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Seeing the Light: Photography Unplugged

September 23, 2019 - October 12, 2019

Photos by Philip Blenkinsop and Daniel Schwartz.

Instructors: Philip Blenkinsop and Daniel Schwartz
Cost: Tuition-free scholarships available for residents of Asia Pacific non-G20 Countries 
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Class size: 16 students
Duration: 3 Weeks

Our partner the VII Academy is sponsoring three intensive weeks of lectures, discussions, practice, screenings, photography and physical and mental exercises, taught by VII’s Philip Blenkinsop and Daniel Schwartz and designed to raise the level of all aspects of your photographic practice.

The course will address all of the issues one might expect to encounter, from the initial planning stages of a reportage, essay or personal long-term project; its execution, your choice of visual language and knowing what you want to say; your approach, the questions of ethics that may arise, practical concerns and the shooting process itself. Philip and Daniel will share their wealth of knowledge, illuminating and demystifying the many aspects of this journey, all the way to the ever-important editing stages for presentations on pages and walls, and helping you shape the final narrative that will determine how your work is interpreted and the impact it makes.


Eligible applicants must be citizens and residents of Asia Pacific non-G20 countries. 

Please note the cut off for applications is 2359 at GMT -4 on August 19, 2019.

Apply Now


  • Digital Camera and lens.
  • SD card(s)
  • Laptop (if you own one) with photo editing software such as Photoshop or Affinity.
  • External Hard Drive or USB key.
  • Work in progress.
  • Minimum of 60 images on a given theme. These should be images from the portfolio that you upload when you apply for the scholarship, and will be used when you begin the course to explore the editing process and to create a narrative. Please bring the original files (un-cropped), both as High Res JPG files AND 4” x 6’ prints.
  • Please note: We ask for postcard size prints, 4 x 6 inches. Please do NOT bring larger prints.


Our time will be divided into roughly three parts:

  • Theory & History; Issues related to the Application of the Medium and Visual Exercises
  • Photography and Assignments
    • (Including weekend assignments)
  • The Editing Process. Building Narratives / Maquettes /Portfolios / Exhibition
Philip Blenkinsop. Moung, Cambodia 1989

Philip Blenkinsop. Moung, Cambodia 1989.

Daniel Schwartz with PJG. Cambodia 1992

Daniel Schwartz with PJG. Cambodia 1992.


“At the very beginning of the workshop, the approach of Philip and Daniel looks totally different, but through the process, such a different approach creates something fantastic. I like that because it allows students to understand that it is quite right to have a different opinion and to argue with them about that. In so many ways that can improve the creation of a book.” — Midhat Poturovic

“I can definitely say “After the image” workshop was like a switch in my head. I went to Sarajevo very confused, with a chaotic body of work where I was constantly getting lost in it. Philip and Daniel were great teachers – not telling me which is wrong or right but just giving a direction and pushing myself to find my own truth. They helped me see and think about the deeper meaning of the image, not only about its photographic qualities but to see it as a result of a process which have engaged my knowledge and understanding about the subject. They helped me understand the great importance of the sequence, to understand how crucial is to match the right photographs in order to communicate ideas. We were talking about everything around bookmaking – creating dummies, using textures and colors, engaging various design techniques. Just a great experience!”— Aleksandar Nikolov

Philip Blenkinsop

“Philip, for the first time in my life, during your workshop I could say yes to Photography with my entire heart & soul” — Habiba Nowrose

“Philip’s words and images have opened my eyes.”  Fabio Bucciarelli, Robert Capa Gold Medal recipient

“Philip, you are an inspiration and you know how precious (and rare) it is to be around inspired, talented and genuine people. Thank you for taking the time to understand where I am today with photography and leading me to take the next step with thoughtful and implementable guidance. It has been a fascinating week upon which I believe I will build for the rest of my life.”    Patrick Firouzian

“Philip, a special thank you for putting me in a position to understand a lot of technical things, framing, shooting and use of the 35mm, but most of all, thanks for showing me the most important things you have, your human side, your motivation in teaching and last but not least to make me better understand the value of a word; one of those words that everyone uses and profers, but none or very few apply in life. Ethics. Thank you very much. For me this is the beginning of a new path. I’ll try to stay focussed and make use of your teachings. This is one of those life experiences that I will treasure.” — Roberto Bianconi

Daniel Schwartz

“I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed and appreciated your time with me last week. The editing session you did with Sara [Terry] was fantastic. I felt honored and happy that you put so much energy and thought into your deliberations. I learned so much over that time.” — Jonathan Dayman

“Thank you one more time for your advice and all your kindness. I enjoyed listening to you and I will remember it for a long time. I admire your work, I particularly like From Burma Road to Wall Street. You are a great photographer but above all great, sensitive human being.” — Malgorzata Hryniszyn


September 23, 2019
October 12, 2019
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VII Academy Thailand
31 Moo 9
Chiang Mai, 50230 Thailand
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