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Todd Gilens: The Wish to Photograph
Saturday, August 26, 2023
10am – 4pm
Garland Ranch Regional Park
Meet outside the Visitor Center off Carmel Valley Road
Limit 10 students
$125 members, $150 non-members
Sign up below before August 25, 2023 or until spaces are filled.

How does taking pictures change our experience of the world around us? Dive into what’s behind the pictures we take, and the ones we wish we could take, in a class that explores the wish to see the world in still images. This is not primarily a technical course but one in which we reflect on our mental, emotional and perceptual processes in the pursuit of images.

Through exercises and experiments with and without a camera, we’ll explore how photography brings us into dialogue with the world. We’ll consider how unbounded nature is framed and pictures “taken,” composition and the ethics of photography, and how our intentions influence the images we find and create. There will be short, easy walks, time for writing, discussion and, of course, taking pictures. Throughout the day we will discover and articulate our own photographic goals and challenges.

Both beginning and advanced photographers are welcome, as well as those curious about photography. Come prepared with a camera of some kind, a willingness to share experiences and to take creative risks. Readings, reference images, and a short bibliography will be provided for further inquiry.

This workshop will be limited to ten participants. What to bring: camera, notebook, water, snacks, and lunch. The class is outdoors; bring hats and sunscreen, and wear sturdy shoes as we will be on uneven trails.

Todd Gilens has explored the interactions of images and places for thirty-five years, working with materials such as playing cards, concrete, beans, photography, and paint. His large-scale photographic works include “Red Shift,” an eight-hundred square-foot mural at Stockholm University; “Endangered Species,” four bus-wraps which circulated San Francisco for fifteen months; and “Shade,” a hundred-foot-long digital print adhered to the propagation house of the University of California Berkeley Botanical Garden. Concurrent with this workshop, an exhibition of his photographs and drawings will be at the Monterey Museum of Art, August 4 to October 1, 2023.

Todd’s work has been acknowledged through residencies, commissions, and grants, including from the Mesa Refuge, Dumbarton Oaks Library, the National Forest Foundation, Nevada Humanities, the Zellerbach, Adobe, and Warhol Foundations. He has led workshops in photography, composition, and writing for the Point Reyes National Seashore Association and Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and from 2013 to 2018 taught ecology classes in the landscape architecture department at the Academy of Art University. He holds a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Harvard University and his website is www.toddgilens.com

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