Ralph Paonessa photography tour
Photo: Ralph Paonessa/RPPhoto.com
Whether you're a point-and-shoot beginner or a budding Ansel Adams, you can explore the world, meet new people, and hone your skills by taking a photography tour. Join up alone or with a spouse or friends—all you need is a camera and a little wanderlust. Here, a few adventures to get your imagination clicking. 

Strabo Photo Tours
(from $1,795; PhotoTC.com)
Sign on for a journey to Iceland's volcanic pillars and waterfalls, the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, or the enchanted Galápagos Islands, led by one of Strabo's roster of award-winning photographers. If you don't see what you're looking for on the company's lineup of tours, they'll help you custom-build your own.

Ralph Paonessa Photography Workshops (pictured)
(from $1,895; RPPhoto.com)
Nature photographer Paonessa offers expeditions for groups of five to seven (travelers are welcome to bring their portfolios for review). Itineraries include hikes through California's jaw-dropping Eastern Sierra and a survey of Ecuador's stunning bird life.

National Geographic
(from $1,095; NationalGeographicExpeditions.com)
Foray into remote Himalayan villages or roam the hills and ruins of Provence with well-traveled National Geographic photojournalists. You can choose between highly structured, single-site workshops (which include instruction, assignments, and critiques) and wider-ranging, more free-form tours.

Adventure Photo Expeditions
(from $575; AdventurePhotoExpeditions.com)
National Geographic and Reuters photographer Carole Devillers knows New Mexico inside and out, whether you're visiting the City of Rocks (volcanic ash formations some 30 million years old) or searching the Latir Lakes region—llamas at your side—for bighorn sheep.

And keep in mind...The best tours limit the size of their groups—12 people at most—so book early. Prices often include accommodations, ground transportation, and most meals, but usually not airfare. Some companies recommend that you bring a laptop installed with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 software (available at Adobe.com).


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