Photo by David H. Wells
Seeing Like a Camera, Editing Like a Master with David H. Wells (In-Person Learning – Three Sessions)
- April 29, 2022
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
- April 30, 2022
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
- May 1, 2022
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
In-Person Learning Class
Despite what the camera manufacturers claim, gear doesn’t make you a better photographer. To become a better photographer, you need to take a lot of pictures and select the best few.
The two hardest things about photography are learning to see like a camera and learning how to select which are the best images after you have been photographing. These two skills are ones that the best photographers consciously (or unconsciously) have already mastered. They are the difference between a beginner’s occasional “lucky shot” vs the consistently strong images of a master photographer.
In this weekend-intensive workshop, we will spend the first day learning to “see like a camera.” In order to see like a camera students need to 1) 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, 2) 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 and 3) understand that seeing like a camera is a skill like any other skill, one that requires a grounding in the proper techniques followed by hours of practice.
In this phase of the workshop, we will explore the proper techniques through a series of shooting exercises. We will photograph together on Saturday afternoon and early Sunday morning to fully explore how to see like a camera. We will also explore how to better understand available light, how it is shaped by the time of day, seasons, the photographer’s positioning, etc.
During the second day we will explore “editing like a master” as we learn how to properly critique and edit photographs. Saying “wow,” “neat” or “cool” is not critiquing. We will explore the common language for critiquing photographs. We will discuss the photographic tools, elements and techniques the photographer used, successfully or unsuccessfully, as we select a small set of the best images from each participants work.
When it comes to selecting images, most photographers cannot edit their own work because they are too caught up in the content of the image or in the emotional experience they had making the image. In this class we will explore how to edit your photographs effectively by stepping back and looking at the work more analytically and dispassionately.
After the early Sunday morning shoot, each student will bring 200 +/- digital files on a USB drive or hard drive and we will edit those down to a top 50 images +/-. Over lunch, we will then take those images to a nearby one hour lab/drug store photo lab (4 x 6 inch prints, again prints only, no digital files. Students are required to pay for their own processing.) After lunch we will lay out the images from each student on a large table, one student at a time. We will them edit them down, with the all the students watching. David will start cutting the number down to get to a top 15 or 20, talking about his thinking he progresses.
At the end of each edit, the student ends up with a top 15-20 images (approximately) which reflects their artistic strengths, subject matter of interest, etc. Students also learn by watching David do the same edit with the photos of others. In some ways the students learn more watching the same process as it plays out with their peer’s work. The observant students begin to “mentally” edit the other work and they learn about editing (whether or not they agree with choices.) Students leave this part of the class with an education in photo editing AND a professionally executed edit that will cut their large set of images down to a final, tightly edited and clearly defined top twenty images.
Please bring ten images on a flash drive, particularly those dealing with light and space, to the Friday night meeting.
David H. Wells (www.davidhwells.com) is documentary photographer/filmmaker and award-winning photography educator who divides his time between Providence, Rhode Island and Bangalore, India. One day you can find him creating still and moving images for clients, such as Edible Rhody and the Providence Preservation Society on the unique local culture of America’s smallest state. Other days he may be working on personal/grant funded projects on the beautiful Narragansett Bay with the support of Rhode Island’s Council for Humanities and State Council on the Arts.
NOTE: This is classified as a “Special Guest/Master Photographer” workshop. We advise you to read the “Special Guest/Master Photographer Refund Policy” HERE before enrolling.
COVID-19 Alert & Policy:
Please note this course will be held at the Los Angeles Center of Photography. We are asking that all students be vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 PCR test within 48 hours. Participants will be required to wear masks at all times, in addition to practicing social distancing.
By registering for this class you recognize the risks of contracting COVID-19 and release and hold harmless the Los Angeles Center of Photography from all liability.
Traveling from out of town? Need a place to stay?
We strongly recommend The Culver Hotel, a boutique hotel conveniently located about two miles from the Los Angeles Center of Photography. Guests of LACP will receive 25% off the listed room rate (pending closures and black-out periods).
Dates: Friday, April 29, 7-9 pm PST + Saturday and Sunday, April 30 – May 1, 10 am – 6 pm PST
(Please note exact meeting times may vary.)
Enrollment Limit: 15 students
Skill/Experience Level: Students should have a working knowledge of their camera and the ability to shoot in manual mode.
Venue Phone: (323) 464-0909
Venue Website: https://lacphoto.org/Address: