Calendar & Workshops

Vision & Technique Workshop - Bucks County, PA, 2016 Oct. 14–16

This is a workshop for intermediate and advanced photographers. Limited to eight participants. Although we work with view cameras and demonstrate with them, the workshop is not format specific.

This workshop runs from Friday evening through late Sunday afternoon. Our aim is to make it so complete that it will be the last workshop of its type that you will ever need.

The purpose of this workshop is to help you make better photographs, and through doing that, to experience personal growth. And if you already make beautiful photographs, but find that you don't do so consistently, then this workshop is for you.

In most all photography workshops everyone learns something and has a good time. But afterwards they do not necessarily, in their own terms, make better photographs. After our workshops, most everyone makes better photographs. This is because, we have been told, we have a way of describing and demonstrating an approach to making photographs that is exceedingly helpful and unique.

In this workshop you will not learn any "rules." You will go "beyond composition." You will learn to see more than you already see and to take a more creative approach to photographing, and, as a result, based on our past experience with former participants in our workshops, your photographs will be better and you will have a higher percentage of keepers.

We intend this to be the definitive workshop for black and white photography. Even though this is only a weekend workshop, everything will be covered including developing film by inspection, printing, and proper use of the camera in a way that encourages creative vision. All technical matters will be discussed as a function of vision.

If you notify us beforehand of specific things you would like to learn, we will incorporate them into the workshop. Of course, we will expect you to ask plenty of questions as various topics arise during the weekend. There are no limits and we hope to meet your needs as fully as possible. Although the principles covered are applicable to all formats, the use of view cameras will be emphasized.

Complete Workshop Description


The workshop will begin on Friday evening at 7P.M. It will continue from 9:00 A.M. Saturday until well into the night, and on Sunday from about 9:00 A.M. until approximately 4:30 P.M.

Our workshops are intense. Our objective is to help you develop your skills and give you the tools to make the best photographs you possibly can. We will try to teach you everything we know about the fine art of black and white photography, both visually and technically. We have no secrets.

On Friday evening we take a preliminary look at your photographs followed by a discussion of our own work and the visual things that go into its making.

On Saturday morning we take our cameras into the field and demonstrate how we work. During this time we work with each person individually and demonstrate a creative way to use a camera that will, in all likelihood, expand your way of working. Although we will be using an 8x10 camera for this demonstration, this is valuable even if you work in 35mm. During this afternoon there will be time for you to make your own negatives, so bring your camera and film.

After lunch we go into the darkroom for a printing demonstration. We demonstrate our printing techniques and then apply them to negatives you have brought with you. We ask that you bring negatives that were difficult to print, negatives that yielded satisfactory prints only after many hours of effort, or ones that never did yield the print you had hoped for. Also bring the best prints (mounted or not) that you were able to make from those negatives. We do this with negatives that do not need to be enlarged.

After the printing demonstration we demonstrate developing film by inspection. There will not be time for you to develop your own negatives you might have made that day.

We will then like to have dinner all together and have a general discussion into the night.

On Sunday morning we take a careful look at your photographs and discuss them in light of all that has gone before during the weekend. Our hope is that by this time you will almost be able to anticipate everything we might say. The more photographs you bring with you, the more helpful we can be. Bring as many as you would like us to look at, though thirty or forty would be maximum. These photographs should be in as finished a form as possible and preferably mounted.

We look at participants' photographs both before and after brunch. If we can locate a drymount press we will demonstrate mounting prints and spotting both prints and negatives. At the end of the workshop, we can cover any topic you like that we have not dealt with. Let us know if there is any specific aspect of photography, either technical or visual, that you are interested in having us cover and we will do our best to do so.

All meals included from Friday desert and coffee through Sunday afternoon.

Workshop fee: $895 Credit cards are accepted. Limited to eight participants.
To sign up and for questions or further information please contact us at  michaelandpaula@michaelandpaula.com or call 1-610-847-2005

Unsolicited comments by former workshop participants:

Just a note of thanks to you both for having me at your wonderful workshop. There are events that occur in one's life that you consider a milestone for growth for who you are or become. I can honestly say that your workshop is one of my milestone events. You have renewed my photographic vision. You have reaffirmed my love of photography."

"I have been a commercial photographer since I was 17. I went to college, assisted the top photographers in London, worked on global international advertising accounts for the last twenty-five years, and last year I went back to college to do my Masters. Not once in all that time have I ever had such an interesting and informative photographic experience."

"You guys changed me, my photography and how I view what I do more than any other single event in my lifetime! I am serious :)"

"I truly enjoyed your workshop. The experience expanded my perspective and I have not felt this level of excitement since I started in photography. The best workshop of the dozen that I have attended."

"I must say that your seminar was the best investment I have made since I bought my first shares of GE a long time ago. Not a day goes by that I do not put to use some of the vast knowledge base I learned."

"Michael and Paula's insights and comments, provided me with a whole new understanding of what I was doing! I felt like the man who didn't realize he was speaking prose his whole life!"

"Just wanted to drop you a note to thank you both for a wonderful weekend. I feel privileged to have been part of your workshop. I learned more in those three days than I have in all my previous workshops. No further workshops are needed."

"Thank you for a wonderful workshop, I am still reeling over how much information and advice you gave all of us. I was very impressed with how both of you were able to balance working with all of us as individuals as well as a group. A very rare gift."

"Just a quick note to thank the two of you for a wonderful workshop this weekend. I cannot begin to express what an eye-opening experience it was working with you, both in the field and in the darkroom. I have been photographing a long time and I have never come across anyone who uses the camera the way you do to truly explore the world as a visual experience and turn that experience into a print that becomes something more than what was seen. This was truly revolutionary for me."

"I want to thank all of you for making the workshop such an unforgettable experience. I'll likely never look at a photograph or my ground glass the same way again. I couldn't be more excited!"

"I used to feel that I mostly took OK images, and every once in a while I would have a real gem. I took the workshop last year and the only drawback is that I now have too many good negatives and not enough time to print them all."

"The Vision and Technique workshops are amazing. Anyone who has not taken it, sign up now! I am an art/philosophy student at the university of Arizona, and that workshop was simultaneously the best and worst decision I ever made. Best: You learn an incredible amount. Michael is an amazing teacher. The techniques he and Paula have developed make the process of making beautiful photographs simple, second nature like. Plus, they are amicable, down to earth, and give honest feedback. Worst: I now feel the University is a waste of time and money! paying nearly $1200 (which is time and half the cost of Vision and Technique) for brutish 18 week stomp to cover a topic Michael can teach more eloquently, and thoroughly, in about 12 minutes! As you can see when I say worst I mean that as a compliment to Michael and Paula. Take the workshop! It is amazing!"

"I want to thank you both for your guidance and inspiration. It really has had a major positive impact as far as my photography goes. You are really good at this teaching stuff, Michael. Really good. You understand and connect with the creative process at a core level and along with Paula are able to pass it along to others without a bunch of rules and "shoulds." And if we can then connect (or reconnect) with that core (universal rhythms, visual relationships, inner resonance-whatever), we are free. Free to discover and see things in our own unique way. As long as vision/seeing stays in the driver's seat. That is some insight to be able to give to others. If anyone else out there is able to do the same, they are awfully quiet about it."

"I'd just like to again commend you both on a wonderful weekend. You both certainly love what you are doing and it shows. Your attention to detail in your photography is quite evident; it continues into the organization and preparation of the workshop itself. My thought process under the dark cloth is forever changed thanks to your observations and comments."




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