Urban Photo Workshop

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Urban Photo Workshop



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Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 May, Starting at Photospace

Join Photospace owner James Gilberd for a full weekend course in photographing and documenting our urban landscape.

Hear from ‘The Long View’ photographer Mary Macpherson about her work, move around the city for some practical sessions and return to the gallery to edit and curate your imagery, packed full of help, advice and feedback.

Wellington is a city in transition. Natural and economic forces are influencing its change. Right now, as a result of the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake, as well as significant earthquakes in the city a couple of years prior, some of Wellington's buildings have been or are soon to be demolished and recently the Wellington Public Library was closed at short notice, as was the Reading Cinema complex on Courtenay Place. Issues with floor plate construction could close many more building in the near future, leaving the city with a plethora of what I call Ghost Buildings. Loss of secure business premises may cause a further outflow of businesses to Auckland - NZ's 'economic capital' - and elsewhere.

Some other forces influencing Wellington City are its population of homeless and transient people, the increasing unaffordability of its housing and rental accommodation, and (eventually) rising sea levels due to man-made climate change.

While all of this sounds pessimistic, Wellington remains a vibrant and quite livable city, quietly maintaining its claim to being the Cultural Capital of NZ. Many of its citizens are fiercely loyal and will brook no criticism of the city and its climate. An arguably more positive influence on the city is its burgeoning tourism industry, with the number of cruise ship visits increasing every season. All of these factors, along with the city's unique topography, natural beauty, architecture and people, make it one of the most richly photogenic places in this country.

During this workshop, we will be asking you to shoot your own series of photographs in Wellington's CBD that expresses how you feel about how it is to be here now and your personal thoughts and concerns about where the city might be heading.

While there are some norms and styles for Urban Landscape photography - which we will look at - you are very much encouraged to take your own creative approach.

We will help you refine and focus on this, with consideration and helpful feedback on your aesthetic, conceptual and technical approach. By the end of Sunday you ought to have a series of photos ready to take to print (if you wish) and/or suitable for online publication.

Skill & knowledge level: if you are a relative beginner, you should get a lot out of this workshop. We won't lean on you too heavily about technique, it's more about learning to use photography to express your personal way of looking at things. We would like you to use a dedicated camera, though, not a phone camera. If you are an intermediate to advanced level photographer, there will be plenty to engage you technically and aesthetically.

You will need to bring

  • your own digital camera (sorry, shooting film is not practical for this workshop)

  • a tripod, if you have one (we have a few spare tripods to lend out)

  • the battery charger for your camera, and a spare battery if you have one

  • suitable clothing for the weather conditions

  • a laptop computer, preferably with Adobe Lightroom Classic installed (Note: this is not specifically a software course, we just need to use the software to select and edit you photographs from the weekend.) We have a couple of computers available for you to use.

  • food and water (meals not provided, but there will be time to get stuff from cafes etc. We won't be going away from civilisation).

Provisional run sheet
Sat: 9.30am-10am arrive, coffee, introductions
10am overview, approaches to urban landscape
11am: gallery talk by Mary Macpherson, on 'The Long View' exhibition work.
12 noon-12.45pm - camera / technical discussion
Lunch (not provided, go to a cafe)
Saturday afternoon: go out and photograph, convene at a location t.b.a.
Sunday morning, 9.30am: meet at a cafe near downtown shooting location, t.b.a.
Sunday, around noon: meet back at Photospace, image editing in Adobe Lightroom, 3.30pm - viewing (projecting) and feedback on photographs. Questions & discussion.
Workshop concludes 5pm.

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