Djerassi Resident Artists Program




Workshop Information

Environmental Life Writing:
Poetry and Prose

with Ann Fisher-Wirth

Writing Your

with Jane Vandenburgh

Imaging and Imagination:
An exploration of photographic possibility with Robert Buelteman, author of Eighteen Days in June, the definitive book about the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. 

Join us on Kings Mountain for a week at the renowned Djerassi Resident Artists Program with inspired photographer Robert Buelteman.  His artwork is the subject of 4 monographs, including his book on the Djerassi Resident Artists Program Eighteen Days in June, a reflection the value of the “Gift of Time” the Artists Program provides its guests.

Description:  As a creative, how do you generate your vision, and which image-making techniques best support you in articulating and refining that vision?  During this fun and enriching six-night, seven-day workshop, we explore several photographic techniques including cyanotypes, photogrammetry, digital capture, and time-lapse imaging, allowing us to work and play together towards our own individual discoveries. Our subjects will include the flora and landscape of the exceptional grounds of the Artists Program, the night sky, and, of course, ourselves.  A maximum of 10 will be applicants accepted pending review by workshop leader Robert Buelteman.

Workshop Dates: Monday, March 20 – Sunday, March 26, 2017
Early Bird Deadline: January 11, 2017
Early Bird applicants receive 10% off tuition with payment in full by Wednesday March 1, 2017
January 18, 2017 (Extended To February 24)
January 25, 2017 (February 28)

Application fee: $10

Workshop fee: $1600/$2100 private room, shared bath/private room and bath
Special couples rate: $1300 each (shared room/bed)
Includes 6 nights lodging, all food, and local transportation from and to the San Francisco Airport.
Early Bird Deposit and Final Payment due by March 1, 2017
of $500 due by March 1, 2017 (Deposits holds your place and are non-refundable)
Final payment due by March 10, 2017

Application Process:
Step 1: You will first need to register at the online application portal
Step 2: Applications for the workshop can be accessed through this link:
or by clicking on the APPLY button on the top left of this page.

Application materials requested

  • 2017 Robert Buelteman Workshop Application Form

  • A succinct statement about what you intend to accomplish for yourself in this workshop.

  • A succinct description of what courses or experience you have in photography.

  • A short Biographical Statement or Curriculum Vitae up to two pages in length.

  • An accurate list of the imaging equipment you intend to bring to the workshop.

Workshop Materials:
Applicants are responsible for bringing the image making tools as described in your equipment list.  The Artists Program will provide all other imaging materials for the workshop.  The Artist’s Barn at Djerassi has a wonderful studio and darkroom that we will use during the workshop. 

Suggested Equipment: Digital camera and personal computer, NightCap Pro app for iphonography, analog camera and film if so inclined, tripod, passion, curiosity, and a willingness to explore.

Robert Buelteman is a fine art photographer, speaker and instructor, and the author of fourteen collections of photography, four of which were published as monographs.  In June of 1996, he was given a residency that resulted in the publication of his third book, Eighteen Days in June, which has since served as a fund raising vehicle for the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.  His landscape work has received accolades from a diverse group of organizations including the Trust for Public Land, Santa Fe Institute, Public Utilities Commission of California, Natural Resources Defense Council, United States Congress, The Peninsula Open Space Trust, and the Poet Laureate of the United States of America, Robert Hass.  Recently he was a guest at Stanford University’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, where he created a new collection of landscape works, Chasing the Light: Morning at Jasper Ridge.

In March of 1999, after twenty-five years making black-and-white landscape photographs, his desire to create a new distinction in photography led him to look beyond the traditional use of cameras, lenses, and computers.  The resulting portfolio, Through the Green Fuse, titled for the eponymous poem by Dylan Thomas, fulfilled his desire to break down the wall between the worlds of contemporary art and photography. 

After extensive exhibition in the United States, Canada and Europe, it has been the subject of over 60 reviews in 35 languages on six continents worldwide including Wired (USA), Geo (Germany), Outdoor Photographer (USA), View International (China), American Photographer (USA), L’illustré (Switzerland), Daily Telegraph (UK), Science for Children (Korea), Nuvo (Canada), and American Art Collector (USA).  The original portfolio is now in the permanent collection of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

Buelteman is also an acclaimed speaker, presenting his work and creative philosophy at the California Academy of Science, Library of Congress, Commonwealth Club of California, Getty Research Institute, Denver Botanic Gardens, Stanford University, Santa Fe Art Institute, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and at University of California Berkeley, San Francisco and Davis campuses.  

Buelteman’s art can be found in collections private and public, including Yale University Art Museum, Hotel Fontainebleau Miami, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Santa Fe Institute, Xerox Corporation, Stanford Medical Center, Adobe Systems, Nikon Incorporated, Apple Computer, Genentech, and throughout California’s Silicon Valley, which he calls home.


As Joseph Campbell wrote, I believe the purpose of art is “to break windows through the walls of culture to visit eternity.”

When faced with the seemingly impossible task of expressing one’s relationship with the infinite, it is sometimes necessary to move outside what is already known to inquire more deeply into the mystery itself.  This workshop is designed to explore creative possibilities for participants in pursuit of self-expression.

My diverse work in photography began in the early 1970’s and grew through two decades of commercial practice in San Francisco’s celebrated South-of-Market neighborhood, where I practiced architectural, portrait, location, and tabletop work in the studio for clients such as Paul Mitchell Hair Systems, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Nestlé, Dolby Labs, Ferrari, and the Peninsula Open Space Trust.  This work supported not only my growing family, but also my private desire to succeed as a fine art photographer.  During this time my first two books were published, A Vision of Life (1988), and The Unseen Peninsula (1995).

In 1996 I was given a residency at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program during which I made a portfolio of infra-red landscape photographs titled Eighteen Days in June, reflecting the number of days I explored and photographed the grounds of SMIP Ranch, the home of the Artist’s Program. In 2000, the collection was published with the purpose of supporting the Program, included a moving essay by Dale Djerassi on its family origins, and an introduction written by Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States.

In 1999, I closed the commercial studio and resolved to work exclusively towards manifesting my artistic vision in the world, and have never looked back.  What I love about our medium is that it invites play and discovery, exactly what this workshop is designed around.

What to Expect:

Because we will be touching on a number of techniques and subjects during our week together, the workshop should not be viewed as a course in mastery, but rather an exploration of options, analog and digital, examining the landscape both internal and external.

This week of exploration and engagement at the Artists Program provides participants the opportunity to develop their creative vision by exploring photography in ways that are sometimes available only in the absence of distractions.  The Artists Program, located in a place of exceptional beauty and quiet, is ideal for this kind of venture.

We will meet daily to share the previous day’s results and discuss the work for the day, focusing on craft and technique.  Afternoons will be put aside for group and private exploration of the beauty of the Ranch.  PLAY Evenings, either before or after our chef-prepared dinner, provide opportunities to discuss other aspects of the medium. We will also work under the night sky, weather permitting, exploring the heavens from our perch atop King’s Mountain.

Participant Photographs from Last Year’s Workshop:

Participant Cyanotypes

Julie Buelteman

Excerpts from Buelteman Books:

(“Witness” from Eighteen Days in June) The real depth here, though, is how these remarkable photographs enter the viewer’s imagination and announce the healing of a pain that is generic, that is in every one of us.  These losses you suffered, which cracked your confidence, were personal; but you have succeeded here, it seems to me, in making the personal – both grief and recovery – broad enough in its emotional appeal to include anyone who will take a few minutes with the book.  I want to thank you for breaking through to the other side and taking us with you.
-Barry Lopez


(“Reeds and Water” from The Unseen Peninsula)
In a time when our society seems obsessed with the acquisition of consumer goods and the compulsive pursuit of sensual pleasure, there is a countervailing impulse within us – a yearning for meaning, for a relation to the land, for spiritual connections with the community of nature.  These connections can be expressed to the mind by science, yet they can reach equally profound levels of meaning through the arts.  Buelteman’s photographs are far more than images of trees or flowing waters or moving vapors in the sky.  They are symbols of our connections with the natural world that was, after all, our first and only home.  This is the implicit message of Robert Buelteman’s photographs.
-Harold Gilliam



Djerassi Resident Artists Program
2325 Bear Gulch Road  
Woodside, CA 94062

650 747-1250