Sheffield Creative Walking - Single Day Photography Workshop
Developing visual storytelling & project based photography
Sheffield is a vibrant modern city with deep history and heritage that shapes the city and it's people. A former stronghold of the steel industry that has undergone subsequent regenerations to be a key centre for the creative industries in the north of England.
The history of Sheffield, a city in South Yorkshire, England, can be traced back to the founding of a settlement in a clearing beside the River Sheaf in the second half of the 1st millennium AD. The area now known as Sheffield had seen human occupation since at least the last ice age, but significant growth in the settlements that are now incorporated into the city did not occur until the Industrial Revolution.
Following the Norman conquest of England, Sheffield Castle was built to control the Saxon settlements and Sheffield developed into a small town, no larger than Sheffield City Centre. By the 14th century Sheffield was noted for the production of knives, and by 1600, overseen by the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire, it had become the second centre of cutlery production in England after London. In the 1740s the crucible steel process was improved by Sheffield resident Benjamin Huntsman, allowing a much better production quality. At about the same time, Sheffield plate, a form of silver plating, was invented. The associated industries led to the rapid growth of Sheffield; the town was incorporated as a borough in 1843 and granted a city charter in 1893.
Sheffield remained a major industrial city throughout the first half of the 20th century, but the downturn in world trade following the 1973 oil crisis, technological improvements and economies of scale, and a wide-reaching restructuring of steel production throughout the European Economic Community led to the closure of many of the steelworks from the early 1970s onward. Urban and economic regeneration schemes began in the late 1980s to diversify the city's economy. Sheffield is now a centre for banking and insurance functions with HSBC, Santander and Aviva having regional offices in the city. The city has also attracted digital start-ups, with 25,000 now employed in the digital sector.
We'll cover the city extensively across the day, using a mixture of tram to extend our reach but importantly walking to allow us to get a feel for the city from the iconic Park Hill flats and the 'I Love You Bridge' that loom over the city above the train station to the industrial heritage of Kelham Island as it speaks of the city's dominant past.
The modern architecture around the city of Sheffield is striking, giving us amazing opportunities for architectural and abstract picture making or as strong 'stage' backdrops for street photography. To further develop everyone's toolkit and picture making possibilities we will work with participants to explore psychogeographic approaches to walking creatively around and see the city to break the rhythm of how we always make pictures by giving us new strategies to see and create from any familiar space with totally fresh eyes and perspectives.
Across the course of our day in this vibrant city we will develop a body of work or mini project that tells the story of our day.
WHAT IS A PROJECT?
“A piece of planned work or an activity that is finished over a period of time and
intended to achieve a particular purpose”. Cambridge Dictionary
What Are Our Objectives?
1. To produce a finished photographic mini project within the workshop timescale
2. To make, rather than to take, photographic pictures
3. To think conceptually about your aims and outcomes
“In photography of serious ambition, the photographer’s subject is almost never
simply the subject matter”. Peter Fraser
Sheffield Creative Walking - Developing Compelling Visual Storytelling
We will be exploring some of the ideas and approaches to help develop personal strategies for producing
photographic projects. As photographers we are all accustomed to the producing images, but many of us are
less familiar, and may find hard to rationalise, the concept of a photographic project. The project is in
essence an extended, but connected, body of work, where we are able to shape the possibilities of why and
how we can develop a series of photographs.
A project can feel somewhat nebulous and abstract, without a firm idea of the what, why and how. Many
photographers are often left scratching around for project ideas that can sometimes fail to materialise. Our locations are complex, busy, small, large and evocative of the city's history and heritage that will ask us to focus our attention on developing a coherent visual story through the piecing together of our work rather than purely focusing on single images.
Our day brief essentially asks that we, ‘playfully’, develop a given concept from inception through to
completion. From our pre workshop online session through the days practical picture making to the post workshop online session; we will explore, reflect and refine our practical work throughout the workshop, by beginning
to recognise how some key practitioners throughout the history of photography, have developed their
photographic picture-making and project objectives. Most importantly, The workshop will be practice based,
that is, pictures made. It will be an opportunity to do as Todd Hido suggests, which is; “Slow down and think
about your craft”. The photographer John Blakemore eloquently reflects the ethos of the workshop;
“At the conclusion of any extended piece of work, one inevitably questions
the results. What have I learned during this journey? What has this intense period
of activity been about?”
The workshop will help develop your understanding, ability and confidence to conceive of and to make, a
series/set of photographs that are bound by the explorative nature of your project. You will learn to
understand better the intentions of your body of work. It will also ask of you to consider how a picture ‘looks’,
that is, the possibilities of framing, what photographer Larry Fink describes as “that little instantaneous
nuance and movement”. Photographing is the art of selection and arrangement combined.
“You can’t wait until you have a great idea, because it’s not a great idea until you get into it.” John Szarkowski
The workshop is for anyone working digitally or analogue, with a camera or with a smartphone. It is for
anyone who wants to consider and to understand better how to develop their creative photographic potential.
The workshop is for anyone who wishes to explore and reconnect with their passion for making photographs,
and to help develop personal creativity through defining and working on a photographic project.
This workshop is for anyone who works with the medium using any process or combination of processes.
Essentially, it is about the possibility of the photographic picture and personal commitment. This is also for
anyone who might work, in video, audio or the written word. This introduction to photographic based projects
will allow you to bring your work together, and to reflect upon your picture-making and visual story telling as
you shape your own photographic project around this unique location.
The workshop will be practical in its main focus but also utilise different models of learning including:
• Scheduled pre online group session to understand the nature of project working.
• A full extended day dedicated practical on location in Sheffield creating our projects.
• Group online video/audio discussions sessions led by Rob where we will discuss your personal
approaches to project development.
• Live discussion in the post session to collaborate and learn from tutors, but importantly for peers to consider
alternative viewpoints and potential outputs for our work.
• Structured feedback both group based and individually throughout.
• Collaborative working to further develop ideas around your project-based work.
On completion of the workshop each participant will receive a summary of their development. Each
participant can (if requested) be issued with a digital credential to demonstrate workshop participation which
can then be added to and shown on digital cv's, social media and on the learners LinkedIn profile, for
example, if they have one.
On Completion You will be able to:
1. Acknowledge some ideas related to photographic projects.
2. Recognise some key photographers and their approaches to the series or project.
3. Explore strategic approaches to working in a project manner.
4. Apply knowledge and strategies in creating personal photographic projects.
5. Demonstrate an explorative mindset around a project and alternative viewpoints.
6. To reflect, explain and critique your own images and project ideas.
7. Embrace a playful approach to developing projects.
8. Critically reflect on your final project body of work.
9. Reflect on the impact of working with attention over a given period and how this has affected
creative understanding and development.
Our final output from the workshop will be to present a 'portfolio site' of our mini project with accompanying words and any additional media we choose to embellish our project with.
This new and exciting workshop is a practical on location single day workshop with the addition of the pre and post online components that will be delivered via our
dedicated online learning platform, video live group sessions and innovative collaboration tools where we will facilitate an engaging, positive, and challenging learning environment for all participants.
“One cannot photograph experience, but to have lived it can change and develop habitual
ways of seeing and of knowing." John Blakemore
This workshop is highly practical and participatory and will develop an effective toolkit with which you can frame your approach to photography and working in series' moving forward.
1. You don't need to be an athlete but some walking is required for locations we'll visit with some short ascents / descents. We will however move at a pace that accommodates all on the workshop and will use the tram hop on / off to maximise our reach around the city (£5.50 for a day ticket, not included in cost)
2. Terrain is mixed but predominantly paved with some cobbles
3. Surfaces are mixed and may be rough or uneven, please wear appropriate footwear
4. City areas are a mix of enclosed with open and exposed, the weather can change quickly so please bring appropriate clothing including sun protection
5. Ensure you have water with you for the day, we can visit a shop / cafe during the day
6. Ensure you have spare camera batteries and spare memory cards for your camera along with any lenses, filters and tripods you may use
7. Train services to Sheffield are excellent and frequent and there are good paid parking options close to our Sheaf Square (outside the train station) meeting / end point.
1. All tuition on workshop
2. Pre & Post online sessions to develop your project
3. All access to online portal for pre and post workshop sessions
1. Travel / transport to and on workshop
2. Meals - please bring packed lunches
3. Travel, equipment, and personal insurances
4. Parking costs
To sign up for this new workshop click the 'book now' button below. Then select the appropriate workshop and date from the bookings page.
We guarantee this course will both enable and empower every attendee moving forward with their photography and personal creative journey no matter your previous level of experience.
WORKSHOP DATES: 24/09/2023
Course price: £165 per person
The workshop will be operated under the current Covid guidelines for everyone's safety, we are actively testing twice weekly to ensure we are Covid free on the delivery date and we are fully vaccinated.
"I loved every aspect of the workshop; it has made me look at my photography in a whole new light. I feel confident to explore ideas and develop a project from the ground up right through to completion. The locations chosen are both inspiring and challenging at the same time, enough to really get me deep into exploring a place and trying to tell my story of the place."
"It has made my completely rethink photobooks and how I will approach my projects and books in the future"
"I like and appreciate that Rob is very clear in what he says and has a very easy and relaxed manner. At no time was I made to feel that I wasn't an equal member of the group and my opinions/contributions were as valuable as everyone else's. This is a skill not all trainers possess."