Discover and enliven your photographic vision. Seeing photographically is what this week is all about.

© Brendan Bullock

Discover and enliven your photographic vision. Seeing photographically is what this week is all about. We do not dwell on the hardware or the editing; instead we cover the visual, intellectual and intuitive elements which go into making a photograph. This course is open to anyone looking for new ways to see - from novices to seasoned pros. Each day we explore a single aspect of photographic vision in depth.


Subjects covered during the week:

First Day: The Quality of Light - The photographer's basic tool. Develop a greater appreciation for the quality of light- the direct light of noon, the soft light of dawn, the shadows of late afternoon, the diffused light of fog.

Second Day: The Camera Lens - Explore the lens' ability to distort perspective, alter reality and isolate subjects through focus and depth-of-field.

Third Day: Point of View & The Frame - Investigate the frame's ability to edit, select, isolate, include and exclude elements in our field of vision. Examine how the camera lies to tell a greater truth.

Fourth Day: Composition & Photographic Design - Work with lines, shapes and space as the frame creates two dimensions from a three-dimensional space.

Fifth Day: The Element of Time - Manipulate camera shutter speed to extend and compress time, to freeze action and express motion.

Final Day: The Culminating Picture - A single photograph, your final assignment, brings together all the elements you have examined and will be presented at the final critique.

Mornings begin with a review and critique of the previous day's photographs, followed by lecture and discussions of a new aspect of "photographic vision" providing a basis for the day's assignment and fieldwork. Experimentation is encouraged and participants are expected to stretch, explore and test new ideas. Failures and mistakes will be applauded. 

Students are encouraged to bring a laptop for image processing and editing since this is not based in a digital lab classroom.



Matt Smolinsky

Matt is a practicing artist and dedicated teacher. He teaches photography, video, and digital art at the University of Maine, and has been on the Maine Media summer faculty since 2006. Matt received a Bachelor’s degree in communication from Boston University, and an M.F.A. in photography from Maine Media College. He began his professional photography career as a photojournalist working on newspaper staffs in New York, Michigan, and Massachusetts. Between 2002 and 2005 Matt lived in Seoul, Korea, working on a long-term documentary project while teaching kindergarten and English. In 2009 Matt co-founded a non-profit organization called Obscura, where he serves on the board of directors and manages the scholarship and publishing programs. He is a native New Yorker and currently lives down the road in Rockland, Maine.

© Matthew Smolinksy

Course Dates

Aug 24 to Aug 30



Class Size