What is “The Truth About Photographs- Developing a distinctive visual style?” It is a weekend workshop centered around making a person a better photographer. The teacher is Quinton Gordon and it is part of the Leica Akademie’s curriculum. I wanted to write about it now, while it is fresh in my mind, as I just completed one yesterday.
The workshop began at 4 p.m. on Friday. When I arrived at the Leica Store in Washington D.C., I was greeted by the always friendly staff of the store along with my teacher for the next couple of days- Quinton Gordon and the manager of the Leica Akademie- Tom Smith. Initial impressions are always important and mine were “this is going to be a great experience.” I received my course materials and was impressed with the thought that goes into something like this. Of course, if you have been to any Leica Store, the environment is well thought out, modern and classy. The workshop ended up reflecting the same qualities.
There were nine other students who reflected a variety of ages and backgrounds but all shared a love for the Leica camera and a desire to learn and grow as photographers. This course is designed to make a person think, be challenged and to do some things with a camera they may have never done before.
After an introduction to the class, a review of some of Quinton’s fine pictures and a delicious dinner we ventured outside. Thankfully, it had just stopped raining. We were given an assignment and set out as a group to explore D.C. We had a great time, all the while being challenged by the ever-changing light and scenes before us as we traveled on foot for a couple of hours. It was a great introduction to what was to come and I must say personally I was excited about the next day.
Saturday was spent entirely in D.C. beginning at the Sculpture Garden and eventually other parts of the city. Assignments were given along the way. Not only did we work on our assignments, we had fun getting to know one another and having our meals together. All in all a great day, and a tiring one for me, as we walked for miles looking for places to take our photos to complete our assignments.
Sunday we were back at the Leica store to edit our photos and to receive advice from Quinton and Tom. Being critiqued by someone who is experienced and who wants to see you grow as a photographer is a great experience. Humbling but worthwhile at the same time. Showing our top five photos to the rest of the class was a lot of fun too.
The course was a great experience. Really it was more than I had hoped for. I left feeling encouraged and that I had learned new principles to apply to my photography in the future so I can become a better photographer.
I enjoyed it so much I am signed up for two more Leica Akademie classes in the next few months.
Thank you Tom for doing such a great job planning and organizing all the classes and workshops for the Akademie which take place literally around the world.
Thank you Quinton for being such as great teacher and for being patient, honest and encouraging.
Last but not least, thank you Leica for making such a great camera and for opening the Leica Stores. As of June 20th I believe there will be four of them in the United States: New York, Miami, D.C. and the newest one in Los Angeles, which opens on June 20th. There will also be a special edition camera announced on that day too.
If you have never tried a Leica camera may I suggest that you do? Of course you may like it so much you buy a couple more in the span of a couple of months, just like I did. Enjoy!