Excellent Workshop During StreetFotoSF Festival Week
StreetFoto San Francisco has a week-long festival every year. It’s filled with free photowalks, gallery events and various workshops you can pay to take part in. I looked at the Matt Stuart workshop early on but decided against it as I was still fresh off of Alan Schaller’s workshop just a month prior (at the time). Two days before the workshop was due to start, there was a cancellation and an email was sent out saying there was an opening. I took that as an omen and replied. Luckily, I was the first and I got into the workshop.
I travelled down to San Francisco on Thursday morning for a photowalk in the Mission with Harvey Castro leading the way. It was a fun day walking around seeing the colorful murals and fantastic street life of the area. I was bummed that I had only brought my Leica Monochrom camera as I wanted to capture the colors of the area. Oh well. It was still a great photo walk.
The next day, I showed up for the Haight photowalk that took place a few hours before the workshop was to begin. The Haight was also an interesting area to photograph but not quite as much as the Mission. I met a couple of other photographers who were attending the workshop and we broke off from the main group as the start of the workshop approached. We walked over to the Castro and grabbed a few shots before finally heading to the Harvey Milk Photo Center.
It was an intense weekend that was covered in great detail by one of my fellow attendees, John Lowell, so I will not recreate that here. What I will say, is that I was in a weird place when I arrived at the start of the weekend and I left with even more confusion and some clarity at the same time. We spent all day shooting Saturday and then spent all day Sunday critiquing each other’s work in the most brutally honest way I’ve ever experienced. I knew that I had wanted to stop shooting like Alan Schaller and move toward my own style. Going through the rigorous experience with Matt and my fellow students made my path a bit more clearer.
I also realized that I’m just not a Leica guy. At least, not Leica digital. I have so much more fun shooting with my Fuji X-Pro2 than with the Monochrom. Anyways, I feel a bit liberated after such an intense weekend and I’m looking forward to shooting for myself finally.