June 25-27, 2021: Passionate Street & Urban Weekend Workshop CHICAGO Edition with Steve Simon
June 25-27, 2021.
Limited Space (7 Spots) - Join award-winning street photographer Steve Simon for an unforgettable week of living and breathing photography in one of the world’s most photogenic cities, Chicago.
Date: June 25-27, 2021.
Destination: Chicago, Illinois USA
Genre: Street, Urban, Documentary
Skill Levels: Confident Beginner to Advanced
Group Size: Max. 7
Includes: Critiques & Lectures, teaching materials, local transportation, welcome dinner, Double-Decker Bus Tour and Architectural Cruise.
Join award-winning street photographer Steve Simon for an unforgettable weekend of living and breathing photography in one of the world’s most visual cities,Chicago.
This intimate 3-day weekend masterclass (limited to just 7 students) is designed to maximize both the learning experience and your ability to create a unique and powerful portfolio of imagery from Chicago.
We begin with a meet, greet and lecture followed by a Chicago serendipity photo shoot from the top deck of a double-decker bus giving us a lay of the land. We then share a fabulous meal at one of Chicago's landmark pizza restaurants for authentic Chicago deep-dish and great conversation.
We wake up Saturday Morning with the much heralded Chicago Architectural Cruise to get great shots from this unique floating shooting position.
You will explore the vibrant, visually rich places and neighborhoods Chicago is famous for and shoot from great vantage points for capturing Chicago's architecture, urban landscapes, cityscapes and we will visit some hidden gems.
Steve has scouted locations to work out a final detailed itinerary to balance the street and urban work we pursue. Though the schedule may seem packed, woven into the program is down time to relax, edit your work and percolate on your Chicago experience.
We encourage flexibility and independence among participants and will attempt to personalize your experience whenever possible. If you fall in love with an area and want to continue working there–you are encouraged to do so.
Limiting our workshop to seven participants, allows me to tailor this workshop to meet the needs of each participant. Lectures and assignments will be personalized to get you out of your comfort zone and push you forward in your work.
The city of Chicago is fairly easy to navigate but you will be doing a lot of walking so keep that in mind!
Our Base: TBA
We are in consultation with several options for our meeting room. It will be centrally located and allow you to find the most practical and affordable accommodation.
“When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt
Steve will be teaching new and powerful street photography techniques as well as best practices for capturing the amazing urban opportunities Chicago offers using your tripod and live view--guaranteed to push you to new heights in your work. Steve will further share his street-shooting philosophies gleaned from a lifetime of wandering urban places with his camera.
He 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 city.
But mostly you will be shooting the theatre and architecture that is the street; sometimes together, often on your own.
All levels of photographic experience can benefit from this workshop. Passion is the requirement.
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.
You 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 so much fun!
“I am a tourist.“ – Garry Winogrand
We will talk urban-tech with Steve giving you his minimalist view on gear along with simplified shooting processes to maximizing your response time to capture decisive moments.
Steve’s street tools include Nikon mirrorless and DLSR cameras; along with a carefully curated selection of lenses. He is also familiar with a wide range of equipment to help you maximize your mirrorless, compact, rangefinder, DSLR or even your camera phone for compelling urban images.
Though our focus is on vision more than gear, we will talk lenses, auto focus, zone focusing, shooting form the hip, using live view, flash, camera support and tripods and a host of other tips, tricks, distractions and ideas that will improve your work dramatically. Steve will go over his post-process workflow in Lightroom.
It’s a street and urban photography masterclass but the lessons learned here will benefit you in all genres of image-making.
In class, we will examine a selection of your best or most interesting work from the previous day.
These daily critiques are of crucial importance, where we share ideas and constructive criticism looking through each others’ images. Our workshop will be a “safe place” for group discussions with suggestions and new ideas put forward.
Steve will help guide participants work into a cohesive portfolio of images, through careful culling. You will be encouraged to take on a theme over the week for your final portfolio.
“A picture is the expression of an impression. If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it? “ – Ernst Haas
We schedule our lecture/critique sessions to take advantage of the light for shooting. We will grab lunch and eat back at our venue to maximize our time, allowing a rest-break before the afternoon/evening shooting sessions.
You will explore some of the following neighborhoods and places in the city.
Steve Simon 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. He has also done a series of photography videos on Lynda.com.
Steve is as passionate about teaching as he is photography. His recently launched blog: thepassionatephotographer.com 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.
His book THE PASSIONATE PHOTOGRAPHER was chosen one of Amazon’s Top Ten Arts and Photography books. A revised and updated second edition will go on sale early next year.
The workshop fee is for tuition only, you will have to book your own transportation to and from Chicago as well as your accommodation while there. The welcome dinner, Double-Decker Bus Tour and Architectural Cruise are included in the price.
If for any reason you need to withdraw from the workshop, please notify us in writing (email is okay) two months before workshop date.
If notification of cancellation is made one month before workshop date, we will refund your deposit, minus $250 cancellation fee. If notification of cancellation is made after that and we can fill your spot; you get your money back minus the $250 cancellation fee. If you cancel less than a month before the workshop and your spot remains unfilled, we must retain all fees paid.
The Passionate Photographer Inc. and Photo Educate are not responsible for cancellations due to medical emergencies or unforeseen circumstances. Please insure that these last-minute emergencies are covered by your travel insurance policy.
What to Bring:
The weather in Chicago can get cool this time of year. Average temperatures range from mid- 50’s during the day, cooling down (mid 40’s) as the sun goes down. But it could easily be warmer or cooler. It can sometimes rain of course, which could be great for our images.
A portfolio of 6 images – JPEGS uploaded to a shared Dropbox folder entitled “Your Name” for critique. Images file names should contain your name as well.
This is a digital workshop, so a DSLR, Mirrorless, High-End Compact or rangefinder camera (or phone) can all work. Having a back up body is always a good idea.
For your DSLR or Mirrorless, fast prime lenses are ideal, or at least one wide-angle zoom. Lenses in the classic range for street photography: 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm will all work (based on full frame camera) and fast lenses f2 or faster offer more flexibility. Ultra wide lenses and longer telephotos can be great for capturing the amazing urban cityscapes and details.
Two or three fully-charged batteries & charger.
More memory cards than you think you will need and a card reader.
Your own laptop for image editing and note-taking.
A flash is optional but bring one to experiment with flash on the street.
Gary Niederpruem, Chicago
“What a fabulous experience. I learned more about photography in one week than I had in 5 years. Steve is very knowledgable about the technical side as well as composition. He is very patient, gives excellent feedback and will work one on one with you on any photography subject you want. I asked him for help on night photography and at 10 PM he was out on the streets of Havana with me with step by step instructions on how to take the shot. 5 star plus rating!!”
Anna Blanco, New York City
“Best workshop I’ve ever taken! Steve is not only a great photographer, he is also a terrific teacher. He is patient and very hands- on. In some workshops the instructor sends students out to shoot after a short lecture–Steve goes out with his students, coaching them throughout the process. His course is well organized and covers diverse topics. He is funny and engaging and generous with his time and knowledge. I had SO MUCH fun and am ready to sign up for the next one. Highly recommended!”
Anne Dunford, Ithaca, New York
"My week in Steve’s Street Shooting workshop challenged me tremendously. There’s nothing like taking your work apart and putting it back together with new vision to make you a better photographer. If you take this workshop, I guarantee you will see the world differently at the end."
Paul Lavergne, San Juan, PR
"Steve’s passion for photography is contagious and his teaching abilities and knowledge extraordinary! I highly recommend this workshop to anyone interested in photography."
Chapman Solomon, Mountain View, CA
“Participating in the Street Photography Workshop was an enriching and exhilarating experience. It challenged me to step out of my comfort zone to improve my skills. Steve’s curriculum and hands on approach offered me an opportunity to learn new techniques, add some creativity and visualize subject matter from another perspective. Each day presented abundant photo opportunities, resulting with the capture of some amazing images, exceeding my greatest expectations.”
Stephen Sholl, New York City
"Not only is Steve a great photographer, he is also a caring, compassionate person as well. He is constantly trying to help participants achieve their photographic goals in a gentle, caring, and sincere manner. Sadly, the critiques of my work were very helpful. Steve was right-on in terms of his suggestions to better my work. The totality of the workshop was terrific, primarily because the parts were all excellent as well. Choice of shooting locations, image reviews, suggestions, videos shown, and galleries visited were all great. Steve also promoted wonderful interactions among the participants. The venue was perfect for the workshop. We could spread out, leave our things there, use the facilities, and eat the goodies provided. You know you’re in good hands with Steve! An outstanding workshop!!"
Steve Lavelle, London
"This is an outstanding workshop, led by a world-class photographer. It is impossible to spend time in a room with Steve Simon and not be inspired to get out there and make great images …I had high expectations and you exceeded them…Steve is very personable, articulate and passionate about photography, very welcoming with a warm, engaging personality. Steve’s style is outstanding. I knew of Steve from the TWiP podcast and would have attended if he was talking about how to watch paint dry…”
Oscar Piñeyro, Dallas
"I just spent the last three days with Steve Simon, What a wonderful experience, the best time spent in a workshop ever. Steve is a perfectionist, every presentation not only had spectacular photography but also the perfect music to enhance the mood, a roller coaster of emotions. He cannot hide his journalistic background every single image tells a story. His technique is flawless; his teaching patience unparalleled. I am eager to start a new chapter of my photography applying what Steve taught me in the last few days."
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