The Soul of the Photograph

Yesterday I gave my first workshop/class in years at the Falmouth Art Center. I titled it “The Soul of the Photograph” both because “The Art of the Photograph” was taken and because my theme really was how to make art that embodies and mediates oneself, one’s soul.

My take on the workshop is that I have a long way to go before I can construct a 4 hour clear transmission of that message but that the goal and message are good, and that the audience was eager. Probably more ready to act on my “message” than I could imagine.

The main elements of the workshop are

  1. A fantasy about the Mona Lisa and how Leonardo’s effort to share himself resulted in the painting ending up in France and the most iconic piece of art in the world.

  2. An examination of first principles. “I know that I like this”.

  3. A look at participant’s art and what they are sharing with it.

  4. If time, a wrapup of techniques and strategies to keep our fumblings with the medium from getting in the way of our sharing.

This summary is idealized…. it didn’t go this way, but this is what I take out of my self-assessment.

Here is an iPhone panorama of the room set up and waiting for the participants.



And here is the original prospectus for the workshop.

“Walking to Heaven”

“Walking to Heaven”

The Soul of the Photograph 
Saturday February 2, 9 am to 1 pm.
Falmouth Art Center
A Workshop by Robert Manz 

This workshop is about how to put your soul into your photographs and make great art.  Robert Manz, fine art photographer, has made great images from Bourne to Budapest to Khorasan.  

But the quest for an image that speaks to others is about the inner journey not the outer. Using his work, participants’ submissions, and historical examples accepted as great art - both paintings and photographs, Robert will explore with participants the principles of lighting and composition , as well as themes, tropes and types that make for images that speak.

Trained at the Harvard Crimson Robert has been making compelling images since 1968. He publishes his work and that of others as prints, note cards and calendars conveying a sense of place from Bourne, Massachusetts to Belfast, Maine. He is a master printer. His work can be seen at his studio in Pocasset, on his website at, and in independent stores shops and galleries across Cape Cod.

Posted on February 3, 2019 .