Why Free Workshops?
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.
If you have questions about my free workshops and / or would like to participate in one please contact me at the following address:
Per, I agree and disagree at the same time.
I'm retired. I set out to develop a method to make and coat silver halide emulsions for B&W paper and film on my own. I have ended up being invited to give 2 workshops using this material.
It has cost me several thousand dollars and over 2 years of my time to do this. I will never in the rest of my life be able to recoup the costs of development even with paying workshops.
And, if even one student begins teaching a free workshop using my material that I taught them, it undercuts my ability to continue financing further work. OTOH, they have a perfect right to do that if they wish, I suppose. But, they cannot use any of my copyright material.
So, I'm in that dilemma of both agreeing and disagreeing in free workshops. See my answer to Donald Qualls in another thread. I'm doing the best I can, but sometimes free just does not work. Someone eventually must pay for the expertise and experience of another. It cannot just be handed over sometimes. So, there is no simple answer, although I wish that there was.
Per, while I haven't been able to attend one yet, I think your free workshops are great. Rather like a pot-luck dinner, where everyone brings something to the table, but some have more interesting stories to tell.
That said, I also recognize the need for others to charge a fee for their workshops, as that is all or part of their way of making a living.
Fortunately, there's room for both approaches.
[COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]
Rio Rancho, NM
Thanks Per!!! I had the privilege of attending one of your workshops, and it was very much appreciated. I have never been anywhere where I was able to shoot with other LF photographers, and this was a wonderful experience. I hope to attend again someday. It was fantastic!!!!
I have attended five of Per's get togethers and have benefitted from all, met many photographers and made some good friends, all in the last 14 months.
As I would not consider 99% of the fee based workshops being offered anyway, my participation in the FREE workshops does not cut in to the fee based ones.
I'm a firm believer in learning by doing...and doing...and doing...
I go to meet other analogaholics, share stories and enjoy.
Matt's Photo Site
"I invent nothing, I rediscover". Auguste Rodin
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Pers' "workshops" offer a good oportunity for good comradeship in a very open learning environment. Those newly venturing into film based photography as well as the very accomplished benefit, it is a most enjoyable and refreshing way to spend a weekend....I thoroughly enjoyed and am thankful for the friends I have met at these workshops and am most appreciative of the experience.
Also, I was able in one week end to savor a bit of the grape by the evening fire and in the early morning while waiting for the maple bacon to fry, enjoy a good cup of strong coffee, and later in the afternoon i enjoyed a nice round of Wilbur Wong's now famous chile........all in my very own APUG MUG.
Dave in Vegas
see you in TP
A regional get together is what Per does. A "WORKSHOP" is what Les McLean does. One is a camping trip of LF photographers that might include little short lectures about some aspect of photography of one of the people who shows up Those done either at lunch time or at night while drinking wine. The other is where Les takes the time to fully cover and go over a subject not for 45 minutes but for days. Even the field trip workshops that Les does are chocked full of information and hands on insturction And if lucky single malt in the evenings. Les does the kind of instruction that warrants a fee, and also manufacturer sponsorship. If Per is to get sponsorship from manufacturers and vendors, then all the regional groups should get the same monies given to them. None of the regional gatherings charge fees, nor do they call themselves workshops.
If you had been in Zion this January Aggie...
You'd have learned a bit about color photography from one of the best wilderness photographers in the United States, Claire Curran.
Claire gave a presentation at night - in a board room - no wine, sorry - and followed up the next day by taking those interested on a 65 mile 4wdr dirt road to some of her secret photographic spots.
If you had been there perhaps your photography would have improved to a point where even you could be called a photographer?
Just because someone posts a lot in a forum on the internet does not in any way make them an expert!
A creative photographer to some extent needs technical skills. However, the central issue, and difficulty in photography - as in any art form - is visual content and ideas. This is learned by doing.
Free workshops act as a catalyst to increase the awareness and excitement about photography.
Specialized workshops such as the one you mentioned - as well as my fee based darkroom workshops - become secondary steps on the ladder to being able to communicate what you see and feel during making the initial exposure.
I was in Zion In January, just not at the gathering. You in your EMAIL to me last April Made that very clear what you thought of me and all the money and help I poured out for your last years Zion workshop.
As to Claire, I doubt I would have learned what I wanted to learn about color in a one night lecture, which may not have been any longer than any of the other night time lectures that have been during your gatherings. As to the secret special spots, I could match them 10 to 1. You missed the big ice flows that were within 40 miles of your location. The massive walls of ice that flow down a mountainside and the locals add bits of colored water as they grow. They are colorful and texture rich. Then there are all the waterfalls of the virgin and other rivers that are in and around Hurricane. Shall we talk about an area that has bristlecone pine? How about one of the newest park areas, RED ROCK? Then there are the Dixie Narrows. All of these places less than 40 miles from Zion, and many of them with spectacular views right from the side of a maintained dirt road. Now if you want to get off the road and do some hiking now that I can hike any man into the ground and have energy to spare, There is a lot more. Then there are the three other ghost towns besides Grafton. There is a small community that has not changed since pioneer times, and is still inhabited. BUT AS YOU SAID IN YOUR EMAIL! I know nothing.
The assumption I am not a photographer I must ask you personally why? I did after all ask you for help on the how to's many times at your supposed workshops. Where did you fail in your teaching? Or was it the lack of teaching that has left me bereft of being a photographer? I guess I can throw out the plaques I have won in three seperate competitions, and tell the people I have sold photos to that it is all nothing, since Per says I'm not a photographer.
Now if you get back to what this thread was about was whether the workshops should be free. I interjected they were not true workshops but gatherings where LF photographers get together and share. Yeah they are fun. Do you learn a lot? Not really. Do you see things that might inspire you? Sometimes, depending on who shows up. Are they any better than any other regional group that gets together? No! Should you be singled out over the other regional gatherings for sponsorship? No unless you did something more to earn the designation of a workshop. There are many very good and talented people all over who have organized and conducted similar gatherings as you have Per. They all deserve just as much gratitude and respect. Papagene in the east, Lee in Texas, I can't think of the guy in Michigan but he does well. Look what they do in England. The list goes on. None of them misuse the term WORKSHOP They share what they know when they get together and if someone knows something more than the others, they share.
Sorry for having offended you Aggie...
You did make a large effort in making the first Zion Workshop (not regional gathering) a successful event. You did do a lot of research and offered a lot of information. And you were a great help in making many people want to return for the recent workshop this January in Zion.
For that I am greatful as it is my hope that through my free workshops I will help further the excitement and understanding of film based photography. I am glad to share the knowledge and experience I have gathered through more than 35 years of doing professional photography, working for some of the largest corporations in America and in Europe! To date more than 15 of my free workshops have taken place throughout the West. With more than 270 people in all attending. In addition I get constant email from people on the East Coast and in Europe who want me to arrange workshops there as well...
These free workshops are costly for me - not only in terms of expenses but also in terms of time. I am not wealthy by any means but do love creative photography immensely - And want to share my experience with as many people as possible. Therefore I conduct these workshops for free!
You are entitled to your understanding of what the word "Workshop" means as I am entitled to mine.
I have only been to Zion a few times and still hope for the day when I will be there during weather that in my opinion fits its timeless and violent past.
Oh, and by the way several people did shoot great images of ice this January.