I’m just finishing up the second of two workshops in Siena, Italy for the Canon Photographic Workshop series. This program in Italy is run by Carlo Roberti, an energetic soul dedicated to teaching photography and producing successful workshops around Italy, including most prominently the Toscana Photographic Workshops , which take place every summer in some ridiculously peaceful and beautiful place in Tuscany. The students are a mixture of amateurs, young photographers and professionals.
I teach photography over a wide spectrum of venues and for a variety of reasons. It’s usually a two way street, where we all learn new things and inspire each other in this magical field of photography. It’s interesting to teach people who are not necessarily trying to become photographers. In this case, it’s about sharing one’s passion, love and appreciation for photography. Photography has this amazing power to mean something on a very personal level. You don’t need to have ambitions to become a great or successful photographer to gain joy from the endeavor of making images, experiencing life through the action of image-making and the pure satisfaction in sharing and knowing you’ve created something that nobody can take away from you.
Too often, in the missionary zeal to create something that might change the world and pull back the covers on important issues of the day, we can forget the pure, personal and very particular joys of making images. These kinds of workshops, like in Siena, remind me of these special qualities of photography.
Here are a couple of photos of “Don Carlo”, enjoying yet another meal. I’m not sure if touching his ear means death for someone or that he just wants another bottle of Brunello wine.
Here is a photo of me with Bruno Stevens, the very energetic, talented “wild Belgian photojournalist” who has been teaching with me here in Siena. That parenthetical description is his own.