Technical Skills - Creative Inspiration - Exciting Destinations

China: Avatar Mountains & Ethnic Minorities

Hunan Province

November 9-20, 2017

8 participants only

With a long history, diverse terrain and various cultures, China has so much beauty worth recording, especially mountains, which hold a special place in Chinese culture. Stories are told about their creation and their effects on the lives of the Chinese people.

This workshop will take you to a special place, called the Zhangjiajie National Park, where mountains have been an inspiration for centuries for Chinese painters and for James Cameron for his movie Avatar. The scenery is out of this world and can be described with one word: magical.

We also travel to remote villages to photograph the Tujia minorities. The Tujia are renowned for their singing, song composing abilities and for their tradition of the Baishou Dance, a 500-year-old collective dance which uses 70 ritual gestures to represent war, farming, hunting, courtship and other aspects of traditional life. They are also famous for their richly-patterned brocade, known as xilankapu, a product that in earlier days regularly figured in their tribute payments to the Chinese court.

We travel by mini van, buses, scenic elevator and cable cars, and on foot. Daily hikes on moderate terrain will vary between 1 to 4 miles. All steep ascend is done by cable cars. We access places that are ideal for photography and that will also nurture your creativity.

Our accommodations are a combination of 3 to 4 star hotel and hostels at the top of the mountains. We are staying at places that enable us to beat the morning crowd for sunrise and evening light. Sherpa will transport luggage to our nightly location, which makes the hiking more enjoyable and photo prolific.

The instruction is about taking you to the right places, getting your creative juice flowing, integrating philosophical approach of Chinese painters to photography, and combining story telling with outstanding imagery.

The workshop is all inclusive (meals, transportation, guiding, and instruction) out of Zhangjiajie. You just need to get to Dayong International airport (DYG), where we’ll pick you up and drop you off at the completion of the workshop.

The region we are visiting is still unknown to foreign travelers, is a gem for landscape and ethnic minorities photography, and has been an inspiration for centuries for artists. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to discover something that is so unique that the movie Avatar was based on. Remember that China is going thru rapid changes and modernization.

Come and experience this landscape and ethnic minorities with your own eyes and soul.

See you in China in November.

Interested in experiencing and photographing Minority cultures?
Check out the pre-workshop extension: Yi Minority Workshop (China Sichuan Province)

Dates Recap:
Optional Extension: Yi Minority Workshop
November 1: Start workshop in Xichang (XIC)
November 8: Conclusion of the workshop in Chengdu (CTU)
November 8:Direct flight from CTU to DYG
Avatar Mountains Workshop
November 9: Start of the workshop
November 20: Conclusion of the workshop in Zhangjiaje (DYG)

Registration (November 9-20, 2017)
Double Occupancy: $3,900
Single Supplement: $600

Deposit (non-refundable):
$800 (Single Occupancy)
$500 (Double Occupancy)


SPECIAL OFFER (Valid until September 30):
Sign up for both workshops (Yi Minority, Avatar Mountains) and get a free upgrade to single room (Saving of $1,000)

Balance payment due by September 30, 2017 (Payable by check. Option to pay by Credit Cart available too)

Yi Minority Workshop Description click here

Questions? Need additional information, please contact Oliver Klink


Oliver Klink has been photographing in China for the past 13 years. He has visited many minority cultures and National Parks in Hunan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Fujian and more provinces. His image, “Herding Instinct” won the grand prize at the Rayko International Photocontest in 2014, others have received “mentioned” in the Black and White Spidar Awards for the past 5 years. “China is changing rapidly, as the traditions in remote villages are vanishing. We travel with unique privileges from local guides and field experts, and where Westerners have seldom been seen”.

Jeffrey Tang, field expert, has been my guide in China for the past 8 years. His strength is to connect with the local people and make us feel “welcome with them”. His attentive demeanor and attention to details enable us to travel safely and give us privileged access that will make your images “stand out”.

One local expert at each location we visit. The person is a well-regarded artist (photographer, painter, calligrapher), which will enhance our vision with local inspiration.

Local staff members (drivers, helpers) who enrich our stay with the most current information, special activities, and “ways in” to places you only dream about!

- Photographing Mountain Scapes, composition, light
- Photographing Ethnic Minorities
- Daily review of images (emphasis on “what else can I do”)
- Brainstorming sessions (theme, story telling, portfolio, hero shots)
- Post processing and workflow (efficiency, accuracy, quality)

- 12 days of guided photoshoot
- Accommodation, meals, ground transportation
- Special permits, private photoshoots, all entrance fees
- Instruction booklet emailed before the workshop

- Not Included :
- Transportation to Dayong/Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport (DYG)
- Personal expenses, alcoholic beverages
- Travel Insurance
- Tips to local staff

Double Occupancy: $3,900
Single Supplement: $600

Deposit (non-refundable):
$500 (Double Occupancy)
$800 (Single Occupancy)

Full payment due by August 20, 2017 (payable by check)

Registration: $3,900
Single Supplement: $600

Terms and Conditions

- The workshop takes place during fall, where temperatures fluctuate between early morning, middle of the day and evening. Be prepared for 30F+ shift. Weather can be challenging. Be prepared for moody sky.
- We will walk between 1 and 4 miles on trails and wood platform to gain various viewpoints in the Mountains. Pace is slow so we can focus on photography and enjoyment of the unique nature and landscape.
- We are staying in local hotels and rustic guest houses to gain early access to the Mountains. Beds can be hard.
- We travel at altitude up to 7,000 feet (2,000 meters). Most of the elevation is gained by cable cars. - We are eating freshly cooked local Chinese cuisine with lots of vegetables, soup, and local meat (not spicy). Chopsticks are the common “silverware”.
- We are traveling on ultra-modern highways to the local unpaved roads.
- However, the photographic opportunities are incredible. It is an amazing adventure and photographic experience.

Where: Hunan Province (China), Zhangjiaje Avatar Mountains and Tujia minority villages
When: November 9-20, 2017
Who: Oliver Klink, Jeffrey Tang, local staffs
Airport: Dayong/Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport (DYG)
Accommodations: Local hotels (single or double occupancy)
Weather: 40-70F. Moody Sky
Cost: $3,900 ($600 Single supplement)

Workshop details for China Avatar Mountains and Ethnic Minorities (click on a tab)


November 9 – 20, 2017

Note: Itinerary and activities might change based on weather conditions

12 days on the ground to photograph Mountainscapes and Ethnic Minorities

Day 1 (D) November 9, 2017:
- Arrive at Dayong/Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport (DYG)
- Transfer to hotel
- Recover from jetlag

Day 2 (B,L,D):
- Zhangjiajie Tianmen mountains
- Cable car to top of mountains
- Multiple photoshoots to capture the limestone formation

Day 3 (B,L,D):
- Zhangjiajie national forest park
- Golden whip stream photoshoots
- Mountain Scapes, streams, Limestone, foliage
- Yellow Stone village photoshoot

Day 4 (B,L,D):
- Sunrise at Tianzi mountains
- Photoshoots of limestone mountains, grand panorama scenic
- Sunset in Yangjiajie mountain region

Day 5 (B,L,D):
- Sunrise at Yuanjiajie-avatar mountains
- Photoshoots along the Avatar rim trail
- Sunset at Tianzi mountains

Day 6 (B,L,D):
- Sunrise at Skyfarmland Mountains
- Photoshoots of various limestone archways
- Sunset Wulingyuan mountains

Day 7 (B,L,D):
- Sunrise Zhangjiajie grand canyon Mountains
- Photoshoots at the glass bottom bridge
- Photoshoots at Mountain Village

Day 8 (B,L,D):
- Photoshoot at the Yellow Dragon Caves
- Photoshoot at Baofeng Lake

Day 9 (B,L,D):
- Travel to Shiyanping Tujia village
- Photoshoot with Tujia minorities

Day 10 (B,L,D):
- Photoshoot with villagers
- Photoshoot in private homes
- Travel to second Tujia Village

Day 11 (B,L,D):
- Photoshoot with villagers
- Return to Zhangjiaje City

Day 12 (B) (November 20): - Conclusion of workshop
- Transfer to Dayong/Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport (DYG)

What to Bring

Upon signing up for the workshop, you’ll receive a detailed coursebook describing what to bring, recommended camera gears, booking your flight, and more.

Clothing: (temperature ranges from 40F to 70F)
- Comfortable Clothes (layers, dawn jacket, Gore-Tex shell)
- Sturdy hiking boots
- Knee pads (for low angle shooting)
Camera Equipment:
- DSLR (bring your camera manual), extra battery (and charger)
- Recommended Lenses:
Avatar Mountains: 10mm - 300mm
Minorities: 24--200mm
Cave: 10–70mm
- Tripod (Highly recommended)
Other Equipment (Optional):
- Small notepad (notes, observations, write down questions)
- Camera raingear (Kata, Kirk, or just heavy garbage bags) to protect against water and condensation

Photography Review Equipment (Recommended):
- Laptop (with power cord), memory card downloader
- Post processing software (Lightroom, Photoshop, plug-ins)
- External hard drives (backup)

Valid passport and visa for travel to China


This is an all-inclusive workshop (ground transportation, lodging, meals, local guide, private photoshoots, photo instruction). It also includes all the entrée fees for all the national parks and forests. The workshop does not include flight to Dayong/Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport (DYG) – arrival anytime on November 10 and return anytime on November 21.

Workshop comprises...
- 12 days on the ground in China
- All meals, accommodation, private car transportation
- All entrance fees
- Private photoshoots at various villages
- Custom Photoshoots in the Avatar Mountains
- Coursebook and orientation materials
- Small group (maximum 8 people)
- Daily reviews (including tips on post processing, file management, idea to build portfolio)
- One instructor, One local expert, drivers

Not Included:
- Visa Application
- Transportation to Dayong/Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport (DYG) – start and conclusion of workshop
- Personal expenses, alcoholic beverages
- Travel Insurance
- Tips to local staff

Travel Recommendations:
- Plan on arriving in Dayong/Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport (DYG) on November 9 (anytime) or sooner if you want additional time to recover from jetlag. Your return flight can be booked any time on November 20.
- We can assist with booking extra nights in Zhangjiaje City (pre workshop) and airport transportation.

Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance Suggestions:

Here are a few recommendations but please browse around as services and prices vary.

• Travelex Travel Select (800) 228-9792
• Travel Guard or Travel Insurance Services
• Travel Insurance Services (Walnut Creek, CA) (800) 937-1387
• Atlas International Insurance (HCC Medical Insurance Services)
• TEN (Travelers Emergency Network) Emergency Evacuation Coverage
• Medjet Assist 1-800-527-7478

Fans' of IncredibleTravelPhotos have also viewed:

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In