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.