An Intensive & Transformational Shooting Experience with Steve Simon & Ugo Cei
April 21-26, 2024 - Starting at USD $5,400
Join me and award-winning street photographer Steve Simon for an unforgettable week of living and breathing photography in one of the world’s most fascinating cities, Milan, Italy.
This intimate six-day masterclass (limited to twelve students) will take you on a visual treasure hunt to some of the most interesting and exciting locations in the Italian capital of business and fashion. We will explore the vibrant, visually rich places and neighborhoods Milan is famous for and local expert Ugo will take you to some hidden gems.
In addition to exploring the streets of Milan, we will also take you on a day trip to Lake Como, where those of you with an interest in landscape photography will also have the opportunity to do some golden hour shooting, in addition to savoring the mild climate of the region and the delicacies of some lakeshore restaurant.
In the Passionate Street and Urban Photography Workshop Milan, we will wander and explore vibrant, visually rich places and neighborhoods chosen for their visual potential. We have scouted locations and worked out the final detailed itinerary and though the schedule seems packed, we also have scheduled some down time to relax and edit and we encourage flexibility and independence among participants. If you fall in love with an area and want to continue working there–we encourage you to do so. Thanks to my profound knowledge of the city, you will get the best tips and suggested shooting positions for a head start on getting great images. In the lectures, assignments designed to get you out of your comfort zone and push you forward in your work will be given. The center of Milan is fairly compact and we will be doing a lot of walking so keep that in mind!
To fuel up for our long days, a wonderful breakfast will get us going and we’ve planned a sampling of the wonderful Italian cuisine, which is as rich and varied as the landscape and the architecture. As a commercial city, Milan is a collector of the best food from all regions of italy, including seafood that gets delivered to its markets in the heart of the night and is sold to chefs and restaurant owners in the wee hours of the morning to arrive fresh on the patrons’ tables.
“When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear.”
– Alfred Eisenstaedt
Steve will be teaching you new and powerful street photography techniques guaranteed to push you from your comfort zone to new heights in your work and share his street-shooting philosophies gleaned from a lifetime of wandering urban places with his camera.
This intensive workshop will help you find your own unique vision and street style through assignments created to get you past photographic fears and cliches to capturing lyrical, poetic and decisive moments that communicate the energy of the streets.
But mostly we will be shooting the theatre that is the street; sometimes together, often on our own. All levels of photographic experience can benefit from this workshop. You’ll learn about the “rhythm of place” and we will discuss the laws and ethics of street photography as well as dealing with difficult situations that might pop up. We will define a strategy for capturing the rich daily life of people on the street; overcoming fears and shyness, approaching strangers, framing, juxtaposition, layering your compositions, letting the image come to you and whether color or black and white best suits your vision. And we will have fun!
“I am a tourist.“
– Garry Winogrand
We will talk street-tech and Steve will give you his minimalist view on gear along with a simplified shooting process to maximizing your response time to capture decisive moments. Steve’s street tools include the new Nikon D5 & D500, a D810, D750, D5500, along with a carefully curated selection of lenses; but he’s familiar with a wide range of equipment to help you maximize your mirrorless, compact, rangefinder, DSLR or even your camera phone for compelling street images.
I have adopted the Fujifilm X-System and routinely carry the X-T3 and the X100S in my bag, with an assortment of lenses. If your system of choice is mirrorless, I will be able to help you with all your questions.
We will talk lenses, auto focus, zone focusing, shooting from the hip, using live view, flash and a host of other tips, tricks, distractions and ideas that will improve your work dramatically.
It’s a street photography workshop but the lessons learned will benefit you in all genres of image-making. In class, we will look at a selection of your best work from the previous day. These daily critiques are of crucial importance, where we share ideas and constructive criticism as we look through each others’ images. The workshop will be a “safe place” for group discussions with suggestions and new ideas put forward. Ugo and Steve will help guide participants work in to a cohesive set of images, through careful editing
We will visit a photography gallery and participate in lectures and critiques every day. You will be encouraged to take on a theme over the week for your final portfolio and slide show. We will also be providing assignments to push you to a higher level in your work.
“A picture is the expression of an impression. If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it? “
– Ernst Haas
Most everything is included in your workshop fee, except your return flight to and from Milan and transportation to and from the hotel.
You will need to book a flight to and from your hometown and get to the hotel from the airport. Trains and buses from Milan Malpensa airport (MXP) to the city are frequent and affordable. We will have a van and driver to take us around when appropriate but the hotel is in walking distance for most of the great shooting opportunities we will encounter.
The detailed shooting agenda is still being defined, but you can count on days to start with an Italian breakfast, followed by a morning shoot. Between 11AM and 2PM we will have sessions in the classroom and lunch, with some time for rest and attending to personal needs. We will do another shoot in the streets in the afternoon, followed by dinner and, on some days, a night shoot.
We will explore the following neighborhoods and more: the historical center around Piazza Duomo and the Teatro alla Scala; Brera with its pedestrian streets of cobblestones; the Navigli canals that are a hub of night life; the Quadrilateral of Fashion, around Via Montenapoleone with its elegant boutiques; the recently renewed area of Porta Garibaldi, that hosts the best samples of modern architecture in the city.
One day will be dedicated to a trip to Lake Como, including a boat ride to the delightful lakeside town of Bellagio. This will give you an opportunity to explore landscape photography for a change.
On April 25, Italy celebrates the end of WWII and the liberation from nazi-fascism. It’s a national holiday called Liberation Day.
The main event is a colorful and joyous march through the center of town. There will be groups with flags and banners, social organizations, workers' unions, and more. People will be chanting and dancing in the streets or shouting slogans. It is a civil and political event that attracts tens of thousands of people, including families with small children and strollers.
While being thrown in the midst of it can seem intimidating at first, you will soon find that it's not just perfectly safe and acceptable to throw yourself into the crowd and take pictures of everyone, but it's also a lot of fun.,
The traditional parade departs from Porta Venezia and ends in Piazza Duomo and we’ll position ourselves in a place where we will be able to follow most of it.
Steve has been passionate about documenting the beauty and drama of the human condition his entire photographic life. The author of five critically-acclaimed photography books with works in major museum collections worldwide, he is on the faculty of the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York.
Steve is as passionate about teaching as he is photography. His blog: The Passionate Photographer has info on workshops he teaches globally, including Street Photography Workshops, PhotoPlus Expo, Nikonians, Gulf Photo-Dubai, MacWorld & Nikon Mentor Series. He has been published and profiled in a variety of magazines: Photo District News, New York Times Magazine, Life, Harpers, People & Walrus among them. Corporate clients include Nikon, SanDisk, Sony Music & Apple. Among his honors: Art Director’s Club NY, Canadian News Photographer of The Year, Global Health Council, NPPA & PX3.
The Art Hotel Navigli is a comfortable 4-star hotel located in the heart of the Navigli area, one of Milan's most vibrant areas at all times of day. Countless bars and restaurants line the quays along the canals that were designed by Leonardo da Vinci, where the Milanese come to enjoy a stroll and a drink during the evenings, when the weather is fair.
Just staying in this area ensures that you will have plenty of opportunities to photograph a lively street scene, just outside your hotel's door.
Accommodation at the Art Hotel Navigli is included in the price.
Need More Info?
Watch this video, where we talk about the workshop. For questions or inquiries or if you wish to arrive early or extend your trip, just let us know. We can help with further travel arrangements and accommodations. You can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com or use the contact form below. We will not use your personal information for marketing purposes.
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