Visual Storytelling: A Leica Masterclass with Magnum photographer Stuart Franklin

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This intensive workshop will address the topic of visual storytelling. By looking at a range of successful examples, and through your own practice over the weekend, you will learn one of the core skills of visual storytelling: how to produce a body of work that looks and feels coherent. Editors, publishers and grant administrators frequently weed out work that lacks coherence, that is “all over the place”, and that does not appear to be the work of one photographer. In this workshop we will explore authorship, storytelling, but also the power of ambiguity in producing an effective series of photographs in colour or black & white.

Participants are welcome to loan Leica equipment on request (please see Participant Notes).

Venue: Leica Studio, 27 Bruton Place, London, W1J 6NQ

Dates: 13th & 14th April 2018

Day 1: 09.30 -18.00

Day 2: 10.30-17.30

Price: £495

Refreshments / Lunch included

Day 1

First session in Studio from 9.30-11.15 am:

  • Overview of the day with a short introductory lecture, with examples from the work of 12 photographers, on visual coherence.

  • Discussion session with Stuart Franklin guiding a tour of his exhibition: Temples of Stone in the Leica gallery

Shooting outside 11.15am – 1pm

A chance to get a feel – in the Mayfair/Green Park/Piccadilly area – of building a coherent approach, based on an idea or personal plan.

Lunch & discussion – 1pm – 2pm.

Afternoon session shooting from 2pm – 5pm

Discussion and early editing session – 5pm- 6pm

Day 2

In studio from 10.30am to 12.30 or 10.30 – 17.30. Option to spend more time shooting for review at 16.00.

  • Review of participant’s edited photographs (5-10 images) taken during the workshop

  • 12.30 Optional further chance to photograph / or remain in the studio for more focused look at editing and a further lecture. Also chance to show work unrelated to the workshop assignment.

  • 16.00 – final review of work for those electing to continue shooting / further discussion.

This workshop is open to all levels of photographers who are keen to grow their skill set.

If borrowing Leica equipment, you will need to bring the following:

  • Two forms of ID (The first form of ID should be a passport or UK driving license, and the second form, a utility bill showing your home address)

  • SD memory card

  • Loans must be arranged prior to the workshop date.

From 1980 until 1985, Franklin worked with Agence Presse Sygma in Paris. During that time he photographed the civil war in Lebonan unemployment in Britain, famine in Sudan and the Heysel Stadium disaster.

Joining Magnum Photos in 1985, he became a full member in 1989. In the same year, Franklin photographed the uprising in Tiananmen Square and shot one of the Tank Man photographs, first published in Time Magazine, as well as widely documenting the uprising in Beijing earning him a World Press Photo Award.

In 1989 Franklin travelled with Greenpeace to Antarctica. He worked on about twenty stories for National Geographic between 1991 and 2009, subjects including Inca conqueror Francisco Pizarro and the hydro-struggle in Quebec and places such as Buenos Aires and Malaysia. In addition, he worked on book and cultural projects. In October 2008, his book Footprint: Our Landscape in Flux was published by Thames & Hudson. An ominous photographic document of Europe’s changing landscape, it highlights Franklin's deep ecological concern.

During 2009 Franklin curated an exhibition on Gaza - "Point of No Return" for the Noorderlicht Photo Festival. Since 2009 Franklin has focused on a long-term landscape project in Norway published as "Narcissus" in 2013. Recently Franklin has worked on documentary projects on doctors working in Syria, and immigration in Calais. Franklin's most recent book, "The Documentary Impulse" was published by Phaidon in April 2016. It investigates the nature of truth in reporting and the drive towards self-representation beginning 50,000 years ago with cave art through to the various iterations and impulses that have guided documentary photography along its differing tracks for nearly 200 years. Franklin was the general chair of the World Press Photo jury 2017.