Photography Trip Guilin & Great Wall
"Chasing Magic & Mist"
04 - 10 May 2019 *** sold-out ***
11 - 16 May 2024 *** 4 spots left ***
This is the trip with TOP landscapes of China all rolled into one!
Join us for 6D/5N of sunrise and sunset shoots at remote part of Great Wal - some wild and unpaved, some restored with amazing watchtowers. It is remote and devoid of crowd. There are very few places at Great Wall where one can do sunrise, sunset or astro photography as most of these sites are gated access with set opening hours. These locations however, you can! As night falls, there's the opportunity to hike up the illuminated Wall situated in an ancient water-town often lit up by thousands of hanging lanterns.
There’s also the option to head over to the Birds Nest Stadium or the mysterious Forbidden City if you get to Beijing early.
In Guilin, we will be chasing after fog and light at various mountain tops for the epic panoramic view of ethereal mountains peaking through the mist by the hundreds, that makes you feel like you have stepped into a Chinese ink painting.
Check out the gallery below for locations we will be covering.
Photography Trip Xiapu, China "Fishing Village and Fine-Art inMudflat"
10 - 14 May 2018 *** sold-out ***
21 - 24 Sept 2018 *** sold-out ***
29 Oct - 1 Nov 2021 *** sold-out ***
21 - 24 Oct 2023 *** 3 spots left ***
18 - 21 May 2024 *** 4 spots left ***
Xiapu's landscapes is EPIC and unique during the seaweed harvest seasons. I first discovered Xiapu when I saw a winning entry in the National Geographic photography competition. Since then many of the images captured here had bagged prestigious photography competitions worldwide.
I too had won multiple awards with images from Xiapu. This place is ideal for photographers serious about competitive photography.
In China itself, Xiapu ranks as one of the top 10 photographers' paradise.
The oncoming and outgoing tide constantly transforms the landscapes. From its shifting mud-flats, floating fishing villages and tens of thousands bamboo frames spreading vastly across the ocean, the composition is endless.
It is also a perfect location for those into black and white minimalism.
Check out the gallery below for locations we will be covering.
Photography Trip Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), China "Autumn in the Sky"
23 -27 Oct 2021 *** sold-out ***
15 - 19 Oct 2023 *** 2 spots left ***
This place is unreal! Huangshan or Yellow Mountain is undoubtedly China’s most beautiful mountain range,, drawing tens of thousands of visitors a month.
It is most beautiful in autumn when the foliage changes. Yellow Mountain is not a single mountain. It consists of 72 peaks and hundreds of ravines. Where does one even start? Well, I'd done the hard yard and had it sum up in a focused itinerary to explore the best of Huangshan has to offer for photography's purposes.
We will be staying at mountain-top hotels with early start to photograph sunrises and sunsets. We will also visit several ancient villages including China's prettiest water village where Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was filmed.
It is often said “once you’ve ascended the Yellow Mountain, you will never view other mountains in China the same way again”. It is famous for its ethereal beauty, mystical seas of clouds and the oddly shaped pines and rocks.
Check out the gallery below for locations we will be covering.
Photography Trip Iran, "The Magical Land of Persia"
29 Oct - 6 Nov 2022 *** completed ***
2024 dates *** to be confirmed ***
The landscape in Iran is truly mind-blowing. The mountains. The deserts. The architectures. All rolled into one and delivers one of the most diversified experience for any genre of photography (see gallery below).
But Iran - is it safe? YES! It is. I'd just spent a month there, travelling solo from north to south, from cities to mountains to deserts and had never felt safer. Iran is not Iraq so please don't get the 2 confused. Lonely Planet too had vouched for its safety. Just googled safety in Iran and judge for yourself. Or check out my blog below.
Join us for a 9D/8N trip, exploring the best Iran has had to offer. We will be photographing some of the world's most beautiful mosques, the kaluts/ the crazy strange formations in the Mars-like desert, the bazaars, the ruins and the mountains.
We will be covering all those locations featured in the photographs below (except for the multi-layered village where access is seasonal).
Register your interest now. This trip is open to all except for those that had travelled to Israel/ Israeli nationality (country's policy).
Due to the evolving Covid situation, deposit is not needed at this stage.
Check out the gallery below for locations we will be covering.
Who's the trip for?
Photographers of all levels. I'll provide any assistance in your photography, however you need to know your camera's basic functions/buttons.
If you like to photograph unusual yet stunning locations with a small team of like-minded photographers, then the trip is for you.
Who should not participate?
Our tours are geared to those who genuinely love photography and would not mind breaking out a sweat or "suffer" a little to get those winning shots. This tour is not for "divas" or those that are not culturally open-minded. There will be times when the bush is your toilet and western meals are non-existent. At remote sites, the accommodation although clean and decent, can be basic.
Are these destinations safe?
Please check the travel blog "Is China safe to visit"? below. There's plenty of information there to address your concerns.
Can my non-photographer partner come along?
Absolutely. The shoots are usually held in the morning and evening (golden hours) and there is free & easy time in between.
Are your images manipulated?
Yes to some and no to some. I love to create and post processing allows me the freedom to transform the real into the surreal.
Are post-processing workshops included in the tour?
Sorry, no. These tours are not workshops. I do however provide post-processing tuition outside the tours.
What are the cancellation terms if my travel is affected by Co-VID19?
We had adapted our cancellation term to cater to the unpredictability of this pandemic. If the participant cancels due to travel ban, the fees are fully refundable, up to 90 days prior to departure.
Awards & Features
*The winner of Big Traveller 2016 National Photography Competition (Australia)
*1st, 2nd and 3rd placing (seascape and sunrise categories) in FOCUS photography competition 2017, Australia's largest photography competition in Australia.
* Photography work published by National Geographic, The Guardian News, The Weekend Australian.2022, BBC Science and CNN Arabic 2022.
* Wanderlust UK Landscape - Winner (Photography of the Year 2018)
* Commissioned by Costa Rica Tourism to photograph the landscape of the country 2018
*1st, 2nd and 3rd placing (urban landscape, creative and seascape categories) in FOCUS photography 2018.
* 2 golds and 3 silvers in Epson Panorama Award 2018 (all in top 50 placement)
* International Travel Contest SFR 2019 - Winner (Landscape Category)
* Invited by NEOM, Saudi Arabia tourism as the debuting team of photographers to this new region. Images were used in all related tourism campaigns (www.discoverNEOM.com) 2019.
* Maria Luisa Memorial 2019/2020 - Winner (Nature Category)
* Overall Winner and Category Winner (Travel) Australasia Photographer of the Year 2020
* Australian Geographic Photography Award - Winner (Botanical Category) 2021
* CEO Choice Heritage Bank Photography competition 2022, Australia's largest comp.
*Nature Conservancy Category Winner 2022
My work were also exhibited in Smithsonian Museum, Los Angeles, Kuala Lumpur, London, Taipei, Australia, Spain and Saudi Arabia.
This image of fishing cages in Xiapu had won me the top prize in seascape category Focus competition 2017, first prize in Travel Landscape in 2019 and various recommendations.
This image had bagged me the first prize in Wanderlust Photo Comp UK 2018 and a gold in Epson Pano 2018.
Arrive in Huangshan City
(direct flights from Shanghai to Huangshan City. Meeting up and picking up from Huangshan airport between 2.30-4.30pm)
Explore Tunxi Ancient street, Although its 630 years in history, Tunxi ancient street is one of the best preserved streets in China and showcases a mix of Song and Yuan Dynasties architectures.
Sokdam Village, Shexian - Sunrise Photography.
Sokdam Village is a relatively new location and is not on many photographers’ radar. It is virtually unknown to foreign photographers/ visitors. We will drive to the top of a vantage point for sunrise and hopefully some rolling mist.
Hong Cun Village – Sunset Shoot and Night Shoot
Hongcun, a stunning ancient village, originated during Song Dynasty (960-1276), is named arguably the most beautiful “Chinese painting-like” village in China. It is listed in UNESCO world heritage sites and showcases the best examples of ancient Huizhou-style architecture. The Oscar-winning film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was filmed in Hongcun. Naturally this place is swamped with tourists making photography difficult. However we will work around this and visit while this place is deserted and while the light is soft.
Ascend Huangshan via Cable Car in early morning after sunrise shoot. Travel light and bring clothing/ necessities just for next 3 days. Leave the rest in the hotel at the foot of the mountain.
Check into Huangshan mountain top hotel and explore the surroundings. Sunset shoot. If the sky is clear, we will aim for astro shoot as well.
3am sunrise shoots at various peaks that overlook columns of needle-like mountains rising starkly from the ravines. Sunset shoots at different peaks that commands a panorama view of northern sea of Huangshan.
Free and easy time in between shoots for personal exploration.
Descend Huangshan on day 5 in the afternoon. Evening shuttle from Huangshan to Huangshan airport.
Terms & Conditions
1. Itineraries are subject to change, dependent primarily on weather, snowfall that impact the trail access and the cableway operation
2. Names of actual locations in the mountain will be shared with registered guests only
Guilin Photography Trip : Shrouded in fog, Guilin's layers of mountains are best shot from a high vantage point such as this one.
This is the MEGA trip with TOP landscapes of China all rolled into one!
Join us for 6D/5N of rare sunrise and sunset photography shoots at remote part of Great Wall follows by breakfast on the Wall itself. It’s very cold hiking up there at 4am so be prepared. You will get to explore different sections of the restored and unrestored/wild parts of the Wall during the golden hours. These sites are hardly visited by tourists and you can have miles and miles of Wall to yourself.
As night falls, there’s an optional trip to explore and walk along the lit-up area of the Great wall and the dreamy watertown nearby. The watertown is made up canals , rivers, willow trees with quaint, ancient shops lighted up by thousands of lanterns and night lights making this an exotic destination.
In Guilin, we will be chasing after fog and light at various mountain tops to shoot the layers of misty karst mountains which Guilin is famous for.
During the free-and-easy time, there’s the option to head over to the gigantic, impressive library near Beijing that you might had oo-ahh on Instagram before. This site is great for photographers that are into urban/architecture shoots. Alternatively you can explore the mysterious Forbidden City nearby the hotel. For further details on photography trip to Guilin and Great Wall, check out the gallery and itinerary.
Arriving at Beijing
For those that arrive early, we will be doing a evening/ night shoot of the Beijing National Grand Theatre or colloquially known as The Giant Egg. This follows by a Chinese style banquet dinner with the famous Peking Duck on the menu.
Photography trip of Great Wall officially kicks off at 2pm. In the morning, its free-and-easy with optional trip to the *Hutongs, *Marriage Market or the *Forbidden City. Long drive from Beijing to the remote section of Great Wall for sunset shoot. Our first farm-cooked dinner right by the Wall. We will be staying at humble but decent farm-houses (with western toilets). Its called farm-houses but are relatively modernised. Located right at the foot of the Great Wall, this location is unique and great for exploration of the Wall anytime of the day.
A 3 am start! We will be climbing up a restored but deserted part of the Great Wall passing through a series of amazing watch towers to wait for first light. Shooting sunrise at the Wall is a surreal experience. As the sun rises, the Wall turns red and golden resembling very much a flaming dragon. Sunset shoot at another section of the Wall with a different perspective and lighing. Alternatively, there’s an optional visit to the very pretty *Gubei Watertown in the evening if you are all great-walled by now.
Morning flight from Beijing to Guilin. Photography trip of Guilin starts today!
Day 4 - Day 6
For the next 3 days, its all about sunrise and sunset shoots at different mountain/ hill tops and at river banks. From the mountain top, one can see a sweeping view of the endless layers of mountains peaking through the fog (fog’s not guaranteed although its best seen in May). If time permits, we will visit a fishing village for those that are interested in street/ portraits photography, And lastly we can't leave Guilin without shooting the quintessential setting of the fisherman wielding his lantern and his cormorants by the riverbank amidst the soft glowing sky. Tour ends in evening on Day 6.
(suggestion: after the marathon shoot and treks, have a think about winding down/ relaxing by extending a day or 2 in Guilin. Guilin is beautiful and is worthwhile exploring on your own. Have a laugh and a chat with the friendly locals. They seemed to enjoy inviting visitors for a game of chess or a communal dance at the park)
Photographer of The Year Award with my Xiapu's series 2019.
"Excellent trip, my first ever photography tour!! Callie was in contact constantly, even before the trip, with updates and information about China, checking that I had arrived and made it to my hotel the night before meeting up. One of her great tips: get a Translate app! it saved me heaps of times! During the tour, I was always advised what was happening next, and what to expect, what kind of lens would be useful to shoot with, the conditions that we were going to experience. I really missed that guidance when I stayed on after the tour on my own, but Callie made sure I had a private driver arranged, and he had a list of places to take me to. There was a good mix of guidance/tuition if I asked, or leaving me to my own devices to enjoy the scenery. Callie's main objective was that we were fed well, went to the best places in the best conditions, and had a lot of laughs as well. I would definitely recommend this tour to any photographer with a keen interest in culture, and an open mind to experience new things, and I suppose a cultural learning experience as well!! "
"At first I didn't know what to expect from the trip. My friends and I are from Germany and wanted someone to guide us around Xiapu and we found Callie. It rained a lot when we were there but we didn't mind because we wanted to make black and white photos. Callie took us to amazing places and we got the photos we wanted. The restaurants she took us were very good, so much beautiful food! I hope to explore China with her again. She's funny and nice (but fierce when the driver tried to cheat her haha). Love from Germany xxx"
Anthony Young & friends
"I originally booked a trip to Xiapu with Callie for May 2021. However, due to Covid-19 spikes and related travel restrictions making it near impossible to travel, I had to cancel my planned trip. Callie was very understanding and offered a deposit refund, during the process of which she was very responsive and proactive. She was also very helpful in ensuring that the deposit refund was done in a timely manner - I received my refund on the same day of processing. I hope to be able to join future workshops and photo tours with Callie!"
"I have been on a number of photography tours and always do my research on the itinerary and the group leader prior to booking. The trip to Xiapu, China certainly did not disappoint. I also rate Callie highly as a leader. Travelling in China can be challenging in terms of language, food and culture but Callie's organisation was seamless, everything was taken care of. If the location did not work out or the conditions are not right, there's always plan B.
Callie is always there to assist and share her photographic know-how whenever required. Our group consisted of photographers with different interests, she managed that very well. She made sure our individual goals are met.
She has a wicked sense of humour so there was never a dull moment on our trip. We had such a great time that we are already booked in for another adventure with her, Guilin!"
2018 Australian Photography Forum Winner - Travel category (with images captured during the 2018 Xiapu trip)
"If you are like me and haven’t considered a trip to China due to the language and other considerations then book yourself into one of Callie’s trips. She is a gifted photographer who absolutely takes care of everything and I mean everything both before, during and after the trip. She speaks fluent Chinese so it’s a case of sit back, relax and fill your memory cards with images of incredible places. I was fed, watered and escorted around a very picturesque part of China called Xiapu for 4 days and elected to stay an extra day. Callie very kindly organised a local guide to take me to some shoot locations during that day and checked, whilst in another country, that I was managing OK with booking a bus to take me to the airport. Callie also shared her knowledge of each of the shoot locations and was keen to offer tips to ensure you come home with something special no matter what our skill levels were. I cant recommend her trips highly enough so if you are considering a trip to China then don’t hesitate…You wont find better."
2017 Epson Pano Awards Winner
"Callie is an excellent guide. Her knowledge in photography and her expertise in the location made those 4 days of the tour most incredible and memorable. She is helpful, courteous, and concerned about helping with all aspects of the trip. I definitely do the tour with her again".
"Jackie and I had a great time and the trip exceeded our expectations. Everything went smoothly and the atmosphere was very relaxed.
Callie is enjoyable and fun to be with and will give help and advice if you want it. We both learnt a lot and feel that our photography has taken a big step forward."
Steve and Jackie Wyatt
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