Silo City Workshop – Buffalo, NY

Mark Maio

© Mark Maio

Capture Integration and Leica will be supporting photographer Mark Maio with his upcoming workshop in Buffalo, New York. Mark’s workshop provides exclusive authorized access to grain elevators and outbuildings on six acres of property. Leica is providing Leica S, Leica M and Leica M Monochrome kits available for attending during this workshop.

The unique opportunity to conduct a photography workshop at Buffalo’s Childs Street grain elevators is due to the vision and generosity of Rick Smith. Rick owns six acres of privately controlled abandoned grain elevators along the Buffalo River. Rick’s vision for the area is to make it a multipurpose facility featuring design, the arts, entertainment and industrial heritage.

I met Rick in June of 2012 after he invited me to spend an afternoon photographing the grain elevators and outbuildings on his property. Within the first hour of exploring the area, I knew I wanted to conduct a workshop onsite. I also figured there were other photographers who, like me, enjoyed abandoned industrial spaces for both their aesthetic as well as their historical and architectural significance.

In all the years I had photographed the grain unloading process in Buffalo, my only images of the elevators were made from the outside along the river. I respected the “No Trespassing” signs posted along the abandoned elevators and couldn’t secure permission to get inside those still in operation. The opportunity to organize a two and a half day workshop with authorized unlimited access to every area of Rick’s grain elevators and outbuildings was too good to pass up. I hope you agree and decide to join me. This year we have added a half day of photographic access to the Francis G. Ward Pumping Station. – Mark Maio

Instructors: Mark Maio + Julio Alvarez
: 4 Days
Dates: June 5-8
Workshop Size: 20
Price: $695

The registration fee includes the workshop, lunch (Friday & Saturday), transportation to and from the workshop site, and refreshments on site throughout the workshop. Hotel, other meals and any incidental expenses are the responsibility of the attendee.

Visit the workshop page for registration and full details


The elevator complex is located on a sharp bend in the Buffalo River. On the north end of the property is the Lake and Rail Elevator and directly across the river from the complex are the Standard Elevators. Both of these elevators are still being used and we will not have access to either of them during the workshop. My hope is that we might get lucky during the workshop and be there as one or both of these elevators is visited by a Great Lakes freighter with a load of grain. These buildings are rich in architectural history and industrial design. With over half a million square feet of space, we will have plenty of room to explore and photograph.

This year we are fortunate to be able to also offer a half day photography trip to the Francis G. Ward Pumping Station in Buffalo. The pumping station went online in 1915 and when constructed, was the largest water pumping plant in the United States. It remains today one of the largest and most completely equipped water treatment and pumping stations in the world.


New this year is having both Leica and Capture Integration as sponsors. This adds a new dimension to the workshop. Attendees will be able to use Leica cameras and lenses throughout the workshop including Leica S medium format and M Monochrome and M 240 digital systems.

Chris Snipes from Capture Integration will be in attendance and provide additional medium format and tech camera systems plus digital backs from Phase One, Mamiya Leaf and Hasselblad for testing and demonstration.