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Dambies Firouzian 12 Days Ladakh (India)

  • 14 Days in Ladakh

    The Indian Himalayas Tour

Jun 29 - Jul 13 2017

The start date is fixed as the events we will attend are already set and confirmed.

US$ 2000 (double)

Supplement of US$100 for single room. Companion price is US$ 1500. Pricing based on four participants. Discounts if we book five or six participants. To view the terms of booking and to reserve a place, please scroll down to the form at the end of this page.

Group Size

The target group size is from 4 to 6 participants, so that the experience and training is personal. We need a minimum of 4 participants to confirm the tour is a "go".

Full Package

Best available lodgings, with full amenities for relaxing at the end of the day. In remote areas, food options will be limited to what the locals eat. For treks, we have our cook or pack our food for convenience, and also as we do not have much control on what is available in the mountains.

Photo tour led by Laurent Dambies and Patrick Firouzian

Imagine the exhilaration of being in the midst of thin air, high altitude, in a place rich in history and religion with that distinct feel of spirituality in the surroundings. The Silk Road once passed through here; much much of that era can still be seen in the markets as well as in the faces of its people. Since few travelers come as far as Ladakh, this marvelous off-the-beaten-path place has kept its authenticity throughout the centuries.

Images are crisp like the thin air of the region, both day  and night. We will go from street to landscape to night photography, exploring both day and night with time-lapse photography as well. Laurent and Patrick will ensure that you progress every day, as measured by the quality of your composition and richness of your stories.

Companions

Of course you can bring your companion with you! With our local partners we have created a number of interesting and rewarding activities for them to fully enjoy the time too.

Weather

This is well into summer in high territory, which means it is dry but quite cool. You have to come well prepared for high altitude walking and sleeping. The danger here is chills and mountain sickness. Good protective clothes are essential.

Difficulty

Energetic but not mountain climbing. You do have to be in reasonable health, capable of one hour hikes up and around hills, along dusty trails and streets. Do bring good walking shoes.

Tour Program

Developing your photo skills is an absolute must on Laurent's and Patrick's tours. For every tour they select relevant topic areas to workshop through and also design specific practice exercises for people while on tour. Most of the tour is aimed at developing composition and storytelling skills. Each day our itinerary is focused on how to best approach and photograph subjects such as architecture, landscapes, portraits, street photography, trains, camels and horses, while all the time working on approach, storytelling, composition, editing, correction. All tours include at least two photo critiquing sessions as well as workshops. This not only gives each person invaluable insight into their work but also enhances the group bonding experience. So you are guaranteed to go home a better photographer than before – plus you will have had an amazing travel experience!

Ladakh (the ‘Land of High Passes’) is a mountainous area in the Northern Indian state of Jammu, at the footsteps of Himalayas. The people of Ladakh, mostly Tibetans, Monpas and Dards, have a rich culture dating back to the pre-Buddhist era. This is one of the least populated regions in India. As we explore the villages and the markets, we will connect with the locals, create bonds and share experiences. Twenty three monasteries, twelve forts, nine stupas, three giant statues, one nunnery… a photographers' dream for stunning landscapes and portrait photography.

Day 0 • Arrival in Delhi

We stay in an intimate, upscale bed and breakfast owned by a local writer and his wife, in South Delhi, in a calm area near a park, not far from downtown and the airport. We will have dinner in a nearby street restaurant serving the best local food, and return to rest.

Day 1 • Travel to Leh

Early flight to Leh. We spend this first day to acclimate to altitude, weather, and culture. We find our bearings around town by walking around to get a sense of the place. For the ones not tired by the trip, we go to the Shanti stuppa for a sunset time-lapse. For the ones really not tired, we do a night time-lapse. It’s a long trip, there is altitude, new food, so we will take it easy and watch a documentary film about Ladakh.

Day 2 • Leh

Continued acclimatization to altitude. Street photography and Leh Palace.

Day 3 • To the Nubra Valley by way of the Khardungla Pass

Diskit monastery, the sand dunes of Hunder and plenty of Bactrian camels.

Day 4 • Nubra Valley

Stakna and Matho monasteries are both along the Indus river. These are small monasteries but significant in their cultural and religious heritage. Stakna is built on a hill shapped as a tiger’s nose, and is best viewed from south on the banks of the Indus river. Matho (Tibetan for “much happiness”) is the only monastery of Sakyapa Budhist sect in this region, and we will learn to appreciate the differences between these variations. After that we head off to hot sulfur springs at Panamic.

Day 5 • Drive back to Leh, Shanti stupa

Day 6 • Leh

Mystic mask dance festival performed by Lamas of the Hemis monastery. Slow motion videos.

Day 7-8 • Taglanla Pass

On the first day we visit the Tsokar and Tosmoriri high-altitude salt lakes. We spend the second day with the nomads, portrait and landscape photography. Both evenings we shoot the Milky Way and practice star trails photography.

Day 9 • Drive back to Leh

Day 10 • Leh

Free morning with an editing workshop in the afternoon. Evening photowalk in the street markets of Leh.

Day 11 • Lamayuru

The Lamayuru, Alchi and Likir monasteries. Lamayuru hosts the oldest and largest existing gompa in Ladakh, it said to be the foremost Bon monastery. In their religious festivals monks perform mask dances, the masks representing guardian divinities from the Drikungpa pantheon. During the festival the lamas also perform prayer and rituals to get rid of disaster and peace in the world.

Day 12 • Chemdey monastery, Thicksey monastery and Shey palace

Here, amongst other things, we are going to practice time-lapse photography.

Day 13 • Spituk and Mattho monasteries.

In the afternoon we review photos and videos from the trip.

Day 14 • Flight back to Delhi

Photos from Laurent's and Patrick's tour in Ladakh

Included

We provide flights between tour destinations, transfers, tour transport, accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, light refreshments and soft drinks, museum passes and other related tickets. For indoor photography we have reflectors and light boxes. All fees quoted are inclusive of taxes.

Don't forget!

Other than your digital camera (any type will do) you should bring some lenses, a sturdy tripod and ideally a shutter release cable. There is a fair amount of walking, some in rough patches, so wear sensible shoes and casual clothes with lots of pockets. The sun can be strong; light headgear might be good for some.

Extra

If you do not have or do not want to bring a PC with you, we can arrange for you to use one locally. If you do not have imaging software on your computer, we can provide you with a free copy that has basic functionality. If you don’t bring a tripod we have some spares. If you are using a Canon DSLR then we also have some extra lenses.

Reserve your place on this tour

Once we receive your request we will call and email you to confirm details.

Bookings

Bookings are made directly with the photographer. For more details please contact Laurent Dambies by email to laurent.dambies@angkorphotographytours.com or Patrick Firouzian by email to contact@ladakh-photography-expeditions.com.

Conditions

  • Fees are exclusive of your own travel to and from Delhi.
  • Fees do not cover international travel and medical insurance.

Payment

  • 50% to be paid on confirmed booking.
  • Balance of 50% paid at least 45 days before the tour start date.
  • By credit card or bank wire transfer.

Cancellations

  • 100% refund if made 30+ days before the tour start date.
  • 50% refund if made 15+ days before the tour start date.
  • 25% refund if made 7+ days before the tour start date.

Registration Form

Just to be clear, filling in and sending this form does not commit you to anything or any payment until the booking is confirmed, which will be done with the photographer directly after you both have spoken and agreed everything.

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Laurent Dambies

With an MBA and PhD from his native France, Laurent Dambies worked over ten years doing research and development around the world, before deciding to focus on what he loves doing the most: photography and travel. Now based in Cambodia and living in Siem Reap for over three years, Laurent is extremely knowledgeable of the best shooting locations in the temples of Angkor and the surrounding countryside. Beyond Angkor, Laurent explores and captures beautiful temples in Thailand and Myanmar, the sights of India and the majestic Himalayas.

Read more about Laurent and his photo tours

Patrick Firouzian

Patrick studied Arts in Paris and earned his MBA in California. After a career in world class technology companies, now Patrick is mostly known for his work in the humanitarian field. He loves immersing himself in diverse cultures, where he uses photography and drone videography to help bring visibility to social cases and innovations which aim at improving living conditions. Patrick’s over-arching goal is to make people successful at what they love to achieve, and he will invest all his energy and talent to make it happen.

Discover more about Patrick's tours and projects
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