April 29th 2017
Register here Limited To Six Participants
Immerse yourself into the world of black and white photography. What makes a great black and white photograph? In this seven-hour workshop we will take a look at some styles of the masters past and current, and give you tips on looking at the world a little differently when you’re out with your camera.
The emphasis in this hands-on learning experience will be on taking a deep dive into processing your black and white photographs using Lightroom. We’ll cover creative and artistic decisions and how to translate those into great black and white photographs using the vast technical tools available in Lightroom. You will receive lots of one-on-one attention with your own images. You’ll learn how to translate the topics we present and apply them directly to your own work.
- What scenes make great black and white photographs
- Global vs. local adjustments
- A practical as well as technical look at the Lightroom “basic” panel and how much it’s changed in the last few years. More importantly how you might take better advantage of how differently it works now as compared to other RAW processors
- Point curves vs. parameterized curves vs. exposure/contrast/shadows/highlights/whites/blacks
- Translating color to monochrome and how to best use the color mix controls
- Tips and tricks for achieving modern and vintage looks
No matter if you are a life-long black and white enthusiast or are just starting to test the waters of this classic medium, this workshop will up your game. We’ll be covering the entire Lightroom develop module in ways that will give you a new outlook on how it can be most effectively used not only for black and white but will give you a fresh perspective on post-processing your color images as well.
What you’ll need to bring:
- A laptop with Lightroom installed.
- A good selection/diversity of RAW images.
- A very basic knowledge of Lightroom.
What We Provide
- Water, coffee, tea, snacks
- Instruction by Les Picker and Bob Boyer
Fee $295: Register here Limited To Six Participantsx
Part of our Master Workshop Series
May 19th Thru 21st 2017 - SOLD OUT
A 2-1/2 day workshop offered by Moab Master Photographer Les Picker and Master Printer Robert Boyer.
Register here Limited To Four Participants
Learn the art of self-critique. Create a hand-made, cloth-covered, boxed portfolio showcasing ten of your finest images, offered in an elegant, state-of-the-art presentation and designed to advance your photographic goals.
The Bottom Line
Top Ten Takeaways From This Workshop
- Two-on-one consultation with two experienced, successful, professional photographers to help you curate and edit your work
- Assistance selecting and post-processing your best images
- Fresh perspectives on your own work and how to make effective editorial decisions
- Learn numerous strategies for dealing with your own editorial process
- A weekend of considered dialog with other serious artists
- Develop contacts for editorial assistance going forward
- Experience the value of outside editorial input on your work
- How the editorial process can shape your art
- Ten archival prints professionally printed on Moab fine art papers, using state-of-the-art Canon printers.
- Distinctive, cloth-covered portfolio box, hand crafted in the USA
One of the hardest things to do as a photographer is edit down your work to a cohesive collection of the best and most fitting images, whether it be to support a single theme, single project or the best representations of your work.
What serious photographer does not realize he or she needs to have a professional portfolio to show friends, potential clients, judges at juried shows, or to peruse for their own enjoyment?
In fact, a professionally curated portfolio is essential for success as a serious photographer. Images come alive when carefully selected, meticulously edited and printed on fine art, archival paper. Viewers appreciate the look and feel of museum quality prints.
Yet, in our experience we have found that the majority of photographers either do not have a portfolio to showcase their art, or the one they use is actually detrimental to their success. Unfortunately, photographic portfolios are often poorly planned, poorly curated, and even more poorly executed.
If you are a serious photographer, here is a chance for you to walk home with a beautifully hand-crafted, hand-printed, and carefully curated fine art portfolio that will show off your work to the highest standard in the industry today.
Selecting images for a portfolio is difficult, but critically important. People naturally judge our work by what they see, so we must invest a lot of time in making selections. Frustratingly, we often spend too much time on images that we never should mess with in the first place! Editing an image to death is not the solution to developing your portfolio. Image selection, what we call curation, is the Number One priority. And in this workshop, you will learn to master that aspect of your art.
And how do we know when an image is portfolio worthy? Is it the number of “likes” we receive online? Hardly. On social media people most often say nothing as they flick through images a second at a time. Maybe they’ll hit the like button here and there. But, what does that tell you? Nothing, really. Social media is simply not a good selection tool.
What about online photography forums? The Internet is an amazing tool, but not great for developing a portfolio. Every image can be critiqued to death, until there is no emotion left in it. Honest, trusted editing doesn’t exist on the Internet, unless you are fortunate to have developed a one-on-one relationship with an experienced and respected photographer. Internet comments are often motivated by jealousy and competitiveness and can lower one’s self-confidence.
Another aspect of online critiques that we do not favor is this: a photographer posts an image and the forum leader comments that s/he likes or dislikes it. Then the forum lemmings fall into line, creating an echo chamber of not-so-helpful criticism. Sound familiar?
Our Process: The Value We Bring to You
Emotional attachment to one’s own imagery clouds every photographer’s judgment. Our process provides you with the combined judgment of Bob and I, mastered through decades of experience and professional success. Through our process you will gain self-confidence and understand the elements of solid portfolio development using professional critique to ensure you are showcasing your finest work.
Les Picker and Bob Boyer are experts in different types of photography. Les is a nature, landscape and wildlife artist, while Bob is a studio photographer and master printer. In their eight years of working together, they often differ in their opinions about an image. They respectfully challenge each other, knowing that the passionate effort they put into it results in far higher artistic levels.
That commitment to excellence is at the heart of this process. We start with you sharing with us up to 50 of your top images. We will work with you to curate them and select 25 of your best. Those images can be thematic, project oriented, or a “best of” collection. We will provide you with detailed feedback and will discuss the curation with you by email and phone. And all this occurs even before you arrive for your first on-site session.
Your Professional Portfolio
We firmly believe that every aspect of your portfolio should reflect your best work, with attention to detail. That is why we have our portfolio boxes individually made by hand in the USA by old-world craftsmen. These cloth-covered portfolios are works of art in their own right.
We intentionally limit this workshop to four dedicated photographers, so that our attention to detail exceeds your highest expectations.
Prior to the workshop, we ask that you select up to 40 of your finest images and share them with us online (we will tell you how to do this). We will help you narrow that group down to 20 images prior to coming to the workshop.
Once you are on site, and after showing you some sample professional portfolios, we spend the rest of the day Friday with you, helping you curate your images to the best ten images, in a collegial atmosphere where you can also seek input from the other attendees. We structure those discussions so that they are a positive and affirming experience and provide you with a template for utilizing positive professional critique in your future endeavors.
On Saturday we work side-by-side with you sharing insights, techniques, and Lightroom methods to finalize your selections while getting the most out of Lightroom. We’ll also offer one-on-one assistance to post-process your images so that they shine and are ready for our state-of-the-art large format Canon printers. By the end of the day, you will have a selection of images that you can rightfully point to with pride.
Sunday, together we print your images on large format, 13” x 19” fine art, museum-quality paper by world-renowned Moab Paper. We print using state-of-the-art large format printers by Canon, using archival inks. We add artistic finishing touches, giving you a beautiful, professional portfolio.
Afterwards you will assemble your portfolio. You will develop a cover sheet for your portfolio, which we will then print. Then you will have the distinct joy of completing the physical assembly of your professional portfolio.
Finally, we will provide you with information on how to maximize your exposure on social media. We will discuss branding, how to collect material together, and how to create specific personalities in different social media. We will show you how to use images that do not make the final portfolio as teasers in social media. We will also cover how to document the process of making the work - what is known as BTS, or Behind The Scenes - as promotional material to drive viewers to your site.
We will also help you to understand how to best utilize your portfolio to improve your professional image, represent yourself to galleries, increase sales, and showcase your art to family and friends.
You will leave with your professional, hand-made portfolio and with the knowledge of how to use it and update it to keep it current.
Fee: $1,250. Register here Limited To Four Participants - SOLD OUT
You must bring with you a laptop, your images under consideration, and a positive attitude. We provide lunches on both days (we try our best to accommodate dietary restrictions). Water, coffee, tea, and snacks are available throughout the day.
Once registered we will send you a list of lodging options within minutes of our studio. We recommend that you arrive the day before, as Havre de Grace is a historic town with wonderful photographic possibilities.
Lester Picker (www.lesterpickerphoto.com) has more than 650 writing and photo credits in National Geographic Society publications, Better Homes & Gardens, Forbes, Time, Inc. Publications, Money, Fortune Small Business, Bloomberg Personal Finance, National Parks Magazine, and dozens of newspapers, magazines and other publications. He is a former reporter, photojournalist and editor. Les is a Moab Master photographer, lauded for his fine art printing and his workshops.
Robert Boyer is a master printer and oversees all fine art printing for LPFA. Bob is also a computer and software technician. He is an experienced studio photographer and workshop presenter.
Saturday July 15, 2017
Are you ready to move your photo images from hiding in the dark recesses of your hard drive? Have you always wanted to share your best images with others? Would you like to decorate the walls of your home with your best photographic work? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘Yes’ then you should definitely register for our Basic Printing Workshop.
If you are like most digital photographers today, you have carefully honed your craft and have taken numerous awe-inspiring images. Now you are ready to display them on the finest photo papers for guests to see, to give as gifts, or to sell to those who appreciate your artistic efforts.
By the end of our one-day workshop, held in historic Havre de Grace, Maryland, you will not only learn a basic, color-managed workflow that is consistent and repeatable for fine art quality results, but you will leave the workshop with actual, large-format images, printed on fine art, museum-quality archival papers.
In the workshop you will print an unlimited number of proofs of your best images. You will create large format prints. And, you can use any extra time to print as many other images as you want for simply the cost of materials.
And unlike virtually all printing workshops you will see advertised, we never accept more than six people, so you are assured of individual attention in a learning environment second to none.
Click here for a sampling of what former workshop participants have to say about the workshop.
Les Picker (www.lesterpickerphoto.com) is an award-winning freelance photographer with credits in National Geographic publications and dozens of magazines, books and newspapers. His prints are featured in permanent exhibitions. His blog is followed by passionate photographers worldwide. Les is the Master Photographer for Museo Fine Art papers. He is a faculty member of the Nikonians Academy, where he leads photography workshops and tours worldwide. Les was named a Moab Master for his excellence in fine art printing.
Robert Boyer is the Master Printmaker for Lester Picker Fine Art Photography. Bob’s meticulous work and dynamic prints of Les’ work can be seen in permanent exhibits, exhibitions, offices, and private homes.
Our Learning Environment
Our studio in Havre de Grace, Maryland has been designed from the ground up to accommodate intimate groups of passionate photographers willing to expand their skills. We constructed our space from bare walls to enable us to produce the finest photographic prints imaginable.
We use a Canon Pro4000 large format printer for prints up to 44” wide, as well as three Canon printers for prints up to 24”.
Our in-studio kitchenette has fresh coffee, teas and drinks and refreshments always available to keep you energized. We use all-Apple computer equipment, but Bob is well versed in PC technology as well. In our workshops we focus on Lightroom for post-processing and printing.
Our historic town of Havre de Grace is fortunate to have excellent lodging choices, great restaurants and lots of photographic opportunities. We will provide you with a list of these possibilities when you register.
What You Will Learn
- Color-managed workflow
- Lightroom post-processing for prints
- How to effectively negotiate the Lightroom Print Module
- How to select appropriate papers for images
- How to judge prints
- Print display options
What is included
- Museum-quality photo papers
- Use of professional and prosumer printers
- Instruction from passionate photographers/print-makers
- Individualized hands-on practice
What is Not Included
What You Must Bring
- Laptop computer
- Latest version of Lightroom
- Up to 10 high-quality images (preferably in RAW format)
August 26 to September 4, 2017
Photograph Grizzlies, Landscapes, and the Amazing Northern Lights
Please Register Here
A Photo Adventure Like No Other
Prepare yourself for a truly memorable adventure as we photograph our way through Canada’s Untamed Yukon Wilderness from Whitehorse, Yukon to the Arctic Circle and back. Along the way we will witness the exotic arctic tundra changing into its dramatic fall colors right before our eyes. Traveling up the famed, graveled Dempster Highway, we will undoubtedly have opportunities to photograph trophy species such as grizzly bears, beaver, fox, and caribou. The luscious reds and yellows of the tundra light up the mountains and valleys during the day, making for incomparable landscape images.
Our goal of capturing the perfect light means sunrises and sunsets spent behind our cameras. But the best light of all may very well be at night, as we mount our cameras on tripods to photograph the exquisite and magical Northern Lights.
En route, we will also spend time in Dawson City, epicenter of the historic Klondike Gold Rush. This quaint and historic town, with gravel roads, wood sidewalks, aboriginal culture and historic buildings, is tailor made for photography.
Lester Picker (www.lesterpickerphoto.com), has more than 650 credits in major publications such as National Geographic books and magazines, Forbes, Better Homes & Gardens, Time, Inc. publications and dozens of others. Les was given Canada’s highest photography honor, the Northern Lights Award for Best Travel Photographer, a peer-juried competition. Les’ blog (http://blog.lesterpickerphoto.com) is widely followed and often quoted by media.
For sample comments and testimonials from previous Yukon photo tours, please click here.
Please Note: medical/evacuation insurance is required for this trip. Les will provide suggestions for vendors upon registration.
Fragments From The 2016 Yukon Adventure
Watch a few highlights and hear what participants say about the last Yukon adventure.
All participants will be greeted at the airport and transported to the hotel (included in trip fee).
After an early breakfast, we load up and take off for Dawson City, site of the Klondike Gold Rush. Dawson City is a gold mine (excuse the pun) for photography. The town itself has many national historic buildings and vestiges of the gold rush are everywhere. The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in aboriginal culture is evident both in exhibits within their cultural center and in their living culture in Dawson City and the surrounding countryside. Later that night, conditions permitting, we will awaken you for our first opportunity to photograph the incomparable Northern Lights.
Today we will wander the streets and alleyways of Dawson City, photographing its historic attractions and its people. We will drive to some of the major attractions from the Klondike’s Gold Rush past. At night, once again we will try to photograph the Northern Lights.
We leave Dawson City and cross the mighty Yukon River to explore the views along the spectacular Top of the World Highway… and our first opportunity to see caribou. Tonight is also our first portfolio review, where you will have an opportunity to share your best images, ask for critiques or just participate in helping the others improve their photographic skills. If Mother Nature cooperates, we have another chance to photograph the Northern Lights.
It’s up and out before sunrise, as we drive up the rugged Dempster Highway, Yukon’s only passage to the Arctic Circle. We eat breakfast while on the road and stop frequently to take advantage of the amazing scenery as it changes from forest to tundra. The mountains and valleys of the tundra cannot be described, except in photographs. En route we will have opportunities to see beaver, fox, black bears, grizzlies, moose and caribou. This is truly a landscape and wildlife photographer’s dream.
After a night spent in Eagle Plains, we wake up before dawn for an Arctic Circle sunrise. We will spend the day photographing north and south of the Circle, capped off by sunset images.
We travel back to Dawson City, once again photographing the landscape and wildlife as we go. We arrive in Dawson City for a late dinner. Northern Lights again, anyone? How about occasional grizzlies?
After an early breakfast we head back to Whitehorse. Depending on weather, we either head west to Kluane National Park or to Haines, Alaska.
A day in Kluane National Park or Haines, Alaska, followed by dinner and a workshop wrap-up. This is an opportunity to share images and ask for critique.
Depending on flight schedules, we meet for breakfast and say farewells… for now. Transportation provided to the airport.
The cost of the Yukon workshop is $8,500 USD per person, single occupancy. This bespoke adventure is limited to only 3 photographers.
$3,000 deposit is due at sign up. Simply click here to go to our Registration page.
Deposits are refundable until 180 days prior to the start date, minus a $250 fee. From 180 days to 120 days prior to the start date, 50% of the deposit is refundable. After 120 days the entire deposit is non-refundable. 120 days prior to the start date all remaining fees are due. A reminder will be sent to participants. If three people do not sign up, the trip will be cancelled and 100% of all funds returned.
All trip fees are quoted in US dollars and must be paid in US dollars.
You Will Learn
We will spend each day (and nights in the case of Northern Lights) photographing landscapes and wildlife with individualized instruction from Les. You will learn about the sub-Arctic and Arctic landscape, geology, geography, natural history and culture of the Yukon. You will learn beginning, intermediate and advanced techniques for photographing landscapes and wildlife.
What To Bring
You will be provided with a detailed list of what to bring. Medium format cameras are welcome, as Les is also an experienced Hasselblad digital photographer.
What is Provided
The fee includes almost everything once you arrive in Whitehorse, Yukon, such as airport transfers, all ground transportation, all meals, snacks, water, lodging (single person occupancy), insect repellent, bear spray, etc.* I also carry a GPS with an emergency rescue beacon. Your friends and relatives will be able to track you on a web-based map in near-real time as we progress.
Once registered, I will provide you with a very detailed list of what to bring, what to expect and more.
*Costs exclude transportation to and from Whitehorse, Yukon, vaccinations, passport fees, tips, alcoholic beverages and incidental expenses.
I emphasize that this is truly an adventure. Yukon is huge (20% larger land mass than California) with only 35,000 people (compared with California’s 35 million)!! That means we will be doing a lot of driving between Whitehorse, Dawson City and the Arctic Circle. It will also mean eating lunch from a cooler between shoots on some days. We will be using a rugged SUV, but things like flat tires are common. Weather is, of course, unpredictable and the sample itinerary above may need to be altered. Please note that cell phones do not work in most of the Yukon. Both men and women are welcome on this workshop.
Please do not book your air flights until we advise you to do so. You must also have traveler’s health and accident insurance.
October 9-13, 2017
To register, please click here.
Some call it the most beautiful National Park in the country, a tiny gem compared to its larger siblings. Whether or not you agree, Maine’s Acadia National Park is an eye-candy destination for its combination of geology, flora, fauna… and weather.
Join me for a 5-day exploration of the exciting photographic possibilities in Acadia. We will explore its intimate coves and vaunted mountains, its pristine seashore and lush forests. We have also timed this workshop to take advantage of fall foliage with its resplendent colors.
Each morning we will embark on an adventure taking us to the fog-shrouded rocky coast or to photograph sunrise atop a mountain. We might hike a wooded path to capture sunlight streaking through mature pine forests, or photograph along one of Acadia’s picturesque fresh-water ponds.
Each evening we will have an optional image review and critique.
Les lived in Maine for ten years and received his doctorate in ecology from the University of Maine, using Acadia National Park for his research. Few photographers know the intricacies of Acadia as does Les.
Please click here for a sampling of what former Acadia workshop attendees said about the workshop.
$1495, plus hotel, transportation, meals. The workshop is limited to 5 participants. Meals are at participants’ expense. Healthy (and maybe not-so-healthy) snacks and bottled water are provided as part of workshop fee. To register.
Monday, October 9
Arrival, orientation and first shoot.
October 10, 11, 12
Wake up early for sunrise/first morning shoot (locations are weather dependent)
Second morning shoot
First afternoon shoot
Second afternoon shoot
Evening image review and critique and/or night shoot
Early morning shoots and wrap-up by noon
Depending on daily weather conditions, we will photograph some of the most iconic and spectacular scenics in and around the National Park, including Jordan Pond and The Bubbles, Ocean Drive, Sand Beach, Otter Cliffs and Cove, Somes Sound, Bass Harbor, and more.
To see images taken by previous workshop participants and for testimonials about the Acadia workshop, please visit here.
Additional Acadia Information
For interesting reading about Acadia National Park, Mt. Desert Island, Bar Harbor and all the other picturesque towns where we will be photographing, including places to eat, I recommend these websites:
November 1 to 14, 2017 - SOLD OUT
Photograph Culture, Landscapes, and Wildlife
Please Register Here
A Photo Adventure Like No Other
Myanmar (formerly Burma) is one of the most strikingly beautiful places on Earth, with lots of landscape, wildlife and cultural photo opps. I have crafted a private photo tour to Myanmar that is truly special.
By “private”, I mean really private. I have been offered an opportunity to take just 5 photographers with me on this tour of a lifetime. The 14-day tour includes 13 nights accommodations in 4-star hotels and a 14-seater air conditioned bus just for our small group. All domestic flights within Myanmar are included, plus tons of extras.
I will be coordinating this trip with the same tour company that has coordinated my very successful Sri Lanka photo tours for the past few years, so I am confident this will be a very special event. I have included the itinerary below.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the trip is that we will be accompanied by world-renowned Myanmar photographer A.P. Soe. You may want to check out his imagery here.
The fee for the tour will be $7,250 and does not include airfare to and from Myanmar. A $3,500 deposit is required to reserve your spot. That deposit is 100% refundable until December 1, 2016. Final payment will be due on May 31, 2017.
Myanmar Photo tour
Les Picker Fine Art Photography 14 Days / 13 Nights November, 2017 - SOLD OUT
Day 01 Arrival Yangon – Yangon City Tour
Upon arrival in Yangon, you will be greeted, assisted and transferred to your hotel. There will be an orientation in a hotel conference room. Then visit Great Shwedagon Pagoda one of the wonders of the world where we can observe the ways of life of Buddhists such as offering the water, candles, flowers, etc. Then we celebrate with a welcome dinner at the hotel. Overnight at hotel in Yangon.
Day 02 Yangon – Bagan (Early morning flight)
Breakfast at hotel. Then transfer to airport flight to Bagan. Arrive at Bagan and Visit - Novice Monastery & Environmental Portraiture – Temple sunset 1. Overnight at hotel in Bagan.
Day 03 Bagan
Early morning transfer for hot air balloon photography over Bagan. Then back to hotel. Visit Bagan – Monks & Temple interiors – Low Light Portraiture – Temple sunset. Overnight at hotel in Bagan.
Day 04 Bagan – Mandalay (Morning flight)
Temple sunrise. Back to hotel and breakfast. Then transfer to airport flight to Mandalay. Arrive at Mandalay – Street Shoot – Monastery Shoot – U Bein sunset Bridge. Overnight at hotel in Mandalay.
Day 05 Mandalay
Mandalay Hill Sunrise – Back to hotel and breakfast. Irrwaddy River Cruise to Mingun – Mingun Model Shoot. Back to Mandalay and overnight at hotel in Mandalay.
Day 06 Mandalay – Kyaing Tong (Afternoon flight)
Sunrise at U Bein Bridge. Transfer to airport flight to Kyaing Tong. Arrive at Kyaing Tong and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel in Kyaing Tong.
Day 07 Kyaing Tong
Kyaing Tong – Vanishing En Tribe village Trek & Photo Shoot.
Day 08 Kyaing Tong
Kyaing Tong – Rice Terraces & Various Tribes.
Day 09 Kyaing Tong – Heho – Inle lake (Afternoon flight)
Kyaing Tong – Heho Flight
Day 10 Inle lake
Inle Lake – Shwe Yan Pyae Teakwood Novice Monastery – Fishermen Sunset. Photograph hazy blue mountains, floating farms and several kind of birds. Visit village of Inthars; photograph beautiful faces of Pa-O tribes, away from the tourist crowds; photograph sights around Inle Lake. Sunset from hotel. Overnight at hotel in Inle Lake.
Day 11 Inle lake – Indein Village
Sunrise from Hotel. Inle Lake – Indein – Photograph In Thein pagodas which is in ruins covered by trees and bushes; photograph floating gardens and floating villages, lotus-petal robe weaving looms. Ruins of Nyaung Oak – Padding “Studio” Session.
Day 12 Inle lake – Heho – Yangon (Evening flight)
Inle Lake – Sunrise of the Intha Fishermen. Morning boat excursion along the lake. Floating villages – Yangon
Day 13 Yangon
Breakfast at hotel. Visit Yangon – including Novice Nunnery – Circular Train – Farewell Buffet Dinner at Karaweik Palace Restaurant with cultural show and dance.
Day 14 Yangon Departure
Breakfast at hotel. Tour wrap-up, then transfer to airport for International departure.
4+ Star Hotels
Yangon (Kandawgyi Palace Hotel) Bagan (Aureum Palace Resort) Mandalay (Sedona Hotel) Inle lake (Inle Resort & Spa) Kyaing Tong (Amazing Kengtong Resort) We reserve the right to substitute hotels of equal status if these hotels are fully booked.
- 13 Nights hotel accommodation including breakfast (Double/Twin Sharing basis) and dinner.
- All transfers & sightseeing by private tour, 14-seater, a/c bus
- All domestic flight tickets as per itinerary.
- Private boat at Inle Lake, Indein Villages, sunset boat at Bagan and Mingun Boat in Mandalay.
- Horse-carts at Bagan and Innwa in Mandalay and Premier Service of Ballooning in Bagan
- All entrance fees and zone fees as per mentioned itinerary.
- A bottle of mineral water + a refresh towel each day.
- Domestic Airport Departure Tax.
- Porters fees for airports.
- Cameras and Video Cameras fees.
- All government taxes and service charges.
- Very experienced accompanying Photo tour guide
- Visa fees for Myanmar
- International Air-tickets to/from Myanmar
- Personal expenditures
- Insurance fees for tour
- Tips for guide and drivers
Tour fee: $7,250/pp. double occupancy (Single supplement: 1,200/pp)
Please Register Here - SOLD OUT
All photographs by Aung P. Soe, who will be our guide
Photo Tour Description
Some call it the most beautiful island in Asia. Whether or not you agree, Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) is most definitely a sparkling, mostly undiscovered jewel for its combination of geology, flora, fauna, people, culture and tropical weather. Sri Lanka has enjoyed peace and prosperity since its insurrection ended several years ago. Food and accommodations across the country are excellent.
Join us for a 12-day (11-night) exploration of the unparalleled photographic possibilities in this island nation. Located off the southernmost tip of India, Sri Lanka is replete with some of the oldest Buddhist and Hindu temples in the world (many still in use), some of the friendliest and most photogenic people on Earth, and wildlife that rivals Africa’s best locations − all at a fraction of the cost.
In this photography tour we will intimately explore Sri Lanka’s landscape, from vaunted mountains to its pristine seashore, from its tidy and colorful tea plantations to its lush forests.
Each morning we will embark on an adventure taking us from fog-shrouded tea plantations to cascading waterfalls, en route to photographing mountain sunsets. We will visit the country’s most picturesque temples and historical structures for architectural photos and opportunities to interact with Sri Lanka’s wonderful indigenous people. One of the highlights of the tour will be spending two days in famed Yala National Park, which boasts the densest wild leopard population on earth, along with bull elephants, crocodiles, water buffalo, monkeys and an incredible variety of colorful birds. Most evenings we will have an optional image review and critique. See what other’s had to say about Les’ previous Sri Lanka photo-tour.
Our air-conditioned bus will also have a certified country guide and a porter throughout the trip to help with luggage at each stop. Porters are also available inexpensively at each location for those who wish to hire someone to help carry photo gear.
The workshop will be led by Les Picker, a professional photographer who has more than 650 published credits in National Geographic books and magazines, Forbes, Fortune publications, Better Homes & Gardens and dozens of other magazines and newspapers. Les’ blog is widely followed and often quoted by media. Les received the prestigious Canada Northern Lights Award for Best Travel Photography. Les received a doctorate in ecology and has worked as a nature and photography guide in many locales.
Workshop is limited to 10 participants.
Arrive in Columbo, capital of Sri Lanka. We arrange for you to be picked up at the airport and taken to your hotel for a good night’s sleep.
8:00-9:00 PM Welcome and Orientation
Day 2: Dambulla and Surrounding Region
Dambulla is famous for its rock paintings and rock temples and is one of the most important sites for Buddhist pilgrimage. Dambulla leaves a lasting impression on many visitors. The heady mix of ancient art and fervent religious activity combined with the spiritual location leaves many visitors overwhelmed by the experience. Image review and discussion (each night)
Day 3: Sigiriya
Visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress archaeological site for a morning shoot and climb throughout the complex.
Afternoon safari in Minneriya National Park for Elephants. Over 300 elephants gather on the receding shores of the Minneriya Tank. ‘The Gathering’ of Elephants at Minneriya is an awesome natural spectacle.
Day 4: Landscapes and tea plantation
Visit Nuwara Eliya, stopping for landscape images. En-route visit a Tea plantation. Overnight at Nuwara Elliya, a very rural, gorgeous mountain region with gorgeous landscape and waterfall photo opps.
Day 5: Horton Plains National Park
Full day visit to Horton Plains National Park. Walk though the grasslands and Cloud Forests to a popular viewpoint know as World’s end, which is an escarpment with a 870 m drop. Horton Plains offers excellent opportunities to photograph Sambar, Sri Lanka’s largest species of deer which are seen near the entrance. We look for montane endemics Yellow- eared Bulbul, Sri Lanka Bush Warbler, Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, Sri Lanka White Eye, Dull Blue Flycatcher and if lucky the scarce montane endemic, Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush and many other birds. Also visit scenic Bakers Falls.
Day 6: En route to Yala National Park
Many opportunities for landscape and rural village images.
Day 7: Yala National Park (2 safaris; morning and evening)
A true highlight for anyone visiting Sri Lanka, we will take open-air safari vehicles through Yala NP. Yala is a forested park on the southwest side of the island, bordered by the Indian Ocean. Here we have the chance to see its famous leopards (the highest density of leopards in the world), huge bull elephants, water buffalo, monkeys, wild boar, colorful birds and other wildlife. Safaris take place at sunrise and in mid to late afternoon. In between we have time for a siesta or for individual photography outside the park.
Day 8: Yala National Park and Udawalwe
Leave for Udawalawe for one night. Afternoon photography safari in Udawalawe National Park where close to 50-60 Elephants can be seen and the Nursery Herd which comprise of many baby Elephants is one of the key attractions. The park is good for birds of prey and we will look for Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Black-shouldered Kite, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Shikra, Common Kestrel, Brown Fish Owl and Western Marsh Harrier and many others.
Day 9: Galle
Travel to the old port city of Galle for two nights, via Weligama. En-route photograph the stilt fishermen in the region.
Day 10: Galle
Morning photo walk through the historic town. In the afternoon a photography session at the Galle Fort (UNESCO world heritage site). Here we focus on street photography and daily life. There are several buildings still rich with their original architecture. The maritime museum and the old Dutch museum harbor many artifacts of the colonial period of the country. The Dutch Church, built in the 18 century, is a unique photo opp. At dusk take a walk along the shoreline.
Day 11: Columbo
After breakfast we leave for Columbo. Take a walking tour of the capital city’s historical Fort and Pettah districts, where we will find everything from textiles to electronics to spices. The Old Dutch Museum, built in the 17th Century, still maintains its pristine architecture. The walk continues into the commercial hub of Colombo, now host to high-end restaurants, bars and shops, where we can take a breather, admire the artifacts and have a drink or two.
Day 12: Departure
After a quick meeting, exchange of email addresses and a wrap-up, we leave for the airport, exhausted, but with some memorable experiences and incredible images.
Tour fee: $7,650 USD, double occupancy. Single room supplement is $1,025. Your fee includes the finest hotels, in-country transportation, two excellent meals/day (breakfast and dinner), qualified and licensed English-speaking guide, experienced driver, porter, photography guide (Les Picker), entrance fees, walking tour fees, safari jeeps, in-country tour taxes, water and snacks.
Not included: Airfare, tips, alcoholic beverages, some lunches.
Deposit: $3,000; non-refundable after December 15, 2017. Remainder of fee will be billed and is due by December 28, 2017. Register here.
Detailed instructions regarding clothing, equipment and other information will be provided for participants when they register. Please note that daily destinations may change due to weather, impassable roads, or other conditions beyond our control.
Dubai Extension (4 days)
Those of us who elect the Dubai extension will leave from Sri Lanka and fly directly to Dubai, the epicenter of the United Arab Emirates and one of the safest cities in the world. Truly a cosmopolitan city, Dubai has the most skyscrapers of any city in the world. Beyond that, city planners have given unparalleled freedom to architects. The result is a photographer’s paradise, with angles, reflections, spiraling towers, and architectural landscapes that are unmatched.
But our tour will definitely not be confined to architecture. We will be visiting mosques, capturing images from many vantage points, markets of all types, beaches, and more. Plus, we will have two evenings of night shooting in Dubai’s exciting public spaces.
We encourage our clients to book flights on Emirates airlines, as the stop-over in Dubai is free and no visa is required for Americans and tourists from several other nations.
The cost of the Dubai extension is $2,300 USD.
Interested? Contact us for more information or Register here.