"If you want to do people shots, Bhutan is the place to go to."

SISSE BRIMBERG, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHER

EXPLORE

Bhutan is the Land of the Thunder Dragon. Tucked away in the Eastern Himalayas, which represent nothing less than the crowning pinnacle of nature’s grandeur. It is a country filled with myths and legends. Buddhism permeates every aspect of daily life, hidden valleys shelter exquisite age-old temples and monasteries, and the king decrees “Gross National Happiness” as the standard by which to measure the country’s wealth.

This workshop is an unique opportunity to travel with one of National Geographic’s star photographers, Sisse Brimberg.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tours around the city of Paro with many opportunities for magnificent portrait and travel photography
  • Photography in the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu, where tradition and modernity exist side by side
  • Bus ride to Punakha with several stops on the way to shoot landscape photos of the Himalayas
  • Visit the impressive monasteries Punakha Dzong and Trongsa Dzong, which is glued to the mountain wall
  • Workshops and private lessons with Sisse.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

 

ON LOCATION

  • Teaching and training in the best techniques and personal hints and advises
  • Composition and focus on lines, golden section, perspective, foreground.
  • Work in different lighting and with short/long exposure times and aperture
  • How to handle equipment with care on location
  • Private hands-on lessons that can help to take your photography skills to the next level
  • How to approach local people in natural way
  • The secret behind the travel and reportage photography

IN CLASSROOM

  • Expert review and constructive criticism of the images taken during the day
  • Digital workflow
  • How to create a narrative for a book and exhibition
  • Portfolio Review

 


ITINERARY

Careful preservation of culture and environment has given the kingdom of Bhutan it’s nickname “the last place on the roof of the world.” If you want to visit a land rich in cultural heritage and natural wildlife when you travel, Bhutan is the place to go.

DAY 1: PARO – THIMPHU (ALTITUDE 2,350 M)

From Thimphu airport where we will pick you up, we follow a scenic route to the capital Thimphu. Along the way there will be occasional stops for landscape and portrait photography. We check-in at our hotel and spend the rest of the day in Thimphu. After dinner, we spend a few hours talking about today’s photography. In the evening there will be a joint dinner and lecture on “A life with national Geographic” by Sisse.

DAY 2: THIMPHU

We will spend our day in the capital Thimphu, where tradition and modernity meet. Thimphu is a fascinating and different capital. Here you will only find low-rise buildings, little traffic and no traffic lights. After dinner, workshop on today’s photography.

DAY 3: THIMPHU – PUNAKHA (ALTITUDE 1,350 M)

We go by 4X4 bus through the lush valley taking several photo stops along the way, so you can take shots of the 7,000 m high Himalaya Mountains. In Punakha, we visit one of the country’s most impressive monasteries, the Punakha Dzong, from the 16th century. Then we cross Bhutan’s longest suspension bridge on foot (100 m). In the evening, we meet for Sisse’s entertaining lecture and mini-workshop on photographing for National Geographic.

DAY 4: PUNAKHA

Today we will explore Punakha valley and visit Punakha Dzong – a huge temple buildt in the middle of two rivers. The Punakha Dzong is one of the oldest temple in Bhutan. During the day, there will be personal one-to-one workshops with Sisse.

DAY 5: PUNKHA TO PARO

We leave early heading towards Paro through out breath taking landscape with several stops along the way. In the afternoon we will visit the Dzong in Paro, that stands on the hill overlooking the valley of Paro. Sisse will tonight have focus on your best shots so far.

DAY 6: PARO (ALTITUDE 2,250 M)

We start the day early at scenary and historical ruins of the fort, Drukgyal Dzong. At the oldest temple in Bhutan known as Kyichu Lhakhang we will focus on portrait photography of the many monks. After dinner at the hotel we will enjoy an easy evening since we will have a busy next day.

DAY 7: TIGER’S NEST – PARO (ALTITUDE 2,250 M)

After breakfast, we drive up to Ramthangkha (10 km from Paro). From here, we (slowly) walk up the 3,100 meters to the famous monastery Tiger’s Nest. The monastery is situated on a ledge overlooking the Paro Valley. We return to Paro in the afternoon. Farewell dinner at the hotel.

DAY 8: DEPARTURE

We leave Bhutan and fly home.

map-BHUTAN-485x485

BHUTAN

LAND OF THE THUNDER DRAGON

October 28 – 4 November, 2017

8 days

Explore the secluded kingdom of Bhutan and experience the compelling atmosphere of the kingdom’s age-old monastaries and hidden valleys

SISSE BRIMBERG

TRAVEL WITH THE BEST

Bhutan expert Sisse Brimberg have photographed more than 50 stories for National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines. She has spent most of her career working in Asia, Europe, shooting stories from the Arctic and Scandinavia to Italy and France. Sisse have been awarded prizes by Pictures of the Year International, the National Press Photographers Association, White House Press Photographers Association, and Communication.

SEE ALL EXPERTS

OVERVIEW

Number of guests: 8-12

Local transport: 4×4 bus
Exertion level: Moderate
Accommodation: Hotels 
Meals: All meals included
Type of photography: Landscape, portrait, and travel
Weather in October: Min 1°C , Max 14°C.

PRICE
€4,495 per person in shared double room.
€4,795 per person in single room.

Groups
If you sign-up a group of 4+ participants you will receive a discount based on the size of your group.

Includes:

Hotel accommodation
All meals and non-alcoholic beverages
Ground transport
Coaching, teaching, workshops, and seminars with Sisse
Original image from the tour signed by Sisse (Limited edition)

 Excludes:

Transport to/from Bhutan
Visaand taxes to Bhutan
Alcoholic beverages
Travel insurance

Travel with National Geographic

I have photographed since my childhood when I got my first camera from my father – ever since it has been my great passion to travel and photograph. It has been an eye-opener to see the others participants pictures. We have been in the same places, but we have not a single image which is the same – we all have our own unique way to see and photograph the experiences of each day. It has been a unique experience to travel with Better Moments and learn from one of National Geographic’s most experienced photographers Sisse Brimberg.

Jishnu Changkakoti, India

QUICK GUIDE

GETTING THERE

Paro Airport is the only international airport in Bhutan. The airport is located 6 km from Paro in a deep valley on the bank of the river Paro Chhu at an elevation of 2,200 m. Drukair, the Royal Bhutan Airline, is the national airline of the Kingdom of Bhutan. The schedule changes by season, but normally there are three flights per week from New Delhi and a daily flight from Bangkok.


VISA

All applications for tourist visas must be initiated by a Bhutanese tour operator. After checking that the trip has been paid, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thimphu issues an approval letter to the tour operator. The tour operator then makes a final application to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When the visa clearance is issued a visa confirmation number is sent to the tour operator and to Druk Air. Upon arrival in Bhutan, the visa officer will produce the approval form from the file, and the visa will be issued on the spot.


WEATHER

The climate varies widely depending on the elevation. In the southern border areas it is tropical; at the other extreme, in the high Himalayan regions, there is perpetual snow. In Paro the temperature ranges from -5°C in January to 30°C in July, with 800mm of rain.
The ideal time for trekking and for traveling throughout the country is autumn, from late September to late November, when skies are generally clear and the high mountain peaks rise to a vivid blue sky. 


LANGUAGE

Dzongkha is the official language. English has been the language of education since 1964, but there is growing emphasis on learning Dzongkha to strengthen national identity.


CURRENCY

The Bhutanese monetary unit is the Ngultrum (BTN)


QUICK GUIDE

  • Tongsa Dzong in central Bhutan, is the ancestral home of the Royal family. It commands a superb views of the valley. Explore the holy sites of Bumthang, the country’s cultural and religious heartland.
  • Visit the National Library in Thimphu to gaze at holy books and scriptures and the National Museum of Bhutan in Paro, located in the Watchtower, where weapons, antiques, mammals and Bhutanese artifacts are all on display.
  • There are numerous Buddhist festivals in Bhutan: a riot of masks, dancing and rituals, which generally centre on Dzongs (fortresses) in cobbled courtyards. Monks recount Buddhist history and myths through religious or folk dances.
  • Trekking around the valleys and the mountain gorges presents breathtaking sceneries. The high altitude Snowman Trek (25 days) is arduous, but in Bumthang, visitors can join four to seven day cultural tours through the villages.