A new start / Mumbai street photography workshop

February 4, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Stretch and scratch

Not unlike many blogs out there, this one is coming out of a long hiatus. I’ve been meaning to get this up and going for a while but 2013 was a specially tough year to say the least and photography wasn’t on my mind much.
However I ended 2013 on a high note photography-wise. In December I joined one of Maciej Dakowicz’s workshops, this particular one to be held over a week in Mumbai.

Here is a brief testimonial of my experience:

There were a few key things I knew I wanted to get out of the workshop:
   -regain my confidence shooting in unfamiliar places.
   -make my photography more street, and less travel orientated.
   -learn techniques to better deal with the people I’m shooting.

After a very tentative first day shooting on my part, Maciej’s infectious enthusiasm and determination had luckily already started to rub off on me and I was eager to get back out shooting and make amends. As the week went by, my confidence increased. I’d come back every day with better shots and an increased sense of accomplishment. Every evening our best shots of the day would then be scrutinised, clarifying areas of strength and weakness. We’d also go over iconic street photography shots and discuss what made them so successful. So by the next morning I’d always leave the hotel with raised expectations and the feeling that I still had so much to learn. I found this cycle extremely motivating and I made sure I experimented and kept challenging myself more and more. Maciej would push me when I needed it, egging me on to be more daring; to get closer. Even when I was going through a tired or uninspired patch, watching him work scenes and communicate with the locals was invaluable, and can’t be learnt by opening a book, no matter how insightful.

By the end of the week I’d got everything I expected and more out of the workshop. I left Mumbai with my enthusiasm for photography fully revitalised and wishing to continue to build upon the new skills learnt. I also got to discover fantastic parts of an immense city without having to open a book or worry about any practicalities. Maciej’s qualities as a ‘guide’ as well as an outstanding photographer and teacher should not be underestimated. He is knowledgeable, organised and considerate. And most importantly he enjoys a laugh and a beer or two!

All in all, I’d recommend this workshop to anyone passionate about travel and / or street photography who is eager to learn and develop (and not scared of walking). As for myself, I can only hope this wasn’t the first and last of Maciej’s workshops I’ll attend.

I’ll end this post with a few of my favorite shots taken during or shortly after the workshop (I stayed on 2 extra days in Mumbai to shoot some more). Overall, these are the best street photography shots I’ve yet to get.

Face, foot, flowers

sandals and wickets

Voodoo yoga

Falling

Mixed worlds

If you’d like to see the whole set of photos in large, please follow the link to my website by clicking here.