photography in reverse: day sixteen

blue mountains

I wanted them to have time to work and shoot today, but we needed to spend the morning on an intermediate printing demo, of sorts, moving students up to better fiber paper, if they hadn’t yet, and getting into more detail about burning and dodging and things. There are still times when it’s difficult to balance the needs of the beginners with the needs of the more experienced, although the playing field will be getting more and more level as we head backwards into the 19th Century. Still, it’s always good to get everyone together for a demo, to speak the same language, share the same knowledge.

I spent the afternoon trying to catch up with my Thesis students and just be available to answer questions as we go. There are a lot of questions, but that’s the only way I can imagine this class working: show them everything by description and demonstration; get them to try it and go over it again as they do; answer the questions that come up afterwards; wait for them to try it on their own; answer more questions; sometimes, too, show them again. Time traveling takes a lot of time to get just right.

I could sense some general tensions between people here and there, as Week Three got underway, and friendships, crushes, and work habits began to find their shape. It’s not just us up in Photo, of course; there had been discussions at lunch with several people expressing their personal frustrations about little things, for the most part. This is an intense eight weeks, in the tiniest of tiny towns, really. People just need to get off the mountain a bit from time to time, to see other people, maybe to eat some other food. As it happens, I had already planned just that, at just the right time. One of my favorite musicians, Sam Amidon, was playing at the Mothlight down in Asheville (a good hour-plus drive from here, but worth it.) As always, he put on a great show, and there was something strange but pleasant about sitting in a darkened bar with new faces and bodies to see, drinking whiskey I didn’t bring with me…

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