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When You Learn The Basics From Rock Stars

October 30, 2016

When you take a photography workshop from a guy like Dan Winters, it's like Michelangelo teaching you how to hold a paintbrush. Or like Mario Andretti giving you your first driving lesson. Or like Frank Lloyd Wright remodeling your kitchen. It's an experience beyond comprehension. How does something like this happen?

 

In the Spring of 2007, I attended Design Ranch put on by Austin's chapter of AIGA. It was three days of hands-on workshops smack dab in the middle of Texas. Not a laptop in sight. I signed up for the Pinhole Photography session, which was rapidly filling up due to the celebrity photographer on deck. Had I fully comprehended the magnitude of this guy's talent and success at the time, I might have embarrassed myself by asking something stupid like, "so what's it like to photograph Brad Pitt?"

 

Pinhole photography is an old school photography technique where you can make your own camera out of practically any "container" and using light exposed to film through a tiny hole you can make images. In this workshop with Dan we were working with a different format using Polaroid film with instant camera backs in these gleaming wooden boxes. With pinhole photography, everything is in focus because there is no lens. I remember in high school watching the beginning photography class making their pinhole cameras out of coffee cans.

 

So when a guy like Dan Winters shows up with a whole bunch of film and gorgeous wooden camera cases, you run other people over to sign up immediately.

 

 

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