Tag: Brian Hirschy

Matt Brandon Talks Tibet

Our good friend, The Digital Trekker, Talks Tibet and the 2013 workshop...

I’m happy to have my good friend and cohort, Matt Brandon, on the blog today talking about our last Tibet workshop together.  We at Plateau Photo Tours are excited to have Matt back again this year from what will be an amazing trip.  We spent a little time discussing our experience in Tibet and decided to write a bit of it down.  It’s a special trip, and if you are interested in this years tour/workshop we have just a couple spots left.

Check out more of Matt’s images from Tibet.



This is the second time you’ve been to Tibet teaching. Are you excited to go back?

Of course, I’m very excited about returning to TIbet. Tibet is one of those magical places that feels like you’re stepping into – and photographing – a fairytale. From the towering Himalayan peaks dotted with Tibetan monasteries to deep river gorges it’s a place like no other on the planet and one I can’t wait to get back to.  I’m excited to visit Garze prefecture and all it has to offer.


What was your experience the first time like?

I’ve traveled many places around the world so there are very few things that I haven’t seen. But I experienced so many “firsts” on this trip. It was my first time to sleep at 17,000+ feet. It was my first time to see Mount Everest close-up. Having such an experienced guide as Jamin and your years of photographing Tibet was a real bonus for me. Of course I can handle a camera pretty good ; ) but there is no substitute for local cultural experience. And on this trip it was plentiful.


What are you looking forward to the most

There’s nothing like photographing mountain cultures. I love photographing in the Indian Himalaya but there’s something uniquely different about the Tibetan plateau. I am thrilled to the point of almost being like a giddy schoolgirl as I think about my return to such an amazing locations as Tibet and China.  I’m excited to get to meet up with more pilgrims and nomads.  That culture is just fantastic.  And the people of course! It’s such a great experience all around, though.


Show us one of your favorite images and tell us a quick story about it.

We were visiting the Jokhang in Lhasa and found a little monastery that is right in the middle of this pilgram route — it was packed full of pilgrims at the time. It was so crowded that I could hardly raise my camera to photograph. So I chose to find a quiet corner sit down and just watch as the Pilgrims filed through or sit and pray. This one particular old lady had a weathered look that so many of the Tibetans had. But she also had an almost angry look about her. I watched her for sometime sit and spin her prayer wheel. She would turn, look at me and smile and then go back to that fixed frown on her face. I wanted to catch her intensity and the movement of her prayer wheel. So I cranked up my ISO to 2500. Used my 16 – 35mm at 16mm and got right near her and shot at 1/5th of a sec hand held. Crazy, but it worked.



What stuck out to you the most looking back on your experiences in Tibet?

Lot’s of things stick out, but for me it was the remoteness of the place. I felt there was a “otherworldly” dimension to Tibet and its culture.  I have no doubt that this adds to the mystery and mystique of the region.  It’s wholly unique. And of course, this is exactly what a photographer like me is looking for.  My experience was fantastic.


Photography 101: Mastering the Basics

A beginner photography workshop with Philip Thomas and Brian Hirschy


Join Philip Thomas of Novo Studio and Brian Hirschy of Plateau Photo Tours October 15th in downtown Rogers AR for one day of  training on mastering the basics of photography and giving your photographic work a strong foundation for moving forward.  In one day we will go into in-depth coverage of the following subjects:

  • Basics of composition and depth
  • Understanding & using your camera
  • Understanding shooting in different lighting situations
  • Working with a client
  • Basic post process editing – how and why

Price: $325

The price for workshop is $325.00 (catered lunch and all the coffee you can drink included in the price), and you can register on the bottom of this page! You can also contact us (Brian, Philip) (just put Photography 101 in the subject field).

When, Where

October 15th
9am – 5pm with a provided catered lunch and all the coffee you can drink

Novo Studio
108 West Walnut
Roger AR, 72756

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Tech Tuesday: Flash-based sites

Open discusion on Flash-Based portfolios - their users, reputation, strengths, weaknesses

*quick edit: I’ve gone ahead and included some of the anonymous answers on the survey in long form and completely unedited.  If you are interested in reading these responses, please click here. If you have yet to read this entire article, I strongly suggest you do that first – unless, of course, you enjoy being confused…


About three weeks ago I openly asked the following question on Twitter:

Why?  Well, for whatever reason I struggle with Flash implementations because I always feel like I’m waiting.  Loading bars are no longer cool to me, but rather a reminder that I’m actually waiting.  Also, I don’t like that a simple website can take up 90% of my system resources.  Mostly I don’t like having to “re-learn” how to navigate what I feel like should be a simple site.  Some Flash portfolios make me feel dumb.  How the @#$%! do I control this thing?!  They seem to vary wildly in how they are controlled – not all of them, but enough to annoy me.  If I have to wait too long, can’t figure out how to control your site, stare at a loading bar… I’m gone 80% of the time.  I’m not necessarily proud of it.  These are just my opinions so please don’t read too much into it – opinions people.  Not a sword I’d fall heavily on and I’m not tell you to feel this way


The question elicited quite a few responses from people who shared much of the same sentiment.  The amount of responses I received, within minutes, was surprising.  People shared things like “I can’t stand the loading times!” or “Lack of iDevice support ruins the experience for me!”  Other people complained about the ability to control the platform.  Let’s get one thing straight – I don’t hate Flash and I’m certainly not against using it for the most part.  It’s a great and often quick way for photographers to get an immediate web-presence and is an absolute lifesaver for those who don’t have the time or skill to throw something else up.  It’s a tool, just like everything else – tools have limitations.

What is it exactly that bothers some people about Flash-based portfolios?

I decided to send out just a few emails asking friends what they thought.  The responses were interesting:

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Lhasa, Everest, Nepal Overland

Join Matt Brandon for the trip of a lifetime immersed in the unique Himalayan Culture!

So I’ve been working on this for a few months now and I’m absolutely stoked to announce it today.

The overland route connecting Lhasa, Tibet with Kathmandu, Nepal is one of the most beautiful and and amazing land routes in all of Asia. Covering a distance of 600 miles, this workshop will take us from the modern Tibetan capital of Lhasa to pristine high altitude lakes, winding ancient rivers, beautiful farming valleys, Everest Base Camp and over the Himalaya Mountain passes to Kathmandu. We will be visiting the most famous monasteries and temples in all of Tibet and will spend 15 days in the unique Himalayan culture. Join us on the Roof of the World to get up close and personal with Himalayan culture and the adventure of a lifetime!

I get to hang out with my good friend Matt Brandon for 15 days travelling from Lhasa to Mount Everest and then finally to Kathmandu over some truly amazing terrain and through some of my favorite cultural spots in the entire world.  This will be my 3rd time through this area, but my first time to cross over into Nepal and enjoy Kathmandu.  Of all the trips we’ve been able to announce in the last 2 years, this is truly the trip that I’m the most excited about.  I’d love for you to join us on the Lhasa to Kathmandu overland tour – I’m serious when I say it will rock your world.

Furthermore, our awesome sponsors, Think Tank Photo and BlackRapid camera straps will be throwing in some pretty cool stuff and we are excited to be partnering with them on this trip.  They are such amazing companies – more on there participation in the coming days!

To get an idea of what we will be doing, I suggest you check out Matt’s site(and here) as well as our Plateau Photo Tours workshop site(more info here soon) to get a full details on this trip.  Also in the coming days my travel partner and I will be covering why we chose this route for our first Plateau Photo Tours trek of 2011.

Also, I’ll be posting here some of the pictures and some cultural points from this area over the next weeks.