NYC Downtown to Uptown by Martin Toft

Street Photography workshop: (Order out of Chaos)

Dates: 19-23 of December 2013

Small group size: max 10 participants To receive the detailed itinerary, please email us at or fill contact form form on your right.

Explore different approaches to street photography from classic to contemporary during a 3-day intensive workshop in New York’s metropolitan areas of Manhattan and ethnic neighborhoods in outer Boroughs.

New York is the city that never sleeps and no location offers as much cultural diversity, photo-opportunity, scale and energy. NYC is also home to some of the worlds’ most iconic landmarks including the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Flatiron Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, Statue of Liberty and Central Park.

Manhattan includes artistic areas, such as Tribeca, Soho, Greenwich Village and the East Village, colorful neighborhoods of Chinatown, the Lower East Side, Nolita, the West Village and Harlem and the rich history of lower Manhattan and Wall Street. Other ethnic communities can be found in the outer Boroughs such as Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx.

Join us as we explore this amazing cosmopolitan city for a photographic adventure and a cultural experience of a lifetime.

Spare Change by Martin Toft

Spare Change by Martin Toft

Who is it for? Anyone with a keen interest in photography who wants to become more confident as a street photographer and develop new skills as a visual storyteller. Although technical advice will be given on the best way to set up your camera for street shooting, the course will not focus on basic camera handling so you should have some prior knowledge on how to operate your camera.

Street Photography in New York: Ever since Alfred Stieglitz began to show the work of European artists, such as Picasso, Matisse and Cézanne at his 291 Gallery on 5th Avenue in the beginning of the 20th century, and in particular when photographer Walker Evans crossed the pond to visit Paris in the 1920s and brought some of that artistic fervor he witnessed in Europe back, New York became a place of extraordinary creative activity. It was not only Evans who began to focus his camera lens on his own city and its inhabitants, others like Lewis Hine, Dorothea Lange, Helen Levitt and Ben Shahn followed suit and soon being a street photographer had become a respectable profession. Since then America, and mot notably New York fostered a host of photographers which managed to elevate street photography beyond the newspaper and magazine page into the realms of art with publication of photo books and exhibitions in some of the major art galleries and museums. The golden age in Street Photography will always be the 1950s, 60s and 70s with names such as Robert Frank, Saul Leiter, William Klein, Lee Friedlander, Gary Winogrand, Diane Arbus and Joel Meyerowitz whom all now are part of the canon of ‘master’ street photographers. Then, and now New York will always be the place to explore Street Photography in all its glory and fallacy, triumphs and failures.

A 3-day course will cover

Mose in his Bash by Martin Toft

Mose in his Bash by Martin Toft

  • An introduction to Street Photography – History and Contemporary Practice
  • Portfolio Reviews
  • Tools, techniques and tips
  • Intensive practical photography on the streets
  • Image critique and feedback

Workshop Overview

It will be a very practical workshop and there will be a lot of shooting every day. Every day during the trip, participants shoot in pairs or on their own. In general there are no larger group shoots, so there are never too many people trying to take the same shots. Martin will shoot with a different person or pairing during each day, so there are ample opportunities to observe the way Martin work, approach his subjects, and to learn his tricks and techniques. This will also give Martin an opportunity to observe how each participant approach their subjects and he will give you hands-on guidance on how to advance your style, technique and set you specific tasks to bring you outside your comfort zone to make those pictures you always wanted to be able to do but never thought you had the courage to pursue. Special attention will be put on developing and practicing “social skills” – how to interact with local people. You will not only hunt for decisive moments like Henri Cartier-Bresson but also exploring more of a confrontational approach in the style of William Klein and get close to people, talk and photograph them. Throughout the day and in the evening at dinner everyone gets together to discuss and share photos.

Cardboard Box by Martin Toft

Cardboard Box by Martin Toft

Small group sizes means a high level of participant interaction with Martin so that everyone receives his full attention. Photographing together for a longer period of time means that participants get to know each other well, exchange experiences, share knowledge, good times and perhaps even form lasting connections. It will be a very memorable week that will change you not only as a photographer, but as a person too. Participants will be set assignments specifically designed to teach different strategies and approaches to capturing the unusual moments in everyday life. Your tutor, Martin Toft will convey in words and images his own unique way of working and encourage students to find their own visual vocabulary. Photographers who wish to join us must have their own camera and we recommend that you bring extra memory cards, batteries and a laptop for uploading, processing and editing pictures. In addition to a keen interest in photography, anyone signing up should bring a comfortable pair of shoes, as there will be a lot of walking and a good sense of humor will help you interact with the public and with skill make you capture those unguarded moments.

Day 1: Downtown; Noho, Nolita, Lower East Side, Chinatown, Little Italy, Soho and Greenwhich Village.

Day 2: Uptown; Grand Central Station, 5th Avenue, Central Park, Upper East Side, Harlem and Theatre District.

Day 3: Brooklyn; Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo (neighborhood in Brooklyn) and Financial District.

Soho by Martin Toft

Soho by Martin Toft

Price for workshop £795 per person includes:

  • Workshop tuition ( 3 days)  by Martin Toft
  • 4 nights accommodation: 4 star Hotel Morgans on a shared twin basis room
*Please let  us know if you would like extra services ( flights, transfers, extra nights and others) and we will be happy to send you a proposal

Price doesn’t include:

  • Breakfast supplement £ 25
  • Single room supplement £310
  • Private travel insurance
  • Flights

Professional photographer and tutor, Martin Toft who has over 20 years of experience working freelance indocumentary and editorial photography as well as teaching photography across all ages from A-level to higher education, lead the Street Photography Workshop. He has extensive local knowledge of the areas where you will shoot and on many previous occasions he has organized and led photography workshops in different locations. To view examples of his work go to

How do I sign up?

We prepare a detailed itinerary (day by day, hour by hour), send us your request

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