Travel with Quest leader Mark Kettenhofen as we take an in-depth tour back in time to the ancient world of Jordan. Jordan is a photographer’s delight, rich in spectacular landscapes and historic sites. This Quest will emphasize night photography techniques in the evenings. During the day, participants will work with a yoga instructor and massage therapist to create a truly unforgettable week.
Starting in Amman, explore the city highlights and photograph the Greco-Roman ruins of Jerash. Moving on to Petra, you'll have time to thoroughly explore the ancient city both by daylight and lit by candle light. Shoot the magical stars, ride a camel with local Bedouins, capture the stunning mystic landscapes of Wadi Rum from a hot air balloon, while sleeping in 5 star luxury tents.
All throughout our journey, you will enjoy top-level photographic instruction. From an abundance of opportunities for travel and landscape images, to long exposure and night photography to daily lessons and review sessions that will captivate your mind and entice your senses to create once-in-a lifetime memories and images!
Photograph the beautiful stars in Wadi Rum, a surreal desert terrain known as “The Valley of the Moon”
Discover astonishing Petra, the “rose red” Nabatean city sculpted from rock
Photograph the ancient sites of Galilee, the mosaics of Madaba and the ruins of Jerash
Float in the buoyant waters of the Dead Sea and immerse yourself in the therapeutic, mineral-rich black mud
Camera settings & composition
Metering and exposure
Low light shooting
Use of filters
Learn how to shoot the Milky way, Star Trails and Time Lapses
November 1 - Depart USA
Depart on your flight from the USA to Amman, Jordan
November 2 - Arrive Amman, Jordan
Transfer directly to your hotel in Amman. You will have a welcome dinner at a local restaurant where you will enjoy the delicious traditional Jordanian dinner. Overnight Kempinksy Hotel, Amman. (D)
November 3 - Amman-Jerash-Ajloun -Um Qais
After breakfast head north to photograph Jerash, one of the most important and best preserved Roman cities in the Middle East. We will spend time exploring and photographing this stunning location. Then on to Ajloun and visit the castle, dominating the Ajloun skyline and built to ward off the Crusader armies at the key trade and pilgrimage intersection between Jerusalem, Cairo, Damascus and Mecca.
Drive to the northern tip of Jordan and savor the beauty of Umm Qais, the Greek and Roman city overlooking the Jordan valley and the Sea of Galilee. Overnight Kempinksy Hotel, Amman. (B,L)
November 4 - Amman -Petra
Early morning, head out to the old city of Amman to photograph the Temple of Hercules, a Byzantine church, the Umayyad Palace and the Roman Theatre, two of the most popular archaeological sites in the city.
Afterwards drive to the Nabatean Red Rose city of Petra, one of the 7 world wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enter the city through the long narrow gorge called the Siq, which is flanked either side by 80m high cliffs! Photograph the dazzling colors and rock formations. The site is massive, and contains hundreds of elaborated rock-cut tombs, a treasury, Roman-style theatres, temples, sacrificial altars and colonnaded streets. Dinner and overnight at Petra Marriott Hotel. (B,D)
November 5 - Petra by Night
Full day to discover Petra's canyons and the grand library and the archaeological sites. Great photo opportunities of Bedouins, camels and horse driven carriages racing through the canyons to the hidden treasure of the magnificent rock-cut architecture of the library. Take a stroll down the Street of Facades, a row of forty houses and easily accessible tombs with ornately carved exteriors, or hike up to the High Place of Sacrifice, where you can get an up-close look at its famous obelisks and sacrificial platform - all while surrounded by panoramic views of the rocky desert below.
You might also trek (or take a donkey ride!) up the 800 steps to The Monastery, a gigantic mountaintop temple. On the way, you’ll pass Qattar ad-Dayr, a pleasant, oasis-like grotto where water always flows, and the Hermitage, a pinnacle carved with decorative crosses. The Monastery itself is the largest monument in Petra. Tonight we will photograph Petra by night. Overnight at Petra Marriott Hotel. (B,D)
November 6 - Petra-Wadi Rum
After your visit to Petra you will drive to Wadi Rum & enjoy the wilderness adventure of a 4×4 3-hour Jeep tour. In Wadi Rum you will marvel at the sunset and gaze at the stars in the night sky, while enjoying the legendary hospitality of the Bedouin. You will have the chance to work on photographing the sunset, sunrise amazing night photography and landscape images. Overnight at the 5 star "Martian tents" at Sun City Camp (B,L,D)
November 7 - Wadi Rum-Hot Air Balloon
Early morning hot air balloon ride( weather permitting) in Wadi Rum, nicknamed the Valley of the Moon, which is made up of sandstone and granite rock surrounded by endless desert. Our balloon ride is not only adventurous, but allows for magnificent landscape photo opportunities. We will end the evening with more long exposure photography by learning how to photograph star trails. Overnight at the 5 star "Martian tents" at Sun City Camp (B,L,D)
November 8 - Wadi Rum-Dead Sea, Jordan
After lunch at a local restaurant, transfer to our relaxing 5 star Dead Sea resort. (B, L)
November 9 - Amman, Jordan back to the USA
Transfer to the airport for your departure back to the USA. The transfer is included from the Dead Sea to the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman and takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Allow a minimum of 3 hours for international flight check-in.
If you are joining us to Lebanon for the next 6 nights, we will fly as a group to Beirut, Lebanon.
Itinerary is subject to change.
Mark has been behind a camera for nearly 40-years. He began his photography career in the US Navy documenting the Navy’s global operations and personal as a Syracuse University trained photojournalist. During his 20-years of military service Mark travel the world capturing historical moments with his camera. His efforts and talent were recognized through numerous awards including being awarded the prestigious Military Photographer of the Year. After retiring, he spent a 3-months riding his bicycle across the US exploring a country he spent 20-years defending. After his trip across the US, Mark joined Nikon Professional Services. With Nikon, he has spent almost 20-years continuing his passion for adventure, travel and photography. His camera -and love for adventure- has taken Mark on expeditions to Everest Base Camp, the Galapagos Islands, diving off the coast of south and central America and deep into the jungles of the Amazon River basin for non-profit ECO groups. His personal belief of -Giving back as freely as you were given- has allowed Mark to be a workshop leader for Arizona Highways Magazine, US DOD Military Workshops, Lindblad Expeditions and Photography at the Summit Workshops. For 20-years he has been the Black Team Leader for the Eddie Adams Workshop, an intense four-day gathering of top photography professionals, along with 100-carelfully selected students. With camera in hand, Mark has covered numerous Olympics, World Cups, Super Bowls and Presidential Inaugurations. His passion for photography is only eclipsed by his love of adventure and the landscape of our world.
In addition, Mark is the co-author of America from 500-feet II, a photographic exploration of the United States from the air with dear friend Bill Fortney. Mark and Bill spent more than a year flying experimental aircraft above the country while creating images for their book. Mark is presently working on second a book chronicling his misadventures during his 3-month bicycle ride across the US. Mark is lives in the Colorado Rockies with his ever-tolerant wife Veronica and their two boys Marcelo and Martin.
Officially called the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Jordan is a country located on the east bank of the River Jordan. Almost half of Jordan is covered by the Arabian Desert. A safe haven in a region of conflict, Jordan has delighted visitors for centuries with its World Heritage Sites, friendly towns and inspiring desert landscapes.
Arabic is the official language of Jordan. English is widely spoken throughout the country; it functions as the de facto language of commerce and banking, and is also used for education purposes.
The best season is from October through May when the temperature is comfortable in the daytime, and cool or even cold at night.
·Bring materials that breathe; wear layers that can be taken off during the heat of the day and put back on for cool evenings. Conservative clothing such as lightweight pants, loose shorts, long skirts or trousers and at least short-sleeved shirts are recommended for both sexes when sightseeing in towns. Long, loose Bermuda-style shorts are acceptable for both sexes, but women may feel more comfortable in a skirt or long trousers. Formal clothing is not necessary.Women should pack a scarf large enough to cover bare neck and shoulders. Pack a swimming suit.
Jordan’s unit of currency is the Jordanian Dinar. Israel’s unit of currency is the Shekel. Exchange money only at authorized outlets such as currency exchange kiosks, banks and hotels. Only exchange what you feel you will need while visiting.
Tips are not included in your bill and the normal rate for tipping is 10% of the total bill.
In order to enter Jordan as a citizen of the United States, you will need:
A signed, valid passport. Your passport must remain valid for at least 6 months beyond the completion of your trip. It is also imperative that your passport has enough blank visa pages available for entry and exit stamps. Visa fees are (approximately USD $$60) and are due upon arrival in Jordan.
No vaccinations are currently needed for visitors. During your stay, it is preferable to drink only bottled water and to avoid eating from street stalls.
Be careful of the sun, which can often feel cooler than it really is due to the cool breezes and lack of humidity. Drink plenty of water when staying outside during the day.
Jordan is 7 hours ahead of New York (EST).
All appliances require a double round pin type plug for 220 volts AC, 50- hertz.
Computer / Digital Accessories
Laptop with charger and Photoshop and Lightroom (not mandatory)
Portable hard drives
All cables for drives, computer, card readers, storage devices, etc.
Power converters/adapters for all international quests
Cover or large zip-lock bag for camera for shooting in the desert
Sturdy tripod (carbon fiber)
Cable release (for night shots)
Small headlamp and flashlight
Your camera’s manual
Camera and extra body
Battery charger & extra batteries
Memory cards (bring plenty!!!)
Sensor cleaning supplies
Flash with plenty of batteries
Wireless transmitter for Flash
24-70mm for portraits or similar
70-200mm lens or similar
For night photography: fast/wide lenses like 14mm 2.8, 20mm 1.8 or 16-35 and 24-70 2.8
Your AF lenses must have a manual focus setting for night photography
Lens hoods for all lenses
Lint-free cloth to clean lenses and blower ball for dust
$4900 based on double occupancy. Single supplement is an additional $1650.
PQA will try to match you with a roommate if you do not opt for a single supplement. However, if a roommate is not available, you will be charged the additional single supplement fee.
Limited to 12 participants.
International airfare to/from Jordan/Lebanon
Visa and passport fees
Medical and trip insurance (highly recommended)
Quest workshop fee
Hot Air Balloon (50 min – 1 Hour) Weather permitting
7 nights accommodations in 5 star hotels (based on double occupancy) in Jordan
All entrance fees
Jeep tour in Wadi Rum for 6 hours.
Meals (as noted in itinerary)
English speaking guides/drivers
All land transportation
Airport transfers on arrival and departure
We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance.