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Kolkata, India Map

Kolkata with The Hope Foundation

4th Dec to 8th Dec (5 day course) – £1395 including £600 donation

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.

Photographing in Kolkata we capture the story of the city; the daily life of the city, market places, local streets and communities, craftsmen and the daily rituals along the river banks. The Hope Foundation work to support and provide opportunities for education and a better life for the poorest and most at risk children and families in the city.


Breakfast and introduction to documentary street photography in Kolkata. Minibus takes us Kumortuli, the potters’ quarter of Kolkata. Each evening we will meet for dinner and conversation all things photography and edit/share our day’s images. An opportunity each night for two people to go out with The Hope night patrol.


Early start minibus to Malki Ghat flower market, temple and Ghats along the Hooghly River by the city’s impressive Howrah Bridge. Return for brunch then local street photography. Evening is the same as Day 1.


Early start minibus to the vegetable market and the busy Sealdah train station. Minibus then takes us to College Street, lunch at the famous Coffee Shop then afternoon photographing the book market. Evening is the same as Day 1.


Breakfast then the Railway community, which forms part of the work that The Hope Foundation do in the city. Return for local street photography. Evening is the same as Day 1.


Breakfast then day spent visiting the local Hope Foundation projects including the hospital and lunch at The Hope Café. Afternoon editing and reviewing photographs taken over the course. Final meal together in the evening at a local restaurant.
  • The order of days may change due to events locally to make the best of each locations over the five days in Kolkata.
  • Price includes five days tuition by Nikon Ambassador Mark Seymour and daily transport by minibus is included in the course fee. A £600 donation is made direct from the course fee to The Hope Foundation.
  • Flights, hotels, food and drink, any additional costs are paid directly by the attendee
  • Full insurance cover is the responsibility of the attendee
  • Attendees need to be fit and prepared to walk all day
  • India requires a valid visa and a passport
  • Attendees provide their own camera and editing equipment, please note this does not have to be Nikon, include a digital camera, recommended 35mm prime lens, laptop, editing software such as Lightroom.

All attendees will stay at the family run Executive Suites, rooms will be booked as part of the course booking but payable by attendee direct, please note the hotel require cash payment in local currency. The hotel also provide home cooked breakfast and evening meal for a daily fee which is added to the total individual room bill, and can organise water, beers and laundry which will be added to the attendee’s bill.

We recommend you land at least a day ahead of the first day of the course and fly out the day after the course ends.

Useful Links:

Why not stay a little longer in Kolkata, as The Hope Foundation invites you to experience some of the world’s leading golf courses.

India’s famous Golf Clubs 09th – 11th December (additional three days) £145 for two days of golf

An opportunity to play a round of golf at two of India’s most famous golf courses; Tollygunge and Royal Calcutta. Amount payable per person in advance additional to photography course fee, hire of clubs payable locally or bring your own, and additional three nights stay at the hotel. Both Clubs are highly prestigious so smart golf wear is expected.


Rest day following the photography course, time to relax and an opportunity to explore the city, taking in some of the famous landmarks and museums.


The Tollygunge Club still has all the charm of the old Raj, with its 220 year old club house, it is ranked in the top twenty golf courses in the world.


The Royal Calcutta Club is the oldest and most prestigious golf club in India.

Workshops Overview:

  • This is an immersive approach; from where we stay and eat to where we go out and shoot, so every aspect of the workshop is designed to focus on a shared photographic experience
  • Every day consists of shooting around a location with some targeted photographic elements and mini projects to explore, critique and technique, and then editing in the later part of the day/evening
  • As a team there is an agreement to share and discuss our images together in an open forum
  • The main focus is observational documentary street photography, but with elements of reportage and travel photography
  • Using some of my own images I demonstrate the key technical elements of documentary photography that make great exhibition/publication and competition winning images prior to first days shoot
  • Be prepared to be challenged, you will leave with new confidence and skills to continue with your photography
  • Using wide angle prime lenses you will get up close to the action to photograph, no hiding behind long lenses
  • Small group numbers mean we work in twos and I can spend time with everyone over a day’s photography and can observe you and give immediate feedback as we photograph, and you get to mix with everyone in the growth learning from and inspiring each other
  • My knowledge of the locations, organisation of transport as needed, as well as using areas within walking distance so that so we make the best use of our time
  • Keep updated with my newsletters with advanced information about new courses, and be part of a street photography group online to continue sharing images and learning more about documentary street photography



  • Digital camera that you are familiar with using, a 35mm prime lens is recommended
  • Have an understanding of what is documentary/street photography
  • Laptop for downloading images and editing
  • Software for editing – recommend Photo Mechanic, Lightroom and Silver-Effex
  • Smart phone with apps Google maps and What’s app
  • An interest in all things photography and desire to improve your skills; this is a shared experience and we tend to eat and socialise together and it’s a great opportunity to discuss our passion and inspiration in photography and photographers
  • Ready to step out of you comfort zone with support and encouragement
  • Hotels, food and transport are locally sourced and provide an authentic experience, clean and comfortable, but simple accommodation, no luxury hotel chains!
  • Comfortable walking shoes and be fit, active, energetic and healthy, every day will involve a lot of intense walking, and can be hot and uncomfortable
  • Comprehensive health and travel insurance – Mark and Nikon School UK are not responsible for personal accidents and health related issues during the workshop, although if such occur we will do our best to help out
  • and contact your GP for a travel clinic appointment in plenty of time before travelling
  • Book your own flights to and from international workshops; recommend to arrive at least a day before and leave the day after the course ends
  • Check your passport is valid and has at least six months, for some courses you will need a visa – check online for more travel requirements and information
  • Local currency, food, drink and accommodation payable locally usually require cash payments
  • Access to social media to join exclusive photography group online sharing information, both prior to and after the workshop
  • Copy of Shoot the Street; travel guide for photographers will give you lots of tips to help you get prepared
  • Sense of humour and patience, you are sharing an experience as part of a team on this workshop, and be flexible sometimes we have to make changes or things just don’t go as expected


Payment and cancellations:

  • If workshop is cancelled individual travel arrangements will not be funded, you should claim from your travel insurance
  • Prices are payable in UK pounds

How to join a workshop