Two travel and street photography workshops in Myanmar with an In-Public photographer Maciej Dakowicz.
• 27 January – 9 February 2014. Northern Myanmar.
• 10 – 23 February 2014. Southern Myanmar.
Workshop report by Monica de Luna: http://www.silentskylark.com/2014/march/24/photographing-with-maciej-dakowicz.
The first workshop: Northern Myanmar
• Dates: 27 January – 9 February 2014.
• Itinerary: Yangon – Pyay – Bagan – Mandalay – Yangon.
- Nicola Miles – www.flickr.com/photos/72172131@N02/,
- Torsten Hendricks – www.flickr.com/photos/purityt/,
- Olivier Ducasse – www.flickr.com/photos/117100308@N08/.
The first workshop: Southern Myanmar
• 10 – 23 February 2014.
• Itinerary: Yangon – Bago – Kyaikto – Hpa-An – Mawlamyine – Yangon.
– Monica de Luna – www.flickr.com/photos/monicadeluna/,
- Sarah George – www.flickr.com/photos/sarahlgeorge/,
- Christine Vetter-Taylor.
Participant Photos selected by Maciej
What is Lonely Planet saying about Myanmar? “‘This is Burma’, wrote Rudyard Kipling. ‘It is quite unlike any place you know about.’ How right he was: more than a century later Myanmar remains a world apart.
To travel here is to encounter men wearing skirt-like longyi, women smothered in thanakha (traditional make-up) and betel-chewing grannies with mouths full of blood-red juice – and that’s just at the airport! One of the most fascinating aspects of travel in Myanmar is the opportunity to experience a corner of Asia that, in many ways, has changed little since British colonial times. Myanmar, for instance, has yet to be completely overwhelmed by Western clothing. It’s also a country of many incredible and sometimes surreal sites. Contemplate the 4000 sacred stupas scattered across the plains of Bagan. Stare in disbelief at the Golden Rock teetering impossibly on the edge of a chasm. Ride a horse cart past colonial-era mansions. Meet multitalented monks who have taught their cats to jump, or feisty elderly Chin women, their faces tattooed with intricate designs.
Turn back the clock with a trip to this time-warped country where there’s no such thing as a 7-Eleven or an ATM, and people still use horse and cart to get around. Liberate yourself from your mobile phone (it won’t work here) and the internet (you can get online, but connections are sloooow) and discover a culture where holy men are more revered than rock stars. Drift down the Ayeyarwady in an old river steamer, stake out a slice of beach on the blissful Bay of Bengal, or trek through pine forests to minority villages scattered across the Shan Hills. Dig into the myriad dishes of the local cuisine, from a hearty bowl of mohinga noodles for breakfast to the fermented tea-leaf mixture that’s a popular finish to a Burmese meal. Swap cocktails and canapés for snacks and tea sweetened with condensed milk at teahouses where you can shoot the breeze with locals.
You no doubt know that Myanmar is a troubled land. In 2011, following the previous year’s election, a quasi-civilian government was sworn in and Aung San Suu Kyi, at the time of research, had been released from house arrest. The tourism boycott that persuaded many to steer clear of the country for over a decade has been lifted. It’s still up to you to decide whether it’s time to visit. Keep in mind that the long-suffering people are everything the regime is not. Gentle, humorous, engaging, considerate, inquisitive and passionate, they want to play a part in the world, and to know what you make of their world. Yes, this is Burma – come with your mind open and you’ll leave with your heart full. ”
Exciting, isn’t it? There is so much to shoot there!
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.
Costs and practical information
The participants of the workshop are responsible for all travel costs, including the visa, air tickets, food, accommodation and local transport. Luckily Myanmar is still an affordable place to visit and total weekly travel spendings are usually around £250. The group will stay in affordable and comfortable hotels and the room prizes will be less than £15 per person. The total cost of such an adventure (including Maciej’s fee) should be around £2000 (when flying from the UK for around £700), less if flying to Bangkok to get an AirAsia flight to Yangon (although this option requires more time).
A Myanmar tourist visa can be obtained from Myanmar embassies in most of the countries or in Bangkok. Maciej will be getting his Myanmar visa in Bangkok a couple of days before the first workshop. The visa validity is 28 days.
You can fly to Myanmar (Yangon) from most of the airports changing flights in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or other transit airports. Maciej will be flying to Yangon on AirAsia from Bangkok, as he will be spending a week there just before the first workshop.
Maciej’s photos from Myanmar shot during his previous visit to this fascinating country:
Please also take a look at the previous workshops to see what kind of pictures is taken on such trips. He has organised and lead more than ten photography workshops so far and they all have been very successful (not only according to the participants – Maciej thinks the same).
There will be two two-week long photography workshops in Myanmar in March 2015, click here to email Maciej if you would like to register or ask about details.
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 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 among 46 leading street photographers in the “Street Photography Now” book published by the British publisher Thames & Hudson, who also published Maciej’s first monograph – Cardiff After Dark in October 2012.