Archive for the ‘workshops’ Category

So much to think about …

by Sue Dawson

WE’VE BEEN thinking a lot about teaching lately. Alison just finished teaching her week-long workshop here on the Vineyard, and we’re planning a weekend retreat for our Advanced Mentorship group. I’m also just starting to email people on the “interested” list for our 6-month Mentorship, which starts soon. But it’s funny what Alison and I talk about a lot these days…

First, picture us sitting at a cafe, drinking a latte (me) or a short latte with an extra shot (Alison), after a morning walk on the beach. Or maybe we’re hanging out on our back deck in the evening, with a drink and a deck of cards. Or working together in the kitchen. Usually, we talk about work, kids, family, cats, friends, and ALL THE STUFF WE NEED TO DO. See how I put that in caps? There’s always a lot to do, and it mostly fills the conversations we have, in a good (responsible) and bad (uni-focus) way.

But around this time of year – when the gallery season is almost over, the crowds of tourists have one more weekend of fun before things start to close for the season, there’s a chill in the air, and leaves are starting to crunch underfoot – we start to talk about what we want. Now that summer’s over, how do we want to spend this fall, winter, and spring? After such a busy season, what do we need? What will fill us back up again?

Alison wants to shoot more. She wants inspiration. Accountability. A project. A mentor – to push her, support her, and bring out the best in her. I want to create my own art – painting, writing, maybe try new media. I want inspiration. Accountability. A project. A mentor, to get the juices flowing, and support me in my creative life. And we both want to spend time with other artists, inspiring each other, and pushing our learning curve steeper, more challenging, and therefore more fulfilling.

In short, we want to take a Mentorship like ours. Seriously. We’ve fallen in love with the program we created, and we want someone to do this for us! I know, Alison’s already “there,” right? Wrong. There is no “there.” As an artist you need to keep growing and learning. And there’s nothing like doing that in a group of like-minded artists, keeping the bar just high enough to inspire, and holding you accountable to your dreams.

eelpond2016

I’d like to say we’re all setting the alarm for pre-dawn and jumping out of bed when it rings, so that we can be on location for that amazing sunrise we’ll be hearing about later on Facebook. Or making the first phone call to set up a shoot for a project we’re excited to start. Or writing that first draft we’ve been musing about for ages. But most days, to be honest, we’re going through the 12,893 emails in our inbox, folding laundry, or troubleshooting a hard drive crash – all things I’ve done today (and yes, I have that many emails in my inbox). We all need something to lift us out of the everyday grind, get us inspired, motivate  – and sometimes validate – us creatively.

So while we’re busy looking for a program for us, I’d love to talk with you about joining the program we’ve created for you. As of today, there are 9 spaces available, and I have 85 people on my “interested” list (I’m in the process of emailing each one). This year, we’re starting on October 24th, and taking a break between Thanksgiving and the new year (nobody gets much accomplished during that time anyway). We’ll pick up again at the beginning of January, and go through May 19th, 2017. All the info is here, but I’m happy to answer any questions you have. Just email me (sue@alisonshaw.com), and we’ll set up a time to talk.

Funny timing: As I write this, it’s flat calm, and the early evening air is cool. Alison just ran down the stairs and is heading out to shoot…

EPILOGUE
Just thought I’d share one of the photos Alison got, when she went out to shoot at Poucha Pond that evening…

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Four workshops to choose from this year

by Sue Dawson

EVER WANTED to do a workshop with Alison? This year, there are four locations to choose from. Alison loves teaching, and has been doing it for decades. The workshops are a great way to immerse yourself in photography for 3 to 7 days, and really get inspired creatively. You’ll learn tips and techniques, make new friends, and take some awesome photos. Click each location for more info.

DALLAS, TEXAS
May 19-21, 2016
Sun to Moon Gallery
Alison’s really excited to do her third workshop for Sun to Moon, which she co-teaches with photographer and gallery co-owner Scot Miller. There’s still time to sign up!

White Rock Lake, Dallas TX

White Rock Lake, Dallas TX

Alison teaching in Sun to Moon Gallery, Dallas

Alison teaching in Sun to Moon Gallery, Dallas


ROCKPORT
, MAINE

July 17-23, 2016
Maine Media Workshops
This is Alison’s 16th consecutive year doing this workshop. Shooting on the Maine coast is near and dear to Alison’s heart. Her family has lived in Brunswick for many years, and she really knows and loves the area.

Rockport Harbor, watching the lobster catch come in

Rockport Harbor, watching the lobster catch come in

Pemaquid Point, Maine

Pemaquid Point, Maine


MARTHA’S VINEYARD

September 18-24, 2016 – FULL
Alison Shaw Photography Workshops
This is Alison’s home, and her favorite place to teach. She started teaching on the Island in 1993, and has taught every year since. Just a few spaces left in this one, so sign up soon.

Students with workshop assistant Wayne Smith, Lucy Vincent Beach

Students with workshop assistant Wayne Smith, Lucy Vincent Beach

Lucy Vincent Beach

Lucy Vincent Beach


TUCSON
, ARIZONA

November 6-11, 2016
Madeline Island School of the Arts – West
This will be Alison’s second time teaching in Tucson, and her third workshop for MISA. Tanque Verde is a top-notch dude ranch with great food, ambiance, and weather.

On Tanque Verde Ranch, shooting a wrangler

At Tanque Verde Ranch, shooting a wrangler

Spanish mission on the outskirts of Tucson

Spanish mission on the outskirts of Tucson

 

Introducing our two new workshop assistants

ws_wasque_point

Wayne Smith’s photograph of a fisherman at Wasque, where blues are running like they were in the ’70s.

A guest blog: by Sue Dawson

ALISON’S BEEN TEACHING week-long workshops on Martha’s Vineyard since the mid-1980s. They were first hosted by Atlanta’s Southeastern Center for the Arts (owner Neil Chaput then moved to Montana, where he founded Rocky Mountain School of Photography). Classes were held in a different place every year – even in Alison’s living room. Those were the days of shooting with film cameras, so Alison had an assistant who dropped off at least 50 rolls of film at the airport each morning, so they could be flown to Logan Airport, driven by courier to a lab in Boston, and rush-processed. He or she would pick up yesterday’s processed film – now slides – and bring them back to the group each day. No one knew for sure how their images would look, until they saw the slides. Students “bracketed” their shots, meaning that they shot multiple images of the same thing at different exposures, to increase the chances of getting a good one. When the slides came in, they’d be spread out on a light table, the best shots chosen, and loaded into a slide projector for group critiques.

Things are so different now. Classtime is held at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center, in a gorgeous theater with cushy seats and a huge screen. We host a group dinner Friday night, in a local restaurant, and a final slideshow Saturday morning that’s open to the public. All students shoot with digital cameras, so daily critiques include images you shot just hours earlier. You can see your images in-camera right away, but the technological “bar” is a lot higher these days. There’s still a learning curve for shooting, but now there’s also the digital darkroom, which is a daunting thing for many photographers. You need to have an efficient workflow, and know how to process your images digitally.

We’re excited to announce that we’ll have two assistants for our workshops this year, so that we can meet the varied needs of our students. Wayne Smith, a local photographer and surfcaster (see today’s Vineyard Gazette story about his fishing success here), will offer his many years of expertise with shooting, and managing a photo studio in Boston. Jeff Bernier, a local photographer and retired tech teacher at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, will teach what you need to know in Adobe Lightroom on our first morning together, and be available for tech questions the rest of the week. Long-time workshop alum and friend Jen Sayre will help with setup, errands, and all of your caffeinated beverage needs, as she’s done for several years. All of this added teaching and assistance will free Alison to do what she does best. Our team will support each student where they are, thus manifesting each student’s own best experience.

If you’ve been thinking of taking a workshop with Alison, this is a great year to do it. Grab your spot now – there’s a pdf you can download here, with details and registration info (look for the blue type).

Can’t help it but we’re creative …

A guest blog: by Eli Dagostino

FOR 25 YEARS Alison Shaw and her students have posed together for a group photo at the end of each of her fall photography workshops. Alison has always enlisted the help of her partner in crime (the workshop assistant) to take the photo. Last year was my first year assisting the internationally renowned fine-art master, and when I was put to the task of taking the traditional photo for our group, Alison made it clear that she didn’t want the shot rushed and that it definitely had to be something fun and creative.

I made the same mistake as assistants past and waited until one of the last days to take our group photo. We planned to shoot in Menemsha that evening, and I decided this would be a great time to get everyone together and quickly (without taking the students away from their shooting adventures) take THE shot. We notified the students in the morning and proceeded to put together a shot that night. It was eh….

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September workshop on Martha’s Vineyard

I JUST FINISHED TEACHING my September workshop (otherwise known as “photo boot camp”) on the Vineyard. It was a great and talented group of sixteen students, my trusty assistant Donna Foster, and our “shadow” Jonathan Hart, a Vermont-based photographer who spent the week observing.

DAY 1, Sunday:
7pm: Meet-and-greet session at the Mansion House, fueled by Chilmark Chocolates and red wine. Jen Sayre broke her own record for the most Alison Shaw MV workshops – she’s taken six workshops with me on the island since 2003. She gets re-inspired each time, and we love having her.

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