Today’s interview is with Elle Walker, instructor of the Fine Art and Visual Expression workshop!

black and white fine art nature beach photograph by online photography workshop instructor Elle Walker

Hi, Elle, and thank you for answering some questions for us today! You are the instructor of CMU’s new online photography workshop Shooting 301: Fine Art and Visual Expression.  Would you take a moment to share a little about the workshop and what the content will include?

Of course! I’m thrilled to be teaching as a part of Clickin Moms University, especially when the topic is something I could talk about for hours! One of the things I love most about photography is the opportunity for communication and expression. Whether I’m shooting to communicate something about me, or something about my subject, non-verbal communication is something that is able to be translated across all cultures through photography.

Over the course of four weeks, we consider approaches and features of our photography from both a fine art and communicative perspective.

Topics include: ‘Genres & Features’ {the metalanguage of fine art photography}, ‘Personal & Stylistic Expression’ {the pragmatics of fine art photography}, ‘Planning & Order’ {the visual grammar of fine art photography} and ‘Expressive Portraiture’ {non-verbal communication}.

The content was developed to encourage participants to consider and manipulate their in camera choices more deliberately, in relation to their vision for the final image. We will explore a number of shooting techniques, and develop tools to strengthen the communication between artist, subject and viewer.

fine art child photograph by online photography workshop instructor Elle Walker

How does your 301 workshop differ from the other 301 workshops offered through CMU?

I suppose with Fine Art as a genre in itself being so open to individual interpretation, the content is quite broad. We cover a mix of technical and creative approaches, and aim for the content to be applied to both portraiture and non-portraiture photographers.

Will this course focus on still life photography, people photography, or both (or neither)?  In other words, will the content pertain to those in all photography niches?

The focus really is on art in general. We do look at specific genres, but try and explore these genres in relation to their common elements, and aspects of self expression and non-verbal communication. We spend some time chatting with feature artists from select genres, and looking at commonalities between the genres, and how we might be able to apply these to our own work.

One of the things I really want my students to work on throughout the four weeks is applying various techniques to genres that they may not typically associate that particular technique with.  There is a lot to do with trusting your intuition and pushing both yourself and the boundaries, beyond what is ‘expected’. Just because you are a portrait photographer for example, doesn’t mean that exploring the techniques and features specific to other genres won’t be beneficial to your line of work. The more tools we have to produce our imagery in accordance with our perceptions for that particular scene, the better.

black and white fine art nature photograph by online photography workshop instructor Elle Walker

Who is the ideal student for this class? What photography knowledge should they already possess prior to enrolling?

Fine Art & Visual Expression is aimed at photographers who have developed a solid understanding of the technical aspects of photography. Proficiency in shooting in manual mode is also desirable. Anyone looking to strengthen the visual impact of their imagery, and move beyond the safety net of rules and ‘correct’ settings, will be very well suited to this workshop.

fine art nature photograph by online photography workshop instructor Elle Walker

Should a potential student already have taken any of the other 301 classes prior to taking yours?

Not at all! As with most classes offered within CMU, the material learned in each workshop can be built upon in future workshops. It really depends on the student as to where they are up to in their learning and the areas they are choosing to focus on at that particular stage of their journey.

Is there anything else we should know about this fantastic new workshop?

In addition to chatting with some amazing feature artists as a part of the workshop content, we are also extremely fortunate to have three fabulous TA’s joining us to help out and offer critiques. Emma Wood, Stacey Haslem and Lisa Tichané are all a part of the workshop team, and I have no doubt that students will benefit from the knowledge and expertise that they will each bring to the class!

black and white fine art lizard photograph by online photography workshop instructor Elle Walker

 

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