better travel photography•COM
Newsletter 51 - sent on the 19 January 2022
A 'new' New Year's Resolution!
According to research, today is the most likely day for people to break a New Year's Resolution. Whether it be quitting smoking, dieting, exercising or certainly giving up alcohol: it seems that the 19th January is the peak time to give up giving up! Help is at hand though - there is still the chance of a 'new' New Year's Resolution: if you have always wanted to improve your photography, we have a number of great ways to help you in 2022.
As travel opens up around the World, we have a number of exciting tours scheduled, but if you are still worried about heading overseas, then we have a range of options for you in this country. These include local courses and even personal mentoring.
Improving your photography in 2022 does not have to be a dull experience, in the company of boring photography nerds. A few people have commented recently that they are not the sort of person who would go on a photography tour, so I thought I would set out just a little bit about what our tours are like. I firmly believe that you will have a better time on one of my tours than any other trip you might take.
What are our tours like?
I have been running photography tours since 2006, and over the years have gained vast experience from both a photographic, and a tour-leading perspective.
On one of my tours you will benefit from a wealth of photo-opportunities where I will help and guide you to push your photographic boundaries, and come home with a range of creative and evocative pictures. I will give regular illustrated talks, practical demonstrations and reviews, set entertaining projects and am always available to answer questions, solve problems and provide encouragement.
I believe that good travel photography comes from positive interactions, and that the best photographs come from active and intimate engagement with the country and the people who live there. On my tours we don't set up endless canned portraits where you jostle shoulder-to-shoulder with others to take the same set-up, cliched shots. This won't help you to learn how to travel and take pictures on your own – neither will it give you the same glorious eye-contact with your subject that will make your portraits far more engaging.
I will encourage you to immerse yourself into your destination: engage and talk to as many locals as you can, try anything in the quest to experience everything. Good travel and good travel photography isn't about being a passive observer, but about getting involved. Not only will your pictures be better, but you will create more travel memories and ultimately have a much better time on one of my photography tours, as opposed to non-photography trip. Even if you are not an avid photographer, or are just accompanying someone who is, you will have the time of your life: our trips are about getting involved in the World and about living life and your holiday to the max!
Whilst you will have more photography opportunities that you ever thought possible, most of the time, they will not be compulsory, and you will certainly not be looked down upon if you decide to do something else. If you want to miss a sunrise to have a lie-in, or skip a sunset to go shopping for souvenirs, then that is not a problem: it is your holiday after all.
Our tours are about more than endless photography. I am mindful that any trip has to be a holiday as well. You will learn more than you ever thought possible, but we will also work hard to make sure that you have fun and come back with great memories.
We will make sure that you see, feel and experience as much as possible of your destination too. All of our trips are accompanied by an experienced Intrepid Leader – some of whom I have worked with many times over the past 15 years. They will show you the best of the destination, help you to fit in, and work with me to make sure that you get to see, experience and photograph as much as is it possible to fit into your time away.
Socially we will enjoy group meals and drinks, making new friends in our quest to explore our destination and everything it has to offer.
This comment from one of our tours sums up everything that I am trying to achieve, and is as close to a mission statement as we have managed to get:
"Your love of photography and travel is infectious and I can honestly say I have never laughed or learnt so much on a holiday before!"
At the moment we only three departures for 2022 which still have places left. These are a visit to the fascinating Central Asia country of Uzbekistan, and exploration of the breath-taking region of Ladakh in India and journey around the colourful Indian state of Rajasthan. You can see more of these tours below.
Impressions of Uzbekistan
Out first tour of 2022 explores the fantastically exciting country of Uzbekistan - with cities evoking of the lost days of the Silk Road, and conjuring up images of camel-trains, formidable fortresses and exquisitely decorated mosques and madrassas. This unique tour encompasses the most historic cities of Uzbekistan - Samarkand, Khiva and Bukhara - and crosses the Kyzylkum Desert, explores the fertile Fergana Vallay and visits the remote village of Darband.
Impressions of Uzbekistan departs from Tashkent on 9 May 2022 for 13 days. Under our new variable pricing policy, the cost is from £2150 if 8 people travel, down to £1895 for the full 12 people. You can see more information on this link. You can see the full itinerary on this link and download the pdf for the tour here.
Impressions of Ladakh
A high plateau between the Himalayan and Kunlun mountain ranges: Ladakh is the most stunning and literally breathtaking region of India. We comprehensively explore the Leh Valley, before driving to the remote Nubra Valley across one of the highest motorable passes in the World. After photographing the Leh Polo Festival, we continue to the remote Zanskar Valley, where we take in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery festival. We drive out of Ladakh via a newly constructed road to Manali, and then finish up in the holy Sikh city of Amritsar.
Impressions of Ladakh departs from New Delhi on 5 July 2022 for 18 days. Under our new variable pricing policy, the cost is from £2695 if 8 people travel, down to £2400 for the full 12 people. You can see more information on this link. You can see the full itinerary on this link and download the pdf for the tour here.
Impressions of Rajasthan
Our final tour of next year will be an exploration of some of the well-known, and little visited places of the colourful Indian state of Rajasthan. As well as the popular cities of Jodhpur and Jaipur, we will explore the little visited region of Shekawati and the ancient desert forts of Jaisalmer and Bikaner. Most excitingly we will mingle with pilgrims, sadhus (holy men) and camels at the Pushkar Mela and the lesser known Bikaner Mela, where countless thousands of pilgims bathe in holy lakes to wash away their mortal sins. Both festivals are noted for their sprawling livestock fairs - especially the Pushkar Fair, which is also known as the Pushkar Camel Fair.
Impressions of Rajasthan departs from New Delhi on the 30 October 2022 for 15 days. Under our new variable pricing policy, the cost is from £2395 for 8 people to £2095 for 12 people. You can see the full itinerary on this link. You can see the full itinerary on this link and download the pdf for the tour here.
Learn in the UK
Since moving to Somerset a few years ago, I have explored the local area extensively, and now have a range of local course options in Devon, Somerset and Dorset, which can take in some of the most stunning photographic locations that this region has to offer. These local courses allow you to treat yourself to some intensive one-to-one tuition, or even to a private photography course with a group of friends.
Our courses can give you a general range of skills, or you can decide to focus on specific techniques. These might include shooting super-long exposure, shooting panoramas or focus-stacking or even astro photography and photographing the Milky Way.
This time of year is perfect for photographing the the mass gatherings of tens of thousands of starlings in Somerset. These can be photographed as they rise en masse just before sunset, and also they return to roost in the evening. This is often when they weave together in co-ordinated shapes and patterns known as murmurations. In between, you have the option of photographing the various bird and nature reserves that form the Avalon Marshes in Somerset, where Buzzards, Marsh Harriers and Great Egrets are common, and Otters are sometimes seen.
We also offer a comprehensive mentoring service, where you can have in-depth personally tailored teaching from Steve Davey, at a time that is convenient to you. This can be a great help if you want to improve certain skills, receive motivation and guidance for ongoing projects.
Better Travel Photography
Hopefully we will be able to help you with a 'new' New Year's Resolution in 2022.
If you have any questions at all about anything on this email or would just like to say hello, then please do get in touch. The simplest way is to reply to this email.
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