Craig is one of the most talented and influential visual artists we have partnered with. His contributions to the Canadian photographic industry have inspired many.” - Nikon Canada
Craig Minielly, a Yousuf Karsh Award recipient and Nikon Ambassador is an internationally accomplished photographer, and not just to one style. He has won numerous awards in over 15 Specialty Fields and has been published worldwide for the last 30 years.
With a passion for light styling and a flair for location opportunities, his image creations are a combination of diverse influences from the editorial world he started in, the commercial world he thrived in, and the portrait world he has always been a part of. As a pioneer within the digital revolution, Craig was, and still is, one of the influential forces in creating and developing workflow techniques and habits that are still being used by individuals, studios and corporations all over the globe.
Craig has a long line of credentials from Canada and the USA, earning his Certified Professional Photographer, his Master and Craftsman in Photographic Arts and his Master Photographer in Commercial. He’s also the recipient of Seven Photographer of the Year Awards in Canada, the US and Internationally.
Craig’s experience over the years has provided him the opportunity to be in high demand as an international salon juror and to present various interest & skilled workshops. We are pleased to have him as part of the Bestway Host Team where he organizes and spearheads select educational photography tours.
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Day 01: March 06, 2017: Arrive Delhi
Namaste! Our exciting photo safari of India starts as we are welcomed at the New Delhi Airport the traditional Indian way with hands clapped together and transferred to our hotel. Balance of the day is free to relax.
Overnight: The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi (5 Star Deluxe) (3 Nights)
Day 02: March 07, 2017: Delhi
Our photo safari starts with a walk through Old Delhi allowing us lots of opportunities to capture the street life of this hostorical city. We will engage in some fascinating street photography. We start with a walk around the narrow lanes of old Chandni Chowk Bazaar, enjoy a ride on a cycle rickshaw and visit the biggest spice market of India. We continue to the Jama Majid, India's largest mosque and climb to the top of the southern minaret to capture fascinating unobstrcted aerial views of the old city. We stop for lunch at the Old Heritage Haveli. Our afternoon tour includes visit of the Red Fort Complex*, featuring exquisite Mughal architecture, reflecting a fusion of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions, which we capture with our cameras. At our hotel we have a photo critique session with Craig before the welcome dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 03: March 08, 2017: Delhi
Today, in the early morning light and before these are crowded, we cover the prominent government buildings such as Houses of Parliament, Rasthrapati Bhavan and the famous India Gate. We then head to the Lodhi Garden, which is teaming with people engaging in their morning rituals. We then enjoy an American breakfast at the All American Diner and return to our hotel. After lunch we visit Humayun’s Tomb*, the first garden-tomb of the Indian subcontinent, built in 1570, followed by a visit to the 13th Century Qutb Minar and its Monuments*. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, two mosques and the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, a masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art. Evening we join Craig for another critique, followed by dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 04: March 09, 2017: Delhi/Varanasi (Flight)
A short flight to one of the oldest living cities in the world. Upon arrival at Varanasi we are transferred to our hotel and enjoy lunch and a briefing by Craig. In the evening we explore the Ghats by the Ganges River. We take a boat ride at dusk and capture the cremations on the river banks for some challenging evening photography. We then visit the extravagant Aarti ceremony, a colourful Hindu religious ritual of worship in which light from fire is offered to one or more deities. We the return to our hotel for dinner.
Overnight: The Gateway Hotel Ganges, Varanasi (5 Star) (2 Nights) (B, L, D)
Day 05: March 10, 2017: Varanasi
Very early in the morning we head to the banks of the Ganges before dawn, where we embark on a boat excursion at sunrise and capture the scores of pilgrims and holy men performing their morning rituals along the Ganges River, making for some amazing candid people photography. After the boat ride, we wander through the narrow alleys behind the ghats and discover the temples, outside the normal tourist route. Afterwards breakfsat at our hotel we head to the Bada Bazaar, the street of Varanasi’s famous silk weavers. Here we visit a local weaver community and capture the fine art of silk weaving, tying and dying. We return for lunch at our hotel and after a short rest head to Sarnath, the site of Buddha's first sermon after attaining enlightenment. The Ancient Buddhist Site of Sarnath contains the remains of several brick stupas and other archaeological remains, which are best captured in the late afternoon. In the evening we join Craig for a critique session, followed by a traditional “Satvik Thali” vegetarian dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 06: March 11, 2017: Varanasi/Agra (Flight)
After an early breakfast, we visit an Akhara, a traditional gymnasium where we photograph wrestlers as they train and compete. In India, wrestling is a very popular traditional sport. We are then transferred for our flight to Agra. Upon arrival we are transferred to our hotel. In the afternoon we leave for Mehtab Bagh, located on the banks of the Yamuna River to capture some amazing views of Taj Mahal* at sunset. An immense mausoleum of white marble, built between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, the Taj Mahal is a zenith of Muslim art in India. At our hotel we have a debrief session by Craig, followed by dinner.
Overnight: The Taj Gateway Hotel, Agra (5 Star) (1 Night) (B, D)
Day 07: March 12, 2017: Agra/Fatehpur Sikri/Bharatpur/Jaipur (Train)
The most awaited day for photography. We start with a sunrise visit of the Taj Mahal and its Mughal gardens. This is done at dawn to get the best images and avoid the daytime crowd. This will be an unforgettable sunrise photo shoot of one of the most universally admired masterpieces of mankind's artistic heritage. Sunrise is the perfect time to capture the Taj, as the light reflects off the marbled front and keeps changing every few minutes. We get ample time to take images from diffeernt spots before retruning our hotel for breakfast. We then visit Agra Fort*, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers, which comprises many fairy-tale palaces, audience halls and two beautiful mosques. After our visit we enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. We then document craftsmen which make marble inlay work with precious and semi-precious stones, using the same techniques dating to the time of building of the Taj Mahal. In the afternoon we head to Fatehpur Sikri*, built in 1640 by Akbar the Great. A superb example of Mughal architecture, the abandoned city stands perfectly preserved in the desert and makes for some remarkable architectural photography, along with the nearby Mausoleum of Salim Chisty. We are transferred to the Bharatpur Railway Station for our evening train to Jaipur. Travelling by train in India is a unique experience. We will be served dinner on board the train. Upon arrival, we are transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur (5 Star Deluxe) (3 Nights) (B, L, D)
Day 08: March 13, 2017: Jaipur (Holi Festival)
After breakfast we join Craig for a briefing on the kind of photo opportunities are expected and about the necessary precautions for our gear during the Holi Festival. We are then provided with the local attire typically worn on the Holi festival. Holi is celebrated at the approach of the vernal equinox and it is a free-for-all carnival of colours, where people chase and colour each other with dry powder and coloured water. Some participants even carry water guns and balloons filled with coloured water. Needless to say that our candid people photography will result in some amazing pictures. We return to our hotel after lunch and may relax in the afternoon. Evening, we join Craig and for a critique session, followed by dinner at the hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 09: March 14, 2017: Jaipur
Morning shoot of the Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds, featuring an intricately carved facade. We then head to Amber Fort* and are treated like the royalty of yesteryear as we take an elephant ride to the fort. This palace fortress comprises of a number of gardens, courtyards and palatial spaces derived from Mughal architecture and are a distinguished example of 17th Century Rajput architecture, making fopr fascinating subject matter. We then board jeeps to visit a hidden gem of Jaipur, the step wells of Panna Meena ka Kund. Along the heritage trail of the Amer, which gives us good opportunities to capture Rajasthan’s rural life. Next we visit a block printing workshop where we get to see the age old traditional art of block printing on textiles, followed by lunch at a famous local restaurant. We return to the city and visit the City Palace, which houses a amazing collections of Indian art and the Jantar Mantar*, an astronomical observatory built in the early 18th century. It is an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period. In the evening we join Craig for a critique session, followed by dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 10: March 15, 2017: Jaipur/Pushkar (Drive)
At dawn, we embark on a hot air balloon flight over the city of Jaipur. This will give us a bird eye view of the entire city of Jaipur and the opportunity to take some amazing shots. After breakfast at our hotel, we drive to Pushkar, a bewitching little town on the edge of the desert, with temples, bathing Ghats, onion domes and chalk-coloured buildings clustering around its holy lake. After lunch, we enjoy a walk around Pushkar Lake to capture images of priests, Sadhus and pilgrims performing Hindu rituals.
Overnight: The Green House Resort (Tented Resort), Pushkar (1 Night) (B, L, D)
Day 11: March 16, 2017: Pushkar/Jodhpur (Drive)
We travel to Jodhpur, which is nicknamed as the Blue City because of the blue indigo used in the white wash of the houses. After our check in and lunch, we embark on a photo walk through the old town with its old bazaars, featuring the spice market, vegetable market and the famous clock tower.
Overnight: Ajit Bhawan Heritage, Jodhpur (2 Nights) (B, L, D)
Day 12: March 17, 2017: Jodhpur
Today we visit Mehrangarh Fort, one of India’s largest forts. The fort is situated 122 m above the city and is enclosed by imposing thick walls. Inside its boundaries there are several palaces known for their intricate carvings and expansive courtyards, making for fascinating architectural motives. We walk from the fort through the narrow lanes, which gives a perfect opportunity to capture some amazing scenes of daily lives of the people of Jodhpur. We end our walk at the Raas Haveli boutique hotel overlooking Mehrangarh Fort and enjoy lunch. We then walk to the Old Bazaar for more people photography and return to our hotel. In the evening we join Craig for a critique session, followed by dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 13: March 18, 2017: Jodhpur/Manvar/Jaisalmer (Drive)
After breakfast, we drive to Jaisalmer, along the route we might be able to capture some rural scenes and stop for lunch at the Manvar resort. Jaisalmer stands on a ridge of yellowish sandstone, crowned by a fort, which lies in the heart of the Thar Desert. Its massive yellow sandstone walls are a tawny lion color during the day, fading to honey-gold at sunset. In the evening we join Craig for a discussion, followed by dinner.
Overnight: Fort Rajwada, Jaisalmer (4 Star) (2 Nights) (B, L, D)
Day 14: March 19, 2017: Jaisalmer
Today we visit Jaisalmer Fort, built in 1156 AD on Trikuta Hill. We wander through narrow lanes lined with havelis (mansions) and temples. We visit the beautiful Patwon-ki-Haveli, home of a wealthy merchant. This ornate five-story complex is the largest, and most elaborate of Jaisalmer’s havelis. We then visit a Jain temple dating to the 11th century BC and the Folk Museum. A typical Thali lunch will be served at a local restaurant. We then wander through the bazaars. In the afternoon we head to the dunes in the Thar Desert for a camel ride at sunset. Deserts are always at their most imposing at this time! We enjoy some local wine and beer at the dunes before joining a barbecue dinner featuring live entertainment. We return to our hotel afterwards. (B, L, D)
Day 15: March 20, 2017: Jaisalmer/Manvar/Jodhpur (Drive)
On our return to Jodhpur, we stop for lunch at the majestic and historical Manvar Resort. After lunch we will have opportunities to take some more shots before we continue for Jodhpur. Rest time at our hotel before we have our farewell dinner, where we share photographs and reminisce about our experiences of the trip.
Overnight: Ajit Bhawan Heritage, Jodhpur (1 Night) (B, L, D)
Day 16: March 21, 2017: Jodhpur/Delhi/Home (Flight)
After breakfast we are transferred to the airport for our flight to Delhi where upon arrival we are transferred to our hotel with day rooms use till 8:00 PM. We are then transferred to the airport for our flight back home or continue on an optional photo safari to Nepal or Myanmer (Burma).
Dayroom: Vivanta By Taj Dwarka, New Delhi (5 Star) (B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Departure Dates & Prices
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2) Deposit is US$ 1000 per person
3) Final payment due before 28 December, 2016
This tour operates on a minimum of 06 and a maximum of 12 participants
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