my last 2008 workshop ramble

above images by David Hilliard

cpw's 2008 summer workshops are over! i cannot believe how fast it flew by. what a wild ride it has been. every weekend for the last 4 1/2 months we have been hosting different photography-related workshops in every topic imaginable instructed by a slew of amazing and talented artists. i am very lucky to have helped organize the 2008 schedule and to have managed it as well. often times i am in awe of my own job. on my blog i have had a fun time posting these "rambles" about many of the workshops to share with you a bit of my experiences.

David Hilliard was in town this past weekend to teach "The Environmental Portrait". I was so excited to meet David and to observe him teach. I have been a fan of his work for a while and was interested in hearing him discuss it and curious how he would encourage his students to create their own expressive environmental portraits. And I have to say that everything about the workshop exceeded my expectations. Aside from David being one of the more generous and giving instructors I have ever worked with, the students in the class were so insightful, intelligent and had beautiful work to share.

image by David Hilliard

So the first day we started off with portfolio reviews. great discussions about portraiture emerged through this. We got through about half the class and then went on to a location to photograph models. We went to a converted mill from the late 1600's and got to work with 5 models (ages 8-22). David spent some time scoping out the location and then set up his camera in a corner in the basement. There he demonstrated how his image making process works. Students looked on as he produced a beautiful and surprising image. Students went on to work with the models and make their own work. I have included two below, though there were many more.

image made during workshop by participant Gene Fischer

image made during workshop by participant Karen Andrews

David gave a lecture that evening- which gave an nice overview of how this work emerged for him in grad school and where it is now. He gave us a nice mix of his personal story, how he sees his work in relation to other photography and a technical overview. I enjoyed it.

Sunday we continued with portfolio reviews and looked at work made on Saturday at the mill. He closed the class with a discussion about other photographers using environmental portraiture. Some great artists included in that talk, who I will highlight at another time.

It was mostly exciting to watch David draw out so much creative energy from his students and for them to run with it. This weekend was the perfect example of why we work so hard at CPW to make these workshops happen- to give people an opportunity to explore, to be challenged and to find their unique voice through photography.

For more David Hilliard check out here. For CPW go here.
Keep an eye out for the 2009 workshop schedule.


checking in about books

cast from the movie Freaks.

I have been the worst about blogging this past week. Been feeling so overwhelmed by life. the transition from summer into fall is always a hard one for me. trying to stay balanced and healthy- which is taking all of my free time and energy! but it is so important for me right now.

despite my seasonal blues I did not want to neglect the blog any longer so I posted this image of the cast of the movie Freaks which I watched for the first time this year when I was on my circus-fiction binge. I highly recommend it- very interesting film. many of the cast members were pulled from actual side shows and circuses.

A few of the books I read during that streak (which did not just include the circus but also any sub culture that related): Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. all worth reading.

A great site that I have been having fun with is called Goodreads. It is like a myspace for readers. You post the books you have read and are reading and leave comments, suggestions etc. I got some good recommendations off this website. You can check it out here. If you sign us please request me as a friend.

I guess the moral of this blog is to keep reading- it is good for you.

Currently I am on the reading theme of self-discovery books. I am in the middle of The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It is really helpful and I am taking it very seriously. Never thought of myself as a new age person but all I have to say is that if that type of philosophy can help me be a better and happier person- than I am all for it.


Renee Byer exhibition at SUNY Ulster

images by Renee Byer

Exhibition of Photographs by Photojournalist Renée Byer
at the
Muroff Kotler Visual Arts Gallery on the SUNY Ulster campus.

A 1978 graduate of SUNY Ulster, and inducted into the College's Alumni Hall of Fame, Byer, a photojournalist with 25 years of experience, won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography.

This photo-essay documents the life of a single mother and her 10 year old son who has a rare and deadly cancer. It is a beautiful and emotional body of work that is a must see. Every image is intimate, moving and compassionate. There seems to have been no boundaries between Renee and this family- which leaves us with powerful images that will resonate long after we have seen them.

The exhibition will be on display from September 6 - 26, 2008.

Gallery hours are Monday - Friday, 11:00 am through 3:00 pm.
For more information, call 845-687-5113.


laurie anderson in albany this sunday

Laurie Anderson will be performing Homeland this Sunday at the Egg in Albany, NY. I going with my friend Megan and I cannot wait! The Egg is an amazing venue designed with the most incredible acoustics.

Tickets might still be on sale if you are interested...

I posted about Laurie before- you can read about it here.


words to live by

Each moment is a chance for us to make peace with the world, to make peace possible for the world, to make happiness possible for the world.

Thich Nhat Hanh

thanks to my coworker Larry for sending this quote to me.


finding ways to connect

This is the story of two friends, Stephanie & Mav, who live over 3000 miles apart from one another. To stay in touch with each others lives they have created this blog: 3191. Everyday they each post a photograph- side by side- which represents part of their experience that day.

I think this is such a sweet idea and an amazingly creative way to stay connected. It reminds me how good it is to have such wonderful friends.


bye LaToya, woodstock will miss you...

LaToya Ruby Frazier
just spent one month in Woodstock as an artist-in-resident at CPW. She has been such an awesome person to have around and everyone will miss her! She is such a hard worker but always up for a good time (after the prints have been made, of course).
Check out her work, it is amazing.


my workshop ramble

This post includes some notes, comments and experiences as the workshop manager at the Center for Photography at Woodstock....

Constantine Manos came to Woodstock for the first time this past weekend to instruct the workshop "Making the Ordinary Extraordinary". The workshop consisted of portfolio reviews, demos and reviews of work made in class. One of the more unique demos was when Manos set up an outdoor tableau with half the class. They were arranged in a particular spot and told to perform a certain action (throw a ball up and down or walk across the area). Then, he would guide one of the other students (from the remaining half) over with their eyes shut and instruct them to open their eyes and make a picture in 15 seconds. It was a great challenge for most of the people (and really fun to watch).

I think that sometimes a photographer wants to capture a moment in time exactly the way they see it. Manos guided students to capture- not just what they see- but what they feel. By using shadows, silhouettes, color, unusual angles and obscured shapes and patterns- this can be accomplished and perhaps create an even better representation of the moment than the exact replica could.

A bit about Constantine Manos:

CONSTANTINE MANOS is a member of Magnum Photos. His books include Portrait of A Symphony, A Greek Portfolio, Bostonians, and American Color. The son of Greek immigrant parents, he grew up in South Carolina - where he received a B.A. English Literature from the University of South Carolina. Manos' photographs are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the George Eastman House in Rochester, and others. Manos has conducted Master Classes in Maine, Cuba, Mexico, and Greece. In 2003 he won the Leica Medal of Excellence out of a world-wide field of 250 entries.