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Sonepur Mela and Varanasi

Date TBC (7 day adventure training course)


Sonepur Mela is the largest Asian cattle fair, celebrated for a month following the full moon in October/November, is held annually 30km from Patna, in the northern area of Bihar, along the banks of the holy River Ganga/Ganges. The fair is important for Hindus and attracts visitors from all over India and the world. Devotees will bathe in the river near the Hariharnath temple, whilst tribesmen trade all types of cattle, dogs, birds and of course elephants, which are presented elaborately decorated.


Varanasi is the holiest of the seven cities; for Hindu’s there are four key places that form part of the cycle of birth and death, and if a Hindu dies in Varanasi, they achieve ‘moshka’ salvation, and so is an important city for pilgrims who bathe in along the banks of the holy River Ganga/Ganges. Families travel with loved one to be with them at the time of death and have their bodies cremated in special Ghats along the river before their ashes are set free in the river. Life and death exist side by side along the narrow busy streets, and along the river, people carry out their devotions, wash and carry out their daily routines.



Day 1 – Day 4

4 days in Sonepur Mela; staying in a local hotel, we spend each day photographing the fair, working in pairs. Opportunities to photograph pilgrims at the temple and river banks. Each evening we will meet to discuss the day, share images before having dinner together and conversation all things photography.

Day 5 

Travel as a group by car to Varanasi, evening to relax, have dinner and acclimatise to the city.

Day 6 – Day 7 

2 days in Varanasi; staying in a local hotel, we spend each day photographing the hustle of the streets, devotees along the river and the ceremonies taking place in the Ghats. Each evening we will meet for dinner and conversation all things photography and edit/share our day’s images.

What is included:

Any internal travel required related to the course

Each day we visit different locations as a group and each of these days is pre-planned by the tutor(s) enabling you to maximise your shooting, editing and learning time while in the country

Tuition and guidance on photography techniques and 'seeing' new images to capture

Critiquing of images including editing advice and guidance

Copy of our very own - Travel Photography Adventures travel guide for photographers worth £12.99 will give you lots of tips to help you get prepared

What is not included:

Flights, accommodation and food/drink, however - we do provide advice on this as it is nice for the whole group to stay in the same hotel at each stage of the course.

Travel insurance is your responsibility and you may be required to show us proof of this before embarking on the course.

Important information:

We adopt an immersive approach; from where we stay and eat to where we go out and shoot, so every aspect of the workshop is designed to focus on a shared photographic experience.

· Every day consists of shooting around a location with some targeted photographic elements and mini projects to explore, critique and technique, and then editing in the later part of the day/evening.

· As a team there is an agreement to share and discuss our images together in an open forum.

· The main focus is observational documentary street photography, but with elements of reportage and travel photography.

· Using some of our own images we will demonstrate the key technical elements of travel photography that make great exhibition/publication and competition winning images prior to first days shoot.

· Be prepared to be challenged, you will leave with new confidence and skills to continue with your photography.

· Using wide angle and wide prime lenses you will get up close to the action to photograph, no hiding behind long lenses! :-)

· Small group numbers mean we work in twos and can spend time with everyone over a day’s photography and can observe you and give immediate feedback as we photograph and you get to mix with everyone in the growth-learning from, inspiring each other to get better and better.

· Our knowledge of the locations, organisation of transport as needed as well as using areas within walking distance so that so we make the best use of our time

· The order of days may change due to events locally to make the best of each location


·Digital camera that you are familiar with using, a 35mm prime lens is recommended - please call / email us to discuss if you are unsure

·Laptop for downloading images and editing

·Software for editing – recommend Photo Mechanic, and Lightroom

·Smart phone with apps such as Google maps and WhatsApp (providing you have a smart phone we can explain the uses of these apps at the beginning of the course).

·An interest in all things photography and desire to improve your skills; this is a shared experience and we tend to eat and socialise together and it’s a great opportunity to discuss our passion and inspiration in photography and photographers

·Ready to step out of your comfort zone with support and encouragement

·Hotels, food and transport are locally sourced and provide an authentic experience, clean and comfortable, we tend to use simple and very affordable accommodation with this in mind.

·Comfortable walking shoes and be active and ready to enjoy and experience what this wonderful world has to offer.  Every day will involve a lot of walking with your camera.  Please call/email us if you would like to know more about this as some destinations are more challenging than others.

·Comprehensive health and travel insurance – Travel Photography Adventures are not responsible for personal accidents and health related issues during the workshop, although if such occur we will do our best to help out.

·Please always do your research before travelling to ensure that you are well-protected with vaccinations etc.  We recommend using this site as a starting point: and contact your GP for a travel clinic appointment in plenty of time before travelling

·Book your own flights to and from international workshops; we recommend arriving at least a day before and leave the day after the course ends

· Check your passport is valid and has at least six months validity left within it by the end of your trip, for some courses you will need a visa – check online for more travel requirements and information

· Local currency, food, drink and accommodation payable locally usually require cash payments



· Access to social media to join exclusive photography group online sharing information, both prior to, during and after the workshop

·Sense of humour and patience, you are sharing an experience as part of a team on this workshop, and be flexible sometimes we have to make changes or things just don’t go as expected - these adventures are well-planned yet sometimes adventures require 


Payment and cancellations:

·You can either pay in full directly through the website or you can request an invoice for a non-refundable £500 deposit.

· If you decide to pay a deposit first, full payment is needed 4 months prior to the start date of the course.

· Please note that for any international courses there will no refund available 4 months prior to course date.

· If the workshop is cancelled individual travel arrangements will not be refunded, you should claim from your travel insurance

· Prices are payable in UK pounds sterling.



For further information please contact us by email or phone.

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