better travel photography•COM
Newsletter 46 - sent on the 7 August 2021
Future travel plans!
Although the UK is getting back to some level of normality and has begun to ease travel restrictions to a number of countries, the sort of travel that we have all enjoyed in the past still looks some way off. Rapid changes in the quarantine status of countries, combined with localised restrictions, means that getting to anywhere outside of Europe is something of a lottery. We are optimistic for next year though, and now have a range of tours for 2022 for you to choose from. These tours are filling up quickly though, so please don't hang around if you want to be able to join us on what will no doubt turn in to a massively celebratory adventure!
All of the land arrangements for our tours are sub-contracted to Intrepid Travel, who have full travel industry bonding and will only run trips if they are safe. They have teamed up with an insurer, who provides cover for Covid 19 related claims, so you can rest assured that you will only travel it is is deemed same and practical, and you can have full insurance cover when you do.
Although we are now completely focussed on 2022 for our group tours, there is still the option of organising a bespoke tour of your own, or joining us on a more local course in the UK. These will include a short course in Dartmoor - which has been my 'happy place' during lockdown! There is more information, and a link to a small survey below.
Impressions of Uzbekistan
This Central Asian country has been at the crossroads of history for generations. Invaded by Ghengis Khan and Alexander the Great; ruled by the Moghuls who went on to invade Northern India and then build the Taj Mahal and later was invaded by the Bolsheviks and became a part of the Soviet Union. The results of all of these influences can be witnessed in the culture and architecture of Uzbekistan, and in the faces of its people.
This tour takes us round the great ancient cities of Uzbekistan: Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva, where even the names are evocative and atmospheric. We also spend some time in the surprisingly vibrant capital, and get out into a number of more rural regions: the Kyzylkum Desert, Fergana Valley and also the remote mountain village of Darband.
Impressions of Uzbekistan departs from Tashkent on 9 May 2022 for 13 days. Under our new variable pricing policy, the cost is from £2150 for 8 people to £1895 for 12 people. You can see the full itinerary on this link.
Impressions of Ladakh
Ladakh is a truly incredible part of India - nestling up in the Himalaya, the scenery and the culture ifeels more Tibetan than Indian. This exciting trip visits the remote Nubra Valley, over one of the highest motorable passes in the World, and has been timed to witness the Leh Polo Festival and the Stongdey Gustor monastery festival in the remote Zanskar Valley, before driving the brand new road to Manali in Himachal Pradesh. We finish at the stunning Golden Temple in Amritsar.
Impressions of Ladakh departs from New Delhi on 5 July 2022 for 18 days. Under our new variable pricing policy, the cost is from £2695 for 8 people to £2400 for 12 people. You can see the full itinerary on this link.
Impressions of Namibia
Namibia is an incredible destination for a photography tour, offering abundant wildlife, stunning landscapes, historic sites, atmospheric towns and traditional tribes. On this trip you will get to experience so much, and we will be there to make sure that you get the most out of your time, and come back with more incredible pictures than you ever thought possible: from photographing star trails over endemic Quiver Trees, to watching sunrise over the Fish River Canyon; from the Kolmanskop ghost town to the sun rising on Dead Vlei; from photographing seals at Cape Cross to meeting Himba people in Damaraland; and from looking for rare desert elephants to photographing black rhinos at Okakuejo Camp in the Etosha National Park.
Impressions of Namibia departs Windhoek on the 23 September 2022 for 15 days. Under our new variable pricing policy, the cost is from £4195 for 8 people to £3795 for 12 people. You can see the full itinerary on this link.
Impressions of Rajasthan
This adventurous tour visits two of the incredible November fairs of the colourful Indian state of Rajasthan: the famous Pushkar Mela (also called the Pushkar Camel Fair) and the little known Kolayat Mela near the desert town of Bikaner. Ostensibly these are religious gatherings where Hindu pilgrims aim to bathe in the waters of these holy lakes under the auspicious Kartik Purnima full moon. In the uniquely Indian way though, such large gatherings are also seen as a time for trade, and so you will also find large numbers of livestock - especially the eponymous camels - fairgrounds and stalls selling farm implements.
As well as the two incredible melas, this exciting tour explores some of the most evocative places in Rajasthan. From the more familiar cities of Jaipur and Jopdhpur, through to the hidden gems of Jaisalmer and Bikaner in the remote Thar Desert. We also visit the little known region of Shekhawati, a traditional rural area with a number of historic painted havelis, that were decorated by rich merchants over a hundred years ago.
Impressions of Rajasthan departs from New Delhi on the 30 October 2022 for 15 days. Under our new variable pricing policy, the cost is from £2395 for 8 people to £2095 for 12 people. You can see the full itinerary on this link.
West Country courses
Although we are not running any group tours in 2021, you stilll have the option of joining us on a local course. We are in the process of organising a number of these in the West Country, and are looking at options in Dorset, Somerset and Dartmoor. These will be focussed on a relatively small number of locations, but will encompass an in depth look at new skills - such as shooting long exposures, stacking for focus and even astro photography.
Since lockdown, I have been shooting extensively in these locations and am confident that I can put together some great local courses. We are hoping to launch this trips in the next few weeks, but if you would like to have your say about some of the options, please fill out the short survey on this link.
If you would like to organise a bespoke course, with only yourself, or with a couple of friends then you can find more information here.
A personal appeal
On a more personal note - I am signed up to do the 26 mile Wye Valley Mighty Hike on the 11 September to fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support. All of us know people who have battled cancer, and most of us know someone who has lost that fight. In many cases, Macmillan have been there to ease the path for everyone.
A group of us are doing this hike in memory of Ash Gray, the father of one of my son's classmates down here in Somerset, but also in memory of all the others who are no longer with us.
I was hoping to do a little more (some!) training for this walk, but it looks like I am going to have to survive on a hip-flask and stubborn. If you are able to make a donation to this damn fool endeavour, then please head to this link. Thank you!
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