SAIFUL HUQ OMI: Tell Only That Story Which You Really Care For

About the Workshop

This is a documentary photography workshop which focuses on creating a compelling photography story through the discovery of yourself as an individual. We all know the saying that the best story tellers are those who understand themselves the best. This workshop will focus on helping photographers, both professional and amateur understand the deeper relationship between their photography and their lives through exploration and practice.

The first two days of the workshop will consist of theoretical work, beginning with a portfolio review of each participants’ work. Participants are required to bring 1-3 photography stories or series which will be critiqued in class. The tutor will also provide the class with 5 photobooks that will be analyzed and broken down in class in the bid to understand different approaches to narratives, discussing photographic styles and reflecting on each photographers’ understanding on how to put a compelling story together.

The tutor will also discuss ethics in photography and the importance of photographing work that carries a deep meaning to the individual photographer. At the end of the second day, participants will have to present the photo project they will be working on to the tutor and the class. There will be some time devoted to discussing and reaching better clarity for each project.

The rest of the week will be devoted to daily shooting, reviewing of work and building your photo story. The last day of the workshop will include presenting your work in class and preparing the work for the Workshop & Masterclass Projection night on the 24th of August 2018., where works from all masterclasses and workshops will be screened for the first time to the public.

Important: To make sure participants can start to work from the third day of the workshop, it is strongly advised that before joining the workshop they do the google research about Penang and make a decision about their preferred story.

About Saiful Huq Omi

Saiful Huq Omi is a photographer, filmmaker, educator and a human rights activist. Completing his masters in 2005 and being a student activist for 9 years he decided to use the camera to continue his fight against inequality and injustice in his own society. Known for his risky endeavors -detentions, arrests and assassination attempts remained a constant reality in his life.

Omi works on long-form photography narratives, working on projects for many years. He believes in long-term engagements with the communities he photographs. He is a strong believer in change and how it must be a major part of any photographer’s photographic life.
Omi has worked in almost twenty countries. His works have been published in in Newsweek, Foto File USA, New York Times, New Internationalist, Time Magazine, The Guardian, The Economists, Days Japan and Le Monde and in the Arab News and in BBC and National Geographic.
He is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Joop Swart Masterclass in 2010 and Magnum Foundation Grant in 2010 and 2011. He has taught photography in many Universities and Institutes around the world and he has joined Dhaka University in 2017. Omi’s work has been celebrated through more than 30 exhibitions, published three books, and made three films in his career. Omi is founder of Counter Foto- a photography
school in Dhaka which is growing to becoming one of the leading photography institutes in the region.


Day 1
Portfolio Review – morning session
Analysis of Photographic Work – afternoon session
The Reading of Photo Stories through 5 acclaimed photobooks
Storytelling Methods

Day 2
Ethics of Photography
Photo Sequencing & Editing Workshop
Pitching Your Story Idea

Day 3-6
The following 4 days will focus on shooting and editing your story. The day will be split based on shooting time
and in-class editing.
Individual and 1 on 1 Critique
Final Edit and In-class Presentation of Work


The OBSCURA Festival Workshops and Masterclasses bring world-class industry practitioners to nurture a new generation of photographers seeking to improve their knowledge and understanding, while simultaneously expanding their network with the photography industry and community. Led by a faculty of award-winning photographers and mentors, the programme is an intensive experience for amateurs and seasoned professionals alike.

Objective & Methodology

The OBSCURA Masterclasses and Workshops aims to nurture the latent talents of photographer to become good storytellers who are able to create work that resonate with and are relevant to the world today.
The masterclass is delivered through a combination of in-class lectures,  discussions, practical & theoretical sessions, peer-learning and review, one-to-one consultations with the instructor, as well as field shooting and in-class editing and processing.
Over the course of an intense week, participants will find their knowledge and expectations tested to their limit, as they hone their photography, editing and storytelling skills, overcome various challenges and further develop a personalized vision and approach to their photography. At the end of the OBSCURA masterclass, the participants be empowered and connected to a wider network of fellow photographers, editors, curators and cultural managers.



Participants of the masterclass are required to:

  • Be able to attend the masterclass for its entire duration of August 18-23, 2018.
  • Bring examples of past or ongoing projects for in-class portfolio review. Sample works should be as closely representative of your photographic interests and direction as possible.
  • Provide for your own food, accommodation and transport fees, in addition to any costs from hiring fixers or translators.
  • Produce a photography series over the course of the programme, which will then be projected during the festival. Participants are highly recommended to research on and have several possible topics to shoot prior to attending the masterclass.



Event Details
  • Start Date
    August 19, 2018
  • End Date
    April 24, 2018
  • Location
  • Category