May 152012

Introduction to Design/Composition

in Street Photography Workshop

Venice & Verona ( ITALY )


A Secret Tradition

Come explore the sun drenched side streets of Venice & Verona in a truly unique photography workshop.  We will retrace the footsteps of the “Grand Tour” which was the foundation for any serious artist in the last three hundred years.   During these formative trips painters like John Singer Sargent mastered Design, Composition, and Light to transform everyday street scenes into masterful works of Art.

Discover the ins and outs of Venice's back alleyways. © Adam Marelli

You and your camera will be led on a guided exploration to learn “How to See like a Master Artist.”  Many of the design principles were reserved for serious artists and are never taught in photography programs.  But in this special (5) day workshop, you will learn the secrets of Classical Design that pioneers like Henrì Cartier-Bresson inherited from drawing, to revolutionize the world of Photography.

© Adam Marelli

Who is Invited

The Venice & Verona workshop is open to all levels of photographers from beginner to professional.  Since the Classical Design is rarely taught, everyone will start at the same level.  We do ask that you are familiar with the basic functions of your camera so you can take full advantage of the teaching.

La Fenice, Venice's famous opera house which has burned down three times. Here is is alive on a quiet evening. © Adam Marelli


Over the course of (5) days there will be progressive lectures and slide presentations to highlight the pinnacles of design in Art and Photography in an easy to follow format.  By comparing the traditions of Painting and Photography you will uncover a the shared language of design used for centuries to carve these magnificent cities.

Day 1- 2 (Sept 17-19), Venice: Design Presentations, Street Shooting, Lunch, Critiques and stops at my favorite Venetian restaurants and coffee shops.  We will depart via train for Verona, which is only a quick (1 hour) train ride from Venice.

Day 3-5 (Sept 19-22), Verona:  For a change of scenery we will switch from canals to a city with Roman and Medieval roots.  The Arena, castles and a whole to architectural setting will allow you to practice the the techniques taught during lecture.  Lunches and snacks will be included to keep the fuel going all day long.

Master Low Light techniques. © Adam Marelli

What Will You Learn

I believe that workshop attendees should walk away with tangible skills that can be used for evaluating their work.  It goes without say that we will have a fantastic time, but I believe it is more important that your photography becomes significantly better than when we started.  Having taught many of these techniques private to students over the years, I am 100% confident that YOUR pictures will never be the same.

After this workshop you will know:

  • The Foundations of Dynamic Symmetry 
  • Learn how to Master the format of a 35mm Sensor 
  • How to “Set a Scene” by using light and architecture to your advantage
  • Introduction to techniques to Spot a photo before it happens
  • Basic Principles of Figure to Ground Relationships
  • Learn the language of Design, hardly taught to photographers
  • How to critique the formal qualities of any image
  • How to generalize a scene and See like an Artist
  • Learn common mistakes that plague many photographers and simples ways to avoid them
  • “Are you using the right lens?” Discover which focal lengths are best suited to your style.

Join us at some of my favorite restaurants in Venice. When I hear people say the food in Venice is bad, all that means, is they do not know where to go. © Adam Marelli


The cost for the workshop, 5 days of design lectures, lunch and cappuccinos (for refueling along the way) is $1,995.

We can make suggestions for hotels and transportation to and from Venice.

Register Now…

Your Fearless Leaders

Adam Marelli

Artist & photographer, Adam Marelli is based in New York City.  His projects explore the ancient crafts of building, maestros in their workshops, and designs handed down through generations.  Whether he is photographing a master carpenter, dodging fish at a local market, or at the drafting table, he is in constant search of the threads which bind our cultures together.

When he noticed a shortage of design instruction geared towards photographers, he opened the doors of his studio, where he teaches the lost lessons of Classical Design.  The success of his methods saw him named as the Leica Akademie’s Resident Photographer in New York City.  His advice is regularly featured in the “Ask the Contractor” column in the New York Times, he was a lecturer at New York University, and continues to pursue projects at home and abroad.  His writings on photography appear on Forbes, The Gothamist, & Phaidon Press.  Invisible Exports gallery represents his work in New York City.

Take advantage of Adam’s unique perspective on photography and travel on the workshop of your choice.  See why he believes that Success is not Accidental.

Eric Kim

Eric Kim is an international street photographer from Los Angeles with a passion in interacting with his subjects, especially getting close to them. He travels all around the world and teaches street photography workshops to passionate shooters. He has had exhibitions at the Leica store in Korea, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne and in Cambodia and Downtown LA.

Eric is currently an instructor at UC Riverside and is teaching a university-level course titled: “All the World’s a Stage: An Introduction to Street Photography”. His past workshops include locations such as Switzerland, Beirut, Seoul, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, Sydney, London, Los Angeles, Toronto, Chicago, Stockholm, and Berlin.

You can see Eric’s work on his website.

Register Now…




  11 Responses to “Italy Workshop Announcement”

  1. I’d love to go, but I have a wedding to attend during that time in September! Let us know if you have a similar workshop in the States sometime.

    • Hey Rob,

      Ahh, sorry to hear you wont be joining us. I will keep you posted on future workshops stateside.


  2. Hi Adam. You are a fool if you add Eric’s name aside yours. Yes, he is a good kid and a “self proclaimed” “international photographer”. He has no moxie or credibility. He has no solid resume. He is a rookie in a wet diaper. I do like his spirit, but, he is lacking in the tools that you hold. I hope things work out for you.

  3. Hi Adam. You are a fool if you add Eric’s name aside yours. Yes, he is a good kid and a “self proclaimed” “international photographer”. He has no moxie or credibility. He has no solid resume. He is a rookie in a wet diaper. I do like his spirit, but, he is lacking in the tools that you hold. I hope things work out for you. Take care.

    • Hi Paul,

      Thank you for the compliment, albeit at the expense of Eric. We have two different approaches and we come from different backgrounds. I have ten years on him, so its not surprising that our resumes would differ. He is a hard working guy and I appreciate that about him.

      But I expect the workshop to be outstanding, maybe we will see you there.


      • Hello Adam,
        Paul brings a good point. I like Eric too. I’d not say I am a fan but I have his website on my RSS, have seen some of his videos, he seems like a good guy. He has found a niche and seems to be doing well for himself with the workshops, which is awesome. He’s living the dream and you’ve got to admire people who achieve that in life.

        I’d definitely hang out with him or have a drink or two but I’d not drop 2K to do so. The shots in his portfolio aren’t that great. I don’t know if his critique level would be up to par, certainly not on the same stratosphere as yours. Perhaps next time you should partner with a heavier name. I thought about taking a workshop this summer and I’d gladly pay the price tag because I need to work a lot on my composition and framing, but I’m not a beginner and for that price there are other options.

        Good luck.

        • Hey Jose,

          In the event you are concerned about spending $2K properly, I will take responsibility for that. Everyone I have worked with always walks away surprised by how much they learned. That includes people who have done workshops with Mary Ellen Mark, Alex Webb, Jay Maisel, Costa Manos…just to name a few big names. I never really set out to complete directly with other photographers, but do find it surprising how often I hear the same feedback.

          I would actually prefer if you were not a beginner. It allows us to really dive into design and composition, in a way that is not available in other workshops (at any price point). This is principally due to the fact that photographers are not trained as draftsmen.

          Eric and I certainly cater to different markets, which is why we thought it might be interesting to combine our two crowds.


  4. Hi Adam,

    This is huge!!! I think that with your experience in design and Kim’s attitude mixed together you lads will make a blast!
    It’ll be great to be part of the group. I’m not sure if I can make it with the money though.. Does the cost of the course include accommodation expenses?

    I love your posts by the way!


    • Hey Andy,

      Yes I expect it will be a great workshop. Hope to see you there.
      The accommodations are not included. The cost covers the workshop and all daytime activities.

      Glad you are enjoying the posts.


  5. Hi Adam,
    Just one question – would you be taking on most part of the workshop? I’m asking only because I’ve gone for Eric’s one-on-one street photography workshop.


    • Hi Nurul,

      Overall Eric and I will be working together. I will be handling all of the design lectures. You will get both of our feedback during critiques.


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