The Sicily Streets and Ritual Easter Workshop takes students in the heart and soul of Sicily during the week of Easter. In the days before Easter, every town in Sicily performs traditional religious processions at Easter time. These remarkably emotional visual scenes combine Christian and pagan themes into unique rituals unlike anywhere in the world. They are both striking visual events and an authentic inroads and immersion into the traditions and pulse of everyday life in Sicily.
This weeklong workshop begins on the Wednesday before Holy Friday when the processions begin, and students will move from village to village throughout the week witnessing a range of processions, from intimate emotional processions in rural eastern villages to the more well known, larger processions in and around Sicily’s largest city and the workshop’s base, Palermo. Students will explore the fascinating island of Sicily in search of the special moments of passion, pain and joy that have accompanied the emotional Easter week in Sicily for hundreds of years. This is not simply a photographic journey, but a once-in-a-lifetime human and culinary experience. Students will be immersed in the crossroads of unique and extraordinary cultures and architecture, the warm, proud spirit of everyday Sicilians, and savor breathtakingly delicious Sicilian cuisine.
The workshop base is Palermo and each morning students will gather together for approximately three hours of lectures, presentations, photo critiques of student’s daily work, and discussion with Peter Turnley, and a number of Italian photographers and experts of life in Sicily. Peter will discuss various insights into technique, intent, composition, and the creative use of the camera in a relaxed atmosphere. He will review and critique each student’s portfolio, and works-in-process, discuss careers, getting published and offer each student an idea of how far along they are and how they can become even better photographers/visual communicators. Most importantly, he will help each student revel in the joy and wonderment of observation and seeing. Students will focus on how to use documentary photography as a tool for visual storytelling, illuminating the intimate moments of everyday reality. Students will be encouraged to photograph both the ordinary and extraordinary scenes of daily life and to embrace the challenge of photographing people. The other half of each day will be spent photographing the processions and everyday life in Sicily, either in groups in shared cars or on their own around the vibrant city of Palermo, with processions of varying size and motif taking place in different quarters of the city each day.
The student’s aim will be to create a personal photo essay based around a particular visual theme of their choosing. Peter will work with students in their choice of theme. The focus of this workshop is street photography and documenting the life and reality of this incredible region at its most dramatic time. Peter will help the students be aware of all of the amazing visual opportunities to witness and explore each day. Turnley is a master at photographing people and has vast experience in helping students relax and find a sense of purpose in the process of photographing people and daily life. He is a disciple of Henri-Cartier-Bresson, and encourages his students to search for “decisive moments” in everyday life.
Students will create and select final 15-image photo essay from their week of shooting around Sicily. Peter Turnley will help the students refine not only their photography, but gain a greater sense of creating a visual narrative, and how to conceptualize images into dynamic storytelling. Turnley will help you find the threads of commonality in your images that contribute to each person’s individual vision.
The Sicily Streets and Easter Rituals Workshop will offer an unforgettable opportunity to experience the unending surprises of Sicily in the midst of a truly unique and culturally significant annual event.
This is an ideal workshop to bring along a spouse, son or daughter or partner. Non-photographic companions may join the group sessions and meals but are not involved in the critique or review sessions. Companion supplement is $150.
While students are welcome to stay anywhere in Palermo, which has a fast, and modern public transportation system and is easily traversed by foot, bicycle or taxi, Peter has booked the:
Centrale Palace Hotel
Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 327
Palermo 90134 PA
Telefono: +39 091 336666
This is where the class will be held.
Students are however advised to make hotel reservations well in advance of the workshop as many hotels are fully booked or considerably raise their rates during the Easter week in Palermo. Compared to the much of Europe, hotel accommodations in Palermo are extremely affordable. The following are recommended hotels, all with good Internet access, and within close proximity to the workshop space.
Giorgio's House Palermo, Via Mongitore, +39 3472214823
ATTIC 12 Bed&Breakfast, Via dell'Autonomia Siciliana n.51 +39 3333 100546
Grand Hotel et Des Palmes Palermo, Via Roma 398, +39 091 6028111
Hotel Residenza D’Aragona, Via Ottavio D'Aragona, 25, 90139 Palermo Ph. +39 091.6622222,
The most affordable way to reach Palermo is on any of the many daily flights available from numerous U.S. Cities to either Rome or Milan airports. From here, national carrier Alitalia and numerous other low-cost airlines have frequent flights to Palermo International Airport, Falcone Borsellino.
It is recommended that students rent a car for the week in order to be able to move freely to different villages in near Sicily during the week.
This workshop is conducted using digital cameras. If you wish to shoot film, you may so do, but we suggest you bring it home for processing, so for critiques, you will have to be using a digital camera. Students are encouraged to use a 35 mm digital camera. You will need to know how to download your digital images each evening to a folder so that your days work can be brought to class the next day on either a flash drive, external hard drive, or disc, for review each day with Peter Turnley. From the outset students will be asked to choose whether to work in color or in black and white, and they will be encouraged to stick to their color throughout the workshop.
WHAT TO BRING
Besides digital SLR cameras, students are asked to bring along a body of creative work to share, it can be a printed portfolio, a digital card of images, or any sort of visual set of work. Your portfolio can be prints or digital images. The workshop will have an LCD projector and there will be a final show of all of the students work during the final session.
A digital SLR camera is required. Students may work with a high end point and shoot camera such as a Canon G10. Two bodies are recommended, with a minimum of at least one wide-angle lens, such as a 17-35mm zoom, or 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, or 50mm lens. In order to shoot comfortably in low light situations, it will be preferable that students have a wide-angle lens that is relatively fast and has a wide aperture such as 1.4., 1.8. 2 or 2.8. Bring several memory cards (at least 1 gigabyte cards are recommended), extra batteries and necessary battery chargers. A laptop should have image management software, such as Apple’s Aperture, Adobe’s Light Room or, as Peter suggests, PhotoMechanic, which can be downloaded, free, on a trial basis from CameraBits.com
A back-up system for storing each day’s work is also required. This can be your laptop, a portable external hard drive storage device, flash drive, or discs. Additionally, you will need means of transmitting your daily selection of edited images in a folder to Peter for review; flash drives are the most practical, but you can also use an external hard drive, or DVD.
RESEARCH AND PREPARATION
Research and preparation are important parts of any endeavor, particularly adventures. There are many very thorough guidebooks about Palermo and Sicily itself. The internet is also a great resource to find out more about the processions.
The first and last meals are included in the cost of the workshop.. Aside from the two group meals, breakfasts, lunches and dinners are independent but students are encouraged to join each other in local restaurants and cafes. Students usually spend around $40 a day on meals.
For more information about teacher Peter Turnley, please consult his personal website:www.peterturnley.com
Turnley has published 5 books of his work:
In Times of War and Peace
Moments of Revolution