Do you love photography? Do you love to travel? Then consider combining the two by embarking on a photography trek and workshop sponsored by Mentor Series, a division of Hatchette Fillipi Media and Popular Photography Magazine. Photo Treks are scheduled throughout the year to domestic destinations such as San Francisco, New Orleans, Arizona, and Alaska, and to international destinations as far flung as Turkey, China, and Antarctica. Each tour is accompanied by one or two professional photographers, depending on tour attendance. Trek participants tour the sights and use them as opportunity to hone their photography skills. They have the chance to ask questions and request assistance in the field from the tour photographer. In the evenings, trekkers gather with their photographer/workshop instructor for review and critique of their digital images. The workshop culminates in a group slide show on the last evening of the trip.
You don't need to be a great photographer or any kind of photographer at all to participate in these trips. Some people use sophisticated single-lens reflex cameras with tripods and loads of lenses and other equipment. But others just use a point-and-shoot. You may shoot digital or film, but if you shoot film, you will generally not be able to participate in the critique and slideshow unless you are able to get your prints developed quickly somewhere near your location. Usually, that is not possible. Even if you're shooting film or have a point and shoot camera, you will still learn a lot from spending time in the field with the photographer, who will offer tips about using different lenses and filters and how to make the best use of the available light. In fact, most photographers who go on the Mentor Series treks, whether they are professional or amateur, beginning or experienced, end up learning a lot about using their cameras to get the best pictures possible.
I have gone on two Mentor Series treks, one to Turkey and one to Sweden. Both trips were among the best experiences of my life. The itineraries for both trips were meticulously organized and there was a camaraderie among participants that lasted well after the trek ended and everyone went home. Tours are kept small which fosters collegiality. Cost varies depending on destination. A full list of upcoming destinations and the applicable pricing is available on the Mentor Series web site and www.mentorseries.com. Happy shooting!