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 approximately 1:4 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, Frm. Director of Photography, USA Today | Picture Editing Coach
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.
Participants can choose from one of five 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 Digital Storytelling takes us into a world of multiple forms of media and collaborative cooperation on a single topic.
A special workshop for K-12 educators is hosted by Dataseam, a Louisville-based nonprofit that provides resources for Kentucky educators. The K-12 Educators workshop is designed to help high school teachers looking to develop their students’ communication skills to tell their own stories.
Five 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.
You are required to provide your own lodging and dinning arrangements during the Workshops. Because of the remote location of the Mountain, there is a low abundance of housing options available so we recommend that you reserve your room as soon as possible.
• Our headquarters, Rough River Dam Resort State Park has a limited number of rooms and cabins available for workshop participants. To reserve a room, contact the resort directly by calling (270) 257-2311 and indicate that you are a PARTICIPANT for the 2022 Mountain. You cannot book these rooms online, the resort has blocked off the entire resort for our use.
• If you are into rustic camping, the Rough River Dam Resort State Park is also offering tent-camping opportunities along their airport runway for $10 a night. You will be able to make use of the pilots lounge and shower facilities.
• Just a few miles away, there are rooms and cabins available at the Falls of Rough Resort. This country resort has multiple cabins and bed-and-breakfast type options available.
• In Leitchfield, about 18 miles from our headquarters, the Hatfield Inn has approximately 30 rooms.
Once you have been accepted AND paid to the workshop of your choosing, you will be invited by your registration email to join a PRIVATE facebook group for all the 2022 participants. It is in this social space that many of our workshop attendees coordinate hotel arrangements.
PLEASE NOTE: This area of the state is a popular destination location. Although October is typically considered "low-season" for tourism, rooms in the area can sell out.
The headquarter location has a dining hall and will be offering buffet style dining options as well as order from menu for all our participants at their regularly published rates.
The nearest airports are Louisville (SDF), a 74-mile drive or Nashville (BNA), a 127-mile drive. We have noticed drastically different rates depending on where you are coming from, so be sure to shop around for the best deals.
You will need to have a vehicle for the workshop and there are car rental places at the airports.
If you are in the Picture Editing workshop you may be able to share a car rental with others in that workshop.
Once you are accepted to the Mountain and you pay to secure your seat, you will be invited to a PRIVATE Facebook group where you can coordinate with others about the possibility of car and hotel room sharing.
Keep in mind that the video, photo and digital storytelling workshops will require driving and it is mandatory to have your own car during the week.
Rough River Dam Resort State Park
450 Ic-1003, Falls of Rough, KY 40119