Discuss this workshop
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 9-day (8-night) exploration of the unparalleled photographic possibilities in this island nation. Located off the southernmost coast 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 Yalla 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.
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 gear.
The workshop will be led by Les Picker (www.lesterpickerphoto.com), a Nikonians Academy faculty member and professional photographer who has more than 600 published credits in National Geographic books and magazines, Forbes, Fortune publications, Better Homes & Gardens and dozens of other magazines and newspapers. Les’ blog (http://blog.lesterpickerphoto.com) is widely followed and often quoted by media. Les received the prestigious 2011 Canada Northern Lights Award for Best Travel Photography. Les received his doctorate in ecology from the University of Maine and has worked as a nature and photography guide in many locales.
The workshop is limited to 12 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 (for those who arrive by this time)
Early lights out
Day 2: Anuradhapura
Wake up early and head by bus to Anuradhapura, the Eternal Sacred City, built in the 4th century B.C.
Second orientation en route
Late morning/early afternoon shoot
Afternoon shoot in and around the temples
Image review and critique
Overnight in Anuradhapura
Day 3: Sigiriya
Travel to Sigiriya archaeological site
Morning shoot and climb throughout the complex
Overnight in Sigiriya
Image review and discussion
Day 4: Dumballa Rock Temple and Kandy
Aside form photographing the exquisite and photographically distinct Dumballa Cave Temple, we will visit a Hindu temple. We will end the day with a twilight and night photo session at the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. The Temple contains one of Buddhism’s most sacred relics, one of the Buddha’s teeth.
Day 5: Kandy to Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
Kandy is the second largest city in Sri Lanka, with colorful colonial era buildings and an old-fashioned charm, perfect for photography. Learn how accommodating Sri Lankans are to have their photographs taken.
The Pinnawela elephant orphanage is a marvelous photo opportunity as its dozens of elephants are marched through the street every day to the nearby river for bathing and playing. Photography is excellent as we observe the matriarchs keeping their inquisitive calves close by.
From Pinnawela we stop for afternoon tea and to photograph a tea plantation.
Overnight at Nuwara Elliya, a very rural, gorgeous mountain region with gorgeous landscape and waterfall photo opps.
Day 6: Horton Plains and Tissamaharama
Nuwarra Elliya Another highlight is hiking in Horton Plains National Park and its unique weather phenomenon. At 6,500 feet it towers above the tea plantations. There are two spectacular waterfall opportunities here.
Overnight in Tissamaharama, a small town that is the site of another picturesque temple.
Day 7 and 8: Yalla National Park
A true highlight for anyone visiting Sri Lanka, we will take open-air safari vehicles through Yalla NP. Yalla 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, 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.
That evening we head back toward Columbo, passing picturesque coastal towns where we will stop for photographs. After an early evening and tour wrap-up, we get a good night’s rest before heading to the airport in the morning after breakfast.
Tour fee: $3,499.00, double occupancy. Your fee includes mid-grade hotel, in-country transportation, two meals/day, qualified, English-speaking guide, experienced driver, porter, Nikonians Academy faculty, water and snacks.
Special 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.
If you cancel 61 days or more in advance, then we will refund your tuition less an 8% processing fee.
If you cancel 31 - 60 days in advance, then we will refund 50% of your tuition.
If you cancel 30 days or less in advance, then we will not refund any of the trip cost.
Member prices are only applicable to Nikonians Silver, Gold and Platinum Members. Non-members can register as Nikonians members here. Nikonians Basic members can upgrade the membership level here. Membership payments help sustain the growth of the Nikonians community and its services such as the Nikonians Academy.