Dolomites Photo Workshop

 

Come join us during this 7 day Dolomites Autumn Workshop. This workshop will visit the Drei Zinnen, Lago di Braies, Alpi di Siusi, Langkofel, Lago Imides, the St. Johann Church, Passo Rolle, Cenque Torri and many more – including some hidden gems! We will stay in wonderful hotels where we can relax between the hectic shooting schedules.

 

Day 1-3: Cortina

We will pick you up at the Venice Airport no later than 12PM. After hugging each other it is time to start the drive to the Dolomites. We will arrive at our first hotel, in the charming village of Cortina. This will be our home for the first 3 nights.

After checking in to our apartment we will drive all the way to the Drei Zinnen parking place. From here we will hike for about 30 minutes to our first sunset location. This location offers an incredible view over the Drei Zinnen. We then do a quick dinner at a local pizzeria before heading up the mountain to shoot the milky way if the skies are clear.

 

Our main stage for the next two days – Khongor Sand Dunes, one of the largest and the most spectacular sand dunes in Mongolia, with the area over 900 square kilometers, and some dunes can reach the heights of 100 to 300 meters! The inhabitants here name the Khongor Sand Dunes as “Singing Dunes” due to the “roaring” or “blooming” noise when the sand grains move over one another in the windy condition.

 

 

Bactrian camels will be our companies in the photography sessions. Bactrian camels are double-hump camels native to the Gobi Desert. They are among the most adaptable creatures on Earth, as they can cope with drought, high altitudes, and extreme temperature between +40°C in the summer and -30°C in the winter. Domesticated Bactrian camels are a separate species from wild Bactrian camel, they have served as pack animals in inner Asia since ancient times, and as a form of transportation on the Silk Road. We will be having 5 camels and 2 local Mongolians in their traditional costume to be posed in the sand dunes for photography! You will be witnessing the amazing shadow of sand dunes casted by the low-angled sunlight and the camels walking across the sand dunes, just like the silk road era!

 

 

Overnight in hotel in Dalanzadgad in Day 2, and Tourist Ger Camp in Day 3 and Day 4. The amenities include comfortable beds, clean public shower and toilet, and limited hour of electricity.

 

Day 6: Private Naadam Festival

After breakfast, we will be going to visit the Chinggis Khaan Statue Complex, and then to the training camp to for the private Naadam Festival, where we will be photographing the Mongolian throat singing, wrestling and archery.

 

The Mongols are descendants of the greatest warriors the world has ever seen with good reasons, but first and foremost it is their training. As soon as they were old enough to sit on a horse and hold a bow they started hunting and also from a young age they were taught a fighting style called Bökh, but is generally referred to as Mongolian wrestling today. Mongols are expert horsemen as well, both men and horse had great endurance and could travel anywhere from 80-120 kilometers a day, which was an unheard of speed in those times. Their skills with the bow and arrow were so good they could shoot accurately from a horse even from behind. The Mongols are extremely proud of this heritage, so even if today they are amongst the friendliest people you can find, they are still great with horses, bow and arrow and considered amongst the toughest wrestlers in the world. We will have the opportunity to meet some of those warriors, both archers and wrestlers, where they will demonstrate their skills, and if you are up for it… maybe step into “the ring” with one of them!

Overnight in hotel in Ulaanbaatar.

The Kazakhs inherited the sport from their Turkic and Mongol ancestors and were practicing it when they emerged as an ethnic group since 15th century. The hunting with golden eagles is primarily for fur, not for meat. The main preys are red and Corsac foxes, hares, wild cats and wolf. Usually, the female eagles are captured from their nests while they are a few months old. They are then trained by their owner, and a close relationship develops along the way. The eagle will stay with her owner for 4 to 10 years, when she is of breeding age. She is then released as far as possible in order to discourage her from returning, and the owner will continue to monitor her to ensure she is feeding and reintegrating. In 2011, UNESCO added Kazakh eagle hunting to the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as an example of living human heritage. 

As one eagle hunter told National Geographic, “When Kazakhs came into the world, they were eagle hunters.”

In the next few days, we will be having the Golden Skies Eagle Hunters Festival – a private eagle festival with 10 to 15 eagle hunters. Our private festival will be different from the public festival, which is almost impossible to take home any good images due to the enormous number of tourists. During our private festival, you will have full access to take as many stunning images as you want while the Kazakh eagle hunters demonstrate their amazing skills in eagle falconry on horseback with the majestic landscape in the background! We will be photographing them in various locations, running and posing on the mountain ridges, grasslands and rocky landscape, reflection under the Altai Mountain range, the horses running across the river. Your day will be filled with excitement and heart-pounding moments!

In the middle of the day when the light is harsh outside, we will be photographing the Kazakh people with their traditional costume inside their Ger camp, with the ambient lights coming through the door. The results will simply blow your mind! If you are brave enough, you will be given the rare opportunity to get up closely to the golden eagles and let them stand on your arm!

Over these days, you will be having the traditional cuisines together with the Kazakh family, you will be enjoying their foods after the long days of photographing. The Kazakhs will also present you their epic instrumental music, dancing and vocal singing!

Overnights in Kazakh’s Ger Camp. The amenities include beds, toilet tent with seat toilet, heater, and limited hour of electricity.

Difficulty Level

Easy, no long hiking. Walking in the sand dunes, and short walking uphill to capture panorama view with eagle hunters. Some long driving (100-200km).

Group Size

Maximum 10 people.

Registration

US$1000 Deposit

Full Payment

90 days prior to the workshop starting date.
Double Room: US$6799
Single Room Supplement: US$799

Included


Hotels or Ger camps depend on the location

All domestic flights

Ground transportation in Toyota Land Cruisers or similar cars, 3 persons per car (everyone get window seat)

All meals, water, coffee, tea

Private chef in remote places

Photography guide, tour guide services

All parks entry fees

Private eagle hunters’ festival, eagle hunting activity – all stages and model fees

Private camel festival – all stages and model fees

Private Naadam festival – all stages and model fees

Power generators for remote places with no electricity

Private toilet tents with seat toilets in the remote places

Not Included


International flight to/from Mongolia

Visa (we will prepare documents for your visa application)

Travel insurance

Alcoholic beverages

Single supplement in hotels and Ger camps

Extra baggage charge for domestic flight (limit of baggage is 15kg total carry-on and check-in luggage, around US$2 to US$5 per extra kg to be paid during check-in)

Gratitude for guides, drivers, and models

Dr. Kah-Wai Lin

Dr. Kah-Wai Lin has been leading and organizing over hundreds of photo workshops/tours since 2016. All the workshops/tours have commercial permits by Dr. Lin or the local agents. https://kahwailin.com/

 

Michael Choong