Advanced Photographic Craft
at Crooked Creek

Crooked Creek - Jenny Newton
© Jenny Newton - MBP staff

Photography — writing with light. Most of us accept that beautiful translation of the etymological roots of our medium. But what does it mean to write with light? What tools and other resources do we have to make that process a personal and creative experience?

The writer Ursula LeGuinn said, “Craft enables art.” Craft is the vocabulary of creative expression. Just as a writer benefits from a strong command of vocabulary and grammar, so the photographer benefits from a solid understanding of the principles of image formation. Photographic craft is the rich and rewarding process of making latent images, whether those images are being translated onto silver or silicon.

Water Drops - Douglas Vincent
© Douglas Vincent - MBP staff

Photographic craft allows the image to evolve from the original spark of interest. Think of a three-way partnership between the subject, the photographer, and the equipment & materials. As the image evolves, a dialogue develops between these parties that gradually tightens and strengthens the image in an effort to draw every ounce of potential out of the experience. Imagine making an image that allows the subject to have input on how it wants to be portrayed (even if that subject is not a person) — it can be a very powerful and seductive process!

This class both expands the knowledge presented in the prerequisite classes, and refines the practical application of those principles. A comprehensive test will help the student analyze strengths and weaknesses. Hands on exercises and demonstrations will explore every nuance of image making from filters to view camera movements to in-camera histograms. We’ll spend a lot of time looking at work, both in a group setting and during individual critiques. We’ll explore and evolve images together, again both individually and as a group. It is a lot of work and a lot of fun!

All of this takes place against the powerful backdrop of the White Mountains (see Landscape-Mindscape: The White Mountains and Bristlecone Pines for a more thorough description of the environment and facilities). Ample time is provided for personal work.