Every workshop I lead I try to post some of my participants’ work that was shot during the workshop. I have always been amazed at what the participants see and photograph. Remember, most of the opportunities are found by them, not set up by me. Continue reading →
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.
This workshop has been a run-away success. Every year we sell out soon after opening for registration. What sells this trip is the photographic opportunities, the luxurious and exotic accommodations and of course the fact that the student teacher ratio is so high.
We will be traveling through some of the most storybook locations a photographer could hope to visit. There will be an abundance of camels, castles, and color – throughout this trip. We refer to this as a “photographic trek” in that we will be traveling across Rajasthan and stopping all along the way to photograph it’s amazing cultures and traditions. We will take time to visit historical locations and our local fixers” will show us things that few travelers get to see. Throughout the trip we will be staying the nights in ancient forts, castles and historic Rajasthani Havelis.
We are calling this a “Photo Trek ”. But it is really much more. It is a photo tour with a strong teaching element. Most of the teaching will be done in the field or in the evening in an organic fashion. There will be some actual “classtime”. Often there will be times of review and informal teaching in the evenings to cover events from the day and prepare for the next. If you desire a portfolio review, Matt or Piet will take time to give you one. But it must be scheduled early in the trip. Even though we say photo tour there will be no flag toting tour guide to follow in these cities. We’ve built time in for everyone, those who want one-on-one time with Matt or Piet will get it. Those who want to simply shoot will get it. We’ve built the tour around flexibility, community, discussion, freedom and your ability to learn what you want from Matt & Piet while also having the opportunity to shoot what you want, it is your trip!
As a 2014 participant, I can’t speak more highly of this opportunity. Matt is a wonderful photographic tutor and Alou will make sure the logistics are all taken care of. And, FYI, my trip last Feb was my very first photography educational opportunity. Couldn’t have learned more from so many wonderful folks willing to share their talents in a very beautiful part of the world. – George Neill 2014 Participant
The places we will visit.
2015 Rajasthan Photo Trek Itinerary
Arrival to India
Visit the Nizamuddin Dargah
Visit Chandi Chawk and the Jamma Masjid then leave for Jodhpur by train.
Delhi / Jodhpur
Arrive Jodhpur – Our drivers will meet us at the platform. Welcome to the Blue City of the Rajasthan. Photograph and explore Jodhpur.
Walking the City of Jodhpur/ Mehrangarh Fort
Visit a Bishnoi village. Lunch with Bishnoi family. Visit the Mehrangarh Fort. Dinner back at the Hotel.
Jodhpur / Pushkar
After breakfast drive 4.5 hours to Pushkar. Stopping to photograph along the way.
Roam – relax – sleep and process images. Evening dinner at Pushkar Inn and image critique.
Pushkar / Pachewar
Drive to Pachewar Fort. Lunch on the fort grounds then a guided tour of the city.
Pachewar / Jaipur
Drive to Jaipur the Pink CIty. The rose‑pink capital of Rajasthan is surrounded on all sides by rugged hills crowned with forts.
8:00am photo walk of Amber City. Afternoon at Monkey Temple (Galta Ji).
Jantar Mantar and walk the Chand Pole (the old city).
Jaipur / Neemrana
Drive to Neemrana Fort. Visit the Neemrana Stepwell.
Visit the Kali Temple and Snake Charmers village.
Neemrana / Delhi
Drive back to Delhi and catch your flight home.
Our trip starts off in New Delhi where we will visit some famous shrines and markets. After Delhi we will proceed by train overnight to Jodhpur, Rajasthan also called the “Blue City”. Jodhpur stands on a range of sandstone hills surrounded by a strong wall. Dominating the city is a massive fortress. Very near Jodhpur are the Bishnoi settlements, the eco soldiers. Unique and highly photogenic, these shepherds and farmers live simple lives that we will be able to photograph. From Jodhpur we travel to Pushkar, a friendly town built around the edge of the small Pushkar Lake with its many bathing ghats and temples. For Hindus, Pushkar is a very important pilgrimage center where you will find plenty of sadhus. After Pushkar, we travel to the small village of Pachewar where we will photograph village life. Then on to Jaipur, the “Pink City”, the capital of Rajasthan. Surrounded on all sides by rugged hills, crowned with forts. Enclosed by embattled walls, the city was built in the early eighteenth century. While staying in Jaipur we will make the excursion to city of Amber to visit it’s ancient fort and the amazing Amber Step Well. After Jaipur we drive down the road 3 hours where we will stay our last two nights at a 15th century Neemrana Fort Palace.
Amber Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Dates: February 14th – February 28, 2015
Trip limited to 9 participants.
On top of the discount we are offering FujiRumors readers, we are offering participants a special discounted rate if they pay with check, money order or bank draft an additional $100 off. All checks or money orders must be made in US dollars.
We must receive at least a 50% deposit in order to hold your spot on the workshop. This workshop is booked on a first come, first served bases.
Payment made through Paypal:
Total Cost was: $5,499
Now for FujiRumors readers a discount of $200 making the total cost now:
At least a 50% Deposit required:$2649.50
If payment is made through check, money order or bank draft:
Total Cost: $5,199.00
What does this price include?
A heck of a lot!
14 days of personal instruction by Matt Brandon & Piet Van den Eynde
A private room in India’s amazing heritage properties
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
All ground transportation
A local SIM card with a limited data plan
Local support staff
Models for class time
Local guides and fixers in some locations
What does this price not include?
Sodas, coffee, tea alcohol ect.
Tips to, porters, models and guides
Terms and Conditions
All rates are quotes in U.S. Dollars.
All rates are subject to taxes and fees where applicable.
All rates, dates, taxes and fees are subject to change without notice.
All payments must be made in U.S. Funds. Any fees associated with wire transfers or currency exchange, are the responsibility of the customer.
Rates are quoted per person for tour/workshop activities.
Neemrana Fort Palace
Our Jaipur accommodations, the Alsisar Haveli.
Don’t worry about roughing it on this trip to India, because you won’t be. Participants in this workshop will be staying at some of the most beautiful heritage resorts and accommodations in India. From the 15th century Nemranna Fort Palace (above) to the beautiful stylized Rajput architecture of the Khandela Haveli in Jaipur. These heritage properties have been chosen specifically to give our participants the rest and relaxation that they need, all the while being immersed in the heritage and culture of Rajasthan.
Your Leaders, Matt Brandon and Piet Van den Eynde.
Matt is a Malaysia based humanitarian and travel photographer, who collaborates with NGOs to tell their stories and to train their field staff to do the same. Well known as a photographer and international workshop instructor, Matt’s images have been used by clients such as Partner Aid International, NeighborWorks, the BBC, Honda Motor Corporation, and Bombadier Transport Corporation, Asian Geographic and others. His photographic pursuits have taken him to India, Indonesia, Thailand, Maldives, Philippines, Cambodia, Egypt, Africa, Malaysia and more. Matt also is known for teaching presenters how to present their message in the most effective and memorable way. This makes Matt a great teacher to any workshop or classroom. Matt is also on the advisory board for Focus for Humanity and on the design board for Think Tank, a camera bag manufacturer.
Piet Van den Eynde
Piet is a Belgian freelance travel and documentary photographer. In 2009, he put his camera, a flash and a couple of lenses in his bicycle panniers and set off for a one year trip through Turkey, Iran, India and Indonesia. When he’s not photographing, Piet is writing books and eBooks on practical photography and post processing: he’s also an Adobe Lightroom Certified Expert and he has written a number of eBooks for David duChemin’s Craft & Vision label
“Just a few words to tell you how much I enjoyed the Rajasthan Photo Trek. I am coming back with a bunch of images that I do not believe I would have been capable to take had I not been on the workshop. I genuinely appreciated your hands-on approach, the tips and tricks that you provided spontaneously and your availability at all times to spend one-on-one time, not to mention your eye for photogenic detail and your generosity in drawing the participants’ attention to photographic opportunities that they were overlooking. On this latter point, the fact that you almost did not shoot yourself, preferring to focus on the efforts and improvement of the skills of your students, proved invaluable. One thing that I also particularly found useful were the assignments that you gave us every day and the critique that the entire group and yourself then made of everyone’s images : this helped understanding where the room for improvement was or, alternatively, what it was that made our images good images. Finally, Piet’s presence as a guest instructor was a huge bonus : his willingness and his enthusiasm for helping us out on post processing matters were equally invaluable.
Lastly, your immense sense of humor and your ability to take your job (as well as jokes!) seriously but not yourself significantly contributed to making incredibly cohesive a group composed of a variety of ages, skill levels and geographic origin – and that was not the least success of this trip with you.” -Vincent Dirckx
I came hungry for images and stories, and eager to improve my photo technique and storytelling skills. I feasted for two weeks on an incredible buffet of professional excellence, visual excitement, stimulating assignments and personal coaching. This workshop takes you beyond photography: above all Matt teaches by example how to discover, respect, explore, embrace and document the culture, the people and the daily life of the host country. Piet’s expertise in post-processing and off-camera lighting tips provide further value for refining our images to perfectly reflect what we saw at the moment of capture. People are at the heart of the program. This not only shows in the approach of the subject matter, but equally in the welcoming and caring support from the workshop leaders. It did not take long for us to travel as a close and joyful troop. -René Delbar
“As a first timer on anything like this, I can only say that the bar for any future tours has been set extremely high! Matt’s patience, individual attention, knowledge and teaching skills left nothing to be desired. The daily group critiques added to the experience, reinforcing learnings from the assignments, assisting with improvement and helping understand image shortfalls, all these leading to a noticeable improvement in my personal images. Finally the addition of Piet as guest Photographer / Lightroom Guru, and Alou’s logistical planning, assistance with all things non photo and keen eye made this a truly unforgettable experience. I look forward to another in the future. Thank you!” -Eric Bunn
Matt & Piet have created a culturally sensitive, learning-oriented workshop that opens up Rajasthan for photographers keen to create memorable images & hone their photographic craft. -Fernando Gros
“I had such a wonderful time on Matt’s 2013 Rajasthan Photo Trek and Workshop that I would love to go back and do it all over again. Yes, all of it! Two weeks of fun, photography, laughter, discovery, and pure enjoyment, along with excellent company and delicious food — I can’t imagine a better introduction to India. Best of all, the photographic learning experience was priceless: Matt is an inspiring teacher and mentor who really cares about helping his students push their boundaries and learn how to create better images, while Piet’s expert assistance with workflow and post-processing issues was a real bonus. Highly recommended!” -Andrée Lawrey
This workshop was everything I expected and more than I hoped for! Matt and Piet did a great job of reinforcing the basics and helping me explore new areas in my photography. Rajasthan was the perfect backdrop for shooting a wide variety of pictures and wonderfully diverse cultural experience. I’m already thinking about taking another trip with them!
“This workshop was a great mix of education and fun. It’s been great to laugh and learn at the same time. You and Pete went beyond just teaching us techniques and photo skills. You shared with us your passion about travel photography. You taught us what to look for, where to look for it and how to make it happen. You pushed us out of our comfort zones by trying out new things and becoming better photographers.
I have come away with priceless memories, great shots and having met some wonderful people from all around the world with whom I’d sign up again for another workshop.” -Melinda Blanchot
“As a first time photo tour participant and reasonably new to photography, the tour surpassed any expectations I had. I was made to feel an important part of the tour, despite not being at the same level of photography as some of the others. That lack of experience worried me before I met you, but your method of guiding allayed any fears I had. I have come away the knowledge and ability of new techniques, not afraid to lie down in dirt to get ‘that’ special shot and above all learnt patience to wait for that someone or something to walk into my point of view, enabling me to tell the story I want others to see. Once again, thank you and I will be definitely joining you again on another photographic journey in the future.” -Brendan White
Don’t hesitate to subscribe to this workshop! Matt and Piet are great instructors who generously share their time and knowledge with all participants (novices and seasoned photographers alike). You will be given daily assignements on this tour which are optional but help you so much if you accomplish them and listen with an open mind to all the useful feedback you are getting during the critique sessions. And they are just fun to do too.
Matt seemed at first to be a magnet who magically attracts photogenic situations but don’t be mistaken: the man knows how to create photographic opportunities and how to share them with other photographers. Piet’s skills are complimentary with Matt’s as he is an expert in postprocessing and the use of off-camera flash. (But don’t underestimate Piet as a photographer). And last but not least: these guys are warm and caring human beings just as Matt’s wife Alou who takes care of all the logistics and even buys you water and soft drinks so you can concentrate on becoming a better photographer while enjoying a fascinating country.
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 →
Piet Van den Eynde, Alou and I just concluded what might have been the hardest workshop I have ever ran. Not because we didn’t have fantastic participants. On the contrary, we had great participants, many of whom were repeat clients. Not because they were not all really talented photographers – they all were – even though that is not a requirement to participate in one of our trips. It was because so many things just happened. Like God looked down and said, “I think I’ll give you a little run for your money, Matt. You need some new stories to tell!” Continue reading →
Yes, it is true, this is a video blog post. I know you thought it was dead and gone. Well it was only sick. 😉 I have tried breathed into it new life. Well, I least I hopes to.
This Sunday I am off to Ladakh, India for a two week workshop. After Ladakh the group heads to Srinagar, Kashmir. Then in February, 2015 I head back to Rajasthan. The question begs answering are photo workshop worth it? Are they worth the time and the financial investment? So this issue we will look at the benefits of photo workshops. To do this I have an interview with Fernando Gros from FernandoGros.com. Continue reading →
I am thrilled to say that we set our plans into motion for the next Rajasthan Photo Trek (workshop). We have run this workshop for two years now and have been given high marks from all our participants. If you want to make photos in one of the most exotic places on earth with the most colorful dress and exciting locations then Rajasthan is your choice. Join me and photographer and author Piet Van den Eynde as we travel for two weeks across the Indian state of Rajasthan, the Land of Kings. Continue reading →
Last year after the Rajasthan Photo Trek, Piet Van den Eynde and I decided to take a few minutes to talk about our experience with the X-series cameras in the field. Piet is a brand ambassador for Fujifilm Belgium, an Adobe Lightroom Guru and an e-book author with Craft & Vision. More importantly he is my co-leader of the Digital Trekker Photo Treks. Last year after our first Photo Trek together Piet and I thought it might be fun to do a podcast about the Fujifilm X-Series gear we used. You can listen to that conversation HERE. That podcast turned out to be one of my most listened to podcasts and quite a few people had asked for a sequel… So, always eager to provide the content that people want, we though it might be fun to do this again… sort of a part two. This year, after the Photo Trek was officially over Piet and I huddled under a blanket together – no really it was the only way to deaden the sound in our cheap concrete day-rooms – and recorded this podcast. We talk about the latest gear and how we have been using the X-system since our last podcast. I hope you enjoy this conversation. Continue reading →