A thousand year old village inviting you to walk through its quaintly winding lanes. The fascinating play of light & shadow among earthy houses and scenic farms. The fragrance of Nature permeating the fields of medicinal herbs & healthy grain. An immense variety of birds …calling out for your attention in birdsong.
Eat delicious food cooked on firewood with simple ingredients & a pure heart, in the company of the village folk at their homes. If you’re up for it, you could even lend a hand with the cooking! Discuss photography and exchange life-stories with the group over tea around a bonfire. Sing. Dance if you feel called to move to a more primeval rhythm. And for dessert – the utterly beautiful Milky Way. Lie back on your charpai and take in the eternal dance of the stars & other celestial bodies as they waltz through the night sky.
WHAT WE OFFER
Complete access to the village, its people, and farms. Guided nature trails through the neighbouring hills & valleys.
Local guides to take you through activities such as cultivating & harvesting crops, and the chopping of firewood, etc.
Photograph the above activities and others such as tribal art and dance.
Start with a photography orientation in which I talk about the core aspects of travel photography. This will improve your photography in terms of content and composition. I will also demystify terms like APERTURE, SHUTTER SPEED, & DEPTH OF FIELD so that you can make the camera do what YOU want it to do… make beautiful pictures.
WHAT YOU OFFER TO US BY BOOKING A JOURNEY
An 18% increase in average annual household income for over 80 households in the village.
Over 2000 days of local employment created annually.
The villages have seen a reduction in migration due to the employment created within.
Conservation of ancient traditions and biodiversity.
Our efforts connect urban and rural communities facilitating an exchange of ideas that builds mutual respect for one another.
This is a 2 day – 1 night weekend photography getaway priced at Rs. 2,999/- for students and Rs. 3,999 for non-students. It includes accommodation, all meals, photography orientations, local guides, all the village activities on offer, and the jeep ride from (and back to) the nearest railway station.
If you’re driving, we will email you detailed driving instructions.
Where is this workshop held? And how do we get there?
Purushwadi is 220 kms from Mumbai off Igatpuri. On the morning of the workshop, we’ll meet at Dadar Railway Station at 6:30 AM and board the train to Kasara. Purushwadi is a couple of hours away from Kasara Railway Station. Pre-booked jeeps will take us there.
The cost of the train ticket (for the return journey) from Dadar to Kasara is Rs. 44/- per person. This amount is not included in the workshop fees.
DRIVING TIPS (from Mumbai)
Take the eastern express highway to Nasik. This is the National Highway 3
En route to Nasik, 100-120 km from Thane after passing the first ghat section. You reach Igatpuri
8-10 km after Igatpuri en route to Nasik is a town of Goti (on the right). While approaching Goti, there are direction boards which point to Bhandardara
Ahead of Goti, there is a flyover on the right hand side.
Continue moving in a straight direction. 4-5 km from Goti take the uphill road on the right. This is the first right after passing Goti.
From this right there are road milestone at regular intervals
Head towards Sangamner (40 km from Rajur)/ Akole (20 km from Rajur)/ Rajur
The distance of Rajur from Goti is 46 km.
At Rajur, get down at the petrol Pump.
A villager from Purushwadi would be waiting for you.
What are the staying arrangements?
We have tents pitched in a common area. The tents are provided with mattress, blankets, bed-sheets, pillows & pillow-covers. There are common washrooms in the campsite.
Once there, the guests are briefed on the accommodation. If the guest is unable to accommodate in a tent then we have villager’s houses that can be used.
Please note that this is not a luxury holiday. It is an experiential and rustic weekend village getaway.
The food is always vegetarian consisting of Chapatis, Rice, Dal and 2 vegetables along with pickle or salad.
Non-vegetarian meals: eggs for breakfast, chicken for either lunch or dinner can be arranged. The additional cost will be Rs. 60/- per person.
What are the additional possible activities & photo opportunities at these workshops?
FARMING: ploughing, sowing, transplanting, weeding, harvesting, pounding, de-husking of rice etc.
LIFESTYLE: chopping wood, fetching water from the well, milking cows/goats, powdering of rice, antiseptic treatment of houses & storehouses, traditional cooking, swimming in the river, fishing etc.
NATURE: bird watching, medicinal plants, stargazing.
What is the impact of you booking a weekend photography workshop?
18% increase in average annual household income of over 80 households
Over 2000 days of employment created annually
Reduction in migration
Conservation of traditions & biodiversity
Connecting urban & rural communities
We endeavour to contribute towards the UN’s MDG’s through Rural Tourism.
What should you carry?
Pair of good walking shoes
Personal medications if any
Basic Toiletries (towel, soap, toothbrush, paste etc.)
Mosquito repellent coil or ODOMOS (generally the mosquitoes are well behaved, but you never know if they may have an affinity for you)
Raincoats/Umbrellas during the monsoons
A Bottle of Water – 1 Litre is good enough (We have Aquaguard and Purified water and you can re-fill as and when required)
Spirit of Adventure
What you should not carry?
Electronic Gadgets like iPod etc. (You won’t get time to listen to it.)
Lots of Cash (Unless you plan to buy a cow…)
Office-work and Laptops. (The Cows in this Village don’t like IT; and may attack the Laptops)
What is expected of you while on tour?
Behave in a manner and dress in attire that respects the villager’s culture, traditions and environment. There should be no indecent exposure with clothes.
No littering in the village, dustbins are provided in the tents and cottages.
To maintain accountability in the village, please do not give any money/tip any individual villager.
Keep an open mind and have fun while you’re at it.
What topics will be covered?
Ever wondered why some photos are more appealing than others: some too bright, others too dark, blurry, out-of-focus or grainy?
We’ll cover all the principles of exposure & composition i.e. achieving optimum exposure by light metering, understanding & setting the shutter-speed, aperture & film-speed taking the subject, intensity & direction of light into consideration and planning compositions.
The immediate outcomes of this workshop are:
You will be able to use the camera in the Manual or ‘M’ mode for effective exposures: no more over/under-exposed photos!
No blurry photos in low light! You will be able to achieve crisp and clear photos in any lighting conditions
Make powerful pictures by choosing the most relevant focus point and understanding the simple rules of composition
What’s the schedule like?
Reach the village at about 11 AM
Orientations & check-in
Delicious lunch cooked on firewood with simple ingredients & a pure heart, in the company of the village folk at their homes
Awesome village tea will follow the siesta
Each participant goes about experiencing & making photos of the splendid village life
Dinner; like lunch
A review of the photographs made by the participants & technical discussions about photography around a bonfire under the utterly beautiful Milky Way
Photograph the sunrise and make the most of the early morning photo opportunities such as farm activities, milking cows & goats, chopping wood, children playing cricket, bird watching etc.
A choice between reviewing the photograph and a dip in the river/adventure sports (or both!)
Lunch: at times, lunch can be served along the banks of the river
Head back home at 1:00 PM.
Do I need to have an SLR/DSLR/Micro-four-thirds camera with me?
The scope of understanding the core technicalities of professional photography on a camera that’s not an SLR/DSLR/Micro-four-thirds is limited. But if you don’t have one, you are more than welcome to bring a point-and-shoot /any other camera and pick up a few tips about making better photos with it.
Additional things to remember
Electricity can be a problem so please ensure that the camera batteries are completely charged.
Bring spare batteries if possible.
Mobile connectivity is rather poor.
Visit http://www.girishmenon.com/portfolio to view my portfolio.
I have a great passion for teaching photography. And after this interactive workshop, you too will become a passionate photographer.