- Visit the incredibly beautiful, high altitude destination of Ladakh
- Develop and improve your digital and manual photographic skills with one to one expert tuition
- Join an 'assignment' led trip with a maximum of four people
- Produce a cohesive body of work that tells a story image by image
- Receive outstanding 'on-location' support from our expert team in Ladakh
Led by professional photographer Jon Nicholson, our photography expedition to Ladakh is an "assignment" style trip, designed for photographers keen to produce a full and cohesive body of work. The focus will be on improving the photographer's technical and creative skill while travelling in a diverse and fascinating environment.
The Steppes Difference
Setting it apart from other photography tours, this tour is purposefully offering only four places, avoiding overcrowding the location and enabling the group to interact and build trust with the communities they encounter.
The Aim of the Tour
The aim of the tour is for the photographer to return home, demonstrating a discernable progression in the standard of their images, illustrating a deep connection and understanding of the people and landscapes of Ladakh.
Ladakh in August
Visiting Ladakh in August is a wonderful time of year to visit the region, coinciding with harvest time. There is plenty of activity and plenty to photograph, with clear mountain air and light offering the perfect illumination of the faces and landscapes around you.
The tour in more detail
This photography expedition travels into the high altitude, former Kingdom of Ladakh. Most of the region lies at an altitude of over 9,800 ft, with an array of mountains pressed relentlessly together, a result of the Indian plate folding upwards against the more stationary Eurasian plate. The Mighty Indus river is the backbone of the country.
The first few days of the trip will be spent gently acclimatising to the environment, with gentle excursions into the surrounding valleys. During these initial days, focus will be on technical skill. Jon will pass on as much of his experience and knowledge as he can of working in-the-field. Each day will end with a critique of the day’s work and discussion of what and how you have been photographing. Jon shoots with both film and digital cameras and will be covering; manual photography and how that will benefit shooting on digital; how to compose portraits; use backgrounds and get people to interact and trust you.
Once the group has settled and acclimatised, you continue on to higher terrain in search of the Changthang nomadic tribes. The nomads of this region live a very simple life travelling with their livestock, some of which produce the highly sort after Pashmina wool. This is an opportunity to move with the nomads, to document their life and working day and to work on portraits of unique faces and landscapes.
The essence of the trip is to learn and deliver a set of images as if on assignment. Jon will work hard with you to achieve great images that will stand out. Be prepared to shoot in colour or black and white. Be ready for any change in situation. Whether the light is poor or perfect, both situations create opporunity and Jon will show you how to adapt to this. Whilst there is a schedule of where you will be and for how long, there will be no strict plan each day as things can change very suddenly and the group need to nimble and react quickly, for example at short notice the Dalai Lama may be in town!
Gear and fitness
You will require a good level of fitness for this trip. Altitude can affect any of us however, so the first few days are a gentle start, based at Chamba Camp in the Leh Valley. You then continue into the nomad regions and spend five nights in a fully-supported wild camp. From the camp, excursions will be made to reach the nomadic communities. You will be on your feet for long periods with hill walking.
You will require a reasonable level of knowledge photographically and own a DSLR with a couple of lenses or a film camera. Both ideally. Jon uses the Leica M series of cameras with a 35mm, 28mm lens (a 50mm and 90mm in the bag) and a hasselblad with an 80mm lens.
Accommodation in ladakh
In general the hotel accommodation options in Ladakh are rather limited and basic, however Chamba Camp offers a wonderfully luxurious, fixed tent camp option in the Thikey valley, close to Leh. At the beginning of the trip you stay at the Chamba Camp where you can acclimatise in style. In contrast, travelling into the remote nomadic regions makes accommodation a challenge, however we have 'summoned' our best people to pitch a private tented camp just for you, close to Lake Tsomoriri. The location and service standards will be second to none however the tents themselves are very different to that which you would have experienced in Thiksey. These tents will include the following:
- Camp Staff
- Separate dining tent
- Hot water in bucket (no running hot water as these are not fixed tents)
- Attached Bathroom
- Proper beds with duvet
- Electricity will be available daily from 6 – 11 PM only
If you are interested please register your interest by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01285 651010.
For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.