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Young Monk, Jakar Dzong, Bhutan

Regular readers will know of my passion for Bhutan. Would you like to visit there later this year with David Oliver and me? We'd love to have you along…

I know the world is dealing with COVID and that there can be challenges travelling as well, but it's certainly getting a lot easier and by the time our trip in September/October 2022 comes around, we're hopeful it will be business as usual. And I know the wonderful people in Bhutan would like it to be business as usual as their economy is greatly dependent on tourism.

Last I spoke to Namgay, our Bhutanese guide, most of the population had been vaccinated and the country is opening back up to visitors. I can't wait to fly into the valley of Paro, between towering mountain peaks, the patchwork of fields below, the punctuation of a brilliant white dzong, the fortified monasteries. It really is like stepping back in time, but with the comforts of modern life.

To visit Bhutan, you need the services of a local guide. You can go there on your own, of course, but travelling with photographers is a lot of fun and we certainly have a great itinerary with many opportunities for photography. And we always make sure we can visit a festival at least once - the festivals are full of dancers, costumes and exotic locations, often the internal dzong court yards. It's an atmosphere you'll never forget.

The photo above was taken during a festival. While this young monk was watching the dancers in awe, I was watching the faces of the people watching the dancers. From memory, the photo is taken with an 85mm f1.8 lens, shot at f1.8 to blur the background. And when shooting like this, I take lots of photographs, waiting and hoping for a gesture or a pose that is more than just a passport portrait.

Full details for our tour this year are on the website here….