RAW & Uncharted City Architecture Workshops

RAW & Uncharted City Architecture Workshops

RAW & Uncharted City Architecture Workshops

Decoding fine art and uncovering its purpose through architecture


Joel Tjintjelaar - better known as one of the pioneers of black-and-white fine art architectural photography as we know it today- is back to hosting multi-day; in-person and on-location fine art architectural photography workshops again.

But not just an architectural workshop. This will be unlike any other architecture workshop Joel ever taught as he attempts to make it transformative. Joel is on a quest to find the deeper meaning behind art (and with it, also life) through architecture while being informed by philosophy of mind, psychology and the latest insights in physics. He will share the importance of these relationships to understand art better and create more meaningful art. Anyone participating will notice this unique and profound approach. The first of these workshops will be in Germany's capital Berlin. Click here for practical info or sign up for this workshop.

Note: Depending on the demand for such an in-depth and advanced workshop for the serious photographer who wants to go deeper into fine-art and architectural photography, we will assess if more are to follow.


After a break of almost 10 years, Joel is eager and passionate to share his latest insights and teach the future generation of fine art architecture photographers everything it takes to evolve from a „photographer“ to a well-rounded artist. We start by decoding the concept of fine art and uncovering its purpose. And with that insight to learn how to use the camera to create more than pretty images and to make true visual statements instead. To unify the technical with the emotional side to make art.

WHAT are the RAW & Uncharted sessions

The RAW & Uncharted sessions are targeted at serious and dedicated photographers who want to specialize in architectural photography and want to know what fine art is. Artists who feel that fine art is more than a trendy label we give to a photograph, and who feel that concepts and rules for beauty are arbitrary. I've been on a quest to find the truth on art and beauty through architectural photography. And I've found this to be transformative on many levels and something I'm eager to share. Since my insights evolve continuously, no RAW & Uncharted workshop will be the same. Beginners are also welcome but should be willing to work hard to keep up. 

Wherever we are in the world, we will not just be visiting the ubiquitous landmarks of a city, instead, we will have a meaningful mix of architectural structures that carry historical, cultural, or aesthetic meaning to understand and emphasize the importance of an emotional connection with what we wish to photograph and express. In other words, we are not looking for pretty Instagram images, but for structures to connect with emotionally and express ourselves through. To give it a subjective meaning.

After all, if the following statement I once made is true "Beauty is not a thing or a quality that exists objectively in the external world. Beauty only exists in the individual as a subjective internal experience. It is an emotional response from the observer to something or someone." then, what matters more than seeking beauty is giving meaning to your art so it can evoke an emotional response in someone else.

HOW we aim to be transformative - from photographer to well-rounded artist

Consider the RAW & Uncharted Architecture sessions the start of your personal and artistic transformation process to becoming a creator of meaningful images. It promises to be an intense mix of rational/technical skills and an emotional/expressive mind that will make a difference.

We will cover everything from start to end, from the technical to the theoretical. After all, we should understand that techniques are mere means to a bigger and fundamental purpose: the visual STATEMENT of the final image.

From intense discussions on what art is, to the execution in the field with personal assignments, to the final print. By decoding fine art and uncovering its true purpose for you personally, you will be able to articulate what art is to you and with that, you will understand why you're making art and how to make it. And ultimately you need to have a tangible and tactile print in your hands to bring your art to life.

We will only briefly touch on technical-related knowledge that you can find anywhere online but Joel always has his own unique take on everything that will challenge your way of seeing and thinking. All technical aspects are covered in this workshop, albeit on an advanced level. 

And even if you’re advanced, you will always learn something completely new as Joel developed new methods and principles to create technically sophisticated images with artistic value.

During official workshop days Joel will be fully available for each and every student, also and especially during socializing after workshop hours. He will only bring his camera to demonstrate. 

WHY it matters

Joel was always pioneering new developments; always attempting to improve and evolve continuously and chart uncharted territories. Sticking with something simply because it was successful, is against his nature and defeats the essence of art. 

During his 10-year break, driven by a need for authentic expression, Joel's views on art, B&W photography, and his work have radically changed. Changed views, resulting in a completely new and unique curriculum, consisting of new methods and profound insights into art, which formed his new approach toward architecture and other genres of photography. But more than that: it also changed my view on life in a profound way.

His new ideas are raw, thought-provoking, and driven by the need to give meaning to one's unique experiences, and that's exactly what art needs to do.

In the end, art can move us deeply daily and give meaning and form to emotions - the good and the bad. There is an artist residing in every one of us. This workshop - or perhaps it is better to call it a 'guided transformational experience' will be a milestone, waking up the true artist inside of you.

Joel is eager to share all his new insights and skills and to encourage participants to adopt the same mindset and to explore uncharted territories with him. And perhaps, looking back on it a few years from now, you will conclude that you have found yourself at the forefront of another artistic development in photography and enriched your experience of life.

An overview of activities during sessions

  • Shooting in the field every day with personal guidance
  • Classroom lectures & in-the-field instructions and demos
  • Personal assignments during workshop
  • Personal feedback
  • Pre-workshop Zoom session as preparation
  • Post-workshop Zoom session for feedback and review
  • Non-workshop tag-along day: students are welcome after the workshop has ended to tag along with Joel a full day shooting and exploring and socializing.

An impression of some of the topics during sessions

  • Learn to articulate what art is for you and to live by it and create by it
  • Learn how to find your authentic voice
  • Maximum Point of Perspective, axial and non-axial perspectives
  • Researching locations and buildings we are photographing. Architect's intentions, historical and cultural context, time of day and weather, all play a role in the research and artistic decision process
  • Learn to celebrate the architectural design while still making it your art
  • Composition techniques specifically for architecture based on the influence of 18th-century Italian draftsman Giovanni Piranesi
  • Use of TS lenses and other in-camera techniques
  • Focus on visual weight and dynamism in buildings and how to achieve that
  • Advanced B&W processing and masking
  • A structured approach from Overview and context to detail:
    • How to amplify the relationship of a building with its urban landscape and surroundings to create a harmonic, meaningful symbiosis
    • How to decode architecture to connect with the architect’s intention and bring it to life in your work
    • Celebrating the architect's design while still making it your art
    • How to connect with a building on a truly emotional - almost intimate level
    • How to plan and prepare your photoshoot to bring your personal concept and vision to life
  • Preparing your work with the right care and detail for the final print and bring your art to life.


  • A good DSLR or mirrorless camera
  • Wide angle and longer lenses - a Tilt-shift lens is recommendable but not necessary
  • Sturdy tripod
  • Remote control
  • Filters: CP and ND filters are recommended but not necessary. Joel will always have filters at hand that you can use.

Sign up

Sign up for one of the available RAW & Uncharted Architecture workshops.

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