There are no available registration dates at this time.

Welcome to this unique opportunity of photographing in isolated, abandoned farmhouses and nearly deserted towns in north central North Dakota. Conditions of these structures range from windowless shells to entire buildings containing personal belongings of long-gone occupants. Despite the perception that photographing buildings falls under the genre of architectural photography, these structures provide rich possibilities for photographers with still life, portrait, abstract and landscape interests. 

During this week, you will have the opportunity to dig in-depth on a location or idea of your choosing. These locations become studios or backdrops for your imagination, environments for creating a unique portfolio. 

September is prime harvest season. The abandoned buildings are surrounded by fertile fields and in 2018 soybeans, canola, hay and wheat were all being harvested. This adds another dimension to photographing this landscape. The weather should be beautiful with warm days and cool evenings. Sunrise is around 6:30 am and sunset about 9 pm so the days are long for making photographs.

The workshop is based in Rugby, ND, population approximately 3000 and the geographical center of North America. Over the first two days we will introduce you to all of the available locations. The final three days you may work in any or all of the sites from early morning till dusk as long as you are with another person. For safety reasons, you will be asked not to be in or around any location before sunrise or after dusk. You need to be able to see where you are walking and working to be doing so safely.  

This year we will have two group image sharing opportunities. On Tuesday evening each person will be allowed to share up to 10 images representing the foundation of their project. On Friday night everybody will have a chance to share their “completed” project with the group. 

The North Dakota workshop is a location workshop in which we will focus on creating photographs. All camera formats, film and digital, are welcome. Large format and film are always welcome in my workshop but be advised that there is no opportunity for processing film. Digital photographers should bring their own laptops for editing. 

My Spirit of Structure workshop is designed to increase your skills, challenge old habits, and help you break out of ruts. Your focus during the week is not so much about making the perfect photograph but in approaching subjects differently, in shifting your perspective, in taking risks. This combination of working in a new environment and altering how you approach your subject will change your photographs long after you leave the workshop.


Participants are responsible for lodging, meals and transportation. The workshop begins Sunday, September 19th at 6pm with an opening dinner and ends with a closing dinner on Friday, September  24th.

– Minot (MOT) is ~ 62 miles from Rugby.
– Bismarck (KBIS/BIS) is ~ 125 miles from Rugby
– Grand Forks (GFK) ~ 150 miles east of Rugby

Rental Cars: A rental car is a must for this workshop. 

Lodging: When you make your reservations, let them know you are with the Tillman Crane Photography Workshop.

Cobblestone Inn & Suites
402 Highway 2 East
Rugby ND 58368
[email protected]

Contact Tillman ([email protected]) with further questions.


All images:  ©Tillman Crane

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Instructor: Tillman Crane

Tillman Crane’s distinctive platinum photographs combine 19th century materials with a 21st century aesthetic.  From photojournalist to teacher and artist he has honed his technique and mastered his craft over the past 35 years. He made his first platinum print in 1987 and since 2001 his work has been exclusively shown as platinum prints. He works with 5x7, 8x10 and 5x12 view cameras.Today’s images focus on the unique sense of place he finds in the ordinary, everyday locations where he lives and teaches. He has published four limited edition books: Tillman Crane/Structure (2001), Touchstones (2005), Odin Stone(2008), and A Walk Along the Jordan (2009). For the discriminating collector, Tillman collaborates using images of your choice to create one-of-a-kind handmade books of platinum prints.