"My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport."

STEVE MCCURRY

EXPLORE

Burma is one of the few countries in Asia that has preserved its deep religious and historical roots. Today, the country has just started opening up for foreign visitors and we are pleased to offer a workshop to this alluring land led by award-winning photographer Steve McCurry.

Drift down the Irrawaddy to capture life along the river, admire the thousand-year-old temples and pagodas that dot this magnificent country. 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 tea houses where you can chat with locals.

  • Workshop led by critically-acclaimed photographer Steve McCurry
  • Explore monasteries, pagodas and temples of Mandalay
  • Hone your portrait and travel photography skills
  • Visit the stunning Inle Lake and iconic U Bein bridge
  • Capture daily life in Mandalay with a street photography session

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

ON LOCATION

  • Learning and training in the best techniques
  • Composition and focus on lines, golden section, perspective, foreground
  • Work in different lighting and with short/long exposure times and aperture
  • How to handle equipment with care on location
  • Private hands-on lessons that can help take your photography skills to the next level
  • How to approach locals in natural way
  • The secret behind travel and reportage photography

IN CLASS ROOM

  • Expert review and constructive criticism of the images taken during the day
  • How to create portraits of daily life in villages we visit
  • Portfolio review
  • Presentation of Steve McCurry’s work
  • A Better Moments Certified Photo Instructor is available during the entire workshop to offer assistance with camera settings, the basics of composition, guide and help in general

ITINERARY

DAY 1: Mandalay, Myanmar

Upon arrival you will be picked up at Mandalay airport and transferred to our hotel.
After dinner there will be an introduction to the workshop and Steve McCurry will present their magnificent work.

This will be followed by a session on how to capture great portraits and how to approach people along our way.

DAY 2: Mandalay

Set off on an all-day cruise on the Irrawaddy River, stopping first in Sagaing, where myriad pagodas gleam white and gold on the hillside. Take in the view from the Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda, and observe daily life at a convent and a community school.

Continue up river to Inwa and hop onto horse carts to visit Nan Myint Tower, Menu Ok-kyaung Monastery and the teak Bagaya Monastery.

Enjoy lunch on board as we sail to Mingun, home to a massive, unfinished pagoda. Watch the sunset over the river on our return to Mandalay.

After dinner there will be private image reviews by Steve.

DAY 3: Mandalay

Rise early to witness the morning face-washing ceremony of the Mahamuni Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Mandalay. Admire the carvings of the Shwenandaw Monastery and see the 729 chiseled marble slabs of Kuthodaw Pagoda. Explore the city wall and its moat and then stop in at a gold-leaf workshop.

DAY 4: Mandalay

Morning workshop: We will work on our images and Steve will offer constructive feedback of your best shots.

We will visit the beautiful U Bein’s Bridge, a 1.2 km long walkway across the Taungthaman Lake built in teak more than 200 years ago. The bridge is used daily by the many monks and locals, and is one of the most photographed sights in Burma.

After dinner, Steve will present his most iconic and award-winning pictures.

DAY 5: Mandalay

Street photography. The program of the day is quite flexible. Steve will assist, guide and teach you how to approach people and locations, and there will be great opportunities to practice portrait and reportage photography in some of world’s most stunning locations.

After dinner Steve will present his most iconic and award-winning pictures.

DAY 6: Heho/Inle Lake

Fly to Heho and travel overland to Inle Lake, visiting Shweyanpyay Monastery and Nyaungshwe village along the way. Enjoy an afternoon on the lake, stopping at floating villages and pagodas on shore, and gliding past fishermen poling their skiffs with one leg.

DAY 7: Inle Lake

Spend the day exploring the lake, from lush floating gardens to vibrant lakeside markets. At the Phaung Daw U Pagoda, see five Buddha images so smothered in gold leaf that they have lost all trace of their original forms. Take a Shan cooking class or watch artisans at work at a silk weaving workshop. After lunch in a floating house, wander among hundreds of Shan-style stupas in Inn Dein, and visit Ngaphechaung Monastery, perched over the water on stilts and teak planks.

DAY 8: Inle Lake

We will enjoy the beauty of the hazy blue Shan plateau and the hilly region. We will also visit the Pindaya Cave houses, see 8,094 Buddha images, visit an umbrella workshop made of pulp.

Later in the day we proceed to Inle and visit Shweyanpye Monastery, a typical Shan Monastery made of wood, which is about 500 years old, and its 700-year-old pagoda. We will see the small Buddha images in niches painted traditionally by Shan people.

Farewell dinner and a thorough review of some of your best workshop photos led by Steve.

DAY 9: Departure

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

map-burma-485x485

BURMA

BURMA WITH THE BEST

3-11 March 2018

9 days

Travel to Burma and experience this unique culture first hand and hone your portrait and travel photography skills with award-winning photographer Steve McCurry.

Write to info@better-moments.com for more information or join the mailinglist.

STEVE MCCURRY

TRAVEL WITH THE BEST

Steve is recognized universally as one of today’s finest image-makers, and has won many of photography’s top awards. Best known for his evocative color photography, Steve, in the finest documentary tradition, captures the essence of human struggle and joy. Steve’s work has been featured in every major magazine in the world. McCurry is driven by an innate curiosity and sense of wonder about the world and everyone in it. He has an uncanny ability to cross boundaries of language and culture to capture stories of human experience. “Most of my images are grounded in people. I look for the unguarded moment, the essential soul peeking out, experience etched on a person’s face. I try to convey what it is like to be that person, a person caught in a broader landscape, that you could call the human condition.”

 

SEE ALL EXPERTS

OVERVIEW

Number of guests: 8-16

Local transport: Flight and boat
Exertion level: Easy
Accommodation: Hotels
Meals: All meals included
Type of photography: Portrait and travel
Weather in March: Average 29°C

PRICE

€9,450 per person in shared double room
€9,950 per person in single room

Includes:
Hotel accommodation with private bath and toilet
All meals and non-alcoholic beverages
Ground transport
Coaching, teaching, workshops and seminars

Excludes:
Transport to/from Mandalay
Visa for Burma
Alcoholic beverages
Travel insurance

QUICK GUIDE

GETTING THERE

All international flights arrive at Mandalay airport. The most common route to Mandalay airport is via Bangkok.


VISA

All visitors are required to have a passport valid for at least six months beyond the intended stay, and all visitors will need a visa. The visa application process is handled by the Embassy of the Union of Myanmar, and can be done in person, by representative or by post. It takes 5-10 working days to get the tourist visa application processed.


WEATHER

The southwest monsoon starts around the end of May, bringing frequent rain until October, peaking from July to September. March to May brings intense heat. At this time, the daily temperatures in Yangon often reach 40ºC, while areas around Bagan and Mandalay go a few degrees higher.
 


LANGUAGE

Burmese is the official language of Burma, and the primary language of instruction. English is the secondary language taught.


CURRENCY

The Burmese monetary unit is the Kyat (K).


QUICK GUIDE

  • One of the most fascinating aspects of travel in Burma is the opportunity to experience a corner of Asia that, in many ways, has changed little since British colonial times. Being cut off from the rest of the world for so many decades, Myanmar has achieved a unique preservation of culture bounded by a rich, unspoiled landscape. Abundant in natural resources, the landscape of Myanmar ranks among the most breathtaking sights anywhere in the world.
  • It’s also a country of many incredible and sometimes surreal sites. Contemplate the 4,000 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 multi-talented monks who have taught their cats to jump, or feisty elderly Chin women, their faces tattooed with intricate designs.