At the Oregon Photography School, a duo of skilled shutterbugs with a combined 27 years of experience imparts the secrets of snapping and manipulating artistic images to pupils of all stripes. Vernon T. Williams has conveyed the dignity of famous subjects, including two presidential candidates and a Nobel Prize winner, and his work has appeared in The Economist and other national magazines. Jon Christopher Meyers boasts an eclectic commercial-work portfolio, with recent work including the Eugene Ballet Company's midair athleticism and hawks flying midair from the Cascades Raptor Center.
The school draws on Williams's and Meyers's rich backgrounds to inform intensive workshops on everything from the basics of film- and digital-camera manipulation to portrait photography's finer techniques, such as hypnotizing a subject with nothing but a piece of string tied to a lens cap. After an in-studio or on-location class, an online student/instructor-review tool continues the relationship, letting students post their shots for ongoing feedback and for inspirational haikus from their instructor and fellow photographers.
Family owned and operated from the same location since 1931, Dot Dotson's combines a traditional full-service film lab with the convenience and versatility of modern digital processing. Their doting depictionary doctors will work with you on every photo, adjusting color and brightness and cropping out extraneous scenery, red eyes, and imaginary friends. Each prepaid digital-print card entitles memory collectors to 100 color prints and has no expiration date, allowing guests to make a one-time trade for excessive vacation photos, or stop by once a year to remember a century's worth of Nessie sightings. (8"x10" photo must be redeemed before February 15, 2010).
An open studio for artists of all skill levels, The Glass Fuser welcomes guests to drop in and create fused glass art anytime during open hours. No experience is necessary. Resident artists lead a series of courses that – starting with a beginner class – build on skills and explore different techniques, such as three-layer plates and glass cutting.
As a Bullseye Resource Center, The Glass Fuser also vends a wide selection of sheet and accessory glass. Artists may opt to purchase their own glass, create their own projects, and pay a firing fee. All-inclusive project packages are also available.
An accomplished performer and member of the Music Teachers National Association and the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers, instructional maestro Michael Wheeler uses his professional experience and a collaborative spirit to create individually tailored, one-on-one music lessons for students of all skill levels. Upon arriving for their first foray into song, each student will have their skills, goals, and ability to correctly pronounce "glockenspiel" evaluated, and Wheeler will use the half hour to develop a lesson plan. Lesson number two welcomes fingers to flutter across keys during piano and keyboard lessons, or unlock the traditional sounds of North India and delve into the fundamentals of sitar, dilruba, or harmonium. Together, pupil and teacher select lyrical material that's both personally exciting and age appropriate, saving teenagers from crooning "Moon River" and grandparents from an embarrassing round of "I Got Run Over by a Reindeer."
The instructors of Gregory Dean Design / Photography help amateur shutterbugs to hone their camera skills with practical tips on composition, lighting, and exposure. Students put that advice into practice by photographing the stately lines of the Oregon State Capital building, the rich colors of autumn leaves in public parks, and other scenic sites around town. Both one-on-one and small-group workshops are available.
Photographer Josh Sanseri uses light and composition the same way that writers use pen and ink: to tell his subjects' stories, highlighting their unique characteristics and personalities. And he's been at it for more than 15 years, capturing portraits of subjects that run the gamut from zany South African rappers Die Antwoord to triumphant golfer Tiger Woods to the distinguished president behind DreamWorks Animation. When Sanseri isn't snapping shots of famous musicians or teaching photography courses internationally, he can be found in his Oregon studio, crafting portraits of high-school seniors and families. He and his team handle every step of the process, from arranging the shot to developing prints.