Camargue Horses – Something New & Something Different
Photographers on Safari’s annual photography tour to the Camargue has sold out every year since its inception in 2008. There have been two tours back-to back several times. People absolutely fall in love with this tour. Quite a number of photographers have done this same tour on three separate occasions now. My agent and I have spent many hours trying to come up with photographic opportunities quite different to the norm. I seriously believe that we have done just that. The pictures on this page and in the associated picture gallery certainly demonstrate that. Not only are the pictures quite different, they are stunningly beautiful. They have set new standards to Camargue Horses photography.
Horses Running in Clouds of Dust
All our sessions on the main trip are done in water. Water really adds an extra dimension to the photographs of the Camargue Horses. We cannot outdo these very powerful photographs, or so we thought. We thought, we thought, and we thought again. My agent showed me some pictures he had taken of horses running around in an arena surrounded by dust. They have great potential, I said, but I was concerned about the posts and rails behind them. They spoiled the pictures in my opinion. The basic idea was great, but we had to find a way of creating better backgrounds.
Horses Running in Clouds of Dust at Sunset
Little acorns eventually grow into huge Oak trees. We came up with the idea of starting these sessions late afternoons and continuing through until the sun had set. This meant that we would begin with the horses running through dusty soil in subdued evening light. We shot towards the sun so that the rays of the sun shone through the dust created by the running horses. These shots were great, but as the sun got lower the dust became orange which added a whole new dimension to the photographs. The dust became more and more illuminated as the sun got lower. As the sun got close to the horizon it was as if the sky was on fire. Some of the photos give the impression of the horses running through a burning sky. We truly had come up with something very different to anything we had done before. This technique has added a whole new dimension to photographing horses in the Camargue.
Three Sessions in Two Separate Locations
We have decided to have three sessions with the horses in dust. Weather conditions can vary, and we want to provide enough chances to give you the best opportunity of leaving with some really special photographs. Last year we treated the first session as a bit of a practice session to get all our photographers in tune with the techniques required. We spent a couple of hours going through each person’s photos and giving advice on a one-to-one basis on how (if any) improvements could be made on future shoots. This classroom-based session proved invaluable and will be continued in all future tours. The following night we photographed different horses at a different location. With the experience of the first session behind them, all photographers got some really stunning shots on the second evening. On the third evening we repeated what we did on the first evening. Everyone benefited from having photographed here two nights previously. They knew exactly what to expect and what settings to use. The results were phenomenal.
Performing Andalusian / Lusitano Horses
We will have two early morning sessions with four wonderfully trained performing horses. These horses will be in two separate stunning locations where they are photographed in two separate amazingly beautiful avenues of trees. We should have two white and two black horses. The horses will be photographed in various positions in the avenues. They will also walk on their back legs while their bodies are in an almost vertical position. These horses are a wonder to behold. The bond between them and their trainers is very, very special. The horses are so eager to please. They absolutely crave praise from the trainers and will do anything within their capabilities to receive it. They will also gallop towards you at high speed, both singly and in pairs. They really enjoy this and will sometimes skip and jump while running at full speed, which makes for some fantastic shots. We will also spend time taking some really detailed head-shots of these stunning horses in a darkened shed.
Maximum of Eight Clients per Tour
Photographers on Safari want to make this extension a very special event and do not want to compromise on your enjoyment of these sessions. We will limit the group to just 8 photographers so that everyone has the chance of shooting from a premium position. This does mean that this part of the trip is proportionally more expensive than the main tour. The cost of hiring the horses is split between 8 clients rather than the normal twelve clients. Those taking part will quickly appreciate that the benefits of a smaller group clearly outweigh the relative extra cost involved in providing these exclusive opportunities.
We have arranged the extension to our 2023 White Horses of the Camargue Tour. It will immediately precede the main trip. Priority will be given to those people who join us on the main tour. If there are spare places, then we will offer just the extension (without the main tour) if some clients find that preferable. The extension preceding the main tour must be filled prior to bookings being taken for the extension after the tour. Transport will be provided to and from Marseilles Airport at pre-scheduled departure times.
Typical Itinerary – March 2024
The order of the itinerary may change in order to make the best of the given lighting conditions. The content will, basically, remain the same.
Day One – Friday March 15th 2024
Arrive Marseilles. Transfer by minibus to our hotel in Saintes Maries de la Mer. Evening session photographing Horses in the dust. Overnight at La Palunette. B & B. Lunches and Dinners available at own expense.
Day Two – Saturday March 16th 2024
Morning sessions photographing performing Andalusian / Lusitano Horses. Breakfast followed by constructive critique on photographs from each person’s photographs from the last two sessions. Evening session photographing Horses in the dust. Overnight at La Palunette. B & B. Lunches and Dinners available at own expense.
Day Three – Sunday March 17th 2024
Morning sessions photographing performing Andalusian / Lusitano Horses, followed by indoor session taking portraits of the horses’ heads. Breakfast (provided we are back in time) followed by constructive critique on photographs from each person’s photographs from the last two sessions. Evening session photographing Horses in the dust. Overnight at La Palunette. B & B. Lunches and Dinners available at own expense.
Day Four – Monday March 18th 2024
Breakfast at hotel. Morning free in Saintes Maries de la Mer. Main Tour begins in afternoon at Bird Park.
We will be staying at the Hotel La Palunette. It is located about 1km from the centre of town. Rooms are simple but very clean and comfortable, each with a private shower & bathroom. There is also a television, a kettle and a fridge in each bedroom. We will have a late “brunch” after our morning photo sessions. For the three nights during the extension, dinner will be taken in at a restaurant in town after our evening shoot. We are able buy snacks from a nearby supermarket in town if anyone needs more food than that. Rooms are on a twin share basis, but customers will have the option to upgrade to a single room. Free Wifi is available in the restaurant/lounge area. The hotel’s website can be found at http://palunette.fr/hotel/
Dates & Cost
March 15th to March 18th 2024 £1999.00
Price excludes International airfare. We recommend British Airways flying from London to Marseilles.
Meals where indicated on the Itinerary above. Airport transfers to and from Marseilles Airport. Transfers to and from all photographic locations. All rooms are on a twin share basis. Single rooms available at extra cost if specified when paying your deposit.
Meals where NOT indicated on the Itinerary above. International flights. Tips and items of a personal nature.