Eddie Adams Workshop 26: An Amazing Experience

Al Schaben, Adrees Latif, and Robert Seale, EAW 6, October 1993.

Al Schaben, Adrees Latif, and Robert Seale, EAW 6, October 1993.

Adrees Latif, and me, EAW 26, October 2013.

Adrees Latif, and me, EAW 26, October 2013.

Last week, I had the incredible honor of returning to speak at the 26th annual Eddie Adams Workshop in Jeffersonville, NY.   Eddie Adams was an incredible photographer, and although he was most well known to the general public as the Pulitzer-winning war photographer who took one of the most famous photographs of the Vietnam War, he was also a very successful commercial photographer, and had a long standing partnership with Parade magazine as their cover photographer for many years.

Twenty six years ago, with the help of his friends, all heavyweights in the photography world, he established the Eddie Adams Workshop, a tuition free workshop for the 100 best young photographers in the country at his farm on the edge of the Catskills in New York.  The students were either college students, or professionals with less than two years of experience, and Eddie’s vision was to give them the chance of a lifetime:  a weekend shooting and working with the best photographers and editors from the likes of Time, LIFE, National Geographic, etc.  His hope was for he and his peers to pass along their collective knowledge and to help students fast forward their careers several years by introducing them to a who’s who of the industry.

I was fortunate enough to attend the 6th EAW in 1993.  It was a formative experience for me, and it’s been incredible to watch my fellow students from that year grow and prosper in their careers.  Among my classmates, were great photographers like Alex Garcia, Adrees Latif, Allison Smith,  Chang Lee, Ami Vitale, Jay Janner, Chris Assaf, David Bergman, and the late Chris Hondros.  I wrote a little remembrance of that 6th workshop on Chicago Tribune staff photographer and EAW 6 classmate Alex Garcia’s great photography blog.

Twenty years later, I was invited back last week to speak and show my work.  It was an incredible honor, a very humbling experience, that left me nervous and intimidated.  It was incredible to hang out with many photographers who I still look up to, hang out with many talented colleagues, and to get a glimpse of our future through the eyes of this year’s students.  Eddie is gone now, but his wife Alyssa keeps inviting everyone back, opening her home to a cast of characters each year, and the great people at Nikon continue to generously fund this incredible experience.  Over the years, it really has become a family.  Some of the faculty, like the great SI editor and former Newsweek DOP Jimmy Colton, have been to virtually all the workshops, and many members of the black team (volunteers) come back year after year.

One of the things that Eddie did really well, and what really sets this workshop apart from all other photojournalism workshops and seminars, was the fact that he always wanted students to be exposed to all types of photography.  Instead of it just being a love fest among hardcore photojournalists and newspaper photographers, Eddie liked to cross pollinate with different visual genres and get your mind working.  When I was a student, we were exposed to Gordon Parks, Joyce Tenneson, and Pete Turner.  Last week, we were treated to fine art photographer Robin Schwartz, Josh Weaver from Google, advertising and fine art genius Stephen Wilkes, legendary portrait photographer Gregory Heisler, and Marco Grob, a multi-talented guy who recently added video to his repertoire of elegant portraits and still life.  You never know where your photography career will take you, and it’s great to see people communicating with photography in different ways.

 

Sport Illustrated DOP Brad Smith and former Newsweek DOP and SI photo editor Jimmy Colton getting a big welcome hug from SI staffer Robert Beck.

Sports Illustrated DOP Brad Smith and former Newsweek DOP and SI photo editor Jimmy Colton getting a big welcome hug from SI staffer Robert Beck.

Idol worship:  Me with portrait badass Gregory Heisler.

Idol worship: Me with portrait badass Gregory Heisler.

Among my favorite memories from this year:

-Being back at the farm with my old Houston Post colleague and EAW 6 classmate Adrees Latif, now a Pulitzer winner at Reuters, who was working as a team leader.

-Seeing my good friends from Sports Illustrated: DOP Brad Smith, staff photographer Robert Beck, and former editor Jimmy Colton, who makes one helluva MC/Scout leader.  I’m forever grateful for his kind words and encouragement, and for making this workshop less like a classroom seminar, and more like an intimate family gathering.

-Meeting some incredible photographers and editors for the first time:  Mary Calvert, Maura Foley, Elizabeth Krist, Bruce Strong, Gerd Ludwig, Patrick Witty,  as well as seeing some great old friends like Deanne Fitzmaurice, Tim Rasmussen, Nick Ut, and John White.

-Getting to break bread and share drinks with my ASMP colleagues Shawn Henry and Ed Mcdonald.  Their generous invitation brought me back.

-Meeting Mirjam Evers in person. She did an incredible job of producing a huge and complicated event, and graciously handled being bombarded with questions from students (and instructors!).  She is a class act.

-Watching the students trying to channel Gerd Ludwig’s scarf wearing prowess.

-Chatting with, and watching the presentation from one of my all time lighting idols, the great Gregory Heisler.

-Meeting some of the best photographers in our military, who volunteer to work on the black team: Super cool and talented  people like Jeremy Lock, Bennie Davis, Annie Berlin Elis, Etta Smith, and former military photographers like Stacy Pearsall and Bob Houlihan.

-The emotional ceremony for fallen war photographers, which now includes my EAW 6 classmate Chris Hondros, who died in Libya.

-Seeing National Geographic photographer Jodi Cobb’s autobiographical show, which encompassed her incredible globe-trotting career.

-The contagious passion of Marco Grob and John White.  I feel like I need to ramp it up after watching those two speak so passionately about the craft they love.

And my favorite part?  Helping out with portfolio reviews until the wee hours at the 11:30 club, back at the hotel.  I’m most inspired by seeing and hearing about what the latest class of EAW students are up to.  It’s fascinating to think about what they’ll be able to accomplish in the next 20 years.

(Major thanks to Eugene Mopsik, Shawn Henry, and Ed McDonald for inviting me to attend on behalf of ASMP, and to Alyssa Adams, Mirjam Evers, and Mark Kettenhofen from Nikon for graciously continuing the fine tradition of the workshop. )

Former ASMP president Shawn Henry with SF State classmate and Pulitzer winner Mary Calvert.

Former ASMP president Shawn Henry with SF State classmate and Pulitzer winner Mary Calvert.

Jimmy Colton running the proceedings at the barn.

Jimmy Colton running the proceedings at the barn.

Eddie Adams Workshop

The back porch at Eddie's barn in beautiful Jeffersonville, NY.

The back porch at Eddie’s barn in beautiful Jeffersonville, NY.

The fantastic bonfire Sunday night.

The fantastic bonfire Sunday night.

Eddie Adams Workshop

Two views of the touching ceremony for Eddie's fallen war photography colleagues.

Two views of the touching ceremony for Eddie’s fallen war photography colleagues.

 

 

 

 

Robert Seale on faculty for Rich Clarkson Sports Photography Workshop

Professional climber Chelsea Rude was among our models for the workshop in 2012. ©2012 Robert Seale

Professional climber Chelsea Rude was among our models for the workshop in 2012. ©2012 Robert Seale

It is indeed an honor to be invited back to teach again this year at the Photography at the Summit Sports Photography Workshop in Colorado Springs, July 17-22.

The workshop is the brainchild of Rich Clarkson, the legendary photographer and former Director of Photography at National Geographic and several newspapers.

Among the scheduled faculty this year:  Brad Smith, Director of Photography at Sports Illustrated; Nate Gordon, Photo Editor at Sports Illustrated; Lucas Gilman, adventure photographer; John McDonough, photographer at Sports Illustrated; Mark Reis, Director of Photography at the Colorado Springs Gazette; Mark Terrill, staff photographer at the Associated Press; Joey Terrill, Los Angeles based commercial photographer and frequent Golf Digest contributor; and several others.

The workshop is sponsored by Nikon, and offers students a chance to shoot in and around beautiful Colorado Springs, with access to the Olympic Training Center and many of the elite athletes that train there.

To register for the workshop, visit the link: Sports Photography Workshop.  Hope to see you there!

Lighting Workshops at Photoshelter Luminance conference

Our model, rhythmic gymnast Olga Karmansky. (Photo by Robert Seale)

I returned recently from speaking and doing a lighting workshop at the Photoshelter Luminance conference, September 11-13 at the TriBeca Performing Arts Center in New York City.  Luminance was far from a typical photo industry conference or convention.  Photoshelter founder Allen Murabayashi and the great folks at Photoshelter put together a unique event, bringing in a wide variety of speakers from the technology world to compliment the usual suspects from the photo industry.

On the bill for the three day event were interesting and varied speakers like:

Eric Cheng, DP at Lytro; Lucas Allen Buick, Hipstamatic CEO; Chris Chabot, Google ; Amy Dresser, retoucher; Sara Friedlander, VP of Christie’s; Eileen Gittins, CEO/Founder of Blurb; Taylor Jones, Dear Photograph; Craig Peters, Getty Images; Donald Pettit, NASA Astronaut; Alan Taylor, The Atlantic; Cory West, Engineering Manager, Facebook, and also wonderful photographers like Peter Yang, David Burnett, Barbara Davidson, and Michael Muller.  Each speaker gave a short, 20 minute eye opening talk in the spirit of the TED conference.

On the first day of the event, held at  ROOT Drive in Studios, in NYC, I, along with lighting genius Joe McNally, Atlanta commercial photographer Zack Arias, and Miami celebrity portrait photographer Brian Smith, held lighting workshops in separate studio spaces there.  (Bill Cramer, a Philadelphia photographer and founder of Wonderful Machine gave a separate session on business practices.)

The most overqualified assistant ever? Photoshelter Chairman Allen Murabayashi helping us get our lighting setup together. (Photo by Robert Seale)

I felt super intimidated to speak and do my little demo in such good company, but I was very lucky to have some super overqualified assistant help, including Photoshelter folks Allen Murabayashi, Sarah Jacobs, and stellar music photographer Chris Owyoung helping out.

Our model, Olga Karmansky, a rhythmic gymnast, was wonderful and patient during two back to back lighting sessions.  We had a short window of time, so we concentrated on doing multiple lighting looks from one setup in the studio.  We were able to create several different looks without moving the model at all – very similar to the lighting talk and demo I gave at the Photoshelter event in Austin.

Allen and Photoshelter CEO Andrew Fingerman put together a hell of an event.  It was wonderful to hang out with the other photographers and speakers, especially a speakers dinner on the first night, and a wonderful get together with my good friends:  bay area baseball photographer  Brad Mangin, and Boston commercial photographer and ASMP president Shawn Henry.  It was also great to meet the young, super sharp and vibrant Photoshelter team, many of whom I had talked to over the phone over the years, but never met in person.  These are creative, smart people that you wish you could work in an office with every day.

Hopefully Andrew and Allen will be able to make this an annual event!

Close up of Olga Karmansky during the lighting demo. (Photo by Robert Seale)

Olga, photographed with a 5 degree grid during the lighting demo. (Photo by Robert Seale)

Allen introducing the speakers. (Photo by Michael Treola)

 

 

Shaking hands with Joe McNally arriving at the studio. (Photo by Michael Treola)

McNally shooting in the studio downstairs. (Photo by Michael Treola)

Seale shooting during the lighting workshop. (Photo by Michael Treola)

Zack Arias speaking to his class. (Photo by Michael Treola)

Brian Smith speaking during his lighting workshop - note the model is ASMP president Shawn Henry. (Photo by Michael Treola)

Robert Seale speaking at Rich Clarkson Sports Photography Workshop

Stacy Geare, Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado. © Robert Seale

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been asked back to the Photography at the Summit Sports Photography Workshop July 19-24. I’ve been a lecturer at the workshop 4-5 times, but it’s been several years since I’ve attended. The Summit Series of Photography Workshops were founded by legendary photographer and editor Rich Clarkson, who in addition to running Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper photo staffs in Denver and Topeka, was also Director of Photography at National Geographic during the 1980′s. I’m looking forward to working with Rich’s great staff and helping out the students there as they embark on assignments at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

This year’s staff also includes good friends and colleagues like former Seattle Times staffer Rod Mar, Sports Illustrated staffer John McDonough, New York Times Photo Editor Brad Smith, AP staffer Mark Terrill, and his brother Joey Terrill, who does fabulous work for Golf Digest and a variety of magazines.

Colorado Springs has some fantastic locations and is one of my favorite places to visit. Should be a great week!  You can register for the workshop here.