Montreal Workshops | P2

I want to apologize for my rather slow response time when it comes to comments and/or email replies. Truth is it’s a very busy summer, with unforeseen projects piling up on top of others. I’m looking at the calendar and realizing this is shaping up to be the summer-that-never-was. August may change that, with a week planned with the family in the wilderness, away from it all. But that’s two weeks away and looking at what needs to happen until may as well be in 2018.

I only booked two workshops this year—well, for the summer months anyway. These are from yesterday’s outing with Helmut and his wonderful wife Gerhild, navigating our city under siege, buried under concrete and bright orange road signs. We’re living in a chaos that defies description, believe me. Still, if you look around, there’s peace to be found within a few milliseconds.

Btw: this is P2 because it was workshop #2. Workshop #1 happened last week...all shot in Acros and coming up next. Linearity? Bah! Humbug...;)

Shot with the X-Pro2 and XF 35mm f2 R WR

The Temporary Collective | Brussels 2016


I haven’t talked about it much but I’m leaving for Belgium and Germany on September 17th. I’ll be driving down to Photokina for the first few days of the event, then back to my buddy Bert Stephani’s place until the 28th. No speaking engagements this year but I'm shooting an essay for the December issue of Photo Life magazine and I'm very much looking forward to catching up with a whole lot of comrades.

While I'm in Europe, Bert and I will also be hosting the first official KAGE workshop: The Temporary Collective—a full-day event focusing on visual storytelling, to be held in Brussels on September 26th. We'll be discussing subject, methodology, engagement and storyboarding, with each participant expected to produce an essay that will appear in an upcoming issue of KAGE. We're keeping the group small (6 seats max) to provide a more hands-on and personalized experience. Limited X-series gear will be available to test as well.

It's on a Monday. I know...scheduling issues forced us to choose that date. But if you're interested and available we're running an early bird special until September 9th and we'd love to see you. All you need is a camera, some sort of image editing device for the processing/editing portion of the workshop and a good pair of shoes. More info here.

Btw: Fujifilm has now released its full Photokina schedule and it's jam-packed with great speakers. I'll be checking a bunch of these out while I'm there so if you're around be sure to come and say hello.

Catching-up, truth, Montreal...

I haven’t been around a lot lately have I? It happens. And besides I hate to post just for the sake of posting. I know my European Diary schedule has gone off track… I did have the best of intentions but life tends to get in the way and priorities need to be adjusted. Next stop is Rome… Probably next week.

There’s actually a lot of very exciting stuff happening right now but nothing I can share just yet — hence the radio silence. One thing I did want to share in case you guys missed it: a new essay on the Kage Collective Chronicle blog entitled On Visual Truth. It’s basically personal thoughts on documentary photography and the perception of truth. A lot of ideas I’d been meaning to share for awhile without ever getting around to it. Nothing earth shattering but I think it explains some of the reasoning behind our ongoing Kage project.

On Visual Truth...

On Visual Truth...

Halloween has come and gone, the leaves are on the ground and I’ve got my snow tires on — man, it all sorta rhymes doesn’t it? I’m flying to New York city tomorrow for what i suspect will be a very productive and interesting day. I’m seriously looking forward to it. That and the evening of course... ;)

I leave you with a few Montreal images taken during a recent Shadow Workshop. More action on the blog soon...


P.S Huge congrats to my buddy Derek Clark who is now (finally) an official Fujifilm X-Photographer!

Shot with the X-T1 and XF 35mm f/1.4R

Introducing The Shadow Workshops

I mentioned having worked on some personal projects over the summer... This is one of them: The Shadow Workshops. Yes, the name is a nod to KAGE. Two sides of a coin that are bound to become closer eventually (ok that's not physically possible but you know what I mean).

Workshops, as an idea, are something I began to wrestle with about a year ago. I say wrestle because while I’d been asked about doing this a number of times, I wanted to make sure I’d be adding some sort of value proposition, not just randomly throwing my hat in an already crowded ring. My biggest concern was with focus — what would these be about? The idea of doing something purely technical didn’t appeal to me. After expending so many words talking about how the X Series taught me to slow down and let go, teaching about lighting and how to use a camera felt like a cop out. Plus, there are tons of amazing photographers out there doing a very good job of it already. I wanted something more… At the risk of sounding conceited, "philosophical". My other issue was with a very real fear of becoming THAT guy: The-Guy-That-Does-Workshops. I’m very much aware of how it can easily devolve into a circus of sorts if not managed properly.

All of this is brewing in the background when I get a call from someone called David Kruse: “I’m coming to Montreal for a few days” he says, “I love your work, do you give workshops by any chance?” — Hmm… There’s nothing like a big bold sign showing you the way is there? We chat for awhile and it turns out he’s looking for exactly the type of format I’ve been working on; call it serendipity. Long story short: I drew up a quick syllabus and we fixed a date for a one day, one on one workshop…. Which eventually turned into three days of an incredibly enriching experience for both of us. By making this about ideas as much as image making, it had become a dialogue; it was also exactly what I’d been hoping to accomplish.

So I'm jumping in, offering two packages to begin with: MONTREAL 1:3 and MONTREAL 1:1, both one on one workshops. Obviously, narrative and storytelling are at the heart of these because there’s no denying that everything I do is now tainted by those ideas, by the notion of constantly building around more than a single image to spell out the message. Along those lines I’m also focusing on a "cinematic" approach, building from small images in sequence as opposed to that magical be all and end all perfect picture. The workshops are geared towards lot’s of shooting time as well as editing, storyboarding and image processing (more of this in the 1:3 package which includes a studio day). If you’re a Fuji shooter I’m obviously including tips and tricks on setup and how to make the most of these cameras. And we get to geek out about Fujis ;)

I’m not going to claim any sort of epiphany here… But I believe this formula might just be different enough to make the entire journey worthwhile. And hopefully it’s in keeping with how I’ve been approaching photography as a whole.


That’s step one. The next step will be EXPLORERS, destination-based workshops consisting of very small groups. Same focus, same approach but introducing the concept of collective work into the process. A photographic think-tank if you will. I’ve got some homework to do on this before taking the plunge but if any of you have ideas, are interested or want to suggest locations or venues let me know; it’s all open right now and I think it could be quite exciting.

For more info on all of this you can check out my brand new Workshops section. Here's hoping to see you soon :)


P.S I'd be remised not to mention this in passing: David Kruse is now engaged in a project called Operation St-George. He's riding his motorcycle and praying to raise awareness to the current plight of Christians in the Middle-East. Now, I'm not a religious man and I usually steer clear of issues involving religion in any way — mostly because I don't believe in good and evil as simple, one dimensional concepts. It's a loaded and dangerous idea that's been at the root of way too many atrocities on all sides. Also because humanity tends to get easily confused and power, regardless of intentions, always becomes part of the deal at some point. But this, like so many other catastrophes, is about human suffering and injustice. If his project can help by shining a light on what's happening then the goal has been met. David knows I don't necessarily identify with the faith-based aspects of this journey — but as a purely social, altruistic and humanitarian endeavour, he has my utmost respect.