The timing couldn’t be better. I always wanted to teach photography. Remya Thomas, whom I have never met, wrote to me the other day inquiring about where she could take a basic photography course in the great city of New York. There are several fine establishments in the city that will cater to your needs – International Center of Photography, School of Visual Arts, New School University, among many others. But they are all a tad bit expensive and beyond the budget of a student or a serious hobbyist. And so, I am launching Tiffinbox’s first workshop in basic photography. Read on to see if this piques your interest.
Background: Apart from blogging here at Tiffinbox, I am a freelance photographer and a photo editor for a major sports network. I have taught basic photography at Indiana University’s School of Journalism and have conducted two photography workshops for children in Seattle. I am also responsible for producing SAJA’s photo exhibit at its annual convention.
What, When, Where, How Much: The workshop will meet on October 1, 8 and 15 at 10 a.m. The cost will be a modest $250 per person for three sessions (not a bad deal at all). Four people are needed to make the class. Six people maximum. Deadline: September 23, 2004. Only cashier checks will be accepted. No personal checks and no PayPal payments. Sorry, no refunds will be granted. If you are a full, associate, life or student member of SAJA you will receive a 10% discount. Sessions will take place rain or shine. So, pack an umbrella and a light jacket. Your other expenses will be: travel to NYC, food, film, processing and printing. This workshop is ideally suited for those of you in New York or New Jersey already. Based on the success of this workshop, I’ll see about expanding it to other cities.
For the first meeting on October 1, we’ll gather at Grand Central Station’s main concourse at 10 a.m. sharp and go from there. Here is what I will do in the first class: teach you to correctly operate a SLR camera, explain to you the nuances of film ISO, apertures and shutter speeds and how they all work in tandem, introduce you to some of my photography and make you aware that photography is about appreciating and capturing light. This class will last up to five hours. Please don’t cut out early.
Between the first and second sessions, I will expect participants to have shot at least two rolls of film and have one set of 4″x6″ prints from the two rolls. During the second session on October 8, photo students in the workshops will edit and select 10 images from their two rolls, based on the principles laid out in the first class. We’ll discuss and critique as many as six of the images by each photographer.
We’ll also recap some of the principles of basic photography we discussed and select images based on those lessons. In this second session, we’ll try and get out onto the streets of NY to photograph just about anything that catches our attention, again paying attention to the things you have learned in the sessions so far. So, bring three rolls of unexposed film to the second session. The film can be of differing ISO (speeds); 100, 200, 400 or 800. The second session will also run about five hours. Start time: 10 a.m.
The third time we meet on October 15, we’ll have another edit session, so you will be responsible for processing and printing your film by the third session. We’ll go through each participants top 10 picks and discuss their selections. This session will last about three hours and will start at 10 a.m.
Each participant’s work – six of her or his best images from the three sessions – will be exhibited as a slide show on Tiffinbox.
Why film and not digital? Well, if I had my way I would have started you all off with a pin-hole camera, but that’s overkill. If you want to learn the basics, there is no better way than to expose film and look at prints. Film, you may or may not know is a whole lot more forgiving if you make mistakes. Digital chips can be brutal to the ego. Go with film for now, transition to digital eventually. So, it goes without saying – you will need a SLR (single-lens reflex) camera, with at least a 35mm lens. If you have a zoom lens, leave it at home. If you have a 24mm, 28mm or a 50mm, that’s just fine.
One quick tip about photography – you have gotta expose film! I have heard people tell me that their film is still in the camera (sometimes over a year after an event) and I have to really wonder about their drive to learn photography. Don’t be a slacker; shoot film and get it to a lab pronto!
A coffee-shop yet to be decided will be our meeting place. Just be sure to buy a cup of coffee or we’ll get booted.
Legalese: Please remember that your personal safety and your personal belongings are your own responsibility. I am not liable nor will you and your kith and kin ever hold me responsible for anything. The images you create are yours to keep and you will own the copyright to those images. By signing up for this workshop, you agree to allow me to publish your images on Tiffinbox or any other web site that promotes the photography workshops conducted or sponsored by Tiffinbox in the future. To that end, I will have to borrow and scan your negatives at the end of the third session. You will receive full credit on the image and a link to your web site, if you have one. I will FedEx/DHL your negatives back to you as soon as I am done scanning them.
These three sessions are for beginners ONLY. If you know that f/2.8 at 1/60 will yield the same exposure as f/5.6 at 1/15, you don’t need this workshop. If that last line was just a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, you gotta sign up!
Email me at tiffinbox(at)pipalproductions(dot)com first to indicate your interest. Include your name, phone number and a convenient time to call you. Subject line of the email must read: NYC PHOTOWORKSHOP. Emails not bearing this subject line will be summarily spliced, diced and automatically deleted. I look forward to hearing from you.