India Photo workshop

Discussion in 'Travel' started by bob___|10, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. Hi All,
    I would like to visit India via a photo workshop. I have never been to India and I would like some input on where in India to go. North, South, etc? If you can recommend a photo workshop to India based upon your own experience I would love to hear about it.
    Thank you.
  2. I'm not sure about the photo workshop, but I was in India in 2011 for 2 weeks. All I can say is, carry your camera in an ugly looking camera bag like Domke; don't hang it around your neck. You can go to whatever part of India you like - it's all the same. But you might want to see the Taj Mahal in New Delhi. Be careful with what you eat and drink. Good luck!

  3. david_henderson


    In India, and especially on a first visit, you absolutely need to have someone to drive you around and a guide for each broad location you're in. Pretty much any of the companies specialising in tailor-made travel in India can fix that up for you. But I'm not at all sure about the photo workshop thing and how well it would work in that environment, especially in cities or in the monuments where there may be some restrictions - not least since the latter appear to operate so as to create maximum employment opportunities for local guides who might well be as interested in getting you into shops as telling you about the places you're seeing. Having a driver and pre-arranged guide insulates you from that in large measure. I just can't imagine a group of 8 or 10 people managing to get around a market without someone getting lost, and I can't imagine those 8/10 people being able to line up to photograph whilst the leader explains the essence of what's in view and what you might want to try.
    Having displayed my scepticism, there are companies that offer photo workshops in India - one of which is Wild Photography ( who offer a range of tours to different parts of the country. I can't recommend them because I have never been away with them though I have booked myself on one of their winter in Iceland trips in a few weeks time.
  4. Northern India is cold in the winter, though nowhere near as cold as north America. Your camera will be safe if you hold on to its strap or that of the bag it's in. The Taj Mahal is in Agra. Western stomachs are sensitive to the many microbes here, so it's best to drink only bottled water, soft drinks, tea or coffee -- or beer, or whisky with soda water. Still, it's sensible to set aside a couple of days for a tummy upset.
  5. it


    I gave a workshop in Rajasthan last year. The photographer I worked with is offering another one in March. Details here.
    Here are a few 'behind the scenes' images from that workshop as well. We had a lot of fun. India is an incredible photo destination.
  6. I have been to India for photography six times. Southern India is lovely and there's much to photograph there.
    A few notes:
    • If you're in reasonable shape I advise you to walk as much as you can in the city. Make sure your camera is on a strap and hold onto it and any other gear is in a backpack that is closed, and you should be fine.
    • Visit public parks, especially on the weekends. Photo ops abound.
    • Visit local libraries. They are treasure troves of sites to see, and the folks that work there love to give you ideas.
    • Carry some cash, but small denominations and only have a bit in your pocket at one time. Stash the rest, and don't flash large amounts.
    • People in India LOVE to be photographed and only want to see the image on the LCD in exchange. It's very different from Europe or the US. Don't be afraid to make eye contact with people, nod at your camera to silently ask permission. Most of the time people will light up at the chance.
    • Temples are beautiful and it's fun to visit, but be aware that as a tourist, they'll sometimes offer you a "tour" of even the smallest temple. That's for a price which is negotiated after the tour ;)
    • Hire a driver when you're not walking and when you want to go to further destinations. Get friendly with them and pay them well and they will walk with you, and negotiate on your behalf. Pros call them fixers and experienced ones will know where the best vantage points are, and when the best light is. Often hotels can arrange them for you and I always tipped them *very* well at the end of each day. They appreciate it a great deal and will bend over backward to accommodate you the next day. One took me to his village to meet his mother who offered us fresh milk from the cow that morning. It was delicious and quite an experience to see a village home.
    • Go to flower and meat markets. I spent *hours* walking around them and often visited the same ones repeatedly. So many amazing photo ops there and you get a real sense of how people live.
    • If you get a chance, visit a mosque. I found several that were more than happy to have me visit, and I got invited to a muslim families home for a dinner. It was amazing.
    • Bring candy for the kids and give them that rather than money. Often in parks I would be "swarmed" by groups of kids who are kept out of school by poor parents so that they can beg. Giving them money perpetuates the cycle. If you give them candy the kids actually get it and they are happy with it.
    • Contrary to what others have said and warned, I vowed when I went to eat the street/diner foods, and to try everything I was offered. And I did. I never got sick on any of my six trips, but I have a pretty strong stomach. I did carry and drink bottled water, but mostly because it was hot as blazes there.
    • On a related note before you go, visit a travel clinic and get an order of antibiotics in case you follow my advice above and it works less optimally for you.
    • Wear good footwear. I am partial to Bates tactical boots. Also, take a hat.
    • If you're in southern India, some destinations I can recommend include Bangalore flower market, Victoria Park on the weekends, pottery town and Commercial street (really a bazaar). I walked all over this city several times.
    • Mysore about 1.5 hours from Bangalore and there are two palaces. There is the main palace and a tour is worth it, but be aware there's an entry fee and then a "tour" amount. You can do the tour yourself, but it's fun to have a guide. Just negotiate the price in advance. The second palace is the mistress of the ruler of Mysore. He built her a palace that he could see from the main palace. When my wife and I got to Mysore we wanted to stay in a hotel and finally booked one. It turned out to be the second palace which you can stay in. It was like being in 19th century India.
    • The flower market in Mysore is fantastic.
    • The silk refinery in Mysore is crazy; there's tons of vendors bringing in cocoons and selling them. They just let us right in to make photos.
    • Beyond Mysore is Bylakuppe, which is the largest Tibetan colony outside of Tibet. It's an island of calm and organization in the chaos of India and well worth a day trip.
    • The Dubare Elephant camp is very cool. You can wash an elephant.
    • Hampi is north of Bangalore, but you really need to take a train due to weird roads. It's on the UNESCO world heritage list. If you're up for it, bicycles are the way to see it.
    • Ask your fixer/driver to stop in villages so you can take a look around and make photos. Also, have them stop on the side of the road to photo the farmers. It's funny because they look at you like your crazy because they're just living their life and you want to take a photo. I got some awesome shots this way.

    I have tons of other tips so if you'd like message me and I can give you more ideas. Most of all I would advise you to be bold, and really make the most of it; India is an incredible place!
  7. Sorry about the duplicate post!
  8. India is a fantastic country to travel in. Like many countries in Asia You get back what you put into it. Away from the tourists centres Indians are hospitable and friendly if you keep an open mind. India can be done independently as I have done using local guides and drivers. Its a good way if you are a confident traveler.
    For those who want to improve their photo skills; Jim Cline Photo Tours and leader Karl Grobl is an outstanding photographer. If you want someone who is passionate about photographing people and can make connections I can think of no one better. I Have worked with him and arranged logistics for Jim Cline in Cambodia (where he now Lives) for many years.
    I'd like to run Photo workshops in India in the future; but am still living in Cambodia and running 2 tours in Nepal and West Papua (Indonesia) in 2015 as well as Cambodia.
  9. A good friend of mine has been on a photo workshop with this guy: No connection other than having him recommended by a friend.
    She did the Myanmar and Istanbul workshops and recommended him highly. He does workshops in India and his prices are very competitive. His next India trip is April and is £560 (doesn't include flights obviously) - he usually tries to rent accommodation for the group so that you are together to go through your photos in the evening. As an aside, he prefers that you shoot at 35mm (focal length) getting in close to your subjects and not crop (just in case this is problematic!) My friend found it a bit of an adjustment!
  10. Look up Captain Suresh Sharma - Green Dot Expeditions. I think you'll find him a very good tour guide / photo expert, etc... I don't know him personally (just through social media), but he's a straight shooter from what I've gathered.
  11. Can't help you with the workshop but I have been to India, once.

    Do you know what India stands for?

    I('ll) N(ever) D(o) I(t) A(gain).

    And I've been to Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. Loved them all. No problems.

    Good luck!

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