On Location

The Urban Landscape: Chicago by Design

with Brad Temkin

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Course Description

All urban environments have a distinct character, and iconic cities possess unique personalities. Capturing the essence of a city’s character is an exciting challenge for a photographer. The visual aliveness of an urban center offers a constant source of dynamic content and breathtaking scenes. Inspiration lies around every corner.

The midwestern metropolis of Chicago is recognized as one of the most design-forward cities in the world. Its architectural marvels, river access and lakefront setting, open green spaces, and vibrant neighborhoods make it an ideal location for a workshop focused on the urban landscape and photographing the character of place.

Contemporary fine-art photographer, Brad Temkin, leads this four-day photographic exploration into and around Chicago, his hometown, in early May when the city is exploding into springtime color and rebirth after its long winter. During the workshop we visit some of the city’s most renown sites, take a boat tour along the Chicago River that reveals the architectural heart of the city, plus special visits to a photo gallery and an artist’s studio.

How do we see and perceive the contemporary urban landscape beyond the marks that humanity has left on it? What can the city, in all its forms and iterations, teach us about ourselves? Under Brad’s expert guidance, we examine these questions in depth while learning to create pictures that push the boundaries of our vision. Through photographic exercises, field sessions, classroom discussions and critiques, we gain a deeper understanding of what makes Chicago the city of design. In addition, our objective is to understand our own collaboration with the city and how we can best interpret it and make images that are poetic and beautiful.

During our time together, it becomes clear that imagery can serve not only as a way to explore our relationship with a city, but also as a path to self-awareness. Using the urban landscape as a canvas, you come away with greater connection to your personal intent and clarity about your aesthetic vision.

Additional Information

COVID-19 Update: For all in-person workshops and trips in 2023, Santa Fe Workshops highly recommends that all participants, staff, and instructors attending be up to date with Covid vaccinations (per definition of the CDC).

Advanced Amateurs, Professionals
What You Should Know:

Working knowledge of digital workflow and manual mode on your digital SLR or mirrorless camera. Participants must be able to download and select images using editing software for class sessions. This is not a workshop for beginning photographers.

Package Price INFO:

$1,495 includes instruction, river boat tour and other special visits, one breakfast, and a group dinner on Sunday evening. Does not include other meals, local transportation, or accommodations (if needed).

Nature & Landscape, Pop-Ups
Brad Temkin

Brad Temkin, based in Chicago, is best known for his photographs of contemporary landscape. His work is held in numerous collections, including The Art Institute of Chicago; Milwaukee Art Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Akron Art Museum; Amon Carter Museum of American Art; George Eastman Museum; and Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, among others. His images have appeared in such publications as Aperture, Black & White Magazine, TIME Magazine and European Photography. He has been awarded numerous grants and fellowships including an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in 2007 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2017. Temkin has published three monographs to date: Private Places: Photographs of Chicago Gardens (Center for American Places 2005); ROOFTOP (Radius Books 2015); and The State Of Water (Radius Books 2019). Temkin has been an adjunct professor at Columbia College in Chicago since 1984.

Website: bradtemkin.com

Instagram: @bradtemkin

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