"Good travel photography is all about conveying your emotional response to being some place new"

SISSE BRIMBERG

EXPLORE

This workshop offers the rare opportunity to explore and photograph the ultimate bucket list: A string of famous and exotic locations – historical, spiritual and natural – all in one trip. We begin our journey in the picturesque capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, visiting some of the seven architectural treasures designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, among them the famous 5th century Hindu Pashupatinath Temple, the Buddhist Stupa of Boudhanath and the colourful Ason Market. From there, we fly on to Tibet, entering the spiritual world of Tibetan buddhism as we explore and photograph the famous Potala Palace in Lhasa, the historical monasteries bustling with the daily rituals of monks, and ancient printing temples. As we continue our journey to Gyantse and Shegar, we shall have the opportunity to photograph stunning sceneries of heavenly lakes, soaring mountains and ancient forts. From Shegar we take the arduous drive to Mt. Everest Base Camp and the jaw-dropping view of the very top of the world. Finally, we make our way to Shigatse, the second-largest town in Tibet.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Kathmandu Valley treasures and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the hindu Pashupatinath Temple, the massive Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath and the beautiful Patan Durbar Square.
  • Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, where spiritual and secular life exist side by side.
  • The Potala Palace – the winter residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and also a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site.
  • Tibetan buddhist monasteries.
  • The traditional printing temple of the Sera Monastery.
  • Spectacular mountainous landscapes and heavenly lakes.
  • Mount Everest Base Camp, Tibet.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

Learn how to approach the unique challenges of travel and landscape photography, how to capture candid moments and portraits and how to capture spaciousness, dynamic energy and the simplicity of natural landscape photography.

ON LOCATION

  • Teaching and training in the best techniques with personal hints and advices.
  • Composition and focus on lines, golden section, perspective, foreground, middle ground and background.
  • 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.

IN CLASSROOM

  • Expert review and constructive criticism of the images taken during the day.
  • Portfolio Review.

 


ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVAL KATHMANDU

Arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) just 6 km from Kathmandu in Nepal and transfer to hotel. Tonight we meet for a group dinner followed by a talk about the itinerary for the following days.

Day 2: KATHMANDU VALLEY

Today we visit some of the architectural treasures included in the seven monument groups in UNESCO’s designation of Kathmandu Valley as a Cultural Heritage Site: The famous 5th century Pashupatinath Temple, an extensive Hindu temple complex raised over the centuries along the banks of the sacred Bagmati River. The Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath with its massive mandala, making it one of the largest spherical stupas in Nepal. And the photogenic Patan Durbar Square, a marvel of Newar architecture with an ancient royal palace and many temples and idols in the area.

In the evening there will be a joint dinner and lecture on “A life with National Geographic” by Sisse.

Day 3: KATHMANDU VALLEY

Today we continue to explore the treasures of the Kathmandu Valley, visiting the Bhaktapur Durbar Square 13 km east of Kathmandu and the ancient Hindu temple of Changu Narayan, located on a high hilltop next to the Manahara River. This shrine is dedicated to lord Visnu and considered to be the oldest temple in the history of Nepal.

Day 4: KATHMANDU

This morning we walk through the charming and bustling Asan Bazaar that attracts shoppers from all over because of the tremendous variety of merchandise sold here, ranging from foodstuffs, spices and textiles to electronics and bullion. From there we visit the Kathmandu Durbar Square with its royal palace and the Swayambhunaths – an ancient religious architecture atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley and one of the most sacred among Buddhist pilgrimage sites.

Day 5: KATHMANDU TO LHASA

Morning flight to Lhasa. The rest of the day is free to rest and acclimatise. At an altitude of 3,490 metres (11,450 ft), Lhasa is one of the highest cities in the world.

Day 6: LHASA

In the morning, we visit the most famous landmark and political center of Tibet, the Potala Palace. The approach to the Potala requires climbing many steep steps, so we take it slowly. Once inside we explore the many rooms with their beautiful murals and sculptures.

After lunch, we take a short drive to the Sera Monastery on the outskirts of Lhasa. Here we will have a chance to mingle freely with the monks and print our own sutra texts on traditional long paper. In the debating courtyard we will witness the monks honing their debating skills in an elaborate clapping ceremony. After dinner, workshop on today’s photography.

Day 7: LHASA

We join the pilgrims flocking to Jokhang Monastery this morning, to visit the spiritual center of Tibet. Said to be built over the heart of an evil goddess, the Jokhang is the hub of concentric circles of monasteries emanating out of Lhasa.

After lunch, we walk over to Drepung Monastery with its enormous hall holding thousands of silk-bound scriptures, and we experience thousands of lamas chanting en masse. In the evening, we meet for Sisse’s entertaining lecture and mini-workshop on photographing for National Geographic.

Day 8: LHASA TO GYANTSE

This morning we leave Lhasa to drive to Gyantse, stopping for lunch at the holy lake of Yamdrok Tso (4408 m) with its turquoise water and snowcovered peaks (over 7,000 m) in the distance. Gyantse is a laid-back, attractive town with a splendid view of the Kumbum Stupa, consisting of 8 levels and containing 75 chapels with wonderful murals revered by art scholars around the world.

Day 9: GYANTSE TO SHEGAR

The old fort, Shegar Dzong, towers above Gyantse and offers amazing views of the surrounding valley. We photograph the fortress at sunrise. Later, we will drive from Gyantse to Shegar, visiting  Xialu Monastery, built in 1000 AD, on the way. This evening, Christian Nørgaard will give a lecture “Exploring Mt. Everest through the times”.

Day 10: MT. EVEREST BASE CAMP

Although there is only 100 km from Shegar to Mt. Everest Base Camp (5,200 m), it takes about four hours to get there, as the winding roads demand caution. But the views are stupendous on a clear day, featuring a huge sweep of the Himalaya range including peaks over 8000: Makalu, Lhotse, Everest, Gyachung and Cho Oyu. When we finally get to Base Camp, the first sight of the mighty Everest is breathtaking. Tonight, Sisse will focus on your best shots so far.

Day 11: SHEGAR TO SHIGATSE

Today, we drive to Shigatse (3900 m), the second largest town in Tibet and the traditional capital of the Tsang. On the way, we visit Sakya Monastery, built in 1037 AD as the first monastery of the Sakya Order. We then visit the Grand Hall of Tashilhumo Monastery, the seat of the Panchen Lama. The monastery houses a giant statue of the Maitreya Buddha and a tomb of the 4th Panchen Lama containing masses of jewels and gold.

Day 12: SHIGATSE TO LHASA

This morning we photograph the Tashilhumo Monastery before driving back to Lhasa. This afternoon we spend leisurely exploring Barkhor Street. Farewell dinner tonight.

Day 13: LHASA TO Kathmandu

Morning photography before we fly back to Kathmandu for your international flights back home.

We can arrange extra hotels in Kathmandu and Lhasa on request.

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THE HIDDEN TREASURE

TIBET AND MOUNT EVEREST BASE CAMP

November 18 – November 30, 2018

13 days

CHRISTIAN NØRGAARD

Christian Nørgaard is the founder and CEO of Better Moments. For years he has photographed and traveled extensively in Asia and has received wide acclaim for his unique photographic talent. In recent years he has also collaborated with Steve McCurry and other National Geographic’s leading photographers for exhibitions and events. His workshops in Burma and India are unique opportunities for any photographer to combine adventure, travel and reportage photography and to work with one of the best in the field.

SISSE BRIMBERG

Sisse Brimberg is a highly experienced photographer who has photographed over fifty stories for National Geographic Magazine and National Geographic Traveler ranging from the far corners of Japan’s paper industry to northern Europe’s Viking culture. Her work is exhibited around the world.

TRAVEL WITH THE BEST

 

SEE ALL EXPERTS

OVERVIEW

Number of guests: 8-14

Local transport: Private vehicle, plane
VISA for Tibet. On our first day in Kathmandu, Nepal, our local guide will apply for visas to enter Tibet on behalf of the whole group.

Exertion level: Easy
Elevation: Up to 5000 meters. People with health issues should consult their doctor before travelling.

Accommodation: Hotels
Meals: All meals included
Type of photography: Travel & Landscape

PRICE

€5,250 per person in double room.
€5,645 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:
Flight from Kathmandu (Nepal) to Lhasa (Tibet).
Domestic flights and airport taxes.
Group land transfers for whole trip.
Hotel accommodation and all meals.
Coaching, teaching, workshops and seminars with Sisse Brimberg and Christian Nørgaard.
All admissions and activity expenses.

Excludes:

Visa Tibet € 120 per person.
Visa Nepal € 25.
Discretionary gratuities for drivers, local guides, hotel porter .
All performance, model fee and hotel porter fee .
Alcoholic beverages.

QUICK GUIDE

GETTING THERE

Better Moments can make your bookings for flights to and from Nepal as well as additional overnight stays.


VISA

All visitors are required to have a passport valid for at least six months beyond the intended stay. It is the responsibility of each traveller to obtain all valid travel documents and visas before arrival at this destination. On our first day in Kathmandu, Nepal, our local guide will apply for visas to enter Tibet on behalf of the whole group.


WEATHER

Pack for all seasons. Layers are a good idea. Kathmandu Valley is in the warm temperate zone where the climate is fairly temperate with cooler nights. In Tibet, the weather is highly unpredictable, and three to four seasons could appear within a span of 24 hours. Hail and snow over the high mountain passes is not uncommon and it will be cold at Mount Everest North Base Camp in Tibet at 5,150 metres.


RELIGION

Religion is extremely important to the majority of Nepalese and Tibetans, and travellers should endeavour to respect their customs and beliefs. Always walk around Tibetan Buddhist religious sites or monasteries in a clockwise direction, and when in a monastery do not wear a hat, smoke or touch frescoes. In addition, refrain from climbing onto statues, mani stones or other sacred objects.


LANGUAGE

In Kathmandu the major languages are Nepali and Nepal Bhasa, while English is understood by many. In Tibet, the main language spoken is the Tibetan language. Other languages like Mandarin and English are also used in the tourism industry.


HEALTH

Check with your doctor which vaccinations or medications are recommended for this destination. Remember to plan well ahead with vaccinations. Allow up to six weeks to receive the full course, as some vaccinations require more than one dose, and some should not be given together.

Because of the elevation, the sun is going to be very strong. Bring and use sunscreen. Also bring warm close for bad weather.


CURRENCY

Nepalese rupee (Nepal) and Chinese Yuan (Tibet)


QUICK GUIDE

The capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu, lies in the Kathmandu Valley at an elevation of approximately 1,400 metres (4,600 feet) above sea level. It is the largest metropolis in Nepal, with a population of 1.5 million. It has a multiethnic population within a Hindu and Buddhist majority.

The Tibet Autonomous Region, called Tibet for short, is an autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China,  formally established in 1965 and located on the Tibetan Plateau. The area is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpa, Qiang, and Lhoba peoples and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han Chinese and Hui people. Tibet is the highest region on Earth, with an average elevation of 4,900 metres. The highest elevation in Tibet is Mount Everest, on the border with Nepal, rising 8,848 m above sea level.

The Mt. Everest North Base Camp in Tibet lies at an elevation of 5,150 metres.

Working together with Better Moments For the past 15 years Sisse Brimberg has spent part of the year travelling to remote and exotic locations shooting for National Geographic Traveler and teaching photography.

She has also worked closely with Better Moments on our exclusive photo workshop program to Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal, one of the most desirable regions to visit today for photographers and film makers. The culture is rich, colourful and deeply spiritual. The landscapes are unique and beautiful, and the people are open and genuinely welcome you with a smile.