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To obtain a better understanding of what the Mountain Workshops are or to help you determine if this workshop is a right fit for you, watch the above video for a taste of the 2015 Mountain held in Frankfort last October. There is also an extensive Q&A section at the bottom of this page and each of our six workshops are described below.

Six options, one week.
Which one is right for you?

Each October, a group of visual journalists set up shop in a different community in Kentucky to document life and culture in a way that is rarely attempted. Raw and live, it’s all about the people and their stories, not the institutions. It’s called the Mountain Workshops, and dozens of students and professionals from around the country swoop in for a week every year to garner new skills and fresh inspiration.

It’s a crash course in visual journalism, and the participants’ best work is published on this website. Selected photographs are also printed for a museum-quality exhibit, and many of the photos and stories are published in a book that documents the town and its surrounding rural area.

Participants can choose from one of six options for the week. Photojournalism, the original workshop at Mountain, has always been a big hit, but Video Storytelling is increasingly in demand. If you wish to increase your knowledge in other visual skills, the Mountain Workshops can deliver. Picture Editing pushes a traditional skill set of image selection and book design into the digital age, while Time-Lapse takes us into a fascinating world of compressed time through motion. The Data Visualization workshop probes the masses of abstract charts and numbers to create stories that affect real people.

A special workshop for K-12 educators is hosted by Dataseam, a Louisville-based nonprofit that provides resources for Kentucky educators. The Dataseam Teacher Track workshop is designed to help high school teachers looking to develop their students’ communication skills to tell their own stories.

Six workshops held in one location, in one week, with a constant flow of new ideas and one-on-one guidance by the top professionals in their fields, all add up to an intense five days of high-octane education in visual communication and storytelling.

To learn more about each of these programs, keep reading below. Be sure to watch the video at the top of this page and read our FAQ section at the bottom. We will begin accepting applications July 1, 2016. Applications for all workshops will remain open until they are sold out. Seats are limited, so secure your spot early.

PHOTOJOURNALISM

Photography Workshop
Photograph by Nina Greipel

Do you think your images lack that “special something?” After all, you understand exposure, composition is a skill that is becoming second nature, and light is something you see and use whenever you can. Yet your images still do not stand out.

This is where we come in. With a coach-to-student ratio of 1:6, the Photojournalism workshop can bring you to a new level of story telling, one you never thought you could reach. You will get closer to your subject than you could ever imagine, get up early and stay out late, get down in the mud with the subject, and ultimately climb into his or her heart.

Mountain is all about building relationships and using meaningful photographs to tell a story. If you want to be a photojournalist, your coaches – some of the best visual professionals in the nation – will give you a motivating push in the right direction.

To complement your days and nights of shooting and editing, each evening includes inspiring presentations by the coaches, as well as critiques of a selection of images taken that day. If you find any down time it will be spent soaking up the knowledge of your passionate coaches and maybe sleeping a little bit.

 

"There is a spirit here that lifts people up and pushes them toward successes in their photography that they might not have achieved on their own."

 

Rick Loomis, Los Angeles Times Photojournalism coach, 2015

What you do

  • Draw a community member’s name from a hat and be encouraged to find “the real story”
  • Gather images during five days with intensive one-on-one critiques with your coach as often as you would like
  • Capture beautiful moments by building a personal understanding of your story subject
  • Learn strategies to build trust with subjects
  • Develop your personal style
  • Use personal and public critiques to improve your photography
  • Put humanity before photography
  • Craft a cohesive visual story
Photography Workshop
A Little Bit of Home by Elizabeth Frantz
One of the approximate 50 photo stories taken at the 2015 Mountain in Frankfort, Kentucky.

What you will create

  • Images that will be considered for use in the Mountain Workshops book, website and gallery
  • A visual and written story, along with captions, that reveal your subjects true character
  • Moments of learning that rapidly propel your skills forward
  • A network of friends, colleagues and connections that will remain a part of your life forever

Who should attend

  • Pre-professional or early professional visual storytellers looking to increase their knowledge in the art of storytelling
  • Any visual journalist or commercial videographer in need of inspiration or a week away to experience visual immersion to rejuvenate their passion
  • College students interested in documenting communities and the people who live in them

Location and dates

Paducah, KY

  • Farley Elementary School (closed)
  • 1250 Husband Rd., Paducah, KY 42003

Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016

  • 8:00 a.m. – Registration opens
  • 8:00 a.m. – Vendor’s tables open
  • 9:30 a.m. – Photojournalists first meeting
  • 12:00 p.m. – Opening ceremony for all participants, hat draw

Saturday, Oct 22, 2016

  • 12:00 p.m. – Last image drop
  • 4:30 p.m. – All edits, stories and captions are submitted
  • 6:30 p.m. – Closing ceremony starts
  • 12:00 a.m. – End of workshop

*All times CDT

Cost

  • Early bird registration, July 1 – August 31, 2016
  • $725
  • September 1 – October 16, 2016
  • $800

Cancellation policy

  • If notified by September 15, full refund minus $75
  • If notified September 16 – October 4, full refund minus $200
  • We cannot offer any refunds after 12:01 a.m., October 5

Scholarships

The Mountain Workshops will offer a limited number of 50% tuition scholarship opportunities to professional and non-WKU student participants. To be considered, once accepted, please email to mountainworkshops@wku.edu a letter stating what the Mountain Workshops will do for you and a request for financial assistance. Merit as well as a statement of financial need will be considered in equal proportion. Deadline for consideration is 11:59 p.m., August 19, 2016. You will be notified of scholarship acceptance via email by August 26. If you already paid to hold your position, you will be reimbursed the amount of the scholarship offered.

Ready to apply?

Interested applicants must fill out the online application. Photojournalism participants are required to present a portfolio of at least 10 images that represents an example of your current work. Once you are accepted, you will be notified by email and be instructed on how to pay to reserve your spot. This workshop can sell out. Your seat is not confirmed until you make your payment. Registration and acceptance alone does not guarantee a space.

2016 Coaches

Tentative. Coaches may change at any time up until the workshop begins.

Testimonials

"I am feeling grateful to have attended the Mountain Workshops this past week. It was an incredible and enlightening experience thanks to the coaches and participants alike. I made some great friends and learned so much from not just the workshop but from my subject Sister Fran Wilhelm."

Matthew Hatcher, A Helping Hand, 2013 Owensboro

"I just got home from the The Mountain Workshops and am deliriously tired, but feel I have to say before I pass out, that I feel absolutely exhausted and energized in every way - physically, emotionally, artistically and spiritually. I just pushed myself to the max this week and I got so much out of every single second of it. I learned how to see patterns and think about what my photos are saying, instead of just reacting. Thanks to all who put in so much hard work to create this week. I feel like I have not only new skills but a sense of responsibility to the people who put so much energy into me, to put that much energy back into my photos, my stories and my connections to other photographers."

James Buck, Heart of Old Hickory, 2013 Owensboro

VIDEO STORYTELLING

Video Workshop
Photograph by Nina Greipel

Are your video productions stuck in a rut? After all your hard work and days of production, do your stories seem flat, lifeless and lack meaning? If you are comfortable with the technology but are looking for the workshop that will help you uncover, capture and edit a compelling narrative arc, then look no further.

With a coach-to-student ratio average of 1:4, the Mountain Workshops Video Storytelling Workshop can teach you how to bring the story back into storytelling. You will establish a close relationship with your subject, get up early and stay out late, stretch yourself creatively beyond your previous limits and ultimately have a career and life-changing experience.

Mountain is all about building relationships and using meaningful moments to tell a story. If you want to reach a new level in your documentary work, your coaches – some of the best visual professionals in the nation – will give you a motivating push in the right direction.

To complement your days and nights of shooting, editing and collaborative production, each evening there are inspiring presentations by the coaches from all forms of visual journalism. Any downtime you may find will be spent soaking up the knowledge of your passionate coaches and maybe catching a little sleep.

 

"There’s this energy you experience here that you don’t get while working professionally or in school. There’s something different about the Mountain. It’s a total non-stop sprint to the end and you think you’re not going to make it, but you do."

 

Liz Baylen, Los Angeles Times Video Storytelling coach, 2015

Chasing The Light by Betina Garcia
One of the approximate 20 video stories taken at the 2015 Mountain in Frankfort, Kentucky.

What you do

  • Draw a community member’s name from a hat and be encouraged to find “the real story”
  • Gather video during four days with intensive one-on-one critiques with your coach
  • Experience the pressure of a well-managed and guided production deadline of your project using Adobe products on a Macintosh platform that is provided for you
  • Capture beautiful moments by building a personal understanding of your story subject
  • Learn strategies to build trust with subjects
  • Develop your personal style
  • Use personal and public critiques to improve your videography and edit
  • Put humanity before videography
  • Construct a narrative arc of your story
  • Learn how to effectively use audio to convey emotion
  • Collaborate with visual journalists of different skill set

What you create

  • A two-to-three-minute short-form video documentary that will be published in the Mountain Workshops website and displayed in the traveling gallery
  • Moments of learning that rapidly propel your skills forward
  • A network of friends, colleagues and connections that will remain a part of your life throughout your career

Who should attend

  • Pre-professional or early professional visual storytellers looking to increase their knowledge in the art of storytelling
  • Any visual journalist or commercial videographer in need of inspiration or a week away to experience visual immersion to rejuvenate their passion
  • College students interested in documenting communities and the people who live in them

Location and dates

Paducah, KY

  • Farley Elementary School (closed)
  • 1250 Husband Rd., Paducah, KY 42003

Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016

  • 8:00 a.m. – Registration opens
  • 8:00 a.m. – Vendor’s tables open
  • 9:00 a.m. – Video Storytelling Workshop begins
  • 12:00 p.m. – Opening ceremony for all participants, hat draw

Friday, Oct 21, 2016

  • 6:00 p.m. – Video shooting is complete, production begins

Saturday, Oct 22, 2016

  • 4:30 p.m. – Final edit is exported
  • 6:30 p.m. – Closing ceremony starts
  • 12:00 a.m. – End of workshop
  • *All times CDT

Cost

  • Early bird registration, July 1 – August 31, 2016
  • $875
  • September 1 – October 16, 2016
  • $950

Cancellation policy

  • If notified by September 15, full refund minus $75
  • If notified September 16 – October 4, full refund minus $200
  • We cannot offer any refunds after 12:01 a.m., October 5

Scholarships

The Mountain Workshops will offer a limited number of 50 percent tuition scholarship opportunities to professional and non-WKU student participants. To be considered, once accepted, please email to mountainworkshops@wku.edu a letter stating what the Mountain Workshops will do for you and a request for financial assistance. Merit as well as statement of financial need will be considered in equal proportion. Deadline for consideration is 11:59 p.m., August 19, 2016. You will be notified of scholarship acceptance via email by August 26. If you already paid to hold your position, you will be reimbursed the amount of the scholarship offered.

Ready to apply?

Interested applicants must fill out the online application. Video Storytelling participants are required to present a portfolio of at least 2 projects that represents an example of your current work. You must be proficient in editing software and basic camera use. Once you are accepted, you will be notified by email and be instructed on how to pay to reserve your spot. This workshop can sell out. Your seat is not confirmed until you make your payment. Registration and acceptance alone does not guarantee a space.

2016 Coaches

Tentative. Coaches may change at any time up until the workshop begins.

PICTURE EDITING

Photography Workshop
Photograph by Nina Greipel

How do you manage the process of editing thousands of gorgeous pictures as they are unloaded off dozens of little plastic memory cards, while the creators of these images run off to their next assignment? Where do you begin when the photographer wants to take the story in one direction and you think it needs to go in another direction? How do you make good choices about content, layout and design across multiple platforms while keeping true to the story? This is where the editing begins.

With a coach-to-student ratio of no more than 1:3 the Mountain Picture Editing workshop participants, along with some of the best visual editors in the country, help guide a team of photographers through the storytelling process. They select photos, craft them into visual narratives and design the layout for a book publication.

To complement your days and nights of editing and collaborative production, each evening there are inspiring presentations by the coaches from all forms of visual journalism. Any downtime you may have is spent soaking up the knowledge of your passionate coaches and maybe getting a few hours of sleep.

 

"You have to encourage picture editors to be a lot of things these days. We’re leading them through the whole process. We try to teach people how to tell good stories; that’s going to always be a skill that journalists have to have. It’s about having the faith that things are going to work out and visual storytelling is going to stick around forever."

 

Mick Cochran, retired Director of Photography, USA Today Picture editing coach, 2015

Skills you will develop

  • Making story assignments
  • Creating a visual narrative for print and the Web
  • Using images ethically
  • Crafting design aesthetics of photo stories
  • Experience the pressure of a well-managed and guided production deadline of your pages using Adobe products on a Macintosh platform that is provided for you
  • Learn strategies to build trust with photographers
  • Use personal and public critiques to improve your editing skills
  • Collaborate with visual journalists of different skill set

What you create

  • The narrative organization and design for the annual Mountain Workshops book
  • Moments of learning that rapidly propel your skills forward
  • A network of friends, colleagues and connections that will remain a part of your life throughout your career

Who should attend

  • Pre-professional or early professional visual storytellers looking to increase their knowledge in the art of storytelling
  • Any visual journalist, NGO, visual editors or commercial videographer in need of inspiration or a week away to experience visual immersion to rejuvenate their passion
  • College students interested in learning more about the subtle art of editing and telling long-form visual stories about communities and the people who live in them

Location and dates

Paducah, KY

  • Farley Elementary School (closed)
  • 1250 Husband Rd., Paducah, KY 42003

Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016

  • 8:00 a.m. – Registration opens
  • 8:00 a.m. – Vendor’s tables open
  • 12:00 p.m. – Opening ceremony for all participants including Picture Story participants.

Saturday, Oct 22, 2016

  • 12:00 p.m. – Last image drop
  • 4:30 p.m. – All edits, stories and captions are submitted
  • 6:30 p.m. – Closing ceremony starts
  • 12:00 a.m. – End of workshop
  • *All times EDT

Cost

  • Early bird registration, July 1 – August 31, 2016
  • $725
  • September 1 – October 16, 2016
  • $800

Cancellation policy

  • If notified by September 15, full refund minus $75
  • If notified September 16 – October 4, full refund minus $200
  • We cannot offer any refunds after 12:01 a.m., October 5

Scholarships

The Mountain Workshops will offer a limited number of 50 percent tuition scholarship opportunities to professional and non-WKU student participants. To be considered, once accepted, please email to mountainworkshops@wku.edu a letter stating what the Mountain Workshops will do for you and a request for financial assistance. Merit as well as statement of financial need will be considered in equal proportion. Deadline for consideration is 11:59 p.m., August 19, 2016. You will be notified of scholarship acceptance via email by August 26. If you already paid to hold your position, you will be reimbursed the amount of the scholarship offered.

Ready to apply?

Interested applicants must fill out the online application. Picture editing participants are required to express an interest in journalistic storytelling and a desire to learn. There is no portfolio requirement, however, a link to your photography work is always helpful in determining our selection. If you are accepted, you will be notified by email and will be instructed on how to pay to reserve your spot. This workshop can sell out. Your seat is not confirmed until you make your payment. Registration and acceptance alone does not guarantee a space.

2016 Coaches

  • Tentative. Coaches may change at any time up until the workshop begins.
  • TIME-LAPSE

    Time-Lapse Workshop
    Photograph by Nina Greipel

    Have you seen beautiful time-lapse sequences on the Web and wondered how they were made? Do they motivate you to want to learn how to make them yourself? You can do just that at the Mountain Workshops. We will provide specialty time-lapse equipment and expert coaching. You just need to bring your unlimited creativity so you can shoot thousands of images and sequence them to make unique visual stories.

    This 1:4 coach-to-student ratio workshop is basic enough to explain how the concept works but advanced enough to introduce you to hands-on rail and motion work, as well as the ramping of exposure across multiple-light situations. But what makes this workshop different than others is our belief that the image is not meant to be just pretty stuff. In everything we do, telling a story is the ultimate goal. At the convergence of the photo and video worlds, participants learn to see the motion behind images. While still photography seeks the right moment, time-lapse takes hours and crunches them into moments. This workshop teaches the entire workflow from start to finish for planning, editing and shooting meaningful time-lapse photography.

     

    “I personally feel that time-lapse as an art needs to progress beyond the pretty pictures. It has a firm place in visual storytelling. My whole goal for the time-lapse portion of the workshop is for it to be like a second unit of a film production.”

     

    Grant Kaye, Grant Kay Photography Time Lapse coach, 2015

    What you do

    • Make use of many pieces of technology and software available for time-lapse
    • Identify the daily motion of still images
    • Push through a standardized workflow
    • Learn how to adjust the camera for long-term exposure changes
    • Use time-lapse in narrative storytelling
    • Two-axis and three-axis movement explained
    • Late nights and early mornings out in the field doing hands-on exercises

    What you will create

    • This workshop will put you under similar deadline experiences of our other workshops, giving you a hands-on opportunity to produce multiple experiments with time-lapse work
    • Moments of learning that rapidly propel your skills forward
    • A network of friends, colleagues and connections that will remain a part of your life throughout your career

    Frankfort, Finding Time by Emilie Milcarek
    One of the time-lapse projects produced at the 2015 Mountain in Frankfort, Kentucky.

    Who should attend

    • Pre-professional or early professional visual storytellers looking to increase their knowledge in a new form of storytelling
    • Any visual journalist or commercial videographer in need of inspiration or a week away to experience visual immersion to rejuvenate their passion
    • College students interested in learning more about the art of time-lapse

    Location and dates

    Paducah, KY

    • Farley Elementary School (closed)
    • 1250 Husband Rd., Paducah, KY 42003

    Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016

    • 8:00 a.m. – Registration opens
    • 8:00 a.m. – Vendor’s tables open
    • 9:00 a.m. – Time-lapse class begins, equipment shakedown
    • 12:00 p.m. – Opening ceremony for all participants

    Saturday, Oct 22, 2016

    • 4:30 p.m. – Final edit is complete
    • 6:30 p.m. – Closing ceremony starts
    • 12:00 a.m. – End of workshop
    • *All times CDT

    Cost

    • Early bird registration, July 1 – August 31, 2015
    • $875
    • September 1 – October 16, 2016
    • $950

    Cancellation policy

    • If notified by September 15, full refund minus $75
    • If notified September 16 – October 4, full refund minus $200
    • We cannot offer any refunds after 12:01 a.m., October 5

    Scholarships

    The Mountain Workshops will offer a limited number of 50 percent tuition scholarship opportunities to professional and non-WKU student participants. To be considered, once accepted, please email to mountainworkshops@wku.edu a letter stating what the Mountain Workshops will do for you and a request for financial assistance. Merit as well as statement of financial need will be considered in equal proportion. Deadline for consideration is 11:59 p.m., August 19, 2016. You will be notified of scholarship acceptance via email by August 26. If you already paid to hold your position, you will be reimbursed the amount of the scholarship offered.

    Ready to apply?

    Interested applicants must fill out the online application. Time-lapse participants are required to present a portfolio of at least 10 images that represents an example of your current work. Once you are accepted, you will be notified by email and be instructed on how to pay to reserve your spot. This workshop can sell out. Your seat is not confirmed until you make your payment. Registration and acceptance alone does not guarantee a space.

    2016 Coaches

  • Tentative. Coaches may change at any time up until the workshop begins.
  • Data Visualization

    DATA VISUALIZATION
    Photograph by Nina Greipel

    Journalists of all types are swimming in a sea of data. Governments, NGOs, private organizations and individuals are collecting, organizing and sharing data sets of all sorts, but the volume can be overwhelming for storytellers. You know that long tables of data don’t communicate interesting stories, but you also know that this information is important to provide in order for your audience to grasp (and to care about) the meaning behind the numbers. This is where data visualization can be very effective.

    The Mountain Workshops is firmly grounded in communicating compelling stories. Over the past 4 decades, the workshops have focused on telling stories with pictures, video and sound, but today’s journalists must also be savvy about how they present visual narratives that originate in data.

    Working with an average coach-to-student ratio of 1:6, the Data Visualization workshop will guide you through the process of how to find, sort through, read, organize and determine the best and most modern approaches to visualizing data. You will work with the industry’s best professional coaches who will guide you to think accurately, ethically and creatively to produce visual graphic stories from sets of data.

    Like all of our workshops, instruction will be individually catered to the level of each participant, but no prior experience working with data visualization or infographics is necessary. The workshop will be geared toward journalists, non-profit staff members, photographers, students, scientists and researchers. Come join us to explore this new world of data and learn to share information in new ways with your audience.

     

    "I think it’s a really significant thing that this really wonderful, innovative and long-running photography workshop wants to try to figure out how we do what we do with this other type of storytelling."

     

    Jonathon Berlin, Graphics Editor, Chicago Tribune Data Visualization coach, 2015

    What you do

    • Find data and look for stories in that data
    • Use various software platforms to visualize data
    • Design graphics
    • Create interactive media
    • Identify the bigger picture of smaller stories

    What you will create

    • Static infographics for the annual Mountain Workshops book, and interactive graphics for the accompanying digital publication
    • Moments of learning that rapidly propel your skills forward
    • A network of friends, colleagues and connections that will remain a part of your life throughout your career

    Who should attend

    • College, pre-professional or early professional visual storytellers looking to increase their knowledge with a new form of storytelling
    • Scientists and researchers looking to present their data in more accurate and meaningful ways of communication
    • Staff members of NGOs, non-profits and PR agencies who want to learn to present data in a meaningful way

    Location and dates

    Paducah, KY

    • Farley Elementary School (closed)
    • 1250 Husband Rd., Paducah, KY 42003

    Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016

    • 8:00 a.m. – Registration opens
    • 8:00 a.m. – Vendor’s tables open
    • 9:00 a.m. – Data Visualization class starts
    • 12:00 p.m. – Opening ceremony for all participants

    Saturday, Oct 22, 2016

    • 4:30 p.m. – Final project deadline
    • 6:30 p.m. – Closing ceremony starts
    • 12:00 a.m. – End of workshop
    • *All times CDT

    Cost

    • Early bird registration, July 1 – August 31, 2016
    • $875
    • September 1 – October 16, 2016
    • $950

    Cancellation policy

    • If notified by September 15, full refund minus $75
    • If notified September 16 – October 4, full refund minus $200
    • We cannot offer any refunds after 12:01 a.m., October 5

    Scholarships

    The Mountain Workshops will offer a limited number of 50 percent tuition scholarship opportunities to professional and non-WKU student participants. To be considered, once accepted, please email to mountainworkshops@wku.edu a letter stating what the Mountain Workshops will do for you and a request for financial assistance. Merit as well as statement of financial need will be considered in equal proportion. Deadline for consideration is 11:59 p.m., August 19, 2016. You will be notified of scholarship acceptance via email by August 26. If you already paid to hold your position, you will be reimbursed the amount of the scholarship offered.

    Ready to apply?

    Interested applicants must fill out the online application. Data Visualization participants are required to express an interest in journalistic storytelling and a desire to learn. There is no portfolio requirement, however, a link to your photography/design work is always helpful in determining our selection. If you are accepted, you will be notified by email and be instructed on how to pay to reserve your spot. This workshop can sell out. Your seat is not confirmed until you make your payment. Registration and acceptance alone does not guarantee a space.

    2016 Coaches

  • Tentative. Coaches may change at any time up until the workshop begins.
  • DATASEAM TEACHER TRACK

    For nearly a decade, the Dataseam Teacher Track has been revolutionizing K-12 classrooms in Kentucky and providing the critical, massive computer power necessary for the Mountain Workshops to operate.

    Dataseam selects an average of eight teachers annually to receive four days of free one-on-one coaching on how to create still images, video and audio that will capture their students' attention and help them learn to tell their own stories. Teachers take home computers — one for each day of training — for use in their school districts.

    There are about 9,000 teachers eligible to participate from 200 schools in 54 Kentucky school districts. Henry Hunt, Dataseam's chief operating officer, estimates Dataseam has given more than 19,000 students communication skills necessary for success in the 21st century economy.

     

    "What I've learned here has revolutionized my classroom, I've never looked back at the way my classroom was, and I never will."

     

    Beth Travis, media specialist at Muhlenburg County High School Three-time Dataseam Teacher Track participant

    Skills you will develop

    • One-on-one coaching on how to create still images, video and audio that will capture attention and strongly communicate a story.
    • Obtain experience and exercises to use in the classroom
    • Increase knowledge through sitting in on evening Mountain Workshops presentations by professional photographers and by observing individual critique sessions
    • Learn storytelling skills, from the planning stages, to content-gathering, picture editing, interviewing and filling gaps in stories
    • Learn how to apply the skills learned at the workshops to classroom and student projects

    Who should apply for the Dataseam Teacher Track

    • Any K-12 teacher in the 200 schools located in the 54 Kentucky districts that Dataseam serves.
    • Educators who work with students in journalism, yearbook, English or any subject that helps students communicate clearly and powerfully using today’s digital tools.

    How to apply

    Simply email henry.hunt@kydataseam.com. Provide two sample photos you have created along with a brief paragraph outlining what you teach and what you want to gain from this experience. Space is limited. You do not have to be an expert photographer or videographer to qualify. An average of eight teachers participate each year.

    FAQ

    Q

    How do I my submit photos, videos and resume for my application?

    A

    You can either put the URL of your work online on the application form, email images or videos (under 8 megs) to mountainshops@wku.edu or mail a hard copy to:
    Jim Bye
    Western Kentucky University
    The Mountain Workshops
    1906 College Heights Blvd. 11070
    Bowling Green, KY 42101-1070


    Q

    Can I attend any or all of the workshops?

    A

    Yes you can, but only one at a time. Photography, video, data visualization, time-lapse and picture editing all run at the same time, so you can only take one workshop per year. However, each workshop has its own educational component, and coming back each year for a new workshop will result in an entirely new experience. There is no suggested order for taking the 5 workshops; just choose whichever order that makes the most sense to you in your educational training.


    Q

    Can I attend any of these workshops even though I am not a student?

    A

    Yes, the workshop is open to anyone who wants to improve his or her storytelling abilities. We have had participants from major newspapers and magazines as well as freelance visual storytellers who run their own business and see the workshops as a way to give them an edge over the competition.


    Q

    If I am a student but not at Western Kentucky University can I attend any of the workshops?

    A

    Yes. In fact, almost half of our college-age enrollment comes from universities other than Western Kentucky. We welcome graduate students as well.


    Q

    What do tuition fees for each workshop cover?

    A

    Tuition covers educational costs only. You will need to pay for your hotel, travel and food costs during your stay.


    Q

    Do I need to bring a laptop?

    A

    The Mountain Workshops has a network of Macintosh computers for participant use. If you are in the video storytelling, data visualization, time-lapse or picture editing workshop, you will have a computer set up for you with all the necessary software. If you are in the photography workshop you will view your work on your coach’s workstation. Photography participants write captions and stories in our writing area that is provided with a number of shared workstations. All the images from the photography workshop are archived on our servers, but if you wish to archive your own images and take them with you, you should bring a laptop and card reader and download your images throughout the week.


    Q

    Do I need to bring an external hard drive?

    A

    Whichever workshop you enroll in, if you wish to take your content home with you, you will need to bring a hard drive. We recommend at least 250GB of free space for Video storytelling workshop, and 50GB for the Photojournalism workshop.


    Q

    Do participants need to provide their own equipment?

    A

    We expect all photography, video and time-lapse participants to have their own camera bodies, lenses, tripods and lighting system. For many years Nikon and Canon representatives have been at the Workshops with a wide range of loaner gear, but nothing is guaranteed. Our Sennheiser sponsor provides a limited amount of audio gear, and Manfrotto or a similar vendor may supply a limited number of tripods for participant use. The time-lapse workshop will have a variety of gear available but we encourage to have at least one tripod and an intervalometer. These are built into many Nikon cameras. Every year the Mountain Workshops depends on sponsor support, for which we are deeply grateful. However, we encourage all participants to bring as much of their own equipment as possible.


    Q

    Do I need a car?

    A

    Yes. Covering your story and shooting features will require that you’re able to travel to different locations in the county throughout the week. The picture editor and data visualization participants spend most of their day at the headquarters. However, you are responsible to get yourself to and from the hotel and also to get out for dining purposes. It is possible to share rides, and in some instances, it is possible to walk. But verify the headquarter location to your selected hotel before you choose the walking options. These communities are small and do not have taxi or Uber service.


    Q

    Who will the coaches be?

    A

    Each year we select coaches based on their professional experience and their ability to mentor participants and support their learning and growth. We usually announce the final roster of coaches about a month before the Workshops begin, often sooner. You’ll find the announcement on our web site and also on our social media outlets, Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.


    Q

    Do I get to pick my coach?

    A

    No. We pair coaches and participants based on a variety of factors. You will be assigned to one coach, but you are also encouraged to meet with other coaches during the week and take advantage of their insights and suggestions.


    Q

    Do I have to find my own story?

    A

    No. We have story researchers scouring the county well in advance of the workshop.


    Q

    How are stories assigned?

    A

    Names, descriptions, and contact information for story subjects are put into in a hat, and each participant randomly draws an assignment at the opening of the workshops. (Be sure to watch our “About” video.) After drawing your assignment from the hat, you will discuss the story with your coach and then go out and try to secure the cooperation of your subject. Every person has a story, and the faculty and staff at the Mountain Workshops will come together to help you find a compelling way to tell that story.


    Q

    Can I shoot as much as I want and in any format that I want?

    A

    In the Photojournalism workshop we limit the amount of images you can take. Your coaches will work with you about how each photograph is made. Our educational philosophy is to slow down and concentrate on moments. Turn off your motor drive and connect with your subject. Our workflow is in JPEG format, if you wish to shoot RAW files you will need to shoot both RAW and JPEG. We will ingest the JPEGs into our workflow and you will be responsible to save your own RAW files for later use.