Outside Lies Magic

From: June 21, 2018 @ 00:00 EDT
To: June 24, 2018 @ 23:59 EDT
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Instructors: Gary Knight, Maciek Nabrdalik
Location: San Francisco, USA
Cost: $1,150 USD
Duration: 4 Days
Class size: 16
Skill level: All levels
Scholarships: No

About the workshop

Inspired by the teaching of Harvard Professor and landscape historian John Stilgoe, this short workshop is about the acute observation of ordinary things in one of America’s most beautiful cities: San Francisco. The workshop will encourage you to become aware in everyday places, to see in utterly new ways, to enrich your life and your photography unexpectedly through the appreciation of what is around you everyday. We encourage you to work on any kind of photography that you want to, whether it be street photography, narrative, portraiture or urban landscape. The workshop will be held during San Francisco’s LGBT Pride Parade.



Day 1 (21 June):

6pm: Meet in San Francisco for two hours.

You’ll spend the first evening with Gary and Maciek working on storytelling technique, which will include a portfolio review and discussion about your projects for the following week. Group dinner in the evening.

Day 2 and Day 3:

You will work on your own photography during the day, returning in the evening for a daily edit session with Gary or Maciek. Gary and Maciek will present their own photography and the work of other photographers. Both will be available to talk about the craft and business of photography.

Day 4:

Final day to shoot. In the afternoon you will work with Gary and Maciek to edit and sequence your work culminating in a projection in the evening followed by dinner.


Film maker, Ryan Booth:

“The photographer Gary Knight was another really important mentor for me. Since I was a kid, I’ve always loved the big, black-and-white documentary photography from LIFE, National Geographic, and TIME; and one of my favorite books to look through when I was a kid was a huge coffee table book of Matthew Brady’s Civil War images. While living in Nashville, I went on the road with a couple of bands and shot black-and-white doc style images. I thought documentary photography might be interesting to explore, so I applied for a workshop with VII, a conflict photography agency in New York. I was accepted and did a two-week workshop in Siem Reap, Cambodia with Gary Knight. There were 10 of us in the workshop and everyone else worked at newspapers or were stringers for magazines or something similar. But there I was, an audio engineer from Nashville who didn’t quite fit in—and I felt like Gary sensed that. He pulled me aside at the end of the first week and said that when he looked through everyone’s photos, he immediately knew which ones were mine because I had a very distinct way of seeing. He told me: “You have to protect that. Don’t let anybody tell you that you’re doing something wrong. Don’t go back to school, because they’ll beat it out of you. Don’t go work for anyone who doesn’t value that. Just keep at it.” It was an amazing moment: an incredible photographer told me that there was something inside of me that I should protect and grow. No one had ever said anything like that to me before.” http://thegreatdiscontent.com/interview/ryan-booth

Investment Banker, Justin McKie:

“Joining Gary on his photography masterclass was both brilliant fun and genuinely progressed my photography skills beyond what I thought possible in the time frame.

He has such a passion and insight into photography that no matter what level the students skills were at, you could see progression across the board in the quality of the images being produced each day. Everyone was visibly proud of what they had produced by the end of the workshop.

One of the best things about the workshop is that you can focus 100% on improving your skills, interacting with the subject and area and in what was a really enjoyable and supportive environment. I was actually quite nervous when I started the workshop because the whole thing was outside of my comfort zone. I was not a professional photographer and had never been to the country before, but in absolutely no time at all I was having a ball”.

Photographer, Justin Mott:

“While waiting tables, I met a man who worked in graphics at TIME magazine. He told me if I ever make it to NYC to look him up. I made it to New York when summer ended and gave him a call. He introduced me to the photo editor and she politely looked through my awful images of autumn foliage and generic college shots. On the walls hung iconic images by James Nachtwey; I felt way out of my league—and I was—but she gave me a nugget of advice that changed everything for me. I told her I was heading to Southeast Asia and she said to look into the VII Workshops conducted in Cambodia. So I took VII Founder Gary Knight’s class in Siem Reap and he changed the way I thought about photography. There were ten people in my class; I was easily the worst photographer. But after the class I spent three months in Cambodia and Vietnam traveling and working on stories, settling in Hanoi. There, I started working on a project on 3rd generation victims of Agent Orange. I fell in love with Vietnam and my projects and basically haven’t left since then. Gary helped me get my first story published in Newsweek and later that year I was actually invited into TIME’s office by the photo editor. She showed me around and also really helped me with my career and gave me confidence in myself as a photographer. I’ve now been in Vietnam for over six years.”

Terms & Conditions

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