As seagulls squealed and misty veils cooled the nights, shutters snapped—these were the sights and sounds of 2010’s digital art photography class at Pacific Union College’s Albion Field Station. One-week sessions at the college’s remote coastal facility offered students of all ages, abilities, and cameras the chance to begin or advance their photography skills, with the lovely Mendocino coast as a backdrop.
Under the tutelage of Gilbert Muth, professor emeritus of biology and the station’s director, the 11 beginner-to-intermediate students enjoyed a scenic tour of the surrounding coastal area, including the communities of Albion and Mendocino and the nearby Albion River. This year, the class emphasized landscape and nature photography, as well as the uniquely quaint architecture of the area. In nearby Fort Bragg, flashes found inspiration at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.
Returning to the station’s laboratory, participants learned how to improve their photos via Photoshop, in anticipation of each evening’s critiques. This culminated in Friday morning’s student slide shows, which allowed the presenters to demonstrate their digital works of art and all their hard work for the week.
“Typically, the first photos on the first evening of Digital Photography need a lot of improvement,” admitted Muth. “However, by Friday morning the progress that the students have made is dramatic, in that [the photos] have better composition, lighting, exposure… [As teachers] we find the class very rewarding.” Beginners just starting with the camera buttons learned the path from beginning to ending “clicks”—the first to capture the shot, and the last to enhance it on the computer.
This year students at Albion Field Station enjoyed newly renovated cabins and a host of other refurbishments to the facility, as PUC president and Albion supporter Heather J. Knight unrolled the brand new Albion Field Station Operation Endowment. This new fund will ensure that Albion’s programs, like the photography workshop, will remain affordable for artists and nature lovers of all levels of expertise.
For more information, including session schedules and workshops, visit http://www.puc.edu/puc-life/albion/sessions-workshops, or call (707) 937-5440 to reserve your position in the class.