Girls in colourful hats in Luoping,Yunnan, China
Girls in colourful hats in Luoping,Yunnan, China

Looking ahead to 2015 & 2016

2015 has arrived and with it the promise of many new journeys with kindred spirit to the 4 corners of the world. I wondered if I would be as enthusiastic about running photo tours and workshops after a few years. Well the answer is an emphatic yes. In fact, the more I run, the more I want to run. I continue to enjoy the “old favourites” which include the Dordogne, Provence, Camargue and the Venice Carnival. There is something comforting about really knowing a subject and having an intimate knowledge of locations.

I also enjoy discovering new countries or returning to countries that I’d visited in my back-packing days. Whenever possible I work with local photographers, who have the same intimate knowledge  of their country that I do of France or Venice. This enables us to be in the right place at the right time and gives us access to some lesser known locations. For portrait photography, this can be invaluable especially in countries like Burma and China where language can be a barrier.

I’ve decided to concentrate more of my time on running new tours and workshops in France. It’s been my home since 1992 after all!  I’ve introduced 2 new photo workshops –  Corsica and Brittany. I first visited Corsica in 2012 and was blown away with how beautiful the island is. It’s surprisingly undeveloped and very well preserved. The beaches are as good as any I’ve seen in Asia or the Caribbean and out of season are almost deserted. The architecture is Provencal and the hilltop villages in the North are spectacular. The mountains are covered in snow year round and the rocky coastline is both dramatic and varied.

Asia seems to call me back again and again. Maybe, it’s the fact that I grew up in Hong Kong and visited many countries in  S.E. Asia in my teens and early 20’s. People are generally very friendly and colourful. Festivals abound and for travel photography, it’s hard to beat. China has been a revelation to me and fascinating to see the changes since my first visit on the “slow boat to China” in 1986. I thought the people of Yunnan were very welcoming, the food is excellent and the landscape quite unique. The rice terraces of Yuanyang in the south of Yunnan are a marvel of human creation. The sheer scale beggars belief. One of the most profound photo experience in China was Shangri’la where the Tibetan culture seems to be flourishing despite Han Chinese dominance. I love the impressive wooden houses, which seem far too big for their few inhabitants. The vast open spaces are exhilarating and need to be explored in more detail. That’s for another day.

I’m pleased to announce our new photo tour to India, which will feature the Holi festival of colours. This has been on my wish list for sometime, ever since I spent 4 months traveling round the country in my back-packing years back in the late 80’s. The tour has been carefully researched to coincide with the main Holi festivities in March and will take us to the most photogenic part of India – Rajasthan. Gilly will join us on this trip as she has a particular soft spot for India, it’s culture and it’s people. Apparently, it’s her favourite country (after the county of Yorkshire of course).