Explore what makes a great image or series of images, and learn how to create strong compositions within the camera.

Sep 30, 2024 - Oct 28, 2024

Levels: Intermediate, Advanced,
Workshop Fee: $595
Workshop Duration: 15 hours (Over 5 Mondays, 10am-1pm ET)
Workshop Location: Online
Class Size: 12

Note: This class will be held in a live, online format using the Zoom Platform. 
Class meets for 5 Mondays, Sep 30, Oct 7, 14, 21 & 28  from 10am-1pm ET.

Throughout this workshop, we will explore what makes a strong image, and a strong series of images. We will look at photographs created by well-known photographers, and examine how choices related to framing, light, selective focus, and other compositional elements can determine how the world in front of the camera can be transformed.

Dad - By Andrea Birnbaum
Dad – By instructor Andrea Birnbaum.
French Afternoon - By Andrea Birnbaum
French Afternoon – By Andrea Birnbaum.

Each participant will have the opportunity to pursue the type of work that they are interested in or may choose to explore a different area of photography. Through group critiques and one-on-one sessions, you will have the opportunity to examine your own image-making process and see how it can be improved through a deeper understanding of what makes a complex, interesting image.

Edmund Pettus Bridge - By Andrea Birnbaum
Edmund Pettus Bridge – By Andrea Birnbaum
By Andrea Birnbaum.

Subjects covered during the workshop:

The Camera Lens – Explore the lens’ ability to distort perspective, alter reality, and isolate subjects through focus and depth-of-field.

Photographic Design – Work with lines, shapes, and space as the frame creates two dimensions from a three-dimensional space.

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.

Light – Develop a greater appreciation for the quality of light- the direct light of noon, the soft light of dawn, the shadows of late afternoon, and the diffused light as the Maine fog rolls in.

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


I just wanted to send a belated thank you very much for an excellent workshop last week.  I was glad for the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and explore more use of color and what I think of as more fine artwork. As you know, it wasn’t a smooth journey, and real growth never happens that way. While I know the object wasn’t to end up with a superb project at the end of the week, I was pleased that by the end of the week, I was starting to get more accustomed to how your thoughtful critiques could set me in a positive direction.

– Kent Fairfield

Past student work: Doug Triffon (x2), Crystal Chappell (x2)

Header image credit: ©Doug Triffon

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Instructor: Andrea Birnbaum

Photographer and educator Andrea Birnbaum earned her undergraduate degree through Syracuse University’s School of Visual and Performing Arts, and holds an MFA in Photography from Maine Media College. Her fine art photographs and documentary projects have been exhibited throughout the country and internationally. She teaches photography and mentors students both online and in-person, and leads retreats and workshops internationally. She currently lives in the New York City area.