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Marine & Seascape Photography

How to “see” in black and white.

September 10 – September 16
Brooklin, Maine
Michael Kahn
Experience Level
Activity Level

This is a five-day course ending Friday

Note: Students should have basic knowledge of computer image processing. Students will need to bring a laptop, cords to connect your camera to your laptop, camera, strap, tripod, lenses (normal, telephoto, and any others you want to use), and water shoes.

Once upon a time, black-and-white was the only means we had to communicate with our cameras. For many of us, black-and-white is how we started off in photography, and how we saw images in print. A number of photographers still consider black-and-white to be the purest form of photography. It forces the viewer to see the image rather than the color.

Shooting black-and-white photographs is in many ways different than shooting in color. There is much more contrast in black-and-white. Shapes and shades become more important. Each day, with guidance from your instructor, internationally renowned photographer Michael Kahn, you’ll learn to capture images using the building blocks for successful black-and-white photography–texture, tonal contrast, shape, form, pattern, and lighting. The coast of Maine is abundant with unlimited strong photographic opportunities and will provide a wealth of photogenic material.

Each day, Michael will lead participants on a photography shoot for a few hours in the morning, followed by discussions on Michael’s work. He will share his knowledge on lighting, contrast, composition, equipment film, processing, printing and more as these topics pertain to black-and-white boat, seascape, and landscape photography. Discussions will also include the work of famous traditional photographers like Beken of Cowes and Rosenfeld of Mystic, as well as discourses of the wooden boats themselves. We will also discuss how to edit your images and how to pick your unique style.

Following lunch is another few hours of shooting, and an hour of questions and student work critiques where we will review a new image created each day. Shooting locations will include the WoodenBoat waterfront and work-shops, Babson Island, Center Harbor, Brooklin Boat Yard, Benjamin River, the Blue Hill reversing falls, Flye Point, and the beautiful town of Stonington. At the conclusion of the course, there will be a slide show featuring a selection of student images from the week that will be presented in the Boathouse after the Friday night lobster bake.

The goal of this week is to help you capture and create a strong image for black-and-white. “Seeing and thinking” in black-and-white is a very common difficulty for photographers. After this course, you’ll be up for the challenge!

This course coincides with the annual Schooner Sail in at WoodenBoat, where the students will have multiple opportunities to photograph these historic windjammers from land and from a boat.

Assisting Michael is his wife, Christine Yurick, an accomplished writer, editor and photographer who will help students with technical questions, processing and editing.

  • Who is this course best suited for?

    This course is appropriate for students with some knowledge and experience.  

    This course involves a moderate level of activity throughout the week.

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