Ladakh – Mulling Things Over.

Ladakh – Mulling Things Over.

I returned to a house full of company. It has been fun, old friends from the US and my daughter’s home school from India. All very welcome friends. It has been hard to post and it has taken time to get the two new galleries up from Lumen Dei. But they are up and running. You can find two new galleries, “Old Delhi” and “Ladakh”. Simply follow this LINK to the gallery page of The Digital Trekker.

The Think Tank Steroid Belt and Skins


I learned a lot this trip. I have been mulling it all over in my head. I learned some mundane things like; I really like my Think Tank Steroid Belt, but next time I will shoot with the “Belly Dancer”. The Steroid Belt keeps the gear all around your sides and your back. I keep having to ask people to get into the module that was in the small of my back. Next time I will use the Belly Dancer, this belt keeps the gear in the front of you and puts the clip in the small of your back. An easier way to reach all your needed gear.

The Zink Pogo printer in action.

I learned that I loved the idea of the Pogo Polaroid printers for passing out instant pictures to villagers and monks. But I also learned that the printer needs much better batteries. After just a few uses, the batteries would go dead. One time I had even charged them all night and when it came time to use it the battery was dead. Great idea, just needs better batteries.

My Keens Newport H2.

David DuChemin and I on top of the world.


I learned that there is not a better sandal to wear around India and Ladakh than my Keens. Man, I love these shoes! Comfortable, warm in the cool weather and breathable in the hot weather. And the best part, easy on and easy off for all those trips into Gompas and homes.

In a more humbling point, I learned it is still very difficult to shoot and room with a talented photographer like David DuChemin. If you don’t have a real handle on your talent, you can crash and burn around a guy like him. What do I mean? David is just about the best “World Photographer” I know. He is good, we all know this. I am also good. But, David is good and consistent, and folks, that is so much better. Everyday he comes back with not just “nice” images, but “WOW!” images. But, sometimes, you just want him (in a carnal sort of way) to strike out and let the rest of us feel good about our photographs. So I learned it is hard to shoot with a talented photographer, who is also a really nice guy. You can’t hate him and you can’t laugh at his work. All you can do is keep on shooting and stop comparing yourself. Be who you are and and grow through it.

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  1. daniela

    thanks for sharing your beautiful photographs from Old Delhi and Ladakh – gorgeous portraits and very inspiring motifs and compositions!
    (and I’m still smiling and nodding about your comment about how difficult it is to shoot alongside talented photographers and not ‘crush and burn’. To be honest, this could be the only reason for me to not sign on for the next Lumen Dei tour :))

  2. Matt Brandon

    David and I both want to encourage and push our participants as far as well can without dampening their creativity. I think we understand that most artist have fragile self esteems. So we will be gentle with you. 😉 PLease join us. We have a special, very special Lumen Dei planned for next year.

  3. daniela

    Of course I will join you 🙂
    I’m first on the registration list for 2009 since I found out that I couldn’t take part in this year’s tour… Really anxious to hear where we’re going; ‘special, very special’ sounds great! And I’m already very much looking forward to meeting you in person!

  4. jefflynchdev


    You’re being way too hard on yourself. Your shots from this trip have been incredible, especially the shot in your “Just Landed in KL” post. If it’s available, I’ll be ordering a fine art print or post of that shot. IMHO it’s NG caliber!


  5. Matt Brandon

    Jeff, I am not sure if I am being hard of myself or not. But, I think many photographers go through this kind of thing. We all have voices in our heads we have to ignore from time to time. Thanks for the encouragement.
    Oh, and I would be happy to sell you a print of that image. In fact it would be outstanding printed on metallic paper.

  6. Johanna

    Well it’s quite hard to shoot next to you as well! I think this year’s trip was cosmic – a great time for all where we got better and forged new relationships that it seems will live on. Thank you for your time and effort… you’ve made a fan outta me. 🙂

  7. Peter Pham

    Hi Matt;
    Have been visiting your website and blogs for 2 years now. Wonderful pictures that makes me want to work harder myself. Would love to join your Lumen Dei workshop next year 2009. I am on your mailing list, so please send me the details and I’ll make plans to join. Again thanks for the blog and gorgeous pictures.

  8. Matt Brandon

    Peter, We will keep you posted. It will be a great one. Can’t wait till the plans are firm and I can share with the world what we have in the works.

  9. wilsonian

    I needed to read this. Thanks 🙂

  10. Matt

    For prep work for this years trip? Glad you found it helpful.



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