Workshops China – 2017-2018

pastel terraces

March 23 to April 4 2018 Yuanyang Terraces Yunnan & Zhangjiajie Hunan 5,850 USD



Product Description

13-Day Photograph Workshop: Yuanyang & Zhangjiajie. 

Price: USD5,850.00 based on twin share, USD600 single supplement

* Payment Terms: 2.000USD downpayment at order confirmation, and Balance payment 4 weeks before arriving designated city in China.

Group Size: Small Group – min. 4 people, max. 6 people




Join Thierry Bornier for a photographic pilgrimage to his spiritual home of Yuanyang Rice Terraces. Then, visit the splendid Zhangjiajie Sandstone Peak Forest.


Day 1 – March 23: Shanghai to Kunming

This morning, we fly from Shanghai to Kunming. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel for check in. In the evening, Thierry will meet up with everyone for welcome dinner and presentation of the workshop.

Day 2 – March 24: Kunming to Yuanyang

This morning, we fly from Shanghai to Kunming. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel for check in. In the evening, Thierry will meet up with everyone for welcome dinner and presentation of the workshop.

Day 3 to 6 – March 25 to 28: Yuanyang

The general schedule for the four full days of shooting the Yuanyang Rice Terraces is to wake up early to catch the sunrise lighting up the terrace waters and make the morning mists glow as they drift over the terraces’ rolling hills. Then, the group will visit a local market or other cultural attraction to experience the Hani and Yi ethnic minority cultures. After that, it’s back to the hotel for lunch and a rest before heading out again to shoot at another location for the rest of the day. Then, in the evening, there will be dinner and group discussion to exchange ideas, tips, suggestions and analysis the day’s pictures.

Day 7 – March 29: Yuanyang to Kunming

After a final morning shoot in Yuanyang, we hit the road for the transfer back to Kunming (6-7hr drive), where will spend the night. 

Day 8 – March 30: Kunming to Zhangjiajie City

Today, Thierry will show you around his adopted hometown-Kunming. If the weather is nice, we may have the opportunity to photograph Siberian Seagulls in the Green Lake Park. In the evening, we catch a flight to Zhangjiajie, and spend the night in Zhangjiajie city.

Day 9 – March 31: Zhangjiajie City to Zhangjiajie National Park

In the morning, transfer from Zhangjiajie City to Zhangjiajie National Park by private coach and cable car. After hotel check-in and lunch, we will have a photo shooting session in the afternoon.

Day 10 to 12 – April 1 to 3: Zhangjiajie National Park

Each of these 3 days starts before dawn in order to catch the magnificent sunrise. We will then return to the hotel for breakfast and some rest. Later in the day, we will travel to a second location for more photography. Every evening, we will gather for dinner and group discussion. 

Day 13 – April 4: Zhangjiajie National Park to Shanghai

After the morning photography session and lunch, we will bid farewell to Zhangjiajie National Park, and travel downhill by cable car. In the evening, we catch flight from Zhangjiajie Airport back to Shanghai, where the workshop concludes.


Yuanyang Rice Terraces

Having lived in Yunnan for the last eight years, and travelled extensively to the magnificent Hani Rice Terraces of Yuanyang, Thierry can offer and insightful peak into photographing this UNESCO World Heritage site. Of all his travels in China, the Yuanyang terraces are one of Thierry’s main focuses. He has developed an in-depth knowledge of the weather patterns and best angles to view the terraces. He is also well known with the locals, and even owns a coffee shop in one of the main scenic areas, Laohuzui.

The Yuanyang Rice Terraces are located in the mountains south of Yunnan province, about 100 kilometers from the Vietnam border. The rice terraces boast the technical ingenuity of the Hani people in cultivating a seemingly inhospitable land. During this workshop, you will also get a chance to experience the traditional culture of the Hani and Yi people, to local markets, local homes and sampling local cuisine. You will shoot many places during the tour, but the main three are described below:

Duoyishu scenic area: Duoyishu is a famous destination for people wishing to photograph the sunrise on the terraces; it is one of the most beautiful natural and

cultural areas of the Yuanyang terraces. In this area alone the terraces cover over 1647 acres comprising along the cities of Duoyishu, Aichun and Dawazhe. At sunrise, the light on the terraces highlight the superlative dynamism of the landscape. In the early morning sun the reflections and shadows on the water are constantly moving, thus changing the color effect on the water; the visual impact of which can be quite overwhelming.

Bada scenic area: Bada is the largest scenic area of the Yuanyang terraces, including the smaller cities of Qingkou, Quanfuzhuang, Malizhai, and Zhulu, extending over more than 2306 acres in total. Bada is the best place to catch the sunset in Yuanyang: the constantly changing colors at this time makes it feel like you are in a truly magical dimension.

Laohuzui scenic area: Laohuzui is possibly the pinnacle of the rice terrace scenery. The terraced slopes here are more rugged than in other areas and even the colors are more intense – as if painted by an artist. The lowest section of the terrace is beyond sensational, as the outline reputedly resembles a galloping horse. Near the Laohuzui area, we will also visit many markets and villages of the Hani people, particularly nearby the Shengcun village.

The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Zhangjiajie has become famous in recent years as the inspiration for the floating hallelujah mountains in the famous blockbuster movie – Avatar. One of the park’s quartz-sandstone pillars, the 1,080-metre ‘Southern Sky Column’, has been officially renamed ‘Avatar Hallelujah Mountain’ in honor of the film. The magnificent scenery of the park certainly seems like it could be part of a celestial, magical world.

The pillar-like rock formations are the most notable geographic feature of the park. They are the result of many years of erosion, caused by expanding ice in winter and the plentiful foliage, due to the permanent moist weather. These formations are a distinct hallmark of Chinese landscapes, and can be found in many ancient Chinese paintings.

Officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992, Zhangjiajie was also listed as a UNESCO Global Geopark in 2004. On this workshop, we will have great opportunities to capture these fascinating formations.


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


    • Workshop fee
    • Private driver and vehicle
    • Domestic flights in economy class
    • Hotel and local guesthouse accommodation with daily breakfast
    • Entrance fees
    • Meals: full board


    • International airfares
    • Visa fees
    • Personal expenses
    • Tips or gratuities for guides and drivers
    • Medical services, travel insurance or visas


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