Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review of Leica Akademie Workshop "The Truth About Photographs" Washington, DC, USA June 7-9, 2013 - AND - More WLL Results From The Zeiss Sonnar 50mm f1.5!

I attended the Leica Akademie Workshop, "The Truth about Photographs - Developing a distinctive visual style." at the new Leica Store DC on June 7-9, 2013. The workshop consisted of a Friday evening lecture and introduction session, a full day of shooting on Saturday, and a review and critique on Sunday. Assisted by Leica Akademie North America Manager Tom Smith, Instructor Quinton Gordon packed a lot into the relatively short time of a weekend.

Gordon is a professional photographer from Victoria, British Columbia. His work has been exhibited in international shows, books (including a handmade monograph, Mile Zero: A Place Uncertain), and many high-tier publications, including Canadian Geographic, National Geographic Adventure, and Action Asia.

(Click Here) to go to Quinton's website and blog.
At the outset, Quinton told us that the goal of the workshop was not to make pictures like his; the goal was to make pictures like ours. In order to discover what our own style was, he told us to stop thinking about themes or photographic types. We had to stop taking photographs of things and take photographs that show how we felt about things. He also introduced a concept attributed to photographer Sam Abell:

  • Know when you're in the presence of a good photograph.
  • Compose and wait

This concept rang true as we practiced our craft over the weekend.

I won't share more of the ideas that make up this very unique and intriguing class. Suffice it to say that Quinton will give you new ways to think about photography, and plenty of assignments to challenge you to practice what you've learned.

Here are some images that I made over the course of the weekend in the workshop.

I shot the entire weekend with one camera (Leica M9) and one lens (Carl Zeiss C Sonnar 50mm f1.5, my Whole Lotta Leica lens for June). This was helpful in getting the equipment out of my way, another tip from Mr. Gordon.

I was quite satisfied with this workshop. I feel that the subject of developing an individual style was well-treated, and was the true focus of the lectures and exercises alike. The workshop is scheduled for a few more locations over the next several months, culminating with one in Los Angeles, California, in January 2014. I can give this workshop my full recommendation.

(Click Here) to go to the Leica Akademie website for more details.