The Art of Seeing Photographically: September 14–16

The Art of Seeing Photographically: September 14–16

from 200.00

A weekend workshop with

Paula Chamlee and Michael A. Smith

limited to eight participants

September 14–16, 2018

Friday evening through late Sunday afternoon

At Michael A. Smith and Paula Chamlee's home/studio in historic Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Payment Option:
sold out

Michael A. Smith and Paula Chamlee have been photographing for a combined 85 years. Their photographs have been collected by 140 art museums worldwide. They conduct occasional weekend workshops. At the end of the workshop description see a few of the unsolicited comments they have received from their students about their workshops.

Participants have come for their weekend workshops from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, Korea, China, France, Germany, Italy, Alaska, Hawaii, northern Canada to name a few. In addition, they have taught many workshops in other foreign countries. Don’t miss this opportunity to study with them at their home/studio in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.


For Digital and Analog Photographers

Workshop Description:

Friday evening–Sunday afternoon, September 14–16

For analog photographers: Monday, September 17 can be added for a full day in the darkroom. See below.

The purpose of this workshop is to help each person make better photographs, and in doing so, to experience personal growth. And if participants already make exceptional photographs, but find that they do not do so consistently, then this workshop is equally helpful for them. In most all photography workshops everyone learns something and has a good time. But afterwards they do not necessarily, in their own terms, make better photographs. After our workshops, almost everyone makes better photographs. This is because, we have been told, we have a way of describing and demonstrating an approach to making photographs that is exceedingly helpful and unique.

In this workshop you will not learn any “rules.” You will go “beyond composition.” You will learn to see more than you already see and to take a more creative approach to photographing, and as a result, based on our past experience with former participants in our workshops, your photographs will be better and you will have a higher percentage of keepers, as well as having more pleasure in the process.

This workshop is for all levels of photographers and for those who work in all formats—from digital cameras to 8x10- inch view cameras.

Complete Workshop Description

The workshop will begin on Friday evening and will continue through Sunday until late afternoon.

Friday: 7 p.m. –11 p.m. ±
Saturday: 9 a.m. – until dark
Sunday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. ±

On Friday evening we take a preliminary look at a sample of the participants’ photographs (without comment) from their portfolios. Each participant is asked to bring a portfolio of his/her photographs, at least 10, and up to 40 prints. This is followed by a discussion of our own work and the visual things that go into their making. This is an extensive discussion of visual concerns common to all good picture-makers. 

On Saturday morning we take our cameras into the field and demonstrate how we work. During this time we work with each person individually and demonstrate a creative way to use a camera that will, in all likelihood, expand and enhance the photographer’s way of thinking, looking, and working. Although we will be using an 8x10-inch view camera for this demonstration, it is relevant and useful even if the participants photograph in 35mm or any digital format.

Saturday afternoon is a time for everyone to make photographs. During this time we will actively look at the viewing screen of participants’ cameras and comment on how well they are seeing and will suggest broader approaches.

On Sunday we will take a careful look at each participant’s portfolio of photographs and discuss them in light of all that has gone before during the weekend. Our hope is, by this time, everyone will be able to anticipate much of what we might suggest to improve his/her work. The more photographs that a participant brings, the more helpful we can be. These photographs should be in as finished form as possible, and preferably mounted.

At the end of the workshop, at participants’ request and time permitting, we will cover any topic that may not have been discussed or demonstrated.

Additional Darkroom Day

For those who still use film, we will schedule an additional day, Monday, in which we teach developing film by inspection and a printing session that demonstrates an approach to printing that will help you print more quickly, and at the same time, guarantee that you will make better prints. There is an additional fee of $500 for this extra day.