NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Portland, OR, United States, 2013/10/18 - Australian photographer David Lazar, a National Geographic contributor and winner of the 2012 Smithsonian Award for Travel Photography, has teamed with Luminous Journeys to design and lead two signature photo tours through Myanmar / Burma in 2014.
The first offering, Myanmar's Golden Hour - Portraits and Landscapes, runs from February 26th to March 11th. The tour also features multi-award winning landscape photographer and Burma native, Aung P. Soe. Among other things, the 2010 Hasselblad Masters public vote winner will share his techniques using different long exposure and filter combinations.
To add a valuable, more traditional workshop aspect to the tour, David Lazar has graciously offered to teach his masterful Photoshop techniques to those interested. The focus will be on giving images that gorgeous professional pop, without appearing over processed.
"We knew from the beginning we wanted to offer high concept photo tours at an affordable price,", said Luminous Journeys' general manager, Bennett Stevens. "Great talent isn't always famous, and famous talent isn't always great. We wanted to work with great young photographers on the rise, who were still hungry and passionate. We feel very fortunate to have found David Lazar and Aung P. Soe."
All Luminous Journeys' photography tours offer an extra adventure component, in addition to Myanmar's spectacular iconic destinations. For Myanmar's Golden Hour, this adventure is the high wire rail journey from the former British hill station of Maymyo (now called Pyin Oo Lwin) that winds up the mountains east of Mandalay to cross the deep river gorge spanned by the Gokteik Viaduct. Built in 1901, the Gokteik is still the second highest railway trestle on earth. The train continues to the picturesque hamlet of Hsipaw, with its 19th century charm and abundant photo opportunities.
Other extra adventure components include little visited hill tribes and rice terraces of The Golden Triangle; special permit mountain trekking into remote Chin State to document the vanishing tattoo tribes; heading north to photograph the rich biodiversity of the Eastern Himalaya, (on average 30 new species of flora and fauna are discovered there each year); Monywa on the Irrawaddy to count it's 500,000 Buddhas; and the 800 man-made, 14th to 18th century caves at Po Win Daung, which are among the best preserved Buddhist mural paintings in the world.
Myanmar's great iconic destinations are always on the itinerary as well, with emphasis on making images that stand out from the crowd. The Big Four as they have been dubbed, are comprised of Yangon and the towering 2,500 year old Shwedagon Pagoda, the 4,000 ancient temples of Bagan, the historical richness of the Mandalay array, and the floating gardens and villages of Inle Lake.
The Rise of the Photo Vacation
With the sharp rise in popularity of photography over the last decade or more, photography learning tours, or photo vacations, have become increasingly popular as well. This once very exclusive niche market dominated by world famous photographers like Steve McCurry and a handful of others charging $850 to $1,000 per person per day, has seen a lot more competition enter the marketplace in recent years. It's still niche, but not nearly as exclusive.
"In researching the market in 2011 for the more exotic photography destinations in Asia, we were amazed at the profit margins, even at the second tier", said Stevens. We knew there was a way to price ourselves well beneath the competition, even at the luxury level, while at the same time offering a richer and more meaningful photography tour experience."
Philip Coggan, a former Charge d' affaires at the Australian Embassy in Rangoon, is quoted on the company website.
"...I cannot thank Luminous Journeys enough for so graciously lighting the way into places I only thought I knew."
The yet to be announced second David Lazar photo tour is tentatively scheduled for the first two weeks in December 2014. Look for an update about the same time this December, and expect something that's never been done before.