Western Masters. Eastern Insights

At Maine Media Workshops, July 16-22, 2017

 & At Leica Akademie, London, Aug 1-3, 2017

With complementary use of Leica equipment

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This unique workshop taps into the intriguing Japanese practice of Shu Ha Ri which embodies the principles of study, assimilation and innovation.

Shu (study) involves slowing down to gain an in depth understanding of a masters work and internalising that style of shooting.

Ha (assimilation) switches the emphasis to back to your own work. We reflect on how these new approaches to seeing can benefit your personal style.

Ri (innovation) is where we no longer need the master. The foundation of the first stages breeds the self confidence to shoot in refreshing new ways and opens new doors to your creativity.

Outcomes The disciplined study of a master through this Eastern philosophy will ask you to think differently.  You will leave this workshop inspired and find your personal work enhanced.

Through daily group discussions, individual feedback and review, Eileen and Olaf will work hard to encourage you in developing an exciting body of work.

contact: emmimageloft@gmail.com or olaffwilloughby@gmail.com

Announcing LightDance Workshops

Explore photography with Eileen McCarney

Muldoon and Olaf Willoughby

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Our 2017 Workshop Programme

Western Masters, Eastern Insights

July 16-22, Maine Media College, Rockport, USA – web link here

Aug 1st – 3rd, Leica Studio, London, UK – web link here

Street Photography

Sep 25th – 28th, Brooklyn, USA

In ‘Western Masters, Eastern Insights’, our imaginative and intensive workshop we combine a study of the works of some of the masters of photography with Eastern philosophy to expand your ways of seeing and shooting.

The idea of seeking artistry through evaluating the works of the masters is thousands of years old. We will tap into the intriguing Japanese practice of Shu Ha Ri which embodies the principles of study, assimilation and innovation. This workshop answers the question, ‘how do I develop as a photographic artist?’. Click the links above for more detail…

Our workshops are one-of-a-kind, stimulating and unusual. We’ll help you to see and shoot images you’ll be proud of. 

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LightDance, The Power of Imagination.


Here are some examples of the images created in our workshops, 'Visual Conversations' & 'Western Masters, Eastern Insights'

LightDance workshop: ’Destination Brooklyn, Unlocking Mysteries’

Between Sep 21st – 24th, 2015 and again 2016, I co-taught this Street Photography workshop with Eileen McCarney Muldoon. The results were beyond what we had hoped for and it is our pleasure to share more about the workshop and show some of the work here.

Concept: each day, in a different part of Brooklyn, we explore the progression of Street Photography and shoot in the style of the masters of those times.

8.30 am: fresh coffee and bagels started the day over breakfast where we painted a picture of the evolution of Street Photography, beginning with the first man-in-the-street image in 1838. We went on to explore various definitions of and approaches to Street shooting. Each day we explored the work of chosen photographic masters and set that in the context of the main cultural, artistic and technical photographic influences of the period. 

10.00 am: time to get shooting. Brooklyn is big. Over 80 sq. miles of buzzing diversity. With architecture ranging from brownstones to bridges and communities from Hasidic to hipster there are stories of everyday life everywhere. Eileen and I had pre-selected different areas of Brooklyn to suit the mood and style of each day’s assignments. The group were free to shoot alone or together and we generally did both.

3.00 pm: back to base for image downloading, selection and processing. This workshop single mindedly concentrated on shooting. We didn’t need to clutter the time with Lightroom tutorials or portfolio reviews, so our participants were free to devote themselves exclusively to camera work.

4.30 pm: upload and project each person’s images for feedback and discussion. All our group were experienced photographers and it certainly showed in the high standards of creativity and ingenuity in their work.

7.00 pm: time for dinner, a glass of wine and some good conversation at a local eatery. Next day: gotta start the whole thing all over again!

Both Eileen and I want to offer a huge vote of thanks to our group for making this workshop such a pleasurable combination of good photography and good friendship. We’re already planning for next year.

Join us in celebrating the launch of our book,
‘Visualising Poetry: the Power of Words and Images’

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Poetry has a magical quality to delve deep into our soul and arouse our imaginations. Photography preserves the epic in the everyday. Words are left brain. Images are right brain. In this book we show how combining photography and poetry adds up to a powerful catalyst for creative thinking. 

Poetry is frequently rich in metaphor and the process of finding a hook on which to hang a photograph forced us to study the meaning in a way quite different from reading a poem in a book. Suddenly we were not just taking, we were making images with thoughtful deliberation. We established a cycle of thinking, feeling, shooting and sharing. And then we repeated the process with a further five poems and so on. Subtly this shifted us out of our routine ways of seeing and into a deeper aesthetic. 

These poems have a universal appeal. Our images are personal. Many readers will see different meanings in the words and images. Finding the metaphors and bridging these gaps is part of the joy of this book. We invite you to join us in a visual celebration of the extra dimension that photography brings to these poems.

To find out more or buy a copy email me at olaffwilloughby@gmail.com