China Photo Workshop 44

China is a place that sparks the imagination, full of mystery and intrigue. Every year we set out with a group of photographers to uncover the real side of this enigmatic and fascinating country. Armed with fresh memory cards, charged batteries and a sense of adventure our group of 8 headed off to discover the Charms of China. 

The trip started with a stay at a little visited, and unrestored section of the Great Wall. Having a part of this wonder of the human world completely to ourselves is a real privilege, and undoubtedly a highlight for many of our customers. It is a humbling experience knowing you're standing on a structure built by hand over 2,000 years ago. The wall offers endless compositional opportunities, and coupled with the stunning autumn colour that we coincide our visit with means magical imagery.  

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 Following the Great Wall we headed South on an overnight train, which offers a great insight into how people travel around this vast country. It also provides some brilliant photographic opportunity, allowing us to capture real people with perfect filtered light through the train windows. 

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Our destination was the karst mountain landscape, an amazing geological formation of limestone towers. You can explore these by raft, which we happily did during the midday heat, but the best way to see this landscape is from above. This naturally involves a climb, but luckily the Chinese think of everything and put a staircase in for such a purpose! After the climb up through dense tree cover, breaking out at the top you're greeted with panoramic views, making the effort completely worthwhile.  

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All our photographers returned with full memory cards, happy memories and an authentic experience of China off the normal tourist route. 

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You can find a few images from the trip in the slideshow below, but you can find more on our Facebook page.

Wandering around traditional Hutongs in Beijing, you see the real side of China.
Hutong Life
Walking your dog the China way
Our fixer Rainne showing off Chinese traditional dress
The Chinese love their selfie sticks!
Rush hour in Tiananmen Square.
Sharron, one of our customers.
Three of our group capturing the autumn colours at the Great Wall.
Inside one of the watchtowers at the Great Wall
Bob and Julia capturing the misty atmosphere at the Wall on our second day.
Some of our group photographing Rainne our translator walking down the corridor.
Harry and Sharron working out the best composition
The air cleared and the clouds lifted on our final day at the Wall.
Elaine, one of our customers, relaxes on the overnight train
A 19-hour train provides lots of opportunity for photography
Enjoying the views is one way to kill the time
Playing games on your phone is another!
There's always lots of smiles on Chinese trains - very different from ones in the UK and most of the western world.
A unique travel experience, meeting real people and hearing their stories
The natural window light on trains makes for great portraits.
We needed to get a boat to our accomodation amongst the karst landscape of Guangxi Province.
The iconic limestone mountains of south central China.
This lady was in her 90's and only spoke her local langauge, so even our translator struggled to communicate.
She was quite happy for a few quick photographs however.
Stumbling across real people going about their daily lives
Heading off for some sightseeing in the karst mountain landscape
A traditional cormorant fisherman on the Li River
Some mood lighting completes the scene perfectly
The view from the top of one of the mountains in this amazing landscape
Harry & Lynn taking in this astounding view
We stayed in the village down below this viewpoint

  • I saw everything I had hoped to see and learnt a lot more about photography than I had expected.
    Katharine (St. Kilda 2015)
  • "You have a great way of blending fun with learning. Don’t change your style!"
    Leanne (Dolomites 2016)
  • I feel so lucky to have been given the chance to join you guys on this trip. It was the most amazing experience I have ever had.
    Cornelia (St. Kilda 2015)
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