Feb 2017 Varanasi Lighting Workshop

Here is a quick look at the recent Master Class in Lighting and Portraiture that Piet Van den Eynde and I led in Delhi and Varanasi, India, this past February.  I gotta say, the workshop went off close as planned, and that’s pretty good for a workshop ran in India. In India, anything can happen and usually does. There are always a few hiccups and bumps along the way in any field-based photographic workshop. In spite of that, I feel that I walked away with some really stellar shots and I saw some amazing photos by participants as well.

 

Varsha Dasgupta poses as the god Ganesh.

 

Era Dogra looks through the veil in this kathak pose.

We started the trip off with two days in Delhi. This gave us just enough time to visit some of our favorite haunts.  But the highlight of our Delhi time for me was the model shoot we worked out. A few years back while visiting Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi, we met some very fun and quirky young ladies. They asked us to take their photos and of course “friend” them on Facebook. I soon came to know that one of the young ladies was a traditional kathak dancer. One thing led to another and soon we had a photo shoot of beautiful Indian dancers for our New Delhi portion of the workshop. What a great way to start the trip!

After our time in Delhi, we took the night train to the holy city of  Varanasi. Here we had previously arraigned photo opportunities as well as models for the group to photograph. To call a few of eccentric holy men models, might be a stretch. But we did work it out with several to be our photographic subjects aka model. Together, we photographed them on the river bank, in buildings, around temples and even on boats.

Below is a set of a few images from this trip. I hope you enjoy them.

 

 

Of course, we didn’t set everything up. You can tell from the selection of photos above, we did a lot of walking around flower markets, fish markets and even visited a traditional Indian wrestling club where everything was spontaneous. We were lucky, this time at the wrestling club, they didn’t have Piet and I strip down to our skivvies like the last time we visited.

When is the next workshop?

 

 

Overall it was an amazing time and one that stretched all of us to try new things and come up with new and exciting images. If you want to join us for the next workshop, we will be offering it this coming Nov 26th through Dec 3rd. But this time we will be replacing Delhi with Kolkata! What an amazing city. Did you know that Kolkata is the last remaining place on the planet where you can still find and photograph hand-pulled rickshaws? It’s true! If you are interested in joining us, be sure to sign up so you know when registration for the workshop goes live. Last time the workshop sold out in an hour. You don’t want to just check your blog feed and hope you time it right. We will be letting subscribers to our newsletter know in advance the day and time when registration will go live. This past workshop I asked participants who they got in on the registration so quick. almsot every one of them said they set their alarms. As such I will give you a hint, we move the timing so folks from the U.S. all they way to Asia will not have to wake up in the middle of the night. But you will need to sign up now so we can let you know the timing. You know what they say, “Timing is everything!”

Don’t miss the next Master Class because you were sleeping. Want to know in advance when registration will go live? Then, remember to sign up for my newsletter if you want to be notified first. 

The Coal Haulers of Varanasi, India & the Fuji GFX

The face of a coal hauler from Bihar, India. (Click to view larger)

(Note: All these photos are taken with the Fujifilm X-T2, NOT the GFX.)

Late last month, Piet Van Den Eynde asked if I could help him produce a video. Piet was one of 20 photographers in the world who was invited to use the new, as yet unreleased, Fujifilm GFX medium format camera in their workflow. Piet, Serge Van Cauwenbergh, Alou and I snuck off to India to film him using this amazing camera in the wilds of India. As you will see, Piet certainly put the GFX through its paces, using it in places and on occasions where you would never think of bringing a medium format camera. It was all hush, hush till today. As you can see, Fujifilm has released our video to the world, so now we can talk about it. In fact, we will be doing a lot of talking about it in the weeks to come.

We needed some very special images for this video, and I believe we got them. One of the most interesting places we visited was this train yard. Piet made some amazing images, which you will see in the video and later on his blog. Our time there was very short, yet the scene we uncovered really deserved more than just a few images for the video. So I moved quickly to capture these images. I hope you can get a feel of the intensity of the work these men do on a daily basis.

Varanasi, like most cities in India, runs on both electricity and coal. The coal arrives from the mines by freight trains. Car after car of coal arrives in a half mile long train filled with raw coal. Each car needs to be unloaded and then loaded back into lorries for delivery. The problem is this process of transferring a ton or more of coal from a train car to a lorry is all done by hand, literally. Five to six men are assigned to each train car. It takes an average of 8 to 10 hours for the men to remove all the coal from the car. It is dumped next to the car ready to be reloaded into the lorry the next day by the same men. Then the whole process starts over again. The men wear flip flops or even go barefooted throughout the day. The coal dust is everywhere, including their lungs. Each man makes an average of 300 Rupees or $5 USD a day. I asked them if any of them get sick or have a cough. None of them seemed to want to answer me. I think they were suspicious. Frankly, they need the work. Most of them were from the next state over, Bihar. All their earnings go home to their family. A family that they may never get to see again.

After visiting these men and photographing them, we felt that our workshops need to me more than about taking amazing photos. We need to get involved with the places we photograph. As such, Piet and I are researching organizations that we might donate a percentage of our profit. We are in search of organizations that help people like these men and others we photograph to rise above their circumstances to a better life. If you know of an organization like this let us know.

Note: If you want to join Piet and me on our next workshop to Varanasi, India in late 2017, be sure to sign up for our newsletter to be notified when the registration goes live. We announce open registration first to our newsletter subscribers. This is one of the perks of subscribing to the newsletter. Then only after 24 hours will we make registration public. The last workshop sold out in 1 hour.  When you subscribe, be sure to check your email for confirmation.

Subscribe here:

   


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A laborer has to break up the larger pieces of coal so they can be loaded by hand into the lorries.

 

 

 

 

After unloading the coal from the train, they workers have to clear it from under the car it arrived in. No coal can be wasted.

 

Roll after roll of lorries wait to be loaded up with coal for delivery into the city.

 

This and the photo below are of drivers waiting for the coal to be loaded into their lorries.

 

 

 

Announcing the 2nd Location Portraiture & Lighting Masterclass in Varanasi, India

banner Masterclass

 

I am pleased to announce the second Location Portraiture and Lighting Masterclass in Varanasi, India. Well, ok it’s really the second time we’ve run the class, but the first time we’ve used this name. I am teaming up again with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Guru and Wizard of Light Piet Van den Eynde. We will be releasing full details in the days to come. But let me assure you this will be an amazing class! Piet and I have been working all winter hammering out the details to make this class one that will be both highly educational, exciting, challenging and memorable and I think we have succeeded. We will be covering techniques and skills that are often skipped over on other workshops of this price or length. We will be covering the broad topics of: Continue reading

Podcast: A look at the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and more…

Piet, (foreground) and Rene with the camera and the SMDV Speedbox Professional 70cm and a Cactus RF60 in the alleyway of Varanasi, India.

Piet, (foreground) and Rene (camera to his face) and the SMDV Speedbox Professional 70cm and a Cactus RF60 in the alleyway of Varanasi, India.

Every year after our workshop in India, Piet Van den Eynde and I spend an hour or so talking about this years new Fujifilm gear. Because we do it in the field it sometimes becomes difficult to find a good location to record these discussions. It is India after all, things are noisy. One year we even made a tent out of blankets and recorded the show under it. Not to worry, this years was a breeze. Piet and I only had to deal with noisy bellhops and stray dogs,  all of this served as a background to an amazing hour of looking at the latest gear from Fujifilm.  For this episode we invited camera geek and photographer Rene Debar, host of the Fuji Xtras blog to help us with our yearly overview and to discuss the new Fujifilm X-Pro2. Continue reading

Workshop & Tour Terms & Conditions

Throughout these pages the words “class” and “workshop” will be used interchangeably.

 

We aim to provide a first-class service to all clients and we do our best to plan as much as we can in advance. However, the locations that we visit are often unpredictable in nature and we ask clients to understand that circumstances can change, transport and accommodation arrangements can vary from those advertised and we may need to adapt or amend the workshop itinerary at short notice in order to take prevailing conditions into account. You will need to provide the following:

  • $1,000 Deposit payment when booking your place
  • A copy of your passport, valid for 6 months beyond the workshop end date
  • A copy of a valid visa before the tour commences
  • Details of your Emergency Contact
  • Your balance payment, no later than 90 days before the workshop start date
  • A signed copy of the Photo Workshop Liability Release (found of the next tab)

 spacersm

Registration

You warrant that the information provided by you at the time of registration and in subsequent correspondence is true, accurate, current and complete in all regards.

Deposit and Payment Schedule

The class cost includes all in-country transport as per the class itinerary, accommodation, meals (as published), tuition and advice from the workshop leaders. The class cost does not include your international airfare or return transport to the workshop start location. It does not include your personal and incidental expenses such as beverages, laundry, souvenirs, communication expenses, tips, extra-curricular entrance fees, and personal items. This trip is limited to 8 participants. However, as we don’t want to force single supplements on participants who opted for a shared room, we reserve the right to add a maximum of two extra participants (one male and one female) in case we would be left with an odd man and/or odd woman out in the allocation of double rooms.

This trip is limited to 8 participants. However, as we don’t want to force single supplements on participants who opted for a shared room, we reserve the right to add a maximum of two extra participants (one male and one female) in case we would be left with an odd man and/or odd woman out in the allocation of double rooms. If we are unable to find an extra participant, the odd man and/or odd woman out will be required to pay the supplement.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation of your workshop reservation must be made in writing to Matt Brandon. On cancellations more than 120 days prior to departure, all monies are refunded less a $275 administrative fee.

  • Less than 120 but at least 90 days prior, total deposit amount ($1,000) is forfeited.
  • Less than 90 but at least 75 days prior, 50% of the trip price is forfeited.
  • Less than 75 days prior to departure, 100% is forfeited.

 

Additionally, we will pay no refunds if the client leaves the tour once it has commenced. No refunds will be made for accommodation, transport or other services not utilized. We reserve the right to cancel all or a portion of the workshop on account of terrorism, natural disasters, political instability, or any other circumstances beyond our control. In the event of such a cancellation, full or partial refunds will be given at our sole discretion.

Should the workshop be canceled for any reason, we are not responsible for your incidental expenses including vaccinations, non-refundable flight tickets or other transport, passport, visa applications, gear purchases, etc.

Itinerary changes

Although we do our best to maintain the itinerary as published, it is sometimes necessary to be flexible and to change the workshop itinerary, when circumstances are beyond our control. We will inform you with as much notice as possible and make our best endeavors to replace any canceled activity with a similar, substitute activity. The client acknowledges and accepts that changes to the published itinerary may be necessary and that no refunds will be made for any unused facilities or services resulting from changes made to the tour itinerary.

Passports and Visas

The client should ensure that they have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the published conclusion date of the photo workshop. You will be asked to provide a copy of your valid passport when making your deposit payment. It is the client’s responsibility to ensure that they have a valid visa for the country or countries being visited. Please be aware that visas often commence from the date of issue. You will be asked to provide a copy of a valid visa or visas prior to the tour start date unless you are obtaining a visa on arrival. Please check the visa conditions for the country/countries to be visited well in advance.

Travel Insurance

To allow for any unexpected contingencies, all participants are strongly urged to purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance.

Travel insurance is highly encouraged for all participants. Your travel insurance should provide cancellation, curtailment, and loss of luggage and personal effects. We also recommend that it cover protection against personal accident, medical expenses, emergency repatriation, and personal liability.

We recommend that you take out travel insurance soon after reserving your spot on the workshop. Matt Brandon or staff affiliated with this workshop will not be held responsible losses you encure due to cancellation, loss of luggage, personal accident, medical expenses, emergency repatriation, and personal liability. It is, for this reason, we strongly urge you to purchase travelers insurance.

Health

Clients should be in good physical condition. The main physical activities of this class walking city streets with a camera in warm/hot weather. Participants need to be fit and active. We recommend a trip to your local travel clinic or doctor to find out about any necessary vaccinations. Please contact us if you have any questions about the physical demands of the workshop or if you would like to discuss your particular health issues in detail. All conversations are held in the strictest confidence. If you have any allergies or health issues that the workshop leaders should be aware of, please make sure that you provide us with full details before the class start date.

Diet

Due to the nature of the varied locations that we visit on photo workshops, it is not always possible for us to guarantee to meet each client’s specific dietary requirements. We will eat our meals in local food outlets and sample the local cuisine. Please bear this in mind when planning to attend the workshop.

Cultural Policy

Photo workshops/Master classes often take place in locations where it is important to be aware of the prevailing cultural conditions. It is a condition of your participation in the photo workshop that you accept the following policies, designed to ensure that all participants respect and appreciate the culture of the locations we visit.

  • The laws of the country or countries we are visiting will be obeyed at all times.
  • Recreational drug use and excessive alcohol consumption are prohibited.
  • Appropriate clothing will be worn at all times. For example, we may be asked to remove shoes or cover our heads when visiting places of worship.
  • No photographs will be taken at locations where it is expressly forbidden or when the workshop leaders expressly request that you do not photograph.
  • The workshop leaders will determine how we approach the photographing of locations and of individuals at different locations. You agree to respect the prevailing cultural conditions and to abide by any decisions or requests made by the workshop leaders without question or hesitation.

 

Our Cultural Policy is designed to ensure that the impact of our trip is kept to a minimum and that visitors who arrive after we have departed are welcomed and treated with the respect and hospitality that we would wish to enjoy.

We expect all workshop participants to adhere to our general approach, which can be best summarized as
 “Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photographs”.

Acceptance

Completion of an electronic registration form and/or payment of a deposit constitutes full acceptance of these terms and conditions.

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

Rajasthan Photo Workshop 2015

We are offering the last spot at $200 off the published price!

 

  • Jaipur-Rajasthan-1spot

    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

     

     

    Itinerary:

    The places we will visit.

    [table caption=”2015 Rajasthan Photo Trek Itinerary ” width=”685″ colwidth=”200|200|300″ colalign=”left|left|left”]
    Date,Location,Description
    February 14,New Delhi,Arrival to India
    February 15,New Delhi,Visit the Nizamuddin Dargah
    February 16,New Delhi,Visit Chandi Chawk and the Jamma Masjid then leave for Jodhpur by train.
    February 17,Delhi / Jodhpur,Arrive Jodhpur – Our drivers will meet us at the platform. Welcome to the Blue City of the Rajasthan. Photograph and explore Jodhpur.
    February 18,Jodhpur,Walking the City of Jodhpur/ Mehrangarh Fort
    February 19,Jodhpur,Visit a Bishnoi village. Lunch with Bishnoi family. Visit the Mehrangarh Fort. Dinner back at the Hotel.
    February 20,Jodhpur / Pushkar,After breakfast drive 4.5 hours to Pushkar. Stopping to photograph along the way.
    February 21,Pushkar,Roam – relax – sleep and process images. Evening dinner at Pushkar Inn and image critique.
    February 22,Pushkar / Pachewar,Drive to Pachewar Fort. Lunch on the fort grounds then a guided tour of the city.
    February 23,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.
    February 24,Jaipur,8:00am photo walk of Amber City. Afternoon at Monkey Temple (Galta Ji).
    February 25,Jaipur,Jantar Mantar and walk the Chand Pole (the old city).
    February 26,Jaipur / Neemrana,Drive to Neemrana Fort. Visit the Neemrana Stepwell.
    February 27,Neemrana,Visit the Kali Temple and Snake Charmers village.
    February 28,Neemrana / Delhi,Drive back to Delhi and catch your flight home.,
    [/table]
    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.

  • EXIF Summary:1/125s f/22.0 ISO1600 14mm (35mm eq:21mm)

    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:

    $5,299

    At least a 50% Deposit required:  $2649.50

    **************

    If  payment is made through check, money order or bank draft:
    Total Cost: $5,199.00

    Deposit: $2599.50

     

    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
    • Drinking water
    • All ground transportation
    • A local SIM card with a limited data plan
    • Local support staff
    • Models for class time
    • Model’s fee
    • 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

    Neemrana Fort Palace

     

    Our Jaipur accommodations, the Alsisar Haveli.

    Our Jaipur accommodations, the Alsisar Haveli.

     

    Accommodations:

    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.

    Your Leaders, Matt Brandon and Piet Van den Eynde.

    Matt Brandon

    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

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  • “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!
    George Neill

     

    “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.
    Dannie Goossens