Testimonials from Participants

Participant Testimonial: Anthony, – Bhutan 2010, atshort@gmail.com
“This trip exceeded my expectations in every way. The Bhutanese are warm, generous people and we felt welcome everywhere we went. Our two local guides were clearly amongst the best available and executed the trip flawlessly. Compared to a guided trips I’ve taken in the past, this one was absolutely top quality. Art and Gavriel know how to “teach on the go,” with information and suggestions flowing all day, whether we were stopped for a specific shoot, driving, or eating lunch. The trip was continuous learning, with plenty of one-on-one guidance in the field, and critiques of our images at several points during the trip. This is a full photography workshop, on location, with two first class teachers!”

Participant Testimonial: Vicki, – Bhutan 2010, VictoriaB@cksd.wednet.edu,

“Traveling to the Kingdom of Bhutan was a lifelong dream come true. We spent 14 days living and breathing photography. Gavriel Jecan’s professionalism, approachability, and experiences with Southeast Asia cultures inspired me to take my photography to the next level, both creatively and professionally. Traveling with Gavriel is comfortable and fun. The conversations with him, along with our highly qualified local guides, gave me an understanding of this distinctive culture, which I hope translate into my images. The accommodations were pleasant, the company of fellow photographers enjoyable, and the photo opportunities in this beautiful country are endless. I am looking forward to the next time I can travel with Gavriel Jecan.”

Participant Testimonial: Michael, – Vietnam/ Cambodia 2010

“Gavriel Jecan is a great photographer and a patient and thoughtful teacher. He was very generous with his time during our workshop, and in sharing his knowledge and experience with all participants. My workshop experience with Gavriel was challenging and inspirational. I look forward to joining him on another adventure in the near future.”

Participant Testimonial: Vicki, – USA 2010 VictoriaB@cksd.wednet.edu,
“I had the distinct pleasure of working with Gavriel Jecan at an Art Wolfe Workshop at Mt. Rainier. Gavriel is a very generous person who shares his approach to photography and teaching with knowledge, enthusiasm, and encouragement. I had recently made the switch from film to digital, and still had many technical questions. Gavriel addressed all my concerns right there in the field, and I could see the results immediately! Gavriel is warm and personable. He approached my digital challenges with professionalism and kindness and a genuine passion to help. Many thanks, Gavriel, for the great learning experience!”

Participant Testimonial: Beate, – USA 2010

I participated in two workshops with Gavriel Jecan and Art Wolfe, in Acadia and Mt. Rainier National Park. Both workshops were incredible learning experiences. The time was well divided between lectures, image critiques and field time. We went to different locations to learn to see the big picture and to find beauty in the details. It certainly changed the way I see and approach photography forever. Great cameraderie and humor added to this workshop experience I will not forget.”
– Beate, 2010

Participant Testimonial: Vicki – Thailand 2010 VictoriaB@cksd.wednet.edu,
“I had the opportunity to work with Gavriel Jecan on a one-to-one basis while on the trip home from Bhutan. One a one-day layover in Bangkok, Gavriel guided me through a busy and productive day. He offered innovative ideas and support as we moved quickly through the bustling and ever-changing scene. His knowledge of culture as well as technical expertise in photography helped me create beautiful images. Gavriel is very open and personable, and the encouragement and experiences that he shared helped me grow creatively as a photographer.” – Vicki, 2010

Participant Testimonial: Jared P. – USA 2010 jared.preston@gmail.com,
Gavriel’s pedigree as a photographer speaks for itself. He has worked with the best in all sorts of situations, and is himself an extremely accomplished artist and professional. His work speaks volumes. But that is not why you should take a course from Gavriel. He is a wonderful teacher, and he is able to impart his knowledge to students with a calmness and unpretentious directness that makes everyone feel comfortable – and feel like they are a peer and not just a student. You can absolutely trust Gavriel, and that is so important if you are trying to learn a skill. Gavriel never put his own interests ahead of any of the students I watched him with – no matter how novice – and his patience is just the way he is, because he loves teaching what he does so well. I was really privileged to spend just a few days with him on a course in Mount Rainier National Park, and the few times he just looked through my view finder and got into a conversation with me about what I was trying to do or see really helped me make my first steps to getting a lot better and developing my own craft. I would send anyone to Gavriel, and hope there will be many who will connect with this outstanding teacher.

Participant Testimonial: David S.- Myanmar 2010 davidsalmanowitz@me.com,
It was a real treat hanging out with Art and Gavriel for our time together in Myanmar. There is always something to be learned from photographers whose work I admire, and this time that was surely the case. Things were learned from what was said, and a lot from just watching how they both would react to a situation. The critiques were invaluable; from a suggested different crop, different angle, … all things to end up with a finer photograph. Seeing Art and Gavriel work I was given new ideas as to trying some thing I might have not thought of. That said it was also just so much fun all our time together–could not have asked for or gotten more

Washington Workshop – George

It was an awesome workshop and really helped me develop better photography skills.  I look to someday, participate on some of the larger international tours with you guys….perhaps I will see you on one of them.   Good luck and stay in touch.

 

Participant testimonial: Mary M.,marymoeller@me.com,

The word which best describes my visit to Thailand with Gav and Game Jecan is seamless.

At the last minute my travel partner became ill and unable to travel. Gav and Game suggested that I continue as planned and that they would be with me every step of the way. Without hesitation I boarded my flight for a culture unexplored.

Thailand is an amazing land. While planning the trip, Gav had definite ideas of what to see and where to spend time. The itinerary followed Gav’s excitement. Every sight became a wonder and every day an opportunity to explore and understand Thai people who welcome you to their homeland.

Gav’s insight to photography was priceless. Patience and understanding and a “tip” just at the correct time have developed my eye and ability to capture. I never felt overwhelmed – only encouraged.

Game was priceless. Her attention to detail allowed us to move throughout the country without delay. Flawless accommodation, flight connections, local guides and meals – a special treat. Although I believe that Game’s introduction to Thai food was my test, I believe that I passed since my response to what was placed in front of me was “hmmm delicious”. A copy of Game’s favorite Thai cookbook accompanied me home.

Best part of the trip? I’ll return in November with my friend. And I can hardly wait!
Words of advise? Bring plenty of memory cards and don’t get into a tuk tuk without Game!

Participant Testimonial: Becky Jones-Japan 2011,

My name is Becky Jones. On February 2011 I traveled with a group of 10 through Japan with Art Wolfe and Gavriel Jecan. I was, without question, the least experienced in photography and post processing but Gavriel was always there to help – all of us. It seemed whenever someone couldn’t figure out their cameras, how best to take the shot or just looked confused Gav. was there asking if he could be of help. I noticed on bus rides between shoots Gavriel was always working on his laptop, but when I sat by him one day he quickly closed his laptop and spent over an hour teaching me how to process my pictures on Lightroom! After that a whole new world started opening up for me and instead of dreading the processing I couldn’t wait to get the time to practice what I had learned from him. I hope to do a trip with him next year and take my sister and best friend along as I know they will learn a great deal and thoroughly enjoy themselves.

Participant Testimonial: Alan Sund- Japan 2011, Alan.Sund@am.sony.com
Alan Sund traveled to Japan with Art Wolfe and Gavriel Jecan in February. Here are his thoughts on the experience .
A wonderful experience! I’ve been a fan of Travels to the Edge for years – and this was great to finally go along with Art to see where and how so many wonderful images were taken, to experience it on a truly personal basis, to learn from the absolute best about how to improve my own wildlife, cultural, and landscape photography, and to practice each day from before dawn until after dusk. And add on top of that, each evening, Art’s excellent lectures and feedback on participants’ images. BTW… the behind the scenes planning was flawless (Art has a great crew). Best part of the trip??? I got to wear Art’s famous wool cap!!! The only way to top this would be to go on multiple tours with Art and Gavriel. Thanks guys!

Participant Testimonial: Vaughn Hart- Japan 2011

I recently completed the most difficult and rewarding workshop I have ever taken. This was in Japan and fortunately just weeks before the earthquake. It was with Gavriel Jecan and Art Wolfe. I say difficult as we often rose around 3 am in order to get to location before first light. Because of this effort, I know I created some of the best images I have made, and I have been shooting for over 30 years. I thought the trip was expertly run and loads of fun. Art and Gavriel provided non stop instruction in a most enjoyable fashion. I had an absolutlely great time. For me, the humor of the group added a great deal to the fun I had on this trip. I wouldn’t think twice about taking another trip with Gavriel and /or Art. This trip was without doubt the most instructional and educational workshop I have taken. In a word, it was “great”!
Vaughn Hart
Studio City, California

Participant Testimonial: Nancy Dushkin- Bhutan 2011 Nancy.Dushkin@exlibrisgroup.com
I just got back from a trip to Bhutan lead by Gavriel Jecan. This amazing trip exceeded my expectations in every way: the logistics were flawless, the local guides were excellent, and I learned more about photography from Gavriel in this 10-day workshop than I have since I bought my camera. The tour had the perfect mix of both planned and spontaneous stops, and Bhutan offered rich culture, fabulous colors, and genuinely nice people, making it an excellent venue for a photography workshop.

Being an amateur photographer and self-taught up until now, I was a bit concerned that I would be too inexperienced for the trip. However, my concerns turned out to be completely unfounded. Gavriel was the perfect teacher. He worked with me one-on-one to show me how to get the best from my camera, helped me understand the optimal settings to use for different outcomes, pointed out photo opportunities, and provided beneficial lectures and critiques. I was able to take photos I never would have known how to take without his instruction. Gavriel’s calm demeanor and passion for photography made him an excellent workshop leader.

I will definitely be going on another one on Gavriel’s tours!

Few images from Nancy Dushkin – Bhutan 2011

Olympic photo workshop April 2011Eric L.

I just wanted to thank Art, Jay and Gavriel for such a great workshop. This is my first one and I understand from talking with others in the group you guys are the best of the best. Relative to some of the others, I am newer to photography but never felt that way. I learned so much to take back with me about my equipment, composition, light, looking for interesting and often abstract subject matter and so many other things it would take me all day to write them down. Great job. I most certainly will be back for another workshop.
– Eric L.

Vietnam photo tour 2011 testimonial:

Vietnam 2011 Larry Curtis Lcurtis@curtisassoc.com,
In June, 2011, my son Lawrence and I accompanied Gavriel Jecan on an in-depth photographic and cultural encounter with the history and culture of Vietnam and Cambodia. Gavriel’s knowledge of where and when to find the most unique photographic opportunities and his teaching of the techniques and composition that create high impact photos provided us with a portfolio of memories and art that I don’t believe we would have been able to create otherwise. It was a pleasure to travel with him on overnight trains into the remote north and on a yacht in through the floating villages of Ha Long Bay. He guided us through the intricate temples of Angkor Wat and through the rice terraces, markets and villages of Sa Pa and Ninh Binh as well as the exotic narrow streets of Hanoi. This is adventure travel at its apex. Don’t forget your compass and make sure you are following Gavriel.

Vietnam 2011, Viveca Venegas

I took part along with other four photographers in the Vietnam-Cambodia photo workshop lead it by Gavriel Jecan. Vietnam was a shock for me in the city, very much like India, but much cleaner. But when we got to the mounatins of Sapa, was a deleight in all aspects. Nature, and people live in harmony, and the children are simply precious. I had the oportunity to learn about the traditions of the Red and Black Tzao people, their villages, and they where very curious of my Nikon D3 Camera. The weather during most of the trip was overcast which I knowing its best for photography, apreciated. The boat ride in Ninh Binh, was another delight, but my great pleasant surprise was Siem Reap in Cambodia.
I would have stayed there more days as history and culture deserves at least five days to be able to embrace it and learn from the past. The monsoon rain made the temperature cool and pleasant . It was one of the most delightful photo trip.
I would surely travel with Gavriel and his lovely wife in the future.

VIETNAM 2011 – Angus McIntyre
I attended Gavriel Jecan’s photography workshop to northern Vietnam in June 2011 – and what a fantastic experience it was! We had a small and friendly team of five participants plus Gavriel and his wonderful wife. The tour started in Hanoi where opportunities abound to photograph the daily hustle and bustle of Vietnamese street and market life in the picturesque Old Quarter of the city. After taking an overnight train we arrived in Sapa – set in the stunningly beautiful mountains of northwest Vitenam. Here, with the help of a local guide, we had the chance to meet and learn about the culture of the ethnic minority hill tribe people of the region. The colourful costumes of the Flower Hmong, Red Dzao and Black Hmong provided great photo opportunities – as did the endless rice terraces that cascade down the sides of the mountains.
The next destination was the UNESCO world heritage site of Halong Bay, where we cruised in a traditional Junk through the fabulous limestone islands which jut out of the sea and were treated to the most incredible sunset colours imaginable. In Ninh Bin we took a river cruise through spectacular limestone gorges surrounded by verdant green padi fields.
Gavriel was a true professional: throughout the workshop he was constantly available to provide as much photographic advice as you wished to ask for. He had a knack of finding the best photo opportunities at each destination, and of providing you with the right information to set you up for success. And more than anything, he was friendly and approachable.
For myself I can certainly say that attending this workshop has really helped to take my photography to the next level and allowed me to come away with a set of beautiful photographs that I would never have achieved on my own. If this is the kind of thing you are looking for – plus the chance to travel through some of the most spectacular scenery in Asia and meet the friendly Vietnamese people – then I would highly recommend this workshop to you.

Romania 10/ 2011, Emily M. Wilson, emilymwilson@comcast.net

Blog entry by Emily M Wilson (participant on Gavriel Jecan’s Romania Photographic tour Oct 2011)
What a pleasant surprise: Romania, such an enchanting country! Daily, I felt like I had been transported back in time. I am so pleased that I made the decision to see Romania via Gavriel Jecan’s (10-day) Photo tour Oct 22-Oct 31 2011.
Our adventure was incredibly eye-opening. Traveling small group style (there were eight of us in a 10 passenger van) we ventured thru the countryside of Romania- the heart and soul of this lovely land where peasant cultures remain strong and medieval ways prevail, as they do nowhere else in Europe. Guided by the expertise of Romanian- born photographer Gavriel Jecan and his photographer/country guide counterpart- Mihai Moiceanu , our group accessed parts of Romanian culture not usually experienced in a group tour. I felt as though I photographed “life” in Romania and “real” landscapes, not just the noted sights. At times I felt like I was in Switzerland—Carpathian Alps are lofty, beautiful and spellbinding, not to mention the small remote villages we encountered along our route.

Photogenic people, wonderfully hospitable communities. Yes, indeed! Our hotels and pensions were centrally located, often in the historic section of towns, which made photographing easy and accessible. Additionally, the idea of overnighting in guest-house pensions was brilliant! We were greeted and hosted by lovely families, served freshly cooked meals from their gardens, bread from the ovens or yogurt/dairy products from their animals. Not only were the accommodations, clean, comfortable and cozy- a visitor felt like an intimate part of the overall host family situation by sharing these home cooked meals in the family’s dining room while discussing (with our hosts) –aspects of life in Romania etc. All this made the experience a wonderful change from hotels. The pensions were often situated close to villages and offered both picturesque and peaceful surroundings.
Our day-to-day photographing was highly varied, providing participants with a wide range of situations and subjects to capture. Romanians were warm, and open to being photographed by our group. Having two Romanian tour leaders/photographers also made the access to photographic situations all the more easy to capture.
Throughout the tour we encountered cultural experiences that were lively, unique and educational. During our Romanian visit we met local craftspeople weaving/spinning and dressed in traditional costumes; we lunched with a Shepard/his family at their mountainside wood cottage high in the Carpathian alps; we photographed the strenuous work of the “charcoal people” , visited the “painted” monasteries deemed masterpieces of Byzantine art ( these churches are one-of-a-kind architectural sites in Europe!) We even shared a trout dinner with a local family-where by our host was extremely proud of his back-yard distillery and encouraged us to tray his Plinka or Visinata! (Traditional fruit brandy made in regions of the Carpathian Basin, usually about 40-70 % strong alcohol.) This was only the beginning of our adventure, we further interacted with Gypsy blacksmiths, photographed herds of stallions and were educated about the Bear and wolf sanctuary. (Note: Romania is home to Europe’s largest population of brown bears. In Romania, many bears are sadly still kept to entertain tourists. The bears often receive a poor diet and not enough water; they are kept in cramped cages and in poor conditions with little protection from the bitter cold of the Romanian winter. In 2006 the bear sanctuary near Brasov was established, providing a purpose-built home for rescued bears.)
I found the opportunity to photograph in Romania full of experiences that seemed truly unique; thoroughly memorable.
“… why should you go to Romania? The straight answer is because it is one of the most beautiful countries of Southeast Europe.” (The Blue Guide) Yes Romania: “Mi-ai intrat in suflet” = You entered my soul!


Hawaii Photo Workshop 11 / 2011, Robert Levy

I have attended two workshops with Gavriel Jecan and Jay Goodrich. They are the best teachers I have ever had. They are personable, knowledgeable and a great deal of fun. They help so much both in the conception of good photos, as well as how to improve them with Lightroom and/or PhotoShop. They are flexible with regard to workshops and always are interested in what the participants wish in a good workshop, and they deliver the goods. I am way more than satisfied with the experience of attending a workshop with them, and have already started to set up future workshops with them. I would not hesitate for a nanosecond to recommend them. My photos at the end of each workshop were already better than they were at the beginning of the workshop, and I do not know a better recommendation, except to say that not only do you learn a lot, but you have a lot of fun too.

Myanmar 12/2011 Photo Tour – Beate Dalbec,dalbecbeate@yahoo.com

“I participated in Gavriel Jecan’s photo tour to Myanmar in December, 2011. It truly was a trip of a lifetime! The country is beautiful, the people the friendliest you can imagine. Gavriel made sure we were at the right locations at the right time and was always ready to answer any questions. He also included several informative lectures and image critiques during the trip. Our local guide, Win, was extremely knowledgable and provided us with plenty of information about the country, its people and Buddhism. The entire trip was well organized, the accomodations were wonderful and the food absolutely delicious. Add to that great travel companions, lots of fun and laughter, this was a dream trip!”

Myanmar Photo Tour 12/2011 – Sigrid Maria Block , sigrid.block@gmx.net
Apart from the bad luck I had with my camera (the D-300 is in for repairs now) I appreciated a lot how you and Win organized the trip. Every stop was a highlight, and it could not have been better. You always made sure that I was in the right spot to get the perfect photographs and you were there to answer to my technical questions. I hope I have another chance to travel with you again soon.

Myanmar photo tour 12/2011 – Mary Moeler, marymoeller@me.com
Myanmar was my first photography trip with Gavriel and his wife Game. Although I was in Jackson Hole with Art Wolfe and explored Thailand with Gav, this was my first time traveling with people who had cameras hanging from all appendages.
Myanmar is far away and although Hillary Clinton paved the way we were a long way from home. I found the people most gracious and my photos are full of welcoming faces. After spending time in the country I further understand the peace of Buddhism.
Approximately 4,000 images in 11 days (ok, some were burst) is a wonderful way to work some kinks out of my photography. We shot in the morning, broke for lunch and a rest (actually time to download the morning) shot in the afternoon, an early dinner and in our rooms by 8pm. Well planned critiques by Gav helped solve any shooting problems.
The group size was perfect we would have been 8 but ended up 7. With Gav, Game and the guide Win, 10 was an easy number. The dynamics were amazing – we all got along, everyone was on time, we all kept up with each other and we had our own seats in the bus. Oh, as an added bonus, everyone was helpful with their knowledge. Too good to be true!
Of course the big question that readers wonder about wading through testimonials – would the person travel with Gav again. A resounding YES!!!

Big Sur of California Photo workshop 05-2012 / By Alan Sund

I wanted to thank you for a GREAT workshop in Carmel and Big Sur. I enjoyed it enough to say that I will surely be back for future tours with you!
Each day was filled with excellent opportunities to shoot, learn, and improve my photographic skills. What I find most valuable is that the concentration (in lectures, shooting sessions, and the critiques) seems to be much more centered around “composition” rather than just technical topics. That being said, you guys were of great support on the technical side, whenever the need did in fact arise.
As I mentioned in our meet-and-greet… I am relatively new to photography. Additionally, I have taken many trips to the same areas of Big Sur and Carmel – but never walked away with images that I felt were compelling, or what I was hoping to capture. For me, this workshop was extremely successful – as I finally came away with a collection of photos of varied subjects that I am very happy with! Thank you for helping me to achieve my goals for the weekend!

 

Big Sur of California 2012: Hello Jay & Gavriel,

Thank you so much for all you have showed & taught us this past days in California. I have come home with new skills, great memories and more than 1,100 shots!

I even continued shooting at SFO and JFK airports…;)

I will def share my pictures with you and the rest of the gang (plse send us their emails). I will also post the best ones on my blog which you can follow at:  lpphotosblog.com.

In the meantime, be well and keep on shooting away.

Atossa K.

Olympic peninsula workshop– Steven

I wanted to take time to thank you for spending the Labor Day Weekend with those of us who attended the seminar in Port Angeles.

From the ”meet and greet” on Friday, through the final good bye on Monday, there was a sense of inclusion, interpersonal bonding and and an exhibited desire to assist others in attaining their photographic goals from all of you.

I am very pleased with the workshop and the talents assembled to assist us in our growth.

Time in the field – despite the wet conditions – afforded us an opportunity to visualize alternative compositions through instruction we received in class or hands on tutelage at that location.  Your team was readily available to answer questions and actively sought them out when attendees did not offer them openly.

I appreciate the critiques – no better way to learn, especially when John / Jay edit the pictures while they are projected on the screen.  Sure, you can say it is an advantage of the digital era, but in reality, it is a benefit you afford your students because you take advantage of digital offerings and include them in your workshop, providing immediate visual feedback to support your comments.  Well done!

Above all, I am glad I had the opportunity to meet all of you.  To gain insights into the technical aptitude, experiences, passion for your art, and, most importantly, the camaraderie you share with one another.  Your interactions with one another help put your students at ease, inviting them to become part of the family – if you will – during the time they spend with you.

Hats off to you and the Wolfe Pack.

You guys rock!

 

Private tour of Bhutan, October 2012- Mary Moeller and Lillian Corbin

What a wonderful country.  Bhutan is full of high peaks, valleys covered with rice fields and rushing rivers with photo opportunities so numerous that my camera hardly had a rest.  The rivers, a clear Himalayan blue are the finishing touch to deep green mountains and cloud puffed skies.  The people are proud and protective of their paradise.  They are so welcoming and very open to showing off their homeland  through our photographs.  The country’s mantra of “Gross National Happiness” is ever present.  There is very little poverty and outstretched hands were absent – the people are happy, the cows are happy and the overpopulation of well fed dogs are happy too.

My friend Lillian and I were well cared for by Gavriel tending to every detail from camera gear and just the right clothing to our daily adventures.  Our local guide Ugen explaining the sights, the culture and the religious beliefs (as Lillian explained – he was our Bhutanese Google).  Tanzen, our full focus driver averaged 40kph on the narrow, twisty and sometimes unpaved main thoroughfare which carves its way into the mountainsides.  There is a lot of talk about the scary landing at Paro airport – it’s nothing compared to overland travels!

Our opportunity to photograph was endless.  Gav was so helpful with tips for me and my skills took a giant step forward.  Lillian although not a photographer gave her Leica point and shoot a true workout.  With Gav’s explanation of what makes a good photo Lillian’s snapshots turned into terrific images.

Why go to Bhutan?  Once the new airports open and the roads improve the country will change.  We had the good fortune to see a country unspoiled and understand  a people satisfied by simplicity.  Our hearts in turn slowed to the tempo of the country.

What to know before you go.  The food is not a reason to travel to Bhutan.  We were served meals that wouldn’t ruin our trip – we didn’t starve.  With red chilies drying on rooftops as far as the eye could see the local food is just too hot.  The hotels are simple and the beds comfortable and the internet sporadic.   If you take a long hot shower your travel mate will deny you “first shower” privileges.

Lillian and I are home two weeks and the trip is still sinking in.  We know that we’ll look back and understand that we were somewhere special and we were touched by a people who truly live their beliefs.

 

South Carolina – Charleston workshop, 07/12/2012, Skip Sickler

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you this past weekend during the Photo Workshop. Your personality was a welcome compliment to Art’s, very much like the yen and yang we discussed in the car. The weekend provided a great learning opportunity, producing much good fodder for reflection and thought. I feel it will have an impact on the ultimate direction of my personal journey, both in photography and my connection with the world in which I live.

For information about participating in our photo tours and workshops, please contact:

Gavriel Jecan: email: jgavriel@gmail.com, ipt.mallika@gmail.com

Rosemary Mostyn March 29, 2013 at 2:18 pm , Myanmar photo tour.

Once again you have organised a very smooth operation in ensuring that our group enjoyed a truly wonderful and awe-inspiring photo tour of Myanmar…thank you!
The research into obtaining the best accommodation, flights, variety of meals and visits to truly unique sites for the best photo shoots was thorough to say the least.
It is a credit to local guide Win, Gavriel and yourself that we experienced such a successful trip.

Those of us “point & shooters” who are not so familiar with the ins and outs of obtaining the best photos certainly appreciated the generous assistance from Win, Gavriel and yourself and we have come home with some memorable photos.
Win, with his wealth of experience in guiding tours in Myanmar, was generous in imparting his knowledge of the Buddhist culture and people.

Whilst we werre pretty much on the go for most of the time and I have to admit we felt rather exhausted at the end but happily so, we experienced some amazing sights many of which the average tourist would not be able to enjoy.

I urge others to go soon and experience the delights of Myanmar on any future Iconic Images tour.

To our great travelling companions… you were the best!!

Warmest regards

David Campbell March 27, 2013 at 1:18 pm , Myanmar photo tour

Thank you so very much for the invitation to join a unique, captivating and remarkable tour of Myanmar.

It was clearly evident that a lot of planning had gone into this trip long before we landed in Yangon. In such a quickly changing and emerging country where you can expect anything to happen, the fact that everything went so well is in itself quite remarkable.

Whilst the organisation and tour was absolutely first class, it was the opportunity to see and photograph a country, its people and culture in a manner that very few will ever experience is what I am most grateful for.

The combination of skills, knowledge, and personal manner of yourself, Win and Gavriel was outstanding. You were able to bring together a vast depth of experience and knowledge in a friendly and helpful manner that provided us with excellent and unique photo opportunities that were both rich and endless.

The group came together from wide ranging backgrounds and life experiences but worked so well together.

It would be an absolute pleasure to tour with such a group again.

Again, thank you and all the very best.

Kind Regards

David Campbell

Una Mooney March 26, 2013 at 8:52 pm , Myanmar photo tour

Our recent trip to Myanmar was both memorable and unique.
The uniqueness of our experience was brought home to me when upon returning from our first morning’s shoot I shared a hotel lift with another group of tourists. One lady remarked that they had been to seven pagodas that morning.

I silently compared our morning’s experience where we had traversed a century in time photographing the city of Yangon waking up to another new day.
Each day offered a new but equally remarkable experience.

Your desire and ability to push the envelope a little bit further every time, your meticulous attention to detail in planning, your experienced contacts on the ground as well as the photographic expertise your team provides made for an altogether special experience.

Thank you Denis and your team.

Thanks also to my travelling companions, you all contributed to making it a wonderful holiday.
Una

Denise and Roger Bollag March 26, 2013 at 7:30 pm , Myanmar Photo Tour

What an experience we had travelling with you and the small group to Myanmar.
The organisation, hotels and the guides Win and Gavriel were outstanding.
We are “amateur” photographs, compared to the rest of the group, but we had the opportunity to see things which no “normal” travel agency or tour can offer.
Thank you again and best regards,
Denise & Roger

Peter Randell March 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm, Myanmar Photo Tour

“Mystical Myanmar” was all you promised and more – faultless organisation with the mechanics of getting us around in a frenetic environment, excellent accomodation and a thoughtful tasty array of meals to demonstrate the variety of foods available in this surprising country.
Towering over these mundane but essential aspects of travel was the photography. Unique scenes hit daily, from market scenes the likes of which I have not seen before, to cloth-making crafts including lotus plant sap weaving.
There were fishing images from river and lake that showed skills which may not be around in the next generation.
We were most fortunate to be taken by knowledgeable people to sites they knew were special and to which they had garnered special and frequently exclusive access.
My special thanks to Gavriel for his worldly photographic eye which he shared so generously, and to the remarkable Win with his language and cultural skills as well as his photographic expertise.
Finally, you again selected a great group of fellow photographers from which I have made good friendships which I hope will continue into new adventures.
Thank you.
Peter Randell.

Dave H    Myanmar Photo Tour

Dear Gavriel, Just a short not to say thanks for a beautiful photography workshop. I must say that it was the richest experience yet and I look forward to joining you and Denis again soon. Now that I’m back home the real work will begin, namely sorting and cataloging nearly 5,000 images. But I look forward to this and will post a link to my web site when it’s up and running again.

Warmest regards, …Dave

Helen Newnham March 26, 2013 at 5:18 pm , Myanmar Photo Tour

A very big thank you for an amazing trip to Myanmar – what an extraordinary country.
Thanks must also go to Gavriel and Win for their expert knowledge of Myanmar.

As with all Denis’ trips (this was my third) the preparation and attention to detail is always the best such that everything that can be done to maximize the experience, is done.

This was no ordinary tour but rather a very unique look at Myanmar. One that in many respects was a ‘behind the scenes’ tour that the average tourist simply does not see. Photographically it was very rich with many opportunities set up especially for us.

The group was small which maximized the experience and gave one-on-one access to Denis, Gavriel and Win. We had privileged access to monasteries and on a number of occasions young monks who were gracious and compliant with our many requests. We also had access to women and children in small villages; bullock carts that went up and down, backwards and forwards in the setting sun; fisherman who patiently cast their nets over and over again so we could get our images in the magical light of the setting sun.

The images are stunning.

The highlight for me was Inle Lake. We visited villages built on stilts over the water; lotus weavers; silk weavers; the Padaung woman with their long ringed necks and the fisherman with their conical nets demonstrating their fishing prowess.

Myanmar is changing and changing quickly. There is no better way to see and photograph it than on a tour such as this.

Thank you to all of you for your generosity and patience with my many questions and to my fellow travellers thank you for your company and good humour.

Kind regards

Helen Newnham

 

Irena P. 2013 Vietnam and Cambodia photo tour.

Gavriel, thank you so much for the trip, I have learned heaps and I feel that my photography is jumping ahead. I have never taken photos of people before and now I feel more confident to do it.
Before I was just photographing what I saw and liked, now I am getting selective about my shots, I am thinking about the subject, the background, the composition, shapes, colours, etc. a lot more. So it was really good trip for me and thank you for your guidance, your patience and your expertise.
And on top of it I have gained a friend :).
Irena
Sorin Tanase – Vietnam photo expedition 2013

“I had the chance to participate in a photo tour with Gavriel Jecan in Vietnam, May 2013. It was an excellent photo tour and I want to thank you, Gavriel for your patience and your expertise.

I met wonderful people with simple lifestyle, willing to invite you in their lives. It was a pleasure to travel with him, on the night train from Hanoi to Lao Cai and on word to Sapa. Sapa is a beautiful place located in northern Vietnam up in the foothills of Himalaya range. We spent two days in this region before we return to Hanoi on the way to  Ha Long Bay, this is a UNESCO world heritage site with unusual lime stone formations. Our last stop for this trip it was Tom Coc, with limestone canyons, caves  and rivers.

Overall It was a successful photo tour with a wonderful group. Vietnam is a wonderful country with many Photographic opportunities, it is a place where I learned a lot in terms of photography, culture and beyond. Hope to see you soon on another photo expedition.

Thanks Gavriel.”

Sorin col

 

Cliffie Scott-Williams- Vietnam Photo Tour 2012
I traveled to Vietnam with Gavriel over May and June 2012, and to me it was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had – both because of the location we were at, as well as the people I was with.
To try to put this into perspective, it may help to understand my level and photographic ability.  I find that technically I am very competent – I know how my camera works, and I am able to apply different techniques to images.  What I find I am unable to do is “see” great images or framing opportunities, and I battle with composition.  This means that as a mentor, I was looking for him to help me with these weaknesses and not with what f-stop or shutter speed to use.  He was brilliant at this – at every place we shot, he would always be showing us what he saw and shot, and explaining why he had made the choices he had.  This was always presented to us with his characteristic humility – saying something like “This is what I shot – it’s probably not the best …” – and in most cases it was superb.  I find that now I often think “What would Gav see here?”.
During the trip, he would have regular presentations of the groups’ work.  Here he would critique our work and invited all of us to join in.  It was remarkable how much critiquing other peoples work helped me to see the shortcomings of my own work.  He would also present his own shots, and this was something that interested me the most – to compare what he was able to achieve to what I was able to do.
He also provided us with quite a bit of technical insights – some of which I already knew and used, and others that were new to me.  Although I was aware of panning, he helped me develop this quite considerably.  With all the motorcycles and bicycles in Hanoi panning became a great technique.
He is extremely knowledgeable about South East Asia – having been to most of the countries there several times.  Our trip to Vietnam was his 7th trip there, and I think the way he planned the itinerary was  based on his past experience, because it all worked out very well.  We spent enough time in each location to appreciate it and photograph the best of it, but still had enough diversity to keep it all interesting and fit it into two weeks.  He used a local travel guide in all locations to help with translations, and with local knowledge – and again, this team was fabulous.
I think you will find that Gav is very energetic and always looks after his group.  There were times when just he and I went out because there was something I wanted to shoot at 4am and no one else did – he was more than happy to get up and go with me.
It may sound like I’m on the “Gavriel” marketing team, but as I stated at the start this was honestly one of the best experiences I have had.  Vietnam is truly a fantastic country, and Gav was an inspirational leader.  If you have the opportunity, I would highly recommend touring with him.
Vietnam 2012
Alaska and Hawaii workshop – Bob L.

I have attended two workshops with Gavriel Jecan and Jay Goodrich.  They are the best teachers I have ever had.  They are personable, knowledgeable and a great deal of fun.  They help so much both in the conception of good photos, as well as how to improve them with Lightroom and/or PhotoShop.  They are flexible with regard to workshops and always are interested in what the participants wish in a good workshop, and they deliver the goods.  I am way more than satisfied with the experience of attending a workshop with them, and have already started to set up future workshops with them.  I would not hesitate for a nanosecond to recommend them.  My photos at the end of each workshop were already better than they were at the beginning of the workshop, and I do not know a better recommendation, except to say that not only do you learn a lot, but you have  a lot of fun too.

Thanks again for a fun learning experience.

 

Olympic peninsula workshop – Eric L.

I just wanted to thank Art, Jay and Gavriel for such a great workshop.

This is my first one and I understand from talking with others in the group you guys are the best of the best.

Relative to some of the others, I am newer to photography but never felt that way. I learned so much to take back with me about my equipment, composition, light, looking for interesting and often abstract subject matter and so many other things it would take me all day to write them down.

Great job.

I most certainly will be back for another workshop.

 

Vietnam Photo Tour 2013 – Paul Gabriel Pazstor

The photo tour to Vietnam with Gavriel Jecan and Mihai Moiceanu it was unexpectedly nice and full of Excitement. Everything started with an overwhelming pallet of color surrounded by a non-melodic sound performed by the car and motorbike horns, especially around the Hanoi fruit and vegetable market. In the old Hanoi you are overwhelmed with subjects to photograph, it doesn’t matter what direction you are looking, you’ll always see a subject to photograph. Next it was an overnight train to the northern highlands, Sapa a settlement populated by Hill tribes ( Black Hamong, Flower Hamong, Red Dzao and more.), in this area the landscape beauty was fascinating with old rice terraces surrounded by forested tall mountains. Gavriel and Mihai took us to some nice locations where we can photograph the locals in their traditional clothing working in the field, rice terraces, I was surprised to see how hard they were working and they were happy doing it. After few days our travel took us to a total different location, the Ha Long Bay. Ha long Bay is a UNESCO world heritage site do to its unique beauty and lime stone formation, this landscapes is unreal. Our boat journey took us through this carst landscape with many frequent stop to climb and photograph from the views that you can only dream about with the great panorama to this sea dragons out of stones or to descent in to some of the many caves of this region. From the sea to the Red River Delta where we did complete our story on the rice, from planting season up north in Sapa to the harvest season in Ninh Binh region. The Photo tour to Vietnam was excellent, great accommodation, food and experimented guides- everything was professional, in a way that made our life easier to photograph.

The Photo tour leaders guidness and instructional suggestion were excellent, hardly I can wait to go on another photo tour with Gavriel Jecan or Mihai Moiceanu.

Paul Pazstor

 

 

Incredible India Photo Tour Testimonials

Robert Woodward February 5, 2014 at 7:20 pm

After months of anticipation and preparing for the photo tour ‘Incredible India’ with three weeks of photo-shoots, I was cordially welcomed to New Delhi ahead of the main photographic tour. Using this early arrival, I explored, predominantly the Government sector, with its beautiful architectural photo opportunities and found these words inscribed on face of the Secretariat Building north side – ‘Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty; it is a blessing that must be earned before it can be enjoyed’.

Very British I suspect!! (Yes; by Charles Caleb Colton). Pondering these words, I decided to adopt this theme for my own journey on our photographic tour and relate my observations and photos to how the British Empire may have contributed to the development of India.
Meeting our two tour leaders – professional photographer Gavriel and self-taught, passionate hobby photographer Denis, other travel colleagues, our guide Harendra, our bus driver and our transport spotter; we soon formed a cohesive unit ready for our challenging photo-tour ahead.
Seamless tour organisation and schedules with timings precise, hotels superb, our means of transport varied to include plane, long and short bus rides, cycle-rickshaws, autos (auto-rickshaw), camels, elephants and fleet-footed road walking called for an occasional relaxing glass of wine worthy at the end of each busy photo-shooting day.
India, an incredible union of palaces and poverty, an overall population magnitude of 1.2 billion people, supported by their treasured 300 million cows; difficult to comprehend the numbers and we only saw part of this unique country.
Denis and Gavriel have quite different styles about how they approach and mentor their travel companions; so there were ample opportunities to broaden our learnings from each in the field. Day by day, night by night we continued to build and enhance our knowledge of India’s culture through Harendra and embellish and hone our photographic skills through Denis and Gavriel.
Back home, the joy of recapturing so many vivid memories through 10,000 images continues as I look back over the whole experience of ‘Incredible India’.
The colours, the sounds, the magnitude, the religious aspects, the architecture, the people, wonderful weather and the many laughs we experienced made our journey fulfilling and rewarding.
Well done ‘Iconic Images International’; my expectations were well and truly exceeded.
It was more than just a photographic tour; it was a memorable journey of education, distinction and gratification.

Cynthia Witney -Jan 2014, India Photo Tour

Hi Denis, Gavriel and “Prince Harry”,
Thank you for an enlightening experience in India both from a photographic and personal perspective.
The trip was very well organised, the accommodation excellent and the photo opportunities endless.
The Manvar desert camp was wonderful and was a standout part of the tour.
The other members of the group were very supportive of a “newbie” entering their ranks and were happy to share their knowledge and experience with “f stops” and Lightroom! Thanks everyone.
I very much enjoyed Gavriel’s presentation and the photo critiques but would have liked more of these during the tour.
The only downside (which was unavoidable) was the long bus trips on very rough roads and the speed with which we were ushered through the various photographic sites. Perhaps this was due to the Indian guides’ being unused to leading a photographic tour and to my relative inexperience with these tours, but a better targeted tour from a photographic perspective i.e allowing time for setting up for a photograph, in locations where there was known to be photographic opportunities, would have made a difference to my experience.
I understand that this was the first photographic tour of India and I know my comments will be received in the constructive way in which they were meant.
I hope to go on another Iconic Images photography tour in the future.
Cynthia

Cyntia L. Hovind, – Jan 2014, India Photo tour

“Dear Gavriel and Denis.  I wanted to thank you both for an excellent photo tour through the “Golden Triangle” of Rajasthan, Agra, and Varanasi, India.  The trip was an amazing experience of color, scenery, ancient architecture, and raw Indian culture – all sensories were fully engaged the entire trip. The photo opportunities were endless – from the street vendor in Old Delhi to the Sadhus of the Varanasi, it was impossible not to come away with images that will continue to transport me back to India in the years to come.  Thanks again for the photo instructions that you both provided throughout the trip –the field is always the best classroom.  As I reflect on the trip, I definitely found the experience to be transformative and would definitely consider other photo tours to exotic places with you.  Thanks again, Cindy Hovind”

Cindy colaje

 

Sara Chieco, April 2014 Bhutan photo tour_ An amazing photography trip with Gavriel Jecan – a professional photographer who mentored us and taught me a ton! What a wonderful experience and of course big thanks to our faithful local guide Pema Sonam .

Sara Chieco

 

Michael Kovac  Palouse workshop 8/2014 – It was a pleasure meeting you at the workshop. I very much enjoyed the time and our conversations. How quickly the time passes. It’s already been over a week since we met. Thanks for being there and guiding us to take better pictures, for driving madly across the gorgeous landscapes (I clocked nearly 900 miles starting Spokane) and for braking mostly sensibly….and to prevent a nasty fistfight in the wheat fields (see also below) with diplomatic negotiation and a sensible retreat J. I enjoyed all and every minute of it. Loved the format and liked the lectures and critiques – very productive. I really liked seeing the before and after, and Art going through the process of making a better image out of his RAW captures. Very insightful! In retrospect, I wish I had also presented the before and after for each of the 7 images for the critique rather than just the images I had some trouble with.

Cindy spoke highly of your travels/photo tours to faraway places. Please let me know if you are up to anything interesting and are looking for participants. I hope to spend more of my time exploring the world rather than working madly like I have done in the past 30some years and look forward to new adventures. There are so many places I have been to, but so many more that I would like to visit. And what could be better than combining travel with my joy of photography?! Until our paths cross again, stay in touch!

Michael

Wheat fields in Palouse

 

Kathy Pfeifer Hansen The Mt. Rainier workshop was great. You are an excellent teacher and you shared so much with us. I hope I can remember all the lessons when I am out there shooting. Bill was a huge help when I was working on wide angle shots and some macro work, both of which can be time consuming, but very rewarding. One thing I learned from both of you is that I have much more to learn. I can hardly wait. Thank you both for a fantastic workshop!

 

Oded Shulsinger _ 2015 Romania photo tour.  Thanks to Gavriel Jecan our amazing Photo tour guide–who by the way grew up in Romania and left to become one of the best photo tour guides in the world–thank you for alerting me to see and get great photographs.

Robert Levy- 2015 Romania photo tour.  Before I go another step, I have to say I love the Romanian people. I have already had a wonderful time. These people are friendly, nice, helpful, and our photo guide, Gavriel Jecan has helped me get great shots and has made wonderful arrangements. Who know Romania could be this wonderful. Wow, I am two days into the trip and loving it. What a great trip.