EUROPEAN TOUR (NAPOLI), Day 1: The Art of Editing

Today was the first official day of the PWNY European Tour; a series of workshops that will take us to Naples, Catania, Paris, Berlin and Warsaw with photographers Stefano De Luigi, Jessica Backhaus, Michael Ackerman, Adam Panczuk and program directors Kate Fowler & Laura De Marco.

Day 1 of The Art of Editinga workshop taught by Kate Fowler & Laura De Marco in Naples, Italy, began with croissants on the porch of photographer Luciano Ferrara‘s amazing studio in old town Naples. Luciano’s studio, gallery and event space Tribunali 138 is located in the shadow of Duomo di Napoli (the cathedral of Naples) and when you’re standing on the rear porch you can look directly up towards the cathedral’s dome and touch the stone of its wall.

Class began with introductions and a discussion on objectivity, the role of the photographer and the question, ‘What is photography to you?’. Students looked at a slideshow of a brief history of portraiture, discussing the distinct visual language that each photographer used to convey something about their subjects– from August Sanders to Andy Adam’s 100 portraits (with some Eggleston, Soth, Australian Mug Shots, Arbus, Avedon, Mann and Dijkstra thrown in between for good measure) . We spent a great deal of time discussing, debating and even arguing! about form and function, subjectivity and aesthetics. After a long morning of analyzing photographs, the students broke for lunch with an assignment to partner up with another classmate, interview them, and make a series of three images that created an evocative ‘portrait’ of one another, without the use of post-production, filters or any sort of editing. The goal of this project was to get the students comfortable with each other and to give them freedom to experiment with different types of framing, exposure, DoF and lighting to create a dynamic image.

One of our lovely students was given the Leica M to use for her portrait assignment. She took a few images and immediately (literally) began to cry, exclaiming that it felt so powerful. We all took a moment to nod our heads in agreement and in memory of the sadness that we experienced giving it back this past summer.

After lunch we rejoined to look at their portrait assignment and spent a great deal of time discussing their own visual language, symbology and our personal artistic histories. After a long series of discussions– agreements, disagreements and wonderfully considered opinions– we took a break to enjoy the waning sunlight on the porch. After the last moments of day had begun to pass, we regrouped in the main room to discuss each student’s assignment for the evening.

We look forward to seeing everyone bright and early tomorrow morning, with new images, content and ideas to share! Check the blog tomorrow to see what’s happening, or follow us on instagram @photoworkshopnewyork

We’re thrilled to be partnering with Luciano Ferrara to give students the opportunity to study in his historic and incredible haven for photography, as well as with Leica Store Firenze.

/ versione italiana /

L’European tour è partito! Prima tappa: Napoli, con il workshop “The Art of Editing” condotto da Laura De Marco e Kate Fowler.
La location è lo splendido studio del fotografo Luciano Ferrara: Tribunali 138, un vero punto d’incontro e confrontro per la comunità fotografica napoletana e non solo. Tribunali 138 è una grande fonte d’ispirazione dovuto anche al fatto che ci troviamo nel cuore del centro storico di Napoli accanto ad un grande patrimonio storico artistico. A costeggiare le mura dello studio, c’è il Duomo della città in cui sono custodite due ampolle contenenti il sangue di San Gennaro – patrono di Napoli-  che si liquefà tre volte all’anno.

Oggi abbiamo affrontato argomenti davvero molto insidiosi; abbiamo parlato del ritratto, e del rapporto che intercorre tra soggetto e fotografo e di come cambia la percezione ed il significato di un’immagine a seconda della persona che la analizza.

Molto interessanti sono stati i dibattiti tra gli studenti, che hanno generato validi argomenti e elaborato ottime osservazioni.

Prima della pausa pranzo la classe ha fatto un esercizio di scatto divisi in coppie. Lo scopo dell’esercizio era ottenere un ritratto dopo aver fatto un’intervista al compagno e capire come le informazioni sulla persona potessero influenzare ed interagire nel risultato finale di tre fotografie.

Durante gli scatti una studentessa ha scattato con la Leica M e si è emozionata a tal punto che si è commossa!

A fine lezione a seconda della cifra stilistica di ogni partecipante ( ed in base ad uno studio accurato che Laura e Kate hanno fatto sul portfolio di ognuno ) è stato assegnato un compito ben preciso da sviluppare e mostrare durante la lezione di domani.

La giornata è trascorsa velocemente e non vediamo l’ora domani di vedere i risultati degli esercizi degli studenti.