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 - 9, 2018. Details on registration will be forthcoming this fall. (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. Details on registration will be available this fall. 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.   


ONGOING On-line Curiosity and Creativity Workshop

We often find ourselves in one of two states—stymied or overwhelmed. Two sides of the same coin, especially when it comes to our artistic endeavors. On the one hand, nothing inspires us at a given moment (or over a long time). We look through our camera lens and find nothing compelling to click the shutter; we pick up our paint brush and are not moved to have it touch canvas or paper; we sit with our journal and can think of nothing to write. On the other hand, we are sometimes so overwhelmed with ideas that we want to start on all at the same time but can’t seem to prioritize so we are again, yes, stymied, but for the opposite reason. Too much or not enough. 

Sound familiar? This on-line workshop may be just what you need to journey on—to reignite your curiosity, leading to new creative ideas. Or to narrow your immediate focus and pursue a specific idea and move forward with it. What I’ve found is such a motivator is not a one-time thing but occurs over a longer period—one to become a habit or ritual. This online exploration will initially take place over six months—July through December, 2017. And it could continue beyond that depending on progress made and expressed interest. 

So, what will the exploration consist of?  Probably the most important element will be interacting with other curiosity seekers, other creative types, in a supportive atmosphere. A closed Facebook page will be established to communicate with me and the other participants and to post photographs.

Secondly, I will suggest specific readings or videos dealing with curiosity, creativity, and artistic endeavors on a monthly basis. Some will explore the work of other artists, both photographers and other two-dimension artists. The FB page will encourage your comments, interactions with others (including me) on these videos and readings.  

I will then give a month or semi-monthly “assignment.” Not your usual type of assignment where I “dictate” subject matter.  Rather a more style-oriented assignment where you can usually pick your own subject and interpret the assignment as you please!  (No grades!!) The purpose is to motivate you to create. When complete (or while in progress), I’ll provide supportive and constructive critiques of your work, the main purpose of which is to push you toward ever increasing greatness!  (OK, at least motivate you to create some more.)  Note: while aimed at photographers, painters should also be able to benefit from this workshop.

Since this is a trial run of this concept, I’m keeping the cost low to encourage your involvement and provide me with input on what works and what doesn’t work.  While the workshop started in July, 2017, you can join at anytime for the remaining months of the 6 month period (for instance, $75 for October - December).  Please email me at chuck@chuckkirchner.com to sign up or if you have any questions.        


Private Mentoring or Small Group Workshops

The following workshops are available for one-on-one mentoring or for offering to groups of interested photographers. Please contact me at chuck@chuckkirchner.com if interested.


This workshop will take participants through the basics of digital photography – camera settings including shutter speed, aperture, automatic and manual settings, white balance, ISO, file formats, exposure compensation, as well as camera accessories (flash, filters).  Usually offered as a one day workshop, with field work.


Time to prepare for your summer or fall travels! We’ll cover trip preparation, equipment, compositional techniques, tips for taking great travel photographs, and how to share those photos for everyone’s enjoyment!  All camera formats welcomed but you need to know basic camera operations.


Learn the basics of using your iPhone camera for something other than selfies!  (Not that there's anything wrong with selfies!!!)  We'll examine the four basic modes - camera, video, square, and panorama - plus focus and exposure settings. And then we'll examine several of the best photo processing apps to take your photos to the next level. 


Learn the basic organizing and photo development features of this powerful and popular photo software. If you are undecided about Lightroom, its available for a free thirty-day download from Adobe - perfect for the workshop. 


The differences between a "snapshot" and a "photograph" are focused on the two C's: Composition and Creativity. In this workshop, we will explore the elements of composition, photographic rules and the breaking of the rules, and ways of sparking and engaging your creativity. All camera formats welcomed, though you should have some familiarity with your camera's settings. 


A further exploration of creative photography including illustrating emotions, the painterly aspects of photography, environmental portraiture. Ideally follows up on the Photographic Composition and Creativity workshop, but can be taken independently as well.


I offer mentoring sessions with two different price structures.

One 75 minute session: $75

Three 75 minute sessions: $200 

NOTE: These make great gifts to the photographers (or would-be photographers) in your family or among your friends!  Gift certificates available.