Evening Lecture Series


2014-15 Evening Lecture Series

Our Evening Lecture Series runs annually from October through April, with monthly lectures taking place from 7 – 9 pm in Studio B at RMSP (unless otherwise noted). All lectures are free and open to the public. To attend a lecture, enter through the set of double glass doors at 210 N. Higgins and follow the signs to Studio B. Click here for a map to RMSP.

If you need further information regarding this series or any individual lecture, please call RMSP at 406-543-0171.


Parish Kohanim

Seeing the Light with Parish Kohanim, Canon Explorer of Light

October 9, 2014
7:00-9:30 p.m.

*This lecture is in association with Canon USA and the University of Montana School of Journalism. It will be held at The UC Theater on the University of Montana campus in Missoula, MT. (campus map here)

In his presentation, Parish will reveal a versatile and exciting career of over three decades, sharing images taken throughout his successful years in commercial photography, giving “behind the scenes”  anecdotes and revealing what it takes to execute a major shoot successfully. He will also share his philosophy and passion about the art of photography. His presentation is inspirational as well as educational, giving tips on methods he uses for lighting, posing, and composition.

During his career, Parish Kohanim has worked for many Fortune 500 companies including IBM, Coca-Cola and DeBeers and his work has appeared on the pages of VogueHarper’s BazaarForbesTime and Newsweek. He has been a Canon “Explorer of Light” since its inception in 1994 and a Canon Print Master, which consists of a very exclusive group of photographers worldwide.  Parish has been named  “One of the World’s Top 100 Photographers” in 2011, 2012 and 2013 by Graphis. He is also a consultant on  Apple’s Aperture Software and an X-RITE Coloratti Master. In June of 2013 several of Parish’s fine art images were shown at the Taylor Foundation in Paris and are now in a permanent collection in Barbizon, France.

Neil Chaput de Saintonge

Exposing Like A Master

November 4, 2014
7:00-9:00 p.m.

40 years ago Neil studied with Ansel Adams and much of his exposure knowledge was acquired during this time. Fast forward to the digital environment, and it is all still very relevant today.

This 3 part lecture will include:

Part 1:  Simplifying the exposure process based on the subject matter that you are shooting.  Exposure modes, meter modes and exposure compensation.

Part 2:  Rear button focus and why most professional photographers use this method.  This makes a giant difference in your photography and Neil will tell you why.

Part 3: Preview on depth of field and how to use the depth of field button.


Neil Chaput de Saintonge

Holiday Camera Buying Guide

December 2, 2014
7:00-9:00 p.m.

Are you considering buying a camera for yourself or someone else this holiday season? Do you get instantly confused by the bells, whistles, confusing numbers, choices, brands and all the hype that goes into making a decision? Join RMSP owner and founder Neil Chaput de Saintonge as he helps you make sense of it all.

In this two-hour lecture, Neil will focus (pun intended) primarily on camera systems ranging from DSLRs to mirrorless cameras, will discuss the pros and cons of each, and will illustrate how it is not necessary to spend a fortune on a camera capable of producing amazingly high quality images. He will cover camera sensors, megapixel misconceptions, appropriate lens choices for each system and generally work to arm you with information before you head into a camera store this season. Handouts that compare the features of various camera models will be provided so you have them to refer to down the road.



Doug Johnson

Keeping Your Photography Fresh

December 9, 2014
7:00-9:00 p.m.

Like many artists, after mastering the technical side of their craft most photographers reach a plateau where technically good photographs come relatively easy. It is at this stage apathy may set in and many people might put their cameras on the proverbial shelf for a while or quit altogether. It is here, however, where real photography begins. With a little nudge and thinking outside the box, our photography can begin to take on a whole new meaning again.

In this insightful lecture Doug will present photography and processing concepts to shake up your routine and create new energy in your photography again. Lets go! In his own work as well as the work of his students, Doug Johnson is passionate about exploring and discovering new ways to see and communicate through the photographic process.


photo (3)Jamie Lynn

Capturing Your Outer Child

January 13, 2015
7:00-9:00 p.m.


When your entire livelihood is supported by how well you capture the essence of a child, you want to make sure you images reflect the most honest and real part of that child’s soul. Every child is different, but the ways to capture who they are can be used in almost every situation. That in itself is an art that can be taught. Anyone can get that simple “cheese” smile, but after years of photographing children Jamie has many tricks and techniques to share that can represent more of who that child actually is … because a photograph of a child that makes a parent tear up is nothing but job security.

CohenJohnJohn Cohen

From Still Photographs to Moving Pictures*

February 5, 2015
7:00-9:00 p.m.

John will show how serious, personal photography can become the basis for film projects.  The comment was made (in 1963) that his first film, “The High Lonesome Sound” wasn’t a film at all, “…but a series of still images strung together.”

This talk will focus on the importance of independent work in photography, unfettered by assignments, commercial concerns or publications.  Two of John’s major documentary projects – Appalachian music and Peruvian Andean indian life – used photography as a central element in developing these projects. The camera became the tool which visually gave initial form to essential ideas and intuitions. Even as they present evidence, still photographs don’t have to be straightforward and documentary. The photographer is influenced by his own image bank, and this plays off the viewers’ pre-conceptions. The process of vision is a two-way affair. Walker Evans suggested this when he said he worked “in a documentary style.”

The talk will include slides of John’s own work and will show how these images shaped scenes, representations and directions in the films.

*This lecture is in association with the 2015 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival which runs February 6 – 16, 2015. John Cohen will be honored for his lifetime achievements during the 2015 Festival. Learn more about his photography, film, music and textile work by visiting his website. Seating is limited, so attendees are encouraged to arrive early.


HMS Photograph

Herbert Swick

From Daguerre to Digital: Highlights from the History of Photography

March 17, 2015
7:00-9:00 p.m.

For 175 years, photography has transformed our lives and helped shape our art and our times.  In turn, advances in science and technology have transformed photography and our reliance on the visual image. This lecture will explore some of the major photographers, art movements and scientific advances that have contributed not only to our enjoyment of excellent photographs but also to our ability to use the tools of photography effectively.

Herbert will touch on some of the major movements in photography including Pictorialism, the f64 group, and the debate about whether photography was an art or a science, and post-modernism. He will also address some of the major scientific developments and the mutual interfaces of photography and technology, each of which influenced the other, as well as some of the iconic photographers and how they influenced our understanding of art and our world; names such as Steichen, Strand, Adams, Weston, and W. Eugene Smith.

Herbert Swick has enjoyed photography as a serious hobby for over 40 years, during which time he has become fascinated by the history of photography.  He works almost exclusively with traditional black and white film photography, and he develops and prints his images in his own darkroom.  


Lee Silliman

My 8 x 10: Viewing the West with a Big Camera

April 21, 2015
7:00-9:00 p.m.

For the past 26 years Lee Silliman has embraced the challenges of operating an 8 x 10 inch Wisner technical field view camera in remote places. In the late 1970s Silliman’s love for wilderness landscapes merged with photography when he came under the spell of Ansel Adams’ masterful black and white prints of the Sierra Nevada Range. Silliman became a “zonie.” After purchasing his Wisner in 1989, he ventured with his camera into the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park for 17 years via backpack, mule pack string, and canoe, in search of the park’s bejeweled wonders. Concurrently, he trained his lens upon ghost town remnants in Montana and other western states. More recently, Silliman has photographed the reefs of the Bob Marshall Wilderness and the ancient Indian ruins of the American Southwest tucked into secluded sandstone canyons. He likes to call himself an “artful documentarian.”

This illustrated lecture will chronologically trace Silliman’s personal journey—always with the assistance of relatives and friends when toting a camera that big! He will show the logistics behind the operation of a big film camera, as well as the exciting destinations to which his quest has led. At the conclusion of the program Silliman will set up his 8 x 10 camera, demonstrate how it functions to achieve quality results, and invite the audience to inspect it closely. The public is cordially invited to see why, in the midst of the digital age, one person still prefers the virtues of an “old-fashioned” camera.