Photography Workshops at Penland

Workshops are open to serious students of all levels unless specified in course description; beginners welcome.







summer Session 1

MAY 25 - JUNE 6

Neal Rantoul, Hofsos, Iceland, archival inkjet print,

14 x 21 inches

Christopher Benfey & Neal Rantoul
Word & Image

Using readings from seminal writers and works from important photographers as a foundation, this workshop will assign exercises for students to create words with their images and images with their words. We’ll be out in the studios and the community making pictures and writing creatively, working to describe with precision and empathy what is portrayed photographically, and forming a vocabulary to deepen our understanding of our pictures. Photographic exercises will help students get out of their comfort zones and effectively use the visual language of photography. Students may need to bring their own computers with image management software. Cameras may range from point-and-shoots to DSLRs. All levels. Code 01P

Christopher: professor of english at Mount Holyoke College (MA); author of eight books on literature and the arts including Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay, which was a New York Times notable book for 2012; his poems have appeared in the Paris Review and the New Yorker, writes regularly for the New York Review of Books; Guggenhiem Fellow, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Andrew Glasgow Writers Residency at Penland.

Neal: studio artist; professor emeritus from Northeastern University where he was head of the photography program for 30 years; Whiting Foundation fellowship, Lightwork residency (NY); recent exhibitions: Panopticon Gallery (Boston), Danforth Museum (MA); collections: Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Center for Creative Photography (AZ), Fogg Museum at Harvard (MA), Kunsthaus (Switzerland), High Museum (Atlanta).








summer SESSION 2
JUNE 8 - 20


Jim Stone, Kelly and Kyle, Ceramics Professors,

“Like One Person in Two Bodies,” At the Kiln: Penland,

archival inkjet print, 20 x 24 inches

Jim Stone
Photographing with the View Camera

The view camera encourages a methodical approach to making photographs, and it rewards its users with photographs of the highest quality. We’ll learn to use the large-format camera, develop sheet film using an extremely simplified zone system, and make contact prints and enlargements on silver paper. Alternative, historic, and digital printing methods will be discussed but not practiced. Students should have some experience with black-and-white photography, but the class does not require an advanced level of skill. Note: some rental cameras are available. Code 02P

Professor at University of New Mexico; other teaching: Rhode Island School of Design, Boston College; author of A User’s Guide to the View Camera, author or co-author of five other books widely used as college texts, author of three monographs; fellowships: Massachusetts Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts; collections: Museum of Modern Art (NYC), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Smithsonian American Art Museum (DC), Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

summer SESSION 3
JUNE 22 - JULY 4

Lou Krueger, Hands of Gold, Heart of Stone,

chromogenic print (image made with handmade
4x5 pinhole camera), 24 x 20 inches

Lou Krueger
Experimental Camera Workshop

This workshop will focus on the construction and use of two film cameras: a 4x5-inch sheet-film camera and a medium-format rollfilm camera. Students will build one or two wooden cameras, expose and process black and white film, and make prints in the darkroom, leading to a small portfolio of prints. Students may choose to emphasize camera-building or image-making depending on their individual interests. This workshop will serve a broad range of students from beginners with no darkroom experience to photography instructors looking for alternative approaches. All levels. Code 03P

Professor at Bowling Green State University (OH); other teaching: Northern Illinois University, Syracuse University (NY); experimental camera workshops: Indiana University, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo Institute for the Arts (MI); exhibitions: Sylvia White Gallery (CA), Columbia College Chicago, Nikon House (NYC), Los Angeles Center for Digital Art.





summer SESSION 4
JULY 6 - 18


Deborah Springstead Ford, OM, silver gelatin print,

16 x 16 inches

Deborah Springstead Ford
The Alchemy of Photographic Constructions

We’ll throw the rules out the window and experiment with wild abandon as we create provocative visual narratives, pushing the limits of darkroom alchemy, surface transformation, and image metamorphosis. Students will explore a variety of image-construction techniques in and out of the darkroom including montage and assemblage, combination printing, and negative/print manipulation: chemographs, photograms, cliché verre, Sabatier, bas relief, image transfer, digital/silver hybrids.
Experimentation in the darkroom intertwined with mechanical and digital applications will provide fertile conditions to refine your artistic skills while enhancing your photographic voice. This workshop will give students and opportunity to engage with a wide variety of photographic techniques, which will develop personal vision and greater understanding of the medium. All levels. Code 04P

Professor at Prescott College (AZ); residencies: Biosphere 2 (AZ), Ucross Foundation (WY), Sitka Center for Art and Ecology (OR), Joshua Tree National Park (CA), Aspen Guard Station (CO); exhibitions: Tucson Museum (AZ), Center for Fine Art Photography (CO); collections: Center for Creative Photography (AZ), California Museum of Photography.






summer SESSION 5


Brian Taylor, Paper Boats, handmade, photographically

illustrated book, hand-colored gelatin silver prints, 18 x 28 inches

Brian Taylor
Alternative Photography & Books

During this workshop, we’ll explore photography in an open, creative, and intuitive way. We’ll explore printing methods that offer handmade, creative results not possible with digital or traditional silver prints, and we’ll treat our photographs as raw material to be altered and mixed with other media. Working from digitally-produced negatives, we’ll explore beautiful 19th century printing processes including cyanotype, van dyke, and gum bichromate on watercolor paper, fabric, and other surfaces. Then we’ll use simple, innovative bookbinding techniques to incorporate our images into handmade books. All levels. Code 05P

Professor at San Jose State University; fellowships: National Endowment for the Arts, Polaroid Corporation; collections: Bibliothéque National (Paris), Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco), Los Angeles County Museum, George Eastman House (NY); work published in American Photographer, Photo Asia, Artworks, Photographic Possiblities.






summer SESSION 6
AUGUST 10 - 22


Alida Fish, Tissue: Bending, archival inkjet print

on Japanese rice paper, 10 x 8 inches



Jeannie Pearce, African Blackbird, archival inkjet print,

22 x 22 inches


Alida Fish & Jeannie Pearce
Handmade Photographs

We’ll push the limits of digital printing to create individual portfolios of unique prints. We’ll make digital prints on unusual papers and explore ways to transfer photographs onto surfaces such as canvas, metal, and plaster. Materials will include InkAid and Digital Art Studio Seminars (DASS) products. The environment will be supportive—experimentation encouraged. Individual discussions will help you refine technique, expand ideas, and achieve creative goals. Students should be familiar with the mechanics of their camera and computer. Otherwise, this class is open to all levels of skill. This workshop will not provide ind-depth Photoshop instruction, so an acquaintance with an imaging program will be helpful. Code 06P


Alida: professor emerita from University of the Arts (Philadelphia); fellowships: National Endowment for the Arts, Delaware State Arts Council; visiting artist at American Academy (Rome).

Jeannie: adjunct professor at University of the Arts (Philadelphia); Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award; Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship; exhibitions: Salt Gallery (Philadelphia), The Print Center (Philadelphia), Rochester Contemporary Art Center (NY); collections: Philadelphia Museum, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Haverford College (PA), University of Delaware.




summer SESSION 7
AUGUST 24 - 30


Jerry Spagnoli, 3-27-12, daguerreotype,

14 x 11 inches

Jerry Spagnoli
The Daguerreotype: A Contemporary Approach

During this week at Penland, you will work with materials and techniques that were common at the dawn of photography. The daguerreotype is unlike any photographic process you’ve used before, so be prepared for an adventure. We’ll expose plates directly in the camera and also make contact prints from positive transparencies—developing plates with a non-toxic method. If you shoot with a view camera, bring it along. We’ll be able to share some cameras. We’ll also talk about ways to present daguerreotypes, including a demonstration of making traditional cases. Intermediate level: a basic understanding of traditional photographic techniques is required. Code 07P

Studio artist; teaching: Photographer’s Formulary (MT), f295 (Pittsburgh), Penland; worked collaboratively with Chuck Close and Karl Lagerfeld; collections: Museum of Modern Art (NYC), National Portrait Gallery (DC), Art Institute of Chicago, Whitney Museum (NYC), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Chrysler Museum (VA), High Museum (Atlanta); monographs: Daguerreotypes (Steidl), American Dreaming (Steidl); work published in Vanity Fair, DoubleTake, Adbusters, Metropolis, Graphis.




fall session 2
october 19 - 25, 2014


David Emitt Adams, The Battle Between Two Peaks,

tintype photograph on found objects from the Sonoran desert,

26 x 10 x 18 inches




David Emitt Adams
Rethinking Wet Plate Collodion Photography

In this workshop we’ll explore tintypes and ambrotypes—two photographic techniques based on wetplate collodion materials. As we learn, we’ll take a close look at contemporary artists who use historic photographic processes to communicate their ideas. Together we’ll rethink the photograph as the final product. You’ll explore the possibilities of these materials, experiment, and create alternative methods of display for your photographs. Students should have basic camera skills and be willing to work closely and carefully with photographic chemistry; otherwise the workshop is open to all levels. Code F02P

Studio artist, adjunct faculty at University of Arizona; exhibitions: Griffin Museum of Photography (MA), solo show at Santa Barbara Museum of Art (CA); collections: Museum of Photographic Arts (San Diego), Center for Creative Photography (AZ).



spring concentration
march 8 - may 1, 2015


Dan Estabrook, Small Fires,

gum bichromate with watercolor, gouache,

19 x 15 inches

Dan Estabrook
Photography in Reverse

This workshop will take a close look at the technological and aesthetic history of photography—backwards. Starting with our phones and contemporary cameras, we’ll work our way from digital photography into its chemical ancestors, covering drugstore color prints and black-and-white darkroom work and then into the nineteenth century: wet plate images, daguerreotypes, and early paper processes. Each week will be anchored by a full day of discussion and critique of each student’s work. Be ready: we’re going to do everything. All levels. Code S00P

Studio artist making contemporary art using 19th century photographic techniques; NEA fellowship; subject of documentary film by Anthropy Arts; recent exhibitions: Daniel Cooney Fine Art (NYC); representation: Catherine Edelman Gallery (Chicago), Jackson Fine Art (Atlanta).