better travel photography•COM
Newsletter 38 - sent on the 14 February 2020
Fall in love with Rajasthan!
In a couple of weeks I will be heading back to India to lead our Assignment: Holi trip, that will extensively cover the crazy, vibrant festival of Holi. I will be posting pictures from this trip on my website, and also up on Instagram.
India is in my thoughts at the moment, and I am happy to be able to announce our new Impressions of Rajasthan trip for the end of this year, which visits two of the great festivals in this most fascinating country: the Pushkar Camel Fair and the Kolayat Mela near Bikaner. You can see full details, and sign up for your place below.
We have also slightly reduced the prices for our two Namibia trips that are running in September and October of this year. We have managed to take £100 off the first departure, and £250 off the second trip. As always, we are honouring our policy of making sure that reductions are given to everyone on the trip, so even those who have already booked will receive this discount. You can see more details on these great trips below.
Impressions of Rajasthan
Our final trip of 2020 is going to be an adventurous tour that visits two of the incredible November fairs of the colourful Indian state of Rajasthan: the famous Pushkar Mela (also called the Pushkar Camel Fair) and the little known Kolayat Mela near the desert town of Bikaner. Ostensibly these are religious gatherings where Hindu pilgrims aim to bathe in the waters of these holy lakes under the auspicious Kartik Purnima full moon. In the uniquely Indian way though, such large gatherings are also seen as a time for trade, and so you will also find large numbers of livestock - especially the eponymous camels - fairgrounds and stalls selling farm implements.
The Pushkar Mela, and the sprawling mela ground that reaches far out into the surrounding desert, are where I have shot many of the most iconic portraits that I have taken over the years. It is not just the grizzled old faces topped by vibrant turbans and extravagant moustaches that make Pushkar such a great place to photograph people - it is a magnet that attracts rural people from miles around. You will find traditional tribal people, often in large clans, who are both photogenic and many of whom are as interested in engaging with us, as we are with them.
I will be holding a series of targeted talks and reviews on the trip, and will guide you in many ways to help you to take engaged and evocative portraits of the people that you encounter, including how to correctly address the many sadhus that you will see at the mela. Some of these are the infamous naga sadhus, who walk around completed naked covered only in the ash from fires. They can appear scary and intimidating, but approached with respect, they can be fantastic subjects for photography.
As well as the two incredible melas, this exciting tour explores some of the most evocative places in Rajasthan. From the more familiar cities of Jaipur and Jopdhpur, through to the hidden gems of Jaisalmer and Bikaner in the remote Thar Desert. We also visit the little known region of Shekhawati, a traditional rural area with a number of historic painted havelis, that were decorated by rich merchants over a hundred years ago.
Rest assured though, even when we do visit more familiar places such as Jaipur and Jodhpur, we will work hard to get you to hidden temples, markets and villages, and to places where you will be able to photograph less well known views. This includes an ancient step well in Jaipur, and a lake with Demoiselle Cranes and historic villages of the Bishnoi sect in Jodhpur.
More than anything though we will work hard to get you off the beaten track of Rajasthan. We will work hard to guide you to places that regular tourists don't get to visit, and see and experience Rajasthan in a way that will produce many unique pictures and special memories that will live with you for ever.
Impressions of Rajasthan departs from New Delhi on the 20 November 2020 for 15 days, and with costs from £2095 per person based on twinshare. To see all of the incredible places we visit on this trip, check out the full itinerary here, or you can find the booking form here.
We are holding the first wave of bookings open for two weeks, to give people the chance to check dates and then will decide on places.
Impressions of Namibia
Namibia is an incredible destination for a photography tour, offering abundant wildlife, stunning landscapes, historic sites, atmospheric towns and traditonal tribes. With the reductions that we are now making to our two departures, you are able to experience all that this fantastic country has to offer at a lower price than ever! We have managed to renegotiate with the local agents in Namibia, and have reduced the price of our first departure by £100 and of our second departure by £250.
I was trying to make a list of the highlights of this trip, but virtually every day has some sort of highlight to it. From photographing star trails over endemic Quiver Trees, to watching sunrise over the Fish River Canyon; from the Kolmanskop ghost town to the sun rising on Dead Vlei; from photographing seals at Cape Cross to meeting Himba people in Damaraland; and from looking for rare desert elephants to photographing black rhinos at Okakuejo Camp. On this trip you will get to experience so much, and we will be there to make sure that you get the most out of your time, and come back with more incredible pictures than you ever thought possible.
You can see a gallery of images of what we expect to photograph on this trip on this link.
We have two dates organised for Impressions of Namibia: departing Windhoek on the 23 September and 14 October, each for 15 days. The first trip is led by Steve Davey and now costs from £3895; the second trip by photographer Jamie Marshall and now costs from £3745 per person based on twinshare.
To see more of the amazing places that we visit on this exciting photography tour, you can see the full itinerary here, or if you want to book up a place on the trip, you can find the booking form here.
The pdf for this trip can be downloaded on this link.
Better Travel Photography
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.
If you would like to know why you are receiving this email, please feel free to email us and ask! We will be able to tell you exactly when and how you signed up! If you want you can unsubscribe here.