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articles

The Anderson Ranch Fine Art Digital Printing Workshop
Tuesday September 2, 2003

Section 1: The Anderson Ranch Experience



by Greg Gorman
photos by Steve Gorman

Having taught photo workshops over the past fifteen years, both around the country and throughout Europe, I also revel the role of student at them, and always find a good workshop to foster an incredible learning environment.

As an instructor, I never come away from my workshops without new insights, valuable information and, most importantly, good friends. Although in college I received an MFA in cinematography, I feel so much more is to be learned in small workshops taught by professionals. Teaching theory only goes so far in my book, and I've found that getting out and being exposed to the perils of a real working environment is always a far more rewarding experience. Things don't always work out perfectly, and you have to learn to adapt to situations, work with people you may not like or find difficult and deliver a product on deadline.

This past June, I was fortunate to take a digital workshop with Mac Holbert of Nash Editions, a fellow contributor to Imaging Revue. The course was taught near Aspen, at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, Colorado, so when Mac assured me it would be a good opportunity to increase my understanding of Photoshop while taking in some of the best scenery in the world, I was sold.

We arrived in Aspen to spectacular summer weather, incredible flowers, flowing streams and snowcapped mountains, setting the tone for what was to become my most memorable workshop experience. What I found most appealing about the Anderson Ranch workshop model was the emphasis placed on diversity. While most workshop centers focus on one of the arts, be it photography or film, Anderson Ranch covers a wider gamut. Located on a choice parcel of land amidst the scenic mountains of Snowmass Village, Anderson Ranch is host to analogue as well as digital photography classes, ceramics, woodworking, painting and sculpting. Each has its own housing but all classes converge on a central dining area, where conversation and ideas flow freely.

Holbert's hands-on approach was a highlight of my experience. Rather than using traditional teaching techniques of lectures and demonstrations, Holbert and partner Jonathon Singer worked daily, on an individual basis, with each student. Applying knowledge as a part of one's own workflow created an enhanced awareness of some of the techniques that applied to my own work. I feel this attentive philosophy is what sets this workshop apart from some of the other ones that are out there.

The classes are intimate, with numbers rarely surpassing 10-12 students. Sharing and communication among people who hold a common interest is one of the great benefits of workshops, and the mix of media and approaches to art pushes the boundaries we so often are encumbered by. The week was both informative and extremely enjoyable from an environmental point of view, and the workshop is one I would highly recommend.

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Upcoming Events


MAKE YOUR WORKflow (A D-65 event - led by IR expert Seth Resnick)
    4/18/04 at 9:00 AM to 4/24/04
The Digital Portfolio, (at John Paul Caponigro's studio, Maine)
    4/19/04 at 9:00 AM to 4/23/04
Article - Book Review
    4/24/04 at 5:00 PM
Santa Fe Workshops - Master Photoshop
    4/26/04 at 9:00 AM to 4/30/04
Article - Tutorial
    4/30/04 at 5:00 PM

...see more upcoming events

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