Summer Intensive 2014 – Weeks 1 – 3

We’re a little behind the 8-ball with our weekly recap of our 26th season of this year’s Summer Intensive course, but as they say, “better late than never!” To play catch up a little, we can say that the first few weeks of Summer Intensive – as always – have started off at 1,000 miles-per-hour. On top of settling into new apartments, a new city and being surrounded by new people, our students dove head first into their studies.

Week 1 can be summed up by calling it the “Getting My Bearings” week. Our students were welcomed, went through orientation, met their group mates, and started working out the kinks that go along with starting a new course like this. Getting almost 20 people per group on the same page and making sure that everyone’s equipment is on the same page takes some effort. They began learning about photography equipment and generally “what’s what” during this week.


MurrayRachel-7876Week 2 built on the gear lectures from week 1 by welcoming our educational partners B&H Photo, Canon USA, and Manfrotto. All students were given the chance to touch, taste, smell and generally play with Manfrotto tripods, and various pieces of equipment from the Gradus Group, brought out by Gabe and Jason from B&H Photo. Much to their delight, each student received a complimentary Manfrotto Pixi tripod and learned they were eligible for EDU membership with B&H, which will ensure they get special pricing on their photo gear. Jim Rose with Canon USA introduced them to Canon Professional Services and ways Canon supports our students. On Wednesday night, Gabe orchestrated a Lensbaby photo walk of sorts, in which our students were able to get their hands on Lensbabies and experience how cool they are. On Wednesday students also enjoyed an all-group ice cream social at a park located a couple blocks from RMSP.


As our curriculum is broken into five main areas of study, students became quickly familiar with how the structure of SI works. These areas of study are Photo Studies, Visual Studies, Light, Color Management and Output and Image Editing. In Photo Studies, instructor Tony Rizzuto taught the basics of exposure while Neil Chaput de Saintonge delivered TONS of information specific to lenses. In Visual Studies Marcy James began by teaching some History of Photography and discussed design and composition as it relates to photography. In Light, Tony began with an overview of light and its specific characteristics including size, direction, color and temperature. MurrayRachel_candids_photo 2Next, Doug Johnson took the reins and began teaching the flash. Instructor Kathy Eyster kicked things off in Output by digging into the vast topic of color management. Monitor calibration, color profiles, and printing surfaces were the topics being taught. Image Editing (aka: Edit) started off with the all-important computer set up time to make sure everyone had Lightroom installed correctly, external hard drives to work from and understood how to navigate around Lightroom. The first assignment made sure student could export a group of images according to a specific set of instructions.

Week 3 didn’t let up at all. Course work progressed and each instructor took students deeper into their topics. On Tuesday students heard from RMSP graduate and professional photographer and filmmaker Pam Voth about her experiences as a wildlife photographer. The next day, Ryan Brown from Sigma was in town to address our students and introduce them to their line of products. Additionally this week, Neil gave a lecture comparing the pros and cons of DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras and a presentation on photographing a rodeo.

Week 4 is underway now and is as full of photo goodness as every other week. Peter Read Miller from Sports Illustrated will be here as will documentary photographer Amy Vitale. We will provide a recap of the events later in the week.