Photography Tours to Unusual Locations in China & Asia

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Real vs Surreal

Photography Tour Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), China 2020

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Photography Trip Yellow Mountain, 

(Huangshan), China  "Autumn in the Sky"


24 - 28 Oct 2020 *** 2 spots left ***


Newly Added!  Huangshan is undoubtedly China’s most striking mountains, drawing tens of  thousands of visitors.  It is most beautiful in autumn when the colour changes and in winter when its covered in snow.  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 3am start to photograph sunrises and sunsets.  We will also visit Hongcun, arguably 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. 


These trips are intended not only to feed your shutter addiction but also designed to delight your gustatory cells!  I take great satisfaction in hunting down and sampling local delicacies. So rest assured, if you are in the tour, I intend for you to eat well! 


  • Cost : From AUD2880/pax
  • Group size : No more than 8
  • Hotel : 3-4 stars hotels on top and at the foot of the mountains
  • Includes : Hotel, transport, entrance fees, local guides  and tour services.
  • Excludes : Flights, meals, alcoholic beverages, optional activities, travel insurance.

Photography Tour Xiapu, China 2020

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Photography Trip Xiapu, China "Fishing Village and Mudflat"


10 - 14 May 2018 *** sold-out ***

21 - 24 Sept 2018 *** sold-out ***

11 - 14 May 2019 *** sold-out ***

15 - 18 May 2020 *** 3 spots left ***

30 Oct - 2 Nov 2020 *** 3 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.  


In China itself, Xiapu ranks as one of the top 10 photography paradises and holds the largest mudflat in the country. 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 what Xiapu can offer in various seasons.


  • Cost : From AUD1880/ pax
  • Group size : No more than 8
  • Hotel : Modern/ clean rooms in 3-4 stars hotels with western toilets.
  • Includes : Hotel, breakfast/ dinner, transport, entrance fees, models' fees, guides, return airport transfer from Fuzhou airport
  • Excludes : Flights, lunch, alcoholic beverages, optional activities, travel insurance.

  

Photography Tour Great Wall to Guilin, China 2020

Sunset at one of the vantage points in Guilin

Photography Trip Great Wall to Guilin 

"Chasing Magic & Mist"


4 - 10 May 2019  *** sold-out ***  

8 - 13 May 2020 ***  2 spots left ***


This is the 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.  As night falls, there’s an optional trip to explore the lit-up area of the Great Wall and the dreamy watertown nearby. 


In Guilin, we will be chasing after fog and light at various mountain top view points to shoot the layers of misty karst mountains which Guilin is famous for. 


There’s also the option to head over to the Hutongs or mysterious Forbidden City on the first day.


  • Cost : From AUD2880 /pax
  • Group Size : no more than 8
  • Hotel : Modern/clean rooms in 3-4 stars hotel and modern farm-houses at the Wall area.  Yes to western toilets!
  • Includes : Hotel, meals (except lunch), guides, tours and transport, entrance fees,  modelling fees, translation services, all airport transfers in Guilin.
  • Excludes : Flights (estimated AUD1050 for international and domestic flights combined, ex-Sydney), lunch, alcoholic beverages, optional activities, airport transfer in Beijing.

Photography Tour Mount Bromo, Indonesia 2019

Photography Trip to Mount Bromo, Indonesia "Ring of Fire"

6 - 8 July 2018  *** open for booking ***

Mount Bromo Photography Trip, Indonesia "Rings of Fire"


Coming soon!  The desolate beauty of Mount Bromo and Mount Semeru (furthest back) can be seen here as they spewed plumes of ashes and steam into the air while the inactive Mount Batok sat silently on the caldera floor nearby. Mount Bromo is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia, if not the world.  


In this 3D/2N itinerary, we will be shooting from a high vantage point during sunrise, explore the Sea of Sand and climb up to the rim of the crater of Mount Bromo itself.  On second day, we will photograph one of the highest waterfalls in Jawa, Madakaripura Falls.


Mout Bromo landscape is one of the most surreal landscapes I've ever shot.  However with fame and beauty, comes popularity.  This park can get crowded.  If you are willing to put up with the noise and crowd, the reward of returning home with epic shots is there to take. Tips : we land/depart through Bali airport.  You can easily combine this trip with a side excursion to Bali.



FAQ about Tours

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Who's the trip for?

Photographers of all levels. I'll provide any assistance in your photography however you need to know how your camera's basic functions/buttons. I will be able to assist if you are a Canon user like me.  


If you  like to photograph unusual yet stunning locations with a small team of like-minded photographers, then 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.


I am a vegetarian, will that be an issue?

Not at all.  The hotel and restaurants serve a variety of vegetarian meals.


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. She/ he can also join in our sessions even if she doesn't shoot. 


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.


Testimonials and Awards

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I have won several major national and international awards for my photography in 2016/2017/2018 which includes :


*The winner of Big Traveller 2016 National Photography Competition (Australia)

 

*Top 5 in the 2016 Monster Children Worldwide Photography Competition (International)


*1st, 2nd and 3rd placing  (seascape and sunrise categories) in FOCUS photography competition 2017 (Australia's largest photography competition in Australia) 


* Honourable mentions in the International Monochrome Awards 2016


* Top 21 National Geographic Editors' Pick for Best Travel Photos 2017.  Two images picked and published by National Geographic Feb 2018


*Won Wanderlust UK Landscape Category Photography of the Year 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)


My work were also exhibited in Los Angeles, USA; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2017 and London in 2018. 

The Great Wall to Guilin Photography Trip Itinerary

The quintessential image of Guilin - the cormorants fisherman by the gorgeous Li River.

The Great Wall to Guilin Photography Tour “Chasing Magic and Mist”

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 top view points 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.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arriving at Beijing

Majority of guests arriving around mid-night.


Day 2

Photography trip of Great Wall officially kicks off at 2pm. In the morning, free-and-easy time, optional trip to the *Library or the *Forbidden City.  Long drive from Beijjng to the remote section of Great Wall for sunset shoot. Our first get-together Chinese style banquet dinner. The location is unique and great to explore this wild section of Great Wall. We will be staying at humble but decent/modern farm-houses (yes to western toilet).  Its called farm-houses but are quite westernised.

  

Day 3

Sunrise shoot of 3am start at a restored but deserted part of the Great Wall. Sunset shoot at another section of the Great Wall. Alternatively, there’s an optional visit to the very pretty *Gubei Watertown in the evening if you are all great-walled by now. 


Day 4

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 viewpoints on top of different peaks and at river banks.  The spectacle at the top of the viewpoint presents a panoramic view of the endless layers of mountains peaking out through the fog (fog’s not guaranteed although its best seen in May). All require a bit of trekking to the top. We will also 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 at 12 noon on Day 6.


(suggestion: after the marathon shoot and treks, have a think about winding down and 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)

Costs

AUD 2880 / pax. 

(Single supplement in Beijing is AUD 120 / Great Wall AUD 70/ Guilin AUD 70)


Includes 

Guide & Tours in Beijing/ Great Wall/ Guilin

Transport

Accommodation

All Meals (except lunch)

Entrance Fees to all Great Wall sites

Modelling Fees in Guilin

All Airport Transfers in Guilin

  

Excludes 

Flights (estimated at AUD 1250 for international plus domestic fights ex Sydney. We can assist with flights booking)

Airport Transfer from Beijing Airport to Beijing Hotel 

(as there are different groups arriving at different times making this non-feasible)

Optional Activities

Lunch

Others

Prices and quotations are subject to changes and currency fluctuations. 

Locations marked * are optional activities and at guests' own cost.  

Itinerary is subject to change due to weather and other unforeseen circumstances.

Binhai Library does not allow visitors in bringing in cameras with the exception of phone cameras. To get to the library, guests will need to pay for the return bullet train ride to Yujiapu and associated transport costs from there.


Yellow Mountain (Huangshan) 5D/4N Itinerary

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Day 1

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. 


Chinese Banquet

Day 2

Sokdam Village, Shexian  - Sunrise Photography. 

Sokdam Village is relatively new location and is not on many photographers’ radar. It is virtually unknown to foreign photographers/ visitors. We will travel to the top of a  vantage point for sunrise and hopefully some rolling mist that its famous for!

 

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.

Day 3 -5

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 

What Our Guests Said...

"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!! "


Wanda Craswnell 

@wandacraswellphotography


 

"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

Germany




"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."


Ray  Jennings

Sydney, Australia

2017 Epson Pano Awards Winner



"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

Sydney, Australia




 




"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!"


Niall Chang

Sydney, Australia

2018 Australian Photography Forum Winner - Travel category (with images captured during the Xiapu trip)




"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".


Duangmon C

Bangkok, Thailand

@duang.c

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