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Field & Technical Workshops

PhotoCentral’s travel workshops offer a selection of outstanding locations appealing to a wide variety of people. The technical workshops allow individuals to explore and develop new skills in an intensive and supportive class environment. During workshops we spend time with each participant, nurturing not just the photographer, but the total person and his or her creative vision. PhotoCentral Workshops are about more than just clicking shutters. Photography is a tool we use to get in touch with ourselves and the world around us.

We encourage everyone interested in sharing ideas, beautiful places and exciting experiences with sensitive like-minded persons to attend PhotoCentral Workshops. Preregistration is required. Every participant must be registered in the workshop. Individuals will be permitted to cancel photography workshops no later than two weeks prior to workshop date. If you are canceling a photo workshop you must call the H.A.R.D. Administration Office at 510-881-6700. Unless otherwise noted, transportation and lodging arrangements are the responsibility of the individuals registering for the workshops.

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This is an alphabetical listing of workshops offered by PhotoCentral- Visit the Class Page for current offerings and dates!

Alternative Photographic Processes

A workshop exploring the craft of artistic photographic processes using digital and film. Participants will work hands-on with a number of alternative photographic materials. Choices will change with each workshop but could include Van Dyke, Carbon Printing, and Cyanotype. Make prints that you only see in Museums! Everyone goes home with actual prints! Each process will be presented in easy to follow steps and emphasizing the unique characteristics of each process.

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The Art of creating a Photo Business

Geir and Kate Jordahl combine forces with Brooke and Nanishka Duthie to share their insights into what it takes to create and succeed! The workshop will take place at Duthie Studios in Montara on California’s beautiful San Mateo Coast. Brooke and Nanishka have a successful modeling/portrait studio as well as a custom framing and artistic photography businesses. Geir and Kate will share stock/commercial and fine art aspects of their business balanced with travel and teaching. Participants should bring some of their work, dreams and ideas for a wonderful day of sharing, demonstrations and discussion. The day will end with a cooperative dinner at Duthie Studios.

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Beaches and Backroads

This has become a summer institution at Photocentral! Exploring the San Mateo County Coast From Half Moon Bay to Pigeon Point, the coastal and rural environments of the Western Peninsula are an oasis of quiet beauty remarkably close to the hustle and bustle of the urban Bay Area, and still largely undiscovered by travelers and photographers alike. Join us as we visit meetings of land and sea both subtle and dramatic. We will also photograph among the coastal redwoods and wander inland to record the relics of a rapidly disappearing culture centered around small farms, rich in history and simple rustic beauty. Bring a picnic lunch, and plan on an ocean sunset following an early dinner out.

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California Coast: Details and Grandeur

Our magical coast is a photographer’s paradise. Each beach has its own character and every turn in the road a photographic delight! Capturing this area on film is an exciting challenge. This workshop will concentrate on the techniques for capturing the details and the grand vistas that express the wonder of our coast. Tidepools, waves, cliffs and the ever-changing light await us on the California coast! Close-up filters will be available for those without macro lenses; inspiration will be available for all! Don’t miss this workshop as Geir shares his favorite photographic spots and tips for realizing the spirit of the California Coast in images.

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California Delta Magic

Join Greg Stidham on a day of exploration to some of the hidden visual treasures of the San Joaquin/Sacramento River Delta Region. Greg spent many years exploring the region a photojournalist and will share his experiences, insights and photo knowledge on how to capture the history and beauty that is the Delta Region. Greg is also an accomplished landscape photograph and extremely well versed in film, video and digital imaging. Meet at PhotoCentral to carpool for this exciting day. Included in this extraordinary day is the old Chinese town of Locke. Email greg@gregstidham.com for details.

California Redwoods Adventure

We contrast last years high desert world heritage trip to Chaco Canyon with the lush landscape of the northern California coastal redwoods. This area which protects old growth coast redwoods and other important ecosystems was designated a World Heritage Site in 1980 and an International Biosphere Reserve in 1983.

The California Redwoods rise majestically out of the fog laden coastal range like sentinels watching over the passage of time. This workshop explores the mysterious home and environment of these giants. The challenge for the photographer is to create images that can communicate the true drama and presence of these magical subjects.

Participants are welcome to camp with Geir and Kate or stay at local motels near meeting locations. Workshop participants will receive lodging information upon registering for the workshop. Questions? Email us at info@photocentral.org!

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California Redwoods: The Photo Central Winter Workshop

Made a National Park in 1968 and a World Heritage Site in 1980, Redwoods National Park is filled with
photographic challenges and joys alike. From the coastal views to the mysterious giant redwood trees, you will stretch your spirit and your photographic skill to capture the majesty of this place. We will begin with an evening session on Friday to discuss our plans and share some photographic techniques and then photograph all day Saturday and Sunday with a Saturday Night Potluck/print sharing session. Join us on the 2010 Winter Workshop for inspiration and community. Email kate@photocentral.org for accommodation information.

Classic Photography

Using film in color and black and white

Buck the digital revolution and discover the fine craft of traditional photography. Richard will share 20 years of insight and experience on how to make beautiful lasting pictures of your favorite experiences and events. His camera expertise and masterful darkroom work will inspire each participant to explore the artistic side of photography.

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Death Valley/California Desert Workshop

Join us on a visit to unique and photogenic Death Valley! This three-day workshop will emphasize capturing the spirit of the desert on film. Death Valley is a place of unexpected contrasts. Elevations range from 282 feet below sea level near Bad Water, the lowest place in the U.S., to more than 11,000 feet above sea level at Telescope Peak. This is one of the hottest regions in the world with temperatures up to 134 degrees, yet on past workshops, we have seen snow! The valley contains large sand dune formations, sculpted rocks and volcanic craters. Join us for an adventure to the land of the Twenty Mule Team. Whatever your camera format, color or black and white, digital or film, come experience the ultimate extremes of California’s Death Valley.

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Digital Exploration: Printing, Image process and the Next Steps in your Digital Photography

This workshop will have changing topics and is open ended to answer your questions about realizing your digital images to beautiful prints and presentations. Topics may include color management, Lightroom, PhotoShop questions, large format printing and more. Kate Jordahl will share her love of the image and her knowledge of the techniques to realize your vision in this lively class.

Topics include:

Making BIG Digital Prints!

Come learn how to make big prints on PhotoCentral’s state of the art digital
Printer, The Hewlet Packard Designjet Z3100. Each participant will go home with a print. The unique qualities of the 3100 allow archival photo-quality prints in both black & white and color simultaneously. After completing the workshop participants will have access to the Z3100 during lab hours for the hourly lab fee plus ink and paper usage. Participants should bring digital files of high resolution for output. E-mail kate@photocentral.org with questions on preparation.

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Digital Image Transfers: MAKING MONOPRINTS!

Learn about the new way to make beautiful mono prints with Dorothy Gantengein & Robert Kato!
This exciting hands-on workshop brings image transfer (remember the old Polaroid transfers?) to the digital age.  Students will utilize the inkjet print to create image transfers on a variety of watercolor and printmaking papers. Learn the skills necessary to produce beautiful monoprints in color or black and white AND springboard your print making exploration to different materials and techniques.  Prior to the workshop, you will need to provide 3-5 print-ready digital image files.  Bring a bottle of  "Purell"!  Materials fee $25 to be paid directly to instructor at class. Limited to 8 students.

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Mystical Landscapes, Magical Plantlife:
Exploring Infrared

Geir and Kate Jordahl have worked extensively with infrared imagery for a combined 35 years! They have also begun exploration of the exciting possibilities of digital infrared imaging. The Jordahls will share traditional and digital knowledge and experience with the medium. Participants will receive a card for complementary lab time in the PhotoCentral facility and sponsors will be donating workshop supplies. Golden Gate Park will be the backdrop for this exploration into the world of the unseen. Expand your vision and broaden your horizons! Dare to enter the infrared world!

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The Digital Camera

Learn how to use your digital camera in fun and exciting ways! Camera selection, file types, media, printing strategies, memory issues and seeing with a digital eye will be discussed. Kate Jordahl, professor of digital imaging at Foothill College will share her love of pictures, pixels and printing.

We will photograph together and share photographs during the class. Bring your camera and all wires to class. This will be a fun and informative class!

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Film To Digital Transition:
I've Made The Decision To Go Digital. Now What

We will talk about camera equipment, computers, scanning, software solutions/techniques and a step-by-step process to make the transition to digital as simple, painless and cost effective as possible. This four week course will help film photographers make informed decisions to easily transition their photographic work, skills learned behind the film camera and in the darkroom, into the digital photographic world. Susan Honda Eady and Marco Zecchin are experts in the digital realm with many insights to share in this new class.

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Fine Print

An intensive workshop with Kate Jordahl emphasizing the black and white print statement. Through lecture and demonstrations, you will develop a sense of what a “fine print” is and how to achieve it in your own photographs. Topics include: multi-bath developing, bleaching, image repeatability, optimizing darkroom performance and much more. You are welcome to bring photographs to share. For all photographers who love black and white silver prints and the process of creating them.

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Handcoloring Photographs

Add color to your new or old black and white photographs and digital prints using a variety of techniques! You will gain hands-on experience with toners, pencils, photo oils, and other materials. Learn to enhance and expand your images using these exciting and simple procedures! In addition to being beautiful, handcolored black-and-white images are archival and will last much longer than conventional color photographs. Bring your own photos or use samples that will be provided. All supplies are included: oil paints, pencils, cotton, solvents are supplied. Add this interesting and fun tool to your photographic tool chest!

Tips for preparing silver or digital images for handcoloring:

Silver or digital images for handcoloring are best if printed on a matt paper. This will pick up the paints and colors best. If glossy photographs are all that are available, we will spray these with a matt finish. This is not as rich or flexible a surface. If you are printing for this workshop, I suggest Berger matt paper as an excellent handcoloring paper. If It has a surface that will take the color nicely. If you are printing pictures from your computer, pigment inks would be best.

Images should be printed normally, but slightly lighter and slightly flatter than a finished fine print. If you don’t have photographs, we will provide some sample images for you to use. Together, we will experiment with many tools and you will discover which you prefer in this fun workshop!

Historic San Francisco

Wander the waterfront and south of Market area for new perspectives on our favorite city. Visit the buildings that show us the meaning of graceful aging. Bring your camera and walking shoes to experience this beautiful city before it changes even more! The waterfront, the hills, lands end and more. Come explore the urban landscape at its best, the historic side of our favorite city, San Francisco.

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In the garden with Gretta!

Join renowned Photographer Margaretta K. Mitchell for a day of photography and musings at her home in the Berkeley hills. Ms. Mitchell’s portraits and nature studies possess an elegant, timeless quality seldom seen in today’s contemporary art world. She will share her work and experiences as an author and educator in addition to demonstrating and discussing her approaches to photography. Ms. Mitchell’s published works include the first seminal survey of women photographers ever done as well as the biography of Ruth Bernhard and The Face of Poetry, portraits of renowned poets. This exclusive day is not to be missed! Participants should bring their camera and a small selection of their work if desired.

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Intensive Lightroom Workshop

Introduction to the fundamentals of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, designed to assist photographers in both managing and developing thousands of digital images. Focus is on setup, workflow, organization, image management, rating, editing, non-destructive image processing, and delivery of images regardless of what type of output. Flash galleries, websites, and prints can be made from this single program, which works seamlessly with all Adobe and Macromedia programs. (Contact Kate at kate@photocentral.org for details.)

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Large Format at the Eden Mansion

'What's old, is new again! As digital technology overruns the photographic world, there has been a resurgence of interest in the return to the basics, a longing for the simplicity and supreme quality of the large-format format image. Learn the pros and cons of photographing with a field camera, and the basics of controlling the cameras movements to obtain beautiful large negatives. An exciting hands-on exploration of large format cameras at the Eden mansion in Hayward. You will learn about the image controls unique to view cameras and the advantages large format has to offer. With all the technological developments occurring in photograph "big" no longer means heavy and it is surprising in the age of digital image revolution how many photographic artists still embrace the tradition of the view camera. Held at the picturesque Eden mansion, this workshop will give you insights into the magic of large format photography.

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Making Enlarged Digital Negatives

Learn to make enlarged negatives for printing on alternative processes and silver paper from your film or digital files. This one-day class will prepare you to make negatives for the Alternative Photographic Processes Workshop in the summer or for your own experimentally explorations. Using a step-by-step process, you will leave with an enlarged negative or your image ready to be printed in cyanotype, silver, carbon or other beautiful photographic printmaking materials. Familiarity with Photoshop or Photoshop elements helpful, but not required.

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Matting, Framing and Presentation

Learn to use the mat cutter, dry mount press and the tools of archival handling for your precious photographs. Whether they are your latest creations or ancient family heirlooms, photographs require proper care and presentation to survive and be appreciated. This class will give you an opportunity to learn the skills and tools of the trade for impressive display and safe storage of photographs. Topics will include matting, double matting, mounting and framing, archival storage, display and appropriate albums. Don’t miss this important technical class-no prior experience is required! You are invited to bring photographs and other artwork for matting and framing advice and boards to practice with the tools.

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Mono Lake

Our Autumn adventure once again returns to explore the magic of this ancient lake in this beautiful time of the year. We will have time to share photographs after a wonderful Saturday potluck Dinner. The daylight hours will be spent exploring the lake and its surroundings. Take this weekend to see a part of California rarely experienced! Ever changing, always surprising Mono Lake will show us her whimsical side with clouds and magical light. The workshop will center out of Lee Vining and workshop participants get special rates at the Murphy’s Lodge, Lee Vining. (1-800-334-6316) Be sure to mention that you are on the PhotoCentral Workshop when booking your room. Geir and Kate have been exploring the Mono Lake Region for 25 years. Don’t miss this beautiful and mysterious landscape workshop! Email PhotoCentral at info@photocentral.org for more information.

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Mount Diablo in Autumn

Mt. Diablo was one of John’s favorite subjects before he moved to Oregon. Having photographed Mt. Diablo for over a decade John returns as a guest instructor with Rick Knepp on this exciting workshop! Join us on a Saturday for a walk through time and through a wonderland of boulders and graceful oak trees. Visit the clear air and cloudscapes of magical Mount Diablo. Meet at entrance station or carpool from PhotoCentral. Email Rick Knepp at rick@richardknepp.com for more information.

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Night Photography in San Francisco

Time exposures can make some of the most magical photographs and few places are more inspiring at night than San Francisco, especially with the holiday lights! Workshop will begin with sunset overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and continues into the night as the lights glow. Participants will need a tripod, cable release, lots of film or digital memory, fresh batteries and some pocket money for dinner.

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On Collecting Photography/Carmel Adventure

See the masterworks of California photography and photograph the Big Sur Coast! This year's workshop focuses on the masterworks of California photographs as an inspiration for photography the Big Sur Coast. This day will include visits to Photography West and Weston Gallery, one of the finest and most respected galleries of photography in the world. Rick's years as director at Weston Gallery make him a very knowledgeable guide into collecting including insights into photographic processes, backgrounds of the artists and assessing value of photographic artworks.

Following a late lunch, the day will end with a photographic exploration of the rugged scenic coast photographed by Edward, Brett and Cole Weston, Morley Baer, Ansel Adams and so many others. Each participants mind will be primed for making pictures by their experiences at the galleries.

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Personal Portfolio

Open to color and black/white photographers in traditional and digital formats.

This unique semester long course is designed to assist photographers in creating a meaningful collection of work on a specific theme of their choice. Photographers in all media are encouraged to enroll as this course will stress enhanced development of skills in photographic craft and vision. Modeled after a college course he has taught since, 1984, Geir Jordahl will encourage each artist to find their personal creative path. Each participant will complete a portfolio of work and be invited to exhibit in the PhotoCentral Gallery. This course may be used for course credit in the Photo Techniques Series toward a certificate in photography. Participants are asked to try to not miss more than two of the scheduled meetings. Topics discussed will apply to all types of photography stressing the interrelated nature of what we create to what is most important in each person’s life.

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PhotoCentral Annual Spring Exhibition and Seminar

Now includes public’s choice prizes and ribbons! Exhibit your work in the outstanding PhotoCentral Gallery! Come share your finest work in the PhotoCentral Annual Spring Exhibition. We will begin with a hands-on seminar on how to exhibit your work in its best light. We will discuss all aspects of the decision making process including editing, print selection, matting and mounting, framing, and signing/editioning your work. Participants will have their work included in the PhotoCentral Spring Exhibition. The exhibition is open to all types of photography including black-and-white, color and digital. All PhotoCentral patrons and students are encouraged to participate. Register Early! This will fill fast!
(If you need more assistance with your presentation techniques, consider the Matting, Framing and Presentation in March.)

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Photographing Children

The Eden Mansion and Estate will be our backdrop for this fun and informative day. The skill required to capture successful portraits of children involve using your camera gear seamlessly so that moments, expressions and personalities can be recorded for posterity. Students are invited to bring children for a portrait session during the day as well as props if they like. Camera fundamentals will be addressed in order to make better photos.

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Pinhole Camera

Did you know that you can make a camera out of a box? Students will use common household materials and can make a camera that will produce pictures. Pinhole cameras are the most basic form of camera yet produce some amazing results. Do a google search on “pinhole” and see for yourself! Some of the world finest photographers are using pinholes professionally! Explore the basis of the medium of photography in this new workshop.

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A day at the Eden Mansion with John Wimberley!

We all contain the potential for immense creativity. Accessing that potential is the central challenge for any artist. In this exciting workshop, we will play and work with cutting-edge techniques to liberate our fullest potential when photographing. Join us at the Eden Mansion estate for this exciting day of artistic exploration. Be sure to bring your lunch.

(See work by this inspiring artist on his website HERE. This is one workshop not to miss!)

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A Stroll in the Redwoods

PhotoCentral’s gallery director, Wendy Gray, will lead a photo walk through her favorite Redwood groves in the Oakland Berkeley hills. Meet at PhotoCentral and carpool to the site. Be sure to pack a bag lunch, your windbreaker, camera and a small backpack. Young or old, this will be a fun outing!

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Take Better Photographs

Taught by professional photographer, Marco Zechhin, this all day "in-the-field" workshop is for all photographic skill levels. It consists of a short morning and afternoon talk, that will provide you useful techniques to see and take better photographs. The remainder of the time, Marco will be available to give more personal guidance, while you practice these techniques.

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Wildflowers and Waterfalls of Yosemite

Yosemite Valley will be the backdrop for this splendid springtime workshop. From the smallest details to the granite grandeur and cascading water, participants will experience and record the magic that is the Sierra Nevada in rebirth. There is an optional sunset shoot for those able to arrive on Friday.
*The workshop will officially begin at 9:00am on Saturday morning. Detailed information on itinerary and suggested lodging options will be sent to all registrants prior to the workshop.Call Rick Knepp at 510-538-0877 for more details.

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Worldwide Pinhole Day Workshop

Join Curtis Griffin as he reveals the mysteries behind the most magical of photographic techniques – pinhole photography. This one-day hands on workshop will guide participants through the entire process as we make our cameras, load the film, calculate exposures, and process the fillm. At the end of the day we will upload our images onto the World Wide Web and participate with the thousands all over the world in International Pinhole Day. (See Curt's work HERE. )

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Yosemite National Park: Winter Photography Adventure

Our winter adventure will explore the magic of this beautiful place in the quiet time of the year. Yosemite National Park is full of beauty and drama in the winter. Ever changing, always surprising Yosemite will show us her winter side with clouds, snow and crystal light. Workshop will center out of Yosemite West. Don’t miss the beautiful winter landscape and learn to capture the beauty of this unsung season!

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Zone System

Demystify this exciting photographic tool! Learn to use the system developed and made famous by Ansel Adams. During this workshop, each student will develop a “working system” calibrated for their camera. You will learn to pre-visualize the photograph before you click the shutter! Learn how film and paper “see” the world and how to effectively use your camera to create excellent, easy-to-print negatives. Topics will include exposure and development testing, shooting strategies and pre-visualization practice. This workshop is open to all formats. Photographers must have camera knowledge. Prior darkroom experience is recommended but not required. Come ready to work with camera, film, photo paper and notebook. Join this exciting workshop and learn the full potential of what black and white photography has to offer.

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