An update after a week at the Maine Media Workshops

I am finishing up a great week at the Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine. There were a whole bunch of small highlights during the class that I think are worth sharing.

In no particular order:

I was introduced to a great aphorism about photography: “Hobby photographers worry about equipment; Professional photographers worry about money; Master photographers worry about light.” The quote has no attribution, but I would love to be able to credit the author if anyone knows who said that.

I tested out an idea that I have had for a while. Since I rode to Maine on a motorcycle, I did not have room to bring my own cameras. Olympus, the brand of cameras I use, sponsors the Maine Media Workshops by supplying the workshops with a great deal of loaner gear. So I arranged to borrow the same camera and lens combo that I use at home. As I had hoped, though they were not my cameras, they worked just fine, another small argument for the idea that it truly is the photographer, not the gear that makes the photographs.

On the drive from Providence to Rockport, Maine, I stopped in Brunswick, Maine to speak at a “meet the artist” event in connection with the latest exhibit of my work from India. The venue, the Frontier Café and Gallery, is the brainchild of Michael Gilroy, a travel/expedition leader who has been around the world. Wanting to connect people “with experiences that provoke a sense of discovery” prompted him to create a kind of meeting place for the interaction of stories, ideas and cultures. The reclaimed mill space was a nice venue for my work and the people who came out to hear my presentation were full of great questions. Here is a photo of the installation/venue:

Gil, as he is known, is full of energy and ideas for promoting cross-cultural connections. He told me how well my work had been received AND he told me he was looking for more photographic exhibitions to present. More information can be found at: http://www.explorefrontier.com/

The class I was teaching at the Maine Media Workshops was focused on street photography. Though most of what I do is, in essence, street photography, I have never taught a formal class on that topic. The class went very well and I look forward to posting some of the great work of my students in the gallery pages on The Wells Point. This was my 14th year teaching here. The place and the state, remain beautiful, and as quirky as ever.

One other amazing thing about my time in Maine was watching how people from industry leading teachers to novice photographers are struggling with defining and redefining contemporary photography. Digital imaging has democratized the medium so much so that now more than ever, photography can be exactly what you want it to be. Old definitions are fading and new perspectives are being born. It is not an orderly process but it is an interesting one. This is one place where the future of photography is being shaped.

2 responses to “An update after a week at the Maine Media Workshops”

  1. I like that quote about equipment, money, and light.It may well apply to all fields in one way or another. I know that it applies to psychotherapy and golf. Brook Jensen’s book, “Letting Go Of The Camera”, addresses some of the issues implied in the quote. It is worth looking at.

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