Incredible South India Photo Tour Workshop

Oh my feet haven’t really touched the ground since returning from India. It was such a fantastic trip and I am still on a high. I so appreciated having been on another Luminous Journeys trip where everything was well organised and all I needed to do was focus on photography." - Rosalyn Johnson, New Zealand

Photographer-David-LazarTaking a South India photo tour for the uninitiated is an unimaginable, almost kaleidoscopic feast for the senses.  From a photographer’s perspective, most especially those interested in people and culture,  there is nowhere else in the world that offers such a remarkable array of photo opportunities.


Enter Incredible South India! – An India photo tour workshop adventure designed and led by renowned travel photographer David Lazar:


As always on India photo tour, David will be offering his expertise in the field on an ongoing basis, as well as image review and Photoshop/Lightroom instruction to those interested. You’ll get the chance to photograph in places you’d never find on your own, and overall you’ll be the beneficiary of an extraordinary number of impact image making opportunities. In short – a world class photography tour experience.


Both David and his award winning teammate, Canon brand ambassador Swarup Chatterjee, are among those rare photo tour leaders who actually care that their guests become better photographers during the tour. They will do everything in their power to make it so. Swarup joins the tour with 8 participants or more.


So – are you ready to take your photography to new heights on this incredible South India photo trip? To invest in your yourself as a “mad keen photographer”, as the great Sam Abell puts it?


“I took I signed up for the Luminous Journey’s India Tour with great expectations and they were exceeded at every level. The destinations were amazing, the photographic opportunities beyond belief, the leadership and guidance by David Lazar tremendous and the help and assistance of the local guide, Vikas Kumar, made the whole trip seamless. I would definitely travel with Luminous again". –Peter Hickson, Australia

Hotels – 4/5 star, well located

Tour Type – India photo tour workshop, 4/5 participant minimum, 10 maximum.* See T&C.

Skill Level – Suitable for ALL skill levels, novice to advanced. Relative beginners will never feel left behind on an LJ trip

Physical Difficulty – Moderate. If you are in reasonable walking shape you'll be fine


*Swarup Chatterjee will join the trip should we have 8 participants or more. Tour average over the years is 8


Old Delhi & Chandi Chowk

The Storied

Colorful Ascetics, Sadhus & Babas
Ancient City of Varanasi on the Holy Ganges
The Wonderful People of India!

* Please note the above India photo tour itinerary is subject to changes in the order of locations visited, but we always start and finish in Delhi. A fully detailed final schedule and 30-page information kit concerning traveling for photography in India will be sent to all registered participants approximately 100 days prior to tour start date.

** Image review is available on an ongoing basis by request. For those interested, David will offer Photoshop/Lightroom instruction sessions as time allows.

“Luminous Journeys India was one of the most amazing trips I’ve ever done!! The trip was awesome and as always (this was my third Luminous Journeys photo tour) I had a lot of fun with David Lazar and the group.” — Paul D’, Switzerland 

What’s Included in the Price of Your India Photo Tour?


 Photographer fees and top English speaking guide

 All accommodation

 In-country flights, airport & ground transport

All meals from Day 1 dinner through Day 15                             breakfast

 Ample bottle water and refresh towels throughout

 All entrance, zone and camera fees

 Local model donations


 International airfare

Personal purchases & adult beverages

 Trip cancellation or medical insurance

 Medical expenses

 Gratuities for hotel porters, local guides & drivers

 India visa fees

 End of trip gratuities for photographer tour leader

Getting Cultural

More Knowledge – Better Pictures


Sannyasi, Sadhus & Naga Babas

Sannyasi, in general terms, are advanced stage holy men who have been given a title such as Swami by a guru. A sadhu, Sanskrit for ‘holy man’, is a more broadly used term for those who practice the spiritual discipline of “sadhana”, and whose goal is to achieve liberation from samsara and the ties of karma and rebirth. It should be noted that phony sadhus are more common than true ones, but in a country as vast and poor as India, offers the fake fakir a decent way to make a living. Naked sadhus, (sky-clad), are known as Naga Babas. They descend from a class of warrior ascetics who served as security forces for the Moghuls of old. Many still carry battle axes, swords, spears or tridents today, along with a fierce attitude. Approach with caution.

Extreme practices called tapasya include standing/sleeping on one leg for years; holding one arm in the air continuously for years; meditating in extreme heat with cow dung burning on top of the head; sleeping on a bed of thorns; lifting heavy weights off the ground with the penis; pushing knives or other sharp objects througb various parts of the body; hermitism and etxremely long periods of meditation; and in the case of extreme Aghori sects, even the eating of human flesh! The best places to see and photograph various tapasya being performed are Varanasi and at various festivals.

The Eternal Fires of Moksha

Varanasi, or Kashi, is one of the oldest inhabited cities on earth, and the oldest and most sacred in India, dating back some 3,500 years. The inextinguishable cremation grounds of Manikarnika are also the oldest and most sacred on the subcontinent. Manikarnika is Hindi for “ear jewel”. Legend has it that the goddess Sati sacrificed herself for Lord Shiva here, with one of her earrings having fallen on the spot. Along with being situated on the banks of Mother Ganga (which has recently been legally declared a living being), explains its ‘most sacred’ status. Hindus believe that to be cremated here is to attain moksha, or liberation, from the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.

And so for any Hindu who can afford the wood of the funeral pyres, (the wood monopoly is controlled by a class of very wealthy “untouchables” known as Doms), Varanasi at Manikarnika is the best onward ticket available.

In terms of photography at the burning ghats, it is not allowed. So approach with caution when on your own, or prepared to be shouted at or even forced away. If with LJ, we have our inside contacts and you will have no worries!

David Lazar - India 2008 (12)