Exploring the Imaginative Landscape

with Valda Bailey

Online registration for this program has closed. To check availability, find out about future dates, or if you would like further information, please call 505-983-1400 ext. 111. Also, get the SFW E-Newsletter for updates!

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Course Description

“As landscape photographers, we are probably more hidebound than most when it comes to constraints and restrictions for our creative endeavors,” says Valda Bailey. “The blame for this lamentable state of affairs doubtless lies in myriad directions. Which of us doesn’t to a greater or lesser extent pay heed to The Ten Commandments of Landscape Photography which include Thou shalt only photograph in the golden hour; thou shalt obey the rule of thirds; or thou shalt observe front-to-back sharpness? While I am not proposing that these decrees be summarily discarded, but only suggesting that time spent playing free from these constraints can reap huge rewards. We have the capacity to open our minds, clear out the stagnating detritus of comfortable familiarity and ingrained habits to see the world anew.”

In April, Valda returns to our SFW Perspectives online presentation format to discuss the delicious freedom that non-representational photographers are lucky enough to enjoy. “When we no longer rely on what is in front of the camera to create our images,” Valda adds, “a whole world of possibilities opens up. But that freedom comes with responsibilities as we decide what the elements within the framework work best together.”

On Day One of this webinar, Valda discusses the Influences and ideas that guide the imaginative photographer, where to find them, and how to make them our own. This is all part and parcel of finding one’s voice. Valda digs deeper to reveal how she works through her process and then demonstrates post-processing techniques in Lightroom and Photoshop that she uses to create her images.

On Day Two, Valda moves deeper into her creative process by expanding her thoughts on digital collage. The composites she makes in camera are, of course, digital collages, but why should the exploration end here? Arguably, it is only the beginning. Once we decide to start getting creative with our imaginations, the possibilities are endless. Valda examines her workflow and unwraps how she selects elements to tell the story she wants to express.

With the arrival of AI, it seems inevitable that photography will veer off on another tangent. Arguments pour in from all directions about AI, but if creating or tidying up a photograph can now be done with a string of text, it is not unreasonable to wonder whether we might start looking at more challenging ways to be creative. Certainly hand-finishing one’s images is one way of bringing back an element of tactile involvement in the process, and Valda shares her ideas, influences, and the myriad creative possibilities that exist.

Join Valda for two mornings in April for an illuminating and inspiring gaze into her creative genius and technical mastery. In closing, Valda offers, “I am primarily driven by an exploration of colour and form. Beyond that, I am interested in all manner of contrasts and contradictions and how they play out in the world around us.”

Additional Information


Open to anyone interested in this special program.


View Withdrawal and Transfer Policies for online programs.

For the convenience of participants, recordings of each class session are posted privately for one month after the end of each session. Santa Fe Workshops takes the recordings down after one month to protect the intellectual property of our instructors.

2-Day, Creative Vision, Fine Art
Valda Bailey

Valda Bailey is a freelance photographic artist living in Sussex, England. Her approach to photography is greatly informed by her background in painting and her influences come as much from artists as photographers. She is largely motivated by color and form and the tension and dynamism that these components can bring to an image. She makes her images using in-camera multiple exposure which help to create abstract shapes and blur extraneous detail.  Her objectives are to portray an emotive interpretation of a scene rather than a literal representation.

Valda made her U.S. debut in 2017 in the group exhibition Into the Woods at Sohn Fine Art in Lenox, MA. In 2015, she was the first woman to be invited to join six other photographers to exhibit at the Biennial Masters of Vision at the Southwell Minster, United Kingdom. More recently, Valda has exhibited throughout the United Kingdom with solo presentations of her work at MMX Gallery, The Sun Beyond the Shadow (2018), and a traveling exhibition, titled Fragile, which was on view at the Jersey Arts Centre and at Bosham Gallery (2017). Her work is consistently included in group exhibitions, including Tides + Falls at Sohn Fine Art, Lenox, MA and Vision 9, OXO Gallery, London, both in 2018.

Her photography is included in corporate and private collections worldwide and her work has been purchased by notable members of the art and photographic community.


Instagram: @valdab

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