San Francisco Photography Workshop

October 7-12, 2017 – Tuition $1,650


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Energize your photographic life with a wonderful week of photography in San Francisco!

Please join renowned international photojournalist Peter Turnley for a one week photography workshop on street photography in San Francisco, one of the world’s most visually exciting cities. This will be a wonderful opportunity for each participating photographer to spend one week with an excellent mentor in pursuit of embracing and expanding their personal vision and visual language while photographing the exciting daily life of one of the world’s great cities.

The workshop will take place from Saturday, Oct.7th to Thursday, Oct. 12th. Each day, participants will meet for approx. 3-4 hours with Peter Turnley for lectures, presentations, and photo critiques, in a conference room at the Hotel Triton, in the heart of San Francisco. During the rest of each day, participants will explore San Francisco and it’s many fascinating neighborhoods and districts such as Chinatown, Union Square, the Financial District, the Tenderloin, South of Market district, the Mission, the Castro, Haight-Ashbury, and many other areas. Peter Turnley will invite several members of San Francisco’s exciting photographic community to come and give presentations of their work.

The workshop ends with a final show with each student producing a 15-photograph portfolio/picture story that will be edited together with Peter Turnley on the of the workshop. This workshop focuses on helping students overcome any anxiety or timidity in photographing people. Peter Turnley introduces a camera technique that is a time tested, proven approach for making spontaneous and authentic photographs in the Cartier-Bresson spirit of capturing the “decisive moments” in daily life. Turnley helps students find a sense of purpose in their photography-and pushes students to plug into their personal interests and passions to help them better share a visual response to their feelings and perceptions of the world around them. The workshop also pushes students to think in terms of creating a narrative with a set of photographs, and helps students find their own personal vision and photographic language.

Students will be pushed to spend one half of each day photographing the life of one of the world's most exciting cities. Peter will provide a wide list of photographic themes and an extensive list of destinations to photograph.

There will be daily group photo critiques of all of the participants previous days' photographs. Peter spends 30 minutes daily with each student reviewing and editing the previous day’s work. Students will work towards establishing a 15-image picture story or photo essay to be shown at the final class on Thursday afternoon. Students are guests for a group dinner on Sunday night and a final dinner on Thursday evening.

Students find their own lodging during the week, but the possibilities are plentiful--including a special room rate offered to Peter's workshop participants, in the Hotel Triton, where classes are held. While booking your reservation, please mention the Turnley San Francisco photography workshop, to receive a special workshop room rate.

The Hotel Triton is a very charming hotel located in a very convenient and exciting location in San Francisco, steps from Union Square and China Town. The hotel offers participants in this workshop hotel room discount, which you can find following this link.


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 $250.


Daily class sessions are held in a lovely conference room at the Hotel Triton, very centrally located in the heart of San Francisco.


Try to arrive in San Francisco Friday night or latest by Saturday morning. The first workshop session will begin at 2pm on Saturday, but arriving Friday night will give you an evening to get acclimated before the workshop begins on Saturday.


The workshop ends Thursday evening, with a show of the students’ final 15-image photo stories made during the week and then a final group dinner where all participants are guests of the workshop.

Camera Gear and Technology

Participants will need to bring a digital SLR or rangefinder camera, a laptop computer, and a thumb drive. Two camera bodies are recommended, with a minimum of at least one wide-angle lens such as a 17-35mm zoom, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, or 50mm. Students may bring longer lenses as well, but Peter will strongly encourage participants to use a wide angle lens in order to get close to the subject, which allows a sense of context, environment, and intimacy. A wide-angle lens that is relatively fast and has a wide aperture (1.4, 1.8, 2, or 2.8) is encouraged in order to photograph in low light situations. It is recommended that participants bring extra memory cards, extra camera batteries, and all necessary battery chargers for their equipment. Students will need to know how to transfer the photographs they make each day onto their laptop computer. Each day, participants will bring a selection of their favorite photographs, or those they’d like to discuss, in a folder on a thumb drive, to the daily photo review and critique sessions. Students are encouraged to use image management software for this selection process. Peter recommends PhotoMechanic, however other programs such as Apple’s Aperture, or Adobe Lightroom may be used. PhotoMechanic can be downloaded for a free trial basis from

Students will be encouraged to choose from the outset if they want to show their work in color or in black and white, and they will be encouraged to stick to their choice of one of the other throughout the workshop.

Final Group Show and Portfolios of Past Work

At each photo critique and review session, Peter will work with each photographer to make a “selects” folder of their most successful images. At the end of the week, Peter will select with each photographer from this overall “selects” folder, a final individual photo story of 15 images, which will be seen as part of a group final show during the last workshop session.

Each participant should also bring a portfolio of a selection of their past work. Approximately 30 photographs are recommended, and they may be brought in a folder on a thumb drive, or as a selection of prints. Students’ portfolios of past work will also be shared during the final session of the workshop.


Participants will be invited as guests of the workshop for two group meals at the beginning and end of the week.

Aside from the two group meals, breakfasts, lunches and dinners are independent although students are encouraged to join each other in local restaurants and cafes.


The tuition for this workshop is $1,650. If you'd like to register for this workshop, please email Peter Turnley to receive instructions for making a $250 deposit to hold a spot in the workshop. The balance of $1,400 will be due within 30 days of the workshop.

© Juan Buhler

© Juan Buhler

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley 

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley

© Peter Turnley