Rajasthan in Black & White


A Bishnoi farmer.


This is the first time I have had time to post while running this Rajasthan Photo Trek. We are approaching the halfway mark in our trip. We have a fun group that is enjoying themselves. They are discovering the colors of Rajasthan. It is true, Rajasthan is known for it’s vibrant colors. But sometimes photographers needs to push their boundaries and explore new ways to see old things. This is my fourth time photographing this place and for me this trip has been about light. One of the best ways to explore light is to break it down to highlights and shadows or simply put black & white.

-Click the photos below to view the exif data in a lightbox.

Girl at Nizamudeen

Girl at Nizamudeen

Another girl at Nizamudeen

Another girl at Nizamudeen


Sheikh Sultan in Humayun's Tomb.

Sheikh Sultan in Humayun’s Tomb.


Jodhpur Sweet factory


Jodhpur Man in Turban


Jodhpur woman in her kitchen.

Jodhpur woman in her kitchen.


Leaving the temple of puja late at night.

Leaving the temple of puja late at night.

Met this man at a tea stall on the way to Pushkar.

Met this man at a tea stall on the way to Pushkar.


A proud Rajasthani man on the road to Pushkar.

A proud Rajasthani man on the road to Pushkar.


Another man at the tea stall on the road to Pushkar.

Another man at the tea stall on the road to Pushkar.


This man makes (or used to) metal chairs like the one he is sitting in.

This man makes (or used to) metal chairs like the one he is sitting in.


f/3.6, 1/125 sec, at 14mm, 500 ISO, on a X-T1

A family of pilgrims in Pushkar.


f/5, 1/125 sec, at 14mm, 500 ISO, on a X-T1

Mounting his bike after puja. Pushkar, Rajasthan



Indian Summers: Another Look


Alice Whelan played by Jemima West walks through the Simla bazaar. (Note the camera in the lower right and the crew giving direction to an extra in the lower right)


This past Sunday Indian Summers premiered. It was everything I had hoped. If you want to watch it, it will be available for 30 days from this post date HERE. You might need a little extra help to get it to play in your region. ;-)  But then I am biased. I had such an overwhelming response to my photos of the main characters of this new UK Channel 4 drama, that I wanted to do a follow up with other photos. Today I am posting images of a few more actors that don’t have what some might say a main role. Yet, they still play a key place in the upcoming story line. You’ll also find some wider shots of the setting to give you a feel for Simla, India in 1932. I can’t say anything about what is going to unfold. But I can say that there is passion, suspense, intrigue and of course drama. I am posting photos but I’m not giving you any background to the scenes so you will have to use your imagination or better yet, you’ll have to watch the show to find out how these scenes relate.


Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Ralph Whelan


Alice Whelan played by Jemima West

Alice Whelan played by Jemima West



f/1.2, 1/70 sec, at 56mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

Alyy Khan plays Ramu Sood



f/1.2, 1/950 sec, at 56mm, 250 ISO, on a X-T1

‘Indi’ Nadarajah as Kaiser


f/5.6, 1/180 sec, at 12.6mm, 320 ISO, on a X-E2

Patrick Malahide as Lord Willingdon, Viceroy of India Stands in front of his Roll Royce Phantom.



f/1.2, 1/250 sec, at 56mm, 250 ISO, on a X-T1

Ayesha Dharker as Nalini Ayer



Guy Williams as Rowntree


Ashna Rabheru as Shamshad Dalal


Fiona Glascott and Craig Parkinson watch the skills of “tent pegging”.


Coolies shift the Raj from New Delhi to Simla when the summer heat arrives.


Fiona Glascott as Sarah Raworth at Ivy Cottage.


Tea at Ivy Cottage with Jemima West, Julian Fenby, Craig Parkinson and Fiona Glascott.



Hasina Haque as Jaya


Amber Rose Revah and Craig Parkinson hold Adam.


Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Ralph Whelan


Nikesh Patel as Aafrin Dala and Rick Warden as Ronnie Keane share a moment.


Lillete Dubey as Roshana Dalal and Roshan Seth as Darius Dalal



Aysha Kala as Sooni Dalal soothes he on screen father Darius Dalal played by Roshan Seth.


f/2.5, 1/210 sec, at 56mm, 200 ISO, on a X-T1

The dinner party. L to R Rick Warden (with his back to the camera, Jemima West, Olivia Grant, Henry Lloyd-Hughes and sitting Edward Hogg.


Rick Warden as Ronnie Keane




Indian Summers to Premier Feb 15th in UK.

Penang, 2014

Georgetown, Penang, 2014


My adopted home, Georgetown, Penang became the unlikely setting for the new UK Channel 4 series, Indian Summers. The series is set in Colonial India in 1932 in the summer capital of Simla. Yes, during these days the British Raj had two capitals: New Delhi during the winter months and Simla, a hill station set in the foothills of the India Himalaya in the hot Indian Summers. Thus the name. Continue reading

Take a hike: photo trek with Matt Brandon through Kashmir

Our bad ass guide for the Lidderwat trek, Abul Aziz.

Our bad ass guide for the Lidderwat trek, Abul Aziz.


I have received a couple of emails asking just how hard is the trekking portion on the Kashmir Photo Trek & Workshop. Before I get into that I need to define a term. Many North Americans are unfamiliar with the term trek or trekking.   The term “trek” simply means to walk or to travel. I used the Digital Trekker as my brand name because frankly mattbrandon.com was taken and I was running a trekking company at the time called Frontier Treks & Tours. So the whole trekking moniker seamed natural. I mean, I was shooting a digital camera and knew way back then digital was the new future. So I became the Digital Trekker. Recently I thought why not add the trekker to my workshops. So I bought the domain IndiaPhotoTreks.com and there you have it, the birth of the photo trek. But it seems the down side to this is people think we will be backpacking all the time. Not always the case.  But there will be times when we will do some hiking. That brings me to where we started this post.

Continue reading

Planning your 2015 Photo Workshop schedule.

I have two workshops scheduled for 2015 and another workshop still in the planning stage at the time of this writing. So photo workshop schedule make sure you include these. Two completely different places featuring two totally different cultures. The first workshop of this year (that isn’t sold out) is the Kashmir Valley Photo Trek.  Everything you need to know about this is below. Please check it out.

The second workshop is the aptly named  Photography Tour of Bhutan run by the amazing photographer and my good friend Robert van Koesveld and with wife Libby Lloyd. I am flattered to be a guest instructor on this trip. The dates for this breathtaking tour are 18 September – 2 October 2015. Learn more about it HERE.

So while you are trying to make up your mind what workshop is best for you take a moment and read, workshop participant, blogger, musician, film critic, photographer and Renaissance man Fernando Gros’ blog post How To Choose And Make The Most Of A Photographic Workshop.


Sometimes the view is so amazing you have to put the camera down and just soak it in.

Sometimes you just have to put the camera down and soak in view.

Continue reading

Marco Pierre White and Greatness


Recently I watch an episode of Master Chef Australia that featured Chef Marco White. This is Master Chef Australia  not US. I have always been amazed at the kind but gentle guidance that the chef Gary Mehigan, chef George Calombaris and food critic Matt Preston give each participants. Often  Master Chef Australia has celebrity chefs come to teach and inspire the contestants. This last episode featured Marco Pierre White. I have heard many people compare him to Hell’s Kitchen’s Gordon Ramsay. But there is no comparison, White discovered Ramsay and I would venture to say Ramsay patterned his gruff evil demeanor after White. Continue reading

Photography Tour of Bhutan 2015

Taktshang Monastery

Taktshang Monastery

All photos by Robert van Koesveld

Photography Tour of Bhutan  18 September – 2 October 2015

Leaders Matt Brandon, Robert van Koesveld and Libby Lloyd. Suitable for all levels of adventurous photographers & travelers.


Twice I have been able to shoot with Robert van Koesveld in extreme locations.  The first time was on the overland trip from Lhasa to Kathmandu, the second was last month in Ladakh, India and each time I was amazed at both his patience with people and his ability to draw people out in a conversation. This last trip to Ladakh Robert was joined by his wife Libby Lloyd. Robert and Libby are experts on Bhutan and it’s culture and thus quite knowlegable about Buddhism as well – always handy while traveling in Ladakh. You can’t travel with these two without hearing of their many travels to the mystical land of Bhutan. In fact they have published a gorgeous book on Bhutan titled, Bhutan Heartland. If you have ever travel with me you know Bhutan has been on my bucket list for sometime. So it is with great excitement that I announce the Photography Tour of Bhutan 2015 co-lead with  Robert van Koesveld & Libby Lloyd. Continue reading

Hipstamatic’s New TinType App Rocks

Ladakh boy

Ladakh boy – photographed by Mike Alexander on the Ladakh 2014 Workshop.


Screenshot 2014-10-23 14.38.41 Screenshot 2014-10-23 15.20.06


I have been a huge fan of tin type photography since, well… forever. In fact my very first Depth of Field wasn’t a podcast it was a written post on Robb Kendrick and his use of tin type in the 21 century on assignment with the National Geographic Magazine. So it is no wonder that when I got an email today from Hipstamatic informing me they have a new app called TinType that takes your iPhone photos and does it’s digital magic on them and make them the closest thing to a real tin type you can find digitally. The App is ¢.99 in the US App Store and if you like this kind of effect, it is well worth it. Continue reading