workshop features : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I am the advanced instructor at our local college, we do zone studies and work with all aspects of black and white photography. I have been asked to design a workshop for photographers that are not necessarily students. It has been 20 years since I have been on a workshop. We go on field trips but nothing over night or very far away. I am lost. We are going to Lake Powell on houseboats, the trip will be 5 days. I need input on what works and what doesn't. What does a succesful workshop offer? What should the ratio of instructors to students be. Not all participants will use large format. Not all will use black and white. We will not be able to do any processing. We will use polaroid p/n, to check exposures and focusing etc. I could really use some input designing this workshop. I would like it to be very successful from the beginning. Thanks for your ideas. jacque

-- jacque Staskon (, January 20, 1999


What is the focus of the workshop? What are the goals? Neither of those are stated in your question. I think the first thing a successful workshop must offer is a clear idea of what it's trying to acheive. Once that is clear, it's easier to design activities that lead toward acheiving those goals.

What is the level of the participants? What formats will be used or taught? Color or B/W emphasis? Is this a Lake Powell vacation with a little photography thrown in, or an intensive photography experience with Lake Powell as the setting?

Depending on the answers to some of those questions, some topics can be: Exposure - what does a meter measure and how does that translate into values on the film, techniques for effective use of reflected vs. incident meters. Filters and their effect on B/W film. Compositional elements. View camera operation. Environmental portraiture, lighting on location. Critiques of photos the participants bring, or critiques of the Polaroids from the workshop. Polaroid can be a great teaching tool if the budget permits burning through lots and lots of film.

I really think my first paragraph is the key. In the past, I took one 10 week course which was very good because the instructor had a clear idea of what he wanted to acheive in that time. I took one weekend workshop which was poor, largely because the instructor didn't seem ready with any clear goals.

-- mike rosenlof (, January 20, 1999.

Good liability insurance. okay lunch food, good dinner food, lots of fruit, & water availible, maybe byob. some way to project the days polaroids for review. no more than 15 students per instructor, at least one assistant per instructor. 2-3 free floating assistants. good models. contingiency (things. plans & people going really wrong) & emergency planning. teachers who aren't on ego trips. More than enough planning.

-- Ellis (, January 20, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ