Trapani street photography 2018 1

Trapani street photography 2018

Trapani Street Photography 2018

Every year we take a group of photographers to Sicily for Easter, for a documentary workshop; here is a slideshow of our Trapani Street Photography 2018.

Misteri Di Trapani

Misteri Di Trapani is one of the oldest Easter celebrations and is a procession of twenty ornately carved floats carried through the street over 24 hours from Good Friday into Saturday morning.

Documenting the procession

I edit the images in black and white using DXO B & W software to reflect the solemnity of the procession alongside the music played by each band that accompanies each float.

This is an incredible experience and we are able to be inside the church and get up close to the action to document with our photography press passes.

Read the blog from this year's workshop here 

Inspired to photograph Misteri Di Trapani in 2019? Get in touch if you would like to book on Street Photography Trapani 2019

All of the images were taken using the diminutive 35mm 2.8 Zeiss lens along with the 18 and 25mm Zeiss Batis lenses.

https://www.zeiss.co.uk/camera-lenses/photography/products/batis-lenses/batis-2818.html

https://www.zeiss.co.uk/camera-lenses/photography.html


Easter photography workshop Trapani 2

Easter photography workshop Trapani

Easter photography workshop Trapani, 2018

There are many Easter celebrations that capture the imagination of photographers around the world, and none more so for me than the Misteri di Trapani which is where I take a group of photographers on my Easter photography workshop Trapani.

Trapani, Sicily:

Trapani is the capital of the Province of Trapani on the west coast of Sicily. Travel takes about twenty minutes from the local airport Trapani, reached via a short flight from Milan Linate, or about an hour drive from the Palermo airport which can be reached directly from most UK airports. With warm sunshine the pastel hues of the baroque buildings look beautiful and there are many interesting sights locally such as the famous Marsala region. Reaching out into the Mediterranean Sea, walk along the coastline and visit the busy port. Look out for the local coral jewellery and pottery shops and of course enjoy the amazing local wine and seafood in the many cafes and restaurants. It’s worth taking a cable car ride up Mount Erice on one day. The old train station, early morning fish market and the salt pans and windmills are also of interest to the travel photographer.

 

We stayed in the modern Hotel Vittoria, within a fifteen-minute walk of the old town and the heart of the procession. As a group I always ensure we have dinner one night at one of the most famous pizzeria restaurants in Sicily, Calvino, established in 1946, proper stone baked base, oozing with Gorgonzola and spicy salami perfect with an Italian beer.

Trapani Easter Festival:

The Processione dei Misteri di Trapani, dates back to the sixteenth century and is the culmination of Holy Week, retelling the passions and death of Christ. Twenty elaborately carved wooden floats are carried through the streets of Trapani before returning to the church the following morning. Each float is the responsibility of one of the Guilds of Trapani including; fishermen, bakers, carpenters, and pasta makers. Each float is incredibly heavy and takes twenty men to carry and is accompanied by a band. The effort of the procession is to reflect the suffering endured by Christ.

 

Workshop:

The procession lasts around twenty-four hours, and this photography workshop Trapani, is a full-on experience over three days, so bring your camera, walking boots, and stamina!

The photography workshop Trapani starts on Holy Thursday at the hotel and we talk about how best to document the procession to capture the story of the event. We photograph the Guild’s and their families as they prepare the floats in the church, Chiesa del Purgatorio, adorning the carved figures with candles, flowers and silver. In the church we met with photographer Ernesto Bazan with his workshop group. Thursday is also an opportunity to walk some of the streets so that everyone can familiarise themselves with the route.

 

The many churches in Trapani hold services that start with the traditional washing of the feet. It is worth visiting the Cattedrale San Lorenzo, with many historic paintings including its own Caravaggio on the wall.

 

Thanks to a local photographer and a friend in the Carabinieri, we are very honoured to have fotografo and stampa passes which allow us in the church on Good Friday and allow us to walk alongside the floats as the process through the streets. This means we can really get up close to the action for our photography workshop Trapani.

We return to the church at about 11 am on Good Friday and it is even busier with the floats receiving their final touches and those who would be carrying and escorting the floats in the church. The crowds take to line the streets and the doors to the church are closed during the last hour of preparations.

 

The procession begins at two o'clock outside with prayers before the church door is hit with the palm of the hand three times. Inside, two men are lifted up to unlock and open the door to cheers, and the loud clapping sound of the wooden clackers. As the doors open the first band is in position playing, the attendants walk out then the first float.

 

The bands play a solemn piece that creates a wall of sound in the narrow streets. The musicians and those walking ahead of each float repeat a rocking step which has a hypnotic rhythm and keeps the procession slowly walking through the streets as each band and float join in turn.

 

We remain within the church for the first few floats then make out way outside to photograph the floats as they make their way through the door and turn to take their place in the procession. We continue to photograph along the route before taking a well-earned break for dinner and rest.

 

The crowds are waiting for the float of the Madonna and by the time we re-join the procession, it is dark. The Madonna is positioned to look into either side of the street as they make their way slowly along the route, the priests praying and rose petals are cascaded from the balconies overhead.

 

In the narrow streets, the floats take on an atmospheric quality with the candle lights and shadows being cast upwards on the buildings.

 

The procession continues through the night, although the bands stop playing at midnight. We return to the hotel to sleep before going out early on Saturday morning to document the floats as they make their way back to the church.

 

The atmosphere is emotionally intense, there were smiles and hugs as people greet each other, but for many, the overwhelming responsibility of the procession brings moments of quiet reflection and tears. It is really important to steal your own emotions from the situation and record what you see, but it is not easy.

 

The photography workshop Trapani, is not just about being out on the streets photographing the procession, in the afternoon is spent editing our images; I took around 3000 over the three days; top tip 1 when you are going out to photograph an event like this you must take extra charged batteries and spare memory cards with you. The aim is to get 10-20 images that tell the story of Misteri di Trapani.

 

For me I edit my Trapani images in black and white as I feel is reflects the solemnity and emotions of the procession.  I recommend photo mechanic for quick importing and identifying your best photographs, and then photoshop and silver efex for processing your images into high contrasting black and white images. Ultimately the images can then be put into a slideshow presentation accompanied by some of the procession music; top tip 2 taking all your photographs landscape will create a more professional looking slideshow.

 

After dinner, we have an open critique of the photographer's work and complete this on the Sunday morning after breakfast. The critique is a very important part of the photography workshop Trapani, as everyone has the chance to share their images and learn from each other.

 

What do you need to get great documentary photography?

All the photographs I shot during the workshop were taken using the phenomenal Zeiss lenses 35mm F28, 18mm and 25mm Batis lens

For more information about the individual lenses visit the Zeiss website here

 

Workshops around the world;

Have you been inspired to join me on a photography workshop? We have many courses booking to develop your documentary photography through experiencing the real life of a county and it's people, and of course, you can book for Easter 2019.

Here's a taster of one of our  photography workshops  in Jodhpur, India.

 


Myanmar Photography Workshop 2018

Myanmar Photography Workshop 2018

Myanmar Photography Workshop 

This February I took a group of photographers on a Myanmar photography workshop, with Nikon School UK. The group included professional working photographers and keen amateurs, but everyone had a passion for photography and was ready for an adventure.

We all flew into Yangon (Rangoon), with an opportunity to photograph the street life of the capital city, before taking an internal flight on an old prop-plane down to Myeik in southern Myanmar and spending the next 14 days working our way back photographing the villages and local life of Dawei, Ye and Mawlamyine, before returning to Yangon and then home.

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has only become open to Western tourists in the last few years, so it is still pretty unexplored and a great source for observational documentary street and travel photography.

My workshops are a total immersion experience, we stay, travel and eat alongside the locals, and spend every day exploring the streets, markets and temples, photographing, with the evenings reviewing and editing our images and talking all things photography.

Highlights of Myanmar

Some of the highlights of Myanmar photography workshop,  include the fishing harbours, where you will photograph the workers shifting huge blocks of ice to be chipped for storing the fish as it’s transported around Myanmar, and the abundance of fresh fruit, vegetables and meat being sold in the marketplaces. Myanmar has been in the news recently regarding the religious conflicts, the country remains predominantly Buddhist, and there are many monasteries and temples to visit.

In Yangon, we took a water taxi across the river to photograph at sunset, and spent a night in 19th Street in China Town. In Myeik we took a boat across to the island to photograph the famous reclining Buddha and local monastery. Travelling by minibus to Dawei we photographed basic roads being constructed by human labour, a hot and arduous occupation by both women and men. We also go to take a little time out to enjoy some time at the unspoiled beach of Dawei.  We took traditional boats along the River Ye to a rural village, and we even waded out into the water to photograph the local fishermen up close. In Mawlamyine, we took some interesting photographs of the traditional pancake/wraps being made on a blazing hot plate by hand.

The people are incredibly welcoming and you will find yourself being invited into temples, shops, and homes to photograph everyday life. One thing you will notice is the makeup/sunscreen that the women and children apply to their faces in broad stripes, thanakha, made from ground bark and water.

Documentary photography in Myanmar

Myanmar photography workshop enables me to develop some of the key documentary techniques with the photographers on the course; environmental portraiture, making the most of natural light to add dimension and texture, as well as lighting the focal point/subject, composition including photographing landscape and using thirds, separation and heads in spaces, layering, consistency, and the most important skill for getting great documentary photography on the streets, staying with the moment. By the end of the workshop, everyone was able to reflect on their individual experience of Myanmar through their images, making connections with the people and daily lives in contrast to their own.

Want to join us?

If you are interested in joining me on a photographic workshop adventure there are lots of courses available to book on the Nikon School UK website and contact me directly for more information. In 2018 we are travelling to Sicily, India: Pushkar, Varanasi, Mumbai, Jodhpur, Kolkata, Sonepur, and Vietnam's capital Hanoi.

Read about Jodhpur photography workshop 2017 https://www.shootthestreet.co.uk/documentary-photography/photography-workshop-training-jodhpur/

find out and book on a street photography course with Nikon School UK https://nikonschool.co.uk/courses/street-photography

Myanmar photography workshop

 

TESTIMONIALS from the Trip

Mark Ashworth

I had an amazing experience in Myanmar 2018 with Mark Seymour on the street photography workshop.  I have been a professional photographer for over 20 years mainly in social photography which a bias towards studio work.  I wanted to challenge myself and take images for personal development.  Mark’s enthusiasm, energy and attitude helped me to understand that the barriers photographers have which this genre are often only in themselves.  If you approach things with the right mindset and put your fears to one side, you can and do achieve amazing results.  Its fairly easy knowing how to take great images, but if you put yourself where others wouldn’t your images will be even better.  I have learnt so much from this course, and much of it being about taking a new approach, having the right attitude and staying with scenes long enough to develop into stunning street images.

David Huggett

I first saw this course advertised online and was really tempted to sign up.  However, I do have a few reasonably significant disabilities which restrict my levels of physical activity and the last thing I wanted to be was in the way or a burden on the group.  To this end, I rang Mark and discussed things with him.  He put all my fears to rest, discussing the itinerary, its flexibility and what was required from participants.  After putting the phone down I booked my place.
On arriving in Myanmar I found myself in a group of amazing people, whose ability covered a whole spectrum of photographic levels.  The atmosphere was excellent and I did not hear one negative word the entire trip.  We kept alternating the smaller groups we worked in, and everyone was happy working with and helping everyone else.
The list of what I learned is long.  Very long.  It encompasses the technical use of camera systems, photographic composition, interacting with and directing subjects, finding the moment and seeing the light. I also learned significantly more about myself and my enjoyment of different types of photography.
It was a privilege to attend Mark’s course and to meet the other people on it, the group of us now being good friends with a collective experience that will stay with us for life.
I fully intend do attend more of Mark’s courses.  I highly recommend them and look forward to meeting new friends there in the future.
Keith Owen
Fantastic!
What a fantastic opportunity to visit a fascinating country, and learn from street photographer Mark Seymour, one of the best in the business! Mark had scouted many locations beforehand, so we were able to get a flying start, immersed in the rich and vibrant sights of Myanmar from dawn until dusk. With a small group of just 7 (including Mark), the workshop provided excellent group and 1-on-1 tuition time, as well as enjoyable discussions and reviews over dinner in the evenings. Thoroughly recommended if you want to improve your street photography skills!
Andy Mac

"Having been on a number of Mark Seymour's photography workshops abroad I am always so brilliantly surprised by how much more there is to learn, how much more fun we seem to have on each adventure and how much better my photography becomes as well as the level of confidence in photographic travel that I seem to build.

The photography course in Myanmar was an adventure through a country where quite often, I felt like the first Western-looking person that many locals may have seen with their own eyes.  The hustle and bustle of the markets, the smiles and kindness of local people, a truly different way of life that is rarely documented in the West, really makes for a life-long memory with an abundance of great pictures to hang on my wall.

More than this, however, is the great company that Mark provides - the course is made special by his personality, his humour, his down-to-earth approach, his friendly humility and the teachings of all things photography when out shooting in the day as well as back in the hotel in the evening - going through images and critiquing how we could each improve the next day.

Highly highly recommended"

 

Want to find out about more of my courses.... just fill in the contact form and you'll be amongst the first to know https://www.shootthestreet.co.uk/contact or visit https://www.shootthestreet.co.uk/street-photography/street-photography-in-myanmar/