John Chiara: Experimenting with Photography
In a two-day weekend workshop with Aperture Foundation, photographer John Chiara taught participants how to experiment and make one-of-a-kind images using pinhole cameras. To kick off the weekend, participants walked over to Yossi Milo Gallery to hear the artist share his insights on how he sees the world. Chiara then guided participants on how to set up the cameras and photograph in St. Nicholas Park, where everyone made several of their own images. Participants used both small and large pinhole cameras to make positive, black-and-white photographs. Everyone paired up to help one another time the exposure and keep track of what they were shooting. Each participant also received a point-and-shoot digital camera that they used to record and document the experience, which Chiara used to make a video that he showed the next day. At the end of the first day, everyone watched as Chiara used his own handmade camera to create an original 50-by-40-inch print.
On Sunday, the workshop met at My Own Color Lab, where Gerard Franciosa generously gave a tour and explained how to become an expert in the darkroom. The participants spent the morning in the lab, watching their images from the park come to life. The workshop ended with a group critique at Aperture, where Chiara gave the participants feedback on each of their images and raffled off his original print made in the park. Using the techniques from this workshop, these photographers have learned how to slow down and take all aspects of the scene into consideration when making an image.
About John Chiara
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.