Ladakh Photography Workshop
Join us for an epic road trip through the Land of High Passes
Translating as “The Land of High Passes“, Ladakh is a curious corner of the earth nestled between the Karakorum and Himalaya mountain ranges. Spoilt for natural beauty, the region is also rich in culture and spirituality, dubbed by many as India’s “Little Tibet”. And so as well as indulging in the scenic beauty of northern India, from dusty moonscapes to unspoilt starry skies above mountain vistas, we’ll also have ample opportunity to practice reportage photography at the many quaint Buddhist monasteries and traditional mountain villages featured in our trip. Ladakh is truly a photographer’s paradise..
Highlights of the Tour
- Leh, the capital of Ladakh
- Indus Valley & Nubra Valley
- Buddhist monasteries & the daily life of monks
- Lamayuru monastery
- Tso Moriri & Tsokar lakes
- Nomadic mountain peoples
- Stok, the Royal village of Ladakh
- Heritage houses and the families caring for them
July 3-14, 2023 (5 spots left)
USD $3,750 (single supplement $500)
Small group: 3-6 Participants.
We believe in quality, personalised tuition, and so our host-to-guest ratio is always 1:6 or better.
Comfortable 3-star hotels with more basic accommodation in remote areas.
Average (3/5). Cool weather. Very little walking. Mild altitude considerations. Several 3-4hr drives.
See more photos taken during the workshop >>
We also offer private guided photo tours >>
Landscapes ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Local life ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Architecture ★ ★
…everything went like clockwork. Details were taken care of behind the scenes and never interfered with our itinerary and shooting.
Overall, Angkor Travel Photography always gives me the best experience and memories of the place we have travelled to…. read more
Dream a Little…
Here’s what we’ll see on our 12-Day Ladakh Workshop
Day 1: Arrival in Leh
Welcome to Leh, the capital of Ladakh, a small desert town at 11,800ft/3,600m encircled by a vista of Himalayan peaks. After a short drive to the hotel, you’ll have the remainder of the day to relax and acclimatise to the altitude. We’ll meet in the evening for dinner and get to know each other better before the adventure begins the next day!
Day 2: Leh/Indus Valley
Our first day of adventuring starts in a leisurely fashion, exploring the traditional mountain architecture of the Indus Valley, taking its name from the river that winds its way through the valley to the north. We’ll visit the most visually stunning of the Indus monasteries in Shey Palace and the imposing Thiksey, where we may have our first opportunity to meet Buddhist monks. We’ll also call in at a secret monastery hidden in the mountains with an incredible lamp room, blackened over time, presenting incredible people opportunities. The evening will be spent at your leisure in Leh.
Day 3: Leh – Lamayuru
After breakfast we’ll drive to Lamayuru village, located in the almost-lunar landscape to the west of Leh (130km/4hrs). The desert mountain vistas are like something from another planet, and there will be plenty of opportunities along the way to stop and indulge in some landscape photography. Lamayuru is home to what we think is one of Ladakh’s most visually commanding monasteries. We’ll have the unique opportunity to spend the night in Lamayuru, something very few tourists do, to really maximise our time with this incredibe example of Ladakhi architecture. We’ll spend the evening relaxing in a local hotel/guest house.
Day 4: Lamayuru – Alchi – Leh
After breakfast we’ll drive back toward Leh, calling in at Alchi, an ancient monastery considered to be one India’s Seven Ancient Wonders. We’ll have a chance to enjoy a local lunch before continuing our drive, winding our way through the mountains to Likir Monastery, home to a copper-gilded Buddha from the 16th century. Here we may have the opportunity to meet with local monks, and we’ll photograph the temple against a backdrop of desert mountains, before spending the evening in Leh.
Day 5: Leh – Nubra Valley
We’ll begin the morning with a drive to Nubra Valley, crossing the Khardongla Pass, one of the world’s highest motorable passes (complete with the one of the world’s highest coffee shops). We’ll take opportunities to stop along the way to photograph shrines and prayer flags in the snow, as well as a host of landscape offerings. In Nubra, we’ll have the chance to witness camel trekking against an incredible vista of sand dunes and rocky mountains (the double-humped camel is found only in this region, so far as India is concerned). We’ll finish the day at the beautiful Hunder Monastery, where we’ll be able to photograph Buddhist novices studying, as well as a huge seated Buddha facing to the west, glowing in the sun during the day’s last light with a distant mountain monastery behind it.
Day 6: Nubra
After breakfast we’ll drive into another part of the Nubra Valley to Sumur Village; here we’ll have the chance to photograph a much greener, oasis village where we can walk around and engage with locals, witness people kneeling before prayer wheels, and explore the unique street photography possibilities presented in a place with no other tourists. We’ll also call in at a nearby school where we can meet Buddhist novices, and we’ll have the chance to photograph women in traditional Ladakhi clothing. We’ll spend the night in the village.
Day 7: Nubra – Leh
After a relaxed start to the morning and some breakfast, we’ll drive back to Leh (5-6hrs, inc. lunch stop). Depending on the time of our arrival, we may have the chance to review our images, including an engaging group discussion, as well as learn some of the secrets of post-production to help bring the images we’ve captured so far to another level.
Day 8: Leh
We’ll start early to witness morning prayer at Thiksay Monastery. The temple is incredibly photogenic and there are a large number of Buddhist monks living here, giving us a more-or-less guaranteed opportunity to capture images of praying Buddhist novices. After breakfast, we’ll have a chance to rest a little before heading back out for the afternoon. We’ll start with Namgyal Tsemo, a temple built in the 16th century, with its incredible vantage point over the valley below.
Day 9: Leh – Tso Moriri lake
We’ll start the morning with a drive out through the wilderness to Tso Moriri Lake (220km east of Leh). There will be plenty of opportunities to stop to photograph beautiful landscapes along the way. We should arrive at the lake in mid-afternoon, just before the light becomes most photogenic (all going well with the weather). In the evening we’ll travel to the nomad village of Korzok, where we’ll have the chance to see and photograph an entirely different way of life, with people living in small traditional Ladakhi yurt-like tents. We’ll stay in basic accommodation nearby.
Day 10: Tso Moriri Lake – Tso Kar Lake – Leh
We’ll start the morning with a drive to Tsokar Lake, stopping along the way visit the unique geo-thermal hot springs near Puga. The landscape will change dramatically on the way to the lake as we traverse India’s second-highest pass before descending into another lunar landscape. The saltwater lake is an unusual sight with unique photographic opportunities, including bird photography for the wildlife enthusiasts. Once done here, we’ll head back to Leh.
Day 11: Leh – Stok, the Royal village of Ladakh
After breakfast, we’ll enjoy some time at a local market. Here we’ll see local sellers, bakers, and a whole host of other people going about their daily business. At lunch time we’ll head to Gyab-Thago Heritage Home in Stok, the Royal Village of Ladakh. Here we’ll enjoy a delicious lunch with a local family before proceeding to photograph them in their incredible, old home. Many of the family members will be wearing traditional Ladakhi clothing, making for a truly unique local experience. We’ll enjoy our final meal together in Leh in the evening, before saying our farewells.
Day 12: Leh departure
After an early breakfast, transfer to Kushok Bakula terminal for your flight to Delhi. Time to say your final farewell to Ladakh.
Inclusions and Exclusions
Accommodation (3/4-star hotels, and more basic accommodation in remote areas).
Private transport throughout the trip.
Daily breakfasts and dinners (beverages not included).
Guiding/Tuition from a Western professional photographer.
Local, English-speaking tour guide.
All permits (including Inner Line Permit) and entrance fees required during tour.
Round-trip airport pick-up and drop-off.
Airfare to and from Leh, India.
Lunches and beverages, and any other meals/drinks beyond those specified.
Tips for guides/drivers.
Entry visa for India.
Extra cost for hotel and transfers in case of flight cancellation and/or road blocks, or any other factors beyond our control.
Medical & Travel Insurance.
Who Our Tours are Designed For
Our adventures are perfect for anyone who loves travel and photography, whatever your level of experience with a camera – the most important thing is enthusiasm. Our tours are specifically designed for photographers and aim to unlock opportunities that wouldn't be open to the casual visitor, all while ensuring that we shoot in the best light, away from the crowds.
Refine your Vision
Mastering photography is a wonderful, lifelong journey; the objective of our tours is to help you become a better photographer, day by day, so that you not only capture wonderful images of your trip, but that you take away a wealth of new skills that will serve you well for all of your photographic endeavours yet to come. With our expert guidance, you’ll quickly become more familiar with your equipment and refine your vision for incredible imagery without feeling swamped by technical details. You’ll learn how to read light, how to frame a scene, and how to inject the element of story into all of your captures.
Meaningful Interactions with Local People
Expect the Unexpected
Our itineraries are fun and flexible, and flow naturally - each of our photography adventures is unique, with spontaneous encounters and varying light conditions creating different opportunities at every turn.
Small Group Experience
The largest tours we run are for groups of six. With one experienced professional photographer as tour leader, this ensures that each of our participants will get plenty of individual, hands-on time with the instructor. It also means that we can travel in a less conspicuous manner, blending into our environment and not overwhelming local people during spontaneous encounters.
We are committed to responsible travel in every country we visit, ensuring that all of our tours are respectful of and give back to the communities we visit. We have taken steps to ensure our tours cause as little environmental impact as possible, and continually strive for new ways to leave fewer lasting footprints in all of our host countries. We use local drivers on all of our excursions, and we take care to educate our tour participants of the ethics of travel photography. We advocate for responsible volunteering and tourism. The participants that join our tours come away not only with some amazing memories and photos, but also with a better understanding of how they can make a positive impact in their future trips.