Join us for a deep dive into image composition, exposure, and black and white photography as we explore the imposing industrial remains of the historic Sloss Furnaces after dark, camera in hand. As night falls, we’ll use moonlight and light painting to breathe fire back into these hulking machines. Sloss Furnaces, named for the influential railroad man Colonel James Withers Sloss, was once the largest manufacturer of pig iron in the world, operating from 1882 to 1970. Now a National Historic Landmark, this incredible maze of 20th-century metal machinery stands on the eastern edge of the downtown Birmingham, a striking reminder of the city’s industrial past.
Workshop participants must have at least basic photo skills, know their cameras well, and be comfortable shooting RAW in manual mode with a DSLR or high-end mirrorless camera. Night photography experience is not necessary, but even folks with extensive experience shooting at night will find this class challenging, stimulating, and inspiring. For more advanced night photographers, we can offer a portfolio review, specific challenges and goals, and guidance in the field based on your areas of interest.
You will need to bring a DSLR/mirrorless camera, a wide and fast lens, and a tripod. A full list of recommended gear will be provided once you sign up! Over the course of our five-day workshop, we aim to increase your comfort and confidence with night photography. Daily lectures on night photography, post-processing, and image review will take up a good portion of our days. At night, we'll roam within the industrial landscape and help you focus, compose, and paint with light—and push you to take full creative control over your images. Come ready to dive into many hours of education, exploration, feedback, and hands-on experiences.
We recommend that you arrive in the afternoon or evening on Tuesday, August 27 to give yourself time to join Tim and Matt for dinner and get settled into your hotel before the workshop begins on Wednesday at 10 a.m. As for the workshop's conclusion, you should plan to depart after dinner on Sunday, September 1. If you'd prefer to depart the next day, you can extend your reservation another night. Note that you'll want your own means of transport for parts of this workshop.
Birmingham in late August is toasty during the day, with a high of 90 degrees Fahrenheit, so we’ll take things at a relaxed pace during daytime hours, spending much of that time in the classroom. At night, the temperature drops to 70 degrees, perfect for our industrial outings. Keep in mind that this workshop is fairly active. You should be reasonably fit and feel comfortable walking for long periods of time, especially after dark. We'll sometimes be walking on dirt paths and other uneven ground.
We recommend staying at the Tutwiler Hotel in downtown Birmingham, which will serve as the location of our classroom sessions. When making reservations, members of our group will receive a 10 percent discount. Note that breakfast is included in the room cost.