Interview - Maung Maung
I met Burmese photographer Maung Maung (pronounced 'Mau-Mau') in the entrance to a temple in Bagan whilst leading our Burma Travel Photography workshop with Simon Taplin. Maung Maung has a stand there where he sells his stunning images to tourists and after only a few moments conversation, I knew I had to introduce you to this inspiring, humble and superb photographer.
Maung Maung has awards from Canon, Unesco, Ritz Group, Japan, USA and too many more to list. His knowledge and wisdom span many years and his depth of knowledge is fascinating.
One of the things I though was most interesting was hearing him say something I've been saying to my students for years. Photography isn't about snapping away like crazy and hoping there'll be a good one in there somewhere. Photography is about taking time and care.
Doing your research to find the best time of day for the appropriate light of the place you want to photograph, then thinking your way through the shot, which is what my 7 Building Blocks of Photography course is about.
Maung Maung explains how for one shot he lit a fire simply to make smoke. As the smoke drifted up it caught rays of sunshine which would otherwise have been invisible. It's this kind of thinking not the camera kit, which makes for stunning photography and international awards from the great and god.
I hope you enjoy meeting this superb photographer as much as I did.
7 Blocks of Photography was an ideal blend of the technical and creative aspects of photography. The notion that the picture begins with the photographer and not the camera is a powerful one.
The course, like the best educational tools, was particularly valuable because it allowed me to think not only about my pictures before I took them, but more importantly it enabled me to better assess why the photos that didn't work failed.