Destination: India 2017

A Leica Destination Photography Workshop

Above Photograph: © 2013 Copyright Craig Semetko. All Rights Reserved.

A Photographer’s Dream Adventure with Craig Semetko

Join us on the Destination: India 2017 workshop with Momenta workshops and legendary photographer Craig Semetko.  Leica Destination workshops are customized to create an experience like none other in the marketplace.

This ten day journey will take you off-the-beaten-path during the festive season of Diwali to our favorite locales in Jodhpur, Varanasi, and Delhi. Experience the vibrant colors of spice and antique markets, photograph ancient temples alive with devotees, and whisk through glittering streets of new metropolitan cityscapes on the way to our next adventure.

This premium experience is designed for photographers who prefer the chance to explore a location longer, without tour buses or large groups. Build your skills as a visual storyteller in a location unlike any other, knowing we have thought of every detail.

Your creative passage to India in comfort. The Destination series workshops allow you to experience the thrill of travel without the worry about the details. The only cares you will have is what to photograph next!

  • Visit India during the gorgeous festival season of Diwali
  • Intimate photography excursions with our hand picked,  favorite guides
  • Professional photographers as your personal tour leaders
  • Private accommodations for every guest

PLEASE NOTE: You do not need to be a Leica owner to attend this trip. Leica gear, however, will be made available for those who would like to experience the joy of a rangefinder or elegant point-and-shoot cameras.


Workshop Highlights

The Destination Philosophy

Small groups. Fewer locations. More one-on-one.

The Leica Destinations are designed for passionate photographers and enthusiasts who want to travel like a pro. We have chosen fewer locations to visit to allow you the time to get to know the cities, experience the wonder of each place, and truly have an opportunity to dive into your photographic creativity.

You won’t be pushed on and off a bus by a tour guide and hustled from place to place. Instead, we cultivate each day’s itinerary so you will be able to explore the locations we have scouted for your to find your perfect moment.

Our guides in India are like family.

To those of us who have traveled to India with Momenta, our guides become trusted friends and we work with the same knowledgeable people every trip. The guides who support our trip will lead us from the typical tourist’s path and into the heart of India. Not only do they love traveling but each one is a skilled, passionate photographer. They know where good pictures are to be found in hidden corners of the country and they love sharing their secrets with us.

The Leica Akademie USA is famous for exceptional travel experiences.

The production of a Leica camera is an exploration in excellence and the Leica Destination trips reflect that feeling in each location we explore. You are taking a journey with us to our favorite places on earth, with some of the best instructors in photography, and we expect you will fall in love with them like we have.

If you would like to discuss Destination: India in more depth with our production team, our staff can be reached at info@momentaworkshops.com or +1 202 203 8758 (US) to speak to someone directly. We are happy to answer any of your questions about our collaboration with this exciting Leica Series.

What to Expect

  • No tour buses: In-country travel using cars, SUVs, and minivans to encourage small group discussions
  • No roommates: Single room accommodations for all guests
  • Delicious meals: breakfast & dinners featuring local and Euro-American options
  • Our Favorites: Custom built itineraries to Craig Semetko’s favorite locations
  • Photo Skills: Guided instruction on workflow and archiving techniques
  • Personal Touch: Portfolio reviews, hands-on instruction, style-development mentorship
  • Celebrations: An incredible celebration party with a private slideshow of our favorite images from the trip on the final night

Above Photograph: © 2013 Copyright Craig Semetko. All Rights Reserved.


Meet Your Photo Gurus
  • craig-semetko-portraitCraig Semetko

    Craig Semetko is an American photographer focusing on authentic human experience. Semetko was one of 10 photographers chosen worldwide by Leica Camera to be a part of its “10×10” exhibition celebrating 100 years of Leica photography. He spent three months in the fall of 2013 traveling throughout India for the project and the resulting work was displayed at the grand opening of the new Leica headquarters in Wetzlar, Germany, in 2014. His second book, INDIA UNPOSED, was also born of this project, and was published by StreetView Press in the spring of 2014.

    Born and raised near Detroit, Michigan, Semetko became a professional comedy writer and performer after college and years later discovered photography as another means of storytelling. His comedic background has given him a highly developed sense of the absurd and ironic, resulting in a strong theme of humor throughout his work.

    In his foreword for Semetko’s first book “UNPOSED,” Magnum Photos photographer Elliott Erwitt writes, “Good photographs are tough enough to shoot. Really funny ones are even harder. Good and funny photographs observed in nature not arranged or manipulated but simply observed in real time with amazing consistency, constitute a minor miracle now presented in Mr. Semetko’s book…In my book, he is the essential photographer. That is, the one who sees what others could not have seen.”

    A graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, Semetko currently resides in Los Angeles. He teaches workshops regularly for the Leica Akademie worldwide and his photographs can be found in private collections in Europe, Asia and the United States.

    You can see a full body of work and his book collection for sale at http://www.semetko.com.

  • seth-butler-portrait

    Seth Butler

    Seth has almost two decades of professional experience producing and instructing photography workshops. He has guided more than 30 workshops for Momenta Workshops, as well as National Geographic and Magnum photographers to locations including the United States, Vietnam, Tibet, India, Indonesia, and Myanmar (Burma). Seth has trained more than 300 students in his career and many of his former students have gone on to successful professional photographic careers.

    In 2001 after the attacks of September 11th and the start of the Middle Eastern conflicts, Seth began his critically acclaimed project, “Tattered: Investigation of an American Icon” to study of the many uses and implications of the American Flag. This series was published internationally and prompted Harvard Anthropologist Grant McCracken to say, after seeing the exhibit, “…indignation is not the presiding emotion with which I looked at Butler’s exhibit. Eventually, I was filled with something more like astonishment.” Tattered, both in gallery form and online, has continued to be exhibited and published around the world since 2003.

    Seth’s documentary photojournalism has also been published in numerous periodicals including Der Spiegel, The Journal of Contemporary Culture, Snowboard Magazine, BlueEyes Magazine, Vision Magazine, Trespass Magazine, and Transworld Snowboarding Magazine. He was chosen as the Vermont photographer for the internationally acclaimed 50 States Project, curated by Stuart Pilkington from the UK.

    Seth currently lives in Vermont where he has been working on a long term documentary multimedia project on sustainable living by studying farmers, architects, and educators making a positive impact on the environment. When not leading workshops for Momenta or the Leica Akademie, he is ever devoted to perfecting his mountain biking and snowboarding skills.

    You can view Seth’s portfolio at http://sethbutler.com.


Our Travel Itinerary

New Delhi

Many workshops overlook this incredible city, which means they miss out on some of the best moments to be found in India. We start our journey in this ever-changing, forward facing metropolis. Our instructor team will take you to our favorite night markets with eclectic vendor stalls where you will be surrounded by intoxicating smells of curries and spiced meat wrapped in the visual banquet of the heart of the city.

Varanasi

Varanasi is the stunning spiritual capital of India. The name alone inspires visions of the rushing Ganges River sweeping past gleaming temples. The river’s sacred waters lure pilgrims from around the world to bath and perform its famous funeral rites. The city is host to 2,000 temples, including Kashi Vishwanath, the “Golden Temple,” dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Scents of burning incense and wreaths of flowers waft from the offerings made to the gods in this spiritual oasis of light and ritual. Four days and four nights in Varanasi will create a vivid collection of portfolio quality imagery.

Jodhpur

Rajasthan is calling you to its famous Blue City. From Delhi, we will fly to Jodhpur for four days and nights to join the city as it prepares for the marvelous festival celebration of Diwali. Holiday shoppers crowd the streets to find presents and ingredients for their family’s favorite dishes. Temples are crowded with reflection and revelry. From the famous blue city neighborhood to the bustling merchant sector to the beautiful fortress that overlooks the city, our base for this holiest of festivals will become a second home to you and your camera.

The Finale

We will return to Delhi for a day of photography and celebration. Our journey ends where it began: in Delhi at our glorious hotel and spa in the heart of the elite entertainment district. During the day, we will venture to some of our favorite spots in the city. One group may choose to go souvenir shopping at our favorite markets and another group may visit a welcoming Sikh temple we discovered on our last journey. This relaxing day of street photography will have something for everyone. That evening, we will gather as a group for a slideshow of our favorite workshop images and venture out to our final group dinner at an incredible outdoor restaurant to complete our journey together in style!

Are You Looking for the Fine Print?

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Workshop Fees Include: single accommodations, in-country air and car travel, daily breakfast & dinner meals (excluding alcohol),  one-on-one private editing sessions with our instructors including Craig Semetko, optional personalized portfolio reviews, all handouts and workshop materials, daily slideshows and lectures, software and equipment supportive training, final night celebration and slideshow. Workshop Fees Do Not Include: international airfare, early arrival or late departure accommodations, visa fees (if applicable), travel and medivac insurance (required), medical or vaccination costs, meals not indicated on the itinerary such as lunches, items such as personal excursions, phone calls, laundry, alcoholic beverages, etc.
Each workshop requires a minimum deposit to reserve your place in the workshop. After you have registered for a workshop, final payments are due within 120 days of the start of the workshop. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email from our registration partners. As we near the start of the workshop, you will receive informational documents from our staff including a reading and research list, your final workshop itinerary, and travel guides. We work very hard to insure you are prepared in every way for this learning adventure. Our staff stands ready to answer any of your questions and to help facilitate the smoothest travel experience possible.
We require all attending photographers to bring their own cameras, laptop and support gear like external hard drives. Our staff and instructors can offer gear recommendations and help you understand the nuances of your equipment. We ask all photographers bring at least a digital SLR or rangefinder camera with 1-2 lenses. We encourage you to bring a lightweight tripod. Should you choose to participate in a multimedia project, you must come with a working knowledge of the required software programs and your equipment. Please see our Resources section for a list of suggested gear and traveling tips.
This course is designed for people who are good natured, flexible, have a working knowledge of photography and are interested in a unique documentary photography workshop experience. We will work with each photographer to improve their photography on any level, and we will find the right theme for your vision. We will provide support every step of the way, but you need to have a positive attitude and work well with a group! This experience is more of a photo practicum than it is a tourism trip. The educational journey will be amazing and eye opening but it is not easy. You will work long hours. Your instructors will give you daily challenges and push you to new heights with your photography. We will encourage you to stretch and think creatively. You may encounter people or organizations that are challenging to photograph. You may have to photograph in dark rooms or outside at high noon. You may have stressful days of difficult logistics. While we will be there to help you, support you and give you insight on the best way to handle the situation as a professional, you will need to take as much responsibility for your progress as we do.