Robert brought me on as a guest for his show PhotoWalking. I am a pro photographer, and have also given plenty of photography workshops, so what I did was give an on line workshop to Robert in a very photogenic location above the San Francisco bay. The show was a hit so Robert and I decided to collaborate on a regular show that would cover the full cycle of photography, from beginning inspiration to tips and tricks culminating in the final print and even selling work. Hence the name PhotoCycle.
I went to work lining up guests. Our first stop was with Annie Leibovitz, classmate from the San Francisco Art Institute. Annie led us through her show in San Francisco discussing her shots and telling stories behind them. Rocky, Robert and I were pretty exhilarated by this.
Next stop was Yosemite with Ansel Adams’ son Michael. When I teach, I constantly refer to Ansel, not just because he was an icon of photography but because he was a generous teacher himself who set out his photographic know-how in a series of 6 books. To my knowledge, he is the only major photographer to have done so. But rather then just discuss what I had read, why not hear from his son Michael who clearly knows more about him than anyone (he is Chairman of the Board, Ansel Adams Gallery). We arrived in Yosemite and interviewed Michael at the Adams Gallery, then he took us on a tour of some of the major spots in the valley where Ansel had taken his timeless shots. This was really getting to be an amazing tour with video footage to prove it.
Next morning, Michael had arranged with the Park Service to grant us access to Glacier Point, which was still closed for the winter. We wound our way up and arrived with a full vista of the valley and the high country above. It was here that I did my interview with Michael that you see launched today. My passion in teaching photography has been to bring the masters of photography as close as possible to my students. PhotoCycle gives us this ability and opens our classroom up to everyone. Not only do you hear Michael speaking to key points of photography, he loaned us unreleased footage of his dad. You hear straight form Ansel what he considered was the key to an outstanding photograph.
In this interview you’ll get an idea of Ansel’s’ workflow, his passion and sheer joy of being a photographer. You’ll learn how he used his framing card—the black rectangle is cut out it gives you a viewing area the shape of your digital camera. Go out and look for shots, to train your eye. This is the equivalent to a photographic backboard or driving range—practice, practice, practice.
We’ve got lot more in store for you in future episodes, but I also want to hear from you in designing these episodes! Leave your comments and let me know where you’d like us to go and explore.
I’m very excited to be your host and to take you on the PhotoCycle.