Photoville, the free outdoor photo festival housed in shipping containers on the Brooklyn waterfront, is back. This year the festival will run for two weekends, offering everything from exhibitions and walking tours to Education Day, which will bring 600 middle and high school students to the festival.
Sam Barzilay, one of Photoville’s founders, described it in 2012 as “like a country fair, only for photography.” The next year: “It’s much more of a rough-and-tumble photography kind of event,” Mr. Barzilay said. “It’s not quiet photography.” Last year, Photoville moved from its original location to an especially photogenic spot under the Brooklyn Bridge. We at Lens called it “perhaps the premier photo festival in New York City.”
Photoville, which is produced by United Photo Industries, opens in the same camera-ready spot this Wednesday, Sept. 13. Laura Roumanos, another one of the festival’s founders, said United Photo Industries was expecting more than 90,000 visitors. The work required to put on a free outdoor festival for that many people didn’t stop the organizers from adding one last-minute exhibition: “Charlottesville and Beyond.”
Ms. Roumanos said the idea took shape in under a day. She sent an email with the subject line, “A crazy proposal regarding Photoville & you” to Mark Peterson and Ruddy Roye, who covered the violence in Charlottesville, Va., in August. “I felt O.K. to just reach out to them because they could just say to me, ‘Laura, you’re crazy,’” she said.
They didn’t. It wasn’t long before both of them had emailed her back to say yes.
Jason Kessler, organizer of the "€œUnite The Right”€ rally, stands in front of the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville. Featured in the exhibition “Charlottesville and Beyond.”Credit Mark Peterson/Redux Pictures
The container will also include work by Evelyn Hockstein, who covered Charlottesville for The Washington Post; Hilary Swift, who covered demonstrations in Boston the next weekend for The New York Times; a film about the presidential inauguration by Nina Berman; and space for visitors to leave thoughts.
“This kind of sums up what Photoville is,” Ms. Roumanos said. “At the end of the day we’re thinking about who our audience is — and it’s everyone.”
Among the highlights this year, she said, is a conversation between Michael Shaw of Reading the Pictures and Pete Souza, the White House photographer who covered the Obama presidency — and who has since been sharing photos, and provocative captions, with his enormous Instagram audience.
From “Finding Home.”Credit Lynsey Addario
James Estrin and David Gonzalez of Lens curated a series of “EmergiCube” exhibitions — 4-foot-high cubes featuring work by emerging photographers from the 2017 New York Portfolio Review.
Finding Home” — a container exhibition with photos by Lynsey Addario, Aryn Baker and Francesca Trianni — follows the lives of three Syrian families caught up in Europe’s refugee crisis. And the “Lost Rolls America” exhibition, curated by Robert Peacock and Ron Haviv, will be one of a handful of outdoor exhibits. “That’s going to be incredibly immersive,” Ms. Roumanos said.
For many of the organizations, educators and photographers exhibiting work, she said, Photoville is an opportunity to reach a bigger audience — one outside the traditional gallery-going crowd. “The whole idea of Photoville,” she said, “was making it more affordable for organizations … to have space, and also that critical mass.”
Desi Gas, from “Newest Americans.”Credit Ed Kashi/Talking Eyes Media
Ms. Roumanos said she was particularly excited about the evening programming. On opening night, Photoville will present Talking Eyes Media’s “Newest Americans,” a showcase that includes live performances. The first evening will also feature images by the photographers highlighted in the outdoor exhibition the Fence 2017.
On Thursday, Sept. 14, the tail end of New York Fashion Week, New York magazine will present images and behind-the-scenes stories from “The 43-Day Fashion Shoot,” portraits taken around the United States by the photographer Holly Andres.
The next night, The Times will present highlights from the career of Stephen Crowley; images from Venezuela by Meridith Kohut; selections from “America Today, in Vision and Verse,” a project that paired photographers with poems; and a look at the effects of climate change by Josh Haner, whose work also appears in The Times’s container exhibition curated by the deputy photo editor Meaghan Looram.
Polar Bears in Kaktovik, Alaska in 2016, from “Carbon’s Casualties: How Climate Change is Upending Life Around the World.”Credit Josh Haner/The New York Times
Over the weekend, ESPN will present “Vivid,” its first evening showcase at Photoville, and POV will share moments from “Cameraperson,” an award-winning documentary, as well as a conversation with its director and cinematographer, Kirsten Johnson.

Photoville opens Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 4 p.m. and runs through Sunday, Sept. 17. The festival will return for a second weekend on Thursday, Sept. 21. Follow @photovillenycpetesouza@kermac and @nytimes on Instagram. Follow @nytimesphoto on Twitter. You can also find Lens on Facebook.