Light Studies Workshop
at Waterfire Providence

Light Studies Workshop
at Waterfire Providence

Light Studies Workshop at Waterfire Providence

  • David H. Wells, Photographer, Videographer, Educator
  • At Providence Center for Photographic Arts (PCPA) Gallery, 118 North Main Street, 2nd Floor, Providence RI 02903
  • Dates to be announced
  • Class limited to 12 participants
  • Registration fee $200 per person
  • PCPA members please email: for your additional discount before registering. More information about PCPA member discounts below.

Improve your photography with mastery of photographing light, shadow, night and twilight… These are the tools David H. Wells uses as he makes his award winning “Light Studies”, photo-essays exploring the light and atmosphere of different places. On September 30, 2017 David will guide participating photographers through the strategies, subject matter, location scouting, and shooting of the art performance “Waterfire” in downtown Providence. The next day David will lead a review and critique of images shot. Please join us for this award winning photographer’s favorite workshop!

David Wells will share specific techniques and particular images that highlight:

  • Specific issues of time of day, and morning vs. evening light
  • Quality and direction of light
  • Scouting a location with a compass to plot the play of light
  • Importance of the photographer’s position
  • Use of lines, shadows, light and dark

This lecture and shooting class has extensive visuals to introduce you to the important and useful approach to using available light. Participants will gain a better understanding of natural light, how it is shaped by the time of day, seasons, and the photographer’s perspective.

The class will meet Saturday September 30, 2017 from 1 to 5pm at PMFA photography gallery then photograph the set up, lighting, and other rituals of “Waterfire” until about 8pm.

The class will meet the next day October 1, 2017 from 1 to 4pm at PMFA photography gallery to review the works since photographing AND critiquing work is the VERY BEST way to improve your photography. For more workshop details please visit the PMFA website. Register here [link will be inserted]

Workshop Agenda & Topics

Dates to be announced

  • 2:00 – 4:00 pm: David’s “Light Studies” presentation
  • 4:00 -5:00 pm: Walk all around the basin/river as a group and talk about options (location scouting)
  • 5:00 – 7:00 pm: Set up for shoot and eat dinner (participants are on their own, dinner is not provided as part of the workshop)
  • 7:00 – 9:00 pm: Shoot “Waterfire”. David will walk among the participants and provide advice as needed.

Review, Critique, and Discussion

  • 3:00 – 6:00 pm
  • Bring about 50 images, JPGs only, about 2000 pixels (+/- ) on long dimension. JPGS out of camera are good! No need to post process
  • 5 to 10 situations (no more!),
  • 10 or 20 images per situation (work situations!)
  • Bring images on HD or USB drive or flash card/memory card (no CDs or DVDs please)

What to Bring

  • A semi-advanced digital camera, mirrorless, or DSLR with zoom lens with autoexposure and manual settings. Please email or call David with any questions

PCPA Member Discounts

PCPA members can apply their discounts to this workshop

  • Individual members $50 discount (once per annual dues)
  • Exhibiting and Supporting members $150 discount (once per annual dues)
  • Or, Exhibiting and Supporting members 20% off per workshop (not restricted but cannot combine with $150 discount)

David H. Wells, Photographer, Instructor, Video-maker & Blogger

David is an award-winning freelance photographer, video maker, and photo-educator who specializes in producing photo-essays on location, across the globe. His finished “Light Studies” have been published in general interest magazines as well as photography magazines, and have been displayed in numerous exhibitions. See his work.

He is based in Providence, Rhode Island, affiliated with Aurora Photos. One editor described him as a “specialist in inter-cultural communication and visual narratives that excel in their creative mastery of light, shadow and sound, stills and video.”

His project on the pesticide poisoning of California farm workers was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Over the years he has worked on assignment for magazines Fortune, Life, National Geographic, Newsweek, The Sunday New York Times, Time, and more. He also worked for corporations including Consolidated Natural Gas and DuPont and non-profits Ford Foundation and the New Israel Fund.

David has received two Fulbright fellowships, a grant from Nikon/N.P.P.A., a fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation’s Program of Research and Writing on International Peace and Cooperation.

His work has been in over fifty exhibitions and he has taught workshops at the International Center for Photography in NYC and at the Maine Media Workshops. He was featured in Photo District News as one of “The Best Workshop Instructors.” To read comments from David’s past students, visit his website and click on “Student reviews of David as a teacher”.

You can see many examples of David’s educational videos on photography on his site, thewellspoint. It’s free! See more at his website.


Who is the workshop designed for?

  • For photographers of many levels who want to improve their skills — from the weekend shooter to the advanced photographer
  • Participants need to be comfortable using either manual exposure or aperture or shutter priority automatic exposure setting
  • You will need to know how to download images from memory cards to your computer and select the best 50 of the 200 plus you will shoot during the class
  • If you have taken this class before, you’ve experienced both David’s friendly style and his ability to share his immense knowledge on every facet of photography. Come again and move your skills another big step forward!

Where do I park?

  • There are metered 2-hour spaces on the street around the PCPA gallery
  • Parking is enforced during the week and on Saturdays
  • To avoid parking tickets, we suggest you park in the lot on the corner of North Main and Elizabeth Streets, 2 blocks from the gallery
  • DO NOT leave valuables in your car!

Is lunch provided?

  • No, lunch is at your expense. We think it’s good to have a break outside the workshop. There are many excellent cafes and restaurants across the street or within two blocks with a wide range of cuisine and cost.

Cancellation Policy

Cancelled Workshops

  • If we are forced to cancel a workshop for any reason, your entire tuition will be transferred to another workshop or you can have it refunded to you.
  • For anyone traveling to workshops, we highly recommend purchasing trip insurance to cover your expenses in case of cancellation.

What does it take to cancel a workshop?

  • A lot. An act of God, really. If there’s rain in the forecast, snow in the forecast, thunderstorms in the forecast, we will typically still hold the workshop. This type of weather can make for some incredibly dramatic images and it’s not something we shy away from. In addition to that, we are cognizant of the fact that our students have purchase plane tickets, made hotel reservations, rented cars and even gear and canceling these things can be a big hassle (with or without travel insurance).
  • The only time we will ever cancel a workshop is if conditions are absolutely guaranteed to bring un-shootable and/or miserable conditions or some sort of (God forbid) family emergency that can’t be ignored. Again, if something like this happens we will work with you to move your registration to a later date or get you a full refund.

Personal Emergencies

  • If you have a personal emergency such as a death in the family, please contact us as soon as possible, we are willing to work with you to reschedule or refund your fee on a case-by-case basis.


  • Partnered workshops require a minimum number of participants. In the event we don’t sell out or reach our minimum we reserve the right to cancel the workshop. In this case your registration will be transferred to another workshop or a refund will be given.

About Providence Center for Photographic Arts

Do you love photography? Are you looking for a way to connect with other photographers? Do you want to advance your skills? Exhibit your work? Get more involved in photo-based media? Become a member of PCPA!

PCPA was founded to inspire creative development and provide opportunities to engage with the community through exhibitions, publications, education, and mutual support. We strive to advance our members’ careers, strengthen the appreciation of photo-based media, and foster dialogue around innovation in the arts.

Our talented member artists come from both the local Providence area and far beyond. PCPA is non-profit organization led by dedicated volunteers. We will run a full calendar of professional workshops, juried, group, and individual artist exhibits, member salons, and other activities throughout 2017. All exhibits are free and open to the public.

PCPA is located in the Russell House (built in 1772) in downtown Providence, around the corner from the Providence Art Club and across the street from Mill’s Tavern Restaurant at 118 North Main Street, 2nd floor. The gallery is open Fridays from 3:00 – 8:00pm and Saturdays from 1:00 – 4:00 pm and by appointment.

Please contact or by phone at (401) 400-2542 with any questions.