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Borneo Macrophotography Masterclass

Borneo Macrophotography Masterclass

4575€ (à partir de) par personne

During this trip, we will guide you into the rainforest night and day and help you discover the awesome invertebrate fauna of Borneo : insects unlike any you have ever seen, spiders, fluorescent scorpions and even crabs !

But not only that. You will also have the opportunity to photograh amphibians and reptiles, plants, monkeys, birds and landscapes… The Borneo rainforest is a biodiversity heaven in particular at night when all the hidden life reveals itself to the photographer. And maybe if we are patient or lucky, we may encounter an Orangutang !


Beyond a simple workshop we are offering a comprehensive macrophotography Masterclass which we have tailored to allow you to bring back unique images and to help you grow your technique to another level.

Each day a different mini workshop will be proposed, focusing on a specific macrophoto topic : studio, off-camera flash, white background, focus stacking, backlighting or UV illumination will be some of these techniques. And you will be able to immediately put them in application during our evening outings  !

Finally, do not let your images remain buried in the depths of your hard disks : we will show you how to optimize your workflow, select and process quickly your best images, how to use them in digital, design and more than anything how to highlight them on Internet, social media and your own website ! Give more visibility to your images and bring them to the widest possible audience, for the recognition they deserve.

And all of that of course in idyllic tropical settings and a friendly atmosphere filled with our shared passion for macrophoto and the beauty of the natural world !

March 9th, 2023                        Lahad Datu – Danum Valley Field Center

March 10th at 12th, 2023              Danum Valley Field Center

March 13th at 16th, 2023            Sukau – Kinabatanga River – Borneo Nature Lodge

March 17th, 2023                    Borneo Nature Lodge – Sepilok – Sandakan Airport.



Key strengths :
  • Unique and exclusive program : a tremendous wildlife experience, and the opportunity to bring your photography to an entirely different level
  • Guided by 2 professionnals with varied expertise
  • Denis Palanque : internationally recognized wildlife and nature photographer
  • Pierre Escoubas : biologist and macrophotography expert
  • 8 workshops throughout the stay with very specific themes on macro-photography.
  • Destination
  • Départ / Retour
    Paris - Lahad Datu
  • Départ
    March 9th, 2023
  • Retour
    March 17th, 2023
Formation of the group at the Lahad Datu airport (Sabah Province, Malaysia) at the arrival of the Kota Kinabalu flight.
Pickup by our private guide and car transfer to Danum Valley. The trip (ca. 2 hours) starts on a paved road then continues on a gravel road / track. Along the track we will have the opportunity to observe wild fauna.
Arrival at the Danum Valley Field Center (DVFC), installation in our rooms and lunch. We will conduct a briefing about the Masterclass, and review individual equipment.
WORKSHOP 1 : Flash lighting and how to diffuse flash lighting in macrophoto : making and using a diffuser.
After dinner, night outing close to our rooms to familiarize ourselves with night macrophoto and tune up our gear.
Night at Danum Valley Field Center.
Morning macro outing on one of the forest trails.
Return to DVFC at the end of the morning and lunch.
WORKSHOP 2 : backlighting in night macrophoto, UV macrophoto in the field and in the studio.
After dinner, night outing and practical use of the workshop techniques
Night at Danum Valley Field Center.
Optional : sunrise on Danum Valley from the observation tower. Rise before breakfast, short 4WD drive to the tower, rainforest canopy and sunrise photography, then return to DVFC for breakfast.
Morning macro outing and return to DVFC for lunch.
WORKSHOP 3 : The macrophoto studio and off-camera flash techniques. White background macrophoto in the "Meet Your Neighbours" style.
After dinner, night outing. Night at Danum Valley Field Center.
Morning macro outing.
Alternately, a long forest trek can be organized for those interested in exploring the rainforest of Danum Valley. With a guide you will be able to walk the 5km Rhino trail. This trek allows for a deeper exploration of the forest and the opportunity to observe many different plants and animals (for good trekkers).
Lunch at DVFC and rest.  
WORKSHOP 4 : Focus stacking : equipments, shooting technique and basic use of stacking software (Photoshop and Helicon focus).
After dinner, night outing.
Night at Danum Valley Field Center.
After breakfast, we leave Danum Valley at 08h00 and head to Sukau (Kinabatangan river) for the second part of our trip. After road trip of ca 4 hours, a short boat transfer takes us to the Sukay River Lodge (SRL). We settle in our rooms and have lunch.
WORKSHOP 5 : Photographic workflow and post-processing : how to manage, save and backup images, basic use of Lightroom and Photoshop for processing RAW images.
At the end of the afternoon, first boat excursion on the Kinabatangan river to observe the wild fauna : birds, reptiles and Proboscis monkeys. Return to the lodge before sunset.
After dinner, night outing. Night at Sukau River Lodge.
At sunrise, we leave for another boat excursion on the Kinabatangan river and the Kelenanap Ox-Bow lake, to observe the wild fauna just after sunrise. After a short forest walk, back to the lodge for breakfast.
The rest of the morning is dedicated to macrophotography around the lodge or used to rest until lunch time.
WORKSHOP 6 : Showing and valorizing your images on Internet : social media, web site creation, optimizing visibility. How to build an online presence as a photographer ?
At the end of the afternoon another boat outing will allow us to photograph birds and monkeys on the river.
After dinner, night outing. Night at Sukau Rainforest Lodge.
Morning and afternoon possibility of boat excursions on the Kinabatangan river to observe the wild fauna. In parallel we conduct either macrophoto outings around the lodge, or studio macrophoto sessions with animals captured nearby.
During the last two days we organize our photo planning according to individual requests in order to personalize the photographic experience and to offer and individual focus on the various techniques learned during the Masterclass.
WORKSHOP 7 : Macrovideography : how to capture "macro" videos in the studio and in the field : equipments, lighting constraints. Realization of mini video clips by the participants.
Afternoon boat ride and dinner.
After dinner, night outing. Night at Sukau Rainforest Lodge.
Morning and afternoon possibility of boat excursions on the Kinabatangan river to observe wild fauna.
Macro outing, walk in the forest and free time.
WORKSHOP 8 : Critique photo : presenation of images by the participants and critique / remarks by the instructors. Miscellaneous questions and debriefing of the Masterclass.
Free time. Night at Sukau Rainforest Lodge.
We depart the Lodge at 07h00 heading to Sepilok. In Sepilok we visit the Orangutang rehabilitation center, where the meal of the animals is served at 10h00. This allow us to observe the primates and conduct a photo session.
Depending on the time remaining, we may also be able to visit the Sun Bear Conservation Center located nearby.
After lunch, we drive to the Sandakan airport to catch our return flight to Kota Kinabalu or Kuala Lumpur. End of the Masterclass.

2023 prices per adult person sharing a double room :

9 days and 8 nights, without flight.

From March 9th to 17th, 2023 :

Price based on 4 participants :  6 470 € Price based on 5 participants :  5 700 € Price based on 6 participants :  5 200 € Price based on 7 participants :  4 850 € Price based on 8 participants :  4 575 €

  • Reception at the airport on your arrival by our local partner in Lahad Datu (airport code LDU) : plan to arrive befort 9:00 a.m
  • Services of 2 photographers : Denis Palanque and Pierre Escoubas
  • Masterclass workshops led by Vie Sauvage photographers : teaching, advice, practice and criticicism 
  • Services of local English speaking naturalist guides in each hotel
  • Nights in double, triple or twin rooms according to the program
  • 4 nights : Lodge Danum Valley Field Centre (or similar) on full board
  • 4 nights : Sukau Rainforest Lodge (or similar) on full board
  • Full board and meals as mentioned in the program (from lunch on day 1 to breakfast on day 9)
  • Services of a local English speaking driver guide
  • Visits and excursions mentioned in the program
  • Entrance fees to parks and reserves mentioned in the program
  • Transfers as mentioned in the program
  • International and regional flights (arrival at Lahad Datu, airport code LDU, and return from Sandakan, airport code SDK)
  • All visits and excursions not mentioned in the program
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • Tips to guides, drivers, porters throughout the tour
  • Local photographic taxes
  • Tourist tax of 10 MYR / night / room (around 2€)
  • The small group supplement (under 6 participants)
  • CAP EXPLORER insurance (cancellation, multirisk, assistance or additional CB)

Your instructors

Denis Palanque : Denis is a professional photographer specialized in Conservation, Nature and Science photography, as well as a speaker and educator. His double background as a biologist and photographer allows him to approach his subjects with the dual naturalist and scientific competences needed for in-depth understanding of his mission. But he also has the artistic sensitivite needed for the production of great pictures.
For Denis, Nature photography must be more than ever associated with conservation. "Our photography projects are not only meant to convey a simple message or information packaged in a pleasing image, but our photos must incite the viewer to question his role and his relationship to Nature". Denis collaborates with magazines such as Terre Sauvage or National Geographic France and his images are distributed by Naturagency, Hémis and Nature Picture Library. He also works for Museums, research institutions and international conservation agencies. For the past 10 years he has created and led educational workshops, and photo tours worldwide. Denis is a member of the ILCP (International League of Conservation Photographers) and ambassador for the Cokin filters brand.
Pierre Escoubas : Pierre is both a career scientist with a PhD in Bilogy and a keen self-taught photographer, specialized in macrophotography. Photography has always been a major asset for him during his academic career and has allowed him to document and illustrate his research work on natural products and animal venoms for more than 30 years. His images have been used in congress communications, and have illustrated scientific papers, field missions reports, press articles and books.
Since 2014, Pierre has been professionally developing his photographic work. He is an active member of the International consortium Meet Your Neighboors, and uses his images to promote the importance of local fauna and flora conservation for the largest possible audience. He also uses his skills to support various biodiversity and conservation projects. He has organized exhibitions, writes chronicles and papers on biodiversity and leads macrophotography workshops. Pierre also works as en expedition photographer. In 2018 he joined Taxon Expeditions, bringing to the team his field biology and photography skills, and realized the complete media coverage of several expeditions. He is also an ambassador for IRIX lenses.
Pierre lives on the French Riviera and sees the world as his garden. Inveterate traveler, his various activities have led him to visit all continents from the rainforest of French Guiana and Borneo, to the coral reefs of Polynesia. His pictures are distributed by Nature Picture Library.