Technical Skills - Creative Inspiration - Exciting Destinations
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Turkey: Ancient Culture

Eastern Turkey

February 25 - March 3, 2023

8 Participants
(Three Seats Left)

Eastern Turkey is a wild and rugged region with a long, tempestuous history and a rich cultural heritage. The region boasts some of Turkey’s most spectacular nature and treasured historical monuments, as well as some of the most friendly and hospitable people any visitor will ever meet.

Our local guides will introduce us to off-beaten path rustic villages, where we will photograph the local culture, the villagers cooking breads in traditional ovens, etc. We will also learn how they live off the land, and protect their resources for future generation.

Traveling thru dramatic gorges and spectacular snow mountain peaks, we will discover historical sites, some that have already been designated as UNESCO sites, others that are just preserved. The region was a major Armenian trading post that straddled the Silk Road. At its peak, it is estimated that there were 5,000 churches. Today, various churches (some of which have breathtaking frescoes), mosques and bridges can still be seen.

Our journey continues through some stunning mountain scenery, broad plains and rustic villages (notice how villagers have their beds on the roofs of their house!). We will stop at small provincial towns with a breathtaking palace. The palace built in the 17th century, is one of the most magnificent and lavish examples of Ottoman architecture. The elaborate stone carvings on the portals and walls are exquisite.

The atmosphere in the cities is extraordinary: the scent of spices fill the air while horse-drawn carts filled with hay, fruits and vegetables rumble down the streets. It is an atmosphere that is in many senses reminiscent of the Middle Ages. There are bustling bazaars. Thru our local connections, we will visit traditional homes and photograph local people going about their daily life.

Check the agenda below, which gives day by day activities.

The workshop is all inclusive from the time you land in Kars (KSY). We will arrange pickup at the airport, transportation, meals, accommodation, park and other related fees. The workshop is led by Oliver Klink and a large team of local helpers, guides, drivers, and villagers that will welcome us.

You will leave the workshop with well thought out images, newly acquired photography skills, the discovery of an ancient culture and how people live there … and the true Turkish hospitality.

See you in Turkey in February.

Join the pre-workshop extension to capture the Horse Culture in Cappadocia (February 19 - 25, 2023)
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Registration & price: $4,900 (Three Seats Left)
Single Supplement:$400
February 25 - March 3, 2023

Single: $900
Double: $500

Deposit for Turkey Culture

Cancellation policy

Balance payment due by November 15 (Payable by check or credit card (supplement of 3.5% processing fee)

Questions: email Oliver Klink or call (408-910-6701)

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Turkey: Ancient Culture
February 25 – March 3, 2023


Note: Itinerary and activities might change based on weather conditions and activities we find on the spur of the moment. Our local experts and the contacts made over the years are incredible source of information to locate unique activities. As the group is kept small, we are able to attend special events, without overwhelming the local communities and be welcomed with open arms.

7 days on the ground to photograph and explore the Ancient Culture in Eastern Turkey

Day 1 (February 25): Arrival in Kars (KSY)
• Transfer to the hotel
• Welcome dinner

Day 2: Villagers daily routine
• Photograph daily routine of the village (feeding animals, women doing housework etc.)
• Breakfast at one of the traditional house
• Photograph the stone houses built by the Russians who lived in Kars for 40 years after the war in 1894

Day 3: UNESCO world heritage site
• Photograph several churches, cathedrals and bridges.
• Travel to a frozen lake, where people do traditional ice fishing
• Photograph various activities on the frozen lake (ice fishing, horse sleights, etc.)

Day 4: Eastern Express Train
• Photograph the famous “Eastern Express Train”. Was the early start of the Orient Express
• Photograph a traditional village and their customs (baking bread in wood oven, etc.)

Day 5: 10,000 years old settlements
• Photograph old cemeteries, tombstones. Each stone is engraved with original date.
• Photograph activities around hot springs, where locals bathe their animals

Day 6: Boat trip to an Island
• Photograph ancient and isolated church on island, surrounded by mountains
• Visit the old capital of the Urartians.

Day 7 (March 3): Conclusion of the workshop
• Transfer to Van Airport (VAN)


Upon signing up for the workshop, you’ll receive a detailed coursebook and recommended reading material.

- Plan on arriving in Kars Airport on February 25 (anytime) – Airport (KSY)
- Departure on March 3 from Van Airport (VAN). Best is to book early morning flight
- All ground transportation and accommodation provided
- All meals included
- All model shoots and set ups included
- All entry fees included

Recommended equipment
The average temperature in Eastern Turkey in February for a typical day ranges from a high of 46°F (8°C) and a low of 32°F (-0°C). Some would describe it as really cold with a gentle breeze. Clothing: (Average temperature: 32F – 46F)
- Comfortable and warm layered clothes (neutral color recommended)
- Goretex gears, gloves, hat for sudden weather change
- Sturdy waterproof hiking shoes (hiking on rocky and possibly snowy terrain)
- Hat, sunglasses, and sun screen
- Rain gears/windbreaker
- Knee pads for low angle shooting

Camera Equipment:
- DSLR (bring your camera manual), extra battery (and charger)
- Recommended Lenses:
• Grand Landscape: 24-200mm
• Portraiture: 24 – 100mm
• Interior: 10 - 50mm
- Camera raingear (Kata, Kirk)

Other Equipment (Optional):
- Tripod (Sunrise, sunset, old monuments)
- ND Filters (3, 6, 10, 15 stops) for special effects
- Small notepad (notes, observations, write down questions)

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

Workshop Structure
- The itinerary is built with flexibility so we can leverage the atmospheric conditions
- Early morning rise and late evening to catch the soft light
- During the day, we explore old settlements and ancient villages to capture the daily life of the inhabitants
- At the end of the workshop, you will have experienced the ancient culture in Eastern Turkey and how people still live with ancient traditions

Participants' Responsibility
- Book transportation to Kars – Airport KSY and return from Van (VAN)
- Have a valid passport to travel to Turkey (expiration at least 6 months)
- Apply online for a eVisa (dependent on nationality)
- Bring your certificate of full vaccination

Not included:
- Personal expenses, meals, alcoholic beverages
- Extra night(s) in Kars (for early arrival or late departure)
- Travel Insurance
- Tips to local staff

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

Difficulties (Medium)

- Walk on uneven surface (dirt path, possibly snow)
- Drives on bumpy roads
- Food will be a combination of local food (home made) and Eastern food (non spicy)
- Temperature in the 40F. But creating some incredible atmosphere
- Possibility of rain and snow showers
- We will photograph traditional culture in small villages and inside people’ homes. “Patience and smiles” are must 
- Sunrise at 8 AM, Sunset at 6PM

Is it for me?

YES, if …
- You want to photograph ancient cultures off the beaten path. These ancient villages are seldomly photographed. Our local guides have bonded with them for many years, which will ease our welcome
- You want to visit UNESCO sites, ancient churches, settlements, etc. in an idyllic settings.
- You need a gateway, find inspiration for your photography, and come back home with images that wow you
- You want to expand your photography comfort zone
- All levels welcome. You need to be familiar with operating your camera as the instruction focuses on creativity

Rules for attending IncredibleTravelPhotos LLC workshops during the Covid 19 pandemic and Legal Disclaimer

We are following the recommended guidelines set by the CDC
By signing this document, you understand and will adhere to the rules to protect yourself and others.

1. You need to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
2. You need to bring your own mask. Bandannas are not a mask.
3. You need to bring a minimum of four Covid-19 Antigen Home Tests.
4. Wearing a mask is required until you take a Covid-19 Antigen Home Test and show a negative result.
5. On Day 1 and Day 3 of the workshop, you will take a Covid-19 Antigen Home Test and show the result. In case of a positive result, you will be isolated from the workshop.
6. Additional Covid-19 Antigen Home Test might be requested if you have symptoms. In case of a positive result, you will be isolated from the workshop.
7. We recommend the following best practices: Sanitize hands, wear a mask when in public.
8. Not adhering to the above rules is a reason for immediate dismissal from the workshop. No refund will be provided.
9. We want everybody to feel comfortable and stay healthy. Thank you for understanding!

I have read and will adhere to the rules. _______ (initial)

LEGAL Disclaimer:

I acknowledge the contagious nature of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and that the CDC and many other public health authorities still recommend practicing social distancing.
I further acknowledge that IncredibleTravelPhotos LLC has put in place preventative measures to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus/COVID-19.
I further acknowledge that IncredibleTravelPhotos LLC can not guarantee that I will not become infected with the Coronavirus/Covid-19. I understand that the risk of becoming exposed to and/or infected by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 may result from the actions, omissions, or negligence of myself and others.
I attest that:
* I am not experiencing any symptom of illness such as cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell.
* I have not traveled internationally within the last 14 days.
* I have not traveled to a highly impacted area within the United States of America in the last 14 days.
* I do not believe I have been exposed to someone with a suspected and/or confirmed case of the Coronavirus/COVID-19.
* I have not been diagnosed with Coronavirus/Covid-19 and not yet cleared as non-contagious by state or local public health authorities.
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Date: _______________________

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Oliver Klink is a fine art photographer based in Los Gatos, CA. His book Cultures in Transition won nine awards for best photography book of 2019. He was selected as B&W photographer of the year (2018) by Dodho magazine, the Best” Emerging artist in 2016 by BWGallerist. Cultures in Transition body of work was selected as Top 50 Critical Mass Award (2016 & 2018). 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 and Color Awards in the past 5 years. “Processing images with a personal style is a passion. You can relive what you saw at the point of capture with your artistic mind”, says Oliver.
Oliver’s images have been exhibited on four continents. He is a master print maker using various technology.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call Oliver Klink (408-910-6701) or email

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