So…it wasn’t that early actually, but we did head out of the class pretty quickly this morning. By 8:45 we had met in the classroom, collected our cameras, and were packing ourselves into the cars. In a caravan of 8 vehicles, 36 of us set out for the old city. Today we photographed part of a two-day assignment that has our students exploring the work-spaces of craftsmen and women who are employed in disappearing forms of traditional handicrafts. Those forms of craft can include anyone from copper smiths to bangle makers, or furniture builders to Biryani chefs. Our students photographed in tiny copper forges, backyard pottery workshops, and in makeshift spaces in spare rooms. While the conditions weren’t always easy (some of these places were SERIOUSLY tiny) the visuals were dense.
We returned to have lunch and then start the long march through the allocated computer time. Download, edit, and then critique for TWO days worth of images!! We were in for one long afternoon. We didn’t even finish our edits until almost 6:30 in the evening! When the time came to sit and do our critique, Wendy opened by remarking that, “even though it feels like it was a week ago, we’re going to critique yesterday’s work before today’s!” For us, the first couple days of any workshop seem to almost fly by, as though a week must have passed. If that’s how we feel, we can’t even imagine how it must feel for our students! They have learned so much already and have each made at least 1000 pictures in the last 2 days. And after all that shooting, we sit around a computer and look at everybody’s images in a row…these guys have literally seen thousands of images and heard hundreds of comments in just two days! It’s absolutely fantastic, but does makes for a super dense week of learning.
Today’s real win was in the images we made. By the end of our edit last night, most of the instructors were feeling pretty sour about how our students were grasping the information. The first day, the students made such great thoughtful images, but today it felt like they pretty much forgot everything! Not only could we not get exposures correct, but we couldn’t even get images in focus. It was brutal. So when we left this morning Fred and Wendy gave a stern review of the shooting process during our pre-shoot briefing. And for whatever reason, it worked! We came back with some superb images!! Maybe it helped that we looked at yesterday’s images right before we looked at today’s but the stuff from this afternoon looked REALLY good. Have a look through the gallery and judge for yourself. We’re feeling pretty good about our kids after their sophomore slump. Let’s hope we can keep up the mojo for two more days.