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It’s often said that the best camera is the one you have with you, and in this age of revolutionary mobile imaging, that camera is likely to be a smartphone. Recent innovations in sensors, lenses, image stabilization, and screen size, as well as myriad new creative apps, have made smartphones and tablets serious players in the photography field. Delve into this sophisticated technology during a two-day weekend workshop in San Francisco, and discover how to get the best images from your mobile device. During daily classroom sessions with a National Geographic photographer, explore both the technical and the creative side of smartphone photography. Discuss top photography apps, visual diaries, and storytelling, and how to most effectively use and share your mobile imagery. Then slip your smartphone into your pocket and head out into the swooping streets of San Francisco to photograph city life from Chinatown and North Beach.
This workshop is led by a National Geographic photographer and a professional instructor and is designed for amateurs who seek to effectively use and share mobile imagery and are interested in exploring the creative side of smartphone photography. All participants must bring a mobile device with a camera such as an iPhone, Windowsphone, or Android smartphone. The workshop is limited to 25 participants.
The following is our planned itinerary; however, our schedule is flexible to allow for spontaneous photographic opportunities.
Itinerary - 2 Days
Day 1 — Saturday: Farmers’ Market/North Beach
Begin the day in our classroom with an introductory talk on the fundamental technical skills for making great images with your smartphone—including exposure and focus controls—as well as an image presentation by our National Geographic photographer. Then put your newfound technical skills into practice on your first assignment: photographing stalls of fresh produce, artisanal foods, and flowers at the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market. Grab your own lunch at the market and bring it back to the classroom for an edit-and-critique session with your instructors. This afternoon, learn about photographic composition and creative seeing, and discuss the elements that make an image powerful. As the light improves later this afternoon and dusk nears, travel to the neighborhood of North Beach, San Francisco’s Little Italy, for today’s second field assignment, working with low light and city lights to make compelling night shots.
Optional Accommodations: The Cartwright at Union Square
Day 2 — Sunday: Chinatown
After editing and critiquing yesterday’s images in the classroom this morning, discuss how to tell a great story with your camera and hear which of today’s creative apps can best enhance your smartphone images. Then hit the streets of Chinatown to use some of these new apps on our next assignment: shooting images that tell a story of this vibrant neighborhood. Gather for a final edit-and-critique session with your instructors and a discussion on social media’s impact on photography, future directions in smartphone photography, and your next steps. Cap off the workshop with a group dinner followed by a presentation of the best images created during the weekend. (D)
National Geographic Photography Fellow David Guttenfelder is an award-winning photojournalist focusing on global geopolitics, conservation, and culture. He spent 20 years as a photojournalist for the Associated Press, during which he was based in Nairobi, Abidjan, New Delhi, Jerusalem, and Tokyo, covering news in more than 75 countries around the world. He has photographed several stories in National Geographic magazine, including topics as diverse as Afghanistan's opium wars, the damming of the Mekong River, hidden North Korea, and Yellowstone National Park. David is an eight-time World Press Photo Award winner and a seven-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news and feature photography. David is an influencer and industry leader in smartphone photography and social media. He was named the inaugural Instagram Photographer of the Year by TIME magazine, received the Shorty Award for online photography, and the Online Journalism Award. His mobile phone photography has been published in the pages of National Geographic magazine, and exhibited at the Visa pour l'Image in Perpignan, France, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, and at the Cortona Photo Festival in Tuscany. He was part of the panel lecture, "Instagraming the News", at the SXSW digital conference, and in 2015, he taught the first National Geographic Expeditions' Smartphone Photography Workshop in San Francisco. David is the founder of the Instagram collectives @everydayUSA and @everydayDPRK. Through his personal Instagram account, he engages with more than 980,000 followers.
Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives on bumpy roads, or easy hikes.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.
What To Expect
This workshop is led by a National Geographic photographer and a professional instructor and is designed for amateurs who seek to effectively use and share mobile imagery and are interested in exploring the creative side of smartphone photography.
All participants must bring a mobile device with a camera such as an iPhone, Windowsphone, or Android smartphone. The workshop is limited to 25 participants.