Photo Festival: Slow Exposures 2011

Earlier this month, I attended a photo festival in Pike County, Georgia, called Slow Exposures.  I was juried into the competition and decided I should go and see what it was about.  I'm so glad I did.

Slow Exposures is dedicated to celebrating the rural south. In addition to the juried show, Slow Exposures also holds a portfolio review, workshops, guest lectures, a ball and satellite shows. Part of what makes the show interesting isn't just the events, it's the people and the locations.

The first event I attended that weekend was the reception for the satellite show curated by John A. Bennette, called Southern Memories. The show was held in a restored 141-year-old barn called the Whiskey Bonding Barn.  

From there, everyone headed to a party at the Split Oak Farm, an early 20th century farm owned by festival directors.  The place was full of photographers and photography lovers.  I met some of the other photographers who are in the show, gallery directors, curators, ran into people I've met at other photo events and had some great conversations about all kinds of things, photography related and not.

The next day was the portfolio review and workshop.  I decided to do the Self-Publishing Your Photography Book Workshop given by Elizabeth Avedon, the curator and photography book designer.

It was great class!  I knew I didn't know anything about designing a book, I just didn't realize how much there is to learn.  I certainly didn't realize how important typography is.  It isn't simply choosing the right type, which can be  complicated by itself, but the color and placement of the type makes a big difference.

Ms. Avedon had us bring along books we liked to discuss in class.  It was interesting to see different kinds of work and they ways photographers and publishers put them together.

She also asked is to bring about a dozen prints of our work to show and discuss sequencing and formatting.

We also had a chance to hear from National Geographic photographer Peter Essick, who also served as one of the two jurors for the show.  He talked to us about his latest essay that is featured in the current issue of the magazine.

He said for an essay with fewer than a dozen photographs, he travels thousands of miles to shoot thousands of images.  It was fascinating to hear from a National Geographic photographer about his work and what  happens with it before it's published.

I'll save the rest of the weekend for the next post.