|2004 26th year |
same old address:
|Al Weber 2004 Newsletter |
Victor School to Reopen
Closed for sixteen years, Victor School will once more offer workshops in photography and related arts. People tell us they miss the old program or wish they had been there. Well, here it is, one more time, in the style of 2004.
|To Stay at the School||Staying at the school is inexpensive. It isn't fancy. It is very plain, and well used. Bring a sleeping bag and a lawn chair if you don't want to stand all the time. If you plan to use the community kitchen bring your utensils and cookware. Gifts of used and comfortable furniture are welcome. |
There is a no smoking policy at the school. Any sign of substance abuse is immediately reported to the Victor police, and if you think that is funny, drop by the police station and take a look at the 104-year old jail.
|To Apply||In the past I have worked up complex application forms. Few use them. If you want to sign up for a workshop, send a check made out to Victor School at, Victor School, PO Box 47, Victor, Colorado. 80860. Say which workshop you want, and I'll send you an information sheet. Any money sent will be cheerfully refunded should you decide to cancel and I don't care why. I ask that you notify me of cancellation prior to the workshop. Your name will be placed on a roster only when I have received a check. We never have retained deposits from those who change their minds. We stand on a no questions asked refund policy. Can't afford to lay out the cash for what you would like to do? Tell us, and maybe we can help.|
|Housing Information||Stay at the school and choose: To tent camp: ($5 day). Bring your RV ($7.50-$10 day). Stay in a small sleeping room ($10 day). Or in a shared dorm ($7.50 day). Or, stay in a grand restored Victorian hotel a couple of blocks down the street ($80 a day and up). There is: a community kitchen, there are hall baths and a coin laundry.|
|04-01. The Salinas Valley. April 23, 24 & 25, $275||Wooden barns, old tractors, small by-passed towns, missions (the ones not on post cards) row crops, wine production, narrow roads, slow moving trucks. the upside down river (the Salinas), rich fertile land, unequaled anywhere, all terminating at Moss Landing, a deep water fishing port with miles of estuary sloughs and bird life. And we shall dine daily on the finest of California cuisine. (Let's hear it for the Pit Stop at San Ardo where a delicious egg and chorizo burrito, with home made chips and salsa is a whopping $2.50). We'll camp at King City, next to a 100 year old black smith shop. Scheduled when the valley is the greenest and the possibility of wildflowers the greatest.|
|04-02. Rendezvous at Songdog Ranch. October 15, 16 & 17. $115||Dating back to 1988, the gathering is designed for those who have attended previous Weber workshops. Portfolios are shown and discussed, without criticism. There are general discussions of topical issues and a print exchange. Tuition includes two nights camp fee, 2 dinners and 2 breakfasts and a neat old lodge where we meet. The meals are cooked cowboy style, chicken, turkey, tri-tip, beans, garlic bread, SOS, scrambled eggs and lots of coffee at picnic tables. Just like camping out, but you don't have to do any cooking or clean-up. The idea of a rendezvous dates back to thinking there are many who have been in workshops, would still like to get out and mingle with others, but don't need further instruction|
|04-03. The Pinnacles, Old Hernandez Road and San Juan Bautista. October 23, 24 & 25. $275||South of Hollister, along the western flank of the Great Central Valley, lies an agricultural area of California that has just sat there for decades, drawing little attention. Wonderful old fence rows, wooden barns, big ones, huge oaks that reach out over the highway, and fields, as far as the eye can see. The workshop will camp at Pinnacles National Monument. The Pinnacles are a workshop to themselves; full of mystery, straddling the San Andreas Fault, Old Hernandez Road looks like a real John Ford set, Sunday breakfast at Mikes in Tres Pinos and over to San Juan Bautista; great mission, fine old buildings and early California history. Nothing intense about this trip. Easy going, fun, great photographic exercises just ripe for the picking. Tired of all the conceptual contemporary politically correct crap? Tag along on this one for a breath of fresh air. Scheduled when the landscape is dry and golden.|
|David Vestal||The last two weeks in August With David Vestal at the Photographers Formulary. Two workshops, one week each. Take one or both. Run and shoot and process. Vestal with hand held small format black and white. Weber with color and advanced Zone System techniques. Many cross-over sessions. Traditional approaches by two who have been there for years. Cantankerous friends who agree on many subjects, but not all. A chance to clarify your process, maybe learn a few new/old tricks and get some honest but positive feedback on what you are doing. David and I have known each other since 1967, but not until 2002 did we team up on a workshop. It went well, and both of us look forward to working together again. This time with the Formulary. This is an unusual chance for input from opposing and different points of view, both with decades of experience. For details contact Bud or Lynn at (800) 922-5255 or e-mail email@example.com|
|04-07. Victor Workshop. June through September. By Appointment. Staff. $100 per day. $250 per week||Total flexibility in scheduling. Bring your project, Stay at the school and choose to tent camp ($5 day), bring your RV($7.50-$l 0 day), stay in a small sleeping room ($10 day) or in a shared dorm ($7.50 day). There are: a community kitchen, hall baths, a coin laundry, and a cable TV area. Or, stay in a grand restored Victorian hotel a couple of blocks down the street ($80 day and up). The ultimate in Individual Studies. Although there will be other workshops during the summer, this is the underlying strength of what happened in the early 1980s and what we will bring to the table one more time. Throughout the summer, there will be an ever changing participation by working photographers and teachers, all available to you, and all overseen by Al Weber. |
NOTE. A residence program will include Erik Lauritzen, David Williams, Don Rogers, Jenny Newton, possibly Phil Hyde, Peter LeGrande, Paul Schranz, Kazu, Paul Christean, Charlie Morrell and Oliver Schuchard, Jan Pietrzak, Bruce Haley, Doug Busch and maybe a drop in visit from David Vestal.
|04-08. Think Platinum & The View Camera. 09-13 June. Jan Pietrzak. $500||The antecedent architecture of Victor, which evolved at the turn of the century and reflects an incredibly wealthy society during Colorado's prime gold production, was secretly designed to be photographed at a later date by photographers of Polish descent, using view cameras and working with the precious metal, platinum, Fine tune your view camera techniques, and learn one of the most beautiful photographic processes ever to come down the road. Pietrzak, whose association with Victor School dates back to the very first year, is a highly skilled and sensitive photographer who excels in contact prints and the gentle extended scale beauty of Platinum.|
|04-09. High Country Landscape. 14-18 June. Charlie Morrell. $275||Charlie lives in nearby Alma, one of the highest cities in the state, elevation, 10,543 feet, There is an old saying in the high country of Colorado, "Never trust anyone under 9,000 feet," Working high brings on a euphoria and energy burst peculiar to elevation. The air is incredibly sharp. The sky is a spooky deep blue. Clouds all look like they originated in Hollywood, Charlie will lead you over high passes with old ghost depots along the way, including some of the most beautiful Bristlecone Pines anywhere. This workshop is specifically designed for those who want to travel and shoot. Bring lots of film, or, if you work digital, this is a paradise.|
|04-10. Phantom Canyon. 26-27 June. Al Weber. $175||Once upon a time there was a narrow gauge train that delivered coal from the mines in Florence to the gold mines In Victor. The route, through the hellish but beautiful Phantom Canyon is spooky, steep, scary and ate trains a hundred years ago like an inferno from the devil. Beginning at 9700 feet, the road descends to 6,000 feet in 32 miles. It goes from deep ravines on the south slope of Pikes Peak to the vast prairie just north of Pueblo. Old tunnels that are intimidating and trestle bridges that raise the eyebrows of the most hardy, this is not a ride for flatlanders. Come along with Weber, who has worked this road for 25 years. This is real Colorado. Camp in the canyon or return to the dorms of Victor at night. If you like to photograph a rugged landscape, take this workshop.|
|04-11. Documentary Photography. 28 June-2 July. Bruce Haley. $450||Think about the work of Paul Strand in documenting a complete area, consisting not only of people in their daily lives, and portraits but workplace interiors, architectural details and landscapes in a most broad-minded, wide in scope interpretation. Haley, internationally recognized for his war photographs, winner of the prestigious Capa Award and former shooter for Black Star, brings a wealth of experience and sound taste to the table in documentary work, maybe the most important photography we have.|
|04-12. The Sheff Rood. 03 July. Al Weber. $95||So you made it down Phantom Canyon and think you are pretty smart. Are you up for another one? The Shelf Road between Canyon City and Cripple Creek parallels Phantom Canyon, but is about twenty miles to the west. I've never understood why anyone would want to go to Canyon City, home of the Royal Gorge and Old Max, Colorado's notorious prison, but the fact is, back then, It was a stage route. What views. What rock formations. No motor homes or trailers. People from back east don't care for the Shelf Road, but if you have a bit of adventure In your soul, come on along.|
|04-13. The Nude & Working in the Weston Tradition. 05-09 July. Kim Weston. $450||Kim brings the tradition of the Weston family, photographing the nude with 8x10, building sets, pyro developing by inspection, rich silver and platinum printing, personal energy and commitment that have made all Weston photographers outstanding for over 80 years. This is what being a photographer is all about. No part time something else, Photography as a way of life and refined by Kim, his father Cole, his uncle Brett and of course his grandfather, Edward. The tradition and spirit live on. Cole was a major contributor to the old Victor School, and now Kim is stepping into his shoes|
|04-14. Introduction to the Zone System. 11 July. Al Weber. $125 |
Take all three Zone System workshops for $625.
|A one day overview of the Zone System from the first presentation in 1948 to now. Demonstrations, using Polaroid and conventional films clarify the philosophy and strengths, and also point out the limitations. Applications for roll film cameras and color will be covered. Digital techniques, in comparison with the Zone System will also be included. Those attending should have completed the equivalent of a basic class. This one day class is meant to help you decide ff you wish to pursue the Zone System. In essence, one should come away with a understanding of the characteristics of how the system works, what it can do and what it cannot do.|
|04-15. The Basic Zone System & Testing Procedures. 12-16 July. Al Weber. $450 |
Take all three Zone System workshops for $625.
|How to read film and prints. Determining actual film speeds. Placing values. Understanding the Characteristic Curve. How to choose a film. Necessary Lab Techniques. Meter selection and use and the solving of problems that come up as we all photograph. Al Weber has been actively involved with the Zone System more than fifty years. He taught it for Ansel Adams in his Yosemite workshops for eighteen years. He can help you decide which way to go.|
|04-16. Advanced Zone System Application and Philosophy. 17-18 July. Al Weber. $195 |
Take all three Zone System workshops for $625.
|For those now working with the Zone System who would like to explore other methods that fine tune the System. At this stage one is probably committed to the silver gelatin print, and has developed a taste for emulsion prints that have a unique depth not available In an ink jet process or most of the alternate process. The Zone System, which dates back to 1948, sometimes takes on a aura of mystique that is uncalled for. Materials have changed since 1948, and early practices are sometimes no longer practical, yet some cling to early theories that simply no longer work. If you are to continue working with the Zone System, you must address changes that have occurred over the past fifty years. Weber has written an article for Photo Techniques, publishing date not yet committed, that addresses these issues in an effort to keep the Zone System alive and healthy. Those attending will test for themselves, to establish contemporary methodology.|
|04-17. The Antecedent Architecture of Victor and the POLAROID PROCESS. 19-23 July. Al Weber. $450||Those offending will develop a portfolio of Polaroid prints depicting Victor as they see it. This workshop will take advantage of the process, incorporating It's strengths and most importantly demonstrate the rare advantage of having a fine, finished photograph right in your hands just after you shoot. Polaroid is different. Those who understand the characteristics are able, to make one of a kind and precious pieces of art. Many are too impatient. They want the latitude of conventional or digital processes. Latitude is just how much of an error you are willing to live with. Adhere to the characteristics of Polaroid and enjoy the beauty of a photograph where subject and scale are perfectly aligned with film and print. The result, is an exquisite photograph, reflecting perfect use of precious materials. Emphasis will be on 4x5, both color and black and white.|
|04-18. Still Life with Polaroid. 26-30 July. Kazu. $500||Work with our favorite still life photographer, Kazu, from Chicago, using the view camera and Polaroid materials. Explore the beauty of Polaroid in the studio atmosphere where light can be perfectly aligned to the film. As W. Eugene Smith used to say, "I use available light." That means any light that is available. Electronic flash, tungsten, daylight or even pyrotechniques. This is a great chance to create a series of small jewels in the 1500 square foot studios of Victor School, where everyone has adequate space to function, under the tutelage of a master of constructed imagery.|
|04-19. Transfer Printing. 04 August. Cynthia Blanchetta. $125||Cynthia has dwelled into the elegant and limited arena of transfer printing. Students will work from 35mm slides, through the Polaroid process to a final print which rides the boundary between painting and photography. Cynthia and her husband, Daniel, are long time staff at word famous Esalen Institute, and are involved with education there. They work with spiritual themes, influenced by pre-Columbian historical remnants. Both are fine print makers in a number of processes.|
|04-20. The Digital Book. 05-08 August. Paul Christean. $395||From idea to finished book, Paul will take you through the whole process of making your own book, all with your own computer hardware. Start from existing film, or shoot new on digital. Organization, paper selection, layout, and binding, both color and black and white. Photographers have never had such freedom or control of their work in published form, and there are few who have the expertise of Paul.|
|04-21. Alternative Composition: Exercises from the Bauhaus. 06-10 September. Paul Schranz. $450||Paul, Professor Emeritus from Governors State University, has practiced what he preaches and has been a long time student and advocate of what happened at the Bauhaus 75 years ago. The Bauhaus, recognized for achievements in art education, had some startling but most practical theories. Using physical analysis from their training, time-space continuum studies, and event seeing, this workshop is designed to help photographers move beyond object seeing to more advanced visual relationships based on reasoning that directly affects compositional organization. Results for those who attend will be easier and quicker when Polaroid or Digital photography are used.|
|04-22. COLOR. E-6 film, POLAROID and the digital approach. 13-17 September. Charlie Morrell & Al Weber. $450||The best way to get the best results. This workshop is a direct attack on those with tunnel vision, regarding process. "I'll never use a digital camera," or, "I can't stand Polaroid," are spewed by the unknowing in selecting a way to work with color, COLOR is the important thing, and each process has advantages and disadvantages. It is a matter of exploration and careful judgment to decide which approach. They are all good, but they all are different. If you truly like Color, this is the right workshop for you. If you need help with web site design, this also is the workshop for you.|
|04-23. Fall Color in the Rockies. September 20-24, 2004. Tuition: $575||Virginia Newton and Al Weber. Cosponsored with University of California Extension, Santa Cruz and scheduled when the aspens are at their spectacular best. Fall colors are early in Colorado, because of the 9,000 foot elevation. The first snows come in mid August, followed by a balmy, pleasant Indian Summer. It lasts a few weeks and with it, the aspens turn. The Rockies are splashed with brilliant reds and yellows, complimenting the blues, greens and deep purples of the mountains. Days are warm, nights are cool and there is the pungent aroma of turning leaves. Victor School, former high school of Victor Colorado, sits at an elevation of 9,717 feet above sea level, on the south slope of Colorado's famous Pikes Peak. This is Gold country. One of the richest mining communities ever, and it is still very active. The small towns are all picturesque and dominated by turn of the century Victorian architecture. Come and work with Virginia and Al, friends and coteachers for many years, as they take you through a understandable and dependable method of working with color. Color negative, color positive, Polaroid and digital will all be used, with daily service for negative color and in house E-6 for positive (slide) film. Using the old school as a base, participants will travel out each day to locations, photograph, return for processing, and review in the evenings.|
|04-24 Draw Point or Photograph the historic mining towns of central Colorado. 27 September to 01 October. Oliver Schuchard. $450||Professor Emeritus Oliver Schuchard, University of Missouri Art Department, will return to Victor for this workshop. He is known for gentle and sensitive mid west landscapes with mellow colors and quiet tones. Oliver has incredible patience and much experience in teaching. For decades he has explored the mining communities of Colorado, teaching, photographing and painting. This is an exceptional chance to interact with photography, painting and drawing, no matter where you are at the time, with an experienced master.|
|Well, that's it for now, see you when I see you, |