Kolkata Street Photography 130 Kolkata train Shot

Kolkata train Shot

How I took this Shot


Click on the video link below to hear and see my thought process as the scene develops and I get this four layered shot


People often ask what my thought process is when I see an opportunity or when Im working a scene or even how you see a layered shot. Here I share my thoughts as I photograph down on the railway track and take you through my thoughts as I photograph a scene and adapt to get a great multi-layered image.


I took inspiration from the Magnum photography book called Contac Sheets


Jodhpur Travel Photography 50 What kind of photographs do you want to take on your photography workshop?

What kind of photographs do you want to take on your photography workshop?

Just a few memories, a nice new portfolio or some wow photos to put on Instagram or win your next photo competition?

I' love you to come away from one of my courses with a small body of work that really captures all the places you’ve been , documents your experiences and the people you’ve encountered on your photo trip. We’ll be going out daily to different of the beaten track locations , finding interesting people and immersing ourselves in their way of life so we can capture their faces as they go about their daily lives. I’ll be challenging you to break down barriers and have the confidence to approach strangers and go into new locations and feel comfortable doing this so your subjects relax and let you take the photographs you want. I'll be with you every step of the way to help you in any way I can to achieve your goals and get the travel pictures of interesting people that you want to take.

Nagaland Travel Photography 15 Lets talk about Gear

Lets talk about Gear

Firstly you don’t have to be a Nikon user to come on one of my courses.

Gear, please just bring whatever camera you feel comfortable using, it really doesnt matter. We can all make any gear we have work wether it be a medium format camera or a small fixed lens camera. Its more about creativity and adapting yourself to take great photographs with the gear you have.

The main reason we buy more stuff or bring everything with us is that we fear we must cover every eventuality but the fact is that we will always miss great photographs, we just need to get over it and take the best photographs we can with the gear we have.

Generally you will miss more photos messing around with gear or being undecisive about what lens you should have for this given situation. The more gear you have the more decisions you have to make that’s why most of the time Im travelling I will just have one camera and one fixed lens so I can concentrate on making the best shot I can with the gear I have.

Gear I go out shooting with

  • Nikon D850
  • 35mm 1.8 lens
  • 85 1.8 lens in bag
  • Small shoulder bag

95% of my photos are with just a simple 35mm fixed lens. The best tip I can give you is go light and get a really comfy pair of walking shoes

Kolkata . Mark Seymour 0028 What do I need to bring for travel workshop?

What do I need to bring for travel workshop?

What do I need to bring for travel workshop

Whilst trying to travel as light as possible on a photo workshop I feel these are some of the essentials


Here what people who attended a course have to say

Varanasi 2 Shoot the street around the world

Shoot the street around the world


‘This is Burma,……it will be quite unlike any land you know about’ Rudyard Kipling, and was the inspiration for Kipling’s poem Mandalay. Myanmar is still pretty new to the tourist trail so it is an untouched gem for documentary photographers. Starting in the capital Yangon and venturing further into the country, Myanmar’s markets, Buddhist temples, coast and people welcome you in and are prime subjects to photograph.


Kolkata, capital of West Bengal, is the third most populated city in India, with an urban population 14.3 million, and believe me you absolutely feel it! A city of diverse lifestyles, being the principal commercial city with modern tower-blocks, hotels and businesses, alongside some of the oldest and most extensive areas of homelessness and communities that have built their homes in temporary shacks alongside the city’s canals and railway lines. Kolkata takes documentary street photography to another level, and some of it’s grittier, more challenging aspects are best captured in high contrast black and white photography.


Jodhpur, the famous blue walled city of Rajasthan, captures the romantic traditional image of India, with its intense colour and scents, and is an incredible source for dramatic and dynamic documentary street and travel photography. Driving out of the city to the recognisable red turbaned Reika tribes, step back in time, breath in the fresh air and enjoy the quiet of the surrounding farmland and rural villages. Jodhpur and its people need to be celebrated in full vibrant colour photography.


Unlike anywhere else in India let alone the world, Varanasi is the holiest of the seven most sacred cities for Hindus and Jains. In Northern India. On the banks of the Ganges, it is believed that death in the city will bring salvation. Completely overwhelming all the senses, but totally compelling, life and death share this space side by side, washing, bathing, praying and cremating the dead in Ghats along the river. Bodies are carried through the street to the cremation Ghats passed chai sellers and roaming cows, but rather than being a place of great sadness, there is a peace and joy that to us with more reserved emotions towards death is truly enlightening. Varanasi is an experience never to be forgotten.


Held every November to coincide with the full moon, the Pushkar Camel Festival is heralded as the biggest tribal gathering in Rajasthan, India, attracting thousands of tribesman and their camels, horses and cattle, and around 400,000 visitors over the fourteen day mela. Watch the horse riding and camel racing, wander through the colourful stalls and the red spired Brahma temple. Pushkar located on the shore of Pushkar Lake, there are many Ghats where pilgrims come to bathe. Pushkar is also important for Sikhs and has Gurdwaras dedicated to Guru Nanak.


Silchar is an important business district of Assam and within driving distance of some of India’s extensive tea plantations. Silchar has a very different feel from its neighbouring city of Kolkata with its green lush tea plants stretching out towards the blue silhouetted mountains in the distance.


Istanbul, historically known as Constantinople and Byzantium, is one of the most photogenic cities I’ve ever visited. Given its astonishing history there is no shortage of subjects to photograph. The places, people and dimly lit passages are a rich source of inspiration for reportage street photography. Istanbul’s numerous bazaars are the perfect backdrop for documentary street photography and although geared more to the tourist than local trade, the markets are nevertheless full of things to see and record with your camera. Although Turkey’s ethnic minorities are concentrated in Istanbul, the influence of Islam is at the heart of this city.


The Processione dei Misteri di Trapani has been performed for over 300 years and retells the passion plays through the most elaborate floats being paraded from the church through the streets of Trapani for 16 hours. We joined them as they prepared and gathered in the church early in the morning and followed them throughout the day until nightfall. The immense effort under which the men carry the floats of Christ and Mary is clear in their faces, and the whole experience is incredibly powerful for even the non-religious visitor. Trapani has become a source of inspiration for many street photographers, returning over a number of years to record this extraordinary procession, including myself.


Good morning Vietnam! I must confess Robin Williams legendary line whirled around my head arriving in the capital city Hanoi. A city where East meets West, and has been rapidly developing since 1990 when it opened its doors to the outside world. The memories of the Vietnam war are not far beneath the surface and there is still evidence of more simple, traditional life against the hi-tech modern consumerism of its young population.


From the cool and trendy young guys of Shoreditch barbers and Soho music shops, through the bustling multicultural markets of Brick Lane, to the historical Speakers Corner of Hyde Park, London is perfect for documentary street photo walks. As daily life rushes past graffiti walls and advertising boards, there are lots of opportunities to catch the unusual in the usual. I return to these locations again and again to develop particular photographic themes or stories.


There’s an affinity between the storytelling style of documentary photography and the founding principle at the heart of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; which is to be an open-access arts event that accommodates anyone with a story to tell. The freedom with which I shoot my street photography reflects the freedom the EFFS allows the performers to shape the program through their own creative visions of performance. The Edinburgh festival is the largest arts festival in the world, held annually for three weeks in the Scottish capital bringing global performers and visitors together for an experience you need to try at least once in your lifetime!

Varnasi Travel Photography 4 What type of photography is covered?

What type of photography is covered?

Street photography up close and candid

Photo walks around the local streets will get you up close with the hustle and bustle of daily life, no long lenses, just candid, real photography, which can be full on and fast paced – bring your walking shoes!

Travel photography off the beaten track

You will have an adventure; be ready to explore off the beaten track of the tourist trail and be immersed in the life and culture of the locality.
This is travel photography that focuses on real-life; on people and the context of the place we are photographing, rather than looking for stunning locations and landscapes, so join me for an experience of a lifetime.

Reportage keeping it real

Using the techniques we will develop over the workshops you will have a set of images that create a photo story of your journey, editing the reality like an article for National Geographic.

Environmental portraits

Photographing people is my passion, capturing characters in their environment tells their unique story. We will visit markets and railways stations, photograph people as they work and go about their daily chores.

Learning about different techniques

I will demonstrate some key techniques that will take your photography to the next level, and then work closely with you on a daily basis to put these techniques into practice.

Shooting through and changing angles

I will encourage you to find different angles to shoot from, changing your viewpoint by getting up high or low, or finding objects to shoot through will add anew dimension to your photography. Developing your ability to micro compose, moving yourself/your camera to enhance the image information of the lens will ensure you have more great images to pick from at the end of the day.

Looking for reflections

A simple technique but once you tune your eye into looking for reflections you will make good use of them to enhance your images; mirrors, water, not just single but multiple reflections within one image.

Telling the story with layers

One of the most complex techniques we will develop starting simply and then extending to complex photographs with several layers, each adding detail and drawing your eye through the picture.

Creating frames and bookends

When you look at a photograph you don’t want to ‘escape’ from it so using people and objects as bookends and frames will hold your audience’s attention in a single composition.

It’s all in the detail

As part of your documentary photo story you want images that set the scene, capture the characters and tell the story, these are enriched when you focus in on some of the unique details.

Celebrating colour

Although I am known for my high contrast black and white editing, I am equally inspired by colour; looking for broad brush strokes of colour in the environment to run through an image or a juxtaposition of colour that creates a ‘pop’.

Finding the unusual in the usual

Some photographers have this skill in abundance; it’s definitely one that I continually revisit and develop in my own photography. It’s an approach, a mindset, looking for the extraordinary in the ordinary, the unusual in the usual, and you will have images that make you look and think!

What else we cover

My workshops are definitely full one, from the time we get up and have breakfast together to the time we return to our rooms in the evening; there is a great buzz as we share our interest in photography throughout the workshop. There’s a great sense of fun which is why I am so pleased to welcome back people time after time on my workshops; I love being able to share my passion and inspiration with you.

Setting the challenge

As an introduction to the workshop we will look at a range of techniques and styles, then on a daily basis there will be opportunities to challenge yourself as I choose particular locations to develop key techniques.

Edit to keep

My philosophy is shoot hard edit harder. Each day we will edit our images. I recommend you use photo mechanic and lightroom. We will edit to enhance what you captured in camera, it is not about creating a new image on your laptop.

Shared critique

Don’t be fearful this really is a positive and important part of the workshop – each evening we will critique our images together, sharing what’s working and finding elements to improve; this means every day you will be able to see your techniques developing.

Good to know

I work hard to plan workshops in places that will inspire your photography and give you an authentic experience.
I work with local family run hotels and communities to consider the ethical impact of my workshops; for example over the last five years my workshops have supported a village school in Jodhpur and a street charity in Kolkata.