Ok team finally here are the details for the Pelicans 2018 trip. As always my brochures are straight and the truth, no flannel and no filler days. there are two trips and a brochure for each!
Why we are going there?
In the Winter there is a large population of stunning European Pelicans resident on the equally beautiful Lake Kerkini in Greece. The backdrop is stunning, the reflections can be mind blowing and the Pelicans are very iconic subjects to photograph. Plus they love fish and we are gonna give them all they want!!! Here's some images taken by my partner, Emil, who is my local expert on the trip:
How will we Photograph them?
From a boat and the shore. Now with other trips you will go on separate boat trips, i.e. I would not be with one group to help. But with mine they have agreed to use a bigger boat so we can all go together. It means I can shout at you all and ensure you have the best settings and the best chance of nailing great shots. When we go out in the boat it's for the flying shots etc, everything else we will take from the shore. This means walking and laying flat on the edge of the water, standing up will not get you the best images!
How many sessions per day?
We will use the best light for the first two hours after sunrise and the two hours before sunset. It's pointless photographing white subjects in harsh light, remember with me you will only take quality images. So we will start on the shore usually first thing, then have an hour in the boat. It will be reverse in the afternoon. In between we will chill at the hotel, we can all process our images together and I will do some Photoshop stuff to help you, this will be a nice thing to all do together. A relaxed photographer is a good photographer.
Why are we spending 3 full days on the Pelicans when other trips spend less?
Simply the weather and my policy of focussing on one subject. I am not putting on any filler days, we are straight there, do our photography and straight back. We need sunlight to really make the most of the Pelicans and at this time of the year clear sunny days are the norm. But as you can see from above it might snow or be overcast, if this happens we will adjust what we do and probably concentrate on close-ups and portraiture. That is why I am on the trip to help make the most of the conditions and that is why we are spending three full days, to try to get the best weather.
Where are we staying?
Again this is different from other tours. We are staying at a nice hotel close to the lake, which is comfortable and means we are right there for early and late light. It was my choice to do this rather than the other hotel which is 1 hour away and really for landscapes. Again the point is that we are focussed on one thing, the hotel is a much better standard than most others use which I think is important and being close gives us the option of chilling out in the day in the hotel rather than lurking by the lake.
How do we get there?
You will fly to Sofia in Bulgaria and then be transferred the 3 hours to the hotel. Flights to Sofia are limited but luckily Wizz has a great schedule from Luton, they are a cool airline. Don't book anything until I tell you that all tours are full as I want us all to get the same flight as we need arrivals / departures to be at the same time for the pickups to work. At current time the flights are approx £200 return with baggage and priority grovelling.
All lenses work and it's best to have a range. So consider a few from 8-15mm or super wide, a 16-35 or 24-70 and a 70-200 / 100-400 zoom. If you want close portraits bring a 500mm lens and a tripod. More info nearer the time.
You will need to be fit enough to walk 1km with your kit and possibly more, there will be no one to help you. As I mentioned above you will need to be able to get up and down quickly as the Pelicans may not come to exactly the point where you are laying in wait! So please be honest about your fitness!
It maybe Greece but it's Winter! So the days may be clear but they will be cold, typically 5C. If it snows then it will of course be colder, this year they had ice on the lake.
Ok here's the itinerary:
31st Jan. Group 2 travel to Sofia and transfer to hotel
1, 2 and 3 Feb. - Pelican photography, o/n hotel
04th Feb - Group 1 travels to airport for flight home
Price and Booking
Many people run this trip and we will not be the cheapest as we are staying at a better hotel, have a bigger boat so we can all shoot together and have more fish / boat trips as needed. I'm using the more expensive hotel that is closer so we can cut the travel time to virtually nothing (everyone else has 1 hour each way just to save a few pennies) plus we can retire to it during the day to process and learn. Finally you are going with the absolute best guy and expert helping us locally and you have one of the best wildlife photographers on the planet helping you. So you can do it cheaper, I am honest about that, but as always my trips deliver more.
Anyway the all inclusive price is £1125 per person sharing, single supplement £100
The cost includes the ground transportation from Sofia, 4 nights full board at the hotel (i.e. all food) , refreshments whilst out, 2-3 hours boat trips per day (usually 2 is enough), plenty of fish to be able to work on the shore, bean bags and mats for laying down and keeping dry! Plus the services of two professional photographers, Emil and Andy. And the joy of working in a nice group!!!
No hidden extras, so this is the total price.
As always booking is via the link below. I will be immediately transferring the money to our Bulgarian representatives as Brexit will greatly threaten the exchange rate and it's likely to get hit. When you book please take note of our simple cancellation policy, and by booking you agree to it.
Terms and Conditions
1. Cancellation Policy - if you cancel and we can fill your place then you will get a 100% refund. If we cannot fill your place then you will forfeit the money that you paid for the trip. By booking this trip you accept these terms and conditions.
2. In light of point 1 it is vital that you take out full and adequate travel insurance to cover any cancellation of the trip.
3. If we cancel the trip for any reason then you will receive a full refund.
4. We cannot help the weather. In the case of unfavourable weather we will always try to make the best of the situation for you, that is why you have experts working with you. But if the weather forecast is inclement this is not a reason for cancellation and point 1 above will always apply. The weather changes fast around the lake and the only worthwhile forecast is what it's like when you wake up!
This meetup has an up-front charge of £1,150.00 to secure your place
(Including 6 months FotoBuzz membership)
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