The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ 2017 & 2018

Kerala, India, Nov. 2017 &  March 2018

Street Photography Workshop in Kerala, South India: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. Children play in the shallows of the Arabian Sea on Fort Kochi beach, in Kochi, Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Travel Photography Workshop Kerala, South India: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. A passenger ferry on the Backwaters of Kerala in the early morning light, in Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Best Street Photography Workshop Kerala, South India: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. Silhouette of a woman walking past crumbling colonial-era buildings in Kochi, Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala, India, with Dariusz Klemens. A group of Hindu pilgrims gather on a beach on the Malabar Coast at dusk, in Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Best Landscape Photography Workshop in Kerala, South India: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. Mist shrounds the tropical forests of the Western Ghats, in Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. Two schoolgirls open the gates to a Catholic school in Fort Kochi, Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala: The Pepper Coast Phtotography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. Children play in the waves of the Arabian Sea at sunset on Fort Kochi beach, in Kochi, Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Best Street Photography Workshop Kerala: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel & Environmental Portrait Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. Portrait of two young Muslim girls in Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Travel Photography Workshop Kerala, South India: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. A fisherman throws his net by a waterfall, in the Western Ghats of Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Travel Photography Workshop Kerala, South India: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. Tea pickers at work on the tea estates of the Western Ghats, in Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Best Photography Workshop Kerala, South India: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. Portraits of Che Guevara adorn the walls of the Communist Party office, in Kochi, Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Best Photography Workshop Kerala, South India: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. A Catholic procession on Vypeen Island, in Kochi, Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Best Street Photography Workshop Kerala, South India: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. Two schoolgirls in uniform stand in front of Santa Cruz Basilica, in Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Best Travel Photography Workshops Kerala, South India: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. Hindu priests await the arrival of pilgrims at dawn. on a sacred beach on the Malabar Coast of Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Best Landscape Photography Workshop Kerala, South India: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. A horse grazes in a clearing amongst tea plantations in the Western Ghats, in Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Best Street Photography Workshop Kerala, South India: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. Hindu women and children carrying oil lamps gather for a temple festival. in Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Best Street Photography Workshop Kerala, South India: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. A woman prays in front of a shrine to St. Francis, in Munnar, Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Best Landscape Photography Workshop Kerala, South India: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel & Landscape Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. Mist shrouds a patch of tropical forest at dawn, in the Western Ghats of Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Best Landscape Photography Workshop Kerala, South India: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel & Landscape Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. Silhouettes palm trees and fishermen on their boats at dawn on the Backwaters of Kerala, in South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Best Street Photography Workshop Kerala, South India: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Specialist Travel Photography Workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens. Drummers open a Hindu temple festival, in Kerala, South India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens

A Unique Photographic Journey into the Tropical Heart of South India

A spectacular journey encompassing landscape, people, and wildlife photography, the Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ takes us to the extreme south-west of the Indian peninsula, to a region famed for its luxuriant flora that has been for centuries at the heart of the spice trade.


EXPEDITION’S OUTLINE

Unique on the subcontinent for the wealth of its natural resources, the state of Kerala is bordered by the tropical forests of the Western Ghats Mountains on the east, and the Indian Ocean on the west, where the shores of the Malabar Coast stretch for over 500 km along the azure waters of the Arabian Sea.

Here, a combination of humid equatorial tropical climate and unique geographical features creates a remarkable variety of ecosystems with exceptional concentrations of plants and animal species that make Kerala one of the world’s richest biodiversity areas.

The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition -Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - The early morning light breaks through a palm grove in the Malabar region of Kerala, India - © Dariusz Klemens

Cloaked by lush tropical vegetation, ‘Malabar’, as the region has been known historically, harbours, just in the Western Ghats, 27% of India’s plant species, 1800 of which are native to here.

Amongst them, a slender vine that thrives in the undergrowth of the monsoon forests, bears a fruit so desirable that in its pursuit, thousands of unimaginably long voyages have been launched: black pepper – the undisputed ‘King of Spices’.

Home to the world’s most traded spice, as well as 1600 species of plants that are found nowhere else in the world, Kerala is a tropical heaven with an intriguing history forged by an age-old tradition of contact with the rest of the globe, that offers superbly varied photographic opportunities.

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - A Hindu priest lights votive lamps during a temple festival in Kerala, India. © Dariusz Klemens

From the emerald green of the Cardamom Hills, to the shimmering waterways of the Backwaters; from tropical forests, to ancient rituals and colonial architecture, Kerala is a singularly beautiful land, with a vibrant, cosmopolitan culture shaped by millennia of international trade and the multicultural links that grew alongside it.

It is this rich tapestry of sheer natural splendour and cosmopolitanism that forms the subject of the Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™.

CONTEXT & OPPORTUNITIES

Black Gold

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - A woman empties a sack of pepper in a pepper warehouse, in the Spice Quarter of the town of Kochi (Cochin) - © Dariusz Klemens

One the oldest articles of commerce known to man, true pepper, as black pepper is also known, has been shipped from one end of the Earth to the other since antiquity, creating one of the first and most enduring links between Asia and Europe and, according to some, giving birth to the modern age of global trade.

It was a voracious appetite for this ‘black gold’ and the vast profits that came with its trade that triggered the earliest voyages of the Age of Discovery, and the global mapping of the world that came in their wake.

The most exceptional and historically significant of the spices, Piper nigrum  (‘black pepper’ as the Romans knew it) is indigenous to the jungles of the Western Ghats, where an even balance of light, warmth, and humidity promotes the pungent, biting flavour that, according to connoisseurs, makes it the finest pepper in the world.

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - A spice trader in Kochi (Cochin), Kerala, India - © Dariusz Klemens

The keystone of Malabar’s wealth since 3000 B.C., pepper travelled from here, together with cardamom, cinnamon, sandalwood, sesame, turmeric, and a whole host of luxury items that could only be paid for in gold, on the longest trade route of the ancient world, over a vast network of sea and land routes that connected China with the Mediterranean.

In antiquity, much like now, black pepper began its long journey from the jungles of the Ghats. From here, it was transported down the foothills and punted over the rivers and lakes of the Backwaters that maze across the plains, to the ports of the Malabar Coast for onward travel.

Shadowing the route of pepper from mountains to sea, the expedition’s itinerary traverses extremely varied environments, offering opportunities across very diverse subjects, and providing an extensive panorama of a remarkable land.

THE PEPPER COAST

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - Palm trees line the Malabar shoreline, in Kerala, India. © Dariusz Klemens

Since ancient times, the richness of Kerala’s flora has marked its history, inextricably linking its fortunes to the spice trade.

In antiquity, the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, the Romans, and the Arabs undertook fabulously adventurous journeys to Malabar to acquire the spices – above all, black pepper – that grow here.

Such was the allure of these aromatics, that the exploitation of the monsoon winds for navigation was developed in response to the need to transport them.

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala, India, with Dariusz Klemens - Fishermen prepare to push out to sea on their fishing boat, at sunset, in Kerala, India. © Dariusz Klemens

Lying mid-way between the ancient ports of Rome and China, and as the first region of the Indian peninsula to receive the southwest monsoon winds, Malabar was ideally placed for the production and distribution of spices.

In 1498, five years after Columbus failed to discover ‘the Indies’, the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama succeeded in rediscovering the ancient sea route from the east coast of Africa to the southern-west tip of India and landed on the Malabar Coast to establish the first European settlement in India.

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - A young girl plays along the shore of the Arabian Sea, in Kerala, India. © Dariusz Klemens

In the days of Empire, after the Portuguese, it would be the turn of the Dutch, and then the British to fight for control of the spice trade.

Dubbed ‘The Pepper Coast’ by the Arab traders who, for a time, dominated this lucrative commerce across the Indian Ocean, present-day Kerala remains at the heart of the global spice trade and is still commonly referred to as ‘The Spice Garden of India’.

Over time, the customs of the spice-seekers who reached this region merged with indigenous local traditions, giving rise to a singularly diverse culture, which sets Kerala apart from any other Indian state.

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - Three young girls on the beach, in Kerala, India. © Dariusz Klemens

In photographic terms, the expedition centres on diversity and entwines a unique range of photographic opportunities.

The itinerary traverses Kerala’s three main climate regions – from the lowlands of the coastal plain, where the town of Kochi and the Backwaters are found, through the verdant slopes of the Cardamom Hills in the central midlands, to the foot of the highest peak in South India, in the tropical highlands of the Western Ghats.

Tropical, exotic, and multifaceted the Pepper Coast Expedition is a magnificent photographic journey into the heart of South India.

THE JOURNEY

KOCHI

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - A view of the jetty in Fort Kochi at sunset, Kerela, India. © Dariusz Klemens

Our photographic journey begins in the Indian Ocean port city of Kochi, also known as Cochin.

Drenched with colour, saturated with history, the fascinating ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’ looks over a natural harbour where fishermen still operate the iconic Chinese Fishing Nets brought here over seven centuries ago by representatives of the court of Kublai Khan.

Created by a flood in the mid 1300s, Kochi’s harbour determined the city’s fortunes, allowing it to flourish as the Pepper Coast’s main distribution point for spices from the 14th century onward.

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - A view of Kochi's harbour and the Chinese Fishing Nets at sunset, Kerala, India. © Dariusz Klemens

Enclosing one of the largest ports in India, the harbour continues to drive the economy of the region – the city’s very name is thought to derive from the local Malayalam word ‘Kaci’, meaning ‘harbour’.

The crumbling capital of an extinct Portuguese empire, Kochi retains a worldly atmosphere, redolent of its history as the centre of the global spice trade, and the entry point of many creeds into the Indian peninsula.

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - A woman stands by the entrance gate to Santa Cruz Basilica, in Fort Kochi, Kerala, India. © Dariusz Klemens

Our base here is in Fort Kochi, in the heart of the Old Town, a short distance from the harbour, and the imposing Santa Cruz Cathedral.

Incongruously framed by palm trees, this 16th century Portuguese basilica is a powerful reminder that it is here that the Jesuits begun their ‘harvest of souls’ from the local Hindu, Jew, Muslim, and Nestorians communities, which eventually led to Kochi being dubbed the ‘cradle of Catholicism in India’.

During our time in Kochi, we explore distinct aspects of its appeal – looking for images in the alleyways and vast spice warehouses of the Jewish quarter (home to the only International Pepper Exchange in the world), and along the extensive waterfront, where fishermen and vendors ply their trade amidst the many who gather to peruse the Ocean’s horizon.

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - Kathakali performers in Fort Kochi, Kerala, India. © Dariusz Klemens

We also spend time with Kathakali artists, in the town’s purpose-build theatre, to photograph the elaborate costume and make-up rituals that precede their performance of this renowned classical Indian dance-drama, which, like so much else, originated in Kerala.

Above all, we take time to savour the visual qualities of this captivating place and pursue the outstanding possibilities that it presents, in particular for street and architecture photography.

The Western Ghats

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - A view of the Western Ghats and the tea estates around Munnar, in Kerala, India. © Dariusz Klemens

From Kochi, our photographic journey continues 150 km north-east, to the hill station of Munnar, the former Summer capital of the British Raj in South India.

Hidden amongst swathes of green, the town lies in the shadows of the highest peaks of the South-Western Ghats, surrounded by the undulating hills of the largest tea-growing region in South India.

Dotted with the yellow, orange, and fuchsia saris of the legion of tea-pickers who keep them in pristine order, the tea plantations around Munnar are among the highest in the world.

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - Tea pickers at work near Munnar, in the Wesetrn Ghats of Kerala, India.© Dariusz Klemens

Here, serried rows of meticulously trimmed bushes contour the hillsides up to the tropical forest that envelops the crest of the chain dividing Kerala from its neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu.

In photographic terms, exploring the geometries of this manicured landscape – a visual feast that is often shrouded by mist – is made all the more rewarding by the dramatic skies that often unfold above it, and the light effects that these create.

To increase our opportunities of capturing this fleeting, constantly changing spectacle, we ensure that it is literally on our doorstep –  our base in Munnar is on one of the most spectacularly-located tea plantations in the whole area, on a private estate to which we enjoy exclusive, round-the-clock access.

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - Rain clouds over the Westerh Ghats, Kerala, India. © Dariusz Klemens

We explore the area’s diverse opportunities for landscape photography further at Eravikulam National Park, a mosaic of grassland interspersed with patches of evergreen forest that scatters over the Ana Mundi massif (2695 m), the highest point in South India.

Spread over a high rolling plateau, the park looks over the folds and valleys of the Ghats’ High Ranges, affording sumptuous views of a grand, natural landscape that provides an interesting visual counterpoint to the man-made symmetries of the tea plantations.

Beyond Munnar, our photographic journey takes us to the mountainous interior of the Cardamom Hills, to Periyar National Park, one of Kerala’s most important wildlife reserves.

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - Periyar Lake at sunset, Kerala, India.© Dariusz Klemens

Older than the Himalayas, the forests of the Western Ghats are amongst the top 25 biologically richest areas in the world; part of ‘Project Tiger’, the park is home to leopards, tigers, and elephants, amongst myriads of others animals and plant species.

Surrounding the tranquil waters of Periyar Lake, the reserve presents further, excellent possibilities for both landscape and wildlife photography, which we explore both on foot and by boat, trekking into the jungle and bamboo-rafting through the submerged forest of Periyar Lake.

During our stay in the area, we also photograph the ‘Spice Gardens’ characteristic of this part of the Cardamom Hills, where pepper, coffee, cardamom, and other spices that have long been the source of Kerala’s wealth are grown.

THE BACKWATERS

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - A fisherman on his boat in the Backwaters of Kerala, India. © Dariusz Klemens

Descending from the Ghats, our photographic journey takes us to the celebrated Backwaters – a seemingly endless succession of canals, rivers and lakes extending between the hills and the coast, where the ebb and flow of freshwater and seawater creates an aqueous panorama of floating islets.

Fed by the rivers that flow down from the Western Ghats, the Backwaters are dotted by a multitude of islands carved by sea erosion and are rich in species which are uniquely adapted to this environment.

Similarly, the inhabitants of the Backwaters have developed distinctive ways of living in these surroundings, building their houses on long, narrow strips of land and traversing the waterways on shallow boats propelled by long poles.

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - Fishermen in the Backwaers of Kerala, India.© Dariusz Klemens

During the Expedition, we navigate this lush labyrinth aboard Kettuvalam houseboats, to reach the more remote corners of the Backwaters, where tiny communities live encircled by water.

These large vessels, that were once used to transport rice, are the most comfortable and effective way of exploring this particular environment – there can be few more pleasurable ways of taking pictures than while cruising on a Kettuvalam’s shaded deck, as schools, churches, and houses covered with flowers drift in and out of view.

RETURN TO THE SEA

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - Fishermen and their catch on the Malabar Coast of Kerala, India.© Dariusz Klemens

During the last part of our photographic journey, we return to the coast, to a small town perched on the edge of a spectacular red cliff formation overlooking the Arabian Sea.

An important pilgrimage site for Hindus, the town and its surroundings offer excellent possibilities for both people and landscape photography, and form a fitting conclusion to our photographic exploration of the Pepper Coast.

Our main reason for coming here is to photograph the resident fishing community as well as the Hindu pilgrims who come to pray at the local 2000-year-old temple and consign the ashes of their departed to the waters of the Ocean.

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - A fisherman pulls a net onto the shore, whilst another pushes a traditional craft into the waters of the Arabian Sea, in Kerala, India.© Dariusz Klemens

Located over high cliffs peppered with mineral springs that rise majestically from the sea, the town enjoys a uniquely dramatic position on the otherwise flat coastline of southern Kerala, offering beautiful views over the palm-fringed shoreline.

Hindus believe that the waters that lap the town’s main beach are holy and bathing in them washes away all sins. Accordingly, pilgrims congregate here, particularly at sunrise, for ancestor worship and ritualistic bathing.

Pepper Coast Photography Expedition - Specialist travel photography workshop in Kerala with Dariusz Klemens - A group of fishermen pull their nets onto the shore at dawn, on the malabar Coast of Kerala, India. © Dariusz Klemens

Lastly, we photograph the fishing villages that stretch along this part of the coast, where the ‘Pusalan’ community – the traditional fishermen of Malabar – employ centuries-old methods of harvesting their livelihood from the sea.

BEST SUITED FOR

Although this Expedition is open to photographers of all levels, participants should note that it is a relatively intense journey that traverses a wide range of environments both urban and natural, on land and water, and involves extensive walking, including trekking in the tropical forest.

It is a journey in which we explore diverse aspects of a many-sided land – from the crowded lanes of Kochi’s Spice Quarter, through the rugged Highlands of the Western Ghats, to the serene watercourses of the Backwaters, and the open horizons of the Malabar Coast.

As such, this Expedition is ideal for photographers who enjoy adventure and diversity. For those who have never travelled to India before, the Expedition can also form a gentle introduction to photographing the subcontinent.

Whilst the workshop includes numerous opportunities for photographing people in their environment, it is particularly well-suited for photographers who are interested in landscape photography.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save


Practicalities

The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ 2017 & 2018

Dates (Autumn 2017): From 28th November to 11th December 2017 CURRENT AVAILABILITY: 4 PLACES

Expedition Leader: Dariusz Klemens

Group Size: Limited to 6 participants

Fees (Autumn): £5200 – Include: Photography tuition. 13 nights’ accommodation, with breakfast daily. 8 Lunches, and 8 suppers. All ground transportation by private, air-conditioned, deluxe vehicles, and bottled water during all transfers. All entrance fees, visits, and excursions. Local guides.

Fees are per person, based on two people sharing twin-room accommodation. For single use of a double room, a single supplement of £1040 applies.

Fees (Autumn) in other currencies*:

On double occupancy: USD 6,663 / EUR 6.211 / CAD 8,992

Single supplement: USD 1,333 / EUR 1.242 / CAD 1,798

 

Dates (Spring 2018): From 14th to 27thMarch 2018

Fees: £5300. Single supplement: £1060

Fees (Spring) in other currencies*:

On double occupancy: USD 6,791 / EUR 6.330 / CAD 9,165

Single supplement: USD 1,358 / EUR 1.266 / CAD 1,833

 

*Fees in other currencies are based on current exchange rates and are approximate. Billing is in GBP (£).

The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ 2017 & 2018

Details coming Soon

The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ 2017 & 2018

This Expedition is crafted to inspire you to expand your photographic skills and refine your understanding of photography whilst assembling a portfolio of expressive images illustrating your journey.

To accomplish this, the workshop balances intense shooting opportunities, with ‘pauses’ for editing and individual/collective review, and covers both technical and aesthetic aspects of photography through location shoots, individual assignments, one-to-one reviews, targeted feedback and group discussions.

As the goal of the Expedition is to produce a photographic story, emphasis is put on assembling strong coverage of one or more, particular subjects – the itinerary and all its components have been created, planned and timed to deliver this specific goal, enabling participants to produce a complete photographic essay/story documenting their own, unique journey, or particular aspects of it.

TAILORED TUITION
The workshop is structured to provide you with the most favourable conditions in which to experience first-hand, the decision-making processes that support the creation of meaningful images and underpin the development of photographic narrative, along with guidance that is tailored to your photography interests.

We like to focus on the individual needs of our participants well in advance of each workshop; so, by the time the Expedition begins, we have already given some careful thought to how best to help you achieve your photography objectives – whatever these may be.

During the workshop, enabling you to become immersed in your surroundings and anticipate the moment, whilst remaining in full command of the technical skills needed to capture it, is central to our endeavour. For this reason, every aspect of the journey is aimed at facilitating your interaction with your environment, and making you comfortable enough on the ground, to be able to bring all of your photographic skills to bear in rendering your subject.

The group is small enough to permit each participating photographer as much one-to-one tuition with Dariusz as they need to develop at their own pace, yet large enough to generate discussions and opportunities usefully to confront individual approaches.

FEEDBACK & SCHEDULE
Time to edit and review images is an essential feature our daily schedule and feedback session are timed to allow you to make the most of each shoot.

During the Expedition, our day normally begins with a dawn shoot. Depending on location and circumstances, this generally lasts until mid-morning, and is followed by an interval of what we like to call ‘RDR’ – time to rest, download and recharge. According to participants’ needs, later in the day, there is usually time for individual review and feedback sessions, before heading out for an afternoon and sunset shoot. Supper is often followed by group-wide feedback, image presentations and discussions, but whilst in Kochi there are also some night shoots.

You can therefore expect to be shooting, editing, receiving feedback on your images and have the opportunity to implement the insights that you have gained, on a daily basis, even on the days involving long-distance travel.

This alternation of extensive shoots and targeted feedback is an extremely effective way of understanding the practice and principles that govern the making of distinctive images, and of gathering a body of photographs that is coherent in style and content. As such, it is particularly useful for photographers who are interested in expanding both their technical and interpretative skills and developing a portfolio of images showcasing their work.

Besides generating ideas and inspiration, the feedback sessions (particularly the group discussions) provide the opportunity to move beyond the specifics of particular images, to consider the techniques that can reliably be employed to produce strong images, construct stylistically consistent narratives, and make the best of any photographic opportunity/situation.

As the journey progresses, and participants develop their individual projects and ideas, the scope of the feedback and group discussions widens, generating debate on extremely diverse aspects of photography and producing an intensely creative environment in which to advance your photographic goals.

ACCESS & OPPORTUNITIES
The workshop is built to provide you with unrestricted access to the innumerable photographic opportunities that the journey presents. Accordingly, the itinerary is structured to allow you the possibility of exploring them outside of the planned location shoots, where we photograph as a group.

We believe that the more opportunities you have to become familiar with your environment, the greater the fluidity with which you will be able to photograph it, and we see no need to restrict your experience of the places to which we travel, to the locations that we photograph as a group.

Further, we think that travelling within a group should not mean having to be constantly ‘tied’ to the group, and that between the times in which they enjoy the company of others, participants should have the opportunity to rest, explore, or just soak in their surroundings independently, in their own time, if they so wish.

Our policy of using strategically-placed accommodation supports this approach by ensuring that, even when you are not with the group, you have easy, independent access to shooting locations – The RDR portion of the day is, in fact, often used by participants to explore particular subjects, or locations, individually or with other participating photographers.

The journey provides access to a wide variety of subjects, ranging from landscape to environmental portraiture, and includes specialised tuition on how to photograph people in a variety of situations. Since, as is the case for all our photographic journeys, this Expedition is based entirely on real-life situations, interaction techniques are a fundamental aspect of this workshop.

Dariusz has photographed Kerala and every location on this itinerary numerous times. He’s therefore familiar not just with the many ‘nooks and crannies’ of the places that we photograph and the different opportunities that they each offer at different times, but also with local customs and rituals. This experience enables him to provide guidance on approaching and rendering specific subjects that we encounter during the journey.

Throughout the workshop, Dariusz’s objective is to share his knowledge and expertise in the most effective way possible to help you define and accomplish your individual, photographic goals.

The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ 2017 & 2018

Type of camera
We recommend that you bring a single-lens reflex (SLR) type of camera; this can be for film or digital, in 35mm or medium format. The camera can be of any make, but it must have a manual option for aperture and shutter-speed adjustment. Compact’ and instant cameras, or any other camera without adjustable f-stops, focus and shutter speed is not appropriate for the type of photography that we practice on our Photography Expeditions. Whatever camera(s) you choose to bring, we strongly recommend that you bring a back-up body, as fixing any problems during the journey would be impossible.

Lenses
Whilst a choice of different focal length lenses will allow you greater flexibility, you do not need more than one lens to take full advantage of the workshop. If you bring only one lens, it would be preferable for it to be a zoom lens with a range of 28-210mm. The optimum selection for this workshop is 2 or more zoom lenses covering the 20 to 200mm range, plus a fast prime lens – e.g. 50mm f1.8 or 35mm f1.4, preferably both.

Digital SLRs
To ensure that you have sufficient memory to shoot high-resolution images throughout each day on the Expedition, you should bring a minimum of two 32GB memory cards per camera. Additionally, you will need a 500GB, and up to 1TB of external storage to store your images.(Cloud storage is not a realistic option during the workshop).To edit and process your images for review, your laptop needs to be reasonably fast; we recommend at least 500GB of free hard-drive space. Please ensure that you bring all the necessary ancillary equipment including connecting cables, memory card reader and software back-up disks.

Film
If you shoot film please note that professional transparency film is not widely available in India, so you must bring a sufficient number of rolls with you when you join the Expedition.

Flash
If your equipment includes a flash unit, you may find it useful to bring it. A flash unit is not an essential piece of equipment, but can certainly prove useful in some circumstances.

Filters
The only filter we recommend that you bring is a standard UV Filter. A Sky 1A or Sky 1B is also a useful alternative. Although the workshop covers the use (and misuse) of filters, these are not essential.

Tripod
Although a tripod can be useful for photographing landscapes and working in low light conditions, this is by no means an essential piece of equipment for 35mm camera users on this workshop. However, a tripod is a must if you are planning to bring a medium format camera. Bear in mind that a monopod can be a useful, more portable alternative to a tripod for both 35mm and medium format.

Cleaning Equipment
During the Expeditions, we put our camera equipment through its paces; a good camera and lens-cleaning kit is essential for daily maintenance.

If you have any questions, please contact us

The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ 2017 & 2018 - Booking Form Request

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step " (Laozi)

If you would like to join this Expedition, please fill in the Booking Form Request, below. (The booking form includes our Terms & Conditions). We do not share your information with anyone else.

Please wait...

Postcards from The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™

Best Travel Photography Workshops India - Specialist Photography Workshop Kerala: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Landscape, Wildlife and Street Photography Workshop in South India with Dariusz Klemens. Tea pickers at work on the tea plantations of Munnar, in the Western Ghats of Kerala, India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Munnar Tea Plantations
Best Travel Photography Workshops India - Specialist Photography Workshop Kerala: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Professional Street Photography Workshop in South India with Dariusz Klemens. Drummers open a Hindu procession in Kerala, India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Rhythm of the Night
Best Photography Workshops India - Specialist Travel Photography Workshop Kerala: The Pepper Coast Photography Expedition™ - Landscape, Wildlife and Street Photography Workshop in South India with Dariusz Klemens. A view of Periyar Lake's submerged forest, in Periyar National Park,Thekkady, Kerala, India. Photo: © Dariusz Klemens
Rain in Periyar Tiger Reserve
Photography Workshops