Photography Workshops at Penland

Penland offers 1-, 2-, and 8-week classes taught by visiting instructors in our well-equipped studios. Class topics include traditional and digital photography, darkroom processes, portrait photography, documentary video, lighting composition, narrative photography, and more. Workshops are open to serious students of all levels unless specified in course description; beginners welcome.

Enrollment for summer and fall 2017 and spring 2018 workshops is currently open.

NOTE: Photography offerings are limited in 2017 because Penland is in the process of building a new photography studio. These workshops will take place in alternate spaces.





SUMMER session 2

JUNE 11 - 23, 2017

Jim Stone, Biker Mainstreet Showdown II: Española, New Mexico,

inkjet print, 20 x 24 inches


Jim Stone
Photographing Strangers

People are more interesting than things, and photographs are more compelling when populated. Photographs of people outnumber those of any other subject. But how do you make photographs that include people who are not your relatives, friends, or paid models? This class will help you gain skills in managing spontaneous portrait situations, as well as increasing your confidence in approaching people to be photographed and gaining their cooperation. We’ll work with digital capture, editing, and printing. Editing stations will be provided along with inkjet printers for paper up to 17 x 22 inches. Bring your camera. All levels. Code 02P


Professor at University of New Mexico; 2016 Honored Educator at Society for Photographic Education conference; six textbooks in wide and continued use; collections: Museum of Modern Art (NYC), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Smithsonian American Art Museum (DC).





SUMMER session 4

July 9 - 21, 2017

Dan Estabrook, The Source, tintype with zinc and copper,

8-1/2 x 6-1/2 inches



Monty McCutchen, Satchel Cochise, tintype, 24 x 20 inches


Dan Estabrook & Monty McCutchen
Wet-Plate Picnic

In the tradition of the itinerant photographers of the 1800s, we’ll make tintype and ambrotype photographs in the field using wet-plate chemicals. Using large-format cameras, students will learn everything they need, including how to mix the chemicals, and begin to understand the possibilities and problems with this exciting process. We have upgraded a bit from the mule-drawn cart, but we’ll still haul our equipment out into the areas near Penland and see what we can find. We’ll return for tintype portraits, outdoor discussions about art and photographic syntax, and picnics in the grass. Cameras provided. All levels. Code 04P


Dan: studio artist; teaching: Arrowmont (TN), Center for Alternative Photography (NYC); representation: Catherine Edelman Gallery (Chicago). Monty: studio artist, NBA referee; exhibitions: Soho Photo (NYC), Raid Our Gallery (CT).



























SUMMER session 5

July 23 - August 8, 2017

Clay Harmon, Conversation, polymer photogravure printed with

oil-based ink, 13 x 16 inches


Clay Harmon
Polymer Photogravure

Photopolymer plates are a nontoxic, water-etched alternative to traditional acid-etched copper plates for printmaking. In this workshop, we’ll use them to make photographic-quality, continuous-tone photogravure plates for intaglio printing on etching presses. While this will be of special interest to photographers, the same techniques can be used to create intaglio plates from hand-drawn sketches and other artwork. We’ll have abundant time to create a portfolio of around a dozen images and experiment with techniques that stretch the boundaries of traditional photographic printing. All levels. Code 05X


Studio artist; teaching: Glassell School of Art (Houston), Houston Center for Photography, Asheville Bookworks (NC), Project Basho (Philadelphia); collections: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, private collections in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.






Fall 8-Week Concentration

September 24 - November 17, 2017

Mercedes Jelinek, Hands, archival pigment print, 22 x 22 inches

Mercedes Jelinek
No Words Needed

Telling a story through well curated and printed photographs can often be more powerful than words. Through digital tools, this workshop will focus on completing a cohesive portfolio that tells the story you want to tell. Students can expect to learn basic-to-advanced digital camera techniques, how to photograph in almost any lighting situation, composing and framing an image, cataloging digital images using Lightroom, editing images using Photoshop, making portfolio-quality prints, curating images, creating and self-publishing a print-on-demand photo book, and more. All levels. Studio fee: $35. Code F00P

Penland resident artist; teaching: Louisiana State University, PhotoManhattan (NYC), State University of New York at Purchase; exhibitions: Ogden Museum of Southern Art (LA), Gaston County Museum (NC), Hinson Art Museum at Wingate University (SC); author of These Americans (+Kris Graves Projects).






Spring 1-Week Session 2

April 8 - 14, 2018

Claudia Smigrod, Adjustment to the Light #2, silver gelatin contact

print, 5 x 4 inches

Claudia Smigrod
Tell Me a Story

Students will create handmade books that tell stories through photographs. Topics will include the aesthetic and technical aspects of digital photography, various forms of artists’ books, simple binding techniques (accordion, pamphlet, Japanese stab, and others), and an overview of visual artists working in book form. We’ll have group critiques and demonstrations. Photographic images may be taken during our workshop or collated from other sources such as personal archives, family collections/albums, etc. All levels. Studio fee: $45. Code S02B

Studio artist, professor emeritus from Corcoran School of the Arts and Design (DC); other teaching: Edwin Conquest Visiting Chair of Humanities at Virginia Military Institute, University of Georgia Cortona Italy Program, Swarthmore College (PA); residencies: Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; collections: National Gallery of Art (DC), Smithsonian American Art Museum (DC), Chrysler Museum (VA), Yale University (CT).