Two week-long travel and street photography workshops with Maciej Dakowicz in Kathmandu, Nepal in April 2015.
First workshop: 20 – 26 April 2015.
Denisa Alexandroaiei – www.flickr.com/photos/denisas/
Lei Davis – https://www.flickr.com/photos/132496515@N03/
Monica de Luna – www.flickr.com/photos/monicadeluna/
Second workshop: 27 April – 3 May 2015. (THIS WORKSHOP WAS CANCELLED DUE TO THE EARTHQUAKE)
Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is “electrifyingly exotic, with its medieval warren of alleys, Hindu temples and Buddhist stupas, and its uniquely relaxed nightlife”.
Lonely Planet says: “For many, stepping off a plane into Kathmandu is a pupil-dilating experience, a riot of sights, sounds and smells that can quickly lead to sensory overload. Whether you’re barrelling through the traffic-jammed alleyways of the old town in a rickshaw, marvelling at the medieval temples of Durbar Sq or dodging trekking touts in the backpacker district of Thamel, Kathmandu can be an intoxicating, amazing and exhausting place.
To really glimpse the soul of the city, take a walk through the backstreets, and the capital’s timeless cultural and artistic heritage reveals itself in hidden temples overflowing with marigolds, courtyards full of drying chillies and rice, and tiny hobbit-sized workshops.
This endlessly fascinating, sometimes infuriating, city has enough sights to keep you busy for a week but be sure to leave its backpacker comforts and explore the ‘real Nepal’ before your time runs out.”
Rough Guide says: “How to describe Kathmandu? A medieval time capsule? An environmental disaster? A holy city? A tourist trap? The answer is, all of the above. There are a thousand Kathmandus, all layered together in an extravagant morass of chaos and sophistication. With a fast-growing population of around 1.7m, Nepal’s capital is easily the country’s biggest and most cosmopolitan city: a melting pot of a dozen ethnic groups, and home town of the Newars – master craftsmen and traders extraordinaire. Trade, indeed, created Kathmandu – for at least a thousand years it controlled the most important caravan route between Tibet and India – and trade has always funded its Newari artisans. Little wonder, perhaps, that the city has so deftly embraced the tourist business.
The Kathmandu most travellers experience is Thamel, a thumping, developing-world theme park, filled with hotels, restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, bookshop, imitation trekking gear, pirated DVDs, and touts flogging tiger balm and hashish. The old city, though squeezed by traffic, is still studded with temples and splendid architecture. Its narrow lanes seethe with an incredible crush of humanity, echoing with the din of bicycle bells, motorbike engines, religious music, construction and car horns, and reeking of incense, spices, sewage and exhaust fumes. Sacred cows, holy men, beggars and street urchins roam the streets.
To the south, the separate municipality of Patan was once the capital of an independent kingdom; though now subsumed into the greater Kathmandu conurbation, it has its own quieter and better-preserved historic district, marked by numerous Buddhist bahal (monastery compounds, some still active), proud artistry, and a conspicuous community of foreign residents, predominantly the staff of international NGOs and charities.”
Here is a list of the most popular attractions, including Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple and Boudha Stupa: http://wikitravel.org/en/Kathmandu#See.
Exciting! There is so much to see and shoot there! A week of street photography in such a fascinating city is going to be a very memorable adventure.
Participants are encouraged to arrive a day or two before starting the workshop to become accustomed to the Nepali climate and environment. The weather in April is comfortable. The days are warm, so please don’t forget a sun lotion and good hat. The nights are much cooler, so a jumper is not a bad idea.
It will be a very practical workshop and there will be a lot of shooting every day. A very small group of 4 participants means a very high level of interaction with Maciej. You will be working in pairs changing “partners” after the lunch break or shooting on your own. While shooting with Maciej you will have a chance to observe him at work, learn his techniques and tricks. Maciej is a very experienced travel and street photographer and you will learn a great deal of new things. A special attention will be put on developing and practising “social skills” – an interaction with local people. You will not only hunt for decisive moments like Henri Cartier-Bresson but also get close to people, talk and photograph them. In the evening you will edit and discuss your photos in the group together with Maciej. There will be plenty of opportunities to talk photography too. There will be presentations on several nights of the workshop in which theoretical and practical aspects of street photography will be outlined and discussed.
It will be a very memorable adventure that will change you not only as a photographer, but as a person too.
The participants of the workshop are responsible for all travel costs, including the visa, air tickets, food, accommodation and local transport. Luckily Nepal is still a very affordable place to be and total weekly travel spendings are usually around £200. The group will stay in affordable and comfortable hotel and a single room price will be less than £20 per person. Please take a look at the reports from the previous workshops to see what are they like and what kind of pictures is produced. All participants, no matter how advanced they are, improve immensely their photography and produce quality work.
ABOUT Maciej Dakowicz
Maciej is an experienced Polish photographer, traveller and gallerist currently 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 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.