Learn and practice concerned photography and slow approach to documentary photography

Date(s) - Saturday, 30/04/2016
9:00 am - 5:30 pm
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Zentrum Karl der Grosse, Barockzimmer

This event is related to

Documentary Photography Workshop: “Visualizing the Geography of your city”

living spaces inside a building

living spaces inside a building

Stephen Kelly (www.stephenkellystudio.com) and PICZ are offering an intimate group documentary photography workshop in Zurich over 2 days. The workshop will enable the participants to explore and develop their skills as documentary photographers, inside a small map grid of their own city.

The workshop will commence on the morning of April 30th with a presentation of his three new interconnected personal projects, developed in Yangon, Myanmar over the last two years. These series explore the relationships between the colonial architectural remnants of downtown Yangon and the way these structures and spaces are used and occupied today. He will present the series, discussing the approach needed to build a coherent documentary project.

Inside space, someone's hands holding a newspaper

Inside space, someone’s hands holding a newspaper

“With in-depth research, planning, production, editing, sequencing and presentation all being equally as important. Within all my series in Yangon, I work in confined spaces. It may be one street or within the walls of one building, but every wall, stairwell, room, back alley is massively important to me. This approach makes you as the photographer slow down, both mentally and physically. You need to think creatively, have control, be patient and wait for the right moments…it’s slow journalism.

My way of working is quiet and considered and I would like the participants to explore and develop this approach, to train their mind and eye to think carefully and intimately about the confined spaces they will explore.”

Front view of a building

Front view of a building

We will use a map of one district of Zurich city and he will choose one map grid for each of the participants. Each photographer will then spend Saturday afternoon and Sunday in the confines of this space, creating a series of images exploring the relationship between human interaction and the architecture.

He will carry out individual portfolio reviews with each participant and he will move around the grids during the Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning to give guidance and have one to one discussion’s with each photographer.

The workshop will finish with individual editing sessions, a group discussion and presentations of the series created.

Stephen will also make himself available to follow up with one skype tutorial per participant during the following month, to provide feedback on the direction and development of their projects.

view on a street

view on a street

Maximum number of participants: 12

Participants should bring: Camera (digital SLR camera, range finder or micro 4/3rd), battery charger, enough clear memory cards and batteries, notebook and pen, mobile phone, comfortable shoes, laptop.

Required photography level: This workshop is open to all. A basic/intermediate understanding of photography is required and an interest in documentary photography is all the participant will need.



Saturday 30th

9am – Stephen will give an introduction to his practice and deliver a lecture on his recent Burmese projects and approach.

10.30am – 11.00am – He will present the grid map and give each participant a grid reference to work within.

11.00am to 12.00pm – Individual portfolio reviews 12.00pm to 1.00pm – Lunch together as a group 1.00pm to 5.00pm – Participants work within their grid references, while he continues portfolio reviews and then move around the grids to give guidance and reviews.

5.00pm to 5.30pm – Group debrief


Sunday 1st

9am to 12.00pm – Participants work within their grid references, while Stephen moves around to give individual guidance and reviews.

12.00pm to 1.00pm – Lunch together as a group

1.00pm to 3.30pm – Participants work within their grid references, while Stephen carries out individual in-depth editing sessions (time to be confirmed with each participant)

3.30 to 5.00pm – Group discussion and presentation of the work created

5.00pm t0 6.00pm – Group aperitivo


More about Stephen Kelly.

Stephen Kelly was born in West Cumbria, England in 1983. He grew up in Lagos, Muscat, Hong Kong and London.

After graduating from the University of Wales, Newport School of Documentary Photography, Stephen returned to Hong Kong where he worked on personal projects and carried out editorial assignments across China. Between 2013 and 2015, he lived in Burma, where he worked on commissions throughout the country and focused on a number of new projects in Rangoon, one of which he continues to develop. Documenting social, political and environmental issues in Asia, Stephen is particularly interested in exploring how urban development is shaping and transforming landscapes, communities and identities.

His clients include WWF, UNHCRActionAid, IOM, The Independent Magazine, The Observer Magazine, D La Republicca delle DonneIL Magazine and The New York Times.



Bookings are closed for this event.

Attendees registered:

  • GIN
  • Ruxi
  • Natasha Afanasyeva
  • Magda Nowak
  • Olaf
  • HJ McDevitt
  • Werner
  • Javier Ossa
  • Paola Amb