about the destination
Lebanon, despite its troubles, is now in my top three destinations for urban-style photography. Boasting beautiful landscapes and waterfalls as well as spectacular architecture and ruins from an array of eras. The country also offers world-class cuisine that caters to all tastes and palates, the country is eye-opening but beautiful at the core. This trip is a fantastic opportunity to improve your photography (I will be on hand to answer any questions along the way) and feed your creativity whilst discovering this amazing and less-traveled country.
I only work with the best drivers in the country to provide transport to each of our photography locations, and this is of course provided, alongside all overnight accommodation in Lebanon. I take care of all the bookings, so you can relax and take in our splendid surroundings as well as focus on travel, the experience, and perhaps your photography.
During the tour, we also take a trip into Beirut – the nation’s capital, but the trip’s main focus is a broad overview of the country as we hit the highlights. We also include a free day to give you the flexibility to explore the capital further, relax on the beaches, or explore other parts. THIS TOUR IS CANCELLED IN 2024 – DUE TO UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES RELATING TO TRAVEL INSURANCE.
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We will be hunting out great image opportunities, following a tour route that I have designed entirely from the ground up. We seek out a mix of interiors and architecture as well as iconic Lebanese locations that I have researched and previously visited.
I wanted to build an itinerary that would showcase the best of Lebanon in the time that we have available. I wanted to show you the two extremes of this beautiful country. We mix interior and architecture photography locations with historic exteriors and locations on this comprehensive adventure. The key objective of this tour is to make donations made to local Heritage Initiatives, building owners, caretakers, and suppliers from around Lebanon.
Here are a few of the possible examples (a more comprehensive guide will be sent in the welcome pack):
We take a look at a stunning abandoned theatre in Beirut
A visit to a former train yard (with over 15 trains) closed during the civil war
We visit a number of heritage palaces across Lebanon – one of which was never completed
A number of Abandoned Ottoman Houses
A seriously cool house (turned Musee), built from 100 soon-to-be demolished Beirut houses
The interiors of former bathhouses (both re-purposed and closed)
The stunning Baatara Gorge and Jezzine waterfalls
We take a stroll through Tripoli with a local architect – he will showcase the Tripoli story – before we continue to explore in his city.
We visit the ancient city of Baalbek – located east of the Litani River in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley, about 67 km northeast of Beirut. In Greek and Roman times, Baalbek was also known as Heliopolis and it houses insanely beautiful ruins.
*Note: The itinerary in Lebanon is not set in stone and can change based on environmental variables. This is in order to maximise the guest experience. This tour needs a minimum of four guests to run.
No Single Supplements – you get a bedroom to yourself!
This is a photography retreat, with comfortable accommodation featuring 24-hour power (important in Lebanon). We have booked TWO spacious apartments in the heart of Beirut – this is where you will be based during your time in Lebanon with us. The Apartments feature large bedrooms, balconies, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioned rooms, two bathrooms between the guests in each, a living room, a flat-screen TV, a fully equipped kitchen in either, a washing machine, and a balcony. I fill the fridge with breakfast, snacks as well as water, and some treats for your stay.
The city of Beirut has often stood out in people’s minds for the wrong reasons, given its turbulent history. However, these days it is a thriving and welcoming metropolis, with redevelopment booming amidst its stunning mix of historic architecture and different cultures. The exterior of the city has changed over time due to the country being in a constant state of transition. We explore what the capital has to offer over the course of two days – visiting heritage spaces, vantage points and extraordinary places.
We take a stroll through Tripoli with a local architect – Bassem will showcase the Tripoli story through the old town area as he joins us for the day – we explore and photograph throughout his city. This would include a hammam built in 1333, the ancient souks, an architectural park that is now on the UNESCO world heritage list, and an old house with a beautiful ceiling – once owned by a Mufti. Traditionally, a mufti was seen as a scholar of upright character who possessed a deep knowledge of the Quran and legal literature.
START TO TAKE PORTFOLIO WORTHY PHOTOGRAPHS
My photography, travel, and urban adventure tours are aimed at any level of photographer who is looking to improve their photography and meet like-minded people that love travel. From beginners looking to understand the basics and improve, through to advanced photographers searching for great locations to rekindle or feed their enthusiasm and inspiration.
The key aim of our time together is to have fun and enjoy being outdoors, whilst leaving inspired to take photos for your own photography portfolio.
However, during our adventure, I can help you, should you require this guidance – and talk you through the key elements of producing a great image. Key elements such as post-processing techniques, composition, and subject choice as well as timing and light.
I will also chat with you about the technical aspects of photography, helping you understand your camera and settings whilst keeping it simple. The typical areas that we discuss will be the exposure triangle of f-stop, ISO, and shutter speed, but also, composition and finding unique angles.
We also discuss understanding light and how it can impact on the mood of the image and the key technical elements if needed.
YOU MAY ALSO ASK:
Should you have any other questions please email me on email@example.com
Throughout the trip, I do my best to provide you with amazing accommodation, but what you get might not be 5-star throughout. Particularly during our time in rural areas, some modern luxuries simply won’t be available despite us staying in a nice hotel. However, we can guarantee the essentials you’ll need in order to enjoy your stay: warmth, good food; power plugs for charging batteries; plus a modern, heated bus, and comfortable beds. The wifi will be at least consistent, if not necessarily fast.
Some elements of this trip will require walking and sometimes over rough ground – so be sure to bring proper walking boots or other outdoor footwear. You’ll also need warm outerwear.
- What Should I Bring With Me?
- There could be storms, or it may be raining at points so maybe bring a raincoat.
- Enough clothes for the entire trip.
- Solid boots – such as walking boots.
- Lots of spare batteries (as they will soon run flat) and memory cards.
- A sturdy tripod – 99% of my work is shot using a tripod (a loan could be arranged if you tell me in advance).
- Manual for your camera.
- Laptop for editing during the week (if interested/mentioned in the tour listed).
- Phone – wifi will be provided at hotels.
- Power adaptor(s).
- Check the welcome pack for any additions to this list.
Once you arrive in the coutry and settle in at our Hotel – we’ll gather for a brief welcome and introduction, this will be mentioned in the WELCOME PACK and on the Whats App group chat (that I will set up prior). The aim here is to get together to chat about travel, cameras, and all the things we’ll see in our time together.
We’ll arrange transportation for you back to the relevant airport and from here, head homeward or onto your next destination. If you’d like to extend your time in the destination, I will be happy to offer advice and suggestions of things to do and photograph.
Just make sure to let me know as it might be more convenient to stay in the same start/end hotel or accommodation spot. If this is the case, I will usually offer to book it for you (additional fee due upon check-in).
All of my destinations are connected – it is key for me when I am choosing tour destinations. In the welcome pack – I will list the start and end destination for your tour. The pack will ALWAYS be sent out 6 months prior to the tour taking place.
However, since the global pandemic hit us all in Spring 2020 – huge changes have hit the travel industry and multiple airlines/carriers have changed routes/destinations. My best advice is to look on Skyscanner – but also don’t rule out looking on airlines sites directly for flights, such as on Ryanair, Pegasus or Middle Eastern Airlines. Sometimes deals don’t pop up on sites like Skyscanner and things are changing/improving daily – Wizz air for instance had lots of options change in mid-2020 – but have said they are revising routes daily since 2022.
I would also STRONGLY advise booking directly with airlines for the foreseeable future – as should the worst happen, you would stand in a better position to get a refund or to make a claim through your insurance firm. In other words – don’t book with firms that act like agencies (Lastminute.com) etc.
I can highly recommend Turkish Airlines as one example – they have been “photographer friendly” since 2020. But of course this only works if they fly to the tour spot.
For this trip please check with me if you are ensure which airport to fly into or out of. If unsure, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sure you can – just make sure to let me know as it might be more convenient to stay in the same start/end hotel or accommodation spot. If this is the case, I will usually offer to book it for you (additional fee due upon check-in).
- Any personal expenses/gifts for friends etc.
- Alcohol costs – accept where stated in the welcome pack.
- Travel Insurance.
- Photography Insurance.
- Some food might not be included – check welcome pack for details.
- International air tickets – See “how do I fly” section for more information on flights.
- Visa fees (if applicable) – but I can offer advice or assistance.
- Photography equipment, although some hire can be arranged through James in advance.