Connecting with God through the Lens
Encountering God through the Lens - an accompanied photographic pilgrimage to Uganda
25 January to 5 February 2018
Led by Walter Dirks and Chris Dobson, this trip is an opportunity to develop your photographic skills as part of a spiritual journey of discovery.
Each morning there will be a guided reflection to lead us into the day before we go out together to capture images of the life and worship of those we encounter. Throughout the trip we will have the chance to engage with the people, landscape and wildlife of Uganda offering a once off opportunity to feel the heartbeat of the beautiful land.
There will be one to one and group photographic tuition by Walter Dirks and Chris Dobson helping us to learn more about how our cameras work; working with light and composition; portraits and landscapes; street photography. The emphasis will also be on learning together as each person coming will have their own skills and experience to share. No previous level of ability is needed, just a desire to learn.
During the day there will be opportunities to develop your editing skills further with tuition in using Photoshop and how to edit RAW and Jpeg files.
In the evenings we will share the photos we have taken and have the opportunity for gentle learning and advice from Walter Dirks.
Special input will come from Sherry McKelvie, one of the best bird and wildlife photographers in East Africa and from Geoff Walker from New Zealand who is one of the prestigious Creative Ambassadors for Adobe and resident in Gulu, Northern Uganda.
After the pilgrimage we will be working with Erica Bebb from Christ Church, Clifton to put together a travelling exhibition showcasing what we discover and record as part of our celebration of the 50th anniversary of the partnership.
The cost will be approximately £1,300 per person plus flights booked independently – please note this is not a ‘package tour’ so we will each be responsible for our own insurance, etc. and we will simply facilitate the bookings on your behalf. If you book flights through Key Travel we can arrange for you to have charity rates as part of the Diocese of Bristol which gives flexibility over travel arrangements in case plans have to change.
For more information please contact Chris Dobson either by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or using the contact form at the bottom of this page.
Thursday 25 January
Depart Bristol on Brussels Airways 6.05am, arriving in Entebbe at 8.20pm and overnight at the Boma Hotel, Entebbe
Friday 26 January
Travel to Kampala
Street photography in Kampala or Bird photography with Sherry McKelvie
Overnight with friends in Kampala
Saturday 27 January
Guided photography walks in and around Kampala, working alongside street children in their contexts in partnership with Re-Trak, concluding with the sunset from Namirembe Hill
Transfer to Luwero Guesthouse for the night.
Sunday 28 January
Attend services in the morning in Luwero. Afternoon transfer to Semakule, where we will overnight in village homes. Guided walk around the village in the evening meeting local people and watching the sun set.
Monday 29 January
Sunrise village walk.
Return to Luwero for evening and night.
Tuesday 30 January
Travel to Gulu with a visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary on the way. At Ziwa we will walk in the game reserve with rangers to spend time alongside a group of protected wild rhinos.
Overnight in Gulu at the Churchill Courts Hotel / Diocesan Guest House
Wednesday 31 January
Photo walk with Geoff Walker, Adobe Creative Ambassador, and overnight at the Churchill Courts Hotel.
Thursday 1 February
Visit to Refugee camp and rural areas on the way.
Overnight in Gulu.
Friday 2 February
Travel to Murchison Falls National Park – Heritage Safari Lodge
Evening game drive to capture wildlife as the sun sets
Saturday 3 February
Full day in Murchison, guided ranger walk and/ or boat trip to view birds at the Nile delta
Sunday 4 February
Full day in Murchison Falls, including game drives.
Monday 5 February
Return to Entebbe in time to catch the 9.55pm flight back to Bristol
Tuesday 6 February
Arrive Bristol 10.05am
Walter is a Canadian by birth and a celebrated photographer based in Bristol. A Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society he has been a professional photographer for over 40 years. He has photographed landscapes, portraits and buildings all over the world, from children in displacement camps to world leaders.
He writes: ‘I am motivated to show the essence of whatever the subject matter and "tell the truth attractively"…be it a building, event, product or person. My work is characterised by clarity, attention to detail, careful use of light and intuitive composition.’
Walter is also a gifted Jazz musician and plays in the worship team at his home church of Christ Church, Clifton.
Sherry is a photographer and pilot based in Kampala, in her own words her ‘aim is to share my love of wildlife, tell stories with my photos, and share the incredible colours and shapes of nature's miracles.’
Her garden in Kampala is a haven for numerous birds that come and visit her trees offering wonderful opportunities for photographs.
Geoff is originally from Wairarapa, New Zealand and now lives in a village community in Gulu, Uganda with his Ugandan family. He specialises in life, people, documentary and landscape images. His work highlighting the effects of Nodding Syndrome on the lives of young people in Northern Uganda has featured recently in National Geographic and he is an Adobe Creative Ambassador. He organises and leads photographic walks in the Gulu area.
Chris is the Global Partnerships Adviser for the Diocese of Bristol. Ordained in 1989 he has ministered in the UK and Zimbabwe. He grew up in Uganda and has led trips to Africa many times. Over the last 8 years he has been developing his skills as a photographer doing commissions for charities and churches as well as the occasional wedding for friends.