Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A.R.T. Spotlight - Dan Ruf

This Artisans Road Trip installment spot lights photographer Dan Ruf. Dan gives his take on "continuing education" as a fine arts photographer, and illustrates select images from a recent workshop in the South Dakota Badlands.

"For those of us that have reared children, the words continuing education
have usually meant that school would be closed so that educators could take time to upgrade their knowledge or approach to the education of their charges. For artists, me in particular, continuing education takes on the same sort of meaning, but should be a more regular update of our mental file about the artistry involved in our journey in fine arts.
In my case as a fine art photographer, my daily continuing education takes many forms. This includes reading magazines concerning photography, or the digital darkroom, or making a daily effort to reconnect with websites, blogs or internet forums. I can get exposed to different sorts of photography concepts, approaches, software or equipment this way. Most days this may require an hour of time, but I am usually able to glean some tidbit of helpful or even inspirational ideas about the photographic process. One step above this daily process of continuing education is to become involved in a location workshop given by a mentor in an artists field. I recently returned from a workshop given by Tony Sweet, who I feel is an exceptional fine art photographer and, as I found out, gives an exhausting 5 day workshop which includes daily critique and class sessions as well as location shoots early in the morning and late afternoon. While the days are long the return on "investment" is huge and I find these types of events to be very productive. One thing to note, however, is that you get what you pay for and while there are many individuals that offer workshops in many fields of art, the quality of workshops are varied and in some cases disappointing. Location workshops are provided for many artistic inclinations, from pottery to glass blowing to painting and I would recommend that these types of continuing education are a must as a tool for all artists."

That's all for this spotlight on artisans from the 2010 A.R.T. Check back again for more on the artists of the Artisans Road Trip!

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