Camargue Wildlife and Festival
- Camargue / France
- 7 days – 6 nights – 11 shoots
Camargue Wildlife and Festival
Designed for amateur and professional photographers passionate about Wildlife and Festival photography. It encompasses different shoots with the Camargue Wild White Horses in the marsh and on the beach; the imposing Black Camargue Bulls thundering their way through the marsh; Pink Flamingos, Birdlife and Portraits. This workshop takes place during both the Camargue Festival and the Pilgrimage in Les Saintes-Maries de la Mer, filling your days with organised shoots, festival life and street photography. An exciting combination for Wildlife, Street life, Festival and Equine photographers.
Key facts at a glance:
Create Away is the only photography workshop company actually based in the Camargue, making us the number one specialist. We have strong and long-established links with the local people who are passionate about the Camargue, its traditions and folklore.
- 3 different Camargue horses shoots – in the marsh and on the beach
- Full throttle action shoot with the bulls running through the marsh
- 1 Flamingos/birdlife shoot
- 1 Portraits shoot with the Gardians (Camargue cowboys)
- 3 days’ Festival photography
- Led by a highly successful, professional photographer whose international career spans over 3 decades
- B&B at a charming hotel in a picturesque Mediaeval walled city
- Airport transfers to and from Montpellier airport – arrivals day between 09h00 and mid-afternoon/departures day late afternoon (other transfers are not included but can be arranged by us)
We will collect you from Montpellier airport for transfer to your charming hotel in the centre of the medieval town of Aigues-Mortes. Take time to unwind, unpack and perhaps explore the streets of the city that lies within the mile-long rampart walls.
Before sunrise, we head for the Parc Ornithologique, which is a natural Camargue wetlands park of great importance. Led by our BBC Wildlife bird specialist and expert in his field, you will be taken to the ideal spots to get the birds at their very best, as they fly over at sunrise. He knows the best hide-outs at the right time of the day to capture single birds perched on a tree or when to enjoy the vast lakes for flocks of pink Flamingos and the largest array of birdlife in Europe.
In the afternoon, we photograph the Camargue Black bulls in action thundering their way through the marshy shallow water, their horns held high, herded by the Gardians on horseback – an exhilarating photographic experience!
White Stallion on the sand dunes and beach/White Horses in the marsh
In the morning, we head to the beach for a shoot with a beautiful white Camargue stallion. We photograph him rearing on the top of the sand dunes and running along the golden sand of the beach, making for striking action shots and beautiful portraits.
In the afternoon, we photograph a dozen wild white horses running through the marsh. We shoot several drives with the horses running across and towards your field of view. We will also take shots of the ‘Gardians’ (Camargue Cowboys) dressed in their traditional Camargue shirts & hats, trident in hand, surrounded by the herd, as well as some close-up portraits of the ‘weathered’ ranchers.
Portraits of Gardians/White Horses on the beach
We spend the morning shooting portraits of the Gardians (Camargue Cowboys) with their ‘weathered’ faces – they are perfect subjects for stunning black and white classic portrait photography. Serge demonstrates how to obtain a classic portrait, along with some great tips for working with subjects who may not be comfortable in front of the lens. You will learn about composition, lighting techniques using daylight and portable flash, lens choice and how to deal with the elements around you.
Late afternoon, we head to the beach for the iconic shoot of the Camargue white horses running along the golden sand and in the sea, as the sun sets in the surf spray! We also capture the horses in a peaceful lagoon with beautiful reflections, producing minimalist and graphic images.
We start with traditional breakfast (a ‘casse-croûte’) in the meadow with the Gardians (Camargue cowboys) and locals, in traditional Camargue dress. Standing in the shallow stream, we are in the centre of the action to capture the Gardians rounding up the bulls to herd them into town for the Abrivado (the arrival).
Early afternoon capture festival life in and around the beautiful town of Aigues-Mortes, including bull racing; pop up theatre animation; good food and wine. At midday and in the evening, there is a party atmosphere with a ball and concert on the main square.
Late afternoon, in Aigues-Mortes, it is time for the Bandido (the departure) – 2-3 cowboys flank one bull at a time as they gallop back through the narrow streets which is as exciting as dangerous, and most people stay well behind the barriers! The youngsters test their bravery by standing in the way as long as possible to destabilise the horses or catch the bull by the horns to enable him to escape. Capture stunning action pictures of the horses and bulls as they gallop through the old town, with the sun setting behind the stone archways of the old city gates.
This time, we are in town to capture the Abrivado, as they arrive for the day’s festivities. Again, the Gardians flank the bulls and they arrive at a gallop, clattering through the cobbled streets. Each farm (mas) showcases their skills with the bulls, herded by the cowboys on horseback. Young lads attempt, Toreador style, to get the better of the young bulls by distracting the horses – this is called the ‘Vachette’.
In the afternoon, we return to the meadow to capture the action of the rounding up of the bulls before they return to town for the Bandido.
Pilgrimage of the Saints Les Saintes-Maries de la Mer
In the morning, we depart for Les Saintes-Maries de la Mer for the Pilgrimage of the Saints. This is similar to the more well-known Gypsy Festival in May but this is more for the locals so there are less crowds with easier access. It’s a fabulous opportunity to capture the festivities, around the relics of the Saints, with the Gardians on horseback and locals in traditional Arlesian and Camargue costume.
Late afternoon/early evening flights home
Single occupant (en-suite bathroom): £2499 per person
2 people sharing room: 5% off the workshop price
Discounts available for group bookings. Please enquire to find out more
A deposit of 25% is payable at the time of booking
* To join our workshops, you need to have a good understanding of how your own camera works (how to set it up in Manual, Aperture and Shutter priority) and understand about exposure.
Pre-workshop course (subject to availability)
If you would like to arrive a day early to benefit from a course on your camera, settings, techniques and how to obtain the best out of your workshop, please let us know. We consider the pre-course very worthwhile for intermediate-level photographers and essential for beginners or photographers with new equipment they are not familiar with. Cost including hotel £370 pp.
What is included in the price:
- 6 nights B&B in 3-star Hotel (4-star hotel with price available on request) in Medieval Aigues-Mortes
- Airport transfers to and from Montpellier airport – arrivals day between 09h00 and mid-afternoon/departures day between 09h00 and 19h00 (other transfers are not included but can be arranged by us)
- All transportation during your workshop
- Guidance throughout by expert photographers
Before you book your flights, you might like to consider arriving a day or two earlier or staying a day or two after the workshop to make the most of the beautiful region and sunshine – we also offer an amazing horse riding experience and can recommend other excursions & activities – just ask Ros for further details.
Bookings & Payment:
Payment by bank transfer (please request our banking details) or by PayPal online
Why not treat someone with one of our Gift Vouchers? – available for full or partial workshop prices