Guided by photographic artist Elizabeth Opalenik, develop your visual language and creative potential while discovering new ways to bring power to your photographs.

There are no available registration dates at this time.

Perception and creativity are the cornerstones of photographic style. What is interesting is not the subject, but one’s point of view that makes a great photograph. Our goal in this workshop is to create images that communicate to others with emotional resonance as we raise our visual aesthetic to interpret and abstractly visualize in new ways. A single image can have the power to stimulate the imagination and the intellect while telling a story to awaken the senses or revive a dream. Photography is the metaphor for those stories left behind; as the creative highs, lows, humor, and humanity of your life become infused in the images you make. This workshop is designed for those who know the technical basics of photography and want to develop the creative skills for producing a strong portfolio of images. Our challenge is to explore the nature of creativity itself and discover ways to bring its power to our photographs.

Each morning begins with exercises and thought-provoking reviews of the previous day’s work. Together we analyze the images, discuss how to cultivate our visual talents, and consider the stylistic strategies of master photographers. Through assignments, we explore the dramatic afternoon light as we learn to see what is there so we know how to see it. As time permits, there will be individual or smaller group meetings with Elizabeth to consider current projects and future directions. Discussions about presenting and exhibiting your work are enhanced by connections with others about photography in the context of the art world as you examine your goal for your life in photography.

There may be some location entrance/model fees. Plan on up to $100 collected during the week.

Students are asked to bring a digital selection of five images they wish they had made and a current body of work they wish to expand.

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All image credit © Elizabeth Opalenik

Student testimonials

“A week filled with challenging assignments, insightful critiques, and informed reflection on the discipline of photography, its practice, and history.” – Thom Blackstone

“Elizabeth is an insightful instructor with a wealth of knowledge that is shared generously. Her deep concern for each student’s progress and personal need is clearly evident. She is a delight to learn from.” – Karen Olson

“Elizabeth is a gifted teacher. She is able to see where her students are and take them farther along their journey.” – Anonymous

Past student work

Rockport, ME, USA • @trishawrightphoto
East Greenwich, RI, USA • @thom_blackstone
Hope, ME, USA • •
Newport, RI, USA • @ehovermale •

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Instructor: Elizabeth Opalenik

Elizabeth Opalenik lives and works in Oakland, California, but this peripatetic artist is often on the move. As a photographic artist, she believes that all good photographs are self-portraits that lie somewhere between imagination and dreams. Her 44-year career has found her teaching or making images on six continents, seeking the beauty and grace that exists within all things, from people to landscape and still livings to abstraction.

Whether digital or darkroom, her point of view has always been “what if?” as she explores the unique world surrounding us all. Using photography as the visual voice for stories left behind, Elizabeth favors the handmade image or papers. She prefers Mordançage with her signature veils of floating emulsion, carbon printing, or creating with water in any fashion.