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A course in Creative Digital Photography A course in Creative Digital Photography
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    Digital photography workshop, Ottawa, Ontario    
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Deus Ex Machina

The Latin phrase "deus ex machina" comes to English from Horace's Ars Poetica, where he instructs poets that they must never resort to a god to solve their plots. He is referring to the conventions of Greek tragedy, where a mechane (crane) was used to lower actors playing a god or gods onto the stage. A "deus ex machina" is an unexpected, artificial, or improbable character, device, or event introduced suddenly in a work of fiction or drama to resolve a situation or untangle a plot.

Ex Machina

Despite Horace's warning, we must learn to appreciate what can and does come of the machine - ex machina - the camera. Photography, as any art, is defined by its materials and process: the lens, the shutter, the film and the chemistry. The photographer has limited control over chemical and physical parameters that are defined by science and dictated by manufacturers of photographic materials.

In this Creative Eye Workshop you will learn to appreciate the unique qualities of a photograph which are the result of interplay between physical reality, the photographer and the camera. No matter how precisely one works, one can never be very certain what an exposed image will look like once processed. In fact, the unique and unpredictable results of photography provide the magic that enchants the photographer as well as viewers of photographic images.


You are expected to have mastered the basic craft of photography, have a working knowledge and experience with computers and Photoshop or other image editing software. You must have at your disposition suitable photographic equipment and a computer with image editing software in order to prepare your images for presentation in class. Demo image editing software will be provided where required. If you wish to use conventional photographs, they must be scanned into a digital format.

Workshop Outline

This workshop is usually presented in 4 three-hour sessions.
Sessions 2 and 3 are usually in the morning or afternoon of the same day.

Photography Workshop Activities
Session 1
The distinctive look of a photograph:
The Medium
The Lens
The Shutter
Session 2
Photo Exercise - The Lens
   Special character of lenses
   Making space move
   Animating empty spaces
Session 3
Photo Exercise - The Medium
   Tonal Quality
   Colour Quality
   Subjective Rendering
Photo Exercise - The Shutter
   Moment in history
   The Critical Moment
   Jest and memory
   Temporal proximity
Session 4
Discussion and appreciation of photographic work

  Other Workshops
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Creative Eye
Personal Vision
Visual Narrative
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