Thunder Dragon Through The Lens: Bhutan Photography Workshop with Lowepro Storyteller Scott A. Woodward











WORKSHOP OVERVIEW

 

There is no other place on earth like enigmatic Bhutan.  Cradled deep in the creases of the soaring Himalayas, “The Land of the Thunder Dragon” is a spectacular mixture of stunning, rugged countryside, centuries-old architecture, vibrant and colorful culture, and welcoming locals.  Enveloped by the Indian plains to the south and the mountainous Tibetan regions of China to the north, Bhutan is home to vast breathtaking natural topography, disparate climatic regions, and a proud people with a colourful culture.  Bhutan’s natural light is soft and golden, and the prayer-flag-strewn, snowcapped-mountain vistas are beyond breathtaking.  Friendly locals in traditional Bhutanese dress fill bustling city markets, while smiling monks in flowing maroon robes inhabit the ancient monasteries that dot the rugged countryside.

 

Join award-winning photographer Scott A. Woodward on a photographic workshop to this beautiful and mystical nation.  Alongside a small group of fellow photography enthusiasts, this educational adventure is a unique opportunity to learn from Scott his storytelling techniques, his image-making tips and gain personalized insight on how to improve your own photography skills in one of the most exotic and remote destinations on the planet.  Our daily itinerary will include morning creative briefings, hands-on coaching while shooting in a wide variety of locations, and evening editing and group critiquing sessions.

 

ABOUT SCOTT A. WOODWARD

 

 

It was Scott’s father who taught him about photography when he was a young boy: how to operate a manual camera, skillfully interpret light and imaginatively compose an image.  But more importantly, his dad instilled in him a sense of curiosity and adventure.  It is these traits that truly make Scott a photographer.  Scott calls his photographic style “Choose Your Own Adventure Photography” after the books he used to read as a young boy.  Literally and creatively, he can go one direction and discover a remarkable photographic opportunity; or he can go another way and find something entirely different.  It is this serendipity that is the beauty of picture making for him.

 

Scott’s photography appears often in esteemed publications around the world. His work from Bhutan has been featured in National Geographic MagazineThe New York TimesGEO Magazine and Travel + Leisure, to name only a few. He photographed an international Nikon advertising campaign in the Himalayan Kingdom; in addition, he was honoured by the prestigious Luerzer’s Archive as one of the “200 Best Advertising Photographers Worldwide” for his commercial work shot in Bhutan.  Scott is a Nikon Professional Photographer, a SanDisk Extreme Team Member, and a Lowepro Storyteller.

 

Visit Scott’s website to browse more of his photography from Bhutan, across Asia and around the world.

 

 

 

ABOUT LOWEPRO

 

 

For the last 50 years, Lowepro has been an essential part of countless adventures and the trusted leader in gear protection.  Lowepro specialized backpacks, cases and camera bags have been an essential part of countless adventures through every climate and condition.  To celebrates the 50th anniversary, Lowepro would like to accompany every participant on this remarkable adventure.  Each participant will be equipped with a Lowepro Photo Sport BP 200 AW II (SRP S$235) and Joby GripTight ONE GP Stand (SRP S$55). Adventure awaits!

 

Lowepro Photo Sport BP 200 AW II

 

Joby GripTight ONE GP Stand

Day 1

     ARRIVAL IN PARO, BHUTAN

Elevation 2,320 m     Weather in Thimphu

Upon arrival into Paro Airport you will be transferred to Thimphu, the kingdom’s capital. En-route, we will stopover at Tachog Lhakhang iron chain bridge. Enjoy your first taste of Bhutanese cuisine before visiting National Memorial Chorten, a stupa built in memory of the Third King. Then, proceed to visit Tashichho Dzong, a fortress and Buddhist monastery with a distinctive Bhutanese architectural design, which also houses the throne of the king. Continue to the Centenary Farmers' Market where locals come to sell their agriculture products on the weekends.

Hotels:

Day 2

     Thimphu to Punakha

Elevation 1,300 m     Weather in Punakha

This morning we will take a scenic drive up to Buddha Point in the Kuenselphodrang Nature Park to see the 169-foot- tall bronze statue of the seated Buddha Dordenma. One of the largest sitting Buddha statues in the world, it sits atop a hill where you will see sweeping views of the valley and surrounding mountains. Thereafter, visit Changangkha Monastery. Built in 12th century, this is the oldest temple in Thimphu. It sits on a ridge overlooking scenic views of Thimphu, and houses the Chenrizig: an 11- headed, thousand-armed manifestation of Avolokitesawara as its central statue.

 

After lunch, we will take a 3-hour drive to Punakha, the former capital of Bhutan until 1955, and will stop off at Dochula Pass along the way. This popular tourist spot provides stunning 360-degree views of the Himalayas. It is also home to the 108 Druk Wangyal Chortens that were built to commemorate Bhutan’s victory over Indian militants and to liberate the souls of those who died in battle. Next, we will proceed to Chhimi Lhakhang. A 20 minutes walk across terraced fields through the village of Sopsokha from the roadside to the small temple located on a hillock in the centre of the valley below Metshina. Ngawang Chogyel built the temple in 15th century after the ’divine Madman’ Drukpa Kuenlay built a small chorten there. It is a pilgrim site for barren women.

Hotels:

Day 3

     Punakha

Elevation 1,300 m     Weather in Punakha

After breakfast, visit Punakha Dzong, built in 1637, the dzong continues to be the winter home for the clergy, headed by the Chief Abbott, the Je Khenpo. It is a stunning example of Bhutanese architecture, sitting at the fork of two rivers, portraying the image of a medieval city from a distance. Proceed to the 160 metres Pho Chhu Suspension Bridge, known for the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan, which gives you spectacular views of Punakha Dzong and the Pho Chhu Valley.

Afterwards, we will visit Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, which is a splendid example of Bhutanese art meets architecture, and the only one of its kind. At the direction of the third Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck, the site took nine years to build because architects, painters, sculptors, and carpenters only used holy scriptures rather than engineering manuals to construct this four-story temple. Only reachable on foot, the hour trek includes an exhilarating walk across a colorful prayer flag adorned suspended footbridge that crosses the Mo Chhu. 

Thereafter, we will drive to Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup Lhakhang, a temple and nunnery perched on a ridge and overlooking Toebesa, Punakha and Wangduephodrang valleys. The temple is consecrated by His Holiness and was attended by His Majesty the King, the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, members of the royal family along with hundreds of people from Punakha. The temple is dedicated to the bodhisattva of compassion.

Hotels:

Day 4

     Punakha to Paro

Elevation 2,280 m     Weather in Paro

In the morning, we will attend Druk Wangyel Festival at Dochula Pass. The Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival will take place every year on December 13 at the Druk Wangyel Lhakhang’s Festival ground. The venue is related to important national landmarks while the date commemorates the commencement of the military expedition of 2003. The Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival’s venue features two of very impressive modern Bhutanese monuments. Including the works on the powerful mural paintings, the temple took almost four years to build. The temple was built under the personal supervision of Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wanghuck, a year after she built the 108 Druk Wangyel Chortens. Druk Wangyel Lhakhang was consecrated in June 2008. Following Bhutanese tradition, the Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival is named after its location. The Dochula pass is one of the most spectacular passes in Bhutan and is about 45 minutes’ drive (22km) from the capital city, Thimphu. The performance ground of Dochula Druk Wangyel Festival straddles the famous pass at the heart of the Royal Botanical Park, 3,116 meters above sea level. The pass marks the watershed between the districts of Thimphu on the western side and Punakha on the eastern side. It presents a panoramic view of these districts and some others beyond them. Thereafter, continue your journey to Paro for your overnight stay. 

Hotels:

Day 5

     Paro

Elevation 2,280 m     Weather in Paro

The beautiful valley of Paro is home to many of Bhutan's old monasteries and temples. The country's only airport is in Paro. The valley is also home to Mount Jomolhari (7,300m) situated at the northern end of the valley whose glacier water forms the Pa Chhu flowing through the valley. The following are some of the prominent places to visit in Paro. Paro Dzong also known as Rinpung Dzong, this 15th century massive fortress/monastery, is also the administrative center of the dzonkhag. A morning drive, north of Paro valley brings us to the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong. Built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, father and unifier of medieval Bhutan, the Dzong was destroyed by an accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts and relive the memories of a glorious past.

Hotels:

Day 6

     Paro

Elevation 2,280 m     Weather in Paro

We've saved the best for last: a morning trek to the Taktsang Monastery (or Tiger’s Nest), a prominent Himalayan Buddhist sacred site and temple complex located on the cliff side of Paro Valley. According to legends, it is believed that Guru Rinpochhe flew to this location from Tibet on the back of a Tigress  and meditated in one of the caves. Guru Rinpochhe performed meditation and emerged in eight manifestations and the place became holy. Thus gaining the name tiger's nest. After a day of hiking we'll take it easy and explore main streets of Paro Town for some street photography and souvenir shopping. To cap off our Bhutanese adventure, we'll have our photographers' party at a traditional drayang nightclub.

Hotels:

Day 7

     Depart Paro

Elevation 2,280 m     Weather in Paro

Today we will bid a fond farewell to this beautiful Himalayan country and take an early flight back to Singapore. We hope by now you would’ve made some friends, taken many photos and have lasting memories of Bhutan! And we look forward to seeing you again in this beautiful land of enchantments! Tashi Delek!

What's Included

Suitable Months
  • 10 - 16 December 2017
Prices
  • SGD 3980 (For bookings made before 15 October 2017)
  • SGD 4480 (For bookings made after 15 October 2017)
What's Excluded

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Sun, 10 Dec 2017 - Sat, 16 Dec 2017 Less than 7 from SGD 3980 4480 Standard Twin Book Now

*For bookings made before 15 October 2017



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