Artists throughout history have been compelled to make art using the human figure as a subject. The intent of this workshop, led by fine-art photographer Elizabeth Opalenik, is to investigate this time-honored tradition and build new skills by working with the graceful forms of dancers and the sensual quality of male and female figure models. We examine our personal and unique vision working at various locations in the San Francisco Bay area as well as through thoughtful lectures and group image review sessions based in Elizabeth’s studio in Oakland.
We explore the grace of figure and dance models sharing their stories as we share ours in return, practicing communication and respect for one another as we make images that softly whisper “yes.” Collaborating in small groups, participants experiment with natural lighting techniques while discovering props that complement their chosen subject and location. From iPhone to digital infrared, using water, the landscape, and illusion, Elizabeth inspires you to explore all the possibilities from conception to presentation.
As you expand your awareness and build on your existing skills through creative assignments, Elizabeth offers her own experiential insights during model sessions and critiques. Images are stepping-stones that bear the visual imprint of stories left behind, but good images don’t just happen. Quite often our best work lies just beyond our greatest failures. Whether a master or novice with the human form, in this workshop’s uniquely supportive environment, you learn to transform those failures into fuel for forging new ideas and exploring new paths.
COVID-19 Update: For all in-person workshops and trips in 2023, Santa Fe Workshops highly recommends that all participants, staff, and instructors attending be up to date with Covid vaccinations (per definition of the CDC).
Working knowledge of digital workflow and manual mode on your digital SLR or mirrorless camera. Participants must be able to download and select images using editing software for class sessions. This is not a workshop for beginning photographers.
$2,195 includes instruction, model and location fees, and one group dinner. Does not include other meals, local transportation, or accommodations (if needed).
Elizabeth Opalenik is a fine-art photographer who brings a sense of wonder and possibility to students. Her heart is in philanthropic projects and working in her darkroom, where she creates one-of-a-kind images in the mordançage process, carbon and platinum printing. She mixes digital and traditional media when appropriate to maximize creative possibilities, using images as stepping stones to trace pathways of the mind.
Her first monograph, Poetic Grace: Elizabeth Opalenik Photographs, 1979-2007, chronicles images from the first 30 years of her career. Her latest book and 2021 pandemic project Workshop Stories: changed through photography shares stories and images from 100 leading workshop instructors. Her work is collected and published internationally.