Why Tierra Photo Tours ?
- Exceptional photographic opportunities.
- Unique destinations.
- Smooth running holidays with excellent preparation.
- Travelling in low group size.
- Meet like-minded people.
- Guided by friendly, helpful and professional nature photographers.
- Guides are experts in nature and wildlife.
- Financial security by Tierra.
Tierra Photo Tours (department of Tierra cvba Lic Nr A5969) is a new travel company for the demanding nature and wildlife photographer. As the first and only specialized operator in Belgium we offer a program full of productive and rewarding nature and wildlife photography holidays to many different remarkable destinations all over Europe the whole year through!
For who ?
Tierra Photo Tours is designed for everybody who has a passion for nature and wildlife photography. The starting photographer will be pleased and stimulated with the shared knowledge and experience of the professional photographing guides, and the expert photographer will be happy to get the chances he needs to upgrade his photography to the next level, as well as during the trip as long afterwards!
Nobody needs to fear to be the only inexperienced or novice photographer amongst a group of experts, also age doesn’t cause any problems, as long as your health is reasonably good and you are able to walk at least small distances with some basic amount of (photo)gear.
Everybody is welcome, and will be accepted in an enjoyable small friendly group with a pleasant mix of people. Often there are also international photographers joining us. Everybody will enrich themselves, and that’s one of the reasons we like it so much to organize these holidays!
Physical efforts are mostly limited to walking from the car to the hide, which often doesn’t exceed several hundred meters. We will mention on the travel info when we will have walk big distances or participants will need to have a good condition. Feel free to ask us if you would have any doubts!
But most important of all, we ask you to have a healthy passion for photography outdoors, some sense for adventure and the ability to get on well with the other participants.
Which equipment ?
Most of the previous participants used lenses starting from 16mm up to 600mm. For bird photography from blinds or fixed hides these lenses are very popular: 300mm, 200-400mm and 500mm. These lenses should do the job, when you combine them with converters and camera’s with different sensor-size (full-frame, 1,3x, 1,5x, 1,6x,…). Tripods are essential when photographing for long periods from hides. You can never bring enough memory cards, and especially on longer journeys you will need to bring memory-tanks or external hard-drives and your laptop. On colder destinations, batteries are dead quite quick, so bring spare ones and don’t forget the charger (as well for your mobile phone).
Brands of cameras don’t matter anymore obviously, since it’s the person behind it that actually chooses to create the picture, but most people on our trips work with Dslr’s of Canon and Nikon, with a nice balance between both in numbers. Our guides have a good basic knowledge of each brand, and should be able to help you out with small problems. If you should decide to bring a brand new camera on your next voyage with us, please inform us and we the guide will do his best to study the specs before departure, so we can help you with exploring your new toy during the trip.
Videographers are also very welcome on our Tierra Photo Tours holidays, and will experience an unbelievable amount of opportunities to shoot authentic and surprising footage. Only problem could be the background noise, which will never be un-existing with photographers next to you…Putting a (camouflaged) microphone outside the hide always needs to be discussed with the guides, in order to prevent a risk of disturbance.
On some locations there is the possibility to rent some amount of lenses or tripods. You could also hire some gear to bring along on your holiday, to try out your dream-lens.
Where do we go ?
We carefully choose our destinations and we work closely with local guides, agents and photographers, who are willing to show us their best spots! This will give us excellent spectacles, without the need of long preparation or waiting for weeks on a row. We design an intensive program, which is alternated with pauses to rest, eat or downloading images, discussing the results, charge the batteries,…
It is our aim to provide everybody the best opportunities to get great shots, which will impress many others. Each tour is limited to a small group of photographers, so we can optimally use our time and the services provided by the local guides, and that will influence your enjoyment on our tour! A small group of photographer will cause much less risk of disturbance and everybody will have the chance to get a personal approach by the guide when assistance is wanted or needed.
Tierra Photo Tours holidays are carefully prepared and run smooth, efficient, productive and rewarding. However, every trip is a new adventure and when unannounced opportunities occur to photograph new things, we will be flexible and arrange our program to fulfill everybody’s needs if possible.
Our goals will be different on each trip, which will demand a specific approach. Some of our trips are based on hide-photography sessions, some will be combined with exploring the area, some will be boat-cruise trips,…Anyway, most of the days we will be offering an early start, when we can shoot with the best light conditions. Especially when we will have to enter hides before sunrise, so animals can’t see us enter, we will have to get up quite early! In some occasions we won’t be able to leave the hide before sunset, you will have to be prepared for that. These hides usually have a basic toilet and even a heating stove. However, in many situations we will be able to leave the hide in the late morning to have a break, a lunch or maybe even a siesta (or editing pictures….), before entering the same or another hide again for the late afternoon-session.
When photographing from hides we will have to be very careful, no loud talking, no shooting in long burst mode, no sudden movements with the lens,…all in order not to disturb the animals, which could cause leaving the area and not to turn back during that day or the following days…Everybody will get a few words on the ethics and the behavior in the hide before entering.
We do like to eat and sleep!
It will happen that our days are intense, but you will be happy for that! It is our aim you will enjoy the experience and will be pleased with the result. But we all do need a bite too, and we will make sure nobody will have to start the day with a full breakfast or without the packed lunch when we are planning to be out all day. When we work with morning and evening sessions we will have time to have a lunch in our accommodation or a local restaurant and a pause afterwards. Our evening diner is the time to sit back and relax, have a good local prepared meal, have a glass of wine, and talk about the day and the days to come! We will sleep in hotels or guesthouses with en-suite bathrooms wherever possible; chosen by us or our local guide. We like to stay in touch with local friendly people and stay in enjoyable authentic and comfortable places. This way we can also help sustain local economy, which is often also crucial to support local protection project for nature and wildlife.
Only if our goals or destinations do not allow any basic level of comfort or luxury, we will tell you so in our information sheet of that trip.
Access to electricity to charge batteries and WIFI networks are almost always available.
On our abroad trips, we will try to book flights on the same plan of course, but it’s good to book your trip at Tierra Photo Tours as quickly as possible to get a cheaper ticket and the guarantee to all sit in the same plane.
Transport on our destination mostly happens in small vans, with either our local guide or agent is driving or the Tierra Photo Tours guide is driving. Since we always travel in small groups, there will be plenty of space in the car for everybody.
What about the partner ?
Non-photographing partners who want to join you on our Tierra Photo Tours trips are very welcome, even if they don’t really share the obsession, but do have some basic interest in being outdoors. Do give us a call or email if you would have any doubts.
Most of our destinations are remote areas, where we will not find any cultural nor historical interests. Good public transport is also very often a problem, if you should decide to wander around on your own to a nearby city or attraction.
On the other hand, our accommodation are often located on very nature-rich and peaceful areas, where it will be no problem to relax and to have walks in the open. And who knows, maybe our guides will inspire and stimulate you during a small introduction into the exciting world of nature photography!
It is advised to have an additional travel insurance above the personal insurance. Some destinations will require an additional option on your classic travel insurance (like Svalbard,…)
Which guarantees ?
Every nature photographer knows that patience finally pays off, but it is important to stay realistic when it comes to high expectations. We are not responsible for conditions that will turn our chances, like bad weather, animals that don’t show up or just briefly. But of course, we wouldn’t bring you along if we didn’t knew that our risk is kept as low as possible, because we selected our destinations thoroughly after we tried them out ourselves.
We will always show our greatest respect towards nature and wildlife, and we will never cause harm to get a picture. We will keep disturbance as low as possible, and we ask from each participant an appropriate behavior.
That said, does not mean we will act like a teacher, we will take it easy and most important of all, we want you to have a nice holiday!
Hmmm, expensive no ?
Tierra Photo tours holidays are not really cheap, that’s true, but that has everything to do with the guarantee and reliability we want to offer. First of all, to provide you good photographic opportunities and secondly, to ensure we will not cancel the trip because of possible relatively few participants.
We work closely with local guides and agents, who put a lot of effort behind the scenes in creating the best chances. So you can trust us if we say that you can look forward to your next Tierra Photo Tours holidays, and that you will get to shoot lots of stunning images which will make it yet another amazing experience!
Since we travel in group we can share or bargain prices for rental cars, hotels, restaurants. As an individual you are also going to pay higher fees, or you can end up in a group of strangers who will make decisions for their people unable to follow your requests.
We will do all the worrying for you and look after everything, so you can have a qualitative all-included and relaxing photographic holiday!
Well, actually Tierra Photo Tours does not have an office, but we are a department of Tierra, and they have an office located in Leuven, Belgium. That makes that virtually you can always reach one of us; you can reach Tierra during office hours on 0032(0)16255616 and in emergencies on the Alarm nr 0032496455937. Also have a look on their website www.tierra.be or go and get yourself a coffee in their Bio-coffee-bar in the railway station of Leuven!
Tierra Photo Tours actually exists out of our guides, so reaching us could be a problem sometimes, when each guide is abroad. But please send us an email on the contact page, and we will get back to you as soon as possible!
Who are the guides ?
Our friendly and competent Tierra Photo Tours leaders are experience guides and highly skilled photographers. They know their destinations, they know how to recognize and how to photograph wildlife, and what kind of gear you need. They are all passionate about nature and photography, and they will definitely inspire and stimulate you, and make sure you have a great time!
More questions ?
We like to chat about our beloved destinations and holidays, and about its photographic opportunities. We listen with attention to all your needs and we can say we are quite specialized in offering flexible solutions for every kind of questions or problems.
You will notice that we have a very friendly and helpful spirit and we are looking forward to put our time in talking about everything you want to know about a next holiday with us!
Yves Adams (Waregem, Belgium °1978): Founder and most active guide of Tierra Photo Tours. He started bird watching and photographing nature and wildlife when he was twelve, and started photographing professionally at the age of twenty-four. During his photographic career he explored numerous destinations to find rare animals, plants or landscapes. He loves to concentrate on hard to see species and work with them for an extended time. Landscape photography has become a passion during all the time outdoors.
In the last years he has been intensively organizing very successful trips for friends and colleagues. In 2010 he started a cooperation with Tierra (www.tierra.be) and created Tierra Photo Tours.
Yves has a personal website if you want to see his work: www.yvesadams.be