We will take our time end enjoy photographing this famous and exciting carnival, which is held annually 30km from Patna. The traditional celebration combines spirituality, sexuality and animal trading. Religious gurus, pilgrims, snack stalls, dancing girls, circus performers and martial artists create brilliant opportunities for street photography.

Together we will approach and photograph the ghost slayers and tantriks (performers of black magic) whilst they carry out captivating rituals to the rhythmic beat of drums, with their eyes rolled back, to ward off evil spirits.

Prepare to capture devotees as they bathe in the river near the Hariharnath temple to purify themselves and wash away any negativity. Watch and wait for the perfect moment as locals ride horses, trade cattle and birds, and parade extravagantly decorated elephants. This is an out of this world experience!

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Itinerary

Each day we will decide what parts of the festival we would like to focus on.

Why go there?

Sonepur Mela carnival promises colour, culture and truly unique experiences. The rural fair and nearby river present an abundance of earthy photographic opportunities.

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  •  A daily itinerary ensuring we make the most of our time and visit the best locations to take fantastic images
  • The opportunity to ask questions and learn from everyone who is on the course, including me
  • Full access to my workflow, plus hints and tips on shooting
  • Daily critique of your images

I’ll be with you every step of the way and shoot with everyone on an individual basis as often as allows. We will be capturing day-to-day street life, where people are not posing for the camera; learning to be aware of the background, situation/context and environment to create complex and interesting pictures. I cover techniques including; layering and micro-composition and introduce compositional elements that will add depth and detail to take your photography to another level. I’ll point out great shots when we are together and support you to get close to the action, helping you to overcome fears about approaching strangers.

The goal is to finish the course with a strong set of images and a small portfolio that captures the place you have visited. You’ll come away with a great understanding of street photography and the elements that make up a great street picture.

I stay in touch with most course participants and encourage you to take up personal documentary and street projects that are close to you. I also run a public Facebook group called ‘Shoot The Street’, where you are free to upload both your course images and others you may have taken.

My workshops are small, with a maximum of 7 people, to ensure I can make the best use of my time with everyone on the adventure. Every day we split into small groups of two and meet up regularly, this means I can mix up the groups, so that everyone gets a fair share of my time and gets to shoot with each other.

We generally start early morning and stay out as long as participants would like and then review our images each evening in a group session. On the first morning of the course we all meet, and I talk through the week ahead, highlighting both what we will be looking for and where we will be going each day. I also provide a small presentation on street photography and techniques we can use to give ourselves an interesting portfolio. I talk about moments, layering, light and working a situation as well as background selection.

Most of my courses are street and travel photography based, with an encouragement to shoot un-posed images containing people with context that shows the viewer an image to tell a story. I encourage the use of prime lenses and shooting light, although if you feel more comfortable with a zoom that’s cool.  Whilst I do take street portraits, this is not the focus of the workshop, but its fine if kept in context. I personally shoot light with just a single body and a 35mm lens which account for over 90% of my photographs.

Prior to the workshop I create a private Facebook group where you will be able to meet and chat to the other participants. I use and recommend hotels that are near to the main locations to be photographed. Quite often these are more budget hotels that locals use, giving a more immersive experience. You can of course make your own accommodation arrangements, but they should be within a short distance.

You & Mark Seymour

My passion is photography, I have been a professional photographer for many years and I’m never without a camera! It’s all about capturing people, emotions, moments in time and making memories. Travel allows me to connect with the world, and experience the culture and daily life of the people I visit. My workshops give me the opportunity to share my experience and inspiration for travel photography. I’d love for you to join me on an adventure and explore the world with your camera. If you would like to talk about my workshops and how I can help you improve your street photography, please get in touch.

Sonepur Mela - Out of this World 25

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