There are plenty of "how to" and "introductory" workshops out there on photography. I've taken some and offered some over the years. And there's plenty to gain from such endeavors. What really matters, though, is your individual vision - something that no one else has and how you reflect that vision in photography.

For the past several years, I've begun focusing my workshops on the creative and spiritual (however YOU define that) aspects of this special two-dimensional art form. Come and learn to listen to your creative muse!   

2018 Workshops

Two workshops are currently scheduled for 2018. 

The first is "Light and light: The Spiritual Practice of Photography." It will be held at St. Andrews House Retreat Center near Union, Washington overlooking beautiful Hood Canal. Dates are March 5 - 8, 2018. The workshop is hosted by the Grunewald Guild, an arts education non-profit retreat center based in eastern Washington. Details and registration can be found at: https://grunewaldguild.com/events/creativity-and-contemplation-retreat/ (By the way, the food at St. Andrews House is fantastic!!!)   

What is the spiritual practice related to photography? Quite simply, it is to be aware that there IS something below the surface, or perhaps above the surface, that is shining, shimmering, inherent, loving, caring, reaching out, and available for reaching in. It is to find something sacred on an ordinary day or in a familiar setting. It is to achieve a spiritual current in your photography. It is to realize and act upon knowing that we are both created and creative, below and above the surface, known and unknown, seeing the light, recognizing it as the Light, using the light in our creative endeavors and interpretations, and perhaps even BEING the Light, now or in our next life(s).

In this workshop, we’ll explore the meaning of Light in its spiritual and religious context. Many of the world’s religions and spiritual practices involve Light.  We’ll discuss these and investigate ways to incorporate Light and light into successful and meaningful photography. As we move through the philosophical discussions, we also explore how light influences photography. Using nature's light, natural light as it were, we’ll learn to add subtlety or extravagance to our vision, how best to reflect it in our images, and how to use light to illuminate emotion, ritual, spirit, spiraling, religion, nature, inner and outer being. These are all terms of both photography and spirituality. When we take this to heart, we can create images not to document but to add layers of meaning that, in turn, can add expression to our lives and perhaps those of others. Using vision and skills, we’ll create images that will spark memories, thoughts, and emotions within us; photographs that will help each of us on our spiritual journey. Field trips will provide plenty of opportunities to hone our skills and vision.   

 

The second is "Thin Places and Photo Creativity." This workshop will be held at the Grunewald Guild in Plain, Washington (north of Leavenworth on the eastern slopes of the Cascades). Dates are April 29 - May 5, 2018. Details and registration can be found at: https://grunewaldguild.com/events/thin-places-photo-creativity-with-chuck-kirchner/. You can also click on the Thin Places tab for more information on this workshop.  

A Thin Place: A place to go to feel at peace, a place to be in touch with one’s origins, a place to go to feel one's natural self, a place to be in touch with one's soul.  It’s a place where the veil between heaven and earth, between the sacred and profane, between our creator and ourselves, is lifted and we connect in an intimate way with the universe. We have all, I hope, felt this once or several or many times in our lives. It could be alone at the ocean, or in the desert, the mountains, or even a cathedral. And, just perhaps, is could be while with another who is in a similar state of seeking - seeking what we may not know but with an openness and experience and seek and commune with our higher power.

So how does this relate to a photography workshop you might ask? Through a series of readings, meditative exercises, solo and small group wanderings (camera in hand), we'll be open to experiences of all our senses and begin to intuitively develop the awareness of translating feelings and experiences with the medium of photography.  We spend time on the eastern slopes of the Cascades, along lakes and in the forest primeval.  We explore the creative potential of photography to record our feelings and experiences in ways you have not have thought about before.  And we'll add in some music as well to lift the Spirits in more ways than one.