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Kyrgyzstan Photography Workshop & Photo Tour



KYRGYZSTAN PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP

8th to 18th July 2020

Kyrgyzstan is a small country lost in the mountains of Tien-Shan. A hidden gem, much underrated by photographers and adventurers but ready and waiting to be explored for outstanding mixture of nomadic lifestyle and mountain landscapes.

Snow-covered mountains and red canyons, huge herds of cattle and living in a yurt like a real nomad - you’ll experience all of this in our Kyrgyzstan Photography Workshop.

 

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 1. (July 8) Arrival to Bishkek. Accommodation in 4* Ambassador hotel. Day in Bishkek for some rest before beginning of tour. Launch and dinner in Bishkek.

Day 2. (July 9) At 8:00 after breakfast in hotel we board our minibus and our adventures begin. Today we’ll be driving to the Issyk-Kul lake - biggest lake of Kyrgyzstan. This lake is also called Hot lake as it’s not freezing during winter.

Our first stop this day would be in Kyzyl-Tuu Village (245 km, about 3 hours). This place is famous for it’s people who’ve been making wooden parts of yurt - portable nomad’s house. Here we will come to local family to see how they work. Then we’ll continue our journey to the village of Tossor (70 km, 1 hour drive) for our first accomodation place - yurt camp. So you’ve already seen how yurts are created. Now you’ll live in one. Here we’ll have lunch and explore territory of our camp. This place was created by martial arts enthusiasts but very soon turned into favourite place for any kind of artistic people. At this very yurt camp you can meet artists and movie directors, photographers and yoga trainers from all over the world. As a result this place is filled with artistic atmosphere and all sorts of interesting objects of landart to explore.

And also it’s located on the shore of Issyk-Kul with it’s privat (well, mostly) beach. Great place to walk around and refresh.

For today’s sunset we’ll drive to o Skazka canyon (7 km drive). This is rather small place that holds lots of amazing shapes and colors. We’ll have time to explore this rather difficult for shooting place and choose points for sunset shooting as well as sunrise of the next day.

Back to yurt camp for dinner and rest.

Day 3. (July 10) We’ll wake up before morning and drive for sunrise shooting in Skazka. After sunrise we’ll go back to yurt camp for breakfast after which we pack our things and continue our journey. Today we’ll travel to Jety-Oguz gorge (105 km, 3 hours drive). Here we’ll stay in another yurt camp and explore the way of life of local herdsmen. Their yurts and horses perfectly fit into the classical Tien-Shian mountain landscape.

But for sunset we’ll go back to the beginning of the gorge to explore famous red cliffs of Jety-Oguz.

Lunch, dinner and night in yurt camp.

Day 4. (July 11) After sunrise shooting in Jety-Oguz gorge we have couple of hours for looking around and exploring the highlands before we leave. At about 11 am we pack our things and leave this yurt camp for Rheina Kench farm that is known for it’s horse breeding traditions. Here we’ll take pictures of amazing horses in Tien-Shan landscapes. And this is also place for lunch of local dishes. After lunch and shooting we’ll travel another 20 km to Karakol town. Here we will settle in cozy Green house hotel. This evening we’ll spend for landscape photography and postprocessing workshop. Dinner at local restaurant.

Day 5. (July 12) This day we’ll wake up early in the morning to explore local cattle market or maal bazaar as local people call it. This is not only the best opportunity to understand important part of culture of local herdsmen but also good experience for reportage pictures as local people are very open and willing to be photographed.

After shooting at cattle market we return to our hotel to pack things and depart for another gorge - Barskoon gorge. Most people know this place for it’s waterfall (yet we’ll stop by for a brief shoot and lunch at tiny cafe), but we’ll be aiming for something much more interesting - Arabel pleau (130 km, 2 hours drive). This pastures with distant snow-covered mountains, twisting rivers and still marshes are perfect for landscape photography - by handheld camera as well as aerial. After sunset we’ll drive all the way down to already known yurt camp in Tossor village for dinner and rest (65 km).

Day 6. (July 13) Today we’ll have another opportunity for shooting Skazka canyon if we had poor light first time. After sunrise at Skazka and breakfast we depart for Son-Kul lake. Along the way we’ll stop by Kochkor village (160 km) for lunch of local dishes in the yurt. This place is also famous for it’s women crafting traditional felt carpets - shyrdak. Place where we’ll stay for lunch also holds small museum of those carpets and shop which I consider the best place to shop for souvenirs. 

By the sunset we’ll reach vast plateau located on an altitude of 3000 meters above sea level. We’ll have amazing view from the pass along the way and great shooting points along the way to our main shooting point on the shore of the lake (105 km).

After sunset we’ll drive to our yurt camp for dinner and sleep (22 km).

Day 7. (July 14) Again we’re having early wake up for the sunrise. After the shoot we’ll return to our camp for breakfast and rest. You’ll have some free time until lunch which we can spend for photoshop classes and critique sessions.

After lunch we’ll see another local tradition of Kok-boru game which is much like horse polo but is played with the beheaded goat. Be prepared for intense shooting and lots of lifestyle shots as most of locals will also come to see the game.

Closer to the sunset we’ll do a little tracking to a viewpoint for the sunset shoot. After the sunset we’ll return back to the camp for dinner and rest.

Day 8. (July 15) After breakfast we’ll gather our things and continue traveling. Our way goes Kara-Koyun valley, where we’ll settle in another yurt camp and stay for night and have lunch. Today we have time to explore local area and At-Tash ridges around our yurt camp. For people willing we can do short tracking to sunset shooting point. View is worth the effort. After sunset we’ll return to our camp for dinner and rest.

Day 9. (July 16) We wake up in the morning and for the sunrise travel a little bit deeper to Kara-Koyun gorge for ancient Tash-Rabat caravan-sarai that’s worth seeing both from outside and inside. As well as all gorge around this area. After shooting here we’ll return to our camp to gather our things and travel to the town of Naryn (115 km). Here we will settle in Khan-Tengri hotel and have lunch at it’s restaurant.

For sunset we’ll drive to inflow of Naryn and Eki-Naryn rivers (45 km). After sunset we return to our hotel for dinner and rest.

Day 10. (July 17) Today we gather our things and drive all the way back to Bishkek (320 km) with stop in Kochkor village along the way for lunch. In Bishkek we check-in Ambassador hotel and have farewell dinner.

Day 11. (July 18) Transfer to airport.

 

INCLUSIONS:

  • All transfers including transfers to and from airport and drive around on all terrain vehicles
  • All accommodations in hotels, yurt camps, homestays
  • Twin or double supplement (single supplement costs extra 165 USD)
  • Photography tutoring and landscape photography and postprocessing workshops from experienced English-speaking landscape photographer
  • All meals 
  • All permits to natural parks and museums

EXCLUSIONS:

  • VISA fees
  • Airfare to Bishkek and back
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal necessities, medicine, local SIM card and internet, souvenirs.

    PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU:

    • Book your own flights to Bishkek.
    • Have medical and travel insurance - this is mandatory
    • Read our Terms and Conditions

    GROUP SIZE

    • 8 participants only

    TRAVEL INFORMATION

    • Book your own flights to Bishkek.
    • A private car collects you from the airport to your hotel.   

    EXPERIENCE / DIFFICULTY

    • Beginner, Amateur, Enthusiast, Semi-professional, Professional.
    • Busy schedule.
    • Travel by mini bus.
    • 8 hotels across 11 nights.
    • All our workshops require a good sense of balance and a good level of fitness in order to fully enjoy all the experiences. We regularly walk to fantastic locations for up to an hour at any a time but in one day you could be walking up to 3 to 4 hours in total. This may require walking over uneven ground, rocky surfaces, soft sand, deep snow, up and down hills, rock hopping, hiking to lookouts, etc. Some walks are steep and strenuous, others are on uneven surfaces. To get the best photographs you will be carrying your own backpack with your camera gear, tripod, water and lunch. Whilst we do not look to exclude anyone, being fit is essential to participate fully in the workshop.

    WEATHER / SUN

    • JULY - Temperature 3 to 14c  Sunrise 657am | Sunset 514pm

    TERMS & CONDITIONS

    • Full payment required upon booking to guarantee your place. 
    • Terms & Conditions - CLICK HERE. 

    YOUR LEADERS

    Tom Putt is an award-winning fine art landscape photographer based in Melbourne, Australia.

    With over 150 International and National Landscape Photography Awards, Tom's passion is driven by his desire to showcase the beauty of the landscape. Regarded as one of Australia’s most prolific landscape photographers, Tom spends many months of the year creating new photographs for upcoming limited and open edition prints and book projects.

     

    Anton Agarkov

    This Photography Workshop has been designed by one of the Top-Rated photographers in Russia - Anton Agarkov. Ten years of traveling and expeditions into the wildest corners of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan; South-East Asia, Latin America. Anton is a member of Russian Geographic Society, working with Nikon, Tamron, Fujifilm. Winner of national photography competitions Global Arctic Awards, Nikon at the Heart of the Image Award,  "Wild Russia" and "Best of Russia".


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