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Eastern Sierras Contemplative Landscape Workshop

During the Contemplative Landscape Workshop along the Eastern Sierras, we create a different experience of classic landscape photography and point the way to new, authentic interpretations of that experience by combining skills in visual perception and awareness. This workshop is a time for creative renewal in a beautiful place.

Our approach to photographing landscape is unique. We teach that how you perceive reality profoundly affects how you photograph it.  Photographing the landscape contemplatively combines both a sense of revealing the landscape, but also obscuring it.  And it is in this revealing and obscuring, this ambiguous flux of reality, that mystery is revealed to us. By accepting this paradox and the mysteries you don’t understand in the photographs you make, you will find yourselves and your own true way of photographing.

On a typical day in the early morning we’ll be shooting in dawn light. After breakfast comes a lecture on various aspects of landscape photography technique, history, and ideas.  Later in the afternoonwe’ll pick another location for evening light photography. We will combine the contemplative exercises with landscape photography practice from both Western and Eastern ideas of landscape composition.  There will likely be a couple of all-day field trips.

Skills learned and practiced in the workshop are: Mindfulness, Negative Space, Seeing Through, and Hidden Wholeness. Presentations include Contemplative Landscape, Western and Chinese Landscape painting influences, image structure, and individual interpretation. Possible field locations include various high lakes and canyons in the Eastern Sierra, as well as Eureka Dunes in Death Valley, and/or the Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains, subject to weather and road conditions, and accessed from our base in Bishop, CA.

The workshop includes opportunities to view one another’s work and to talk individually about your own images with the instructors. Throughout, our emphasis is on the contemplative process of making images rather than on technical details or typical photographic locations.