Our Tours – FAQ

Here is a quick how-it-works on our photography tours. Have some more questions that are not answered here? Call or Write to us for all the information you need.

How do Darter Photography tours work?

Darter Photography tours are Fixed Departure tours that are conducted in Small groups and are led by a Darter Photography Expert.

  1. Fixed departure – The dates of our tours are scheduled and announced in advance. The group reaches the destination as per the scheduled arrival date and time. Optional extensions to the tour, either before or after the scheduled dates, are possible in some cases. Please check the tour details or contact us for extensions.
  2. Small groups – The group size in our tours is limited to ensure that everyone in the group gets the maximum photography opportunities and personalized attention from the Darter Photography Expert. Our lead photographers get to spend enough time with each of the participants and work with them depending on their photography experience. This allows us to have a wide spectrum of photographers in the tour, from those who are handling a camera for the first time to those who are well versed with photography and would like to explore a new destination.The actual size of the group may vary depending on the tour.
  3. Interactive Sessions – On each of our tours, interactive sessions are planned to help you understand the destination well and take better photographs. Our photographers will be constantly with you during the outings and help you in every possible ways to get great images on the field. At the end of every day of photography, your Darter Photography Expert would review your photographs and give you constructive feedback.
  4. Led by Darter Photography Expert – Darter Photography Experts are professional (or practicing) photographers who have good knowledge about the photography opportunities at our destinations. So, our wildlife photography tours will be led by a wildlife photographer who would also be an expert naturalist and is familiar with the fauna of the destination. Similarly, our travel tours to the mountains and other travel destinations will be led by a photographer specializing in photographing landscapes and culture. Darter’s photographers are well travelled and have often made several visits to a destination before planning a tour. They are on the road so often that their friends and relatives are often surprised to see them home. We spend a great lot of time working on the tours to ensure that you get excellent photography opportunities all through the tour without wasting even a single morning or evening. Know more about our team, their expertise and see their profile.

What is the typical level of expertise of the participants on a Darter Photography tour?

From serious hobbyists to amateurs to beginners, we have a wide spectrum of photographers joining us on our tours. Beginners on our tours learn about the basics of photography, through condensed sessions and on-field assistance from the Darter Photography Expert. Amateur photographers build upon their photography skills and get a chance to explore new avenues in photography. Serious hobbyists benefit from our homework of scouting the right locations, right timings and the lighting.

Our groups are small in size, enabling us to interact closely with everyone and ensure that each participant gets what (s)he is looking for – learning opportunities, good understanding of the destination and, most importantly, a memorable experience.

I am a complete beginner in photography and have just started shooting. I do not know much about camera controls and shooting techniques. Can I still join your tour?

YES! On all our tours, your Darter Photography Expert conducts sessions to get you up to speed on the basics of handling the camera and the nuances of photography. The learning continues throughout the tour through on-the-field assistance, reviews and interaction with fellow photographers.

There is another option for beginners. If you wish to sign up for a tour and want to get a hang of the basics of photography, you could also attend a Darter Workshop on Digital Photography prior to the tour. This would help you get a better grounding and practice before you set off on our tour. Please contact us for more details.

Can I bring my spouse and kids on the tour?

YES! You can get your spouse along, even if he or she is not a photography enthusiast. Since we travel to many beautiful places and experience many interesting things through our tours, we assure you they will not be bored.

On most of our tours, kids are welcome too. But some tours, such as the tour of Ladakh, may have a minimum age restriction in the interest of safety of children. Please check with our photography experts before signing up.

I am not a photography enthusiast, but would love to join your group anyway. Am I allowed to come on your tours?

YES! We travel to many beautiful places and experience many interesting things through the tours. Even if you are not a photography enthusiast, you can still come with us to witness some amazing sunrises and sunsets, witness the myriad cultures of our different destinations, visit heritage sites and see colourful birds and animals.

What kind of camera do I need to bring on your tours?

Bring any camera you have with you. It is the photographer, not just the camera, that takes the great photograph. For most of our tours, any camera you have would work.

However, on a few specialized tours, specific equipment may be useful. For example, it would be useful to carry a camera/lens with long focal length (telephoto) for a bird photography tour. Consult our photography expert on equipment when you sign up for a tour. Where necessary, we can assist you in renting equipment from our partners.

What should be the fitness levels and age requirements for your tours? What is the pace of your tours?

Our tours are not very rushed and usually do not have activities that require high physical fitness. However, some tours may have an activity or two that may require some degree of fitness. The tour description specifically mentions such activities, if any exists in the tour. Participants who may not feel up to it may skip such activities and still make most of what the tour has to offer. But most tours are easy on your body and doesn’t require to exert much efforts. People of any age are welcome. We have had people from sixteen to sixty on our tours before.

The pace of the tour is moderate. Being photography intensive tours, we spend a lot of time in each place we go to instead of rushing from place to place. Our short tours (up to three days long) typically have some activity every morning and evening, an indoor session somewhere during noon hours when the light isn’t good for photography, followed by image reviews in the night. Our long tours (a week or longer) tend to have similar schedules, with occasional free time on some mornings or evenings.

Although the tour calendars are well planned from end to end, the schedules are fluid and our photography lead will take decisions to move the pace or take it easier at times, depending on the mood of the group, weather and other local conditions in the middle of the tour. So unlikely that you would feel exhausted in long stretches during any tour.

What are the benefits of joining your tours?

There are several benefits in joining our photography tours.

  1. All our photography tours are designed to help you greatly in taking better pictures. The accompanying photography expert is always there with you to help solve your problems on the field and learn new things about photography. Several sessions taken at location help you understand the location better and improve your photography skills.
  2. Small group size; Expert guidance with plenty of personal interaction all through the tour. Friendly and approachable photography leads, who are available throughout the tour to help you with all your necessities, related to photography or otherwise.
  3. Carefully designed itineraries specifically tailored to maximize photography opportunities.
  4. Typically cosmopolitan groups with a good mix of men and women of all age groups, enthusiastic about travelling and photography. Our tours have always been a platform to meet and travel with like minded people who remain friends and stay connected even after the tour. We often do post-tour gatherings over a coffee or dinner, where we put our cameras away and spend time chatting about good times during the tours and chalking out new trip plans.
  5. Assured quality accommodation chosen for their cleanliness and cheerfulness, good quality vehicles and itineraries planned with the just the right pace – not too fast or not very lazy. We do all the homework to create the best itineraries covering maximum photography opportunities without tiring anyone, so all you have to do is to pack your bags and hop on board.
  6. FUN! – Come and see for yourselves! Not often you will come across group tours where strangers become friends in a day and stay in touch much after the tour ends. We have had our group dancing on the bank of Pangong Lake, staying late on the lake side watching the stars, going on night walks in the rainforest, joining Kalbelia dancers around the camp fire at a desert camp in Rajasthan, riding young camel that were almost refusing to be tamed and cracking jokes and pulling each other on a bitterly cold Himalayan night. Do we need to say more? How things turnout on the next tour may depend a lot on you!