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 data in a lightbox.
Girl at Nizamudeen
Another girl at Nizamudeen
Sheikh Sultan in Humayun’s Tomb.
Jodhpur Sweet factory
Jodhpur Man in Turban
Jodhpur woman in her kitchen.
Leaving the temple of puja late at night.
Met this man at a tea stall on the way to Pushkar.
A proud Rajasthani man 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.
I am excited to announce the winner of our Mindshift Gear Giveaway. Congratulations Saket Kath. Saket was chosen at random out of 2005 entries! Like I said lucky. Seket will be getting the amazingly functional and elegantly designed MindShift Gear rotation 180º camera backpack. Have you ever missed a great photo because you couldn’t access your camera? The rotation180° backpack’s rotating waist pack will help you get the image by allowing instant access to your primary photo equipment. With ample room for clothing layers and a hydration reservoir, this pack will help you maintain your creative momentum in any environment. Check out the MindShift Gear rotation 180º camera backpack.
I am excited to announce that camera bag maker MindShift Gear and I will be giving away a Mindshift Gear’s Rotation 180º camera backpack to one lucky soul. This is a fantastic backpack! I own one of these myself and I can tell you it is build like a tank but is light as a feather. Last year I did a video review on this bag and it did real well. Read that review HERE. Why are we giving this bag away you might ask? Well, we are just like that, kind, generous and giving people… Continue reading →
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.
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.
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 Koesveldin 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 →
Nubra Valley is being developed with guest houses and luxury tent accommodation. It is a good idea to visit it sooner rather than later.
After the official workshop ended, as often, we offered an extension on the trip. The planned extension was to Srinagar Kashmir and the surrounding valley But as you might know the Kashmir region was faced with unprecedented flooding and there was no way we would be able to lead a workshop in such surroundings. So Piet, Alou and I had to put our heads together in a hurry and come up with an alternative for Kashmir. The obvious choice became the one we went with: the amazing Nubra Valley. Continue reading →
A early morning view of Leh, Ladakh from the Khardung La road. The peak sticking up is Stok Kangri 6,153 m (20,182 ft) (click for a larger view).
On arriving into Ladakh, India our photo workshop participants needed most of the first day to acclimatize to the altitude. Leh, the main city of Ladakh, is at 3,524 meters (11,562 ft) and at that height most of us lowlanders’ heads spin if you stand up to quickly. Heck, just walking up a single flight of stairs will take your breath away. Another thing this kind of altitude does is to give you wild and vivid dreams. Trust me, it’s not the dal & rice you had for dinner, it’s the altitude. But acclimatizing didn’t mean doing nothing. Late in the day we drove to the Shanti Stupa and photographed the Leh Palace and the Namgyal Tsemo Gompa or monastery. You saw a couple of these shots in the last post. Below is one more. The light was just right for some stunning images. Continue reading →