"Fishermen on stilts, tea pickers in the morning mist, evening puja mass in the temple of Buddha’s Tooth … fantastic photo adventures are waiting for us in Sri Lanka"

Arne Hodalič


Explore and admire the land of spirits, gods, temples, elephants, tea plantations, fisheries and friendly local people.

Set in the Indian Ocean in South Asia, the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a history dating back to the birth of time. It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoilt.
Few places in the world can offer photographers such a remarkable combination of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, tea plantations and waterfalls, not to mention the Buddhist temples and other architectural masterpieces – some of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


  • Learn how to approach the unique challenges of travel and street photography. How to capture images of people in their natural environment and how to approach locations and subjects
  • Sigiriya – UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Polonnaruwa – remains of the king’s palace; Vatadage temple of worship; giant statue of the reclining Buddha
  • Dambulla – UNESCO World Heritage Site with 5 Buddhist temples, carved out of a rock
  • Nuwara Eliya – tea plantations
  • Kataragama – the local temple encloses all major religions in one huge complex
  • Weligama – photographing the typical local fishermen on “stilts”



  • Instruction and training in the best photography techniques, including personal hints and advice.
  • Composition and focus on lines, golden section, perspective, foreground, background and middle ground.
  • How to work in different lighting conditions.
  • Portrait photography techniques: depth of field, composition, selecting the best possible available light
  • HDR and blue light photography
  • Fill-in flash photography
  • How to handle equipment with care on location.
  • Private hands-on lessons that will help you take your photography skills to the next level.
  • How to approach local people in a natural way.
  • The secrets behind travel and street photography


  • Expert review and constructive critique/feedback of the images taken during the day.
  • On request, Lightroom and Photoshop course
  • Effective conversion to black and white using NIK Software
  • Panorama stitching
  • HDR post-production
  • Visual storytelling: Learn from the National Geographic Photo Editor-in-Chief how to bring your photos to life
  • A Better Moments Certified Photo Instructor is available during the entire workshop to help with camera settings, the basics of composition and to help in general
  • .




Upon arrival to Negombo you will be picked up at the airport and taken to our hotel.

After dinner Arne Hodalič will introduce the workshop and present his magnificent and inspiring work from Sri Lanka.

Participants (those who want to) submit seven of their photos for review by Arne.

Early next morning (5:30 AM) we drive to Lellama fish market, followed by breakfast in our hotel.

After checking out, we take our bus towards Anuradhapura and visit this ancient capital of the Singal kings. In the afternoon, we continue our journey towards Sigiriya.


In the 5th century, king Kasapa placed his high court and palace here in Sigiriya. Resting on a secluded, 180 meter high rock (the “Lion rock”), it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Royal gardens at the foot of the rock provide a glimpse into what was once a glamorous life style. Those who wish may climb to the top, where they will be rewarded with breath-taking views.

We continue our exploration of the past by visiting Polonnaruwa, also a UNESCO Heritage Site. The top attractions here include remains of the king’s palace, the 8 meters long and 4,5 meters high Stone Book (Gal Pota), the Vatadage temple of worship, the Gal Vihara temple with its giant statue of the reclining Buddha.

In the evening, we drive back to our hotel in Sigiriya.


After early breakfast, we head towards another UNESCO Heritage Site: Dambulla, a village with 5 Buddhist temples, carved out of a rock and decorated with numerous Buddha statues and pictures. This is a great place to practice our HDR photography skills.

We continue towards Kandy and check in to the hotel where we enjoy a few hours of rest before the busy evening photography session. At around 6 pm, we start our blue light photography at the Temple of the Tooth, followed by daily evening mass (puja).


Away from the temples and into the lush tea plantations and factories – a perfect contrast. We will focus on women working in the tea plantations and factories, which gives us a great opportunity to practice fill-in flash photography as well as panoramas.


After breakfast, we take the bus to Kataragama and check in to the hotel around noon. Enjoy some free time until 4pm, when we visit the local temple, which encloses all major religions in one huge complex. We stay until evening mass (puja) in the temple and have the opportunity to get some good street photography.


For those guests who are early birds, we get up at 3am and head back to the Kataragama temple – which at this hour is completely free of tourists and only the most devoted worshippers pray.

After breakfast, we stop first at a picturesque Weherahena Poorwarama temple. We check in to our hotel in Weligama. At around 4pm, we drive to the city of Galle – another UNESCO Heritage Site – for architectural photography, combined with blue light.


After breakfast, we photograph local stilts fishermen, balancing on poles to make their catch. The bus takes us to Colombo, arriving in the afternoon at the perfect time to photograph the Red Mosque.

Evening dinner will be accompanied by the selection of the best photos from the trip, submitted by the participants.


Transfer to the airport will be provided.


Sri Lanka


2.-10. February 2019
8 days



Arne Hodalič is the photo editor of National Geographic Magazine Slovenia. Originally studying biology in Ljubljana, his first trip to India in 1989 changed his professional career when his photos were published in a prestigious Swiss magazine, Animan. Since then he has travelled the world on photo-assignments. He is also a passionate adventurer and cave diver, participating in numerous sailing, mountaineering and caving expeditions. In 2008 he received an honorary doctorate at the University of Ljubljana, becoming a lecturer in photography and photojournalism. His photos and photo stories have appeared in books, exhibitions and many of the world’s most prestigious magazines, among others National Geographic Magazine, Life (USA), Time, Figaro Magazine, GEO, Paris Match, Marie Claire, Die Zeit, Cosmopolitan and Stern.



Number of guests: 8-16

Local transport: Bus
Exertion level: Easy 
Accommodation: Hotels 
Meals: All meals included
Type of photography: Travel, Landscape, Street, Portrait
Weather in March: Average 28 °C.
Guiding in: English, German and French


€4.595 per person in a shared double room

€4.995 per person in single room


Hotel accommodation with private bath and toilet
All meals and non-alcoholic beverages
Ground transport
Coaching, teaching, workshops and seminars


Transport to/from Colombo
Alcoholic beverages
Travel insurance



Bandaranaike International Airport is the main international airport serving Sri Lanka. It is located in a suburb of Negombo, 35 km north of the capital Colombo.


All visitors are required to have a passport valid for at least six months beyond the intended stay. All travellers must have Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for entering in to Sri Lanka. Visit www.eta.gov.lk for more information. It is the responsibility of each traveller to obtain all valid travel documents and visas before arrival at this destination.


March is the best overall month for optimum weather conditions in Sri Lanka and the last month before the second rainy season begins, with an average temperature of 28°C, high temperature 32°C (day) and low 24°C (night).


Sri Lanka has two official languages – Sinhala and Tamil – with English as a link language.


Check with your doctor which vaccinations or medications are recommended for this destination. Remember to plan well ahead with vaccinations. Allow up to six weeks to receive the full course, as some vaccinations require more than one dose, and some should not be given together.


Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR). Most hotels, restaurants and shopping centres accept credit cards. Money changers, banks and cash machines are available for withdrawals and exchange.


Sri Lanka fascinates with its unique beauty. Few places in the world can offer photographers such a remarkable combination of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, tea plantations, beautiful lakes and waterfalls, as well as Buddhist temples and other architectural masterpieces – some of which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
On this trip you will be able to explore and admire this tropical land of spirits, gods, temples, elephants, tea plantations, stilt fishing and friendly local people. It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoilt.