Having decided to go to Guilin for a long weekend, I considered the best way to see that area. I normally book for a tour but thought what a better way to see the amazing sights of this beautiful area than through the eyes of a photographer.
But let me be honest my usual photography is done underwater (which is my favorite whilst diving) but very different skills to taking landscape and portrait shots, so with my new Canon EOS600 I wanted to take advantage of the sights but also some tips on how to improve my skills.
Booking was quite straightforward, Mia proposed an agenda for me which looked great, and it wasn’t cheap but based on the number of hours you actually spend with the team each day, I thought it was well worth the cost.
My photographic guide was Greg (or Gregory… but too young to be a Gregory) and our driver was George. The first day was very long, and i was dreading walking up the first 500 stone steps in the dark at 5.30am as I’m not the fittest person in the world but I’ll give anything a go. George a perfect gentleman carried my rucksack up for me to lessen the burden. The rest of the day was great, we went to a local village and visited a lovely lady who welcomed us into home to show us how she lives including makes gas to cook from pig poop. We then took a bamboo raft down the river Li (tip your feet will get wet) and then we went to Xingping to visit the home of an old cormorant fisherman..who loved having his picture taken and then my highlight of the day I was lucky enough to get my own private shoot with another cormorant fisherman at dusk. Greg was great, not only did he light my subjects with his torch but showed me how to get the best pictures in the light and high speed pictures to capture the net throwing.
The following day we went to the rice terraces a 2 and a half hour drive from Guilin, and this is when you truly appreciate George, not only is he a good driver himself but he anticipates the behaviour of those not so skilled behind a wheel and in the mountains and canyons which were dramatic and on a very small road I felt very safe. (even when we went through dense fog). I should add he also has a very good sense of humour and was very good company.
Overall i had a great time and really would like to thank both Greg and George for their help and humour.
Would highly recommend even if you’re not a hardened photographer you’ll learn a lot and will be culturally enriched in the process.
Reviewed 14 September 2015