Ethiopia’s landscapes are dramatic. The mountainous country in eastern Africa holds a vibrancy that captivates and enchants. It has more UNESCO-listed sights than any other country on the continent. The lush mountains with its jagged spiers and magnificent views hide animals and birds seen nowhere else on earth and the lowlands are home to some of Africa’s most fascinating tribes. It is the only country on the African continent that has not been a colony. It is authentic, intoxicating and truly a photographer’s dream.
Explore Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s busy capital
Visti Addis Mercato, Ethiopia’s largest market
Travel to and through the beautiful Omo Valley
Meet the local tribes and discover their unique culture and rites
Learn how to approach local people in a natural way
Learn how to take mesmerizing portraits in different lighting situations
Christian Nørgaard is the founder and CEO of Better Moments. For years he has photographed and traveled extensively in Asia and has received wide acclaim for his unique photographic talent. In recent years he has also collaborated with Steve McCurry and other National Geographic’s leading photographers for exhibitions and events. His workshop in Ethiopia is a unique opportunity for any photographer to combine adventure, travel and reportage photography and to work with one of the best in the field.
EXPAND WITH PASSION
Teaching and training in the best techniques and personal hints and advice.
Composition and focus on lines, golden section, perspective, foreground, background and middle ground.
Work in different lighting and with short/long exposure and aperture.
How to handle equipment with care on location.
Private hands-on lessons that can help to take your photography skills to the next level.
How to approach local people in a natural way.
The secret behind the travel and reportage photography.
Expert review and constructive criticism/feedback of the images taken during the day.
A Better Moments Certified Photo Instructor is available during the entire workshop to offer assistance with camera settings, the basics of composition, guide and help in general.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL
Upon arrival in Addis Ababa, you will be picked up at the airport and taken to our hotel. Those who have the time and spirit can spend their first day exploring the capital, Addis Ababa. Ethiopia’s sprawling capital is located in the highlands bordering the Great Rift Valley, serving as the country’s commercial and cultural hub. Its National Museum exhibits Ethiopian art, traditional crafts and prehistoric fossils, representing a rich history dating all the way back to the earliest known hominid, “Lucy.” The burial place of the 20th-century emperor Haile Selassie, the copper-domed Holy Trinity Cathedral, is a neo-Baroque architectural landmark of particular interest. After dinner, Christian Nørgaard will introduce the workshop and present his work from previous trips to Ethiopia, to prepare you for the adventure ahead. This will be followed by a workshop on how to capture great portraits and how to approach the people along our way.
DAY 2: AFRICA’S LARGEST MARKET
We spend our morning at Addis Mercato, known as Africa’s largest market. A truly visual experience with craft shops, cattle, spice stalls filling the narrow alleyways, providing many fascinating and colourful photo opportunities. This is uniquely intriguing place to get lost with your camera and immerse yourself in the beautiful chaos.
After Addis Mercato we fly south to Jinka, the “capital” for the Mursi people.
After settling in, we will join each other for an enjoyable outside dinner with a nice view of the nearby river.
DAY 3: EXPLORE MAGO NATIONAL PARK & MURSI VILLAGES
We spend the day exploring the stunning Mago National Park, located on the east bank of the Omo River. The park is 1,343 square miles and its highest point is Moun Mago. We will have an opportunity meet the Mursi, a community that inhabit Mago National Park, known for the lip plates worn by the women. During the day there will be hands-on sessions with Christian, and you will receive an individual review of your images so far, as well as personal tips and advice to help optimize your photography. We stay at a tent camp (each guest has their own tent) in the heart of a local Mursi village. Here we will melt in with the tribe and photograph the many everyday tasks the tribe performs. Among the many activities to photograph, one of the highlights is when the tribe gather the cattle home from the savannah evening.
DAY 4: EXPLORE TURMI
In the early morning, we walk around the village and explore how the Mursi take their cattle out on the fields and how they cook on an open fire. This experience is unique and an great opportunity to learn about their culture, in a spirit of authenticity and mutual respect. After breakfast, drive to the market town of Turmi in southwestern Ethiopia. Here we will visit a number of surrounding villages and tribes, such as the Tsemay, Erbore and Konso, who decorate themselves with beads, feathers and elaborate body paint, priding themselves on ancient traditions. During the day there will be many unique opportunities to practice shooting scenes of everyday village village life, as well as portraits of women, men and children, including some intriguing initiation rites.
DAY 5: HAMER BEMA, TSEMAY, BESHADA KARO AND ARI PEOPLE
We will use the day to meet the Hamer Bena, Tsemay, Beshada, Karo and the Ari people – enjoying a busy and a fascinating day together with tribes and local people. Christian Nørgaard will assist, guide and teach how to approach people and how to find locations, and there will be great opportunities to practice some more landscape and portrait photography in some of worlds most stunning locations.
DAY 6: OMO RIVER AND THE KARO TRIBES
Early in the morning we drive to a Karo village that is located on a hill top overlooking the Omo river. We will set up our equipment in the nice and soft morning light and spend the rest of the morning capturing every detail in the village. The Karo is undoubtedly the most fascinating tribe with regard to their personal decoration. The tribespeople paint their bodies from toe to face white expressive patterns – truly an amazing sight and a magnificent location. In the evening we hold a workshop with constructive feedback on your best shots of the day.
DAY 7: KONSO
Today we will drive to Konso and visit the market in Key Afer where we will meet tribes such as the Ari, Bena, Tsemay, Hamer. The market in Key Afer is a wonderful mix of local crafts, cattle sales and small hostels where local men meet. Another day full of adventure with our cameras – shooting everything from great landscape photography to fantastic opportunities for unique portrait photography. Tonight we all meet after dinner to work on our images. Christian will support one to one with his point of view in regards to framing and basic photoshop workflow.
DAY 8: KONSO
Many tribes live around Konso, which is located on a mountain top, and there are many small isolated villages scatters on the surrounding hillsides. We will spend most of the day in a village that is one of the most beautiful in the area. Here we will photograph the daily life where men and women are working in their clay houses together with their kids and cattle. A farewell dinner and a thorough review of some of your best workshop photos will by led by Christian Nørgaard.
DAY 9: DEPARTURE
On the final day, we will all take a cruise on Lake Chamo, where you will find a great variety of birds, hippos, crocodiles and other wildlife. After lunch return, we will return by plane to Addis Ababa International Airport for your return flight home.
Enjoy Your 38-Page Catalog with stunning photos from Ethiopia
Including Workshop intinerary, expert interview, quick tips and equipment list
Brian has been a life-long world traveler, and photography is a way for him to experience other cultures and share experiences with friends and family. He especially loves making environmental portraits.
“The Ethiopia workshop was a wonderful way to hone my craft with a portrait master like Steve McCurry. It was also wonderful to spend time to other photographers who share my passion for making art through travel.”
Brian Cruickshank, USA, who participated in the Ethiopia workshop in 2016.
Thanks for choosing Better Moments for your workshop.
We don’t want you to worry about losing money on your workshop booking. Therefore, you will receive a 100% refund of the workshop price – including your deposit – if we have to cancel any of our workshops due to coronavirus.
QUICK GUIDE GETTING THERE
Fly to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, where we meet and pick you up at the airport.
The Ethiopian embassy in your home country is the best source of up-to-date information.
Expect sunny skies in August. Average temperature 16.5°C
Ethiopia has about 200 dialects but many speak English.
Ethiopia’s currency is the Birr. It’s divided into 100 cents in one, five, 10, 25 and 50 cent coins as well as a one Birr coin, and there are one, five, 10, 50 and 100 Birr notes.
Top things to do in Addis Ababa:
Ethnological Museum. Set within Haile Selassie’s former palace and surrounded by the beautiful gardens and fountains of Addis Ababa University’s main campus is the enthralling Ethnological Museum – it’s easily one of the finest museums in Africa.
Yekatit 12 Monument. Rising dramatically from the roundabout Siddist Kilo is this moving monument to the thousands of innocent Ethiopians killed by the Italians as retribution for the attempt on Viceroy Graziani’s life on 19 February 1937. ‘Yekatit 12’ is a date in the Ethiopian calendar roughly equivalent to 19 February.
Tomoca. Coffee is serious business at this great old Italian cafe in Piazza. The beans are roasted on and Tomoca serves what’s likely the capital’s best coffee. If that isn’t enough, it’s also dripping in 1920s atmosphere. Beans are also sold by the half-kilo.
St George Cathedral & Museum. Commissioned by Emperor Menelik II to commemorate his stunning 1896 defeat of the Italians in Adwa, and dedicated to St George (Ethiopia’s patron saint), whose icon was carried into the battle, this Piazza cathedral was completed in 1911 with the help of Greek, Armenian and Indian artists. Empress Zewditu (in 1916) and Emperor Haile Selassie (in 1930) were both crowned here.
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