Capture that elusive moment in a photographic Master Class with veteran conflict and humanitarian photographer Sebastian Rich

An introduction by course director Michiel van der Zeeuw

This Master Class is a unique opportunity to soak up insights and advice from one of the world’s most influential conflict and humanitarian photographers. Over the course of five days, you will have exclusive access to the technical and artistic aspects of Sebastian’s photographic techniques.

This Master Class is all about composition, using available light, interacting with your subjects and story telling. It is a unique opportunity to learn the secrets behind some of Sebastian’s most iconic images. The maximum size of the group in the course will be six participants to ensure individual attention. Course applications will be accepted on a first come first served basis.

Although this course is labeled 'Master Class', photography enthusiasts of all levels are most welcome. Reportage photography is passion without borders.

Course line-up

The course includes:

  • Tuition on the technical and creative essentials of photography. Focus modes, shutters speeds, F/stops, depth of field, manual camera functions and other essential camera settings
  •  Practical assignments and tuition on how to take high-quality images, always with a daily opportunity for feedback
  • Composition
  • The use of prime lenses vs zoom lenses, the pros and cons
  • Working with unpredictable available lighting
  • How to operate in a street and sometimes hostile environment
  • Daily Q&A and group discussions every night after the review of assignments
  • The basics of RAW editing and colour correction in Adobe Photoshop (Creative Cloud)
  • How, when and why to shoot black and white
  • Basic video and sound recording to enable you to construct a simple informative story with your DSLR

This is a reportage (the technique of photojournalism that tells a story entirely through images) photography Master Class. Please note that this course will not teach you any aspects of flash photography. Also, in using Photoshop we will teach you basic darkroom skills, but will steer well clear of extreme and unnecessary image manipulation.


The course will take place on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, whose capital Nicosia, is the last divided city in the world. A Berlin-style wall, erected after the Turkish invasion of 1974, separates the Cypriot south from the Turkish occupied north.

The UN patrol the ‘Green Line’ in Nicosia; it is the longest and most protracted UN mission in its history. Although now not a direct conflict zone, this is a place where two countries are still in a daily standoff.

The course will include a visit to the Green Line and the buffer zone between the Cypriot and Turkish communities; and to the Turkish occupied area of Nicosia.

Course schedule

Day One

Morning: informal breakfast, meet & greet with Sebastian and his team, to ascertain your photographic skill sets and what you hope to achieve from this course


Subject matter:

Green line Cypriot side. Cypriot soldiers patrolling the wall, the buffer zone. Life right up against the wall. Photographing the Turkish occupying forces from the Cypriot position. Portraits and interviews of locals who live in the proximity of the wall

Lunch/dinner Nicosia.

Evening: editing, critique and feedback.

Day Two

All Day: Green Line (Turkish occupied Nicosia)

Subject matter:

Turkish soldiers soldiers patrolling the wall, the buffer zone. Life right up against the wall. Photographing Cypriot patrolling forces from the Turkish position. Portraits and interviews of locals who live in the proximity of the wall.

Lunch Turkish Nicosia; dinner Cypriot Nicosia

Evening: editing, critique and feedback.

Day Three

All Day

Subject matter

Latchi fishing village. Fishing boats, traditional fishing methods, local fishermen, village life, and portraiture.

Lunch Latchi, local Taverna/dinner Nicosia

Evening: editing, critique and feedback.

Day Four


Subject matter:

Lefkara village, traditional Cypriot village, lace making, village life.

Lunch: Curium Beach, Chris’s Blue beach restaurant.


Subject matter:

Curium Roman amphitheatre, ruins and mosaics. Cyprus has one of the largest collections of Roman antiquities in the Mediterranean.

Dinner Nicosia.

Evening: editing, critique and feedback.

Day Five


Subject matter:

Limassol Castle dates back to the Crusaders and is extraordinarily well preserved. Limassol old town, murals and local portraiture.

Lunch: Limassol old town then photography at Limassol Marina.


Editing, critique and feedback followed by dinner at To Xani (Tracey’s Cookery School) in Paramythia

This dinner is purely social as it is the last day, but if you would like to try your hand at food photography Tracey, our wonderful host, and her team will be only too happy to indulge you. The Cookery School is housed in what was once a brothel! Tracey is from South Africa and is one of Cyprus’s leading chefs; her ‘Tracey’s Table’ Sunday lunches are legendary! Also this special end of course dinner is our treat.

Return to Nicosia.

Course requirements

It really doesn’t matter what camera you have, a camera is nothing more than a tool. It’s not the camera that takes the picture – you do. Having said that, a camera with zero or low shutter lag (the camera’s response time after you press the shutter button) is an essential part of capturing ‘the moment’. Compact camera’s, especially inexpensive ones, often suffer from shutter lag. The same applies to all smart phone camera’s.

The amount of pixels your camera has is irrelevant at this time. More pixels do not make you a better photographer. Most of the world’s iconic images taken since the advent of digital photography have been shot on cameras with 16MB or much less.

Ideal lens requirements would be: 24mm-70mm F2.8 wide angle zoom and a 70mm – 200mm F/2.8 and ideally a nice fast prime 35mm or 50mm lens. This is not essential, we and we will work with what you have, but with these lenses you’ll cover most focal lengths you should ever need for reportage photography.

Adobe Photoshop editing will be available on location. Bringing your own laptop with Adobe Photoshop (Creative Cloud) or comparable photo editing software is advisable. If you have a card reader, bring it with you.

Sebastian is often asked "which is the best camera?" and his answer is always "the camera you have with you".

Costs, dates and conditions


  1. Dates: 8th May thru 12th (5 days).
  2. Master Class course cost: € 2.475, including 6 nights in a boutique hotel in Nicosia, inclusive of breakfast and lunch (not including alcohol).
  3. Evening meals paid for by participant.
  4. Return flights to and from Cyprus from the participant’s home country are the participant’s responsibility.
  5. Participants will be picked up from Larnaca (Cyprus) Airport and taken to the designated hotel in Nicosia at our expense.
  6. Payment for the entire course to be made in full in advance of joining the course. If the participant cancels two weeks preceding the course, they will get a full refund. Cancellation one week before the course start date, fifty percent refund. In the case of any later cancellations, the fee will be non-returnable.


The course organisers will issue a waiver to individual participants. The course organisers will NOT be liable in anyway whatsoever for the participants health issues or injuries caused under any circumstances that may arise during or on the way or return from the course.

We will expect you to arrange your own health and travel insurance.


The organisers will also not be responsible for any theft or damage to participant’s camera equipment and or any personal belongings. This waiver must be printed, signed, scanned by the participant and sent to the course organisers before they start their journey. Failure to do so will result in the participants place on the course being cancelled and monies NOT refunded.


For more information and applications: or


The course organisers without prejudice reserve the right to cancel the Master Class due to insufficient participation. Costs, dates and conditions may be subject to change.