The Workshop Experience

Munchow_1672-0159_E

Munchow_1670-590_E

Munchow_1672-0154_E

Participating in a photo workshop is always an intense experience, but also very rewarding – on many levels. I have participated in many workshops and I have as well taught many workshops myself – and I always do return feeling boosted with energy and inspiration. During a workshop it’s often long hours. Get up to shoot in the morning, at some point attending lectures and picture critique, then in the afternoon out shooting again and finally in the evening editing the catch of images of the day and process the selected ones for the picture critique the following day.

A photo workshop is not a holiday in the sense that you can spend the day on the beach. Well, of course you can, but why then sign up for the workshop in the first place? On the other hand, if you do something you love; you don’t really need to have a break from doing it, do you? I love giving everything I have when I teach, and I love when participants are equally geared up for getting the most out of a workshop. We push each other in new and stimulating directions.

Of course there is a time for hard work during a workshop and there is still a time for relaxing moments. Like in my last workshop I taught in Cuba a couple of weeks ago with my good friend and colleague Sven Creutzmann, we all had time for a swim in the ocean, we could all enjoy early mornings with a cup of coffee and, not the least, luxuriate and relax in each others companies during long dinner hours. And of course there is a lot of fun during a workshop.

I do try to push participants, and nothing is more exciting when they find new confidence in their shooting and see that the result is something they had never expected. Particularly when we go out and shoot on the street. For many inexperienced with street photography it’s quite a barrier to step up to. They may just lack confidence sizing up strangers on the street. All the more fun then, to see those same participants by the end of a workshop not thinking twice about getting close to people when they discover something they want to capture.

The photos here are but a few from the workshop Sven and I taught in Cuba in September/October.

Munchow_1672-0193_E

Munchow_1672-0344_E

Posted in Photography, Travel Photography | Tagged , , | 47 Comments

Stark Colours

© Vigdis Askjem

© Vigdis Askjem

© Vigdis Askjem

© Vigdis Askjem

© Vigdis Askjem

© Vigdis Askjem

© Vigdis Askjem

© Vigdis Askjem

© Vigdis Askjem

© Vigdis Askjem

The time has come to present the work of Vigdis Askjem. She attended my photo workshop in Villajoyosa, Spain, in spring earlier this year. From the workshop Vigdis is the last person to be showcased here – but not the least. Her work is worthy of a grand finale. Just look at the stark colours, the way she uses the light, and not the least the lovely moments she captures of daily life in the fishing village of Villajoyosa. The latter is for me what makes Vigdis’ photo stand out and engage the viewer. Each of her images tell a small story; with humour, with respect, with honesty and with commitment. I often talk about the importance of being engaged in whatever you shoot. You have to invest you own emotions in the photographic process if you want your photos to have an emotional impact on the viewer. That is exactly the case with the images of Vigdis. In Villajoyosa, she was photographing subjects that are close to her heart. During the workshop, she grew as a photographer. Initially it was a frustrating process, but suddenly she started to blossom. Some of the results you can see here.

With this presentation, I have come to the end of all the great work done by the participants during the photo workshop in Villajoyosa. I am already planning a new workshop at the same place next autumn, but the dates aren’t settled yet. Thus, stay in tune for upcoming information if this sounds like something you might consider participating in.

Posted in Photography, Travel Photography | Tagged , , , , | 41 Comments

Images from Cuba

Munchow_1670-177_E1

Munchow_1672-0208_E1

Munchow_1672-0308_E1

Munchow_1672-0370_E1

Munchow_1672-0470_E1

When I teach a workshop, my own shooting becomes secondary. What is important is the photos the participants are able to capture and bring back from the workshop. Often I hardly find time to do any shooting on my own. If I do, it’s mostly when I go out and photograph alongside some of the participants – if they want me to come along.

For the participants it’s a chance to see how I approach people on the street and also a way for me to help them break the barrier that is always there when you do street photography. Moreover, they see how I shoot – and not the least how long I stay in any given situation. While most participants may capture one, two, or at most three images from a situation they encounter, I would stay for as long as it takes to get a good photograph. It may take 50 shots or it may take 300, it may take 10 minutes or it may take an hour. As I said; whatever it takes. For most participants this is quite a revelation. Good photos don’t come for free – as a manner of speaking.

Anyway during the photo workshop I just taught in Cuba a couple of weeks ago, I had more time than usually to shoot my own images, due to the fact that it was a smaller group this time and also because we were two teachers. I still haven’t really had time to edit the photos, but here is a little selection of some of the images I shot; a first pre-edit.

Posted in Personal Work, Photo Tour, Photography, Travel Photography | Tagged , , , | 97 Comments

Look at Yourself

© Nancy de Flon

© Nancy de Flon

© Ingunn Nesset

© Ingunn Nesset

© Helen Chen

© Helen Chen

© Mike Mills

© Mike Mills

© Jennifer Clark

© Jennifer Clark

To make self-portraits is an excellent exercise for any photographer – but maybe also one of the most challenging to do. I am not talking about easy and casual selfies – which most everybody takes these days. But to try to portrait yourself with honesty, trying to capture the true self and revealing your deepest emotions – that take both surmounting and courage.

In my eWorkshop «Finding Your Photographic Voice», making self-portraits is one of the assignments I give my students – and maybe for many one of the hardest. Nevertheless – and often despite some reluctance initially – I always find that the students come up with both creative and revealing images. Just look at the ones showcased here, taken by participants of my latest round of the eWorkshop. Aren’t they just that; honest, revealing and creative? It’s always interesting to see how everybody comes up with different solutions, even those who initially hate the thought of taking self-portrait.

I have taken self-portrait myself – and know how excruciating exposed (literally and of course more importantly; in a figurative sense of the word) one feels in the process. For me it’s always important not to ask of anybody else what I won’t do myself. With that in mind – and even though I have previously made self-portraits – I have started a new project. Over the next year the plan is to make one self-portrait a week. I know some weeks I won’t find the time, but hopefully by the end of the year, I will at least have some 30-35 images. Maybe something for you to try as well?

Posted in Challenging Yourself, Creativity, Photography | Tagged , | 87 Comments

Laid-Back Caribbean Style

Etter regnfall er spillet igang igjen

"El Norte" Nuñez ved gården sin

Et vennlig smil møter man overalt

Munchow_0696-071

Livet i Gibara er preget av fred og ro

I have just returned from teaching a workshop in Cuba. It was some very intense and busy days – but also very satisfying. It’s not only a pleasure to teach and talk about photography, but I learn just as much as I hope the participants do. It’s too early to show any new pictures from this trip Cuba, so instead I have uploaded a couple of older pictures I have taken during previous trips to the Cuba. I hope to be able to post some new pictures from the workshop in a week’s time or so.

During the time in Cuba, I have not had any chance to connect through blogs, Facebook or other social medias. At lot can be said about this Caribbean country but internet is certainly not its strongest feature – to put in diplomatically. For this reason I have not been able to post anything on this blog – or visit any of your latest post. Over the next couple of weeks, though, I will try to catch up.

Posted in Personal Work, Photo Tour, Photography, Travel Photography | Tagged , , , | 101 Comments

The Quiet Observer

© Greta Dalen

© Greta Dalen

© Greta Dalen

© Greta Dalen

© Greta Dalen

© Greta Dalen

© Greta Dalen

© Greta Dalen

© Greta Dalen

© Greta Dalen

Greta Dalen is the quiet observer. During the photo workshop I taught in Villajoyosa, Spain, this spring she wandered the narrow streets of this small-town; quietly watching life as it was unfolding before her. She approaches her subjects with respect and honesty. Greta is a street photographer in a classical sense – at least when she photographs on the street. She waits and waits and then in a glimpse of a moment she captures that little interaction between people, that little movement that brings magic to a picture. She keeps her distance, let people do whatever they do, and let daily life go by as it does. She is not intrusive. However, she captures those intimate moments, those private interaction that creates captivating images. Greta doesn’t believe in tricks or enhancements, but in capturing the right moment while focusing on entrancing content.

Posted in Photography, Travel Photography | Tagged , , , , | 66 Comments

Colours of a Fading Season

Høsten har slått inn med fulle farger i Stordalen

Munchow_1278-141_E

Pat på tur i Discovery Park

Pat på tur i Discovery Park

Høsten har kommet til Discovery Park

This is just a little tribute to a season that is quickly coming to a closing. In the northern hemisphere autumn has once again produces its spectacular rainbow palette. Many places the colours are at their most intense right now, but where I am right now the season is already fading. Soon we move on to the next season, a season of white and blue. But before that, let’s linger a little more with the saturated palette of autumn, of the green, yellow and red spectrum of the colour wheel.

Posted in Personal Work, Photography | Tagged | 107 Comments