“There will always be that one person in the group who thinks they know more than you do about photography, and they’ll be an absolute pain in the arse.”
Such is the advice I’ve been given as I prepare, for the first time, to lead a couple of photography tours overseas in 2024.
Early this year, I was approached by a boutique tour company out of Sydney – Crooked Compass – to see if I’d be interested in escorting photography tours into the South Pacific and beyond. Small groups, 8-10 people – “photography enthusiasts,” we’d call them to ensure all the bases were covered. While Crooked Compass would ensure the guests were comfortable and got to where they wanted, my role was to make sure the photographers in the group had the chance to capture the best of what could be shot, that I’d be on hand to give them some helpful advice about photography if they needed it, and that they would return with “that one photograph” to proudly mount somewhere in their house to remind them of their incredible holiday.
Both tours, in my view, offer an exceptional experience to visit and photograph the very best of what India and PNG have to offer.
The India tour centres around visiting the highlights of Rajasthan – the coloured cities, the temples and the fortresses – at the time of the richest and most colourful cultural festival of the Hindu calendar – Holi Week (that’s the one where brightly coloured powders are thrown around to celebrate Krishna and the triumph of good over evil). Surely, if you’re planning to visit India with a camera (and a protective housing), there can’t be a better time to go. Add to it that all your transport, accommodation and meals are taken care of, that we’ve planned for a couple of special opportunities for photographers, and that the weather is at its most pleasant – and we’re all off on a seriously memorable adventure.
For the PNG tour, well, I’ve photographed the highlands of PNG and the Sepik many times so I know this is an exceptional experience for any photographer. The Sing-Sings and costumes, the ancient spirit houses, the opportunities to capture this amazing tribal culture before it disappears. And the Sing-Sings we’re attending are my favourites (and I’ve done a few) as they’re intimate enough that you can get up-close-and-personal with the performers and run amok with your camera. In short, I can’t think of a better introduction for a photographer to witness the rich and vibrant tribal culture of PNG.
In some ways, me taking photography tours is a logical extension of my journey as a photographer – I’m just sharing what I’ve learned over more than 30 years with other photographers, which I’ve always enjoyed. And I like the idea of passing on the knowledge I’ve accumulated to help other photographers grow. I also happen to believe that while there’s a plethora of books and on-line training programs to learn about photography, personalised tuition from someone who can see where you’re at and where you want to get to is the fastest – certainly the most enjoyable – way I know to improve your photography.
…. And I’m not really worried about that one person who knows it all, figuring we’ll lose him/her at the first rock face 😉.
If you’re interested in reading more about the tours to India or PNG, click on either of the screen shots above or visit Crooked Compass’s web site at https://www.crooked-compass.com