The Primary focus of this workshop will be the creation of outstanding photographs, primarily in a film based workflow. Because there are no contemporary color materials available, or designed for the small darkroom, we will work mainly in black and white, although concepts in making fine photographs in color may be addressed. It is designed for anyone with an interest in using photography as a method for creating images that are personally expressive. Nathan is a master printer and flows easily back and forth from image production using film in a wet darkroom, into a digital workflow, and has even worked at methods of combining the two.
The workshop will be comprised of field sessions, where we work together to produce beautiful or perhaps even disturbing photographs. There will be teaching sessions in the incredible facilities at the Photographers' Formulary in Condon, Montana as well as darkroom sessions in their facilities. We ask you to work hard, very hard for the period of time the workshop is in session. Field sessions typically begin well before first light and last until the direction of light is no longer conducive to making emotive photographs. Usually we take a break around mid-morning to have breakfast and meet again in the early afternoon to look at photographs created by the instructor and to critique student work. In this workshop we will also have access to darkrooms, which is fairly uncommon, so some of the sessions will revolve around darkroom practice and process. Everything is open to discussion and nothing is off limits as we delve into what it is that makes a great photograph. Why is it that some images seem to sing and you can't take your eyes off of them while others are either difficult to look at or are so boring you don't want to look at them? Art is hard work and there is no "magic formula" but there is a method to it and it can be learned by individuals that are motivated and willing to learn.
Of course we will talk about film exposure, processing and creating photographic prints that express the emotion you have toward the material being portrayed. Some new topics we will be discussing this year, for the first time, is the process of masking your negatives to get the most out of your photographs. We also will be talking about using pyro developers in processing your film and the use of multi-contrast papers to make the absolute most of the wonderful products available to us.
In the past we had students using every format of camera imaginable from 35 mm to medium and large format. I have even had students using pin-hole cameras. So nothing is out of bounds. The only necessity is that you have an open mind and a desire to learn the art of photography. Even if you have never used film in your art and have only worked in a digital work flow, you can learn the film process and you may surprise yourself!
It would be hard to imagine a place more conducive to creating great photographs than in the breath taking landscape of Northern Montana. It is truly one of the most beautiful, and wild places on the North American Continent. It is in that setting that we will be learning the art and about the art of photography.