Drew Nikonowicz: Building Your Own 4×5 View Camera

Saturday and Sunday, October 19–20, 2019
11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m., both days

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

Join photographer Drew Nikonowicz for a two-day workshop intended for photographers interested in learning about large format photography, while building their own 4×5 View Camera – courtesy of Standard Cameras. This DIY approach will lead to a deeper understanding of image-making both inside and outside the camera. Regardless of your background, this workshop will leave you with all the knowledge and tools you need to successfully shoot with a large format camera. Drew founded Standard Cameras in 2018 as a platform to empower photographers everywhere to improve their skills through affordable equipment and valuable educational content.

Participants will begin by assembling their own Standard 4×5 as a group, while familiarizing themselves with their new 4×5. After assembly is complete, they will have an opportunity to practice making photographs with both a standard film back and Polaroid film back. Large format is a slow process, which forces the user to focus on each image in a radically different way. With Drew’s guidance, participants will receive advice on how to approach image-making with large format through hands-on practice, and later discussions on compositional and conceptual considerations while shooting. Participants will take home a hand-made Standard 4×5, several Polaroid photographs, and information on large format equipment.

Film, lenses, and additional equipment will be provided.

Drew Nikonowicz (born in St. Louis, Missouri, 1993) earned a BFA degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2016. His work employs analog photographic processes as well as computer simulations to deal with exploration and experience in contemporary culture. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally. In 2015 he received the Aperture Portfolio Prize and the Lenscratch Student Prize. In 2017 Nikonowicz completed a one-year residency at Fabrica Research Centre. He now lives and works in the United States in Saint Louis, Missouri as an artist and owner of the company Standard Cameras. His first photobook, This World and Others Like It, was co-published by Yoffy Press and Fw:Books in 2019.

Film for this workshop has been generously provided by Kodak Professional.
Kodak Professional Logo



  • Build your own Standard 4×5 within a small group setting
  • Learn the essentials to using a large format camera to make quality photographs
  • Practice shooting with large format Polaroid film and standard sheet film
  • Hear about local New York resources for processing, scanning, printing, and more

Materials To Bring:

  • Tripod (preferred, but not necessary)


Tuition for this two-day workshop is $700 and includes one Standard 4×5 Camera. Tuition also includes 4×5 sheet film and Polaroid film, and 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.

*A discount will only be given on the price of tuition covering instruction ($500), not the price of the camera ($200)



Registration ends on Monday, October 14, 2019
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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