Indulge yourself in one of the most historic countries on the face of the planet in a 11-day photography workshop and tour of Jordan with Nasim Mansurov and Tareq Hadi. Jordan, officially known as “The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan” is a photographer’s dream come true, thanks to its rich culture, friendly welcoming people, stunning architecture, colorful landscapes, and history dating back tens of thousands of years. That’s right, some areas of Jordan have evidence of human huts from about 20,000 years ago! Jordan also hosts the amazing Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World – a must-see “rose-red city” in your lifetime! The Jordan Photography Workshop is not just a photo tour of the best Jordan has to offer, but it is also designed to provide photography education for photographers of all levels to ensure that participants come back with stunning images.
The Jordan Photography Workshop will combine a class on cityscape and landscape photography, which we will start on the first day of arriving to Amman, the capital of Jordan. The first day will be an easy session designed to get to know each other, review camera gear, go over some basics and talk about the workshop schedule, since many might need some time to relax, get some sleep and get acclaimed to the new time zone after a long international flight. We will kick off the second day by touring the ancient Citadel and a few other spots in Amman, and after sunset, we will start the intensive cityscape and landscape photography class. While in Amman, we will keep ourselves busy by visiting nearby castles and ruins of Jerash, after which we will start our journey towards Petra, Wadi Rum and Aqaba.
Throughout the workshop, we will be accompanied by our good friend Mr. Tareq Hadi, a very talented photographer, educator and businessman, who runs one of the most popular photography sites in the Middle East called DPClick.com. He will be co-leading this workshop and guiding us to the best Jordan has to offer. A local Jordanian, Tareq speaks both Arabic and English fluently and he knows more about Jordan and its history than anyone else I have ever met. He is literally a walking encyclopedia!
1) Safety and Security
Although geographically, Jordan is located in a “hot” zone surrounded by neighboring countries in war such as Iraq and Syria, the country’s borders are well protected against any outside threats and it is a very safe country to visit. In fact, the government does everything it can to guarantee the safety of its civilians and tourists visiting the country by placing internal security and local army personnel in every hotel, shopping mall and major attraction. I had a chance to visit Jordan twice so far and each time I was there, I felt very safe – I would say even safer than in some places in the US! I even took my whole family on a month-long trip to Jordan and they enjoyed it immensely. Jordan is visited by many tourists from all over the world, so the locals are very used to seeing and interacting with foreigners. It is also important to note that Jordan has been a US ally for many years now.
2) 2017 Workshop Dates
The workshop will take place from October 10, 2017 until October 20, 2017. All participants will arrive to Amman on October 9th and depart on October 21st, 2017. The workshop will span a total of 11 days.
3) Workshop Size
The Jordan Photography Workshop will be limited to a total of 10 participants. With two instructors, there will be plenty of one-on-one education and individual attention to each participant. We will help set up your camera for each location and we will make sure that every person gets the best shot they can get from their camera gear.
4) Getting There
There are many airlines that fly from the USA and Europe to Jordan. Since the cost of airfare varies greatly depending on where the participants will be coming from, the cost of airfare will not be included as part of the workshop cost, as seen below. We encourage those flying out of the USA to use Royal Jordanian airline, which has great prices, superb service and some of the best planes in the fleet. In fact, if you depart from the Chicago O’Hare airport via Royal Jordanian, you will be sitting in a very comfortable seat of the best passenger airplane, the mighty Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Each participant arriving to Amman will be picked up and transferred to the hotel we will all be staying at without charge.
5) Transportation and Entrance Fees
We will be touring Jordan in a van, possibly two, depending on the number of participants (workshop is limited to 12 participants, including instructors). The cost of transportation, along with entrance fees to all attractions are included in the workshop fees.
All accommodations in hotels are also fully included for the duration of the workshop. However, it is important to note that the standard workshop cost includes a double occupancy room, which means that each person will be paired with a roommate of the same gender. If you would like to secure a single occupancy room, it will be $500 extra for the whole workshop (depending on availability).
If you choose to stay in the country after the workshop, we can assist you in getting your reservation extended at a discounted rate.
7) What to Bring
Please note that we will have limited space for gear while traveling, especially when switching hotels, so we encourage to keep camera gear to the minimum. Please see our recommendations below for what gear we would recommend for this workshop.
7.1) Cameras and Lenses
You can bring any kind of camera gear with you. Our team is pretty familiar with all camera systems out there, so choice of brand is a non-issue. As for lenses, our recommendation would be to bring several lenses:
- Wide angle / ultra-wide angle: If you have a wide angle zoom lens, like a 16-35mm that can take filters, it would be ideal for shots like this:
- Normal range: A 24-70mm or a 24-120mm would probably be your most used lens during the workshop. Example shot:
- Telephoto range: There might be good opportunities for using telephoto lenses as well, so make sure to grab a lightweight 70-200mm or a 70-300mm lens.
- You might also want to consider bringing a fast wide-angle prime, like a 24mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 lens – there might be good opportunities for astrophotography in Wadi Rum and Petra.
A tripod is an absolute must for this workshop. Please take a good, sturdy tripod – see our article on choosing a tripod for recommendations. It will be needed for sunrise, sunset and astrophotography shots. Don’t forget your tripod quick release adapters (we have had people before who forgot those). If you always prefer shooting on a tripod, make sure to grab one that is easy to setup (provided that it is not flimsy), as we would not want to delay the whole group because of a single complex setup. There will not be any need for monopods or other camera support gear for this workshop.
- Polarizing filter: a must-have for obvious reasons. If you don’t have one, please purchase as soon as possible. We will be bringing a couple of 77mm polarizing filters just in case, but it is always recommended to bring your own.
- GND filter: for sunrise/sunset shots, a soft-edge graduated neutral density (GND) filter is another item we would highly recommend. Take a 2 stop and a 3 stop GND. If you want to only take one filter, take a 3 stop soft-edge GND. Don’t forget a filter holder! If you do not know much about filters, please see the following articles for detail: Must-have filters for Landscape Photography and Lens Filters Explained.
We highly recommended to bring a lightweight laptop for backing up photographs and for the post-processing class (either PC or Mac), since we will be going over workflow and post-processing on the last day of the workshop.
Don’t forget to bring a small flashlight, memory cards and extra batteries.
Although Jordan is a pretty warm country overall, the late fall months can bring some chill after sunsets, so make sure to bring a warm jacket and a couple of sweaters. It will also help to bring hiking shoes for walking in Petra and Wadi Rum. No need for bringing boots, just regular hiking shoes will do. We don’t expect to see much rain in October, but if it does rain, it might help to bring a thin waterproof jacket, just in case.
8) Workshop Schedule
Below is the workshop schedule:
Oct 9 – Arrival to Amman, hotel check-in, Meet and Greet / Planning Session in the evening
Oct 10 – Cityscape / Landscape Photography Class
Oct 11 – The Citadel, Amman
Oct 12 – Jerash
Oct 13 – Desert Castles / Dead Sea
Oct 14 – Kings Road and Wadi Araba
Oct 15 – Petra
Oct 16 – Petra by Night, Dana Wild Reserve
Oct 17 – Wadi Rum
Oct 18 – Wadi Rum
Oct 19 – Aqaba
Oct 20 – Return to Amman, image review / post-processing class
Oct 21 – Departure from Amman
Please note that the above schedule is subject to change – any changes to the schedule will be emailed in advance to all workshop participants.
For detailed information on what it is like to photograph in Jordan, please see my What to Photograph in Jordan article.
9) Cost and How to Sign Up
The workshop cost is $4,499 per participant. We are currently taking a deposit of $1,000 to secure your spot, but you have the option to pay for the workshop in full. Full workshop payment is expected 90 days prior to departure.
Here is what is included in the above workshop cost:
- Hotel accommodation costs (4-5 star hotels)
- Meal costs
- All ground transportation costs
- All entrance fees to the above-mentioned locations
- Photography instruction / workshop fees
What’s not included:
- Travel / medical insurance
- Hotel incidentals
- Room service, beverages, phone service, Internet fees, etc
- Photography equipment
- Extra costs due to unanticipated changes in itinerary (flight delays, closures, etc)
In order to sign up for the above workshop, please use our secure Workshop Registration page.
10) Cancellation Policy
Please note that the workshop deposit fee is fully refundable until June 1st of 2017. We will not be able to provide a refund after this date due to group reservations, planning and coordination issues. Full payment is expected before July 10th, 2017. In the event of workshop cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances (natural disaster, government closures, injury, death, etc), collected workshop fees will be refunded (minus potential processing fees and permits acquired in advance). Photography Life will not be held responsible for airfare and other potential expenses incurred due to workshop cancellation.