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  1. #1
    bill schwab's Avatar
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    Zone VI Workshop Alumni???

    I'm a notorious pack-rat who has been tossing most of my past life in the trash over the last 4 weeks. I caught a serious Spring cleaning bug. Anyway, I came across my old folder full of Zone VI Newsletters from Fred Picker and got to thinking about my workshop experience there in the summer of (gulp) 1981. In this folder was a sheet they gave you with all the other folks that attended your session. I was amazed. I remember it being a big group, but it was a BIG group! I googled a few folks and was surprised to find 1 who had done a photo book on trains... Graeme Outerbridge, but none others. I figured out of a group that big at least someone must have a website today or still out there working. So far... nothing.

    This got me wondering if and how many APUGgers ever attended one of these workshops? What was your experience, etc.?

    Bill

  2. #2
    RAP
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    I attended one in 1978 or 1979, not sure which but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was my first visit ever to Vermont.

    http://narrationsinlight.com/narrati.../rockflatv.htm

    Here is one image from my website that I took while attending.

    I remember working like a dog, eating like a pig, (the food was great!) and still loosing weight. Fred was a great teacher, though we seemed to clash at times, not always agreeing on things, I think I asked too many questions.

    I remember the slide show Martin Tartar gave, which got a standing ovation. One exercise that was really crazy was about 10 of us cramming into a school bus with polaroid cameras and told to take pictures. It was a free for all, people climbing ontop of each other, trying to shoot pictures. The results were hilarious.

    That was the only workshop I ever attended and I never felt the need to attend any other.
    Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.

  3. #3

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    Bill,

    I attended in the summer of 1982. That has been a while ago, hasn't it? Our session was quite large also and access to the assistants, let alone Picker, was difficult. Still, it was a fun and useful experience. Visiting Lil Farber's loft gallery in New Fane was probably the highlight of the workshop. That was the first time I had been able to see actual prints by Caponigro, Strand, etc. Spending an afternoon with all those exceptional prints probably had more impact on my future direction in photography than all of the other workshop activities combined.

    For a few years, I was able to stay in contact with several people I met at the workshop, but I haven't heard from any of them in many years. You are the first person I've run into in a long while who actually attended one of those workshops.

    Allen

  4. #4
    bill schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenR
    You are the first person I've run into in a long while who actually attended one of those workshops.
    I had a great time as well. The whole trip from Michigan was a sojourn of sorts. I stopped in Rochester and spent a day at the Eastman House which is where I first saw a lot of the great images in person. Then I spent a week shooting along the coast of Maine before ending up in Putney for the workshop. That is where I met Alen MacWeeney who was one of the instructors and ended up going to NY the following Spring to work for him. From him I learned tons, the most important of which was how to make money with my camera! The whole experience changed my life.

    Funny you and RAP should mention the Polaroid experience and the trip to Lil's as I had forgotten those. I enjoyed the trip to Fred's house and darkroom a great deal as well. It was a great darkroom.

    I also remember trips down to the bar in town with the group.

    It was also my only workshop experience...

    Bill

  5. #5
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    Geez, I had no idea that Putney had become a mecca for the kind of photography I totally loved by the early 70's if not before. At that time (the early 70's) I was attending summer workshops at my cello teacher's place in Putney...The Yellow Barn...and loving the short commute to Marlboro for Casal's masterclasses and the festival orchestra and chamber groups. Musta been the harmonic resonances of the mystic forces of the pyramid power of the aligned chakras of the....oh wait, that's the bullshit of the southwest...sorry. But still, for one small Vermont town to have such powerful artistic attractions (plus others I have no clue about but may have been there anyway) there must have been something. I wonder.....
    John Voss

    My Blog

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    I had forgotten about the polaroid excercise, but that was fun. Watching MacWeeney work at Shelburn Falls with his Leica was eye opening. That was the first, and only, time I've ever seen a photograper become invisible to the crowd in which he was photographing. The gentleman was amazing. Martin Tartar, Susan Barron, Rosamond Wolfe-Purcel and a couple of other assistants / guests instructors were also at the session I attended. Now that I think back on it, it was a good time.

    Allen

  7. #7
    bill schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenR
    IWatching MacWeeney work at Shelburn Falls with his Leica was eye opening. That was the first, and only, time I've ever seen a photograper become invisible to the crowd in which he was photographing.
    Alen is a master of this. I remember him telling me once that he actually felt he can influence and make a subject do as he wishes without saying a word. He was a remarkable man to learn from. I spoke with him recently and his "Tinker" book, now called "The Travelers" is finally supposed to be out this Spring.

    Bill

    PS. Rosamond was with our group as well. It really was a well rounded experience.

  8. #8
    RAP
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    Susan Barron, I never thought that you could squeeze so much imagery into a 35mm contact print. That was pretty much what she did, 4x5 and 35mm contact prints.
    Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.

  9. #9

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    zone vi

    I attended the workshop in 1979. It was quite the experience. Mostly it was about the instructors giving up all their time and knowledge to the attendees. I was the only one making 5x7 contact prints. This was the place where I first learned what a decent negative and print looked like. The memory lasts all these years. I never felt that Fred was unreachable. Busy yes. I have an incredible print from Martin Tarter which hangs on my wall.
    Best, Peter

  10. #10
    RAP
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    Here is another image I took while attending the workshop. I took this when my group went to Lil's house to look at prints. Instead I played hooky and took my camera and strolled up the street to this stream and found this:

    http://narrationsinlight.com/narrati...amputneyvt.htm

    I also learned what a good print should look like. My negatives were fine but I was printing way too dark, judging exposure under way too strong a light.
    Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.

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