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Newsletter 63 - sent on the 24 January 2023
Seven highlights of travel in Jordan
Although the year is only a few weeks old, I have been solidly busy. I am in the process of working out a series of new tours for the next couple of years, and hope to have the first new itinerary ready to release in the next few weeks. More local to home, a I have also been revising my series of Travel Photography Masterclasses, which I will run at the Destinations travel show at the beginning of February. There is more information about these below.
At the very end of last year, we launched a return to the historic country of Jordan, and I thought that in this first newsletter of 2023, I would set out some of the incredible things that you will experience if you join us on this trip.
I also wanted to include a bit of a shameless plug: as well as the travel work, I also do a lot of commercial and corporate work, for a variety of clients. There are some links to some of this work below - partly as I hope it might let people see the breadth of experience and skills that I can bring to my photography tours – but also in case you work somewhere that could use a photographer, or know someone else who might.
Masterclasses at Destinations in London
I will be leading an extended series of Travel Photography Masterclasses at the Destinations Show in London Olympia on the 2-5 February. After a two year enforced Covid hiatus, we have revised the format of the talks, and also freshened them all up. There is even a new Masterclass detailing some of the next level professional tips that I have been refining over the last few years. As well as being a great opportunity to brush up your photographic skills before your next holiday, it is also a great opportunity to meet me, as questions about my tours and see the level of energy, enthusiasm and hopefully humour that you will get on one of my tours.
We have radically refreshed and updated the existing Masterclasses, with topics for beginners as well as more experienced photographers, as well as creating a whole new topic: Achieve the Impossible: Pro Techniques for Travel Photography Techniques which will cover some of the incredibly useful, yet often simple techniques that you can use to make your pictures even better.
The full line up of Masterclasses can be found on this link.
Memorable moments of Jordan
Jordan is a truly fascinating country, and a fantastic introduction to travel in the Middle East. It is steeped in history with the ruins of many great civilisations, a friendly and welcoming people and a varied cuisine. Our Impressions of Jordan trip is one of our shorter tours, but we still manage to fit in a phenomenal range of sights and experiences: you can see seven of the most memorable here.
Photographing star trails in Wadi Rum
The eroded majesty of Wadi Rum has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and there are a number of rock carvings and petroglyphs that we will visit. A vast desert of red sand, punctuated by massive eroded rock outcrops, this region is synonymous with Lawrence of Arabia, and was most recently the location of SAS Who Dares Wins. We stay in this inhospitable but beautiful desert for two nights in a luxury camp, giving us the chance to properly explore and also experiment with shooting star trails.
Hiking in the Dana National Park
Tucked away in the North of the country is the remote Dana National Park, We will stay in a 500 year old traditional village on the edge of a spectacular gorge, which is noted for bird and animal life, as well as utterly stunning views. We enjoy a short hike into the upper reaches of this beautiful valley, led by one of the local villagers.
Snorkelling in the Red Sea
The Red Sea is a haven for marine life, and there are a number of well preserved coral refs surprisingly close to the shore, We have included a trip on a snorkel boat, giving you the chance to see some of this , and even one of the most surprising sights – a collection of military vehicles and even a giant transporter plane deliberately sunk as a location for divers.
Overlooking the battlements of the Castle of Krak de Chevalier
Built by Crusaders, it is hard to believe that this seemingly impregnable fortress could ever fall, especially as even the great Saladin bypassed it, believing it to be too difficult a target. Occupied by Christian Crusaders for almost two hundred years, it finally fell to Mamluk sultan Baibars in 1271. The castles soaring walls are built on top of a high hill, and the views across the surrounding country are breathtaking, even boasting a glimpse of the Dead Sea in the distance.
Wandering the Roman city of Jerash
Jerash is one of the best preserved Roman cities in the world and it is a breathtaking experience walking along its intact but well-worn colonnaded and paved roads and plaza, as you realise that many generations of Legionnaires and senators have trodden the same path, moving between the theatres, the temples and the vast hippodrome which was home to chariot races. We visit the city in the afternoon, when it is less crowded and when the warm evening light bathes these spectacular ruins.
Floating on the Dead Sea
The lowest point on the surface of the earth, the Dead Sea is a lifeless expanse, ringed with a hard crust of salt. Floating in the Dead Sea is something of a cliché, but it is one of those bucket list things that everyone should do at least once in their lives. You can also cover yourself in Dead Sea mud, which is reputed to be great for your skin.
Walking the siq at Petra
Nothing can prepare you for your first glimpse of the famed Treasury at the lost city of Petra, framed by the open mouth of the narrow siq – a long canyon that leads to this city of tombs. Made famous by Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, this great carved facade is the first thing that you see in this sprawling city, as you walk in the footsteps of traders on the Silk Road, Roman invaders and of course the ancient Nabatean civilisation, who created this city. We spend three days at Petra – more than mot trips – allowing you to comprehensively explore and to find views and places that most people never experience.
Our exciting tour takes in all of these memorable experiences in this incredible country, as well as exploring the vibrant and historical capital of Amman and the pleasant town of Madaba.
Impressions of Jordan departs from Amman on 13 September 2023 for 12 days. Under our new variable pricing policy, the cost is from £2595 per person if 8 people travel to £2295 per person for the full 12 people. You can see more information on this link. You can see the full itinerary on this link and download the pdf for the tour here.
Commercial and corporate work
I have been a professional photographer ever since I graduated from a photography degree course many years ago, and this has taken me repeatedly all over the World, for a variety of projects. I have authored bestselling books and been published in a range of magazines. What many people don't realise though is that as well as travel work and running tours, I also carry out all sorts of commercial and corporate work for a range of organisations and pubications. This has given me a vast amount of experience in all manner of photographic skills, many of which I bring into my travel work, and also into my tours – giving you access to an unparalleled wealth of photographic knowledge.
You can find a gallery of my more commercial work on this link. Not only will it give you an idea of the sort of extra skills that I can teach you on one of my tours, maybe you might need a photographer in your own work, I am always looking for more work, and this gallery will give you an idea as to the sort of things I could do for you or your business.
If you can think of any work that I could do for you and would like a quote, or if you can think of someone I could contact, then please do get in touch by replying to this email.
Better Travel Photography
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Otherwise, I hope that you have a great festive season, and hope to travel with you at some point in the next year or so!
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