Lumen Dei, Ladakh 2008 Recap
Ron Carroll shooting the 7am call to puja at Thiksey Gompa.
After the Srinagar valley exploded in strife a couple months ago Matt Brandon and I made the difficult decision to re-plan the trip and we went to Ladakh instead. The two places, Srinagar and Leh, are in Jammu and Kashmir state, but couldn’t be more different. Still, we had a really wonderful time.
Our first two days were in Old Delhi, though we welcomed the team on the same evening that Delhi was rocked by a series of bombs. Great welcome. The following two days we spent at Nizzamudin, Chandni Chowk, and Jama Masjid, shooting the people and places of Islamic Old Delhi. We shot alot, walked alot, and ate some spectacular food.
On our third day we took an insanely early morning flight to Leh, and spent that first day acclimating, talking Lightroom, and making final plans for what ended up being a really enjoyable time. Ladakh is a beautiful place. It’s extreme – high and dry. The altitude knocked us all around a little, but the trade-off was the beauty of the light, the remote and exotic monasteries perched on high ridges, and the friendly Ladakhis.
We shot in a number of great gompas, watching young monks chant, and old monks keep the younger ones in line. We wandered long sprawling villages and met the villagers, shooting as we went. We spent evenings doing image reviews and talking about composition.
One day we had a private cultural show at the palace, followed by a model shoot with great models in traditional clothes. Big thanks to our sponsors – Adobe, Evrium, Photoflex, Blackrapid, and Zink for providing prizes and support.
Matt Brandon sharing a print with Lama Lobzang at Chemray Gompa, via the Polaroid Zink-powered Pogo printer.
Our team was comprised of seven talented photographers, plus Matt Brandon and myself. The time we had together was truly a privilege. This is one of the things that sets Lumen Dei apart; we’re not uber-slick, but there’s a feeling of family that makes spending two weeks together a real pleasure. Learning, for many people, takes place in the context of relationships, and that’s how we run things.
Matt and I are already planning for 2009, and while I can’t release details yet, the plans we’ve got cooking are the most exciting yet. If you’ve always wanted to spend two weeks in an exotic place, shooting, learning, and laughing, we’d love to put you on the mailing list and get details to you when they’re announced. The site will now need updating, and that won’t happen at least until I am home from Kathmandu, but check Lumen-Dei.com for more information. Send an email to info at pixelatedimage dot com to be put on the mailing list.
Big thanks to this year’s team – Deb, Johanna, Brandi, Rosane, Ron, James, and Kesh, for throwing in your lot with us, for allowing us to share our passion with you, and for being so flexible with the changes in itinerary.