The Language of Vision

with Maria Finitzo

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

The American photographer Walker Evans believed that a photograph could capture a moment with cultural resonance while also going beyond specificities to evoke a state of mind. Similarly, Alfred Stieglitz used the word equivalents to title images he made of clouds, positioning them as metaphors for psychological or emotional states.

How do we harness the power of metaphor in our own work to create a photograph that embodies an emotion or state of mind? When writers or poets want to evoke an emotional reaction from their readers, they combine images and objects to establish relationships that evoke that emotion. They draw upon the language of vision. 

Documentary filmmaker and photographer Maria Finitzo is first and foremost a storyteller, and in her new online workshop, we study the work of photographers who understand how to construct images that operate on multiple levels—learning, in the process, methods for accomplishing the same in our own work.

As we explore this rich subject, we strive to create images that are purposeful, precise, and fresh. When not making our own photographs, we discuss images and review the work of fellow participants. Join Maria and challenge yourself to take an expanded approach—poetic and transcendent—to the practice of photography.

Additional Information

Advanced Amateurs, Professionals
What You Should Know:

Participants should be comfortable with digital workflow and manual mode on their digital SLR or mirrorless camera. You must be able to download and select images using image-editing software for workshop sessions. Proficiency in Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop is required.


View Withdrawal and Transfer Policies for online programs.

Creative Vision, History of Photography, One-of-a-Kind
© Joe Mazza
Maria Finitzo

Maria Finitzo is a photographer, screenwriter, director, and three-time Peabody Award–winning filmmaker who has won every major broadcast award, including the Alfred I. duPont Award. Her films explore different realms of storytelling by investigating important social issues of the day, and for 30-plus years, she was an associate of four-time Oscar-nominated Kartemquin Films, whose storytelling tradition follows the tenets of cinéma vérité filmmaking. In 2020, after completing her final film, The Dilemma of Desire, which premiered at SXSW and was screened at more than 80 festivals worldwide, Maria returned to photography to explore the power of visual narrative and metaphorical resonance.

Instagram: @finitzo

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