Venice – when it’s quiet.

Streets, People, Architecture. Your Venice.

A workshop masterclass with John McDermott

February 5th (evening) – 9th (mid day) 2020

Venice off the beaten path

- This workshop is in English -

Have you ever been to Venice, Italy? What kind of image do you have in your mind when you picture yourself in Venice? Are you navigating the narrow alleys and the many little bridges crowded with tourists? Or do you see yourself almost alone between those amazing historic walls, sometimes slipping in and out of the fog and shadows, surprised by so many different colors and details? Is there still a time when Venice is quiet? The answer is, yes.

Between New Year’s and carnival there is a time in Venice, that seems different. The chaos, the crowds and the hectic pushing and shoving of the busy tourist season-now most of the year, in fact- is missing. A young woman, born and raised in Venice, told us how this period of the year always amazes, and pleases, her– “Is it really possible? Where are all the people? It is Venice as I imagine it to have once been, a long time ago.”

How about experiencing a Venice in between the hustle and bustle and peace and quiet, a Venice of mystical black-and-white imagery and colorful facades illuminated by a brilliant winter sun or soft light diffused by fog and mist? It is the Venice you recognize from classic films.

Discover a Venice that doesn’t conform to the postcard stereotype in the company of a renowned professional photographer who provides the participants with unexpected access to interesting locations, valuable tips on how to approach people on the street for taking a quick portrait and who will help you to refine your personal vision.

What makes this Venice workshop special?

With American photographer John McDermott you will have a professional photographer at your side sharing with you his decades long international experience in portraiture and documentary photography for international media companies and corporations. John is fluent in Italian which has helped him to open doors to many local spots and opportunities.

I am glad that I booked a masterclass with the internationally renowned photographer John McDermott, organized by the IF/Academy, which I knew from their Summer Academy in Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy. John speaks Italian fluently and has a talent to “break the ice”, something that is hard to learn and impossible to copy. But that’s why I like to travel with a guide, in particular when there is a language barrier. Thus, opportunities arise that otherwise will be kept behind closed doors.” – Stephan Russenschuck

How does YOUR Venice look like?

Venice is fascinating. Venice is full. Venice is mystical, foggy, colorful and black and white. It can be still and peaceful, or loud and crazy. How do you experience Venice? What is your unique take on the city? What will you capture with your camera when you explore Venice?

 “Every photographer who has ever gone to Venice has faced the same problem: how do I do something which is good but which isn’t a repetition of a cliché, something which hasn’t been done and seen before? It’s actually easy. Just go to Venice, and then let yourself go.” – John McDermott.

From above: We visit the National Library, going to areas where the public is never allowed, and when nobody is around, and get a view from above and inside the library onto St. Marcus Square and the lagoon.

Masks: The Venetian masks are famous and a tradition going back to the year 1162. With the mask the owner could hide his real face. We will visit a mask-making studio and can experience and photograph what is behind the masks….and how they are created.

Working Venice: How does a city on stilts function when everything has to be organized on water? How do you move your furniture? How does the garbage collection work and how do restaurants and shops receive their goods? How does the ambulance service work? The police and fire departments? These are all practical aspects of every city, but they take on a new meaning in a city on water. They are photographically interesting, but easily overlooked by tourists normally focused on the physical beauty of the place.

People in Venice. People Photography.

Among other things, John is known for his portrait and people photography. With him, participants will photograph street life, gondoliers and working people, as well as a person in carnival costume and mask. We will practice people photography, day and night, in the side streets, arcades and mystical corners of Venice.

How do you approach people and motivate them to be photographed? We will work mainly with available light, sometimes augmented by a small electronic flash, to create portraits “on the fly.

Every day our pictures will be reviewed and discussed, and participants will receive feedback. In the evenings we will enjoy a great Venetian dinner together.

John McDermott’s Input for YOUR Venice

„The prospect of photographing Venice can be both exhilarating and intimidating. Exhilarating because it is truly a unique and beautiful place, with amazing light and moods and lots of interesting daily life. Intimidating because it is one of the most photographed places on earth so there is a lot of great, and not so great, photography already available.

My advice to anyone headed to Venice, but especially to those who will be attending or are still thinking about attending, our IF/Academy Masterclass, is to look at everything you can before you go. Inform yourself. Check out the greatest Venice pictures by masters like Ernst Haas and Gianni Berengo Gardin(google berengo gardin venice photos). Go to the Magnum website and search for the best Venice images by that agency’s roster of great photographers, such as Elliott Erwitt and Bruno Barbey. Then even look at the paintings of Canaletto, who captured the magical light and moods of Venice with brush and oil paint in a time before photography existed!

All this should be informative and inspirational. Then, put it all aside. Go to Venice, see it with your own eyes and show the world what YOU see, show everyone YOUR unique take on Venice. Every photographer who has ever gone to Venice has faced the same problem: how do I do something which is good but which isn’t a repetition of a cliché, something which hasn’t been done and seen before? It’s actually easy. Just go to Venice, and then let yourself go. Free your vision. You will do something unique, because Venice is an ever-changing tableaux of light and shadow, mood and activity, every day is different, every photographer is different. Go, look, listen and do your best. You will succeed. In Venice it’s very difficult to fail.“ John McDermott

Why go to Venice with the IF/Academy?

At the IF/Academy we are all about community, learning and working together with top photographers. Our job is to help you SEE and improve your perception. Through our instructors we want to help our participants to do their best, so they discover and become aware of the skills and knowledge they already exist inside of them.

Everything was just right. John impresses with very precise feedback, which helps you to grow. He always comes up with ideas and solutions and he approaches the people in such an open way that it resulted in special opportunities for us. Judging by the result: I learned a lot, improved a lot and I returned home with many good pictures and filled with motivation and inspiration.” – Oliver Horlebein.

Photography trains our situational awareness and our attention to details – and that’s what the IF/Academy is about. The camera and photography are wonderful tools to train our conscious perception for our surroundings and for ourselves. In order to practice just that, the city of Venice offers a lot: she demands all your senses, and your SEEing of the seemingly endless details is trained on every corner, piazza or bridge. The photographer John McDermott emphasizes again and again „situational awareness“ when taking photos, which is just as important in everyday life. Venice and photography are two components that challenge our situational awareness in an exciting way.

The term Masterclass is appropriate. Everything is on a high level and this creates an ideal atmosphere for improving your photography. John explains everything in a clear and comprehensible way. The workshop masterclass was very well prepared by you guys.“ ­– Bernd Beykirch.

About John McDermott

John McDermott is an American-born photographer with dual nationality (Ireland/USA) working internationally, most often in Europe or the USA. His earlier brief „careers“ as soccer player, Navy officer and journalist eventually gave way to a passion for photographing sports, industry, the urban landscape and human interaction.

John is internationally recognized for both his portrait work and his sports photography. He has photographed CEO’s of major corporations, authors, artists and athletes, as well as everyday working people, for a long list of corporate and editorial clients. Perhaps his most prestigious portrait assignment was the adidas 60th anniversary commemorative book for which he was chosen to do all North American portrait photography, including such figures as David Beckham, Rod Laver, Steffi Graf, Edwin Moses, Nadia Comaneci, Run DMC and Ian Thorpe.

John McDermott is known for problem-solving and for bringing a strong sense of design and authenticity to a diverse range of subjects. John became a regular contributor to Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Time Magazine and Focus(Germany). He is a veteran of ten Olympic Games and eight soccer World Cups, shooting for Newsweek, Kodak and FIFA and has photographed the greatest players in soccer history, from George Best, Franz Beckenbauer, Johan Cruyff and Pelé to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

John McDermott divides his time between northern Italy, Germany and San Francisco. He is fluent in Italian and has working knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese. His clients include adidas, Apple, American Express, Canon, Eastman Kodak, Focus, GEO, FIFA, International Paper, Goldman Sachs, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Time, US Airways and the Wall Street Journal.

 

Webseite John McDermott

What participants say about John

“The Venice masterclass with John resulted in a high learning effect within a short period of time. The tasks were adapted to the level of the workshop participants and included several surprise experiences. The feedback was very goal oriented. The organization was perfect and we it was a great group to be with.” – Bernd Beykirch

 

“I am glad that I booked a masterclass with the internationally renowned photographer John McDermott, organized by the IF/Academy, which I knew from their Summer Academy in Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy. John speaks Italian fluently and has a talent to “break the ice”, something that is hard to learn and impossible to copy. But that’s why I like to travel with a guide, in particular when there is a language barrier. Thus, opportunities arise that otherwise will be kept behind closed doors.” – Stephan Russenschuck

 

“John as an instructor is out of this world!” – Sven Bernert

 

“John has an amazing talent to pull people into the story, the scene, the photograph. It is impressive how he interacts with people and how much attention he pays to each individual he is interacting with; may it be the participant of a workshop or the subject of the photograph. I not only learned a lot about photography but also about myself.” Hansjörg Künzel

Schedule

We meet Wednesday evening for meet & greet, introduction, explanations and preparation at Hotel Al Codega. Afterwards we enjoy dinner together in a well chosen restaurant.

 

Sometimes we will photograph early in the mornings, sometimes late in the evenings.

 

During the day the participants photograph under the guidance of John with assignments and assistance by him.

 

In the evening we get together for dinner in selected (non-touristic) restaurants to enjoy each other’s company, talk photography (or not), share the experience of the day and/or ask John more questions.

Information

PRICE:

Price: EURO 975,-

(Lodging not included)

 

Number of participants: 6

 

DATE:
Wednesday February 5th (evening) until Sunday February 9th 2020 (mid day)

NOT included in the price is:
Lodging, Meals, Travel

 

LODGING/HOTEL

We are blocking rooms in the hotel Al Codega, close to St. Marcus Square.

Rooms for single use cost EURO 107,-

Please let me know if you like us to put your name on one of the rooms – you can pay upon arrival.

 

NOTE: This Workshop is in English

IF/Academy-Passion for Photography

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