The Magic of Venice Through Your Camera

DATES: 10/06/2019 - 10/13/2019
PRICE: $2,795.00

Lester Lefkowitz is a New York-based professional photographer who has photographed in all fifty states and fourteen countries. He has provided images to many Fortune-500 companies and most major publications, from National Geographic to Time Magazine to The New York Times.

Lester is the author of numerous books and articles on photography, and has been a consultant to both Kodak and Polaroid. He has taught workshops and lectured at many arts, educational and professional institutions, and is a very popular teacher at The International Center of Photography (ICP). From introductory classes to advanced lighting, from basic Photoshop to close-up photography, Lester has been an enthusiastic instructor to hundreds of students.

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Lester was an early adopter of digital photography, but is still pleased to assist film photographers based on his years of experience with that lovely (old) medium. His knowledge of state-of-the-art digital imaging is extensive, working with both Macs and PCs, numerous digital cameras, and with a long list of software, including Photoshop, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, iPhoto and Portfolio.

Lester is a major producer of stock photography; creating images for both Getty and Corbis, the two largest stock photo agencies in the world. His subject matter ranges from landscapes to cityscapes, flowers to lasers, architecture to surgery.

Hone your photographic vision in the most beautiful city in Europe!

Combine the sights and stimulation of Venice with an opportunity to broaden and hone your photographic skills and vision. For a solid week, totally immerse yourself in art, architecture and adventure, with sights that are a feast to the eye, then translate those experiences into compelling photographs with the assistance of an energetic, vastly experienced and wonderfully engaging instructor – Lester Lefkowitz.

In this fascinating Northern Italian city – situated on 118 small islands, traversed by 177 canals and 455 bridges – we will explore myriad facets of the culture of this important Renaissance hot spot. And the same creativity and dynamism that made Venice the crossroads of the world for hundreds of years is still alive today in an amazing concentration of contemporary fine art, crafts, music, fashion, food and wine.

The goals:

  • to have a wonderful experience
  • to improve your visual and technical mastery of the film or digital medium, regardless of your current level, and
  • to create memorable images.

Because of the small group size, and opportunity (but not necessity) to interact with the instructor and each other for up to sixteen hours a day, each person will get a good deal of personal attention.

Daily excursions will allow abundant time for photography at visually and intellectually stimulating venues. Each morning (and after dinner if you wish), there will be presentations by Lester as well as one-on-one attention to your personal photographic interests and needs. Digital photography, of course, provides the tremendous opportunity for immediate feedback, critique and sharing, greatly facilitating the learning process. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring a digital camera and a laptop computer.

In a studio set aside just for us, those shooting digitally will have the opportunity to download their images for immediate editing, review, and comment by the instructor and the class. As appropriate, Lester will offer instruction in all aspects of Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, iPhoto and Portfolio for editing, organizing, image enhancement and image manipulation. If you are familiar with some other software, you are, of course, welcome to use that.

One-hour color negative film processing is available for those using film. The photo store can also put those images onto a CD, so you can import them into your laptop computer for viewing and enhancement.

Venice Canal-LL

Venice Waterway by Lester Lefkowitz

Workshop Includes:

  • Instruction in camera handling, basic settings and composition for people just getting started
  • Advanced techniques for those with digital SLR cameras: shooting in RAW, advanced exposure modes, accurate focusing techniques, explanation of zillions of menu choices, etc.
  • Tutorials in the “digital darkroom” – various software to download, edit, organize and enhance your images, from basic cropping and color correction to RAW file conversion, layers, masking and collages
  • An evening/night excursion to capture this magical city in the warm light that emanates from street lamps, shops, houses (and the moon, if we’re lucky). Participants are urged to bring a tripod for this and other excursions.

General Activities: Our first meeting will be an orientation at 6pm of the first Saturday.  From there we will have dinner with the group.  Most other activities for the week will be organized around the individual workshops but all participants will come together for meals and events like the guided walking tour of selected highlights of Venice. Then, at the end of the week the artists will stage an exhibit of their work to share their visual impressions of enigmatic Venice.

Dinners: During the week we will we will have 5 dinners together. To experience a good cross-section of typical Venetian cuisine we will sample diverse neighborhood trattorie and Michael and Linda will host our group for two home-cooked meals with ingredients we find at the outdoor market. Two nights of the week you will be on your own to follow your nose to restaurants or concerts or the opera or whatever else might pique your curiosity during your stay. There is plenty of time for independent exploration.

If you have a non-photographer friend who would like to accompany you on this workshop, there is a concurrent painting classes being offered:

Painting Workshop with Liz Haywood-Sullivan

You would each follow your specific workshop activities during the day, then come together for meals and excursions.

Of course, friends can always come as non-participants (see pricing below). They would share a room with you and all meals and excursions would be open to them.

LL-Venice 1

Venice Canal by Lester Lefkowitz

Price: $2,795* p/p
Optional Single Room Supplement = $475 (limited availability);
Non-participant fee = $2,495  (Note:  there is a concurrent painting workshop for interested partners)

*  Early Bird Special – $100 discount if registration is received by April 1, 2019


  • 7 nights at the convent – single or double room with ensuite bathroom and shower
  • Daily Venetian breakfast and 5 dinners at local restaurants, including wine
  • Workshop tuition
  • Guided tour of Venice
  • Selected excursions with class

Price does not include:

  • Airfare
  • Lunch
  • Independent meals and sight-seeing
  • Workshop materials
  • Local transportation:  vaporettos, water taxis
  • Replacement cameras for those dropped into the canals

Contact us for more information: or speak to us live at 800-990-3506.

For our week in Venice we will be staying at the renovated monastery of Don Orione Artigianelli directly on the Giudecca Canal.  The complex is built around a series of quiet cloisters where the only sound is of the bells ringing on the hour.

Rooms are single or double, simply furnished, but each with its own private, modern bathroom.

Breakfast is served each morning in the dining room on the main floor.  We will use one of their conference rooms as our studio.

To arrive either you can fly directly into Venice or into Milan and then take the train to Venice. Specific arrival instructions will follow, but from the train station you can take the vaporetto and get off at the Zattere.  From the airport you can take the Alilaguna ferry (Blue Line) and get off at the Zattere.  In either case, Artigianelli will be right in front of you.  We’ll send you easy walking directions so you won’t get lost.  Remember that Venice is a walking city, so pack light because you will have to pull your luggage down the alleys and over the bridges – there’s just no getting around that.

Our first activity will be an orientation at 6pm on the first day, followed by dinner with the group.

Departure is after breakfast on the final day.  If you are flying out that day you might try to arrange your flights for 11am or later to avoid getting up at the crack of dawn.

If you have time you might want to explore the Lakes district or enchanting towns like Bergamo or Verona, the site of Romeo and Juliet, before you arrive in Venice. This will give you plenty of time to recover from jet-lag before you settle in at the convent and start your workshop. Besides, Italy is not something that should be experienced in a hurry. Its charms need to seep into your skin while you linger at a café or amble through a piazza.

Venice, city, empire, wonder of the world, is one of the most visually stimulating places on Earth. Stripes of canals, Byzantine mosaics glittering in the sun, window cases of blown glass, leather-bound books, plumed masks, woodcut puppets. Each step through the crooked passages is a delight. Spend a week (or two) probing unknown corners. Stay long enough to lounge at a café. Get to know the old woman at the vegetable stall. Return to that tiny mask shop again and again. Photograph it. Artists and writers have been interpreting Venice since it was born in the lagoon centuries ago, from the Grand Canal to the tiny sculptures above the doorframes. Get lost in the sensuality.

Because Venice is such a visual feast that is a collection of its past, our program offers weeklong workshops in painting or photography. Participants coming from the different disciplines will capture and be stimulated by the passion of Venice.  Throughout the week the groups inspire one another to see in new ways and to experiment with their work in a city that has awed writers, painters, colonels and kings.

Bartosek-rialto sunset

Rialto Sunset by Cindy Bartosek