About the Workshop

This workshop will focus on the importance of vulnerability and bias in developing an individual series. It will explore technical mistakes, intersubjectivity and image processing to develop a personal approach. It will look at how photographs can be used as containers for experiences and emotional states. Students will be asked to be partial in their photography, and  to develop a story that is not only informative, but also includes their own subjectivity?

The class will question students and encourage them to define their experience of what they shot, and how to put it into your work. Instead of trying to be an invisible observer, students will be encouraged to develop a series defined by emotion and experience their relation to their environment. Students will be challenged to edit their work according to their experience shooting, biased but sincere, and to create a coherent world, from shooting to processing.

About Léonard Pongo

Pongo started photography in a documentary fashion, which he gradually merged with snapshot and diary styles. His long-term project “The Uncanny” has earned him several international awards and worldwide recognition. Pongo’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and published in WSJ, The Guardian UK, CNN, National Geographic and several other publications. He was chosen as one of PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch in 2016 and is a recipient of the Vocatio Grant 2016. His work is also part of institutional and private collections. Pongo is a nominee at Noor agency.

His photographic career is shared between his long-term projects in Congo DR, teaching and assignment 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
    August 23, 2018
  • Location
  • Category