Famous photographer visits Decatur for Workshop - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Famous photographer visits Decatur for Workshop

A famous photographer is coming home to Decatur this week. (Source: WAFF) A famous photographer is coming home to Decatur this week. (Source: WAFF)
Photos are a way to remember special moments, but some people make them their life. With four books under his belt, Maine resident, Tillman Crane, has a large following of work shop students who travel across the country to interesting sites he selects. 

"I have been to numerous classes, numerous workshops with Tillman," Charles Carson says. "Terminal's a superb teacher. He is an excellent photographer and a great critic."

Vivien Goldman says "He's just a wonderful teacher, wonderful mentor, wonderful photographer."

Carson recalls a sort of magic they found in an abandoned farm house in North Dakota. 

"Two high school photographers were there," Carson said. "Two girls in a double frame and you just had to wonder what happened. Why these? Who are these girls? Where are they now?"

It's the stories or mysteries found by the photographers which they capture in their lens. 

"I get to a place like this and I people it," Goldman said. "I try to imagine what it was like for people who lived here or worked here."

Old buildings with big windows, architectural detail and light are temptations for Crane, who was a history and religion major. He took a few photography classes in college and eventually landed a job with a small news paper where he learned the art of story telling. 

Crane began to master his craft and started teaching. Now he holds workshops all over the county where students travel long distances to take his direction. 

This week, Crane came home to Decatur. 

"Who is going to let us in and give us free reign? That is why I'm so excited to be here at the Princess Theatre and at the Joe Wheeler House where we will be later this week as they are very welcoming of photographers," Crane said. "You can chase the light. You can look at the structure. You can create the images that you want and feel safe and welcome. How do you react to Alabama? How are you responding to the industrial heritage found in the Sloss, and I'll be interested to see what they come up with in the Joe Wheeler Home where we will be later. I don't want them making pictures like make. I want them to go into that space and make the pictures they need to make, and chase the light you can look at the structure. You can create the images that you want and feel safe and welcome."

Crane's inspiration not only comes from other photographers, buildings and light, but the ebb and flow of the Tennessee River where he was once known as Decatur's Burt Crane. 

Copyright 2015 WAFF. All rights reserved.
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