Newsletter January 2017

Happy New Year everyone! I wish you good health, prosperity and an abundance of time to make great photographs! Regarding the last on the list, the best way to make those great photographs happen is by doing, by getting out and making new photographs regularly. Some of you find this easy to accomplish on your own. Others find that a week away from their life’s routines sets in motion the groundwork for incorporating a new routine for time to photograph. Aside from the creative sparks a change in location can bring, a workshop also provides camaraderie, knowledge and fun!

The response to my brief email about the 2017 workshop schedule has been enthusiastic and I’d like to use this newsletter to give you a bit more information so that you can pick the best workshop for your interests. I’m a planner and letting you know as soon as I have the minimum to run a workshop is my goal. This keeps travel expenses lower for all of us. It also allows me to schedule other business opportunities into the gaps (which Donna reminds me is the business part of Tillman Crane Photography)…

As we have for the past several years we begin the workshop year with the Portfolio weekend. Limited to 8 participants, each photographer brings a portfolio or selection of photographs (not digital files) to the workshop. We meet briefly on Friday night to introduce our work and ourselves to each other. Saturday and Sunday we spend an hour discussing each person’s prints. Saturday’s focus is the technical and aesthetic aspects of the work. Sunday we arrange and sequence the work as if for an exhibition, book, or continuing portfolio. Leaders include myself, my wife Donna (my editor extraordinaire) and Tim Whelan (photo historian and bookseller) but the most important feedback often comes from your fellow photographers. Portfolio Weekend, March 3-5, 2017

The Photographers Retreat is just that: the chance to meet, talk and share work with other photographers. It is a laid back relaxed weekend of fellowship and photography. It is my chance to be a student and not a teacher. I always see interesting work, meet new photographers and reconnect with friends I have known for years. This year we are returning to Peters Valley School of Craft (note the name change) in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. It is a tuition-free event though you are responsible for travel, room and board. Eighth Annual Photographers’ Retreat  April 28-30, 2017

NEW workshop! Pinholes, Portraits and Cyanotypes with Russ Young. Russ lives in Floyd VA, on the Blue Ridge Parkway. An expert on pinhole and cyanotype photography Russ’ farm also offers a great south light studio for portraits and still life work. We will create landscape images along the parkway and on his farm the first part of the week. The second half we will make digital negatives and cyanotype prints. This is a great opportunity as both an introduction to alternative photographic processes and a chance to try out several historic soft focus lenses. I hope you will join us for Pinholes, Portraits and Cyanotypes!, May 21-26, 2017. Class size 10

The Abandoned Farms of North Dakota workshop has been one of the most popular workshops over the past 8 years. This year the workshop is in August rather than May. The weather should be perfect and we will be there when the harvest begins. If you have been to North Dakota in the spring you may seriously want to consider returning in the late summer. It is a completely different landscape and experience. As in every previous year, there will be about 25 locations to photograph, some old but many new as access, availability and nature continue to change the landscape. If you have always wanted to attend the workshop but the timing was wrong, this is the year to make it happen. Dan Smith and I look forward to seeing you in North Dakota this August! Abandoned Farms of North Dakota, August 20-25, 2017. Class size 15

This year’s Erie Canal workshop is located in, what I call, the lift bridge section of the canal, Brockport, NY. We will photograph from the Fairport lift bridges to the step locks in Lockport. We will also spend a day at the George Eastman House (Rochester) touring behind the scenes of the print and camera collections. Join Dennis Stierer and me in chasing the fall light along the Erie Canal. Bicentennial of the Erie Canal, September 24-29, 2017. Class size 15

New workshop! Autumn in Guilin, China. If you have been following my adventures over the past few years you know that I have been spending more and more time in China. Last summer I spent 5 weeks in Guilin, learning a little Mandarin and a lot of culture at the Chinese Language Institute. I have teamed with C.L.I. to create what I think will be an extraordinary workshop experience. We will spend ten days photographing in and around the Guilin area. This workshop is not a tour where every day you go to another city but rather an excursion for photographers where each day you will explore another part of Guilin and its environs at a photographer’s pace. I hope you can join me for this unique exploration of the beautiful Guilin area. Autumn in Guilin, China, October 22 – November 1, 2017. Class size 12

Portfolio Consultations, Book projects, and Private/Semi-Private Tutorials in Platinum Printing and View Camera technique scheduled by request. Tutorials are generally from one to five days and the focus is on you and your interests! It’s an efficient way to get what you need in a limited amount of time. Contact Tillman ( for further details.

This year we made the difficult decision to increase our workshop prices. This is our first workshop price increase in over 10 years and we hope it will not be the deterrent in your choice of workshop teachers.

We will still continue to offer the same discounts as before:

  • Save 10% if you pay by check and in full at the time you are invoiced for the workshop.
  • Save 25% if you are a returning student taking a specific workshop for a second time or more and pay by check.
  • Save 15% if you are a returning student taking a specific workshop for a second time or more and pay by credit card.
  • These discounts can be combined.
  • Discounts are not available on private/semi-private workshops/tutorials.

The registration process for workshops is simple: Fill out the on-line registration information. No deposits required on workshops. As soon as we have the minimum to make the workshop a “go” we will contact you. Invoices will be sent out at that point. Every effort will be made to announce a workshop’s viability within two months of the start date.

Big news of note: Bob Keyes wrote a 2-page feature article on me in the January 8 Portland Press Herald Audience section. You can read it here.

Next month the first Collectors’ Print Special of the year will be available. The focus this year will be images from the Olson House, Cushing ME, made famous by Andrew Wyeth. I have three prints in an April exhibition at the Farnsworth Museum (Rockland ME) along with 5 other photographers celebrating this iconic Maine house.

Wish you all the best of winter light,



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