Wild Nature in The Pyrenees, Wildlife and Horses in The Camargue
The Pyrenees offer stunning panoramic photography of unique glacial cirques, canyons, and waterfalls. In Saintes Maries de la Mer we will photograph portraits and the Gypsy festival. We’ll end our time with some of the most exciting action photography on the planet—the Camargue horses with help from the cowboys of the Camargue known as “guardians.” Armed with their traditional lance, the guardians will help us take pictures of these white horses and bulls as they run in the swamps and the salt pools of the Camargue.
We’ve crafted our itinerary to comfortably cover the most ground possible in this stunning area of the world, and to provide the greatest diversity of photo opportunities. Our accommodations are among the best and most comfortable available, and everything is all-inclusive, including gratuities for our excellent English-speaking local guides.
Expect to be challenged and to learn a lot in this workshop. Kevin will be right beside you in the field, and later in the classroom for Lightroom post-processing instruction. We’ll also have our signature image critiques. In addition to photographic instruction, your guides will teach you about the people, culture, and ecology of these unique destinations.
Spain and France
May 17–29, 2021
Itinerary and General Information
May 17, 2021: Arrivals in Barcelona. After pickup at the airport, we will meet for dinner and an introduction before we begin the workshop.
May 18, 2021: Barcelona – Sierra de Guara – Alquezar. After leaving Barcelona, we will set out in vehicles towards the Sierra de Guara, a massif in the center of Aragon. The highest point in the area reaches 2,077 meters. Several rivers run through these mountains, creating endless crevices, canyons, and gorges such as the Rio Alcanadre, Rio Vero, and many more. All these rivers flow in the end into the Ebro River. We will start off photographing around the town of Alquezar and the crevice surrounding it. The area is sparsely populated, and there are many abandoned villages. The tourist center of the area is the town of Alquezar, with a population of 301.
May 19, 2021: Vultures – Villages of Aragon – Ainsa – Torla. We will begin our day with an unusual and unequaled experience—we will join the supervisor of the vulture-feeding station as he feeds them. Scores—sometimes even hundreds—of wild vultures come for the feeding. Bearded vultures and Egyptian vultures can often be observed as well. Our vantage point will be at about five meters from the feeding point, but we can sometimes get much closer, even up to a mere couple of meters from the vultures. Later on, we will continue through the gorgeous roads of the Sierra de Guara towards the medieval walled town of Ainsa, passing through authentic villages and ancient farms. Towards evening we will reach the medieval village of Torla, where we will spend the night.
May 20, 2021: Ordesa Natural Park. We will set out in the early hours of the morning towards the magical cliffs of The Ordesa National Park. The park is one of the most important sites in the Pyrenees due to its many unique glacial cirques, canyons, and waterfalls—some of which are among the most beautiful in Europe. The area is also known for its wild bears, though they are scarce and are hardly ever seen. Later on, during the day we shall go for a hike towards the waterfalls of the valley
May 21, 2021: Ordesa Natural Park – Aran Valley. We will photograph in the Ordesa Natural Park, and in the afternoon, we will continue through the mountain passes from Aragon into Catalonia and the Aran Valley, where we will spend the night.
May 22, 2021: Aiguastortes National Park. We will begin by driving out of the Aran valley and head for one of the pearls of the Pyrenees—The Aiguastortes National Park. All the characteristics typical to the High Pyrenees can be found here, but above all: the water! The amount of clear waters flowing through the lakes, rivers, and waterfalls of the park is unimaginable. The beauty is stupefying. And then there are the forests and breathtaking views on every side. This is heaven for the nature-lover! There is an abundance of different trees, rocky slopes, mighty summits, and peat bogs. We will drive in 4x4 vehicles to one of the highest points of the park, where we will spend the day walking and taking advantage of the many subjects waiting to be photographed. In the afternoon, we will return to the village of Espot and continue along the Noguera Pallaresa river to the town of Sort, where we will spend the night.
May 23, 2021: Aiguastortes National Park – Cerdanya Valley. The first part of the day, we will dedicate to explore the national park and its many amazing landscapes further. Later, we will continue heading east, and we will cross the Cerdanya Valley, surrounded by the renowned Cadí-Moixeró mountain range. We shall spend the night by the town of Puigcerda touching the French border.
May 24, 2021: Saint Georges Gorges – Cathar Country – Beziers. We will cross the border to France, passing through the Gorges de Saint-Georges, a narrow road sandwiched between two substantial rocky walls and the river Aude. It is said to be one of the most stunning drives in France. We will reach the region of the Cathars, the followers of Catharism, a religious cult in Europe between the 11th and 13th centuries. The area has some of Europe ́s most well-preserved castles and fortified towns. We will spend the night in Beziers.
May 25, 2021: Gypsy Festival of Saintes Maries de la Mer. In the morning, we head to the small town of Saintes Maries de la Mer. Here families of gypsies from all around Europe come to a colorful event full of dances, dancing, and fascinating human-scape. Today is the second day of the festival. The climax is when the two figures of the saints—Mary Salome and Mary Jacobe—are followed by the crowd in a long procession on horseback, as they are brought into the sea. After the festival is over, we will go to the small side roads of the Camargue to appreciate the beauty of the region.
May 26, 2021: Aigues-Mortes – Horses of the Camargue. The first part of the day will be dedicated to the walled medieval town of Aigues Mortes. The second half of the day will be spent taking pictures of the famous Camargue horses in their natural habitat. The cowboys of the Camargue (known as “guardians”), armed with their traditional lance, will gallop in the swamps and the salt pools of the Camargue. Of course, we will do this during the sweet light of sunset.
May 27, 2021: Flamingos and Bulls of the Camargue. We return to the Camargue Reserve, and photograph flamingos and other waterbirds in the early-morning light. In the evening, the famous black bulls of the Camargue will be waiting for us to photograph them in their environment. We will spend a second night at our hotel in the Camargue area.
May 28, 2021: Beach Stallion – Costa Brava – Barcelona. On this last day of our workshop, we will head down to the beach dunes, where we will photograph a single white stallion dashing and diving in and around the sea and surf. He will rear up on the top of the sand dunes, making for a wide range of dramatic action shots. Afterward, we will say our farewells to the Camargue and begin our drive back towards Barcelona. If time permits, we will stop along the Costa Brava—the famous wild coast of Catalonia—where incredible rock formations can be seen along the cliffs overlooking the shore.
May 29, 2021: We will then transfer to the airport anytime this day, for flights home or elsewhere.
What to Bring and How to Prepare for Your Workshop
Please see our How To Prepare For Your Workshop page now for guidelines on workshop prep, gear, and packing. Approximately 90 days before your workshop, you will be sent a PDF with more specific instructions.
Double-occupancy lodging (single available, just ask)
All meals, soft drinks, snacks during workshop
All transportation during the workshop
Photographic guiding and instruction from Kevin Pepper
Image reviews and post-processing sessions
Fun, inspiration, and a great time!
What’s Not Included?
Your deposit of $3,995 is due at sign up and will hold your space in the workshop. Further payment of $3,000 is due by October 1, 2020 The balance of $3,000 is due by February 1, 2021. All of our standard terms and conditions apply. Need special payment arrangements for your deposit? No problem, just ask us.