Seeing Like a Camera
Photography &
Critiquing Workshop
October 24-25, 2015

Seeing Like a Camera
Photography &
Critiquing Workshop
October 24-25, 2015

Seeing Like a Camera
Photography &
Critiquing Workshop
October 24-25, 2015

Seeing Like a Camera

Photography and Critiquing Workshop

  • David H. Wells, photographer & instructor
  • At Peter Miller Fine Art Photography Gallery, 118 North Main Street, 2nd Floor, Providence RI 02903
  • Saturday and Sunday, October 24-25, 2015, 15 hours total workshop time
    Presentation and lecture — online presentation, “Seeing Like a Camera” covers the topics listed below in great detail. Presented on Vimeo and available on October 16, 2015. You can view once or many times.
    Saturday location shoot on the Blackstone Valley Train from Woonsocket, RI to Putnam, CT, and in and around Putnam’s fall festival— 8:15am to 5pm
    Sunday photo review, critique, and Q&A — 1pm to 5pm
  • Class limited to 12 participants
  • Registration fee $359 per person, includes workshop ($300) and train fare ($59). Register before October 1, 2015 for $309

The hardest thing about photography is learning to see like a camera. It is a skill that the best photographers consciously (or unconsciously) master. It is the difference between a beginner’s occasional “lucky shot” vs the consistently strong images of a master photographer. Despite what the camera manufacturers claim, the ability to see like a camera is the most important thing in photography and not their cameras.

Humans look into a three dimensional world that our brain logically organizes. We see objects. We constantly scan a wide field and our mind focuses on specific things and “zooms” to isolate and target what and where we apply our attention. Our eyes are amazing instruments that automatically compensate for varying amounts of illumination, depth, and color of light. Our past experiences and emotions effect what we see and how we look at the world.

Cameras see only light and shadow with a limited, fixed-aspect view of two dimensions.

In order to see like a camera, photographers need to:

  • Learn NOT to over-think their compositions by including content that is intellectually important to them but adds little to the viewer’s experience of the photograph.
  • Learn how to use the monitor on the back of their cameras to evaluate the difference between what they saw in their mind’s eye and what the camera actually recorded.

Learning to see like a camera is a skill like any other skill, one that requires a grounding in the proper techniques followed by hours and hours of practice.

Topics covered will include:

  • How F/stops and Shutter speeds control light (and their impact on the image)
  • What is ISO and how controlling it helps (or harms) your images.
  • Appreciating the quality and direction of light (and how to use it effectively)
  • The impact on the image of varying the photographer’s position (and angle)
  • The importance of “working” situations to get the best image of a situation.
  • The impact of using different lenses (and when to use which)
  • Ways to control and use focus to create different narratives in your images
  • How and when to use the camera’s controls to convey a sense of time
  • Digital image file formats, JPG vs RAW, and when to use each one

In this workshop, we will explore the proper techniques through shooting, editing and critiquing exercises. Photographers will practice, practice, practice, building skills as they move forward. This is a lecture/shooting class with extensive visuals. The class is for beginner and intermediate photographers.

What happens during the workshop?

October 16-23, 2015

  • The first part of the workshop is online at a time and place of your choice. David Wells has crafted a highly detailed video presentation and lecture specifically for the “Seeing Like a Camera” workshop. You will be able to view the video one week in advance and watch again as many times as you like on Vimeo. See more details below.

Saturday October 24, 2015

  • 8:15am: Meet at the Blackstone Valley Train Station in Woonsocket, RI
    Shoot in and around the train station. Directions
  • The following times are approximate:
  • 9:00am to 11:00am: Train ride to Putnam, CT
    Shoot scenery, train interiors, David will have informal talks with photographers
  • 11:00am to 2:30pm: location shoot in Putnam, CT: a historic and scenic town, the town fall festival, the farmer’s market, the antique stores; have lunch (not provided). Putnam was named by Boston Magazine as one of the “Top 15 Small Towns to Visit”
  • 2:30pm to 5:00pm: Train ride back to Woonsocket, RI
    Shoot scenery, train interiors, David will have informal talks with photographers

Sunday October 25, 2015, Review, Critique, and Discussion

  • 1:00 – 5:00 pm: At Peter Miller Fine Art Gallery, 118 North Main Street, 2nd floor, Providence, RI

For the Review, Critique, and Discussion:

  • Bring about 50 images, JPGs only, about 2000 pixels (+/- ) on long dimension. JPGS out of camera are good! No need to post process
  • 5 to 10 situations (no more!),
  • 10 or 20 images per situation (work situations!)
  • Bring images on HD or USB drive or flash card/memory card (no CDs or DVDs please)

The “Seeing Like a Camera” video presentation will cover:

  • How F/stops and Shutter speeds control light (and their impact on the image)
  • What is ISO and how controlling it helps (or harms) your images.
  • Appreciating the quality and direction of light (and how to use it effectively)
  • The impact on the image of varying the photographer’s position (and angle)
  • The importance of “working” situations to get the best image of a situation.
  • The impact of using different lenses (and when to use which)
  • Ways to control and use focus to create different narratives in your images
  • How and when to use the camera’s controls to convey a sense of time
  • Digital image file formats, JPG vs RAW, and when to use each one

You can see many examples of David’s educational videos on photography on his site, thewellspoint. It’s free!

Who is the workshop designed for?

The workshop is designed for photographers of many levels who want to improve their skills — from the weekend shooter to the advanced photographer. At minimum, participants need to be comfortable using either manual exposure or aperture or shutter priority automatic exposure setting. You will need to know how to download images from memory cards to your computer and select the best 50 of the 200 plus you will shoot during the class.

What kind of equipment do I need?

A semi-advanced digital camera, mirrorless, or DSLR with zoom lens with autoexposure and manual settings. Please email or call with any questions.

Where is the workshop?

  • The first part of the workshop is online. David Wells will craft a 2 hour video presentation and lecture specifically for this workshop. You will be able to view the video one week in advance and watch again as many times as you like on Vimeo.
  • Saturday is a location shoot. We will meet at 8:15am at the Blackstone Valley Train Station in Woonsocket, RI. The train travels up the Blackstone Valley to Putnam, CT. Travel time is about 2 hours. During the trip, David David will have informal talks with the photographers in the workshop. In Putnam we will walk through the town and shoot at the town fall festival, the farmer’s market, in antique stores, and around the scenic town. At about 2:30 the train will travel back to Woonsocket, RI and arrive around 5:00 pm. David Wells and Peter Miller will walk around town with the group and provide instruction and information.
  • Sunday Review, Critique, and Discussion: Peter Miller Fine Art (PMFA) Photography Gallery, 118 North Main Street, 2nd Floor, Providence RI 02903. Directions and parking

More about David H. Wells, photographer, instructor, video-maker and blogger

David is an award winning freelance photographer/video maker using whatever technology he can to create visual narratives. He is based in Providence, Rhode Island, affiliated with Aurora Photos and is also a photo-educator. One editor described him as a “…specialist in intercultural communication and visual narratives that excel in their creative mastery of light, shadow and sound, stills and video.”

His project on the pesticide poisoning of California farm workers was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Over the years he has worked on assignment for such magazines as Fortune, Life, National Geographic, Newsweek, The Sunday New York Times, Time, etc. He also worked for corporations such as Consolidated Natural Gas and DuPont as well as for non-profits such as the Ford Foundation and the New Israel Fund.

He has received two Fulbright fellowships, a grant from Nikon/N.P.P.A., a fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation’s Program of Research and Writing on International Peace and Cooperation.

His work has been in over fifty exhibitions and he has taught photography and critiquing workshops at the International Center for Photography in NYC and at the Maine Media Workshops. He was featured in Photo District News as one of “The Best Workshop Instructors.”

See more at: http://davidhwells.com/about/resume.php

See David’s photography educational site, thewellspoint. Hours of excellent information and it’s free!

Questions?

Please contact Peter Miller by email or by phone or text (401) 225-6792

Cancellation Policy

Cancelled Workshops

  • If we are forced to cancel a workshop for any reason, your entire tuition will be transferred to another workshop or you can have it refunded to you.
  • For anyone traveling to workshops, we highly recommend purchasing trip insurance to cover your expenses in case of cancellation.

What does it take to cancel a workshop?

  • A lot. An act of God, really. If there’s rain in the forecast, snow in the forecast, thunderstorms in the forecast, we will typically still hold the workshop. This type of weather can make for some incredibly dramatic images and it’s not something we shy away from. In addition to that, we are cognizant of the fact that our students have purchase plane tickets, made hotel reservations, rented cars and even gear and canceling these things can be a big hassle (with or without travel insurance).
  • The only time we will ever cancel a workshop is if conditions are absolutely guaranteed to bring un-shootable and/or miserable conditions or some sort of (God forbid) family emergency that can’t be ignored. Again, if something like this happens we will work with you to move your registration to a later date or get you a full refund.

Personal Emergencies

  • If you have a personal emergency such as a death in the family, please contact us as soon as possible, we are willing to work with you to reschedule or refund your fee on a case-by-case basis.

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