Here I am, back in Geneva after a trip to the US which included 10 days spent in exciting and energizing NYC.
A couple of month ago, I decided I wanted to participate in a workshop in order to confront my techniques and vision with other students and professionals of the photography world.
As much as I love being a self-educated photographer, always discovering new techniques and ideas through extensive reading of blogs, books, etc. and then experimenting with all this information, I strongly believe in sharing experiences with other photographers and what better place to do so than an advanced workshop?
Following some research, I discovered the continuing education programs from the International Center of Photography in NYC. I had a particular interest in two of their classes and decided to book one workshop on advanced layered lighting (5 days) as well as another on 15 minutes portraits (2 days).
I am mainly going to comment on the five day workshop on advanced layered lighting as the second weekend workshop, although interesting, unfortunately came as a little bit of repetition and was less in depth.
The workshop with E.J. Camp was a blast! We experimented a lot: we were moving lights around, going from simple one light setups to some much more complex setups with multiple sources and always discussing the pros and cons of our experimentations. I especially asked her how to achieve similar results with less gear because let's face it, the school provides a whole lot of impressive gear! Also, what was really interesting to me, was to watch E.J. setup, make quick decisions and direct the shoot. I learned so much about complex lighting, directing and general technique just by watching her work. Although I did shoot some pictures, shooting a specific subject wasn't so important. Mastering the lighting process was the goal. After that, the creative process is a question of vision and it's up to the photographer her/himself to choose a subject and find a personal approach.
The last day of the workshop, we decided to take the studio outside and light for a group shot. It was fun working all together and trying to figure out the lighting ratios, etc.
Furthermore, E.J. was recently part of a big project. She photographed cultural icons from the 80s to today with an Polaroid SX-70 camera and Impossible Project film and the photos were blown up to cover the walls of the new Rivington Hotel restaurant. So when she managed to get two 4-bank kinfolks and that Kisha from the Impossible Project came up to ICP with cameras and hundreds of packs of film, needless to say we had fun! And we got to buy cameras/film at amazing discount prices! I just can't wait to work on Polaroid portraits, I already have lots of ideas in mind.
In conclusion, I can only recommend this advanced workshop from ICP. I came out of the workshop with loads of inspiration, techniques and energy. I also met incredibly talented photographers and made new friends!
I have already worked on two projects: one in NYC and one in Florida.
Stay tuned as I will be sharing those pictures very soon!