Testimonials from the participants of Maciej Dakowicz’s photography workshops
Ali Rezvani – India, November 2016
“Maciej Dakowicz!! His street photography tips change my mind in 8 days. It was my first time being in street photography workshop and find amazing tips and experience improvement with maciej, he is not like a typical photography teacher, he is a good travel mate and team working leader. In 2015 when I start to make some research about Varanasi I find Maciej website and his workshops in India and decided to go to Varanasi with him but unfortunately find it was fully booked, for a 1 year I check his website and finally find space in November 2016 workshop. It was a great November in my life full of golden tips in street photography and improve my knowledge and skills to the next level of street photography.
Now I would love to go to another workshop with Maciej in the future and recommended to anyone who love to jump to upper levels of street photography. He is the best!!!”
Quoc-Dien Trinh – India, September 2016
“This is my second trip with Maciej. Having attended many street photography workshops in the US and abroad, I can truly say that he is *THE BEST*. He spent countless hours helping me capture, select and post-process my photos. The workshop is a bargain and you will get much face time with him given that he only allows a small number of students per group. Even if you are a seasoned street photographer, I highly recommend attending one of his workshops. For one, you get to spend time with a group of equally motivated photographers, and you will push each other to get better. Second, there will be no waste of time — maciej knows where to go and when. There is NO WAY I would have found these places in Mumbai on my own. Finally, even on my second visit, Maciej had some more tricks for me to learn. I will definitely be back for another workshop in the near future.”
Puvadol Saengvichien – India, November 2016
“The best part about Maciej’s workshop was that I felt like I was among a like-minded group of friends learning together and supporting each other to succeed. It was the amicable and camaraderie environment that helped all of us push ourselves further together by feeding and bouncing off the energy from each other. I am normally a lone shooter, but I learned to understand and benefited greatly from shooting in pairs in this workshop.
The daily schedule was very intense with long hours of shooting, late night self-editing, while trying to fit the meals and the daily editing / feedback sessions with Maciej somewhere in between. The same cycle repeated again the next day and everyday and this is why I learned so much in such short period of time.
Maciej himself is so friendly, kind, and generous in sharing the knowledge and experience that he has learned and collected over the years. He worked very hard to facilitate the workshop and to ensure everyone was at their best to benefit from the workshop. He is humble, not behaving like a big shot master of photography but more like a friend and mentor who really want to see you success by being the best you can be. He spotted and pointed out the development that I need very early on and constantly pointing me the directions to improve and to bring me out of my comfort zone.
There is a good reason why Maciej’s workshop is always fully booked. Many of the spots are taken by the previous participants who decided to come back for more. I have already scheduled my next one and I am much looking forward to it.”
Stephen Reynolds – India, September 2016
“I have attended a couple of workshops with Maciek and they have both been very memorable in lots of ways. I have travelled a bit previous, but i can honestly say the travel and street photos i got on these workshops have been the best photos i have so far taken.. If you are just remotely interested in improving your photography and street work then these workshops are the ones to go on, you will learn a lot in a very genuine and supportive way.”
Peter Zhang – India, November 2016
“Maciej is not your typical photography teacher. He will be your travel mate, your friend, your guide, your mentor, and the team leader. He’s hands-on, resourceful, and organized so you can just focus on enjoying photography, not to worry about much else at all. I had never had a photography teacher as hard working as he is. My Gaya-to-Varanasi workshop was a fulfilling authentic Indian experience that I’ll forever remember. Everyday during the workshop, Maciej spent all day shooting with us, pushing us to see things differently, and to shoot more thoughtfully, more courageously and more diligently. I was able to get out of my comfort zone and produce something I had never done before. He’s also extremely patient in the editing process. He made sure all our potential shots got a chance to be looked at but also encouraged us to edit more mindfully and strictly as we became more seasoned in composition. Overall, the experience Maciej provides are beyond just photography and travel. It’s a great opportunity to connect and bond with other like-minded photographers and learn from each other. Last but not least, Maciej is a humorous guy! You will be short of funny moments to spice up your trip. He’s also incredibly quick and clever in figuring things out when it comes to getting familiar with a new place. So watch how he interacts with locals and learn some of that street smartness too.”
Alan Holzman – Central India, Sept 2016
“Just 2 months ago I set off for India to attend an 11 day workshop with Magic. Having no idea what to expect, I approached my experience with the attitude that at worst I’d take a lot of photos thus improving my skills and I’d hoped to meet some good people at the same time.
Well, I was certainly happy to see my expectations far exceeded. Firstly, I immediately felt really good about my fellow participants and consider all of them friends months later. Magic is nothing short of terrific. He taught us and then drove us to work very hard throughout the 11 days. There was little time for anything other than shoot, edit and critique. Magic’s comments and guidance was very helpful and I definitely learned and improved. Not much else to have asked for.
Thank you Magic for your inspiration and guidance. Thank you UK Dave, Aussie David and Steve for being a great group to spend so much time with.”
Simon Green – Myanmar 2016
“I first became aware of Maciej Dakowicz around 2009 when “Cardiff After Dark” appeared on my social networks as a viral example of “broken Britain”. However, when I studied the project, what I saw was an inspiring visual document about a world I knew very well. It had a freshness, dignity, realness, clarity, colour, emotion and humour that I thought was magical. Meanwhile, I was shooting events, portraits, landscapes etc but never really touched street because I didn’t understand what it was about. To develop my knowledge I decided to attend a workshop with Maciej. My career schedule is hectic but finally, space appeared in my diary and I was able to commit to a trip to Myanmar. It was an incredible experience. Maciej is a master photographer and he is also a brilliant teacher. His workshop is like a boot camp and is a highly productive and creative environment. Hours of walking, taking photos, reviewing and critiquing our images and of course socialising, joking, eating and drinking beer. During the first few days, I struggled as it became clear my technique was completely unsuited to what we were trying to achieve. I had to reboot what I thought I knew and rebuild almost from scratch. I felt overwhelmed. I kept going and after a while things began to fall into place. My original aim was to come home a “better photographer” and there’s no doubt I have achieved that. I now feel I understand what I’m trying to do and can progress with confidence as I practise solo on the streets. I can’t thank Maciej enough for his patience, attention and for pulling me up to the next level. I recommend Maciej’s workshops and I’m saving hard to attend another in 2017. ”
Susana M. Soler – Tbilisi, Georgia 2016
“My Georgian adventure was the result of a happy stroke of serendipity. I knew and admired Maciej famous Body of Work “Cardiff after Dark” however, I didn’t know about his street photography workshops until I took a recommendation of one of his students and tried to book his next available workshop which was in Georgia. Unfortunately and to my dismay the workshop was already fully booked anyway I didn’t give up and a couple of persuasive emails managed my place into the group.
Maciej proved to be exactly what I had thought, a truly amazing teacher with excellent knowledge of street and documentary photography. Maciej showed me how to approach people as a result I now have a better insight into the way I need to photograph a person and interact with that person, a very useful social skill to have in street photography.
Maciej was also very generous with his knowledge sharing his tricks and tips to the group. Everyday we all enjoyed our beer gatherings before the serious business of showing him our photos for a critique. With his assistance and patience we quickly discovered where we were going wrong and with his encouragement improved immensely as the week progressed. It was by far a great opportunity to learn from an inspirational teacher and to be with like-minded group of people. Maciej’s workshop was fun but more importantly we have learnt techniques from the Master himself, It was the best street photography workshop I have ever taken without a doubt, alongside the experience of the colossal hospitality of the beautiful city of Tiblisi. I wish there was another workshop scheduled in Georgia or Russia sometime soon.
I just can’t praise you highly enough Maciej you were attentive, friendly and helpful, I’ll be going back to another of your workshops for sure and will surely enjoy it as much as the first time.”
Regula Tschumi – Tbilisi, Georgia 2016
“In early spring 2016 when I started to make some research about a journey to Georgia I discovered Maciej Dakowicz website and his photo workshop in Tbilisi. After reading about his teaching methods I quickly decided to go to Georgia with him. Without any further investigations I booked his workshop and spent in July a week in Tbilisi. Now I am really glad I had taken this very spontaneous decision because Georgia had been a great experience. Apart from getting the chance to discover this fascinating town of Tbilisi with my camera, I found Maciej teaching excellent, very stimulating. I believe in only one week I really learnt a lot. In fact I was so happy with the workshop that only two days after I had come back home from Georgia I already booked two other workshops with Maciej!
Looking at his website or at the social media I saw that obviously I am not the only student who wants to go back to him, and I believe there are many reasons why his students keep coming back. I found especially Maciej way of teaching very good. He went every day carefully through our pictures, helping each student to edit them and he always gave us very helpful feedbacks. It was also great to go out to photograph with him, to watch him while he was shooting. But he also observed us, looked how we approached our subjects, how we hold our cameras and sometimes even checked the settings of them. The theoretical lectures were also excellent. Maciej explained us in a very clear way with words and images some of the major problems and mistakes we do in photography and he showed us how to avoid them. These lectures together with his practical teachings in the field and the editing sessions in the evenings opened my eyes in many ways and brought me forward! And finally Maciej is a wonderful person to spend time with. His enthusiasm for photography, his energy and his great spirit influences the people around him and creates a great atmosphere among his students. Thank you very much Maciej for this wonderful week in Tbilisi!”
Bill Clayton – Malaysia, January 2016
“Maciej, I admit it to you now, I did not fully understand ‘street photography’ when I signed up. Whilst I think I take a good photograph, I knew I would be the novice in our group and will always appreciate how warmly I was accepted and encouraged by you, Christine, Rose and Morton.
I learnt more in a week than I would have learnt in a lifetime working on my own. I better understand my camera, light, composition, identifying an opportunity or a moment, working the moment including communicating and ‘negotiating’ with people. I can now build on that learning and intend to do so.
I saw and appreciated people and moments that I would have missed if not for you and my new friends. I communicated with local people far more than I have on any other travels. I have photos which tell stories which I will treasure forever. They may not win any prizes (although some I think are good) but they are mine, very meaningful to me and that is what counts.
For example, It would never have occurred to me to take photos of a dance class. When it occurred to me I was nervous. You pushed me in and the photos are part of my story, perhaps not great photos but each time I see one I relive the moment.
It was a great week. I want to test my new knowledge in India later in the year.
Maciej, you are a legend.”
Angela Isaac Panat – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, December 2015
“There’s usually a moment – let’s call it a decisive moment, why not – in learning a skill, when it all begins to come together. For me, that moment happened during the workshop I had with Maciej.
I’d seen his ‘Cardiff After Dark’ work online and in spite of the little I knew about street photography, the raw style and energy in his work was instantly compelling. A few clicks later, I found his website with listings of workshops in exciting locations and that was that. The stars aligned, the dates worked out and before I knew it, I’d booked a spot in a one-week Vietnam workshop held in Dec, 2015.
Going into the workshop, I was nervous – about meeting Maciej, about being ‘good’ enough and most of all, about photographing on the street which was both exciting and scary at the same time. I needn’t have worried. Maciej is a down-to-earth guy who’s talented, funny and brutally honest– a great combination for teaching, as it turned out.
It also didn’t matter that I was a novice – there was a ton to learn, yes but the workshop was pitched in a way that worked across the wide range of experience across participants, possible I think because the group was so small.
As for my worry about shooting in the street, you forget your inhibitions on Day 1 itself and after that, it’s really all about making better and better photographs, which I’m glad to say, happened to me.
That week in Vietnam changed my approach to photography and afterward, the interactions with the group of keen folks on his FB page keeps the learning ongoing. To anyone who’s interested in street photography and considering a workshop with Maciej, I have no hesitation in saying go for it. Hopefully, it’ll be as decisive a moment for you as it was for me.”
Hervé Chatel – Dhaka, Bangladesh, January 2016
“Nous marchions toute la journée par 2 et Maciej se joignait à un des groupes le matin puis l’après-midi. Exceptionnellement bien organisé, nous ne perdions pas de temps à nous déplacer et allions toujours dans des lieux exploitables photographiquement parlant. Chaque jour était intense mais agréable d’expérience. Maciej nous expliquait comment aborder les gens, comment bien composer. Il nous observait et n’hésitait pas à nous mettre dans une position inconfortable pour nous améliorer. Dans la soirée, il nous faisait un exposé sur les aspects de la photographie de rue et après on sélectionnait nos meilleures photos du jour. Puis il nous faisait un retour chacun pour qu’on s’améliore le lendemain. : Chaque photo était analysée. Maciej prenait énormément de temps à nous aider dans la sélection de nos photos, et ses retours. Il faut dire que rien ne passait à la trappe, le moindre détail était détecté. C’était intéressant de le voir commenter aussi les photos des autres élèves et de voir ses photos prises dans la journée. Il n’y avait aucun esprit de compétition, juste des passionnés. Je recommande vivement les workshop de Maciej , c’est même une expérience formidable à renouveler.
We were a small group of 4 very friendly students. We walked all day by 2 and Maciej joined a group in the morning and the afternoon. Exceptionally well organized, we do not lose time moving and we always went to exploitable places photographically speaking. Every day was intense but enjoyable experience. Maciej explained to us how to approach people, how to compose well. He was watching us and did not hesitate to put us in an uncomfortable position to improve. In the evening there was a presentation on aspects of street photography and then we would select our best photos of the day. Then he gave us each a return to that improves tomorrow. Each image was analyzed. Maciej took considerable time to help us in the selection of our photos, and returns. It must be said that nothing happening in the hatch, every detail was detected. It was interesting to see the comment as photos of other students and have their photos taken in the day. There was no spirit of competition, just passionate. I highly recommend the workshop Maciej is even a great experience to renew.”
Stefan Groenveld – Varanasi, India November 2015
“I had only seven days with Maciej, but I’m sure the things I’ve learned from him will last longer than seven years. His workshops are quite intense and Maciej is always calm and friendly. So you have to watch and hear carefully, what he teaches you. Slightly you change yourself while photographing but not only than. Your whole approach to photography is changing. You get faster, more direct, more focus, but far more sensitive and friendly. You learn to wait and to move on – everything at the right time. I can use Maciej’s experiences everyday when I’m out with my camera.”
Christophe Mortier – Dhaka, Bangladesh, January 2016
“Une merveilleuse aventure !
Ce sont les premiers mots qui me viennent à l’esprit en pensant à mon séjour avec Maceij.
J’ai du mal à dire que c’est un Workshop, car c’est bien plus que cela, c’est un moment de partage, de liberté, de créativité et de découverte.
Cela faisait un moment que l’idée de faire un WS avec Maciej trottait dans ma tête.
En tant que photographe documentaire de mariage, il était important de trouver un WS qui réponde à ma vision de la photographie tout en m’aidant à sortir de mes zones de confort.
J’ai apprécié la liberté que Maciej nous laisse la journée pour photographier comme nous le désirons, en choisissant totalement nos lieux, sujets et moments.
Il m’a fallu deux jours pour sortir de mes « habitudes » et de reprendre enfin cette liberté de photographier que je pensais avoir, alors que je m’aperçois aujourd’hui que je commençais à la perdre … sûrement dû aux attentes des clients ou du contexte concurrentiel ou économique.
Si je dois résumer, c’est « Liberté et créativité ».
Maciej est un excellent pédagogue, il sait en toute honnêteté vous montrer ce qui ne va pas tout en détectant votre personnalité photographique. En bref il vous pousse dans le bon sens.
A wonderful adventure!
These are the first words that come to my mind when I think about my stay with Maciej.
I can not say that this is a Workshop, because it’s much more than that, it is a time of sharing, of freedom, creativity and discovery.
The idea to do a workshop with Maciej had been on my mind for a while.
As a wedding documentary photographer it was important for me to find a WS that meets my vision of photography while helping me to go out of my comfort zone.
I enjoyed the freedom that Maciej gives us everyday to photograph as we wish, choosing our places, subjects and times.
It took me two days to get out of my “habits” and finally to take this freedom to photograph, I thought I had … but now I think I was starting to lose it .. probably the expectations of customers or the competitive contexts or economic.
If I have to summarize in a word, it is “Freedom and creativity.”
Maciej is an excellent teacher, he can honestly show you what’s wrong while detecting your photographic personality. In short it pushes you in the right direction”
Ridwan Prasetya – India, March 2014 and India, April 2014
“Maciej: “Did you bring your 35mm lens?”
Ridwan: “No, I only brought my 18mm and 50mm lenses.”
Maciej: “Ouch! It is gonna be a big challenge, but we can try.”
That’s the conversation I had when I first met Maciej in Mumbai India.
For someone that usually shot landscape and portrait photos, I almost used only those two kinds of lenses (wide lens and 50mm). The street photography workshop with Maciej completely changed my mind in how to use 35mm as my all around lens ever since. The workshop expanded my horizons and answered my curiosities about street photography. It’s not as easy as I thought, but Maciej forced me to have self confidence, to get closer to people, to deal with the crowds, and to practise my eyes to any potential subjects. In short, I feel that having workshop with Maciej is worth it. Not only he teaches you the skill and knowledge, but he also brings you to the next level of street photography.”
Michael Foo – Mumbai, India, October 2015
“I did a 4 day mini-workshop with Maciej in Mumbai, India in October, 2015. It was my second workshop with Maciej, although there was a gap of 2.5 years between the first and second workshop!
After my first workshop I had always wanted to go to another one, however due to work and personal committments this was not possible. On hearing of a short workshop in India and finding that I had spare leave I immediately booked the Mumbai workshop.
Seeing Maciej after 2.5 years, was like meeting an old friend, catching up on his travels and our experiences to date. Each day was intense but fully enjoyable. As our workshop group was small we had the opportunity to walk and shoot with Maciej all day where we got the chance to see how he would frame a scene, approach people and to use the available light. In the evening, he would give us a presentation on aspects of street photography and after we had selected our day’s best photos would provide feedback for us for the next day’s photography.
Although I had been to Mumbai before, I enjoyed the fact that we walked and explored areas completely off the beaten track. This made it a wonderful unique, culture experience. Seeing non tourist places and exploring the hidden heart of this thriving cities. It is something I also remembered from my first workshop – getting out of your comfort zone.
I feel that after going to these two workshops I have developed a better understanding of street photography and also improved my confidence of photography in general. I would love to go to another longer workshop with him somewhere else in the world!”
Christian Clowes – Istanbul, Turkey, August 2015
“Street photography is the quintessential genre of photography that I have always been enamoured with – the spontaneity, candidness and the diversity of images that photographers have captured around the world – both amateurs and veterans alike. There are moments where you can come across an image and be captivated straight away – there’s something so alluring about it, but you can’t quite put your finger on it, per se. There’s a lack of clarity beyond your initial reaction and it can push you to pursue endless forums, videos and books to find the answer. Some of you might find the answers you were looking for, but for many – just like myself, there was still something missing.
I went searching for workshops for quite some time, and for a while there I almost gave up. There was a lack of appealing workshops that provided the allure of seriousness and intent. They all seemed to border on cashing in on today’s photography-mad society that had more disposable income than ever before to splurge on whatever they wanted. They were either ludicrously expensive, or provided a “go here, shoot that, hop in the car again to the next location” style “workshop”. Believe it or not, Maciej’s page was on about page 9 or 10 of my search – despite it’s position far down on googles list, I took a 5 minute look on my lunch break and knew then and there this was what I was looking endlessly for.
Make no mistake – this is no lush, pampered workshop for those searching for easy answers and a cosy point-to-point trip overseas. This is run by a street photographer FOR street-photographers. We’re all on the same page here, and our passion for street is what made the workshop so memorable. The group is small, and all the better for it – we all are able to see each others work, discuss and develop our understanding for the craft in an intimate setting that would be absolutely lost in a larger group environment. No one can hide here – your “mistakes” and shortcomings are open for all to see. The truth can hurt, but it can also serve to push your style and develop your skills in ways far greater than someone giving you soft praise with no real direction to go.
The days are long, the critique sessions are intense and the time spent on the streets are focused – the two plus two arrangement is superb since you are able to bounce off your partners energy, yet not feel crowded because of another camera around you shooting at the same time. It mixes up in the afternoon, and once again there is a refreshed energy to push you through the day because everything is kept so diverse.
This was one of the best experiences of my life – no hesitations whatsoever in recommending this to anyone who has the slightest inclination in crafting their street photography skills. Who the hell wants to waste the hours away lounging by a sun bed and then regretting the time lost by being a sloth? This is one hell of a workshop that will leave you with endless smiles, sore feet, a renewed sense of direction and a lust for street photography that wont diminish any time soon. I can’t wait to join up for another workshop in the not so distant future!”
Harsh Patel – Istanbul, Turkey, August 2015
” I joined Maciej for his workshop in Istanbul and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was my first time doing street photography in a foreign country and naturally I was terrified at first. However, meeting Maciej for the first time immediately put me at ease. Maciej is friendly, modest, and humble and all of this is reflected in his work as well as his approach to life and people. During the workshop, he pushed all of us to go beyond our limitations to get into the mindset of always achieving more in the pictures. I thought of Maciej more as a companion first and instructor second, which lifted anxiety and pressure of going out to shoot in a place unfamiliar to you. His feedback on our approaches as well as our photos during edits were constructive and helpful. He told us all of ways we could improve our pictures from both technical and aesthetic standpoints. His presentations were also informational and provided so many tangible insights of what makes a good photograph that a street photographer often takes for granted. As the week progressed, we were all thinking very carefully about how we could apply the knowledge to our approach to avoid the mundane and instead to create more meaningful and impactful photographs.
I think anyone who can take Maciej’s workshop anywhere should simply just do it. I not only learned some valuable skills that I can apply anywhere with my street photography, but I also made some meaningful connections with people coming from different cultures. This is an extremely important facet for any street photographer and I am so glad I was exposed to that. Maciej also does a really good job in keeping all of his workshop participants glued together on his workshop group on Facebook. He has created a tight-knit community of people from all over the world who are passionate about street photography. I cannot thank Maciej enough for the positive experience I had as a part of his workshop and I highly recommend his workshop to street photographers of any and all levels. “
Quoc-Dien Trinh – Mumbai, India, July 2015
“I have attended many street photography workshops and I have to say that Maciej is a truly special instructor. He spent countless hours helping me capture, select and post-process my photos. The workshop is a bargain and you will get much face time with him given that he only allows a small number of students per group. It is also exceptionally well organized and you will not waste any time going to places with little or no opportunities to photograph. I hope to attend another workshop with Maciej before he becomes too famous to do these small, intimate sessions.”
Karl Grenert – Mumbai, India, November 2014
“Maciej’s workshop changed my photography – nevermind that, it changed the way I see the world. From the very first moment he stepped out of his taxi at our hotel, this was a week of endless inspiration, hard work, self-reflection, learning and incredible experiences, all accompanied by Maciej’s humour and endless passion and energy for street photography.
From our first session shooting together, Maciej had an uncanny ability to see right through me as a photographer, understand all of my weaknesses, fears and hesitations, which he used to help me to understand myself and learn and grow in the process.
There is a distinct difference in my images from the first day, to the second – all the way to the very last session of shooting. Not only that, but the ongoing guidance and support Maciej has provided me after my workshop, as well as the community of former students he has built around him, have helped me continue to develop in the months afterwards.
One of my images from my workshop with Maciej was selected as the winner of the Australian National Award in the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards. I don’t know if I would have seen this image or had the skills to capture it had it not been for the first few days of the workshop and Maciej’s guidance.
I cannot recommend his workshops enough. I’m already booked into another two-week long workshop in Myanmar next February, and can’t wait to return!”
Ian Drake – Mumbai, India, April 2014
“I have enjoyed photography since my teens (now in my late 50′s) and been fascinated by a style of photography I thought was “candid”, and having loved the Beatles since my teens also thought I must go to India sometime.
So, when I saw Maciej’s international workshops in India it was a no-brainer. A week of street photography in India with a legendary photographer who knows Mumbai – I was very excited. But the thought was stretching my comfort zone somewhat. And I always had an excuse I can’t go on a holiday without my wife, and she would hate a photography course! So the idea stayed on the back-burner for a year or so … until she said she wants to go away with her sisters. Suddenly I had no excuse, I could have a break on my own.
The thing about Maciej’s workshops are they are made by Maciej. He is not just a teacher; he becomes part of the group, staying in the same hotel, working the same hours, walking the same streets. He is easy going, but demanding, 24×7 photography. He is an expert, but sympathetic to the novice. He is fun, but serious about photography.
My fears that I’d either be out of my depth or not get on with the people were groundless – we worked very well together, shooting in pairs and one to one with Maciej. He was observant of our style and very helpful. He was generous in his criticism but balanced that with leading us to great shots.
Oh and he signed my “Cardiff After Dark”; so one day I will do another Maciej workshop and get it signed again.”
Izabela Rudak – Tokyo, Japan, June 2015
“My very good friend recommended Maciej Dakowicz works to me last year. I became fun of his way of doing street photography immediately. You can see SP everywhere now, it has become a very popular and trendy activity of many people. But the way he does it is really special and fascinating. Once you meet Maciej face to face, you understand that this special spirit of his pictures comes directly from his personality – his openness toward people and sensitivity to those little wonderful moments that blinks all the time around you. You just need to open your eyes widely and devote yourself completely to follow them. Once you understand it, once you know where and how to look, you experience completely new way of seeing the world. It might sound as a banal and obvious thing (in theory everybody who starts SP read about this), but Maciek really knows how to teach it well. We spent a great week in Tokyo last June, and I still have the feeling that I have learn something really valuable and unique. This is not only about the knowledge and practice of making good pictures, but the experience of personal development as well. Maciek is not only a good, and patient teacher – believe me I had a few difficult moments of tiredness and complete clutter in my brain on crowded Tokyo streets, and he knew how to help me to overcame them. He is also a great companion in getting familiar with local culture, tradition and social rules. His kindness, and gentleness when he works on the street is great lesson and his sense of humour and optimism unlock your creativity very quickly. Lots of honest feedback every day, lots of great cues how to make you scene, how to find the good light, and how to focus properly in the right moment and on the right detail. Last but not least – he has built fantastic community of his workshop attendees from all over the World, and he really cares about us, encouraging continuously not to stop, to practice as often as possible, to train our eyes and minds and to get a real fun and pleasure of it.”
Faisal Al Fouzan – India, December 2013
“I participated in a weeklong workshop in Mumbai 2 years ago and it transformed my photography completely. We were shooting, talking and breathing photography during that week.
The small group and the one-on-one time I had with Maciej were transformative and advanced my work. The most significant aspect was the workshop structure, which includes shooting, feedback and critique, presentations on what makes a good photo, and looking and deconstructing the work of master photographers.
I’ve taken several photographic courses including a Magnum workshop and would highly recommend Maciej’s workshop and I will definitely participate in the future ones. It was beneficial, educational, fun and an experience of a lifetime.”
Denisa Alexandroaiei – India, February 2015 and Nepal, April 2015
“Meeting Maciej meant entering a new level of photography to me.
I knew I liked street photography and the buzz it gave me when “hunting” the shots. Maciej taught me how to transform that buzz in photos that I enjoy looking at. And he did it with a lot of passion. And that matters a lot to me; together with the feeling that he personally cares if I learn something from him, if I’m able or not to take better photos after a workshop with him.
And he really took care that that was the case: we had quite some Powerpoint presentations on the theory of photography. During the lunch breaks. Because in the mornings and in the afternoons we were busy shooting (I shot about 4000 pics in one week). In the evening we were selecting “the best of” that day and Maciej would give us feedback. That feedback, I tell you, it’s not for faint-hearted but… but I can’t thank Maciej enough for it (so structured and to the point, tough and supportive in the same time).
At the end of the workshop we got a little portfolio with our best pics and why “they work”. And that’s not it. When I got back home, I realised that I became part of a little very active community of previous workshop participants. This motivates and inspires me equally. Thanks a lot Maciej for having thought of it all.
So, I can only recommend Maciej’s workshops. So much so that after the first one, in India, I registered to another one, in Nepal. And I can’t wait for another chance to shoot with him again.”
Nakarin Teerapenun – India, September 2013, November 2013 and November 2014
“How did you know about him?
I saw his work from In-Public website
I was blown away by his work, especially the ones taken in India. It was a perfect combination for me. Indian elements with a street twist. Then I found out that he was based in India, so I joined his workshop. That changed everything for me.
If you could turn back time….
When I went for my first workshop with Maciej in India, I used a rangefinder. I wouldn’t do that again, but I’d use a DSLR instead. Also, I’d prepare myself better, be more fit physically, and definitely would bring better shoes.
What have you learned?
It was such an eye-opening experience, in every sense of the word. Maciej had such a cool, no-nonsense approach; You shoot – I shoot. The more shooting I did, the more I learned. We walked all day and shot all day. His critiquing style was brutal and honest. Walking with him all day, I was able to see how his mind worked, what made him tick, how he approached his subjects, not to mention the technical aspects that I learned just by watching him. It was really inspiring. More importantly, he was really supportive, and optimistic, and he never gave up on you. He just pushed your very best out of you. Needless to say, we have become close friends. He my friend and mentor, and man I love that guy.”
Ben Murray – Tokyo, May 2015
“The idea of exploring a city for a week with like minded people is as fun as it sounds. Doing it with Maciej Dakowicz was a whole other level of fun. He constantly helped me push my photographic limits with solid advice and great feedback. The way he creates such a fun and nurturing environment made me feel at ease almost at once. I cant wait to go on another photographic adventure with Maciej in the future.”
Nicola Miles – Myanmar, March 2014 and March 2015
” I’ve been on two workshops with Maciej, two of the best things I have done with my time- ever.
Before mentioning the photography & Maciej it’s important to say that if you attend a workshop you will probably make wonderful new friends, firstly with the people who are also joining you for the adventure & secondly, with the many locals you’ll photograph & hang out with. It’s a greatly heart-opening experience- to have these new people & places finding their way into your world.
Aside from being an outstanding human being, Maciej is also a wonderful teacher- patient, humorous, fun, funny, knowledgeable, persuasive, adventurous, enthusiastic…It’s an absolute joy to be around him, to watch him at work, to take confidence from his ease and good spirit. He’s a very present teacher too, not someone who is purely in the background observing his students.
Something really clicked for me on the first workshop in the way that i photograph, perhaps it was the confidence, the ‘just going for it/staying with the subject’, something truly fell into place and this has been priceless. I’ve a belief in my work now that has been strengthened since being with Maciej. I’d love to attend more workshops in the future, working with him and in small groups is a lot of fun, we push one another to achieve results, the feedback is greatly helpful and appreciated too.
There is much involved, sometimes it’s hard work & the days can be tiring, especially if it’s a hot climate, it’s all part of the adventure though, very laid-back, and, of course, massively rewarding.
Not only have these experiences enriched my photography but also my life- in myriad ways. How? Take a workshop, you will see for yourself. “
Sara Nicomedi – Varanasi, India, February 2015
“I think I sent my first email to Maciej three years ago asking him info about workshops. For many reason I never been available to join one until I booked my workshop in Varanasi last February.
I can’t tell you how much I was exited.
We all arrived the day before the start of the workshop and we already were on the street shooting (you can’t really call the street in Varanasi street . It’s more about ghat photography
At the beginning he was observing us and after literary just half hour he was available to advise us with some tips, understanding immediately the limit of everyone.
In my case he pushed me to get closer. I still remember the situation. I went closer to the subject after he suggested me to do it but he said “ That’s not enough.. get closer”. I went a little bit closer and then he said again “More. Closer.” Three times. Until I was there, right in front of my subject, at the right distance.
He helped me to break the wall. From the day 0.
That’s was exactly what I was looking for, and since that moment I never stopped talking with my subjects and communicating; and had the best and deep and human week of my life.
It’s been amazing to balance some street photography with some portrait and travel photography which I never did before.
Maciej can see immediately what is good and what is not – while you are shooting and while you are editing. He’s very honest (and straight and he puts some fun where he can. Just give him a beer during editing session. I get more inspired
You can see how much passion on photography he’s got, he transmits it to you every day and that’s probably why his workshops are so good.
He doesn’t teach you only about photography but as well about the culture where you are and the art of travelling and surviving in India. I bought some pretty useful stuff with him that I used later when I was traveling on my own after the workshop.
And then it’s very nice that after his workshop he doesn’t disappear. He keeps in touch with you, following your work and keeps helping you.
I close with a sentence I said to him once we were walking back to the hotel super tired after 12 hours shooting – “ I have never been so HAPPY in my life, I’ve got everything I want, right here, right now – photography, the sunset of Varanasi, and the best teacher and street photographer helping me and support me to follow my passion.”
Guille Ibanez – Myanmar, March 2015
“I first heard about Maciej around 2 years ago while looking through photography books, that’s when I discovered Maciej’s fantastic ‘Cardiff after Dark’. Back then, the world of Street Photography (SP) was alien to me, I didn’t know there was a whole subculture and following devoted to this style of photography.
There was something about those weird pictures and compositions that captivated me everytime and pushed me to get out there and shoot, shoot, shoot. However, used to other photography styles as I was, shooting right in front of people scared the hell out of me. And that was showing in the pictures I was taking at the time.
This must have been about the time when I started to look for workshops or courses on SP: ‘can this stuff be taught?’ I remember thinking…
One way or the other I ended stumbling upon Maciej’s site again and reading about his exotic SP workshops at the other end of the world…India, Bangladesh, Nepal, you name it….‘Too far from me?’ I thought ‘hhhmmmm maybe’
… but a seed was planted. One that grew and grew so much that one year later I had already booked a place on a 2 week workshop in Myanmar! Crazyyyy!! ; )
…and there I went….
I’m not entirely sure Maciej follows a specific style of teaching and I don’t think that is very relevant to be honest. What really matters is that it is in his nature to be a great teacher and fantastic communicator. He constantly challenges you and gets you out of your comfort zone.
He won’t tell you he likes your picture if he doesn’t, he won’t be afraid to tell you one thousand times that you had to get closer to the scene or that the light was wrong or that there is an empty space in a picture you thought worthy of an award. Eventually, all this (and before you realize) will make a better photographer out of you. It did to me, period.
Maciej is also a funny man and great company to travel with, which in the end is important as you’re going to spend a LOT of time with him in the most remote locations : )
I can honestly say these two weeks have changed my conception of, not only street photography, but photography as a whole. Looking forward to the next one already.
Raymund Cruz – Yangon, Myanmar, March 2015
“Entering the workshop, I had a ton of inhibitions as a photographer. I was extremely shy to photograph people without permission and overwhelmed with being in a new country. I was also nervous to meet (and possibly shoot with) Maciej since I was a fan of his street photographs of India. It turned out that he was one of the nicest and most generous workshop instructors I’ve ever had. But don’t get me wrong about being “too nice”, he will push and motivate you really tough to be the best photographer you can be. You will get better at any type of photography (street, portraits, abstract, landscape, etc.) as long as you give in to his method. Seeing him work firsthand gave me tools to remove all my bashfulness. I thought “if he could get an inch close to his subjects, maybe I can too.” I couldn’t believe how comfortable I was shooting strangers after just the second day! In addition, you will have very talented and down-to-earth photographers as classmates — in my case, I was the blessed to shoot with Alison and Rammy. Seeing how other street shooters approach a scene differently helps you gain confidence and form your own style.
A Maciej Dakowicz workshop isn’t serious all the time. You will laugh almost always, travel to places you’ve never knew existed, form tight friendships and experience moments that will forever be imprinted in your life. And all that for a really reasonable workshop fee!
It was a delight and privilege to roam the crazy streets of Yangon with Maciej, Alison and Rammy. If you want to love photography, improve your images drastically and have loads of fun while doing both, I recommend that you “quickly quickly” sign up for a Maciej Dakowicz’ workshop. “
Alison Adcock – Yangon, Myanmar, March 2015
“A week in Yangon was my second workshop with Maciej. I had made the reservation during the first one in Varanasi, I was enjoying it so much! This time round, I felt that I knew what to expect: hard work, lots of fun, continuous shooting, editing in the evening, lots of reminders about exposure, mixed lighting and so on. As it had only been 5 months since the Varanasi week, I remembered most of what I’d been taught, in theory. My difficulty is coordinating everything all at once. I tend to focus on the aspect that I’m trying to improve, e.g. framing, only to find that I’ve forgotten to check my ISO and I’m using a strange exposure… hopefully with practice, it will start coming together. Anyway, this experience was just as incredible as the first. We learned lots about exposure, lighting, composition, aspects of street photography, travel portraits and so on. Maciej also had a new presentation on putting images together to form a narrative, which was a great addition to the presentation sessions.
My personal objective for this week was to improve my framing and composition, and with Maciej’s help I was producing some complex layered scenes by the end of the week. The bit that came as a surprise was that on the first workshop, I had made unbelievable progress, so I expected the same explosion from this second one – which of course couldn’t happen. After that initial surge, progress is incremental, so I learned a valuable lesson about managing expectations, slowing down and enjoying the journey. During the week, I also realised more about the kind of photographs I like taking and want to take more of – I like the comedy of life, look around you – it’s funny! And so I enjoy most making scenes with “moments”.
Photography aside, these workshops are an amazing travel experience and fantastic for making friends: you meet people with the same interest as you, who enjoy travelling and interacting with people as much as you do. And I can’t recommend them enough for both the learning photography and the travel experience aspects. So thank you Maciej for your tireless approach and constant reminders. If I look back to the start of Varanasi to the end of Yangon, the progress from zero to website is incredible, even thought it’s just a start, and that wouldn’t have happened without you. And thank you also to my wonderful Yangon buddies Rammy and Raymund (sounds like a pop group?) for making sure I didn’t get run over in Yangon’s crazy traffic!! Now, where shall I go for my next one? “
Jill O’Loughlin – Mumbai, India, Jan 2015
“A fantastic week spend in a fabulous city with an incredible teacher. Maciej’s Mumbai workshop took me completely out of my comfort zone but I learnt so much, and my eyes have been opened wide to the fascinating world of Street Photography.”.
Rose Vandepitte – Rajasthan, India, December 2014
“I am quite used to doing workshops and I enjoy it a lot. Ever since I saw the pictures of “Cardiff after dark” I quickly wanted to find out if Maciej also organises workshops and the answer was YES, what is more he organises many of his workshops in one of my favourite countries, India. Nevertheless it took me almost one year before I could combine my professional agenda with Maciej’s workshops schedule. So finally last November, I joint the Rajasthan workshop. Meeting and getting to know Maciej is a wonderful and enriching experience. He is totally committed to photography and to his students. The days started with breakfast on the lovely terrace of the hotel chatting about photography, followed by shooting time until dusk. Maciej is with his students the whole time, motivating each one, giving tons of advice and shooting tips while keeping his eyes open for the ideal background, situation or street activity … The evenings are filled with editing, image critique, presentations, beers (and yes also some food).
This workshop was a success for me thanks to Maciej’s generosity, his in depth teaching and his enthusiasm which is really catching.
During the Rajasthan workshop I have learnt so much from Maciej, especially about spicing up my composition. He also helped me improve my people skills.
It was a great week, exhausting (yes), but ever so rewarding.
It had no regrets whatsoever having booked his Mumbai workshop even before leaving for the Rajasthan one and am looking forward to joining Maciej for another workshop.
“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.” – Marc Riboud”
James Gifford-Mead – Rajasthan, India, January 2015
“I have been doing photography for a long time and I was starting to feel a little bit jaded so during the summer I was looking for a challenge to take myself outside of my comfortable zone and give myself a big creative push. So I decided to go on one of Maciej’s workshops at the end November and to put it simply it was brilliant.
Shooting alongside Maciej on a regular basis throughout the seven days of the workshop was fantastic.
Maciej dedication to help each person on the workshop to improve their street photography and also his great sense of humour was a brilliant inspiration to motivate myself to improve the way I shoot and to work the scene until I get a good image.
Doing the workshop was a very good investment to improve my photography, I just wish I had a time machine so I could redo the whole experience all over again! Thanks Maciej, hopefully we’ll share a beer again in the near future.”
Tom Storr – Varanasi, India, October 2014
“The week in Varanasi has given me the insight into what makes a photograph and what I need to do to improve that I’ve been trying to find for years. It is hard work but no one works harder or demands more than Maciej, which pushes you on when you might otherwise fancy staying in bed past 6am or having a lassi.
The format is simple: shoot, review and repeat but Maciej slowly introduces new challenges so every day is different. Through reviewing your own work, that of the rest of the group and established street photographers new approaches are revealed so by the end of the week I found myself shooting scenes I would not have been aware of before.
I returned home exhausted but proud of what I’d done, full of new ideas and pleased to have met Maciej and the others on the course. It was a great week, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.”
Thanasan Sricham (Mr Ping) – Varanasi, India, October 2014
‘Let’s go to India!’ said Nakarin, (a music professor from my university which also taught me some photography skills). I accepted his invitation immediately because I was excited to meet Maciej. Some time ago, I had the opportunity to meet and work with Maciej at Khaosan Road in Bangkok and I thought ‘If Maciej ever had a workshop, I must be there’. I was very excited to go to India because stories from Nakarin’s workshops with Maciej in India in 2013. During the workshop in Varanasi, all I did was taking photos. The first thing when I did when I wake up was taking photos, the first thing I did after a meal was taking photos. It was the essence of my day and it felt amazing. As night falls, we hung out, drank some beer and shared stories about photography.
It was an unforgettable experience for a person with a full time office job as I am, to be able to concentrate on photography. The language was a big barrier for me, but it did not stop Maciej to be a great and patient teacher.
After the workshop, I went through the photos I took and I felt that I became another person during 7 days. Even though each photo is not as good as I wanted it to be, but I can clearly see the changes in my attitude and social skill towards photography.
The trip as a whole was very expensive for me. I spent 6 months collecting money for this trip but it was worth every Baht. Right at this moment, I’m starting to save for another memorable workshop for the next year. Also, one of the most valuable things I got from this trip is friendship. I’ve met new friends that are wonderful and helped me with many things even though we could not communicate well because of my English.
I would like to thank Maciej for this opportunity. Maciej is a great teacher and I am certain everyone from the workshop will agree. Thank you mister Nakarin, my other teacher, that led me to this path. Alison for helping me with everything. Uncle Alfred for taking me to see strange places. Thank you.
Mr. Ping (Pingpong Team) ^+^”
Tom Hopkins – Varanasi, India, October 2014
“This was my first workshop I attended it met and surpassed all my expectations and was an absolutely incredible experience. Maciej is a great teacher, a great photographer and now a good friend. He puts a lot of effort into working with each member of the workshop individually giving tips and tricks to pull the best out of each person. I personally learnt so much in just this 1 week and I think it shows in the photos I took and the photos I’m continuing to take. Thank you for a fantastic experience and the time you spent pushing me and my photography to the next level”.
Alison Adcock – Varanasi, India, October 2014
“The first thing to say about my workshop experience is that by the 3rd day, I had booked my place at the next one. I was learning so much and having such a good time that I didn’t want it to end. I needed to know there was more!
So what was it like? Well to start with, Maciej worked us incredibly hard. Every day we shot, edited, reviewed and learned from mistakes. Maciej took turns to shoot with us, so we got to learn from his approach first hand, see him take shots and then look at the back of his camera and realise that a tiny tweak here and there, a single step forwards, backwards or sideways, or a tiny tilt to the camera can make a massive difference. Some of the technical aspects that Maciej taught us I had been told before, but going through these aspects again, putting them into practice straight away, checking and correcting in the field, getting feedback the same day, and then trying again the next day, meant that they truly sank in. I also think I understood more about the technical points as in really understanding how important it is to get them right and what a difference a tiny error can make to the whole picture. And what a significant improvement a tiny correction can make to the whole picture.
In addition to the photography, I had an amazing travel experience and I made some great new friends, and already have plans to meet up with them again! You can see my photos from Varanasi in here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/alisonadcock/sets/72157647799051895/ – counting the days now till Myanmar :).”
John Hodgson – Varanasi, India, October 2014
“My recent workshop with Maciej Dakowicz was excellent and far exceeded my expectations. Aside from being a great photographer Maciej is a 10/10 teacher, he takes the time during the workshop to explain the theory and his own views on how to make great photos before taking you out, often 1 to 1 and helping you put the theory into practise, I especially appreciated Maciej taking a lot of time going to go through each group member’s photos at the end of the day, striking a good balance between constructive criticism (he makes it very clear what can be improved on and how) and positive feedback. Overall I learned a hell of a lot and my photography came on much more than I expected (eg have a look at my photos pre and post Varanasi here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/108618410@N03/sets) .
Maciej could invite more people to each workshop, but sticks to 4 to keep the quality of teaching high – which is a good reflection on how he goes about preparing everything for his courses. Maciej has seemingly endless passion, this and his high energy is contagious, though be warned, he will push you! Overall, the best investment I have spent in photography by a long way and highly recommended.”
Leigh Kumar – Istanbul, Turkey, August 2014
“Returning from a week in Istanbul on one of Maciej’s workshops – my thoughts ….. WOW …what a phenomenal experience!!!
This is an intense, immersive photographic extravaganza in one of the most interesting cities in the world. Maciej’s deep-rooted photographic knowledge is applied to all aspects of the workshop from image creation through to final selection. His no-nonsense, grounded approach to street photography epitomises the words of Harry Callahan “to be a photographer, one must photograph. No amount of book learning, no checklist of seminars attended, can substitute for the simple act of making pictures…” If you are reading this and are considering one of these workshops – my advice – don’t think it – do it. This is a learning experience for every level of photographer, with gains that resonate further than what is initially perceived. Top tip …bring a hip-flask (even if you don’t drink!)…And if you happen to be English ..bring PG Tips.”
Tenho Mikkolainen – Istanbul, Turkey, August 2014
“After attending one very good workshop before, only way to get something more is attend better one. When I found out that Maciej was arranging workshop in Istanbul there was no question, should i go or not, this was must thing. This workshop keeps what it promises, you’ll be tired but head full of ideas and desire to get back to the streets. Very hands on, full of practical tips and pointers for street photography thru whole week and I was able to take some very good ideas for projects and work back home. Thank you for very inspiring week.”
Adam Constantine – Istanbul, Turkey, August 2014
“My second workshop with Maciej. This time, Istanbul. A superb location for street photography. Great light, lovely people, unique locations and tasty food. Night shooting in the bar districts was particularly memorable. As was the opportunity to meet other eminent photographers working in the city. A Maciej workshop is defined by hard work and honest critique; improvement is inevitable. As a second trip I definitely benefited from many insightful reminders which enhanced the experience and embedded a more critical approach in my work. Maciej also prepared excellent presentations to cement the learning on the street. A superb week, amazing memories. Thank you Maciej.”
Philippe Lanchès – Mumbai, India, April 2014
“Maciej’s Street Photography in Mumbai was my first photography workshop: it was exhausting but a great experience! During the seven workshop days we discovered many very different and exciting places in Mumbai, some of which you would most probably not see as a normal tourist. Maciej gave daily presentations which I found very useful. Paying attention to all his concepts was not always easy for me and Maciej is a tough teacher: he immediately spots each and every deficiency in the pictures and clearly lets you know. This is good, because on the next day you will try not to make the same mistakes again. After a couple of days, you know it by yourself and it is sufficient that he points at a weakness without a comment. I learned a lot about clean composition, light, consistently using a single focal length, getting closer, working a scene, practical camera settings, interacting with your subjects, getting even closer, …”
Pushkar Raj Sharma – Mumbai, India, April 2014
“There are couple of points that I want to highlight that worked for me as a person to learn from your approach ..
1) Knowledge and knowing the next level of quality
Not only you helped with me very essential knowledge about good photographs that immediatly brings your quality to next level but you also assisted me to get to next level by standing side by side when shooting and giving feedback there and then. This push is always needed in practical workshops and definitely worked wonders for me.
2) Inspirational coach
You’re just not an instructor but a true coach. In a busy schedule I was tired many time but you assisted me to see a great scene and potential photograph nearby which immediately helped me focus back and get into action.
3) In depth editing
Amazing by the quality of editing you do and inspire and make us do with our existing work and the photograph shot during the workshop . This helps knowing quality work better and editing everyday made me comfortable with this approach. I am much stronger now in editing the basic thing that I always wanted to learn
4) One on one
Grouping of teams to shoot together is a great approach you followed . It made me comfortable with the group, learn form others, watch and understand other’s style, way of working and incorporating good things from others.
Overall this has been very positive for my outlook and I am sure I will bring quality photographer from now on …
Always recommend Maciej for photography workshops.”
Torsten Hendricks – Myanmar, January 2014
“Luckily, last year I saw that Maciej offers a workshop in Myanmar and it was exactly at the time, I didn’t have any other commitments. Despite the fact that I am normally shooting with black and white film, I decided to take his workshop. In terms of progress for my photographing skills, it was one of the best decisions I could have made. The intensive shooting during the day with Maciej as well as the critique of the daily work and the discussions helped me immensely. Maciej knowledge about photography is very deep rooted and he passes out examples not only based on his photographs but also with examples of other masters. His critique is spot on and he focused on plenty of details most of us participants have not even realized before. His assistance in regards of composition, helping to stay calm during the shooting and placement of elements was amazing. Everybody made good progress during the workshop. Now after some time has passed, I am still hearing his small remarks while shooting and am adjusting accordingly. This is one of the most important things to me. I still take all his points into consideration and work them into my daily routine. His advice is helpful and his points are very clear. He judges each student individually and adjusts his remarks according to their own skill. Seeing him how he works a situation and how to remain calm at the busiest places is amazing. I am definitely taking another workshop with him. Furthermore, next to the shooting, we all had a great time and all made some new friends.”
Monica de Luna – Myanmar, January 2014
http://silentskylark.com/2014/march/24/photographing-with-maciej-dakowicz – Monica de Luna on her blog about her workshop experience in Myanmar in February 2014.
Christine Vetter-Taylor – Myanmar, January 2014
“Full of admiration for Maciej’s work, I attended his February workshop in Myanmar. Wanting to keep an open mind, I had few expectations – but any I had were certainly exceeded. I learnt so much about light, composition and handling the camera correctly. Maciej made sure that my passion and enthusiasm never dwindled whilst gently pushing me out of my comfort zone: I am delighted to have conquered my fear of approaching and photographing people in their environment! The Burmese are very obliging and the streets are an exciting backdrop. His motto ‘come with your mind open and you’ll leave with your heart full’ just about sums it up! Thanks Maciej. I’ll be back.”
Boris Hamilton – Mumbai, India, December 2013
“I attended Maciej’s one-week workshop in Mumbai in December 2013. 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 ammends. 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 likes to have a laugh with 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. “
Alexandru Ilea – India, November 2013
“I decided to go to a workshop with Maciej because I wanted to learn from a professional photographer whose work I admire.
For me this was my first workshop and my first travel to India and outside Europe.
We started our trip in Kolkata and from there we travelled to cities in Odisha then back to Kolkata. The workshop was intensive and we shot a lot pictures. Sometimes we had to wake up very early to go to the market or the Maidan park and catch the morning activity.
When going with Maciej as a shooting partner, when I didn’t shoot I tried to learn by watching how he was working or interacting with his subjects.
I liked to observe how someone with such a high level of perfectionism makes the most subtle moves until getting the perfect frame that would satisfy him. I liked the way he was looking for places with good photographic potential (crowded places, events, time of the day etc.).
His motivation and energy were very inspiring as well!
He showed me how to enter a place and tell the right thing to people so that I can take pictures without feeling like an intruder. I learned to be calmer, more patient, move smoother, insist more, think more before taking the shot.
I learned some good technical tips and improved my ways of approaching the light.
I enjoyed India a lot and the group was very fun (eventually we met the second group participants as well and the fun doubled). Lovely people and characters!
I highly recommend Maciej to anyone! I hope to meet him again!”.
Marcin Sikorski – Albania, June 2013
“I booked myself to June trip to Albania with Maciej. It was such an intensive week. It was like a full time job. 8 hours of shooting during the day and if something was going on in the night we were out to catch this, resulting with at least couple of hundred pictures taken per day. But not only the quantity maters. I used to do street photography for some time before, but going out on the streets with Maciej taught me lots of important lessons. I used to snap a shot and run, but Maciej pushed me to work on the scene as long as possible, to engage with people, talk to them and get to know them. This was completely a new experience for me. At the beginning I felt quite uncomfortable, but after 2 days I had the confidence to put myself into different situations, venturing to strange places. I remember Maciej telling me: ‘Just this!?… Go back and do more!’ or ‘Get closer! Get closer!’ Also evening sessions with very harsh selection of pictures, constructive critique from Maciej and other participants it was something really worth every penny I paid. Last but not least I must say that we had so much fun hanging out together. Maciej is extremely great companion to travel with and very easy going and open person. He is not holding all the tricks and experience to himself. I was so lucky that our group happened to be fantastic bunch of people. Definitely one of the best times I have ever had. I recommend Maciej’s workshops to every person interested in photography at all levels.”
David Gaberle – Albania, June 2013
“I went on the 2013 workshop in Albania. The reason I had booked the place was because I wanted to see a professional at work. At the beginnning, I felt like I was quite confident with what I wanted to shoot and didn’t really allow Maciej to push me into the situations he wanted me to get involved in. As time went on, and we edited our photographs in the evenings, it often happened that Maciej would choose images I wouldn’t even think of selecting. What I usually do when I shoot is I have an idea of what I’d like to get out of the camera and then go out in the street and look for things that even slightly correspond to what I am looking for. What the whole experience taught me was to keep my mind open and actually constantly challenge these concepts that I create ahead. As a result, I actualy got a very diverse set of photos throughout the 10 days – largely due to getting involved in situations I would previously not even think of. Another thing I learnt from seeing Maciej work on a daily basis was the complete dedication one has to make to photography in order to produce a solid body of work. His words of encouragement might just as well be the thing that will soon push me over the edge to completely dive into the visual world. One minute, you will hear him complain that he is lazy, another, you will see him spend a couple of hours shooting on a bus ride, shooting through the window – even if you feel like there is nothing out there, he just does it to practice his vision. And to get a good shot, because that’s all that matters.”
Michael Foo – Albania, June 2013
“I went to the June workshop arranged by Maciej in Albania. I attended the last few days of the workshop due to work commitments but Maciej graciously allowed me to join for the last few days, and wow what an experience.
For me, street photography is something I have never done before. Most of my photography has been of landscapes and of urban decay and after looking at other genres of photography I decided to take the plunge and went on the workshop arranged by Maciej to expand my horizons and to learn.
On arriving I was paired with Maciej for my first shoot. It was a steep learning curve from what I was used to and I had to think differently. I was like a fish out of water but Maciej is a really patient and good teacher.
I felt I developed more as a photographer in my days with Maciej. Not only does he encourages you to step outside your comfort zone but to go beyond. By watching him work you can see how passionate he is in what he does and that passion rubs off on you.
Each day we reviewed our work to see what our best shots were and where we could improve on and this helped me approach a scene differently than I would have, learning from past experiences.
It was definitely a worthwhile workshop for me and something I will use next time. I hope to go to another workshop in the future and learn more from Maciej!
Chris Meirick – Istanbul, Turkey, May 2013
“On May 5th, I boarded a flight to Istanbul, full of both nerves and excitement, with lots of questions bubbling away inside, like; what would Maciej and David be like, would I be able to perform to an acceptable level, given my relative lack of street photography experience and take some worthy photographs, and so on. It was also my furthest overseas trip alone, my first visit to Istanbul, and my first photography workshop.
While I had positive expectations for the workshop, what I didn’t know at this stage was that I was going to have one of the best experiences of my life.
Istanbul turned out to be a truly wonderful city for photography in so many different ways. The most notable of these was the friendliness of the people there, and their happiness and willingness to be photographed. Something that I just wasn’t expecting, and having lived in London for 19 years found it to be a real eye-opener.
So, apart from the city providing an abundance of photographic possibilities, what made the week so good?
· The whole group was very friendly, and everyone got on really well
· The workshop was really well organised, and Maciej and David were professional throughout
· Maciej and David are both highly experienced street photographers, so it was great to see them ‘at work’ and to learn about how they go about their business – trying to capture the decisive moment, with great composition. They were both extremely encouraging and forthcoming with hints, tips and ideas, and clearly and happily answered all questions asked
· The daily analysis and critiquing of each day’s work was of the highest level – detailed and honest
· We were encouraged to challenge ourselves and to try doing many things we hadn’t done before
· Useful technical tips on getting the maximum results from cameras being used were provided
· Excellent presentations were given to us in the evening when back at base
· We were taken to many different residential areas, way-off the normal tourist path, which were really great locations for shooting. It was great in fact not just being a ‘normal tourist’ visiting the same areas as all other tourists
Best of all – I believe the workshop improved me as a photographer and provided even more enthusiasm for me to develop in the future. To do this, I’ve signed-up for Maciej’s next India workshop later this year. Can’t wait!”
Mark Carey – Istanbul, Turkey, May 2013
“I consider myself a pretty experienced photographer who has always pushed himself to improve, analysing my work, deconstructing what I do and learning from that to make myself a better photographer. I went on the trip to Istanbul with Maciej because I had a great deal of respect for his work and had a feeling that his approach and mine were possibly two different ways of getting sometimes similar images. I hoped his methods would add some extra skills to what I already had and another good set of eyes would pick up on my areas of weakness and make me examine that. I wasn’t wrong.
Maciej taught me a lot of technical tricks that I wouldn’t have considered and I will use in the future in both to my travel and work photography. He also, as I suspected, made me examine aspects of my own photography, not just aesthetically but how I deal with my subjects. In some ways I think we will have agree to differ, however, many of his other comments have been very helpful and facing uncomfortable truths can often be the thing that takes you to the ‘next level’.
I can recommend going on one of Maciej’s trips to anyone. Be prepared for long days, sore feet, tough critiques and a fast track to improving your photography. Thanks Maciej.”
Adam Constantine – Bangladesh, February 2013
“Having recently returned from a ten day workshop run by Maciej Dakowicz in Bangladesh I can honestly say it was an incredibly worthwhile workshop. The intensity of the shooting – 8hrs p/day, is not just a great ‘experience’, but bloody hard work, for which there is no substitute. The quality of the input both in terms of camera control, light awareness, anticipation, working a scene, compositional strategy, personal vision, but also social skills and editing was superb. The workshops are for 3/4 participants max, so you get real value and personal support. Added to that Maciej is a very experienced traveller, so his knowledge of travel/survival is also invaluable. As a college lecturer myself (Graphic Communication) I couldn’t have been happier with the workshop and would highly recommend.”
Kristian Leven – Bangladesh, February 2013
“I’m a professional photographer with a successful wedding photography business, and I contacted Maciej about one of his workshops to Bangladesh in 2013. I was looking for a workshop that would take me out of the country and out of my usual comfort zone once the wedding season had finished, but also one that was run by an experienced travel photographer, whose work I respected, and wasn’t subject to the usual large groups you can find on these kind of trips.
The trip was everything I expected, and so much more. What I enjoyed so much was being with someone who has such an enthusiasm and passion for what he does. Maciej is so dedicated, and whilst there were times when I admittedly was ready to say ‘no more!’, he gave me the necessary push to stay on and I’m so thankful for that. It showed me what it takes to become a better photographer and how to raise my game. He helped to push me further, creatively as well as physically, trying to get me out of my usual creative comfort zone. This was the key, and I produced work on that trip I never would have normally produced. The reception I received from those images is remarkable and without Maciej I never would have ventured into the situations that brought those images.
Finally, after a long, hard day of shooting, we would go back to the hotel and review all the images. It was fascinating to hear his thoughts on what worked, and what didn’t. Using the feedback, we’d go out the next day and I’d use all that to create even better images.
It was such a pleasure to be on that trip with Maciej – he’s such a good guy, and you can see he really cares about what he does. I can honestly say I’ve improved a great deal as a photographer – his insights are invaluable, the workshop is well run, and he will push you to take better pictures and be a better photographer.
I can’t vouch for the guy or recommend his trips highly enough. “
Thomas Constantine – Bangladesh, February 2013
“I recently returned from a photo trip to Bangladesh with Maciej. To give some background apart from a couple of holidays my picture taking has been sporadic and at best amateur with a low level understanding of terminology and camera functions. Having been enticed to the trip by my Brother I didn’t really know what to expect from the experience so went with an open mind. Meeting Maciej for the first time after an 18 hour journey and being thrust into shooting with him at night at a large protest in Dhaka, is not an experience I will forget in a hurry. Baptism of fire seems an appropriate phrase. The 10 day journey with Maciej was a fascinating one. In terms of my development his, knowledge, patience, hard but constructive criticism, and passion had an almost instant effect on my shooting skills and has given me a level of ability that would have taken me years to develop on my own. The trip was undoubtedly hard work and challenging at times but Maciej is an insightful travel companion, brilliant to shoot with and I thoroughly enjoyed it on lots of different levels.”
Anna Bukhari – India, December 2012
“I joined Maciej’s workshop to India in 2012. As a relative beginner (I’m an architect/freelance journalist) I learned a tremendously lot. Not only of Maciej, but also of the other guys in our group. I think his way of (hard) working in small groups is a great way of learning and gives you loads on which you can work on on your own.
Maciej is a really passionate photographer and very open about the way he is doing things. I hope to have a chance to join again in the future.”
Matthew Wright – India, January 2012
“I attended a phototrip with Maciej in January 2012, also with David and Peter, we travelled around Gujarat in the North of India. I thoroughly recommend the experience! I was fairly confident as a photographer before I attended, but by working hard and having one to one tuition with Maciej I realised quickly how much I could improve my street photography, I learnt to work the street with much more confidence and it think it definitely shows in my current work.”
Dimitra Kountiou – Jordan, June 2013
“I did a phototrip with Maciej in June 2010. We travelled around Jordan for 3 weeks. I have to admit that this workshop benefited me a lot more than I thought. I saw an obvious change in my photography, to the better.
One amazing fact is that Maciej is shooting with the students. Watching Maciej at work and discussing our shots was valuable as well as it was good to hear feedback on the way I work. He is also easy going and easy to get along with. The whole trip was fun and it comes to a very reasonable price. And be ready: early morning starts and shooting until the sun goes down: I loved it!”
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