Workshop Packing List: Danxia and Yandan July 2016

Thiery Bornier - Danxia China - Landscape Photography

In July, our next workshop will be held. Attendants will be visiting China’s Danxia and Yandan Province’s. Thierry is excited to meet the new group and show them insider techniques to capturing the best of the area’s essence. In order to maximize the experience, we’ve put together a small packing list to ensure you’re ready for your visit.

Zhangye’s Danxia is home to beautiful sandstone hills that form amazing castles, cones, precipices you name it… that are enhanced by rich natural colors. The workshop falls in the ideal visiting period between May and September. The strong, seasonal sun and occasional rain creates a comfortable climate in the region. This is considered the area’s “wet” season, although the rain is minimal compared to other regions, the moisture brings out the stone’s rich, colorful bands and creates amazing visual contrasts along the hills.

Further along the trip, you will head to the Gansu Province specifically to Dunhuang and the Mongao Caves. Dunhuang gained notoriety for being a key intersection along the Silk Road and has forged a deep history full of cultural, religious and political strong points. Along with its rich history, the area is home to the Yardan Landforms. These impressive hills that have been formed through years of wind and water erosion and each have a unique shape to share with park visitors. 

That last stop on the tour will be to the Mongao Caves. Found just south of the Dunhuang Oasis, these ancient temples are home to the largest and richest collection of Buddhist art in the world. The caves house over 45,000 square miles of murals that can be found in over 490 man-made grottos.

All of the stops are considered to have desert climate and July is one of the hottest months of the year. As deserts are, days can get quite warm and cool off once the sun has set. While it is not as common, some of the areas can be subject to extremely windy climate and that can kick up into very dusty and sandy conditions.

To make sure you’re prepared for these conditions, we recommend you bring the following:

  • Coat: Be prepared for the cool desert nights with a light jacket/coat.
  • Scarf / Mask: In case of a windy/dusty day, it is a convenient accessory to have along.
  • Good shoes: The area’s soil is sandy and can easily sneak into shoes with low-cut uppers. Mid to high uppers are recommended to avoid discomfort.
  • Sun Protection: During the day, the sun can be quite intense. Be prepared with appropriate sun protection for your skin’s needs.
  • Layers: The weather can vary from day to day, to be best prepared for any situation we recommend wearing in layers to be easily adjust as necessary.

We mustn’t forget that this is a photography workshop. In terms of photography gear, we recommend that you bring:

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Zoom lens 70mm to 200mm minimum
  • Wide angle lens 14mm to 35mm
  • 85mm + lense for portrait
  • Filter polarizer
  • ND filters: 0.6 ND and 0.9 ND, soft and hard (if possible)

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