Italian Dolomites & Venice with Dave Hutchison and Shane McDermott

VisionQuest PhotoJourney

This is not your traditional photo tour simply meant to get you to the best locations in the best light. That is a given! We’ve set the bar super high and expect you to come away from this experience feeling completely transformed both as a photographer and as a human being. Regardless if you are a beginner, intermediate or seasoned professional this experience will forever transform the way you approach your photography and open up creative dimensions you’ve never even thought about.

Yes, it is true Shane and I will ensure you have the best light and locations but we also want you to have an experience of a lifetime. The workshop will centre around “Breaking the Four Barriers for Creativity” which in turn will enable you to make the best images possible. When I was in Italy last year and especially when I was in Venice for the last three days, I did not want to leave. I could have stayed another week photographing and exploring that very unique city. Photographing a new location is an excellent way to immerse “yourself”… and capture the essence or what you saw and felt in the moment.

The Italian mountain side hut system is a truly unique experience all by itself. When I first experience the “huts” I had no idea that most of these huts were like mini motels on the sides of mountains. They are equipped with a cafe, restaurant, washrooms, beds with linens (most locations), and very friendly staff (and most speak some English).

India with Ken Lee

“This is India; the land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendor and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of a thousand nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of tradition…” – Mark Twain, Following the Equator, 1897

In many ways, not much has changed since Mark Twain’s visit over a century ago. India is still a land of contrasts, carved by deep rivers of spirituality and history. In other ways, however, change dominates every aspect of Indian society today. Fully exploring, much less understanding this vast nation in a brief visit is impossible, but we will catch authentic glimpses of the India of yesterday and today throughout our image making adventure. Our itinerary covers the best of the must-see monuments including, the incomparable Taj Mahal, but we veer off the beaten path early and often in search of more genuine visions of Indian life.

Ken will be with you each step of the way to help you make the most of these opportunities. We’ll work together in groups and one-to-one to help you better understand your equipment, master new techniques, and expand your creative vision. Ken’s specialty is teaching practical ways to develop your ‘photographer’s eye’, but he’s happy to work with you on any aspect of the image making process.

HOLI FESTIVAL OF COLORS
Holi, India’s Festival of Colors, is a riotous celebration of the arrival of Spring. Enthusiastic revelers ‘play Holi’ with handfuls of colored powders that are thrown, rubbed, and smeared over everything and everyone. Participation is mandatory. Rich, poor, tourist or local, no one is exempt. But it’s all in the spirit of celebration and good fun. In fact, another name for Holi is the Festival of Sharing Love.

No matter what you call it, it’s an amazing spectacle to see and even more so to photograph. Precautions must be taken to protect cameras and lenses, but Holi is an event no photographer should pass up. Our itinerary is crafted so that we experience Holi celebrations in several times and places including a very special version of the festivities known as Lathmar Holi, where the women of one village, armed with sticks, beat back the advances of the men from the neighboring village in a mock reenactment of an ancient legend.

THE MAGNIFICENT TAJ
Known as the World’s Greatest Monument to Love, the story behind the Taj is almost as inspiring as the marble masterpiece itself. This icon deserves the time to be carefully considered with our cameras and we will pay it proper homage with multiple opportunities to photograph the Taj Mahal from various vantage points and in different lighting conditions including sunrise and sunset. You will have your opportunity to make the classic reflecting pool photo, but we will also look for more unique perspectives including some not usually available to tourists.

ANCIENT VARANASI
On the banks of the Ganges River, the holy city of Varanasi is India’s spiritual capital, and one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities. It’s also my favorite place to photograph in India. Early morning on the historic stone ghats (terraces) that line the river bank is a magical experience. Mist filtered sunrise light bathes young monks practicing yoga in warmth as the first pilgrims of the day arrive seeking blessings in the waters of Hinduism’s holiest river. But Varanasi has even more to offer. Poignant scenes of everyday life await discovery in its winding streets and markets. Varanasi is also the center of India’s silk weaving industry and much of the work is done in the surrounding villages by hand using traditional equipment and techniques. We will get a taste of rural life in India as we visit with and photograph these master artisans at work. Be prepared to be mobbed by curious children who may have never seen a foreigner.

DELHI
Sprawling Delhi is India’s capital and the beginning and end point of our journey. Nowhere is the clash of old and new more apparent, with its 25 million inhabitants living amidst luxury townhomes, the remnants of colonial rule, and ruins dating back millennia. Here we can find a bit of everything: the serenity and self-reflection of locals practicing meditation and yoga at sunrise in the gardens of Humayun’s Tomb; commerce and chaos in the maze of Old Delhi’s crooked narrow lanes; compassion embodied in a Sikh temple that serves 10,000 free meals daily; tradition and craftsmanship in the Kumhar Gram, a potters colony reputed to be the world’s largest but largely unknown even among locals.

JODHPUR, THE BLUE CITY
Jodhpur exudes an incredibly relaxing vibe that makes you want to do nothing but park yourself on a rooftop terrace with a cool beverage and stare at massive Mehrangarh Fort dominating the skyline. The only problem is that there is so much to explore and photograph here as well. The once ubiquitous blue facades of the old city are slowly disappearing but still make striking backdrops for scenes of everyday life. Early morning is a great time to visit Jaswant Thada, an ornate monument to a former Maharaja carved from white marble. Later, as the sun and temperatures climb, is an ideal time to explore the interior of hilltop Mehrangarh Fort from which fantastically wealthy rulers once surveyed their domain. Bustling Sadar market underneath the old city’s historic clocktower is an experience to remember and photograph. With so much to see, maybe the relaxing will have to wait.

JAISALMER FORT
Wake up to sunrise over beautiful Gadissar lake in the remote outpost of Jaisalmer Fort and then ride into the Thar desert atop a camel for sunset and a star filled night in the sand dunes.

Southwest Utah with Michael DeYoung

Capture some of the most inspiring and colorful scenery in Southwestern Utah (Including Zion National Park and Grand Staircase National Monument) during this week long tour featuring both iconic and lesser known, but just as majestic, locations that afford the best photographic views and experiences found in the region.

This adventure is designed to stimulate creativity with maximum engagement in target rich locations with lots of personal instruction and guidance.

Autumn in Romania with Daniel J. And Tanya Cox

Romania—it’s a land of intricately painted monasteries and the home of Dracula. It’s Belle Époque buildings and the Arc de Triumph in Bucharest. It’s pastoral countryside, Balkan cuisine, and the Carpathian Mountains. The brilliant fall foliage is the perfect backdrop for a wealth of castles, fortified churches, and centuries-old houses. Go back in time to the little villages in the countryside where horse and buggies are still a way of life.

Join us as we explore the many facets of Romania on this autumn excursion. We’ll follow Dracula’s trail and explore Romania’s history, culture, and scenic beauty.

Colorado Fall Colors with David and Jennifer Kingham

Colorado scenery is already a photographer’s dream, but add in the yellow, orange and red of the quaking aspens, you have a set up for scenes that are amazing to photograph. Fall in Colorado is one of the most exciting times during the year. The colors are changing, the mountain peaks usually get their first bit of snow, and the air is crisp. We will take you to some of Colorado’s most scenic areas to photograph, focusing on everything from the colors, to grand scenes and more intimate scenes. This is one of the most scenic areas in Colorado, commonly referred to as “the Switzerland of America.” We will be photographing sunsets and sunrises, along with other mountain and fall color scenes. We will show you how to capture this landscape of color in the various lighting conditions that mountains provide. We will visit some popular areas, along with some areas off the beaten path away from the crowds that we have explored and discovered ourselves over the years. Come along to photograph and experience the most colorful time of year in Colorado with us!

Colorado Fall with Dave Hutchison and Shane McDermott

VisionQuest Photography – Colorado Fall Colors

Join us this fall in Colorado for a magical foray into backcountry color and creativity. We’ll take you straight into the heart Colorado’s most spectacular scenery and into autumn’s transitional energy of release. We’ll use autumn’s energy and invitation of release to let go of creative blocks and allow new ways of seeing to emerge through the beauty of this season.

Expect to come away with glorious new images that fully reflect the astonishing beauty of all that you’ll see and feel in falls fleeting splendor. You’ll learn to effortlessly integrate new technical and artistic abilities into the fullness of your experience and creative intent.

This tour highlights two of the most remarkable fall color locations in Colorado. The San Juan National Forest and the Gunnison National Forest are both legendary locations for fall color photography.

For the first 3 days, we will head to Crested Butte and the Gunnison National Forest. From here, we have quick access to Gothic Peak, East River, Ohio Valley and the Kebler Pass area which offers dozens of wonderful locations. For the last 2 days, we will be situated out of Ridgway, Co which is a tremendous hub that allows us so many options for both sunrise, sunset, midday and starlight shooting. Some of our locations will include County roads 5.7.9, Owl Creek Pass, Last Dollar Road, Chimney Rock and many lesser known locations in the Mount Sneffels Wilderness area.

Although we will be visiting many beautiful locations, creative and artistic growth will be the priority and focus of this workshop.

Vancouver Island Coast with Dave Hutchison

The Port Renfrew area on Vancouver Island, BC Canada provides an excellent venue for a 4 day photography workshop. I will guide you through the “how to’s” to create images using long exposures, long lenses for landscapes, nightscapes, seascapes, forests, waterfalls and wildlife (when available). I have been to Port Renfrew over 25 times and have a very good knowledge of the area. We will create images in areas such as Botanical Beach (Botany Bay), Avatar Grove, Fairy Lake, Sombrio Beach (and canyon), Parkinson Beach, and few more.

I will also introduce you to “The Four Barriers of Creativity” developed by my workshop partner Shane McDermott. This particular workshop is lead by myself with only 6 participants ensuring ample one on one time.

A meeting space is also reserved for daily images reviews and critiques, as well as, live photo editing lessons from images I have taken during the workshop. This has proven to be a very valuable offering for participants.

The West Coast Trail Lodge will be our base for the 4 days, 3 nights workshop. All other details are listed on my web site.

Whales, Bears & More in Southeast Alaska with Wendy Shattil

The calm waters of southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage teem with captivating wildlife and breathtaking scenery. At this time of year humpback whales congregate in large numbers and may indulge in impressive bubble-net feeding, breaching, tail lobbing and other dramatic behaviors. We’ll travel from Sitka to Juneau, Alaska aboard the classic wooden boat, the M/V Westward, where you’ll have a front row seat for sea lion haul-outs, bald eagles and an ancient glacier with giant icebergs calving off its face. We’ll search for brown bears catching salmon, walk through lush and serene rainforests, explore the diversity of creatures in tide pools and skiff or kayak through the gentle waters, drifting quietly past hanging gardens and waterfalls.

Benefit from Wendy Shattil’s 30+ years of field experience as a professional wildlife and conservation photographer. The remote wilderness adventures we’ll encounter from our comfortable wandering home invite a tranquility of the soul. Expect to be stimulated by the quiet solitude and reminded of our place in nature. We’ll do our best to capture these feelings and experiences with our eyes and our cameras and learn the power of our own storytelling ability through compelling imagery.

Whatever your skill level, you will learn tips, techniques and strategies to create memorable images. In the comfort of the Westward’s salon we’ll project our images and review the day’s experiences in a friendly group setting. Rather than snapping pictures and hurrying to find the next encounter, we’ll take time to savor each moment. Every scene is constantly changing, each animal is an individual and every behavior has a purpose.

Alaska Glaciers with Michael DeYoung

Fully immerse yourself in an ultimate northern landscape photographic adventure exploring Southcentral Alaska’s shrinking glaciers up close and personal along with its rugged, coastal mountains and abundant waters. Led by travel and adventure photography team, Michael and Lauri DeYoung, one of Alaska’s most commercially successful outdoor photographers, this will be far from your average photo tour.

This tour includes landscape and marine wildlife opportunities in Southcentral Alaska, Prince William Sound, and the Kenai Peninsula. Timed to coincide with peak fireweed and other wildflower blooms, the tour consists of three flex days working the best of roadside available landscapes that include hiking to cool locations from road accessible trailheads. Four days, including an overnight wilderness camp, will be spent at off the highway locations, including two full-day boat tours and two full-day active tours that involve hiking and paddling in protected glacier lakes often choked with icebergs and hemmed in with stunning mountain scenery in verdant green landscapes.

Colorado Wildflowers with David and Jennifer Kingham

Summer in the high country of Colorado means gorgeous alpine views, snowmelt and with that, carpets of wildflowers. Wildflower season usually peaks near the end of July in the Colorado high country. Join us on a photographic adventure into the heart of alpine country! We will be based in the San Juan Mountains. Set among the peaks of the San Juans and old mining camps, the flower displays combined with blue alpine lakes are a photographer’s dream. We will spend four days adventuring in Jeeps to the wildflowers that are only accessible by 4×4. Waterfalls, fields of paintbrush flowers, and crystal clear alpine lakes left behind by the glaciers are just a few examples of what we will be photographing. Both of these areas are near and dear to our photographic hearts, and we have spent extensive time exploring, scouting, and photographing these places ourselves. If you’re looking for a summer photography adventure, join us in the high country of colorful Colorado!