Smartphone photography at Weir Farm

Xiomáro with self-portraits taken on smartphones.
Xiomáro with self-portraits taken on smartphones.

Beginning June 16, photographer and Weir Farm visiting artist Xiomáro will lead a new, three-part workshop called The Art of Phoneography at the Weir Farm National Historic Site where people can learn to create dynamic, artistic photos using their smartphones.

Workshops dates are June 16, July 7 and Sept. 23. Each four-hour workshop will begin at 9 a.m.

Xiomáro said “the secret to better photographs” is not in the camera — “it’s in applying the principles used by artists like Julian Alden Weir.”

“This is why Weir advised a young painter to throw away his brushes, go out in the country and paint with a stick,” he said.

Xiomáro said he will have workshop participants walk the Weir Farm grounds and challenge them to rediscover the beauty of light and color in the everyday world.

“We’ll go out on Weir Farm to observe nature at spots that inspired masterpieces — and our phones will be our sticks,” he said.

Seeing and creating a photograph is different than looking and taking a snapshot as many people do, according to Xiomáro, whose workshop will introduce five key artistic principles demonstrated with slides of smartphone photographs and paintings.

“Weir was big into experimentation, so we’ll have fun trying out new things and viewing the images we produce,” said Xiomáro, whose goal is to make photography accessible to more people by minimizing the technical know-how.

Through the workshop, Xiomáro said he believes some participants will “learn enough to turn their sticks into brushes” and be ready to handle f-stops, ISOs and other technical settings of a dedicated camera.

Workshop participants will need to bring a fully-charged smartphone or camera with plenty of available storage space. Although the workshop is primarily designed to take advantage of the smartphone cameras, point-and-shoot cameras and professional DSLRs are also welcome. Comfortable walking shoes or boots, as well as snacks, are also suggested.

The workshops are free, but space is limited and registration is required. Information and registration: 203-834-1896, ext. 28.