“EDDIE ADAMS WORKSHOP”
The weekend of October 8, I participated in the 2016 Eddie Adams Workshop in Upstate New York, the 29th annual workshop originated by the great photojournalist.
A generous community of award-winning photographers, photo-editors, and noted journalists gather to unselfishly and lovingly share their experiences and knowledge for the benefit of 100 very selected students and young photojournalists.
There are no other days of making meaningful images, in an atmosphere of phenomenal energy, that exists in the world of photography quite like The Eddie Adams Workshop.
I plan to write a blog about this year’s wonderful workshop at a later date. For now, here is a reblog dedicated to the previous 16 workshops in which I’ve taught.
The image above is the collage/poster of portraits I photographed and composed from the portrait session last Saturday, 10/8/16. I brought a dozen or so wigs as well as red, white and blue sheets to make the portraits. Everyone went along with the “styling” wearing one of the wigs.
In the Spring of 2000, the photographer Eddie Adams approached me at a dinner meeting for photographers.
He said something complimentary to me about my work. I was surprised and elated because, after all, he was a legend, a world-renowned Pulitzer Prize winner who made some of the most unforgettable photographs of the many wars he covered.
This is the most well-known image he made during the Viet Nam war.
Adams’ photograph of Nguyễn Ngọc Loan executing Nguyễn Văn Lém on February 1, 1968.
In 1988, Adams started the Eddie Adams Workshop, an intensive four-day gathering of top photography professionals – photojournalists, photo-editors, etc. – along with 100 carefully selected young photojournalists; the 100 attendees that are chosen every year are comprised of 50 students and 50 professionals with 3 years experience or less. They are chosen to attend tuition free on the merit of their submitted portfolios.
The workshop which just celebrated its 28th year; takes place each fall in upstate New York, and is one of the most remarkable, fulfilling endeavors known in the large world of photography. It should be noted that there have been 10 Pulitzer Prize winners from past Eddie Adams Workshop students! I’ve participated in the workshop for the past 15 years, and plan to write a few blogs about the gathering. This, my first, is partly about the event, and mostly about my own involvement.
Somehow – it happens so rarely – Adams and I made a ready connection that we both instantly recognized.
I think it was because of him, his way with people, his style, his ability to connect.
He invited me to participate in his workshop and asked me to speak about my work. When I reminded him that I’m not a photojournalist, he told me he wanted me to do a presentation to show the students what is possible in a career in photography.
At the first workshop I attended in 2000 and at which I presented the work I had done during the previous 12 months, I observed the phenomenal generosity of the few hundred individuals who contribute without compensation every year as teachers and mentors, providers of administrative and a myriad of other kinds of assistance. When Eddie asked me to return (as I have every year but one over the past 15 years) I felt I had to do more than just give a 30-minute formal presentation of my work done that year; so in addition to my talk, I have conducted a portrait session one afternoon during each workshop. At each portrait session I “invent” some unusual technique for making the portraits and then composite them into a collage – a kind of poster. I then make the collage available to each participant as well as sending each his or her “portrait.”
Here are a few of the collages I’ve done over the last 15 years….:
In 2012, I used a fish-eye lens in the name of wacky fun.
This the respected photojournalist, David Hume Kennerly.
In 2013 I used a bendable plexi-reflector.
This is photographer Greg Heisler.
In 2010, I used a mirror to create nutty and goofy images; as every year, everyone readily came along for the ride.
One of the world’s most respected photo-editors, Jim Colton. Jim has, for the last few years, served as the moderator for the formal presentations, having taken over from Hal Buell who was the former head of the Photography Service at the Associated Press for twenty-five years.
This is a link to some of the collages done over the last 15 years.
At this past year’s portrait session (October, 2015), I made multiple photographs of each half of each person’s face and then “composed” a portrait from each.
Here is the collage from 2015 as well as a few of the individual portraits.
Mirjam Evers, who produces the workshop along with Alyssa Adams, Eddie’s widow.
To view more of my work, visit my website.