2013: Garze Tibet Tour

2013: Garze Tibet Tour
Photo by Brian Hirschy

Photo by Brian Hirschy

I am excited to announce one more workshop for 2013. This is another one for the bucket list. I have been bugging Brian Hirschy to host another trip to Tibet almost as soon as the last one ended in 2011. Finally he acquiesced and this is it! This 10 day photography workshop will be led by myself and Brian. This tour will take us well off the beaten path to parts of Tibet that few people travel to. We will be experiencing traditional culture that most travelers to Tibet didn’t know exist. Brian and I will help take you to the next level in your photography skill. You will also have 2 guides accompanying you who are experts in Tibetan culture and history

Garze (also called Ganzi/Ganze) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture is located in the traditional Tibetan region of Kham in modern day Sichuan province. Garze prefecture has the largest population of Tibetan people of any of the prefectures on the Tibetan Plateau. Full of Buddhist monasteries, pilgrimage sites, grasslands, yak herding communities, farming villages, snow-capped peaks, alpine forests and pristine rivers, it also is full of traditional Tibetan culture that cannot be found in other areas of Tibet.

The trip starts off in Chengdu, China where we meet up and get our bearings. The next day we will depart for the highlands of the Tibetan Plateau. Our first destination will be the farming villages around the town of Danba. We will spend 2 nights photographing a few small traditional Tibetan farming villages, one of which won a National Geographic award for the “most beautiful village in China”. After Danba, we will make our way to the mid-sized town of Garze. Garze lies surrounded by snow-capped peaks with many monasteries and yak herding communities in the vicinity. We will spend 3 nights in this picturesque area. From Garze, we will drive to the small nomad trading post of Lhagang. Along the way, we will pass through herding communities that we will stop and photograph. Lhagang has several small monasteries in the region as well as a nunnery. The 5820 meter snow-capped peak of Zhare Lhatse lies close by. After Lhagang, we will go to the scenic prefecture capital town of Kangding before returning to Chengdu.

This trip is spectacular! Not only will you walk away from this tour with an amazing portfolio of images from Tibet that nobody else has (see the gallery below), you will come away with a deep understanding of the Tibetan people and their unique culture.

For what you get and what you will see and experience this trip is a steal! That is no sales pitch. This trip is only $3950! As far as photo workshops or tours go that is cheap. Spots are already selling and we are expecting this to sell out quickly. In you want more info or wish to book your place on this trip visit Plateau Photo Tours.

This is a trip of a lifetime. But don’t take my word for it, here is what the 2011 participants had to say:

“Brian, Matt, and Jamin provided us with a such an amazing, perhaps “once-in-a-lifetime” experience that will not soon be forgotten. From yak thukpa to drives through glacial valleys to Everest Base Camp, every moment brought with it a new sensation and truly created a breathtaking experience of Tibet. These guys were thoughtful, considerate, professional, and took such great care of us along the way. I couldn’t count how many times we heard the three questions: “how are you feeling today?”, “how’d you sleep last night?”, or “do you need bottled water?” At high altitudes, these questions can be life saving, and Jamin, Brian, and Matt made certain to check in on us throughout the duration of our trip… even when they themselves weren’t feeling 100%. If anyone felt ill or uncomfortable, they simply took care of it. Bottom line: I wouldn’t go to Tibet with any other folks, folks. The expertise on the area, the choice of accommodations and food, the willingness to help when needed, and the overall friendliness of these gentlemen made the trip. Thank you again, guys, and maybe I’ll see you next year!”

Nicole – USA – 2011 Participant

“This trip was everything and more. I learning so much about photography, mechanically (in all situations of lighting and fast paced street moments) and humanity (connecting with the locals) in such an incredible landscape and culture, such as Tibet will be hard to top. It was all down to Jamin, Brian and Matt..these three perceptive, intelligent, comical & generous blokes made this happen for us all. They got us around and into places I definitely would not have been able to go with my camera, travelling alone or in a general tour. That is for sure. I have learned more in the many days of the tour, than I have by my own trial and error than all my time photographing put together. I felt at complete ease, right from the introductions. All my questions were answered concisely with the added bonus of walking away laughing my pants off. The humour was infectious and constant. The boys cultural knowledge was rich and full. Again all questions were always answered. I still can not get over how these lot thought up and made this trip happen considering all they must come up against, with strong rules and regulations, let alone handling and making happy a load of wide eyed eclectic characters as we were ! .. A true trip of a lifetime, which will always leave me feeling warm and rewarded. I love you man guys! – Thanks is not enough !”

Simon – UK – 2011 Participant

“Adventure of a lifetime…another notch in the bucket list! Matt, Brian, and Jamin were knowledgable, approachable, and perpetually concerned about everyones well being. This trip was an incredible value in all parameters, I would highly recommend entrusting your hard-earned vacation dollars with this trio.”

Jim – USA – 2011 Participant

“This was, without a doubt, a trip of a lifetime! I learned so many new things to help me become a better photographer. Thanks guys, and will hopefully see you soon.”

Matt – USA – 2011 Participant

“This trip is not the easiest. You have taken the time and put significant effort to make it memorable. I look at the images I have taken, not a day to day basis, but as a total experience and I can only say that it was a unique and wonderful two weeks. You have picked great guides; Tashi and Wussar are two great individuals, proud of their Tibetan heritage, knowledgeable, and with a great heart. No one can argue with Jamin vast understanding and knowledge of Tibet. Jamin’s love of Tibet is so obvious and admirable. Brian, your suggestions were always great, easy to follow and comprehend… it positively affects the results we bring home and cherish. Matt, you obviously take great pictures, they are beautiful. I wish I had more opportunities within this trip to learn from you and for you to teach me. I believe I learned and improve and I thank you both. I think that it is important to note that all of you saved no effort to make it a great trip and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I believe your approach and attitude positively affected the group in its formation and the overall friendly environment. One “small” request – can you add some greenery to the plateau’s desert? All the best and thanks again.”

Ruti – Israel – 2011 Participant

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About The Author

Matt Brandon

Matt is a Malaysia based humanitarian and travel photographer. Well known as a photographer and international workshop instructor, Matt’s images have been used by business and organizations around the globe. Matt also on the design board for Think Tank Photo, a camera bag manufacturer. In 2013 Matt founded the On Field Media Project to train the staff of non-profits to use appropriate technology to produce timely as well as quality images.

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