General Outline of Workshop:
• On the first Sunday evening the class meets at a local restaurant and has their first dinner together.
• Each student must bring their portfolio. On Monday, there is a general critique of each student’s work. It is held at St. Agustin ETLA, a beautiful restored factory and garden outside of Oaxaca.
• After Mary Ellen reviews their work each student is given an individual assignment or theme to shoot over the course of the workshop. Mary Ellen has been working in Oaxaca for 15 years and the workshop assistants know Oaxaca well, so they have lots of ideas and contacts in the area.
• Students will shoot every day for seven days. At the end of each day, their film is processed, either by a local lab that processes C-41, or by a local darkroom that will process Tri-X. Students can shoot 35mm or 120mm. The students that shoot digitally will have contact sheets by the C-41 lab.
• Each student is given a specific time to meet individually with Mary Ellen every morning. The work they have done the previous day is edited and images are selected to have work prints made. These meetings are held at the Alvarez Bravo Photographic Center, which is a beautiful museum in downtown Oaxaca.
• Every evening, the class comes together at the Bravo Center to discuss how they are doing and to see the work of local artists. (During the workshop, the students are not allowed to show their work to each other.)
• The final critique is held on a Wednesday. This is the first time the students see each other's work from Oaxaca. It’s fascinating and exciting to see the images each stduent has produced. I can honestly say that everyone produces excellent work. Even the students that are less experienced make huge strides.
• We put together a book of the best images from the workshop (3 or 4 from each student.) The book will be made available on blurb.com.
• We have our final dinner Wednesday night and everyone leaves on Thursday feeling that they are returning home as a better photographer.
Oaxaca is medium-sized city. You can get any basic necessities easily. Each student is responsible for their own travel arrangements to Oaxaca. Travel to Oaxaca usually requires a connecting flight through Mexico City or a major US hub like Houston or Atlanta. We will provide a list of 4-5 hotels that are convenient, ranging from 5-star to less expensive. Students are responsible for making their own hotel reservations and payments directly. Mary Ellen and most students stay at the Marques del Valle hotel (medium-priced) in the main square (three blocks from the Bravo Center), but students can stay anywhere they want. We advise that you stay close to the Bravo Center. Some projects require travel by taxi or bus to locations, so students should budget appropriately. We can recommend translators to work with people if needed. Their fees can be negotiated directly. Each student pays for their own meals. Each student pays for their own lab fees. The C-41 lab is very reasonable. The tri-X lab is more expensive (but less than in the States.) Any students shooting any film should bring Print File sleeves for their negatives. All students shooting either C-41 or Tri-X need to bring their own film. Many students choose to shoot with a BW C-41 film. We recommend either Ilford XP2 or Kodak TCN. Film is not always available in Oaxaca and is very expensive.
This class is for photographers of all levels. Attendees should bring their portfolio to the class for review. Prints only, no slides. Computer print-outs are fine.
Dates & Location:
Summer dates June 26-July 6, 2011. Oaxaca, Mexico is served by AeroMexico, Mexicana, and Continental airlines. Connection through Mexico City, Cancun, Houston, or Atlanta is usually required.
Price & Payment:
The course fee is $2,200. A deposit of $500 USD will be required upon reservation. If the reservation is made within the 45 days prior to the scheduled starting date, full payment will be required at that moment. Photo Xpedition handles all payments for this class. Review all deposit, payment, and cancellation policies here.
Register directly with Photo Xpeditions.
Applications are due 45 days prior to beginning of workshop. Notification of acceptance will be made by within the following 48 hours
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I am very proud of the work that this workshop has produced. I find the classes very rewarding and exciting, not only the daily editing sessions, but in the final critique. It is really inspiring seeing the beautiful work that my students are capable of producing during a ten-day workshop. Not only the regular students that have returned many times (as many as fourteen times) and are professional photographers, but also the work of students who are at a more beginning level of photography. All of my students work together, both the more experienced and the beginners inspire and encourage each other. This workshop is for all people that love photography and have the desire and will to become better.
Mary Ellen Mark