Questions & Answers
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any question or concern that may arise. Below you’ll find some FAQ’s.
Is this only for photographers?
If you enjoy a calm vacation and the pleasure of places and people, and you like using a camera, you will like our trips. Photographers and travellers of all ages and levels come with us, from college students to retirees. Some of them only use their cameras on vacation and in automatic mode, others with a profound knowledge of the photographic technique and better equipment. From time to time, some pros join our expeditions.
Is it only for experts?
Photographers and travellers of all ages and levels come with us, from college students to retirees. Some of them only use their cameras on vacation and in automatic mode, others with a profound knowledge of the photographic technique and better equipment. From time to time, some pros join our expeditions.
Freedom or structure ?
These are photographic expeditions for a maximum of 8 people, divided into smaller groups. You will be accompanied by a professional photographer who is an expert in travel photography and knowledgeable about the location. If you so choose, you can have complete freedom in your photographic activity with the support of the accompanying professional. We understand that photography is a personal and intimate act; the relationship of the photographer with the photographed subject needs to be personal
What will I learn?
This is not a luxury trip or a sightseeing tour on which a photographer has been included. Everybody can participate, but the photographic commitment is essential. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to enjoy our travels.
The aim of our photographic journeys is to develop photographic abilities and a personal vision to create emotionally charged images that come to express the particular viewpoint of each participant. Creating images must go beyond the mere “capture”. A photographer has a vision much the way a writer has a voice; having a handle on technique is important, but finding your vision, your photographic style, and learning how you approach your subject material is the most interesting part of these trips. We hope to help you create photos that include a piece of you in them, and that help you understand and connect with your subject, instead of being merely a witness to what happens in front of the camera.
We strive to improve the photographic skills of every participant. Regardless of your level of photography, you will be advised and supervised both individually and collectively. Collective viewing sessions are learning tools we give special attention to.
What is the physical level required?
For these tours, the participants need to be physically capable of a medium distance typically one to two hours walking, sometimes in hot weather. Though an hour or two walking in a foreign country pursuing your passion shouldn’t be seen as arduous, all travelers must be able to go the distance and be responsible for carrying own their equipment. Sometimes a longer walk than normal is required, including equipment, however the small size of our group always allows reasonable flexibility. When we move from a city to a village, or most times even within the same city if it is possible, equipment will be carried by car.
Many times our plans involve being on site during the “magic hours” of sunrise and sunset. Sometimes we get up very early. But, for the most part we try to minimize anything that is too demanding.
If a destination needs detailed preparation, information about this can be obtained in “Special Requirements” in the section of the expedition description.
Who guides the photo tour?
There will always be an expert photographer, or Lead Photographer, and traveler specialized in travel photography, and the destination. On many occasions, this knowledge and the network of contacts and friends he has on location is vital in opening the door to exciting photographic opportunities. A guide will also accompany the expedition, and occasionally assistants depending on the destination.
Are photography courses offered during the trip?
These trips both are and aren’t courses in and of themselves. Photography is taught and lessons are given, but there is no “photographic workshop” during the expedition, nor is there a course in a remote country. It is less academic but possibly more intense. The participant-photographers are completely free in their activity. The Lead Photographer responsible for each trip assesses the technical aspects of the photography as well as the construction of the setting: proximity to subject; prior preparation, equipment, etc. There is ample opportunity for both spontaneous photography and formal portraits. Collective viewing sessions are learning tools we give special attention to. (please see "What will I learn")
What Equipment do you recommend ?
Once you figure out your own style preference for your camera, our recommendation is to give priority to weight and reliability. Our basic equipment is typically a Cannon 5D, a 17-40 and a 24-105, a tripod and flash, as well as a second camera, a Fuji X-100 with fixed objective. It is important to bring certain back-up equipment (battery chargers, etc.) and we recommend a small laptop or self-sufficient hard disc to make security copies of your cards.
What is the level of comfort?
We are not extreme travelers. We look for and appreciate comfort, but always influenced by the event or place that we want to photograph. Preference is always given to the proximity to our next photographic project. We look for hotels or residences equivalent to 3 or 4 stars and, as often as possible, with air-conditioning and en-suite bathrooms, etc.
Of course there are places where that is not possible, and others that are well located but do not meet the above standards. Depending on the destination, we could spend three nights in a Boutique hotel beside the Ganges and other nights in a hotel frequented by local businessmen, or two nights in a Buddhist monastery. It all depends on what is available near our destination.
Our photographic expedition has priority and it is what determines the choices made. In accordance with our philosophy, chain hotels are avoided as much as possible, and we always prefer local alternatives. This gives us more opportunity to meet local people, and see different points of view, and as a consequence, gain more photographic possibilities.
How many people go on one of your photographic tours ?
Expeditions groups typically have between 4 to 8 people. In some places and situations, and with the aim of achieving the greatest intimacy possible within the area, the group is divided into even smaller sections, each one of them accompanied by a guide and/or assistant photographer. In this way, integration in the physical location and local people is easier. Flexibility is also a key factor, and the itinerary can be changed as new opportunities present themselves, whether it is an invitation or unexpected excursion. Accommodation is structured towards smaller, more intimate establishments.
What is a typical day like
The days are planned, but the script is not always followed to the letter.
We might find ourselves in a shipyard early in the morning for a few hours, photographing people as they work on immense wooden ships, then return to our hotel to enjoy a cup of tea while we admire a lonely beach and talk about the work we have just done. A short while later we make our way to a temple and its surrounding villages keeping ourselves busy into the afternoon documenting a weddings or celebration.
That night we could be enjoying tribal music in a camp, or reviewing our work on our computers.
The following day we could go walking in a nearby city through a vast open air laundry, or through slums where another unimaginable life is lived. Or, have tea in a quiet moment in Varanasi, then go strolling through the ghats. Whether it is finding what lies beyond the kiosks down the backstreets of a city, or slowly crossing a river, to the side where no one ever goes, to observe the hustle and bustle of the city and tourists.
What can we expect?
Far less academic than a photography workshop, these trips takes place in remote areas, and you start in hands on from the get-go. Our expeditions are exciting, passionate, and fun. It will open doors to new worlds rich in opportunities for a photographer.
The aim of our photographic journeys is to develop photographic abilities and a personal vision to create emotionally charged images that come to express the particular viewpoint of each participant. Creating images must go beyond the mere “capture”. Regardless of your level of photography, you will be advised and supervised both individually and collectively.