Join Greek-American Stella Johnson on a journey of imagemaking, storytelling and discovery on the Greek Island of Crete. Stella has been photographing Crete since 2007, working on her book ZOE (Mother Life), and making invaluable contacts for her students.
Participants learn how to approach the incredibly welcoming Greeks for a storytelling project or learn how to make a set of disparate images work together to form a narrative that chronicles the students’ week- think culture, light, color or whatever strikes you!
Stella teaches how to develop a personal style of shooting, see and use all sources of light, abstract the details, and make strong compositions. She assists students in determining and defining their interests and ideas while learning how to shoot compelling images that tell a story.
The class takes a historical look at photographic documentary traditions and major practitioners. Participants are out each day photographing an area, a segment of the culture or a person, depending on individual interests. Stella meets privately and in class for daily critique as she reviews images, shares her professional experiences working on stories in remote destinations, and explores what it takes to develop the strong relationships necessary to work on long-term projects.
The class works with Greek teaching assistants who photograph with the group and act as translators and guides adding an essential local flavor to the experience with insiders’ perspective of the culture.
The class is open to all students who love photography, love learning about new cultures and want to hone their visual skills. An iPhone for imagemaking is encouraged and helpful for photographing strangers.
Plan to arrive in Chania by Sunday, June 19. The workshop begins that evening with a group dinner and introductions. The first day of classes is Monday, June 20.
The workshop ends Saturday, June 25 with a group dinner and presentation of all participants’ work. Departure is the following day, or you can remain on to explore more of Crete.
This workshop is conducted using digital cameras and iPhones. If you wish to shoot film, you may so do, but we suggest that you take it home for processing.
What to Bring
Besides your SLR and Point-and-Shoot digital cameras, bring a body of your creative work with you to share—a portfolio or CD of images. Bring a notebook or journal, a small tape recorder or iPod with mic to record the discussions along with ambient music and sound effects.
Digital SLR and Point-and-Shoot digital cameras are suggested. Two bodies are recommended, along with lenses from 28mm to 50 mm. Bring at least 5 extra cards (1 Gig each), extra batteries, battery charger and a laptop with image management software. Make sure you have a back-up system on which to download each day’s work. This can be an external hard drive like LaCie.
iPhones are welcome!
You may shoot traditional film.
Research and preparation
Research and preparation are important parts of any adventure. The more research done before the workshop, the more effective the time in country.
Stella stays in the beach town of Nea Chora at the Danoas Hotel, which is right on the water. Classes will be conducted at the Danaos.
Nea Chora is 10 minutes walking distance outside of the Venetian port town of Chania.