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Last week, when students filed into my classroom on the first day of a five-day workshop at Santa Fe Workshops, we embarked on a deep journey together. Yes, ABCs of Beautiful Light may sound technical. Everyone gains a newfound sensitivity to light and new technical skills, but the goal is really to deepen our experience of photographing and our connection to the subject, whether a person, a landscape or a still life. To learn about the myriad possibilities of light is to acquire tools that help us create memorable images. Students learned about catch lights, light patterns, fill, strobes, and mixing daylight with strobes. I know they will never be the same as they gaze into someone’s eyes over coffee and notice the source of light reflecting in the eyes.

It requires both courage and curiosity to attend a class as an adult. But these photographers came with their whole beings from around the US. And the results are something to behold. Some had never photographed people before, most had never worked with light to understand the “why” of it. At the core, photographers are storytellers, and my students told some beautiful stories with their cameras and their hearts. Please take a look at their work from this past week! I am so proud of their accomplishments.

A special thanks to Kevin Zansler, studio manager and Celene Bridgford, studio assistant (plus the other SFW staff) who helped make everything run flawlessly.

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