Travel and Street Photography Workshops in Istanbul in May 2013



There were two separate one-week workshops organised and run by Maciej Dakowicz and David Solomons.

The First Workshop

Dates: 6 – 12 May 2013 (7 days) .
Participants and their photos: Chris Meirick and Radoslaw Kepa.

A workshop report by Maciej

Travel photography workshop student photographs people in Eminonu, Istanbul, Turkey.

Radek photographs people sitting on the steps in the busy area of Eminonu near Galata Bridge. His assignment was to get close to people and photograph them with a wide angle lens and trying to get a complex layered composition. The results should not only be nicely composed but should also contain a decisive moment with emotions or gestures in it. A tough task.

Photography workshop atendee takes photos of Turkish men playing cards in a cafe in Uskudar in Istanbul.

Chris takes photos of Turkish men playing cards in a cafe in Uskudar in Istanbul. While exploring the Uskudar district on the Asian side of Istanbul Chris and me saw this little social club where men spend their free time drinking tea, reading newspapers and playing card. Without thinking much we entered the cafe, ordered two cups of tea and started taking photographs of the locals. Istanbul people are a very friendly and hospitable people. This is how we work on the workshops, we get close to people.

Street photography workshop tutor David Solomons compares the speed of autofocus in Fujifilm X100 and X100s digital cameras.

David demonstrates his two camera shooting technique while comparing the auto focus speed between the Fujifilm X100 and X100s digital cameras. David and Chris were shooting mostly with the X100 and X100s respectively, Radek shot mostly with a Nikon D800 and a Nikon FE2 film camera and I shot with my old trusted Canon 5D mk2. I bought my new Sony RX100 compact too but I didn’t feel it was the right camera for Istanbul.

Travel and street photography workshop attendees and tutors wait for dinner in a small restaurant in Istanbul.

Our group waits for doner and chicken kebabs in a small restaurant nearby the apartment in Aksaray area of Istanbul. A well deserved meal after a long first day of shooting.

The Second Workshop

Dates: 13 – 19 May 2013 (7 days) .
Participants: Aylin El├ži, Mark Carey, Richard Mills and Peter Hjortso.

A workshop report by Maciej

Travel and street photography participants and tutors relax before shooting Istanbul after dark.

A rare moment to relax for the group after a gruelling day of shooting. We were joined by Charlie Kirk who kindly showed us some of the best places to shoot of an evening in the Beyoglu district on a Friday night. Photo by Charlie Kirk.

Photography workshop student takes photos of children in Tarlabasi district of Istanbul.

Aylin takes photos of a group of children in Tarlabasi district of Istanbul on the second day of the workshop. It was Aylin’s first attempt at travel and street photography and she did very well.

Photography workshop student takes photos of a cat from a low perspective in the Fatih Mosque in Istanbul

Richard takes photos of a cat from a low perspective in the Fatih Mosque in Istanbul. Richard was often looking for unusual perspectives, loved engaging with people and taking their pictures from a very close distance with a 35mm lens.

Photography workshop participants edit their photos on laptops in Istanbul.

The second day of the workshop, a late evening editing session in our apartment in Aksaray. Everybody goes through their photos on laptops, picking the best or problematic shots of the day to discuss them later with us.

Photography workshop student photographs people at Fatih market in Istanbul.

Richard photographs a man with a glass of chai at the Fatih Wednesday market in Istanbul. The majority of people in Istanbul are very camera friendly and enjoy being photographed. During the workshop we encouraged our students to engage with local people in order to be able to get natural photographs without smiling faces and to photograph them from a close distance.

Photography workshop participants discuss their photos while shooting in Balat, Istanbul.

Peter and Mark discuss their photos while shooting in Balat, Istanbul. On that day we were working in two groups of three – I was with Aylin and Peter and David was with Mark and Richard. We all decided to explore the district of Balat. Our groups split after lunch and then bumped into each other around 4pm. The first three days we worked in the groups of three, so the participant were getting to know the city with both of us. Once the city became familiar to everybody we worked in three groups of two or some people were shooting on their own.

Photography workshop student scouts for photos in Balat district of Istanbul.

Peter scouts for photos in the colourful Balat district of Istanbul. It was Peter’s second workshop with Maciej as he attended the workshop in India in November 2012. He has progressed very much as a photographer and shot some really amazing photos in Istanbul. Approaching and photographing people is not an issue for Peter anymore and some of his compositions are amazing – complex and layered.

Photography workshops participants relax in a park in Sultanahmet, Istanbul.

Relaxing in a park surrounding the Blue Mosque in Sultanahmet on a Friday afternoon. A mid-day break before hitting the streets of Beyoglu for shooting Istanbul After Dark. Istanbul’s nightlife is very vibrant.

Photography workshop student photographs a group of revellers on a Friday night in Beyoglu district of Istanbul.

Mark photographs a group of revellers on a Friday night in Beyoglu. We shot Istanbul’s night life twice on the Friday and Satuday night. A great experience, people were very friendly and did not mind our cameras at all.

Photography workshop participants lunch in a small restaurant in Fatih area of Istanbul.

A quick group lunch in a small restaurant in Fatih area of Istanbul after shooting the Wednesday street market. Each day we were meeting in the middle of the day at designated points to have lunch together and change shooting partners for the second half of the day. Photo taken by a local lad helping at the restaurant.

The photography course group discusses their photographs in Istanbul.

The last night of the workshop at the apartment. Presenting and discussing the best photos taken during the week. A lot of great pictures, David and I were very impressed. Well done! It’s been a great week.


Maciej Dakowicz is a widely published and exhibited photographer and an experienced traveller. He is the author of ‘Cardiff After Dark’, published by Thames and Hudson and is profiled in their bestseller ‘Street Photography Now’. Maciej recently joined the international street photography collective In-Public.
David Solomons is an experienced and renowned street photographer from London and is also a member ofIn-Public. He has been exhibited widely and has published two books of street photography ‘Happenstance’ and ‘Underground’. David’s website:

Workshops summary:

There were two separate week-long street and travel photography workshops in Istanbul organised and run by Maciej Dakowicz and David Solomons. These intense workshops were intended for four participants each and were mostly practical in application, where the participants were shooting on a daily basis with both tutors, sharing their experiences and improving photographic approaches and techniques. Shooting was done in pairs with no large group shootings, eliminating the common problem of other workshops where there are too many people trying to shoot the same subject. Each day Maciej and David were shooting in pairs with one different participant. The day began with breakfast where shooting plans were discussed and later groups met for lunch, where some preliminary reviews and exchange pairings for the afternoon session took place. At the end of each evening, there were more detailed editing and feedback session followed by more informal discussions over supper and drinks. As the week progressed, David and Maciej gave presentations that demonstrated the various approaches of story telling and work editing. Apart from daytime travel and street photography the aspects of night photography were also explored, as there were several nights of shooting ‘Istanbul After Dark’.
So, did you like the report? Would you like to join one of Maciej’s upcoming trips? There are some planned: Click here to email Maciej to enquiry or sign up one of his workshops.
Click to read about the previous street photography workshop Istanbul in June 2012.