Matt Brandon and myself are excited for our next workshop.  We announced Plateau Photo Tours annual Lhasa, Everest, Nepal Overland Tour and workshop a while back.  2012’s tour is rapidly filling up with only a few spots left! Last years tour was a ton of fun. We continue to call this trip a ‘bucket-list’ trip because, well, you’re going to see some amazing things!  If you are interested in what all the tour entails, please visit our Plateau Photo Tours website.

We will continue to post about the tour as it gets closer to the workshop date.  Nonetheless, I thought it would be interesting to post a few thoughts today from previous workshop participants.  I asked them to shoot from the hip and answer a few questions for us and tell about their experience on last years tour.

I was surprised by some of their responses!  Check it out our good friends Jere and Simon’s responses after the break…


What was your favorite part of the workshop?

Simon : “With such a rich trip it’s hard to whittle this down to one favourite thing. Driving up and over the the Pang La pass was definitely mind blowing. When the five highest peaks on earth suddenly come into view on a distant horizon, blue sky as the back drop, is probably the most awe inducing sight I’ve ever seen.  I have never been more moved by a view in my life. had to sneak off and hide my emotions!”

Jere : Everest for the first time will be remembered forever. I really did want to cry!”

What’s your favorite memory?

Simon : “Waking every morning somewhere new and exciting and being truly excited for what that day was holding –knowing that day’s new experiences were going to be like nothing I’d ever experienced before in my life!

Jere : “Too many to name one!  Here are a few:  Yak Burgers, Thamel, Standing at Everest Base Camp, staring at the North Face of Everest, Incredible Staff and teachers, The dedication of the pilgrims, the barren beauty of the Tibetan landscape, So many steps, So little air…

What were your impressions on the culture?

Simon : “I love the simplicity and passion of the Tibetan people. Colorful, full of humour, hospitality and inquisitiveness. The way the traditional culture is alive amongst the new influences is fascinating and admirable.

Jere : “The dedication of the pilgrims impacted me– what makes them tick?!

How were the staff and instructors?

Simon : “I learned more in my time with these boys , than my years fiddling with photography. they have a top repor with each other. Informal, yet very professional. which made me relax and enjoy all moments from the mechanical, practical side of photography to the interaction with the local people and culture. with the added bonus of always walking away laughing my head off !

Jere : “You guys put together an incredible staff and teachers. I can’t imagine a more knowledgeable and caring group for a trip like this. It all seemed seamless though I know it wasn’t. Because of the staff we were able to move beyond the tourist thing to really get involved with the people and culture. I really appreciated the commitment to using Tibetan businesses whenever possible.

Photographically, what was the most helpful part of the trip?  What did you learn?

Simon : “Again there is so much to say here. The most important thing for me was to understand and learn how to approach local people, so as to capture natural and beautiful portraits. My own approach didn’t work and I got frustrated.  The boys from Plateau Photo Tours showed me how to go about this with simple techniques and respect. I now have such rich images that I never imagined I would ever capture.”

Jere : “I learned that my vision is mine. Initially it was “boy I wish I’d shot that.” In the end it was ” Hoow could I have made my picture better?” Not trying to ‘be’ someone else.

I was clearly out of my element in photographing a foreign culture. I also knew that in order to take better pictures I’d have to be more involved with the culture, the land, and the people.  This trip allowed me to develop as a photographer in that regard. If I were to lay out images on a timeline you’d see the improvement over the length of the trip. It’s difficult to connect to your subjects when you have no common language. This trip taught me how to functions as a photographer who is a stranger in a strange land.

Would you recommend this trip to others?

Simon : “Yes and yes again. This workshop works.  I keep saying to others that you will walk away from this trip fully satisfied, unbounded new knowledge and with memories that will not fade. You will be challenged to find another outfit that will take you and get you into places that these lot know and have access to. An absolutely fantastic unique experience. Thank you Plateau Photo Tours!!  You aint seen the last of me !!

Jere : “I couldn’t have imagined a better trip before I started. It was more than than I could ever ave hoped for.  It’s the trip of a lifetime. This s a trip everyone should take.

Needless to say, we all had a great time.  We at Plateau Photo Tours love providing opportunities like this.  You can see some of the work from Jere and Simon during last years workshop at the following links: