Sri Lanka Wildlife Photography Workshop
Explore the stunning wilderness of Sri Lanka and photograph its wealth of wildlife, including leopards, elephants, and sloth bears
Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park is one of the world’s most unique hidden treasures. The park is home to 215 species of birds and 44 mammals, including the endangered Sri Lankan leopard. The geographic isolation of the island has caused the species to be endemic to Sri Lanka. Today, Yala is home to the highest density of leopards in the world. These big cats are elusive and visually striking, and our photography workshop is specifically designed to give you the best chances of photographing them. On top of this, you’ll also photograph the many other animals that inhabit the park, including elephants, sloth bears, mugger crocodiles, spotted deer, sambhur, buffalo, and many exotic bird species. You’ll stay in luxury tents in the middle of the national park, surrounded by the wealth of wildlife. Throughout the experience, you’ll be tutored by award-winning photographer Lucia Griggi, who will help you make the most out of this photographic adventure.
- Explore Sri Lanka's Yala National Park, a truly stunning wilderness, through your lens
- Enjoy exclusive opportunity to photograph the elusive leopard
- Photograph many other animals, including elephants, sloth bears, monkeys, and many bird species
- Visit an elephant sanctuary and enjoy unique photographic opportunities with these stunning animals
- Enjoy Sri Lanka's amazingly friendly culture, and photograph its colourful villages
- Receive photographing tutoring by acclaimed photographer Lucia Griggi
- Camp in the jungle in luxury tents, surrounded by animals sounds at night
- Where Sri Lanka
- When November 20 - 27, 2017 and March 28 - April 4, 2018
- Focus Wildlife Photography
- Workshop Leader Lucia Griggi
- Price $5200 (approx. £4100)
- Photography Level Required Suitable for all levels
- Group Size Max. 10 participants
On our expedition, we will be predominantly photographing in Yala National Park and wildlife sanctuary, located in Sri Lanka’s southern province. The park’s grounds are a combination of flat plains, grasslands, and lush forests in a semi-dry climate, but there are also waterholes, lagoons, and mangroves. Made up of five separate blocks, sections one and two of Yala are open to the public while the other three are to remain unpenetrated by humans to sustain the local wildlife.
Section one is well known for having the highest concentration of leopards in the world, boasting a total of 35 cats. This number may seem small, but remember these cats are an endangered species. Out of the 215 species of birds that call Yala home, six are endemic to Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Sri Lanka Wood-pigeon, Crimson-fronted Barbet, Black-capped Bulbul, and Brown-capped Babbler. The herd of elephants in the park numbers anywhere from 300-350 individuals. There are 44 species of mammals, several of them both endemic & endangered: Sri Lankan Sloth Bear, Sri Lankan Leopard, Sri Lankan Elephant, and wild water buffalo. Furthermore, there are 46 species of reptiles, five of them endemic to Sri Lanka. These incredibly unique species can be seen nowhere else, making this expedition so alluring to photographers.
- Day 1 — Colombo & Yala National Park After arriving in Colombo, you'll be transferred straight away on a scenic drive to Yala National Park. There, you'll meet Lucia Griggi and your safari guide, Milinda De Silva. The evening will be spent relaxing and settling down in the luxury safari camp.
- Day 2 — Yala National Park Orientation and brunch will start the day off right as everyone gets to know one another. Your first visit inside the park will be in the afternoon, after everyone creates a plan for shooting together. The rest of the day will be spent shooting away - the park is teeming with wildlife, so there will always be something new and interesting to photograph.
- Day 3— Yala National Park You will take part in an all-day wildlife photography expedition. Waking up before dawn, you will take a jeep ride to the nearest water hole for sunrise. This is prime time to photograph leopards, who are oftentimes by water holes as the sun is coming up. These early hours are the perfect time for predator encounters and dramatic predator action. Furthermore, you will get to experience the uneasy peace between animals sharing the water source. However, the relative calm is sometimes broken by the circle of life. Sunrise in Sri Lanka is magical, and activates the Yala jungle in a different way from night.
The morning stalk for leopards will be briefly interrupted by a brunch – either a picnic in the jungle or a return to camp. During the warmest and brightest parts of the day you will have time to relax and recharge. When the light is harsh, animals are at rest, so we won’t miss photographic opportunities for down time.
The majority of the day will be spent driving the dusty roads of Yala - watching for leopard, elephant and whatever wildlife is out for an afternoon stroll. In the evening, there is a return to the water hole to coincide with the habits of leopard, and then a return to camp for dinner, editing, stories and luxurious sleep, lulled by the sounds of the jungle.
- Day 4 – Yala on Foot Day four will be similar to day three with one notable difference - you will be exploring the bush by foot. This opportunity will allow you to get up-close and personal with the local plants and wildlife. All meals will be provided throughout the day to be eaten in the jungle.
- Day 5 – Yala National Park After your days out in the bush, you will have some familiarity with Yala. On Day 5, the guides and drivers will be ready and willing to take your tour group wherever they want to go. This day is all about you exploring parts of Yala you haven’t yet seen – or want to see again. In the evening you will return to camp for photo critiques and editing. Lucia will review your work at camp and suggest postproduction ideas and techniques.
- Day 6 – Yala National Park We will wake up before dawn, have a visit to close-by waterholes, and then spend the day in Yala, covering parts of the 378 square mile park that you haven’t yet visited. You will be out of camp all day, and have a picnic lunch in the jungle. You will return to camp in the evening for an (optional) presentation of your most impressive photos, followed by a photo critique.
- Day 7 — Transfers The morning will be spent getting your last shots of beautiful and serene Yala. On your 7th day, you will say goodbye to the friends you have made, the mentors you’ve met, and the gorgeous wilderness.
November 20 - 27, 2017
March 28 - April 4, 2018
Price: $5200 per person sharing (approx. £4100, depending on the exchange rate)
- All park fees
- Accommodation in luxury tents within the national park, on a sharing basis
- All meals and beverages
- Ground transfers
- Complimentary bean bags for your camera
- Camera battery / laptop recharge facilities
Does Not Include:
- International airfare
- Personal Spending
This Sri Lankan photography workshop is specifically focused on wildlife photography. We’ll spend the majority of our time in Yala National Park, where we’ll have amazing photographic opportunities during our game drives and walking safaris. Expect to encounter leopards, plenty of elephants, several deer species, monkeys and crocodiles. The park is also bird photography heaven, with hundreds of exotic species. We’ll make sure to spend plenty of time at each sighting, giving you the opportunity to take the best possible pictures.
Both Yala National Park and our drive there present some great landscape photography opportunities as well, and we’ll make sure to explore these fully. In addition, a visit to Sri Lanka would not be complete without us learning about the country’s welcoming local culture. We’ll visit several local communities, where we can meet Sri Lankans, learn about local customs, and photograph this colourful culture.
Your Photography Workshops
Lucia Griggi will be tutoring you throughout this photo tour, helping you become the best photographer you can be. Lucia will provide both theoretical photography sessions, teaching all the basic technical skills, and practical support during all game drives and expeditions. There will also be plenty of time for reviewing everyone’s work, and working on post-production. Since there is enough time for one-on-one instruction, the workshop is suitable for photographers of all levels; whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable new skills.
The workshops will cover the following:
- Composition and working with different backgrounds
- Exposure and lighting
- Post-production, including how to get most out of RAW images
- Impact and storytelling through photography
- Extreme location shooting
- Storing, manipulating, and preserving digital images
- Marketing and selling images
We recommend that you bring the following:
- Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera & lenses (ideally including a telephoto lens)
- A laptop with photo software installed (Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Bridge or camera raw software)
- Storage media and other equipment – cord, thumb drive, card reader – for transferring images from camera to computer
- External hard drive to store and back up images daily
- Tripods and accessories for assisting shooting
- Batteries and charger for rechargeable batteries
- Power adapters and cables for laptop and digital camera
It is suggested that you know how to download images from your camera to the laptop, know basic editing techniques using your software, and are able to organize the edited images for workshop environment.
Lucia grew up in England and Venice, before moving to California in 2010. She has a love for surfing, skateboarding and all outdoor adventure. Her active lifestyle plays a big role in her artistic style. She combines her English precision with Venetian creativity to capture the moment with clarity and wit. Lucia's work is fresh, vivid and full of energy. Her photography is internationally recognized and awarded by National Geographic, PDN, Windland Smith Rice International Awards, Black and White photography and the Masters Cup. Her career spans a decade, leading Lucia to have endless stories about the pleasures and perils of life as a nature photographer. She is thoroughly modern, with a classic taste in her work that comes from her Venetian roots.