Crossing the Thar Desert - Rajasthan, India

Rajasthan is a photographer’s paradise with its intense street scenes and bustling bazaars to its majestic palaces and ornate fortresses. Crossing the Thar Desert will take you back in time to tribal desert life.

Our journey starts in New Delhi where we will photograph the historic Red Fort and Gandhi’s home.  We then proceed off the beaten path to photograph the thousands of pilgrims who attend the Sikh Gurdwara Temple to worship and receive their daily meal. At the temple you are free to wonder around to photograph. You may be invited into the kitchen to help prepare the meals. This is wonderful opportunity to capture a ritual event without other tourists. Street photographers will be overwhelmed in the narrow streets of the frenetic Chandni Chowk bazaar, where colorfully wedding outfits and spices are sold. Travel through the chaotic bazaar on a cycle-rickshaw stopping to photograph.  At night dine with the locals at Karim’s in Old Delhi or try typical Kerala cuisine at The Spice Route Restaurant. 

Rajasthan’s Udaipur is known as the Venice of the east and is situated on tranquil Lake Pichola. Along the banks of the lake are the Ghats, a series of steps leading down to a body of water, believed to be holy. In the glow of the late day warm light we will photograph the bathers as they pray, wash, and swim in the holy water. At night photograph the town from the famous island hotel. 

We then travel back in time along the back roads of Thar Desert and to the Rohet Garh Palace Hotel, formerly the ancestral home of the local nobleman. Our home for the next few days, the Palace offers horseback riding to the local tribal villages. The Bhils tribe are farmers with a distinctive social structure. They strictly adhere to the rules of their society, only marry their own and worship their local deities. The Bishnois tribe are conservationists, protect their trees and wildlife, and who do not kill their animals. The Raikas are the indigenous people of Rajasthan, are nomadic shepherds who are camel experts and who wear colorful costumes. In these villages you can concentrate on perfecting your portraiture, environmental portraits, landscape and documentary photography. 

Our next destination is a fixed tent safari camp just outside the town of Jaisalmer. Jaisalmer is known as the ‘Golden City’ with India’s only living fort with its ornate homes or havelis and bustling shops. Here you can work on your street photography and environmental portraits wondering through Jaisalmer’s Fort. Our evening culminates in a short drive to a hilltop Cenotaph, a monument constructed by various Bhatti rulers, for a sunset photograph of the city and its surrounding landscape. 

Jodphur, the ‘Blue City’ named for its blue painted houses offers an amazing hue as a backdrop for your environmental portraits and street scenes. You will never want to stop photographing in The Old City’s bustling Sadar Bazaar and at the Clock Tower market. The old city circles the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, a massive fort bounded by a wall, ideal for those interested architectural photography. 

The workshop ends in New Delhi where we will review our work, have our final critique and farewell dinner.

Learn To

  1.                       Photograph people in a foreign culture
  2.                       Light an environmental portrait on location
  3.                       Photograph at night
  4.                       Photograph architecture
  5.                       Shoot video
  6.                       Expand your photography vision 

Travel Highlights

  1.                        Ride in a rickshaw in Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk
  2.                        Visit Gandhi’s memorial Ghat
  3.                        Travel through the Thar Desert
  4.                        Spend a day in a Bishnoi village
  5.                        Visit bazaars, temples and palaces

Location Features

  1.           In New Delhi visit Old Delhi, the Red Fort, Gandhi Museum and the Sikh Temple
  2.           Famous Lake Pichola in Udaipur, India’s Venice of the east
  3.           Photograph pilgrims washing at the Ghats
  4.           Bhils and Bishnois Tribal villages
  5.           Majestic fort in Jodphur
  6.           Live in fixed tents in the desert
  7.           Lively shopping bazaars
  8.           Thar Desert Landscape
  9.           Vibrant and intense street scenes

 

Who Should Attend

This workshop is for serious amateurs and professional still photographers & videographers who have a working knowledge of their camera and want to develop their personal style while photographing the Rajasthan’s tribal villages and culture. This is an opportunity to learn to photograph environmental portraits, portraits, landscapes, architectural photography and prefect your street photography. Participants should be motivated, technically self–sufficient, and comfortable navigating and photographing in a foreign city and physically fit. 

Media & Recommended Equipment

Participants may shoot still images or video using a DSLR camera or a point and shoot camera. Optional but recommended is a computer with Lightroom, Aperture or a digital imaging cataloging program and an external hard drive for backup. For those shooting video you should have either imovie or Final Cut Pro for viewing and editing your videos. Bring at least one camera body, all your lenses, a tripod, extra camera batteries, plenty of memory cards, a flash unit(s) and any light modifiers you own, a flash light for shooting at night, all technical manuals, and a notebook and writing utensil. 

The workshop fee is $6,850.00 and includes shared accommodations, all regional transportation including two flights in India, hotel transfers, full time English speaking guide, private touring, some meals and beverages, the opening and farewell dinners, entrance fees to forts and museums and all the on-location photography demonstrations. 

Not included are international flights, airport taxes, visas, single supplements, some meals and beverages, personal expenses and personal photography fees when photographing individuals in the villages, and gratuities for our guides and drivers.  Trip cancelation and interruption insurance is strongly recommended.  The single supplement charge is $1,990.00. 

Companions/Spouses/Friends

You are encouraged to bring a companion who will be able to participate in all group excursions and on location demonstrations; however there is no discount for non-photography companions. 

Participants must be in good physical condition capable of walking or hiking while carrying their camera equipment. We spend a couple of nights in fixed tents. 

Tuition Note 

At the time of registration, Maine Media Workshops will collect an initial deposit of $600, plus a $55 registration fee.  All other payments will be billed & collected by Collins Photography Workshops.  Arlene Collins Photography, LLC, reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by the stated due date.

 

ITINERARY  

NOTE: You need to depart the United States on Sunday January 12 to arrive in New Delhi, India on Monday January the 13th.

 

Day 1                           New Delhi                   Vivanta Taj Hotel

Mon. Jan. 13               Arrive in New Delhi and airport transfer to hotel

Evening orientation meeting, cocktails and welcome dinner  (D) 

Day 2                           New Delhi                                          Vivanta Taj Hotel

Tue. Jan. 14                 Full day of touring the city to photograph the India Gate, the Presidents House, the Parliament House, the Secretariat building, the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial, The Red Fort & the Raj Ghat. Photography opportunities continue at “Gurudwara” Sikh Temple and Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk market.   (B)

Day 3                           Delhi - Udaipur                                               Trident Hotel                         (B)

Wed. Jan. 15               Morning flight to Udaipur, Udaipur is known as the “Venice of the east” and is situation on Lake Pichola. After checking into our hotel we spend the day photographing the City Palace, the Crystal Gallery and the Jagdish Temple. This evening we photograph along the Ghats, where the locals come to pray and wash. This evening is a sunset photo shoot from the island hotel 

Day 4                           Udaipur – Rohet Garh             Rohet Garh Palace Hotel        (B, L & D)

Thur. Jan. 16               Today we drive to Rohet Garh crossing a landscape of cultivated fields. On route we will photograph the 15th century Jain Adinath Temple at Ranakpur. Considered a masterpiece of western Indian architecture, the massive temple features a complex layout of porches and balconies. We next stop to photograph The Bhils tribe. The Bhils are farmers with a distinctive social structure. They strictly adhere to the rules of their society, only marry their own and worship local deities. Our lunch stop is Maharani Bagh Orchard Retreat, a stately country manor. Early evening arrive at our hotel and check in. This evening is free time to photograph and to review work. 

Day 5                           Rohet Garh                                          Rohet Garh Palace Hotel (B, L & D)

Fri. Jan. 17                   This morning we travel the back roads to photograph several remote tribes. The Bishnois follow the “29 fold path of good living”, they do not kill animals and are known as conservationists.  They are responsible for the survival of several species such as the Black Buck antelope. We will also photograph the Raikas or shepherds, known for their colorful costumes, and the Paliwats and Meghwais, the Brahmin farmers.  Several of these tribes live in “Dhanis” settlements that feature adobe style huts.  Rohet Garh has one of India’s finest stable of Marwari horses and offers riding safaris through the countryside. Image arriving in a tribal village on horseback!  

Photographing these tribes is a special feature of this workshop.  You will spend time perfecting your environmental portraiture while documenting the tribe’s daily routines of preparing meals, farming and tending to their animals.

Day 6                           Rohet Garth – Jaisalmer                     Desert Safari Tent Camp       

Sat. Jan. 18                  We depart early for a 350 kms or a 5 ½ hour drive through the Thar Desert to our Desert Safari Camp. Throughout our drive we will have many opportunities to photograph life along one of Rajasthan’s main thoroughfares.  After an early evening arrival at our camp you can spend the rest of the evening reviewing your photographs or take a desert excursion by camel or horse. (B, L & D) 

Day 7                           Jaisalmer                                             Desert Safari Tent Camp      (B & D) 

Sun. Jan. 19                 A short drive takes us to Jaisalmer, the ‘Golden City’. We start photographing at the Jaisalmer Fort, India’s only ‘living fort with its shops, hotels and ornate havelis or homes. We then proceed to the city center to concentrate on our street photography. Capture the intense street life of the merchants, shoppers and the vibrant street scenes. Our evening culminates in a short drive from the city to a hilltop Cenotaph; a monument constructed by various Bhatti rulers for a sunset photograph of the city and the surrounding landscape.

Day 8                           Jaisalmer - Jodphur                                         Tjit Bhawan Hotel     (B)

Mon. Jan. 20               This morning we drive to Jodphur, known as the Blue City and gateway to western Rajasthan. Jodphur is known for its blue painted houses and the impregnable Mehrangarth Fort perched on a rocky ridge in the middle of the city. Spend the day photographing in the Old City bustling Sadar Bazaar and the Clock Tower market.                        

Day 9                           Jodphur                                                    Tjit Bhawan Hotel               (B)                 

Tues. Jan. 21               Today photograph in the intense back streets of Jodphur, capturing the people in their homes, stores, restaurants and the vibrant street scenes.                                                                                                       

Day 10                         Jodphur - Delhi                                                Vivanta Taj Hotel               (B)

Wed. Jan. 22               Today we depart Jodphur and fly back to Delhi. Hotel check in and this afternoon is free time to review your work. Tonight is our farewell dinner and final critique.                               

Day 11                         Depart Delhi  

Thur. Jan. 23               early morning departure

 

 

 

 

 

Terms and Conditions for Destinations Workshops

1. Reservations & Payments

A deposit as indicated on the registration page is required to confirm your reservation for the workshop.  Final payment in full is due 45 days prior  to the date of departure for your workshop.  Maine Media Workshops + College (“Maine Media”) reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by the due date.

2. Cancellations

All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of the postmark, or upon receipt of an email providing notice of cancellation. If you provide written notice of cancellation  60 days or more prior to the departure date for your workshop, your deposit, and any additional payment, will be refunded in full, less an administration fee of $55.00. If you provide written notice of cancellation less than 60 days prior to the departure date for your workshop, your full deposit will be forfeited; any additional funds paid to Maine Media for the workshop will be refunded.  No refunds of any amount will be made to persons who (i) fail to provide written notice of cancellation, or who (ii) begin a workshop, but fail to complete the workshop.

3. Basis of Rates

All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars; all payments must be made in U.S. dollars.

4. Insurance

It is strongly advised that you purchase Trip Cancellation, Baggage, Emergency Medical Evacuation, and/or Accident and Sickness Insurance Protection. Camera equipment, computers, and baggage are carried entirely at the owner’s risk. Maine Media shall have no responsibility for any lost, damaged, or delayed property, or for an individual student’s medical needs, accidents, injuries or illnesses.

5. Itinerary Changes

The itinerary for your workshop is subject to change without prior notification.

6.  Passports and Visas

A valid passport is required for all travel. You are required to notify Maine Media as to the nationality under which your passport is registered. If you are a U.S. citizen, Maine Media will notify you if your destination requires a visa.  Non-U.S. citizens are required to contact the appropriate consular office for entry requirements for their workshop. Participants are responsible for obtaining their passports and visas. To participate in the workshop, you must have a passport that is valid until at least six months after the date on which your trip is scheduled to be completed.

7. Medical Issues

All participants must be in good health.   You must advise Maine Media of any health condition, physical condition, or emotional or mental condition that may require special attention or that may adversely impact the other participants in your workshop. All students are required to complete a “Waiver of Liability” form and submit it at the time of registration.  This document may be found on the course description page.

8. Liability Waiver

Every participant is required to sign Maine Media’s Waiver of Liability before departure for their workshop.   Click here to download.

9. Responsibility & Photography

To ensure a safe photographic experience, you are required to obey local customs and be considerate when photographing people or sensitive locations.  The faculty member for your workshop has the right to expel any person from the workshop for behavior that is in violation of the law; that is disruptive; or that compromises the group’s safety or enjoyment.  No refunds will be made to any person expelled from a workshop. Maine Media shall have no obligation to pay any costs incurred by a person as a result of that person being expelled from a workshop. 

Sign and Return Waiver Form