A week-long street photography workshop in Mumbai with In-Public photographer Maciej Dakowicz.
5 – 11 January 2015.
Wikipedia says that Mumbai “is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million. Along with the neighbouring urban areas it is one of the most populous urban regions in the world.” “It is also the wealthiest city in India, and has the highest GDP of any city in South, West or Central Asia. Mumbai has been ranked 6th among top 10 global cities on billionaire count, ahead of Shanghai, Paris and Los Angeles.” “Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment capital of India, it is also one of the world’s top 10 centres of commerce in terms of global financial flow, generating 5% of India’s GDP”
…while Rough Guides say that “First impressions of Mumbai tend to be dominated by its chronic shortage of space. Crammed onto a narrow spit of land that curls from the swamp-ridden coast into the Arabian Sea, the city is technically an island, connected to the mainland by bridges and narrow causeways. In less than five hundred years, it has metamorphosed from an aboriginal fishing settlement into a megalopolis of more than sixteen million people – India’s largest city and one of the biggest urban sprawls on the planet. Being swept along broad boulevards by endless streams of commuters, or jostled by coolies and hand-cart pullers in the teeming bazaars, you’ll continually feel as if Mumbai is about to burst at the seams.
…Mumbai is far from the ordeal some travellers make it out to be. Once you’ve overcome the major hurdle of finding somewhere to stay, you may begin to enjoy its frenzied pace and crowded, cosmopolitan feel.
Nowhere reinforces your sense of having arrived in Mumbai quite as emphatically as the Gateway of India, the city’s defining landmark. Only a five-minute walk north, the Prince of Wales Museum should be next on your list of sightseeing priorities. The museum provides a foretaste of what lies in store just up the road, where the cream of Bartle Frere’s Bombay – the University and High Court – line up with the open maidans on one side, and the boulevards of Fort on the other. But for the fullest sense of why the city’s founding fathers declared it Urbs Prima in Indis, you should press further north still to visit the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), the high-water mark of India’s Raj architecture.
Beyond CST lie the crowded bazaars and Muslim neighbourhoods of central Mumbai, at their liveliest and most colourful around Crawford Market and Mohammed Ali Road. Possibilities for an escape from the crowds include an evening stroll along Marine Drive, bounding the western edge of downtown, or a boat trip out to Elephanta, a rock-cut cave on an island in Mumbai harbour containing a wealth of ancient art.”
and Lonely Planet says: “Measure out: one part Hollywood; six parts traffic; a bunch of rich power-moguls; stir in half a dozen colonial relics (use big ones); pour in six heaped cups of poverty; add a smattering of swish bars and restaurants (don’t skimp on quality here for best results); equal parts of mayhem and order; as many ancient bazaars as you have lying around; a handful of Hinduism; a dash of Islam; fold in your mixture with equal parts India; throw it all in a blender on high (adding generous helpings of pollution to taste) and presto: Mumbai.”
Exciting, isn’t it? There is so much to shoot there! Every day is an adventure. Additionally people are super friendly, food is great and being there is cheap. Maciej knows the city very well and will lead you to some fascinating areas, where not a single tourist ventures. You will have a chance to sample some fantastic Indian food in Maciej’s favourite restaurants too. You will love it there.
It will be a very practical workshop and there will be a lot of shooting every day. A very small group of max 4 participants means a high level of interaction with Maciej. You will be working in pairs changing “partners” after the lunch break. While shooting with Maciej you will have a chance to observe him at work, learn his techniques and tricks, and receive an instant feedback on your photographic technique. A special attention will be put on developing and practising “social skills” – an interaction with local people. You will not only be a fly on the wall hunting for decisive moments like Henri Cartier-Bresson, but also get really close to people, engage, talk and photograph them. Maciej is a very experienced travel and street photographer and you will learn a great deal of new things. In the evenings you will edit and discuss your freshly taken photos in the group together with Maciej. There will be plenty of opportunities to talk photography too. Maciej will also present several slideshow presentations in which theoretical and practical aspects of street photography will be outlined and discussed. All previous workshop participants found them very useful.
It will be a very memorable week that will change you not only as a photographer, but as a person too. You will return back home confident, inspired and motivated to keep developing as a photographer.
The participants of the workshop are responsible for all travel costs, including the visa, air tickets, food, accommodation and local transport. Luckily India is still a very affordable place to be and total weekly travel spendings are usually around £150. The group will stay in an affordable, clean, full of character, friendly and well located hotel in South Mumbai. Participants may also stay in one of the very high standard hotels nearby if they wish so. The total cost of such an adventure (including Maciej’s fee) should be around £1500 (when flying from the UK for around £500 and staying in the hotel for £20-£30 per night).
Maciej’s photos from Mumbai shot on the previous photo adventures (each taken while shooting with a workshop participant) and during other visits to this fascinating metropolis:
Please also take a look at the reports from previous workshops for behind the scene photos and pictures taken by the students.
Before settling down in Mumbai Maciej visited India more than 10 times, so he is very experienced at photographing in this country. He has organised and lead around 10 Indian workshops so far and they all have been very successful (not only according to the participants – Maciej thinks the same).
ABOUT Maciej Dakowicz
Maciej is an experienced Polish photographer, traveller and gallerist based in Mumbai, India. He holds a PhD in computer science, but abandoned science to focus on photography. He is one of the founders of Third Floor Gallery in Cardiff, a member of the Wideangle travel photo agency, the international street photography collective In-Public and the un-posed Polish street photography collective. He has worked on various photographic projects in the UK and abroad and his interests are in documentary, travel and street photography.
Maciej’s photos have been widely published and exhibited around the world, shown at photo festivals (including Visa Pour l’Image international festival of photojournalism in Perpignan, France) and he is a recipient of numerous awards. He was profiled in two major street photography books published by Thames & Hudson – “Street Photography Now” in 2010 and “The World Atlas of Street Photography” in 2014. Maciej’s first monograph Cardiff After Dark was published in October 2012.