John Chiara: Experimenting with Photography

Saturday and Sunday, September 8–9, 2018
11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m., both days

Aperture Foundation
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
New York, N.Y.


John Chiara, Grizzly Peak Boulevard at Claremont Avenue, Oakland, 2011; from John Chiara: California (Aperture/Pier 24 Photography, 2017)


John Chiara, Kansas Street at 22nd Street, San Francisco, 2004; from John Chiara: California (Aperture/ Pier 24 Photography, 2017)


Join photographer John Chiara for a two-day workshop intended for photographers who are looking to have fun and experiment with photography. Whether you’re a novice, professional, or enthusiast of photography, this workshop will display a raw, hands-on, alchemist approach to the medium. Known for making large-scale photographs with hand-built cameras—the largest being 50 by 80 inches—Chiara will teach participants how to make one-of-a-kind images using a variety of cameras and techniques.
On the first day of the workshop, participants will photograph the New York City landscape using large-scale, 4-by-5, and small pinhole cameras. Chiara will guide participants on how to set up the cameras, locate the perfect scene, and photograph the landscape. Using these techniques, participants will learn how to slow down their approach and take all aspects of the scene into consideration when making an image. Participants will spend the second day of the workshop in the darkroom developing their images. Chiara will teach participants how to work in the darkroom and develop their images using black-and-white processing methods. The workshop will end with a group critique back at Aperture. Participants will take home their own one-of-a-kind photographic print.

John Chiara (born in San Francisco, 1971) received a BFA in photography from the University of Utah in 1995 and an MFA in photography from the California College of the Arts in 2004. Chiara was Artist in Residence at Budapest Art Factory (2017); Crown Point Press, San Francisco (2006, 2016); Porch Society, Clarksdale, Mississippi (2013–14); Gallery Four, Baltimore (2010); and Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California (2010). In 2011 and 2013, the Pilara Foundation in San Francisco commissioned work that was included in two group exhibitions at Pier 24 Photography: HERE. and A Sense of Place.



  • Discover and learn how to use various cameras and methods of photography
  • Learn basic darkroom techniques
  • Create a personal one-of-a-kind photograph (that you get to take home!)

Materials to bring:

  • Participants will be notified regarding required materials


Tuition for this two-day workshop is $600 and includes lunch and light refreshments for both days.

Currently enrolled students and Aperture Members at the $250 level and above receive a 10% discount on workshop tuition. Please contact [email protected] for a discount code. Students will need to provide proper documentation of enrollment.



Registration ends on Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Contact [email protected] with any questions.



Please refer to all information provided regarding individual workshop details and requirements. Registration in any workshop will constitute your agreement to the terms and conditions outlined.

Aperture workshops are intended for adults 18 years or older.

If the workshop includes lunch, attendees are asked to notify Aperture at the time of registration regarding any special dietary requirements. Please contact us at [email protected].

If participants choose to purchase Aperture publications during the workshop they will receive a 20% discount. Aperture Members of all levels will receive a 30% discount.



Aperture reserves the right to take photographs or videos during the operation of any educational course or part thereof, and to use the resulting photographs and videos for promotional purposes.
        By booking a workshop with Aperture Foundation, participants agree to allow their likenesses to be used for promotional purposes and in media; participants who prefer that their likenesses not be used are asked to identify themselves to Aperture staff.



Aperture workshops must be paid for in advance by credit card, cash, or debit card. All fees are non-refundable if you should choose to withdraw from a workshop less than one month prior to its start date, unless we are able to fill your seat. In the event of a medical emergency, please provide a physician’s note stating the nature of the emergency, and Aperture will issue you a credit that can be applied to future workshops. Aperture reserves the right to cancel any workshop up to one week prior to the start date, in which case a full refund will be issued. A minimum of ten students is required to run this workshop.



Please act responsibly when using any equipment provided by Aperture or when in the presence of books, prints etc. belonging to other participants or the instructor(s). We recommend that refreshments be kept at a safe distance from all such objects.

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