Aug 22, 2006

Jeff Schewe’s Santa Fe Workshop

jeff.jpgEvery September, Jeff Schewe travels, by motorcycle, to teach his one week class at the Santa Fe Workshops. This year, his workshop Advanced Photoshop for Photographers runs from September 18th–22nd, 2006.

His class is not intended for the faint of heart nor Photoshop rookies-it’s an intensive 5 days of hammering on and learning about Photoshop from one of the most knowledgable Photoshop instructors around. It’s also a pretty fun experience as long as you don’t start crying (to be fair, Jeff has only brought one person to tears in his 7 years of teaching at the SF Workshops and the guy who cried on Monday ended up learning a lot by Friday). As of Monday there were a couple of open spots if anybody is interested. Contact the Santa Fe Workshops at 505-983-1400.

Here’s Jeff packed and riding his 1996 R1100 GS BMW motorcycle. Really, the bike is bigger than it looks-it just seems small after Schewe gets on it and packs all his stuff onboard. This photo is by Andrew Rodney who captured Jeff riding to lunch.

This is a totally gratuitous shot of “Brisket”, Andrew’s whippit. Jeff often hangs out for a couple of days after his class to visit with Andrew, Karen and the Rodney dog pack (currently at 3).

Left, the main entry to the Santa Fe Workshops. Right, Jeff’s bike parked out front. Usually, he has to park in the gravel lot next to the digital labs.

The classrom can handle 12 students-currently there’s still a couple of spaces available for 2006. You’ve got to love the dedication of these people-to travel all the way down to Santa Fe with gorgeous scenery and light and spend all day locked up in a darkened room.

The workshop’s facility is well designed for group learning (and Jeff can sit in the back and check out people’s work in progress).

Part of the workshop experience is to make prints. Photographers like to make prints but they love to make great prints and Jeff can teach you how.

Last year he had a 13th student. Gregory Heisler decided to come down for some Photoshop abuse, left. Right, Jerry Courvoisier, the director of the digital program, keeps an eye on Jeff, he likes to come into the back of the class to sneak looks at what Jeff’s teaching).

Ok, this is a self portrait by Jeff in the men’s bathroom. Notable only for the light.

This is the bathroom window with the great outdoors through rippled glass.

Jeff will admit he tends to offer “his way” but disputes there is only “one way” to work in Photoshop. However, he often points out there is usually a “best way” (which is often “his way”).

Here two students prepare for the shooting walk down Canyon Road armed with cameras, left. Right, Greg Heisler uses Jeff’s LensBaby to sneak a sideways shot of…

Brenda Kelly? One of Jeff’s teaching assistants last year.

Photographers on the prowel in search of “a shot”.

This didn’t require much travel, it’s the wall of the SF Workshop building.

The original Chapel of San Miguel por Barrio de Analco. The chapel was constructed in 1626-28 by Fr. Alonso de Benavides. Called the “Oldest Church” in the United States (continuously occupied).

No, this isn’t a real pueblo, it’s the Loretto Hotel-but it looks nice in the light.

Jeff likes to shoot unusual angles – this is a reflection of an adobe building on Canyon Road.

The culinary delights of Santa Fe are legendary, however, this particular hole in the wall has some of the best burgers west of Chicago. The Bobcat Bite (left). Here Greg and Andrew Rodney (always willing to eat at “the Bite”) talk after devouring the food, right.

Another Santa Fe tradition – Maria’s, home of over 200 kinds of margaritas, left. Right, Greg shows off his “Vote For Pedro” tee shirt he was so darn proud of. We have no idea who Pedro was or what he was running for.

Jeff claims he’s discovered the secret to learning Photoshop, massive margaritas and he’s been know to down “several” at a single sitting.

Left, so did Greg…Right, Jeff’s TAs Joel Lipovetskyand Brenda Kelly.

It should be noted that members of the class also went to The Pink Adobe for the purpose of comparing margaritas, however, there are no further pictures after this one. We don’t know if it was the lack of light or the margaritas.

The next day, Jeff and his wife Becky (who rides her bike down to Santa Fe midweek to meet Jeff) take off for Southern New Mexico. Left, Becky is in front (see that little spec in the windshield?). The picture on the right is the normal position when they ride, Jeff leading.

They stopped in Mountainaire, NM on the way, left. But downtown seemed like a ghost town. They did find a cafe serving brunch down the road a bit.

A brunch buffet with interesting characters and also biscuits & gravy (Becky ate fruit).

Back on the road, Jeff does bike-to-bike shooting, left. While it may seem dangerous, the amount of traffic on the back roads of New Mexico is very light with vistas going on for miles. Jeff keeps a camera in his tank bag. Right, Jeff shoots Becky and himself in the mirror.

They finally arrive at Cloudcroft, NM. and park the bikes to check out the town.

Jeff & Becky aren’t the only bikers in Cloudcroft it seems…

The Schewes were down to visit an old friend from Chicago who had moved down to Cloudcroft, Bill Niffenegger. Bill was very active and involved in the digital imaging community in the 1990′s having worked with Kai Krause on MetaCreation packaging and being an early adopter of Photoshop for his paintings. Bill also wrote the book Photoshop Filter Finesse.

Bill’s dog does tricks for treats, but won’t accept a treat from a Republican. (Kids of Republicans are ok).

Bill sitting outside the front door of the Old Apple Barn, an emporium of odd gifts, fine art (both his and his wife’s, BJ) and the Weird Food Museum (where you can buy and eat the display).

The interior is large and contains all manner of objects d’art, left, as well as interesting toys for kids. Bill & BJ have a son, Hunter Grey, who likes to approve the toy display. You can also visit the store and order online.

The next day, Jeff and Becky went down to White Sands. Thinking that the early afternoon light would be boring they found themselves surrounded by thunderstorms that produced a startling contrast between dark sky and white sand.

Becky, in the distance wonders about the advisability of being on a motorcycle in the middle of a thunderstorm with lightning.

As it turned out, they experienced only a sprinkle and a double rainbow.

The next day, they took off to visit Roswell, NM. To see some aliens perhaps?

Becky catches a cat nap while Jeff is shooting the exterior of the UFO Research Center. As it turns out, alien research in Roswell is rather depressed at the moment with the two main alien museums both up for sale.

However, if you like Arby’s, and you are an alien, you’re welcome. If you think the colors of the Roswell shots are a bit odd, they are. Jeff used PhotoKit Color 2 to “liven up the colors” because in reality, Roswell is really very boring (sorry Roswell).

On the left, the bikes parked for the night at 9:35PM in Amarillo, TX. On the right, the bikes packed to leave at 5:35AM.

Getting an early start is always preferable than a late start, but leaving before the sun comes up?

The intent was to see the “Cross” at sunrise.

Jeff wrote about the 2nd largest cross in North America in a previous story. No, they didn’t stop, they were hammering to get to Oklahoma City.

To the closest Starbucks East of Amarillo! Jeff posted on PSN from here last year.

The real reason for stopping in OK City was to replace a bolt on his front disk rotor. This was the closest BMW dealer. Right, the nice, new shiny bolt. Jeff had done a roadside repair in Southern NM but wanted to get a real bolt instead of the rig he fashioned on the road.

One last Starbucks stop in Springfield, IL where Jeff grew up.

Finally returning to Chicago (in the rain) to park the bikes.

6 Responses to “Jeff Schewe’s Santa Fe Workshop”

  1. courvo Says:

    As always, looking forward to having you teach your “brand” of mind bending and brain teasing, Advanced Photoshop CS2 for Photographers at the SFworkshops.

    Looking forward to seeing images through the “margarita filter”. My new feature request, if you have any influence with the PS engineers

    Cheers and safe travels

    Jerry Courvoisier

  2. Andrew Rodney Says:

    Jeff, when you come out, we’re taking you to a REAL (kind of new and insanely greaty) Mexican Restaurant (Los Portillos on Cerrillos). You’ll never eat at Maria’s again!

    Hope Becky is coming this time…

  3. Carl Says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I must say my head still hurts from last year, that was intense you are truly a photoshop god. Congratulations with your Hall of fame induction it’s about time! Hey Jeff, looking at your images of the class what’s with the Gregory Heisler love affair, weren’t there others in the class?



  4. Mel Hill Says:

    I doubt that any other classmates besides Gregory Heisler has over fifty Time Mag covers…

    Can anyone name the NIN song that covers this topic? :)

  5. Jeff Schewe Says:

    Bottom line? I figured I could post his image without a model release cause what’s he gonna do, sue ME?

    Greg is a friend (meaning I knew him as a fellow Canon Explorer and knew him before the class) and I particularly enjoy putting goofy shots of friends on the web…


  6. Carl Says:


    I was just giving Jeff a hard time, he can take it. Truth is I can’t believe that as of last week there were spots still available. Jeff’s class isn’t worth every penny, it’s worth much, much more, and having Gregory in there last year was an extra bonus. As Gregory brought all of that experience and know how you mention to the front line every day causing further discussions over every aspect of “Jeff’s way”.

    That said the SFW with Jeff, Jerry, Joel, and Brenda and is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Outside of spending every day in a dark room together the class enjoys meals and most evenings together forming a a week long photoshop / photography community.

    As for the NIN song….. I don’t really like NIN, don’t care.

    Jeff I’ll see ya in New York at Photo Expo, Ride safe to NM.

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