There are so many publicists in Palm Springs that it’s hard to keep an event secret. But one well-kept secret—to locals at least—is the Palm Springs Photo Festival. (Thanks to Tom Brewster for cluing me in.) This high quality gathering brings a world-class stable of instructors to PS each year for portfolio reviews as well as seminars and workshops on all aspects of the industry and the art.
For this, the 6th year, the Festival (Connect 2011) ventures out into distant corners of the desert. While the workshops are not cheap, they present a great opportunity to go into the field with big names. Legendary Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide takes students to the Salton Sea, the Indian Canyons and elsewhere. Fine art photographer Stephen Wilkes also sojourns to the ancient inland sea. Lois Conner’s students explore the desert in black and white, while Amy Arbus shows you how to do environmental portraits with the unprettifed backdrops of Indio and 29 Palms. If you’re in search of beautiful colors, go out in the desert with famed landscape photographer David Muench.
Festival founder and director Jeff Dunas had attended a similar festival in France when he began looking around the US for “kind of a magic place” to hold this event. He found what he was looking for in PS. Kudos to Dunas and his crew for wrapping their arms around the desert environment.
Festival Headquarters is the Hyatt Regency Suites Hotel. For more information: