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Shooting 304: The Art of Observation

Course Begins: October 20, 2014

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Are you feeling uninspired? Do you feel like your creative well has run dry? Learn to see what others miss through carefully chosen observation exercises. Designed for advanced photographers, either hobbyist or working professional, this course will increase your awareness and ability to be prepared for moments that matter. Learn effective tools that deepen your ability to creatively capture the world around you while exercising your technical ability, both at capture and in post processing.

course fee:
$300/person for full participation
$150/person for study along

registrants:
30 participants

For more information about our policies and workshop FAQ please click here.

If you need to know how to access the workshop, please follow the instructions on this PDF.

 

what we cover:

  • Week One – Increasing Observation through Artist Study
  • Week Two – Enhanced Observation through Movies and Music
  • Week Three – Poetry and Story Narration Through Photography
  • Week Four – Awareness Exercises

what you get:

  • weekly lessons and assignments with preparatory exercises (multi-media PDFs)
  • detailed and individualized feedback from the instructor and one TA each week
  • peer interaction and feedback

what you need:

Participants should be comfortable exposing their images correctly in a variety of conditions.

course instructor:

Caroline Jensen is  a natural light photographer  specializing in emotive black and white portraiture as well as conceptual art using both film and digital cameras.  Her processing is completed in  Lightroom and Photoshop featuring both clean and creative processing techniques. Caroline is primarily self-taught, but she also holds a degree from New York Institute of Photography, where she learned a great deal about working with film. She lives with her husband and four kids (her favorite subjects) on their  prairie farm in Southwest Minnesota.  You can see her work at www.lovestandsstill.com

 

Student Reviews of Shooting 304: The Art of Observation

  1. Lindsey Burnett February 10, 2014 at 11:55 pm #

    Since joining CM in January of 2013, I’ve taken so many workshops. And while I’ve loved every single one of them, Art of Observation was definitely one of my favorites. This course forced me to really slow down and think about my vision and find inspiration in the most unexpected places. Caroline is an amazing instructor with very thought provoking lessons and invaluable feedback. She encourages you to try something different even if it may not be your typical style. It can be challenging, but it really took my work to a level I didn’t think was in me.

    Now when I’m in a photography rut, I know I have the tools to find inspiration all around me. I highly recommend this workshop.

  2. Jan Brier September 7, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    This class helped me remember why I wanted to learn about photography. If you can only take one class,take this one! I did take it Full Participation. Caroline and her TAs responded quickly to all questions and posts. The constructive criticism by peers and instructors was helpful and encouraging. This class helps you remember we all observe life in different ways and you don’t always have to have those “perfect” photographs, but through observation with all your senses, your photographs will have more soul and reflect your voice. Even though I have my handouts to go back through, I would even consider taking this course Full Participation again! It was an amazing four weeks that went by too fast.

  3. Nicole Crane September 3, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    I was so lucky to be part of the most recent run of The Art of Observation and I am so very sad that it is over!! Everything you have heard about this amazing workshop is true. It is challenging, mind-blowing, exhilarating and life-changing. I would equate the breadth of this workshop to some of the graduate classes I took in college. I’ve studied and taught music for many years and this workshop allowed me to hear and visualize music in a completely different way!! I am so grateful for that! Caroline is just an incredible teacher. She gives you the tools to create and then encourages you to run with them. The PDFs are packed with insightful material that I know I will be going back to over and over and over. I feel like I’ve been given the most wonderful toolbox of inspiration. There is just so much to study and take in! The TAs and AHs were wonderful! And I loved working through this course with THE most supportive and talented group of women–I was in awe again and again by all of their posts and submissions. All I can say is TAKE THIS WORKSHOP!!!! I would take it again if I could :)

  4. Julie Kiernan August 16, 2013 at 1:32 am #

    This course was fabulous! I took it when first offered. I would have taken any class Caroline taught as I’ve admired her art for a very long time. This class was so thought provoking and absolutely filled with inspiration. Caroline is a fantastic instructor. She is always available and very encouraging. I cannot recommend it enough. From day one I learned to be so much more observant and it has really stayed with me and become part of how I now think and see. I had never written a haiku and now find myself playfully creating them. If you need inspiration, or just a gentle nudge to shoot daily, this will be a wonderful experience for you. The materials are well done and left me with a lot of ideas to go back later and try. There is so much to learn and explore in this course. It’s one of my all time favorites- both in material and instruction.

  5. Melanie July 11, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    This class was, hands down, one of the best I’ve ever taken. I felt freedom in completing the assignments. I didn’t feel pressure to produce technically perfect images for others, but felt like more of my heart/soul was being tapped throughout this course. The techniques and exercises that Caroline suggests can be applied long after the class ends, and helps shape you to become more observant in every aspect of your life.

    Caroline is a fantastic instructor. She gives you the tools to find inspiration in basically anything, while using your own voice. She is also always available to discuss a topic further and encourage you. Her passion for the arts is contagious, and I can promise you that you won’t look at a painting or listen to music the same way again. The teaching assistants were wonderful also, and very thorough with their feedback.

  6. Kristen R July 10, 2013 at 3:51 am #

    Amazing!! This class will not only change the way you approach your photography but also the way you observe and see your life and the world around you. Caroline is a most astute and thoughtful instructor with materials that guide you through so many thought provoking exercises that raise your awareness of the details around you and the emotion they invoke in you. While you are guided through the study of paintings, music, and poetry, significant knowledge or experience in any of these areas is not necessary to achieve inspiration. The interpretations are so open and endless and you are encouraged to take this inspiration and create images that represent your own artistic voice and style. While this can be challenging at times, it is also freeing and encourages students to take risks and step outside their comfort zones. This workshop is not about the technicals of an image but about the emotion, the story, details, movement, the artistic vision.
    On top of being a fabulous 4 weeks, you will leave this workshop armed with an arsenal of ideas to tap for future inspiration anytime you feel creatively challenged. This class is definitely for an experienced photographer very comfortable with their technical and post processing skills. Dive in with an open mind and a willingness to take risks, and no doubt you will come out a more inspired and observant photographer!

  7. Allison McSorley July 9, 2013 at 2:33 am #

    This class will completely re-shape how you approach your own photography. It will guide you through the process of using alternative methods to express your creative vision. Through her detailed course material, Caroline encourages students to study paintings, music and poetry and apply elements of those artistic genres to their personal work. It is a transformative experience that will leave you feeling re-energized about your own photography journey and your ability to produce authentic, meaningful work. I highly recommend this class. It is perfect for the advanced photographer who is looking for the creative push that will take their work to the next level.

  8. Angie July 8, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    This course will benefit every single photographer at some point in their journey.

    As a lifestyle photographer, I envy those photographers who are able to look at a scene and pick out an interesting detail and make a compelling image from it. I also admire those who can look at a scene and anticipate the possibility of a great shot and wait for it to happen. I had gotten to a point where I knew those were two skills that I personally lack, but I couldn’t figure out how to get better. Then the Art of Observation was added to the CMU lineup. I knew from the course description that this workshop would be the push I needed. It was, but it was so much more!

    Not only will you learn ways to slow down and take in your environment interesting details in order to make interesting photos, you’ll also have a lot of fun doing it. Caroline provides a TON of different exercises that teach you to find inspiration anywhere: art, movies, music, literature, and more. Not only are exercises provided as a part of the class, but she also provided an appendix full of additional exercises to complete after the course is finished. I haven’t had this much fun in ages. It was very freeing to let go and experiment in a safe environment and to stop worrying about the rules so much. I have had so much shooting over this last month and I feel like I have a bunch of tools to get out of a rut if that ever happens again.

    All that said, it is a 301 level course. It’s assumed that students have a solid understanding of the rules. There isn’t time to CC exposure, WB or other basics, so before you sign up, make sure you have those things down solid. But you should sign up when you’re ready. This workshop is destined to be another legendary CM course like C&C, MNLI, and so many others, so be ready when registration opens. :)

  9. Allison Fay July 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    I have taken A LOT of workshops, most of them being from CM. You probably know how awesome CM workshops are, but this one absolutely blew my mind. It isn’t technical at all- it’s purely artistic, creative and completely liberating. It teaches you to study other forms of art, and find inspiration from that to use in your own photography. i.e., You will never have an excuse for lacking inspiration again. After taking this WS, anytime I’m having a hard time finding inspiration I can refer back to the PDFs, practice one of the preparatory exercises we learned, look at a painting, listen to a piece of music, watch a movie….. anything……. and find something in there that inspires me to create. It might be a texture, a feeling, a color, an angle….. but I know how to find it now. And I know how to channel that into my photography.

    I also just have to add that Caroline is my hero. Since joining CM, she has continued to inspire me with her work, so naturally I jumped at the opportunity to learn from her for 4 weeks. She amazes me in every single way, and if nothing else, I will continued to be inspired by her passionate love for and study of art. As if that isn’t enough, the teaching assistants- Anne , Sarah and Celeste are just as amazing, inspiring, kind and encouraging.

    It was an absolutely amazing, mind-blowing, life-changing 4 weeks. I mean it. It was that good.

  10. Melissa Stottmann July 5, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

    Ground-breaking. I’m not quite sure I can put into words what this class has done for me, as a person, and my photography. You learn to see, to be inspired, and to never ever again be in a rut. This course takes you on a personal journey of epic proportions and helps you to create work that comes completely from you.

    Who this course is for: A photographer with a solid grasp on technical/shooting/processing skills, for sure. You don’t want to end up frustrated because you have a vision and do not yet know how to make that generally happen in your camera/processing.

    I HIGHLY recommend this course.

  11. Kellie June 29, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    This is not the kind of class that is going to tell you what rules to follow when taking photographs or how to process your images. You won’t be told what is right or wrong, pretty or unappealing, acceptable or not. This class assumes you already know the answers to all of those questions, even if they are hidden deep inside of you.

    Here, you will be given the tools to find your voice not just as a photographer, but as an observer and participant within your world. You will learn to see in a way that is deeper and more true to who *you* are by studying those who have already mastered artistically conveying their vision. Caroline’s lessons and exercises are thorough and intense, but if you allow yourself to dive in, you will be forever changed for the better. She is passionate about what she does and incredibly knowledgeable, and she is a constant participant in the class offering the sweetest encouragement and effective critique.

    If you want to make the leap from being a skilled picture-taker to a photographic artist, this is the class for you. It is a challenge, but the outcome is a fantastic reward.

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