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Magnum Workshop Sydney
March 27, 2013
by Eli Reed
This May, Magnum Photos brings its popular 5 day practical photographic workshop to Sydney, Australia for the first time. Hosted in conjunction with the Head On Photo Festival, this workshop will focus on photographic practice and development led by three Magnum members; Ian Berry, Eli Reed and Chris Steele-Perkins.
Magnum’s educational events are aimed at photographers who wish to push their personal boundaries and challenge their visual understanding. Participants of the Magnum Workshop Sydney will work on self-directed projects relating to personal interests, guided by their Magnum tutor in a combination of shooting, editing, discussing and presenting work on a daily basis. Through reviews, group critiques, mentoring and editing sessions, candidates will further develop their confidence, visual language and photographic identity, as well as practical, technical and conceptual skills and the expertise required to compete in photography’s’ increasingly competitive marketplace.
Participants will be encouraged to create new bodies of work, or develop existing projects, within the cultural hub of Sydney and the surrounding area. The workshop will culminate in a projection of participant work as part of the official festival programme, presented to both members of the public and Sydney’s photography professionals. Through the generous support of Magnum’s educational partners Blurb, workshop participants will also have the opportunity to further their editing experience through the production of 8”x10” group Blurb book.
Head On Photo Festival, Australia's largest photo festival and the world's second largest festival. Heading into its fourth year, Head On celebrated a wide range of photography across all genres from photojournalism and reportage through commercial to fine-art. With over 200 events at 100 venues, the 2012 festival was a resounding success for everyone who participated: galleries and other venues, photographers, Head On partners and the viewing public. The workshop will be held at TAFE: 651-731 Harris St, Ultimo, Sydney
Candidates are actively encouraged to participate in the diverse schedule of the festival events. Magnum Photos will present two exhibitions, Magnum On Set at the State Library NSW and Access to Life at the Sydney Powerhouse, which includes work by both Eli Reed & Chris Steele-Perkins. Participants will be encouraged to participate in the talks programs around these exhibitions.
For information about the activities during Head On, visit
Workshop participants should be able to show a good level of photographic aptitude and a desire to learn. Candidates will be expected to arrive comfortable with their equipment and ready to photograph. Each workshop is limited to 12 participants and photographers will be selected on the perceived benefit to their career and development.
Photographers should prepare sufficient research relating to what they wish to shoot prior to arrival. A story list will be provided for inspiration; however candidates are expected to formulate realistic projects in the geography and time supplied. Magnum will provide a suitable classroom infrastructure and participants will be responsible for their own time management.
Due to the fast pace of the workshop Magnum highly recommends that participants produce and edit their work digitally, using their own laptops. Individuals wishing to use film may do so, but at their own cost and during the time imposed. Lab services will be coordinated where required. Please note – all workshops will be conducted in English.
£800 plus VAT (does not include travel, accommodations or on the ground expenses)
Click here to apply until Sunday 28th April
Upon submitting your online application you will be transferred to Google Checkout where you must submit a £40 application fee. This will be applied to your tuition fee invoice if you are accepted onto the workshop. The fee will be fully refunded, if you are NOT accepted into the workshop. Applications without a fee will not be processed.
Successful applicants will be informed via email by Wednesday 1st May. Full payment should be received by Wednesday 8th May to fully confirm your place. Magnum Photos reserves the right to amend the program. For groups fewer than 8 participants, cancellation may apply; full refunds will be offered or transfer to alternative groups if this occurs.
Travel & Accommodation
Participants are expected to make their own arrangements regarding travel and accommodation; a list of suitable accommodation options will be provided to successful candidates.
Please ensure you have the necessary travel documents & relevant visas in order to attend the event. Magnum Photos can provide letters of support where necessary.
For queries please contact Fiona Rogers, Cultural & Education Manager:
Eli Reed was born in the US and studied pictorial illustration at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, graduating in 1969. In 1982 he was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. At Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, he studied political science, urban affairs, and the prospects for peace in Central America.
Reed began photographing as a freelancer in 1970. His work from El Salvador, Guatemala and other Central American countries attracted the attention of Magnum in 1982. He was nominated to the agency the following summer, and became a full member in 1988.
In the same year Reed photographed the effects of poverty on America's children for a film documentary called Poorest in the Land of Plenty, narrated by Maya Angelou. He went on to work as a stills and specials photographer for major motion pictures. His video documentary Getting Out was shown at the New York Film Festival in 1993 and honored by the 1996 Black Film-makers Hall of Fame International Film and Video Competition in the documentary category.
Reed's special reports include a long-term study on Beirut (1983-87), which became his first, highly acclaimed book Beirut, City of Regrets, the ousting of Baby Doc Duvalier in Haiti (1986), US military action in Panama (1989), the Walled City in Hong Kong and, perhaps most notably, his documentation of African-American experience over more than twenty years. Spanning the 1970s through the end of the 1990s, his book Black in America includes images from the Crown Heights riots and the Million Man March.
Reed has lectured and taught at the International Center of Photography, Columbia University, New York University, and Harvard University. He currently works as Clinical Professor of Photojournalism at the University of Texas in Austin.
At the age of two, Chris Steele-Perkins moved to England from Burma with his father. He went to school at Christ's Hospital. At the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he studied psychology and worked for the student newspaper; he graduated with honors in 1970 and started to work as a freelance photographer, moving to London in 1971.
Apart from a trip to Bangladesh in 1973, he worked mainly in Britain in areas concerned with urban poverty and subcultures. In 1975 he worked with EXIT, a collective dealing with social problems in British cities. This involvement culminated in the book Survival Programmes in 1982. He joined the Paris-based Viva agency in 1976. In 1979 he published his first solo book, The Teds; he also edited the Arts Council of Great Britain's book, About 70 Photographs.
Steele-Perkins joined Magnum Photos in 1979 and soon began working extensively in the developing world, in particular in Africa, Central America and Lebanon, as well as continuing to take photographs in Britain: The Pleasure Principle explores Britain in the 1980s. In 1992 he published Afghanistan, the result of four trips over four years. After marrying his second wife, Miyako Yamada, he embarked on a long-term photographic exploration of Japan, publishing Fuji in 2000. A highly personal diary of 2001, ‘Echoes’, was published in 2003, and the second of his Japanese books, ‘Tokyo Love Hello’, in March 2007. He continues to work in Britain, documenting rural life in County Durham, which was published as ‘Northern Exposures’ in 2007. In 2009 he published a collection of work from 40 years of photographing England – ‘England, My England’. A new book, on British centenarians, ‘Fading Light’ was published recently b y McNidder and Grace.
Ian Berry was born in Lancashire, England. He made his reputation in South Africa, where he worked for the Daily Mail and later for Drum magazine. He was the only photographer to document the massacre at Sharpeville in 1960, and his photographs were used in the trial to prove the victims' innocence.
Henri Cartier-Bresson invited Ian Berry to join Magnum in 1962, when he was based in Paris. He moved to London in 1964 to become the first contract photographer for the Observer Magazine. Since then assignments have taken him around the world: he has documented Russia's invasion of Czechoslovakia; conflicts in Israel, Ireland, Vietnam and the Congo; famine in Ethiopia; apartheid in South Africa. The major body of work produced in South Africa is represented in two of his books: Black and Whites: L'Afrique du Sud (with a foreword by the then French president François Mitterrand), and Living Apart (1996). During the last year, projects have included child slavery in Ghana and the Spanish fishing industry.
Important editorial assignments have included work for National Geographic, Fortune, Stern, Geo, national Sunday magazines, Esquire, Paris-Match and Life. Ian Berry has also reported on the political and social transformations in China and the former USSR. Ian Berry works out of London.