"My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport."
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
- 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 a natural way
- The secrets 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, and to generally guide and help.
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 with Steve McCurry presenting his magnificent work.
This will be followed by a session on how to capture great portraits and how to approach people along the 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 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 for 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.
BURMA WITH THE BEST
3-11 March 2018
Travel to Burma and experience this unique culture first hand and hone your portrait and travel photography skills with award-winning photographer Steve McCurry.
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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.”
Number of guests: 8-16
Local transport: Flight and boat
Exertion level: Easy
Meals: All meals included
Type of photography: Portrait and travel
Weather in March: Average 29°C
€9,450 per person in shared double room
€9,950 per person in single room
Hotel accommodation with private bath and toilet
All meals and non-alcoholic beverages
Coaching, teaching, workshops and seminars
Transport to/from Mandalay
Visa for Burma