Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Butch and Sundance, Laurel and Hardy, Sacco and Vanzetti. Ritter and Barlow

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Westport Island, Maine
    Posts
    1,168

    Butch and Sundance, Laurel and Hardy, Sacco and Vanzetti. Ritter and Barlow

    Richard Ritter and Bruce Barlow (thaz me) will reunite to team-teach the "Composition Intensive" workshop at Peters Valley Craft Center, June 20-24.

    While the workshop requirement is for a digital camera, who knows what toys Richard may bring? We'll have a large format camera there, for sure, to demonstrate, and feel bad that we can't invert the image in a digi-cam. Interested parties can have after-hours tutorials, if they would like. I suspect I'll throw my Ritter 8x10 and 5x7 into the car and bring them.

    I used to mentor photography high school students. They always told me that they "had composition down," and instead, needed to learn how to use their automatic camera. I replied that after 20-some years, I was still struggling with composition. I asked what their secret was.

    This workshop will have a lot of exercises and practice in developing your own compositional vocabulary. We'll have a lot of fun, you'll work hard and, I suspect, learn more than you'll be willing to admit.

    Come join us!
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Westport Island, Maine
    Posts
    1,168

    Re: Butch and Sundance, Laurel and Hardy, Sacco and Vanzetti. Ritter and Barlow

    Bump.
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

  3. #3
    ROL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,351

    Re: Butch and Sundance, Laurel and Hardy, Sacco and Vanzetti. Ritter and Barlow

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Barlow View Post
    They always told me that they "had composition down," and instead, needed to learn how to use their automatic camera.
    Well, not much has changed. I am not a huge supporter of workshops, and though frequently asked if I offer them (...I don't), I have come to believe over the years that there are a few important concepts in photography that can and probably should be workshop worthy in this oversimplified day and age, evidenced in abundance by image postings and gallery sites that indicate no apparent appreciation or knowledge of composition, classical or otherwise. I would add to to a rather abbreviated list of teachable subjects, exposure (appreciation of light), and specific printing technique. These are all so important to making great pictures, that they cannot be cynically packaged as tour-style workshop asides, as is so often done. Great photos are made by application of good technique and specific vision, not by visitation to national parks or secret locations. Good luck in your specificity.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    4,585

    Re: Butch and Sundance, Laurel and Hardy, Sacco and Vanzetti. Ritter and Barlow

    Good luck, Bruce. Your chocolate chip cookies are nearly worth the cost of the workshop -- which is how much, incidentally?
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  5. #5

    Re: Butch and Sundance, Laurel and Hardy, Sacco and Vanzetti. Ritter and Barlow

    Hi Butch and Sundance(who is who)? Where is Peters Valley?

    Barry.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Westport Island, Maine
    Posts
    1,168

    Re: Butch and Sundance, Laurel and Hardy, Sacco and Vanzetti. Ritter and Barlow

    Bill - Hello! $550 plus a $60 materials fee, which covers printing some of your exercise images, and maybe a hard-copy of my book "More Finely Focused," which has not, to my knowledge, ever been printed. They have room and board for extra, or there are motels nearby. Expect a lot of heat and humidity in NJ in late June. Peters Valley's cookies are at least as good as my own, by the way. And beware of ticks.

    Barry - Howdy! Peters Valley is near Layton, NJ at the north end of the Delaware Water Gap NRA. Nice place to photograph, although our exercises probably won't take us to them. I think it's fairly near Port Clyde, NJ, which is easier to find on a map. Cheap gas in NJ, and they pump it for you. I'll probably drive the Miata. I'm Butch, the tall one...

    ROL - We have students learn the same ideas and concepts taught to art students when learning how to draw, with minimal lectures and heavy-on-the-exercises. Art teachers and artists with whom I've vetted the curriculum are impressed. One teacher blatantly asked to steal the curriculum. I gave it to her, which I thought was nicer.

    At core, we like the idea of Heads, Hands and Heart, where Head is finding the subject, Hands is the technical craft, and Heart is the emotional connection. A successful picture balances all three, says Dorothy Sayers in "The Mind of the Maker," a must-read for any photographer. The first two are relatively easy, and I was told for years that Heart was as much luck as anything.

    That sounded wrong to me, and so I set out to systematically explore how elements of composition affected me emotionally. For instance, I have a different emotional response to a vertical line than I have to a horizontal one, and those are different from diagonals, and so on. Exercise: Find a strong linear element and make all the pictures, pointing the line at each hour of an imaginary clock face. Get a single malt scotch (not included in the materials fee) and look at the pictures, trying to feel the emotional response that each line evokes. Understand them, and file that information away in your brain. Do the same with the Rule of Thirds: when the object is at the 10-o'clock position, my response is different than at 4:00. I want to know that, and found huge value in making the pictures and looking at them. So I made pictures at each position of the clock. Yup, for me the response to each is different, and I'm better for having explicitly done the exercise, even at my advanced age and supposed vast experience.

    We'll also talk about tone, color, weight, balance, form, motion, and other aspects of putting stuff into a viewfinder. All with exercises.

    I developed these ideas for this workshop two years ago, and taught them at the first of these workshops at Peters Valley with great feedback. From that, I further developed ideas and wrote "More Finely Focused," which has, uh, I think 60 exercises, all of which I have done. Richard taught this workshop last year when I was travelling around the country, and this year Andy and I thought it would be fun for Richard and me to team-teach it. I can't wait. Richard is an extraordinary teacher, as well as one of the finest human beings I know. Andy is about as much fun as a person can get, and a terrific host. We're going to have a great time.

    So those are the types of ideas and exercises that we do, and then at the end, much as in the book, we tell students to "forget it all" when they photograph, because getting caught up in their compositional knickers will spoil the experience. That said, all those exercises are swimming around in their brains, and sneak into their pictures. I think we pass your specificity test, and if not, well, it's the best I can do. Thanks for the comment!
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

  7. #7
    ROL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,351

    Re: Butch and Sundance, Laurel and Hardy, Sacco and Vanzetti. Ritter and Barlow

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Barlow View Post
    ROL - We have students learn the same ideas and concepts taught to art students when learning how to draw, with minimal lectures and heavy-on-the-exercises. Art teachers and artists with whom I've vetted the curriculum are impressed. One teacher blatantly asked to steal the curriculum. I gave it to her, which I thought was nicer.

    At core, we like the idea of Heads, Hands and Heart, where Head is finding the subject, Hands is the technical craft, and Heart is the emotional connection. A successful picture balances all three, says Dorothy Sayers in "The Mind of the Maker," a must-read for any photographer. The first two are relatively easy, and I was told for years that Heart was as much luck as anything.

    That sounded wrong to me, and so I set out to systematically explore how elements of composition affected me emotionally. For instance, I have a different emotional response to a vertical line than I have to a horizontal one, and those are different from diagonals, and so on. Exercise: Find a strong linear element and make all the pictures, pointing the line at each hour of an imaginary clock face. Get a single malt scotch (not included in the materials fee) and look at the pictures, trying to feel the emotional response that each line evokes. Understand them, and file that information away in your brain. Do the same with the Rule of Thirds: when the object is at the 10-o'clock position, my response is different than at 4:00. I want to know that, and found huge value in making the pictures and looking at them. So I made pictures at each position of the clock. Yup, for me the response to each is different, and I'm better for having explicitly done the exercise, even at my advanced age and supposed vast experience.

    We'll also talk about tone, color, weight, balance, form, motion, and other aspects of putting stuff into a viewfinder. All with exercises.

    I developed these ideas for this workshop two years ago, and taught them at the first of these workshops at Peters Valley with great feedback. From that, I further developed ideas and wrote "More Finely Focused," which has, uh, I think 60 exercises, all of which I have done. Richard taught this workshop last year when I was travelling around the country, and this year Andy and I thought it would be fun for Richard and me to team-teach it. I can't wait. Richard is an extraordinary teacher, as well as one of the finest human beings I know. Andy is about as much fun as a person can get, and a terrific host. We're going to have a great time.

    So those are the types of ideas and exercises that we do, and then at the end, much as in the book, we tell students to "forget it all" when they photograph, because getting caught up in their compositional knickers will spoil the experience. That said, all those exercises are swimming around in their brains, and sneak into their pictures. I think we pass your specificity test, and if not, well, it's the best I can do. Thanks for the comment!
    Bruce, that is all music to my ears!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Westport Island, Maine
    Posts
    1,168

    Re: Butch and Sundance, Laurel and Hardy, Sacco and Vanzetti. Ritter and Barlow

    Thanks, ROL!
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

Similar Threads

  1. Presenting at Sundance Film Festival
    By Kimberly Anderson in forum Announcements
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 22-Jan-2011, 06:14
  2. Finely Focused by Bruce Barlow
    By venchka in forum Resources
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 18-Dec-2010, 12:19
  3. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-Mar-2008, 16:48
  4. Bruce Barlow's film test kit
    By Chris Strobel in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 27-Aug-2006, 20:09

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •