Download Welcome Letter and Supply List here: Kirchner – Light and Light
Light & Light: The Spiritual Practice of Photography
Instructor: Chuck Kirchner
Sunday, July 7 – Saturday, July 13
Supply list below.
Check-In Begins at 3:00pm at the Welcome Center on 7/7/19. Dinner 5:30-6:30; Orientation 6:45 pm
Welcome to the Light and Light: The Spiritual Practice of Photography Workshop! I am genuinely excited that you are participating in what promises to be a creative, introspective, energizing, meditative week in this very special place. Ghost Ranch and the surrounding landscapes and communities are a visual and meditative treat, and the light is justifiably famous.
This is my third time leading this workshop, and the second time offering it at Ghost Ranch. This workshop brings together photography, creativity, and spirituality with a focus on Light with a capital L and light with a small l. This combination that can lead to taking your photography to, shall we say, a higher level!
What is the spiritual practice related to photography?
To be aware that there is more than the physical reality?
To show the emotion involved in ritual and spiritual practice?
Quite simply, it is to be aware that there IS something below the surface, or perhaps above the surface, that is shining, shimmering, inherent, loving, caring, reaching out, and available for reaching in. It is to find something sacred on an ordinary day or in a familiar setting. It is to achieve a spiritual current in your photography. It is to realize and act upon knowing that we are both created and creative, below and above the surface, known and unknown, seeing the light, recognizing it as the Light, using the light in our creative endeavors and interpretations.
In this workshop, we’ll explore the meaning of Light in its spiritual and religious context. Many of the world’s religions and spiritual practices involve Light. We’ll discuss these through a series of readings from Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, and Buddhist traditions (among others). As we move through the philosophical discussions, we also explore how light influences photography and investigate ways to incorporate Light and light into successful and meaningful photography. Using natural light, nature’s light as it were, we’ll learn to add subtlety or extravagance to our vision, how best to reflect it in our images, and how to use light to illuminate emotion, ritual, spirit, spiraling, religion, nature, inner and outer being. These are all terms of both photography and spirituality. When we take this to heart, we can create images not to document but to add layers of meaning that, in turn, can add expression to our lives and perhaps those of others.
Using vision and skills, we’ll create images that will spark memories, thoughts, and emotions within us; photographs that will help each of us on our spiritual journey. Field trips in the area will provide plenty of opportunities to hone our skills and vision.
Now a little about me. I am a photographer and photo educator based in Tucson, Arizona (having recently moved from Bainbridge Island, Washington). While my historic interest has been cityscapes and landscapes, I find myself more and more engaged in creating photographs of the world’s cultures and rituals, as well as photographs with a more underlying meaning. That could involve bringing the stained glass of Paris cathedrals to life, or creating photographs of dancers in motion, or just getting a unique perspective of a landscape or cityscape in just the right light.
My photographs have been displayed in numerous venues in the Pacific Northwest, including the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art and have been published in Popular Photography and the Alaska/Horizon Airlines magazines. They have also been exhibited on several internet art sites. I’ve lead photography workshops, as well as one-on-one mentoring sessions, on a variety of topics including digital workflow, composition and creativity, creation of photo books, and travel photography. I’ve previously led two week-long workshops at Ghost Ranch, near Abiquiu, New Mexico, including the “Light and light” workshop.
The challenge for the photographer is to convey the sense of being there. Sometimes, a lone tree in a heavy mist may say it all; other times, the dialogue entails the blur of motion on a dance floor, the detail of the musician’s hands and instrument, or the appearance of the post-storm rainbow. The tools of the trade involve technical acumen, artistic vision, patience, good timing, and, of course, a bit (or lot) of serendipity.
I look forward to seeing you in July for what I’m confident will be an enriching experience for all of us!
- Camera and lenses (digital-preferred). A digital SLR with program and manual settings is ideal, though we can work with whatever camera (including iPhones or Androids) and lens combination you have.
- Extra memory cards or film (long ways to the nearest store!)
- Camera manual
- Spare camera battery and charger
- Lens cleaning cloth
- Laptop computer for downloading, storing, and initial editing of photographs
Bringing a laptop will allow critiquing of photos during the workshop and will enable participants to gain more from the workshop.
I generally use Adobe Lightroom for post-processing, though Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or similar programs are fine as well. Adobe software can usually be downloaded for a free thirty-day trial.
- Polarizer and/or UV filter
- Point and shoot camera or smart phone for spontaneous use
All participants are encouraged to bring examples of their work (8-12 prints, or digital files on a thumb drive)