Half-Day Workshops

mps-work-16-500Half-day workshops offer you the opportunity to spend a few hours on location or in class with one of the Symposium’s presenters. Workshop content and goals vary from one presenter to the next; some travel to iconic locations in pursuit of great images, while others offer learning sessions aimed at practicing creative techniques.

Important: All field workshops require a certain level of physical fitness. Please be sure to also read the information on the Workshops page before registering.

Locations: All of our field workshop locations are based on 1) the diversity of their photographic subject matter, 2) the quality of light in the afternoon, 3) the distance to travel from town to trailhead, and 4) the physical nature of the site. We come to work on photography and not take grueling hikes. However, to get away (even a little bit) from the ever-increasing-maddening-crowds requires a little exertion. Hikes to workshop zones will be no more than 1 mile. “Trails” in the Moab area are often stream beds (wet or dry, sandy) or over slickrock following rock cairns. Slickrock (sandstone) can challenge your balance. Instructors will offer pointers on moving through the country so as to “leave no trace” on rock or vegetation.

Each workshop is offered twice – once on Friday, May 4th, and again on Saturday, May 5th. Seats are limited to 11 per workshop, so be sure to register early using the Symposium Registration Form.

The 2018 Moab Photography Symposium offers these half-day workshops:

F1-S1  Minor Revelations with Steve Traudt

Join Steve in a fun and philosophical workshop. First he presents “Potpourri”, a fast-paced program featuring a variety of tips, techniques and attitudes that lead to stronger, more meaningful photographs as well as controlling the technical aspects for higher quality. It is actually over 15 mini-programs within the overall lecture. Then Steve will issue a photo assignment (challenge?) and send the participants out in the local area. Everyone then reconvenes at the Marc for a lively review and discussion. This workshop will “stretch” you a bit and get you out of your comfort zone (rut?).


F2-S2  Beyond the Grand Landscape: Photographing Nature’s Smaller Scenes with Sarah Marino

Join Sarah Marino for an afternoon of learning about photographing nature’s smaller scenes, including intimate landscapes, abstract renditions of natural subjects, and creative portraits of plants and trees. This workshop will start with a short classroom session on learning to see small scenes in nature, the key technical and creative aspects of photographing small scenes, and a review of example photographs. Next, we will move outside for some interactive field-based instruction, including guided exercises to help put the ideas we discuss into practice. Each participant will have ample time for exploration and photography, with individual coaching and feedback available throughout the group’s time together.


F3-S3    Visual Metaphors with Rafael Rojas

There are different motivations and purposes for which to create photographs.  Not only will the intent vary from photographer to photographer, but also for a same photographer the intent might be different depending on the use, motivation, and purpose of the images she or he creates.

As photographers, we might create images where our own presence is felt more or less strongly. At one extreme of the spectrum, we might create commercial photographs, whose purpose is mainly serving the needs of a paying client.

On the other end of the spectrum, we can use photography as a mean of personal artistic expression. On these occasions, the message is totally our own, and the subject matter loses its literal and denotative nature and instead becomes more the visual metaphor of something else. When we use photography with this intent, we are free to choose our message and the way it will be conveyed; we stop acting as photographers and rather become artists using photography as a medium.

During his workshop, Rafael Rojas will guide and stimulate participants to create photographs as visual metaphors, favouring the development of emotional connections with the subject matter and the use of different layers of signification in their images. Participants will also embark on a quest for simplicity and mystery in their compositions, as a way of intensifying the observer’s emotional resonance with their images.


F4-S4   Vision, Vision, Vision…why nothing else matters with Cole Thompson

Equipment, location, subject matter…none of it matters if you haven’t found your Vision. Without Vision the best you can hope for is a technically perfect, but soulless image.

This walk/talk/photograph workshop will discuss my views on Vision: what it is, how you find it and most importantly, how you follow it.

Disclaimer: you will NOT come out of this workshop having found your Vision. It took me 2 years of hard work to discover mine and I still struggle to this day to follow it. What I do hope you will come away with is a desire to find your Vision and a 10 step plan you can follow to do so.


F4-S4   Captivating Color: Harnessing the power of color to create emotionally impactful imagery with Charlotte Gibb

Designers and advertisers have long understood how people are moved by certain colors. In our daily cosmopolitan lives, we come across evidence of their conviction: red signs warn us of danger (stop signs, fire trucks); blue signs show us the way to safety (signs to hospitals and highway rest stops); yellow signs grab our attention and direct us (yield and directional signs). The great painters also knew how to use the power of color in their works, and many Abstract Expressionists relied entirely on color to convey emotion in their paintings. So, how can you use the symbolic power of color to give your photographs more emotional impact? In this workshop, we’ll explore how purposeful and intelligent use of color can bring deeper meaning to your landscape photographs and create more compelling imagery.


F5-S5    Seeing for Ourselves  with Chuck Kimmerle

After a brief group meeting for introductions and print viewing, we’ll head out to a nearby location for some directed photography which will help us to begin to understand our personal style and vision.


F6-S6    Creating With the Creative Process  with Colleen Miniuk-Sperry

Colleen’s interactive photography workshop aims to provide hands-on experience with each step of the creative process as you make inspired and meaningful photographs in one of Moab’s most scenic locations. While offering specific tips and techniques, we will explore ways to enhance mindful observations, connect with individual perceptions, visualize ideas into effective compositions, and verify our photographic results.


F7-S7   The Edge of Reality  with Bruce Hucko

What are the qualities & elements of abstraction?  How can they best be employed in a landscape that is inherently abstract to make even more meaningful personal images.  Bruce will lead a short indoor discussion of the subject and then guide participants to a special location to make photographs that stand at the edge of reality.  Elements to be explored include: proximity, scale, the geometry of composition, and the important and totally abstract elements of personal meaning and emotion.  Tripod and willingly playful mind required.