Classes | Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Classes

“I’ve never seen a bad cat photo,” says Maryland Hall Photography Teaching Artist Joe Yablonsky. He says it as a joke but there’s truth in his humor: Yablonsky’s eye for photography has no room for pretension. “I’m the first one to admit there isn’t only one good way to take a photo. I think every student should bring their personality into the process and take photos that are uniquely their own.” Yablonsky developed his own love for photography on the campus of Princeton University. In the late 90s, he lived near the beautiful grounds and found inspiration in the gothic architecture and gargoyle sculptures.

“I specialize in photos of public sculptures and architecture, always trying to find the obscure out of the sculpture and historic architecture,” Yablonsky says. His body of work includes works by master sculptors such as Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Daniel Chester French and Isamu Noguchi, to contemporary artists involved in community public art projects. His photographs are only taken when a rare combination of lighting and atmospheric conditions are present in the scene to highlight the sculpture and its environment. All photos are hand printed using a traditional darkroom on fiber paper and are selenium toned to increase their archival permanence.

Yablonsky made photography his career in 2003 when he found himself looking for a change after leaving his engineering job. “I went for creativity and photography was something that was already growing out of control in my life so I started teaching.” In addition to MD Hall, where he began teaching in 2017, Yablonsky also teaches at the Smithsonian, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, VisArts in Rockville and Anne Arundel Community College, among others. His classes at Maryland Hall range from the technical in How Do I Use my Digital Camera to the experiential and creative in Travel Photography.

“I want to teach people who want to learn how to use their camera, how to use every button and help them develop their eye. Whether that’s film or digital,” Yablonsky says. For those ready to take their photography skills out into the world, Yablonsky’s Annapolis at Night is an alternative learning experience. Students get out of the classroom and get immediate feedback in the field. Bring gloves for this year’s class – it takes place downtown during Midnight Madness! “You’re only cold for three hours and then you have the photos for the rest of your life. It’s a blast,” Yablonsky says. All classes are for all skill levels and interest and open to digital or film shooters.

In a digitally driven world, Yablonsky strays away from apps and editing. He is not keen on post-production work and he teaches his students how to take photos that don’t require it. “Students in my classes gain a much better understanding of how to use their camera and how to take better photos on a more consistent basis, without relying on post production,” he says. The key is to “think more and shoot less -- do more thinking before you press the shutter release button -- and therefore take less photos. And learn from both your successes and your mistakes.”

Yablonsky designs his classes to create a strong foundation of the concepts of photography that help photographers find their own vision. When asked what his greatest accomplishment as a teacher is, he says, “Seeing when people get it; when they truly understand and move forward and the material becomes second nature.”

As for his favorite place to take photos in Annapolis? The answer is easy: “wherever the light is good,” he says.


Register for a Fall Photography Class with Joe Yablonsky

Hop to It! Become a Maryland Hall Member Today!

Special runs from March 30 - April 2

Purchase a one-year Maryland Hall Membership from March 30 - April 2 and receive an additional 3 months of membership benefits FREE!

Your investment as a Maryland Hall Member will include the following benefits:

- Discounts on tickets to Maryland Hall performances and select events and select Resident Company performances 

- Discounts on tuition for all Maryland Hall classes; members pay no registration fees 

- Coupons to local businesses 

- Advance notice of exhibitions and performances and the opportunity to purchase tickets before the general public 

- Mailings of Maryland Hall catalogs and electronic newsletters

Choose from a variety of workshops throughout the Fall. There are several one-day, two-day and weekend workshops for all ages. Click the images below to browse through our Fall Workshops. 

  

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