Angkor Photo Workshops – July 12 – 26, 2014 (only 1 space left!)

Overview

This unique workshop includes a multitude of activities including: lectures, one on one instruction, critiques, assignments, and exploration of all things photographic. During the course of the workshop you will learn new skills and techniques, then apply them in real life situations. During the workshop, your results will be reviewed, you’ll be mentored and then you’ll go back out and improve your craft. Karl will guide you through the process of developing story ideas, compiling the necessary visual components and then help you understand and create visually compelling photo essays and short multimedia presentations.

The workshop, being limited to 6 participants, provides every person plenty of face time with Karl during the workshop portion of the trip in (Siem Reap) and then continuing throughout the “road trip” portion of the tour (Phnom Penh and Battambang). In Siem Reap, teams of two photographers will be assigned to a local NGO (Non Government Organization), for whom the team will develop shot lists, create images and develop a media library from which they will create a multimedia slideshow. Upon completion of the project, the slideshow and the library of images will be donated to the NGO as a token of appreciation for allowing us access. During the Phnom Penh and Battambang sections of the trip, participants will develop their own stories and apply the knowledge gained during their NGO project in Siem Reap.

Siem Reap, Cambodia is the gateway to the ancient, jungle clad, Khmer temples of Angkor. A bustling vibrant, town, Siem Reap has an energy and vigor that makes it the perfect place for intrepid photographers to practice and hone their craft. It’s the ideal location for you to be able to concentrate on your photography, and the photographic opportunities of the area are unrivaled: Within close proximity one can explore, temples, markets, lakes, rivers, forests, rice paddies, villages and more. But what makes Siem Reap really special is the friendly spirit of the Khmer people, who, after emerging from a tumultuous past, are now beginning to rebuild their country.

The workshop focus is to push yourself to the limits of your current photo skills and imagination; to have an outstanding and unusual cultural experience; and to enjoy and learn from the company of others. Working comfortably in foreign or new locations, particularly in a developing country, can take years of understanding and experience. Karl’s knowledge of the area shall jump start you during the acclimation process, so that participants can concentrate on their photography.


There will be nightly group dinners with image sharing and on at least 2 of the evenings, an instructional lecture with projection by Karl. On the last night, your top images can be presented to the group during the farewell party.

In summary, this is the perfect workshop for anyone who desires to take their visual storytelling skills to the next level! Karl will share his extensive knowledge, challenge you, and cheer you on as you enjoy your photography with a group of like-minded individuals, in one of the most beautiful and photogenic countries in Southeast Asia.

Itinerary

Day 1 (Jul 12): Guests arrive in Siem Reap, are picked up at the airport and transported to our hotel, the FCC Angkor Hotel. Guest who arrive early are at lesiure until our cocktail reception and welcome dinner where you’ll meet your fellow participants. A short slide presentation by Karl following dinner will explain our agenda.

Day 2: This morning we’re off to photograph the south gate of Angkor Tom, then to Bayon Temple. At around 10:30am we return to the hotel for lectures and lunch. In the afternoon we turn our attention to Angkor Wat and shoot until the light fades. At 7:30 we have a group dinner.

Day 3: This morning, after breakfast meet Karl for a critique of your images and to discuss your “personal photo project”. After your critique, optional mid-day presentations provide learning opportunities. This afternoon is spent shooting images for your personal project. Tonight, enjoy a group dinner and an image sharing session. (*mid-day presentations are optional, so if you prefer to rest, relax, do some shopping on your own, feel free to do so)

Day 4: Today you continue working on your personal photo project. After our late breakfast, we’ll have some educational presentations. Afterwards, you’ll continue working on your personal photo project then we do some afternoon street shooting in Siem Reap, stay in town for dinner, and continue with a night shoot.

Day 5: Today we travel by bus to visit the floating villages on the Tonle Sap, Cambodia’s largest lake. Initially we photograph this amazing area on foot, then board small boats to travel out onto the lake to observe and photograph a floating market. We enjoy lunch at our boatman’s house, then head to Beng Melea temple for our afternoon shoot. We return to Siem Reap after sunset and enjoy dinner at our hotel.

Day 6: Today we return to Bayon Temple and Angkor Wat for a second shoot. This “repeat opportunity” allows you to improve upon your shots from day 1. During the middle of the day today, optional lectures will provide learning opportunities. Late afternoon we visit Artisans d’ Ankgor workshop to photograph local craftspeople. (*mid-day presentations are optional, so if you prefer to rest, relax, do some shopping on your own, feel free to do so)

Day 7: We are up at 5:00 am and travel to Ta Phrom, by 8:30 we’re finished shooting and return to the hotel for breakfast. Today, enjoy additional optional photography lectures; before, and after lunch. This afternoon we photograph Prea Khan. (*mid-day presentations are optional, so if you prefer to rest, relax, do some shopping on your own, or continue to work on your personal photo project, feel free to do so).

Day 8: Today is your free day to shoot, shop and/or prepare for this evening’s “best of” slideshow, punctuating the mid point of our trip. Karl will be available all day to assist you with “anything photographic”. Tonight we meet for a delicious dinner, followed by the “best of” slideshow, featuring you and your fellow workshop participants.

Day 9: After a leisurely breakfast we board our private bus for an all day ride to Cambodia’s vibrant capitol city, Phnom Penh. Along the way we witness local Cambodian life, rice fields and even stop in a town where fried tarantula is the local delicacy. After arriving in Phnom Penh we check into the world famous Foreign Correspondent’s Club and/or the FCC’s sister property, the Quay, we then enjoy dinner overlooking the river.

Day 10: This morning we are transported by Tuk Tuk to visit and photograph the infamous S21 prison, (Toeul Sleng) and the Killing Fields at Chong Ek. Participants work on this story, capturing a variety of images and sound files that will then be combined into a multi-media slide show. After lunch Karl will lecture on the use of Soundslides software and assist you in creation of yet another personal photo project. This evening we do some street shooting along the riverside, then have dinner at a local restaurant. Those interested in an after-hours night shoot, follow Karl to the “heart of darkness”.

Day 11: We rise early to capture images of Phnom Penh “coming to life”. Following breakfast Karl discusses our road trip to Battambang. You can spend the remainder of the day shooting, shopping, resting, or just exploring Cambodia’s capitol city, Phnom Penh.

Day 12: Full day photo assignment: “The story of our trip from Phnom Penh to Battambang” (all day journey). Tonight we stay at the La Villa Hotel and or Bambu resort.

Day 13: Meet with Karl for critique, image selection and help putting together your ideas for what you will be shooting tomorrrow. Tonight’s group dinner is at a local Cambodian, restaurant.

Day 14: This morning we board the “Bamboo Train”, and spend a few hours ambling though small villages, and rice fields. In the afternoon we visit and photograph a brick factory, then return to the hotel. This evening is our big farewell dinner and image sharing party.

Day 15 (Jul 26): Today you are transported back to Siem Reap for your international departures. (2.5 hour ride Battambang to Siem Reap).

Leader


Karl Grobl

Karl Grobl is a humanitarian photojournalist specializing in the photographic documentation of relief efforts and development work of NGOs worldwide. His images have appeared in publications such as Newsweek, CNN, Geo, Town and Country magazine and The Chronicle of Philanthropy, but the largest majority of his photos appear in the annual reports, newsletters and communications materials of his humanitarian organization clients. Karl’s non-NGO work is represented by Zuma Press, the premier international editorial picture agency and wire service. His 2005 Haiti photo-story “City of God” was nominated for a World Press Photo Award.

Over the last ten years, Karl has worked for more than 90 different NGOs in over 50 countries including Afghanistan, Sudan, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines, East Timor, Cuba, and Haiti.

Following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami Karl spent more than a month embedded with five different non-governmental organizations documenting tsunami relief efforts in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. One year later he returned to document the reconstruction. He has covered post conflict peacebuilding efforts in Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and East Timor, HIV/Aids issues in Africa and Asia as well as Human trafficking in Cambodia and the Philippines.

In addition to his rigorous international travel schedule, Karl teaches photography workshops and leads international photography tours. He is a regular lecturer on photography and photojournalism and a long time member of the National Press Photographers Association. Karl is a member of the Advisory Counsel of Focus For Humanity, a non profit organization, who’s mission is to provide financial support, resources and training for professional and amateur photographers wishing to work with NGOs. He also works as a technical consultant for several photographic and photography-related technology companies and was featured in a world wide advertising campaign for SanDisk memory cards. For more images, stories and information visit http://www.karlgrobl.com

Dates & Prices

Dates: July 12 – July 26, 2014

Cost: $6775

The price is based on double occupancy. A single supplement of $775 applies.

This workshop will be limited to 6 participants. Cost Include includes 8 nights in Siem Reap and a 7 day “assignment trip” with 3 nights in Phnom Penh and 3 nights in Battambang. The price includes all 14 nights accommodations all breakfasts and dinners, 2 lunches, all entrance-fees at tourist sites, local English speaking guides, airport transfers and ground transportation (tuk tuks, trains and boat trips). Cost does not include: international flights, passport & visas fees, travel insurance, vaccinations and medical cover/treatment, accommodation on the night prior to starting, and personal expenses such as beverages/snacks, internet access fees, laundry fees etc. *All prices subject to change without notice, owing to the variable nature of international currency exchange rates and sudden changes in local costs.

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Terms

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Deposit and Final Payment

A deposit of $600 per person is required at time of booking. Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure.

Cancellation

  • On cancellations more than 120 days prior to departure, all monies are refunded less a $275 administrative fee and less any monies spent on participant’s behalf such as airline or other tickets.
  • Less than 120 but at least 90 days prior, total deposit amount is forfeited.
  • Less than 90 but at least 75 days prior, 50% of trip price is forfeited.
  • Less than 75 days prior to departure, 100% is forfeited.

Notification by phone or email is acceptable, but please follow with written notice. In the unlikely event we have to cancel a tour, a full refund will be given.

Responsibility

Jim Cline Photo Tours LLC, and their agents act only in the capacity as agents in all matters pertaining to hotel accommodations, sightseeing tours, and transportation, and are not responsible for any loss, damage, theft, or injury to person or property resulting from a defect in any vehicle, or the actions of any persons who provide services for this tour or for the action or inaction of any third party. Baggage is at the owner’s risk entirely. The tour operator reserves the right to withdraw the tour at any time, to decline any person as a member of the tour for any cause at any time. All prices are based on current rates of exchange and, while every effort will be made to hold them firm, they are subject to change. All participants are required to submit a signed Acceptance of Risk and Release of Liability form prior to the tour’s departure.

Health

It is the responsibility of each tour member to inform the tour operator of any possible health problems or handicaps upon registration. By forwarding a signed reservation form and trip deposit, you certify that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions of disability that would create a risk for you or other trip participants. Once a trip has been confirmed, medical circumstances will not be considered as exceptions to our cancellation policy. We assume no responsibility for medical care or for special dietary requirements.

Trip Insurance

To allow for any unexpected contingencies, all participants are strongly urged to purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance.

Itinerary

While Jim Cline Photo Tours LLC endeavors to make the itinerary as accurate as possible, it should be considered as an approximate schedule of activities rather than a rigid schedule of events. Trip itineraries are subject to revision due to weather, ocean or trail conditions, government restrictions, and other reasons beyond our control. The tour leader has the right to make changes in the published itinerary whenever in his sole judgment conditions warrant, or if he deems it necessary for the comfort or safety of the tour.

Country Info

Visas:

Health Issues: Health Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the infectious diseases section of the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.

Weather: It’s going to be warm, it always is, and it’s also likely to rain a bit (that makes for some great photos). In Cambodia there is little seasonal temperature variation, only about 6˚C, but both temperatures and rainfall decline the further inland you travel. Humidity varies quite a bit, averaging between 70% and 80%, but somewhat lower in the Ton Le Sap basin. Cambodia’s climate is tropical. Rain is a possibility at any time from May to November, but the serious rain falls in September and October. The wind that brings the rain reverses during the winter to create a ‘dry’, or more accurately, a drier season from December to April – the only months that are nearly rain-free are January and February. April is the cruelest month in Cambodia, it’s just plain HOT and difficult to do anything. Most locals just sit in hammocks in the shade and wait for May to arrive. By the time July comes around life is bearable, but you are going to sweat, especially during the middle of the day (but this is when we will be in our air-conditioned meeting room, getting photography instruction). If you don’t like the heat, Cambodia is not the place to go, except for Siem Reap during the height of the tourist season in December and January, when the place is over-run with tourists.

Money: Cambodia has two official currencies: the US dollar and the Cambodian Riel Currency exchange rates

ATMs, are everywhere, they dispense US dollars. Credit Cards are widely accepted in hotels and high end shops, Travelers Checks are basically useless, don’t bother bringing them.

Internet Access: Internet cafes are verywhere now, including WiFi at most hotels and some restaruants, and you can even get 3G internet service by purchasing a laptop dongle and a one-month, pre-paid service plan.

Electricity: Cambodia uses….for complete, detailed information about adapters and converters click here and please see my personal recommendations here

Equipment

Required equipment: Digital SLR with lenses offering a focal length from wide (24mm or wider) to telephoto (100mm or longer), laptop or netbook computer running image viewing software such as Breeze Browser, Picasa or Photo Mechanic and an image editing program such as Adobe Photoshop, or a combintation software program such as Lightroom. You will also need a demo copy of Soundslides software in order to produce your multimedia project. At the workshop we will give you a discount code to purchase Soundslides if you decide that it’s the right software for you. A basic sound recorder (MP3 or Wav) is also recommended (but not required) which can be used to capture interviews and ambient sounds to use in your multimedia presentations. An iPhone or Android phone is a good option for recording audio too. Additionally we strongly recommend a back-up device such as an external hard drive.

To be ready in case it rains: I suggest getting a few OpTech 18″ RainSleeves: They are a plastic bag type sleeve made to protect an SLR camera with a lens up 7.0″ in diameter and 18″ in length. The sleeve protects the gear from dust and inclement weather. It is designed for hand-held use or tripod application. The Rainsleeve features a unique eyepiece opening that adapts to most camera viewfinders, allowing composition of shots through the camera’s lens, not through the plastic. Camera & lens controls are easily visible and operable through the sleeve. Drawstring lens opening offers easy access and a snug fit. There are two Rainsleeves per package and they sell for about $5.00

FAQs
Is it going to be hot? Will it rain?

The weather in Cambodia during June, July and August is warm and humid. It’s always pretty warm in Cambodia, except during December and January during the height of the tourist season….when, as a photographer, you probably don’t want to visit.

As you have heard, April is really hot, even by my standards. By May and June, it’s more moderate, in July the average temperature is 80 degrees (the range is 77 min to 89 max) and the afternoon monsoon rains help to cool things off. Across most of the country, the monsoon rains are fairly predictable, usually occurring in the afternoon or at night. The afternoon rains usually last no more than a couple of hours making them fairly easy to plan around, especially if you are visiting the temples or touring. In fact, the Angkor temples are at their aesthetic best during the wet season.

Many travelers (and some photographers) understandably try to avoid visiting during the wet season, assuming that the rains will spoil the visit. There are obvious disadvantages to visiting during the rainy season, but personally it is my favorite time of year in Cambodia. During the rainy season the temples of Angkor are at their most beautiful and most photogenic. The reflecting pools and moats are full, the vegetation is deep green and the wet stone of the temples is at its most colorful. Also of photographic note, the rain-washed air of the wet season is particularly clear as compared to the hazy, smoky skies of the dry season. Outside the cities, the rice paddies are full of water, the jungle is lush and the countryside is picturesque and alive with growing season activity.

Of course, one of the biggest advantages for us is that there are fewer tourists in the country. The temples are less crowded, prices are lower and the bars and restaurants are all happy to see you. And, again, it usually does not rain all of the time or even every day during the rainy season. When it does rain it’s usually in the afternoon, and lasts a couple of hours, clearing in time to make great sunsets!

To be ready in case it rains: I suggest getting a few OpTech 18″ RainSleeves: They are a plastic bag type sleeve made to protect an SLR camera with a lens up 7.0″ in diameter and 18″ in length. The sleeve protects the gear from dust and inclement weather. It is designed for hand-held use or tripod application. The Rainsleeve features a unique eyepiece opening that adapts to most camera viewfinders, allowing composition of shots through the camera’s lens, not through the plastic. Camera & lens controls are easily visible and operable through the sleeve. Drawstring lens opening offers easy access and a snug fit. There are two Rainsleeves per package and they sell for about $5.00

Remember, this workshop is designed to offer “real-life photojournalism scenarios” and that’s what we will get, rather then the typical, “high tourist season, more comfortable temperature” kind of experience. Yes, we’re gonna’ sweat some days, and we are going to get rained on…and that’s going to make it real, and it’s going to make our pictures far different than the “tourist images” you often see!

Packing Ideas

Trip Evaluation Form

Angkor Photo Workshops Evaluation Form

We would love to hear your comments and suggestions from the recent tour. Please, if you have a few moments, fill out this form. Karl and I will personally review and discuss it. Your valuable input helps us to continuously improve our tours.
  • Please feel free to answer each question with as many or as few words as you deem necessary. Again, we appreciate any and all input.