It’s been a fantastic first week of our photo tour through Southeast Asia with M&M Photo Tours! Time is always scarce on these jam packed jaunts, so I’ll just throw up a few images and hopefully get a bit more time to delve into the details later. So far, highlights have included seeing the annual lantern festival in Luang Prabang, visiting the crazy markets in Hanoi and wandering the terraced rice fields of Sapa. We take a night train back to Hanoi tonight, and then it’s off to spend an evening on one of the most beautiful areas of shoreline in the world: Ha Long Bay. 84 gb of memory shot so far, many bowls of pho devoured, far less mosquito bites than one would expect, and countless unforgettable experiences. Here’s to another week through Indochina!
I’ve been back from Germany now for a week or so, but it feels like just yesterday that I was dining on schnitzel and watching the sun rise and set over some of the more fantastic shooting locations I’ve experienced behind the lens. This workshop was conducted in cooperation with the Edelweiss Lodge & Resort, located in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The facilities were great, and as a vacation resort catering solely to our United States Military service men and women (and spouses), it was a pleasure to be amongst so many that contribute on a daily basis to the freedom that we enjoy in this great country.
Garmisch is quintessential storybook Germany. When you think of spending time in a classic German setting, you’re thinking of Garmisch-Partenkirchen–you just don’t realize it. Aesthetic church steeples, colorful window flowerboxes, quaint chalets with painted murals on the walls, cobblestone streets, beer steins served full to the brim with the best Bavarian brews, towering limestone peaks, lush green farm fields and rolling valleys, misty mornings, and yes–guys sporting their lederhosen loud and proud–it’s all there, and it’s all a part of every day life in this unique part of the world.
Needless to say, there was no lack of photographic subject matter. If anything, there were times when it was all a bit overwhelming–difficult, even, to capture in multiple clicks of the shutter. I taught two 3-day workshops back to back (14 and 17 students respectively). Mother nature was here and there and…everywhere. The weather in Garmisch moves in and out quicker that you can imagine, and thus–we needed to be flexible with our schedule. The students were fantastic, all very open to changes in schedule and shooting location. I was fortunate to be paired up with Edelweiss Dir. of Marketing Brad Hays, a legit photographer in his own right. Brad has lived in the area for ten years, and was indispensable in helping me to become familiar with the locations and shooting options.
I quickly found that sunrise and sunset were a crapshoot on any given morning or evening. The weather was always in and out, which really, was much more desirable than clear blue skies each morning/evening. Many times we would arrive at a location, shrouded in dawn mist, only to be spat out of the clouds minutes later witnessing rose-colored peaks in the distance with rolling farm fields in the foreground. I discovered that the minutes and hours just after sunrise, and leading up to sunset were the most reliable for direct light. We did have one or two morning and evening shoots where the clouds just exploded with color, and it was a riot to see eager photographers scrambling every which way trying to capitalize on the gift from above.
The landscape was ideal for mid to long focal length shots. Wide angle images were just a bit tougher to come by as there wasn’t an overabundance of foreground objects to plant in the immediate in-your-face foreground. Curious cows, of course, were the rare exception, if you could persuade them to stand still! We worked extensively on finding dynamic compositions, and balancing the light that made for challenging exposures at times. It was the ideal setting to instruct everyone on how to use Singh Ray Filters to capture the scene as our eyes saw it. It’s always amazing to see the light bulb go on when students finally overcome the hurdles that have challenged them in their photography.
All in all, and despite some particularly inclement weather for the second workshop, it was a fantastic experience (see attendee comments on the workshop below). I hope to return to Garmisch-Partenkirchen again some time–it looks to be a stunning photography location during the fall season! Are you interested in having a spectacular time learning how to take you photographic skills and creative vision to the next level? I’ve got domestic and international workshops/photo tours coming up this fall that are calling your name! Check out my workshop at the upcoming Telluride Photo Festival, or travel across the pond to the Far East with myself and M&M Photo Tours during our Southeast Asia photo tour.
Bavaria Workshop Attendee Comments:
“Adam Barker is a fantastic instructor. So much energy and passion for photography. He was very patient with everyone
and a whole lot of fun to hang out with. I truly enjoyed this workshop and would attend another Adam Barker workshop if
you bring him back.”
“All I can say, it was an awesome workshop and will do it again if Adam comes back!”
“Let’s just say there was no bad memories. Garmisch, Adam Barker and Edelweiss Lodge & Resort. It was a win-win-win
“The additional evening shoot that we did on Friday night was incredible. It really left me excited and inspired to get out
and really focus more on my photography. It was truly a fantastic workshop. Adam Barker was INCREDIBLE!”
Looking for your next unforgettable photo adventure? Join me on a photo tour through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam this October. We will be visiting and photographing some of the most culturally treasured locations in the world, bursting at the seams with travel, religious, scenic, cultural and countless other photo opportunities. With only the best and most experienced local guides, this tour is sure exceed any and all expectations. We still have several spots available on this tour. Visit this link for a full itinerary and detailed tour info. See below for tour highlights.
1) We start in Luang Prabang which been claimed by the UNESCO as “the
best-preserved city in South East Asia”. During our time here, we shoot
the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham, Wat Mai,
then climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of
the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic view of the city at sunset
and the Mekong River–excellent opportunity for sunset and landscape
2) Still in Luang Prabang, we start with a shoot of the city’s oldest
temple of Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs
sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian
architecture. We then embark on a cruise upstream on the Mekong River,
which also gives us a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside as
well as explore the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with
thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes
left by pilgrims. This a great opportunity to shoot landscape and people
3) A morning cruise on Halong Bay for sunrise. The Bay is a World
Heritage as designated by UNESCO in 1994, with thousands limestone islets
and offers a great chance for landscape work as we weave between the
4) Near Sapa we have the terraced paddy fields, small waterfalls and
pinewoods. This is an awesome location to capture the terraced fields and other
landscape opportunities of this ancient area.
5) Visit and capture the vitality of the weekly market of the hill tribes
living around Sapa. The Can Cau market, Bac Ha market or Coc Ly market or
we’ll enjoy the market of Black H’Mong and Dzay people. This is a
opportunity to capture shots where hundreds of people from the tribes of
the H’Mong, Tay, Dzay, Dzao, Kinh gather for meeting, shopping and
exchanging their goods, especially fabrics and handicrafts weekly.
6) The iconic Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom complex along with the Banteay
Srey Temple which means “Citadel of Women”, made of pink sandstone and
presents the most graceful carvings in stone we might ever see in our
I’m extremely excited to announce a new partnership with M&M Photo Tours as a guest pro at six workshops/tours this summer. See the official release below for details! Also–M&M has graciously agreed to offer any of my fans/followers a $100 discount off National Parks workshops and a $250 discount off the “Best of Italy” tour.
Adam Barker to Partner as Guest Pro with M&M Photo Tours
Tours Include National Parks and Italy
Salt Lake City (January 2010) – Award-winning landscape photographer and noted educator Adam Barker has partnered with M&M Photo Tours as the “guest pro” at numerous photo tours/workshops for 2010. Workshop locations include iconic National Parks such as Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and Arches National Park as well a “Best of Italy” tour.
Says Barker, “There truly is no better way to progress one’s photography than by visiting internationally recognized locations with experienced professionals for a fun, immersive educational experience.”
Adds Mike Gulbraa of M&M Photo Tours, “We are excited to welcome Adam Barker to our guest pro list which includes National Geographic and Canon Explorers of Light photographers. We welcome his skills and keen sense of creativity & artistry to our workshops and Italy tour. We are certain that Adam’s vast skills and expertise in teaching workshops and interacting with all levels of photographers will bring both M&M and Adam new experiences and appreciation for our art, while providing excellent education and resources to the workshop/tour attendees”.
Barker will lead a total of six workshops/tours for 2010 as follows:
- Page & Monument Valley — May 6-9, 2010
- Best of Italy Tour – May 15-24, 2010
- South Rim of Grand Canyon — June 6-9, 2010
- Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Park — July 6-9, 2010
- Zion & Bryce National Parks — August 1-4, 2010
- Arches National Park — October 4-7, 2010
For workshop details and itineraries, visit M&M Photo Tours at mmphototours.com
Raised amongst the towering peaks of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, Adam Barker has a passion for photography matched only by his zest for life. His affable nature, coupled with his workshop and seminar experience has helped many photographers to take their photographic endeavors to the next level. Obsessed with golden light and unforgettable vistas, his landscapes have sold as limited edition fine art prints to private and corporate collectors throughout the United States. His love affair with exceptional imagery has translated into stirring editorial work in skiing, fly fishing and numerous other lifestyle and adventure publications including Outdoor Photographer, Skiing, Ski, Powder, The Drake, USA Today, American Angler and many more. To find out more about Barker and view his work, visit AdamBarkerPhotography.com.
About M&M Photo Tours
Mike Gulbraa and Mike Montgomery established M&M Photo Tours to answer the call of photo enthusiasts with a knack for photographing the wonders of the world with the best instructors around. Both published and award-winning photographers themselves, the Mikes offer a wealth of travel experience in addition to their photographic foundations. Having traveled to over 150 countries on all continents and speaking several languages between them, their tour expertise is unmatched. Visit mmphototours.com for a complete list of photo tours and workshops for 2010.
M&M Photo Tours