Weekend Fine Art Photography Workshops in Silicon Valley

Rex Naden has been serving for many years as the assistant to well-known fine art landscape photographer Charles Cramer in teaching 5-day workshops at the Ansel Adams Gallery locations in Yosemite Valley. These classes are held each year in May and November.

To meet popular demand, Charlie has added three to five Bay Area weekend workshops per year held in Santa Clara, California- the heart of Silicon Valley. The classes are intended for intermediate to advanced photographers who intend to create the best possible Fine Art Images.

"Leaves on Slickrock" by Charles Cramer

Digital Printing for the Fine Art Photographer

with Charles Cramer, assisted by Rex Naden

For questions, or to enroll, contact Charles Cramer through

Standard Class
-Starts Friday at 8:30 AM, ends Sunday at 5 PM (including evening sessions on Friday and Saturday) 
-Class limited to 8 
Fee: $1150 plus small Lab fee

Alumni Print-Making “Intensive” Session!   
- Same meeting times as above
- Class limited to 8
- Fee: $1200  plus small Lab fee
- Includes discussions and demonstrations of handling problem images, with majority of class time devoted to helping students optimize and fine-tune their own images, with extra time printing
- Prerequisite: Having attended any of Charlie’s previous classes.


Workshop location: Picture Element, 2405 De La Cruz Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95050

After each workshop, Rex Naden publishes an optionally available and inexpensive MagCloud Catalog containing two images from each student plus images from Charlie and Rex. This Catalog serves to acquaint the student with the latest Print-on-Demand book publishing capability.

Leaves on Slickrock Copyright Charles Cramer 2007. All Rights Reserved.

<em>Twins</em> by Rex Naden

Twins Copyright Rex Naden 2009.  All Rights Reserved.
National Geographic Photo of the
Day, August 2010 (includes free Wallpaper of this Image)

This course will cover what you need to know to make the finest digital prints from your digital camera or film scan files. From exposure, to working in Photoshop, to choosing the right printer, you will learn the results of extensive testing in Charlie’s pursuit to make the best possible prints. And you will learn ways to make your images stronger and more compelling.

The “Fine Art” in the title just means that you are willing to devote the time and effort to explore and optimize your images to their fullest potential. This class will give you the tools to go beyond your capture file and imagine the possibilities within your image – tools that will enable you to make your images stronger. Much discussion will center on critiquing your prints and those of your classmates (produced both before and during the class) and exploring what makes an exceptional print.  In addition, Rex Naden will present his lecture "Defining your Vision", including numerous examples of "image detractors" and "image enhancers"- tools to help all students achieve the best possible compositions. This workshop will engage both the right and left sides of your brain!

There will be a healthy discussion of color management and how to diagnose if a problem is due to your monitor calibration – or your printer profiles (or both!)  The Pros and Cons of many printer choices will be discussed – and demonstrated with actual comparison prints.

This workshop requires homework! About a month before the class, you will receive Charlie’s large and well-written booklet “Photoshop Techniques: Effective and Efficient Techniques to Optimize Images”. This tutorial includes exercise files, so you can practice these techniques at home. You will discover the power of the most versatile adjustment layer of them all—curves. This handout covers the essential techniques to optimize and fine tune your images. Learning these techniques will not only increase your productivity, but result in stronger interpretations of your own images.

Charlie has presented this workshop over eighty times at locations around the country; he has also enjoyed the benefit of co-instructing with the great Bill Atkinson. As they say, “practice makes perfect”, and the workshop material is constantly being improved to include the latest techniques, to eliminate the superfluous, and to present only the information that you need to effectively and efficiently process, refine, and print your own images.

Students will fine-tune and print their own images with Picture Element’s three Epson large-format printers. Students must supply their own laptops and software (although a limited number of computers are available---please let us know). A set of Photoshop action scripts and Charlie’s 70 page Photoshop Techniques booklet are included. Students must already have a good working knowledge of Photoshop. 
Rex Naden will be the full-time assistant.


Silicon Valley/Bay Area Workshops will be held at Picture Element, 2405 De La Cruz Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95050. Picture Element is a leading digital photography service organization conveniently located adjacent to San Jose International Airport and its nearby hotels, and 45 minutes away from San Francisco International Airport or Oakland International Airport.
They have a wonderful facility with three large-format Epson printers. Picture Element is also an expert on the production of prints on canvas. The classroom is quite large, with an excellent setup for viewing lots of prints at one time. Most students will bring their own laptops with image editing software. If you do not have a laptop, arrangements can be made- please contact us.


Subjects covered will include:

-The Master file concept

-Using Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom-Getting the most of our your digital capture

-Using color management to insure consistent results from monitor to final print
-How do I get good profiles for my monitor and printer?

SCANNING (optional)
-Purchase vs. service bureau—do I need my own scanner?
-What is a good scan and how to tell

-Recommended techniques for working on files   
-Photoshop selection tools—tips and techniques     
-Setting density and color balance
-Retouching, burning and dodging
-Preparation of files for output to various printers       
-Using a custom “Smart-sharpening” action script (included)

-Ways to make your images even stronger
-What makes an effective image or print

-Archival methods of mounting and matting digital prints

CHARLES CRAMER (www.charlescramer.com) has been photographing the landscape for 30 years.  In 1997, he started scanning his original 4x5 inch transparencies at very high resolution and digitally applying the photographic techniques he used in dye transfer printing. He has taught digital imaging for the Ansel Adams Gallery Workshops, Palm Beach Workshops, Anderson Ranch Workshops, and the Lepp Institute of Digital Imaging. Charles Cramer’s landscape work has been published by National Geographic, Sierra Club, and the Yosemite Association. He has been profiled in PhotoTechniques, PhotoVision, and View Camera Magazines. He is also included in the book “Landscape: The World’s Top Photographers”, published by Rotovision. His work can be seen in galleries internationally, and at his website, www.charlescramer.com.

REX NADEN (www.rexnaden.com) Rex's passion is landscape photography. Having spent decades in the semiconductor field, Rex now directs his interest towards Composition: the refinement of great images based on the sum of their elements. His lecture "Defining your Vision" is an introduction to Composition and highlights the characteristics of excellence in a photograph. Rex has exhibited at the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite, CA, the Los Gatos Art Museum in Los Gatos, CA, Filoli Gardens in Woodside, CA, Viewpoint Gallery in Sacramento, CA, and at Courtside Club in Los Gatos, CA. His work is included in the permanent collections at Filoli, The Santa Clara Towers, Enphase Energy, Broadcom Corporation, and Courside Club. Rex served for three years as a Trustee and managed the Exhibitions Committee at the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel . He spent thirty-five years in the semiconductor industry. He holds fourteen US patents and B.A, M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Rice University.

“Any serious photographer that wants to master the making of awesome prints should take this course from Charlie.  This was an awesome class and it was also a privilege to learn about Charlie’s approach to seeing and making strong images.” – Chris Prestegard  Kapalua, Hawaii

“Everything exceeded my expectations- exponentially.” –Julie Jungers  Portland, Oregon

"Rex was the best aide imaginable" and “Cindy and I both send out thanks for a top notch workshop experience.  I will be recommending it to all my photographer friends.  Your workbook was a joy”.  –Charles Fritsch  Bonita Springs, Florida

"Rex was an outstanding assistant" - Steve Combs, Los Altos Hills, CA

“Charles Cramer is an outstanding teacher, passionate, patient, and creative.”  -Elio Gonella  Seaside, California

“Charlie couldn’t have been better.  He’s a gifted teacher – gentle – helpful - makes subject matter clear.  Well organized and he covered and completed an amazing amount of information in three days.” –Karl Gregorius Stockton, California

“Charles Cramer is a brilliant instructor.  He is organized, precise and thoughtful in approach.  Using the handbook pre-class was extremely helpful since going thru it for the second time with Charlie seriously helped retention.  I have never before attended a workshop where I can go home and fully utilize what I learned.”  - Woody Spedden   Fort Collins, Colorado

For questions, or to enroll, please contact Charles Cramer through