and share information, experiences and know-how.
While some of these free workshops have scheduled presentations of various topics the primary part is doing photography in great settings while meeting others who share the excitement (and addiction) to photography. As a result many new friendships have formed. And a wonderful new body of photographic work has been created.
These free workshops should not be seen as competition to specialized fee based workshops. Instead it is my hope that photographers / teachers, who offer such specialized fee based workshops will participate in these free workshops, which would further the growth - not only of film based photography in general - but also serve as a way for these photographers / teachers to "grow" their own specialized workshops from this large new base of image makers...
I have always felt - and still do - that manufacturers and distributors of photographic equipment and supplies would be wise to support free workshops. This would be an effective way of spending advertising and PR funds, which today may be tighter than in previous times due to the influx of digital photography.
When I moved from medium format to 4x5 going on three years ago it was with much trepidation. The format seemed...well, for lack of a better word, tedious, but I knew that, eventually, I would create better images as a result. Researching further I found that not only were there many other people plying their craft through this format, but they were willing to share their knowledge with me for the price of a little windshield time, a dusty campsite and few bottles of wine. Smells like more education that I should be allowed to have. Better still. it was going to be "FREE!"
Since that time, I have been to four of Per's FREE workshops, and I've come to realize that what I get out of each of them is directly proportional to what I put into them. Maybe it's just me. OK, it's definitely me. But, if I'm willing to ask the questions, make requests and really invest myself in the experience, I take as much away from one of Per's workshops as I have taken from most fee-based workshops I've attended. What's more, in addition to Per, I have also had the opportunity to pick the brains of other accomplished photographers, like Claire Curran, who happily share their decades of hard-won experience and even "secret" shooting locations with relative neophytes like myself.
OK, OK, so I totally buy-in to Per's vision, and hope to contribute to the "new body of photographic work," so discount my opinion if you like, but it would be an honor to help him bring this idea to fruition. Sure beats mowing the lawn . Not only that, if we can get industry buy-in, we are sewing the seeds for the future of LF photography.
Finally, I invite those who read this thread to filter out the recriminations, and just show up for one of the FREE workshops. While you're there, invest yourself in learning as much as you are able. Ask questions and LISTEN--be a sponge for knowledge--and then make some images, dammit! Don't approach the experience as "free," rather, go after it like you're spending grandma's inheritance and her spirit will rain down seriously bad kharma on you if you don't come home with something to show for it .
[QUOTE=per volquartz]Its all about creating renewed interest and excitement about film based photography.
These workshops provide a setting where newbies and seasoned pros can get together and share information, experiences and know-how.
Here Here! What Mark said.
The concept of the mentoring workshop certainly has much positive merit as witnessed by many of the alumni attending Pers' workshops in the past few years....also personally, having spent nearly 30 years in the classroom, and I am sure Mark also a school teacher, will concur the use of mentoring and the sharing of knowledge is not only one of the most enjoyable ways to learn but also one of the most efficient...the creation of interest, the feeding of interest and the comraderie, a sharing support.......a positive environment in which to learn.... there is definately a foundation to be built on here. I do not think the proposition of sponsorship is at all far fetched...This format has merit
Reading this thread reminds me of the saying: "No good deed goes unpunished." I've never been to one of Per's whateveryouwanttocallthemandwhatothersinterpretthe mtobe, but I think he's doing a good deed....
Last edited by gr82bart; 02-12-2006 at 09:20 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Thanks, Dave. I agree on all points, especially about mentoring, and the positive and supportive learning environment. That, IMO, is what separates this type of learning experience from the typical workshop. Not that there aren't others out there that offer this, or at least, feel like they do, but some folks would also rather be the "sage on the stage." Picture the Dali Lama himself--the flowing robs, the entourage--but with a much bigger ego to assuage, and an 8x10 in his studio.
Moving this discussion along, I'm wondering what we can do to feed into and expand on Per's vision, aside from the obvious--make better images and perpetuate the idea that traditional processes are more than (from the manufacturer's view) a charming anachronism. I, for one, and I know there are others who would be willing too, could help Per coordinate small local get-togethers which, at the very least, exchange feedback and support to those who want grow as artists.
As an example, there are four of us in the SF Bay Area--all FREE workshop attendees--who met up to shoot at Point Reyes in December. A modest beginning, no doubt, but we've talked about taking this a step further, and meeting to view each other's work, processes, etc. Ultimately, this may help create the numbers we need to attract more workshop participation, both on the instructor and student sides of the equation, not to mention garnering the attention of manufacturer's and distributors. At the very least it would provide an ancillary benefit of greater cohesion for the LF community at large.
So, where do we go from here ladies and gentlemen? Who else wants to chip in?
My ears are burning... somebody must have mentioned my name somewhere in this thread.
What Whiteymorange and myself are trying to do with our NE-APUG get togethers is not that dis-similar from Per's, maybe on a smaller, more regional scale. Just getting photographers together is the first step, and making and establishing on-going friendships is the second. From there my aim is to have APUG'ers share skills, knowledge, experiences and contacts. All this in an informal, friendly, casual and enjoyable setting.
I really don't like to exist as a photographer in a vacuum. APUG has been a wonderful discovery for me. And I sometimes hesitate grabbing my gear and heading out alone to take some photos. Sometimes I wish to be by myself... OOPS, I digress. Another aim of mine with NE-APUG is to create a comfortable atmosphere where one person will not hesitate to contact others to go out photographing.
As far as "Free" workshops/gathering are concerned, with some money is an issue (myself for instance), with others it is not. I want to be as welcoming to all interested and to make available to all, no matter how fat or thin their wallets are, the wealth of knowledge and experience of our members.
Long live Ed "Big Daddy" Roth!!
"I don't care about Milwaukee or Chicago." - Yvon LeBlanc
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I was at the first Zion workshop/gathering .... I thought it was such a great idea I've held one in my community outside of Toronto that had 17 LF shooters at it. Then organized a car pool trip to see the Weston show at Rochester. I hope to take part in a number of gatherings in Canada this year.
Since my name was brought into this war of semantics, I will respond to the post above and tell what some of us in Texas are doing. Five of us have started a long term project to find and document rural churches in Texas. Matt Magruder and Mike Castles and David Brown and Jeremy Moore and I are involved. We now have a data bank and a small website and even a small forum to log and store info on. We are writing a mission statement soon. Most importantly we are photographing together and alone. We all met on Apug.org. Each of us has a different vision and a different reason to be involved.
here is the link for the website Matt has put up for us now. It is not a complete website yet but we will be adding to it in the not to distant future.
I could give a free seminar or whatever - in photographic system design, based on my prior experience and with no outlay of funds and nothing invested but some time to write up things from my experience. See my series on Photo Net on this topic. It proves my point, as does the page on 'myths', also on PN. And all the time I learned this at Kodak, they paid me. All costs are essentially covered.
The same is true of a professional photographer who sells prints or services. If they talk to others and explain how they do it or did it, the costs were covered by the sales of prints and services. Therefore, giving the knowledge away free is their right, they can do it at whatever price they care to set, or do it free. Their costs have been pretty much covered.
My workshop on emulsion making and coating required thousands of dollars and 2 years time to do from scratch to make sure it works in my students darkrooms. I had to do it in a way simpler than the methods used at EK. I have to charge to recoup my expenses.
So, I can see both sides of this argument vividly.
OTOH, two things strike me. I would feel odd if my posts were restricted to 'ads' or 'promos' for my workshops. I try to make more posts helping people than I do mentioning my workshops. In fact, I spent two days deciding to make this post as it has mention in it of my workshops. I was very reluctant to make the last post with an update on my emulsion making for this very reason.
I also feel bad that personalities have entered into what could be a factual discussion of very valid different points of view on the subject. Others have noted this as well here and I don't have to repeat it in this post.
I say that we should accept the fact that there is a whole spectrum of tutorials, gettogethers, workshops, classes or whatever that can be given and can range in price from free to very expensive, depending on the costs of the institution giving it and the instructors expenses. I don't care what we call them, as long as the quality of the material to be given the student is made clear beforehand regardless of cost.
I spent quite a bit of time teaching photography, computer programming, computer repair and Japanese among other subjects and know how hard preparing any type of lecture is regardless of topic. I also know that student expectation goes up in proportion to cost. (You get what you pay for in most cases)
Every potential teacher and student out there in APUG land should be aware of, and willing to accept and embrace all points of view and should be able to understand that the yield to both sides can vary from sudent to student and from teacher to teacher. However, the teacher must set standards beforehand for him/herself and for the student. There should be some sort of goal or overarching purpose for the event and some valid conclusion or result must be evident for each and every attendee.
I have set very high expectations for myself in any class I have taught and will continue to do so. I will expect the same from my students. I hope that this is the case for any sort of get together of APUGGERS no matter their level of expertise or the nature of the get together or what it is called.
And, I left out a paragraph. Sorry.
A 'meeting' of peers is different than any of the above. It is an exchange of ideas and information and should never involve a cost as all people involved are equal and are sharing information with each other on a quid pro quo basis. They are receiving value for value.
I would liken it to a project meeting of engineers sharing information of equal value with each other on a common topic.
Well put PE,
And it is evident in Per's opening statement in this post clearly what his goals, objectives, motivations and expectations are, it is also evident that those participating in a meaningful way in Pers workshops have had a positive life experience in that format. I dont feel in any way that one has to be defensive of one venue over another, tuition or no. This past year my schedule permitted me to attend workshops on both sides of the continent, at a cost of thousands of dollars to my self...money well spent..and I hope to do it all again....I do have to say, however, that in my past life as an academic, there were times when I paid through the nose, wasting my time sittlng at the feet of the learned, because it was in the curriculum. Often the learned are not able to impart and communicate or create an environment promoting the joy of learning....in fact, quite often those stage center, are not educators....and some claiming to be educators often do not deserve to be given ear, they usually fall by the wayside, substance will win out.
There are many many "members" of Apug...maybe even thousands, I dont know, I do know thousands do not post, the great majority, do not participate, at all, other than that they listen... and to me this also is a positive element of the forums-this is their chioce-it is a good thing.
Pers' offering his workshops on the forum is most definately a positive contribution-we all do our part...I cherish the relationships that I have been able to make because of Sean's wonderful work with APUG and via Pers Workshops....I think we all should be supportive of positive efforts of those who bring to the table, what they are able to do and what they do best.
Ron you certainly know, and I will state here that I, and possibly thousands of others not only appreciate the expertise and advice you so freely share on APUG, but also are very cognizant of the rarity of having free access to an individual such as yourself. Ron, your background and education are most evident...I know when you are on subject...you know what you are talking about...and I listen, and personally, I look forward to being able to attend some of your workshops and please keep the faith.
PS high 60's and much sun in Vegas...
Last edited by Dave Wooten; 02-12-2006 at 12:33 PM. Click to view previous post history.