Learn to see what the camea sees

This is a course in how to see photographically. 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 a based in a digital lab classroom.


Winter/Spring lodging and meal package available for $475. Includes breakfast and lunch Monday – Friday. Dinner services are not available during our Winter/Spring session. Meal plan (mandatory) without lodging is $125.


Kari Wehrs

© Mark DawsonKari Wehrs is a photographer whose camera reveals her documentary interests. 

Growing up, Kari spent hours flipping through her Grandmother’s family photo albums that dated from the late 1800’s to the mid 1900’s.  The photographs were compiled neatly, often with handwritten notations, which suggested to her that they were precious objects.  Wanting to see the details of each image, Kari often examined the photographs with her grandmother’s magnifying glass.  She loved the idea that time could be recorded and “held” in photographs.

Leaving her home state of Minnesota, Kari attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine in the fall of 2007.  A short drive up the coast, Kari found the place where she spent the next handful of summers (and a couple of winters) working at the Maine Media Workshops + College in Rockport, Maine.  It was here that she developed her deep interest in the techniques, technology, and history of the medium.     

Kari’s most recent work is portraiture employing the wet plate collodion process (tintypes).  While embracing multiple methods of photography in her own work, she has become captivated by the tintype process due to its historical relevancy and associations with the past.  She sees the tintype image as a personal object:  a memento.  The tintype process appeals to Kari’s documentary roots and her desire to make images that survive, over time, as a photographic object and record.

Website: http://www.kariwehrs.com


Course Dates

Mar 8 to Mar 14



Class Size


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