Trip Overview

In this COSTA RICA trip you will master how to photograph birds and birds in flight

  1. Learn how to master birds in flight, one of the hardest subjects in wildlife photography
  2. This trip is a unique chance to learn how to use flash 
  3. Learn long lens techniques
  4. Dozens of macro photography opportunities
  5. Enjoy the biggest raptor migration in all of the American continents!
  6. Sleep in a wildlife refuge: 600 hectares of pristine jungle

Trip Description

Tropical Birds & Deep Jungle Adventure

This trip to Costa Rica has been created to cater to everyone that wants to obtain a radical improvement in their wildlife photography skills. We are currently the ONLY photography company in Puerto Viejo (Costa Rica) offering these trips. Do not miss this chance to come to the setting where the first two movies of Jurassic Park were filmed! It´s the second area in the world with most biodiversity AFTER the amazon for a reason...

In this trip, you will commence photographing in the jungle, inside the wildlife refuge that Rainforest Animals Rescue Group (RARG) manages in Puerto Viejo. You will master how to photograph birds, one of the hardest subjects in wildlife photography, and you will have the chance to capture the seasonal migratory birds that cross Puerto Viejo in this time of the year. Birds are the focus, but you will also be able to photograph crocodiles, insects, frogs and the iconic Costa Rican red-eyed tree frog. And remember, you are in the middle of the jungle, so you can ncounter any type of animal just by walking a few minutes.

Day 1- Saturday 12th August 2017

Travel to San José (Costa Rica) and arrival to Puerto Viejo

Arrival to Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose where you'll meet Finn and Fabián from Rainforest Animal Rescue Group (RARG). Transfer to Wildlife Refuge.

Day 2- Sunday 13th August

Intense day! Photography near the alligator pond, wildlife ID techniques, crocodile safari, macro photography and astrophotography

What an intense and exciting day! You´ll warm up by taking photos near a pond where a caiman can normally be found (don't be scared, it's very safe). Finn and Fabian will provide an introduction to wildlife ID skills, so that you are able to identify the animals that you photograph. This will be followed by a crocodile safari. In addition, we will spend the night photographing insects with a back lighted sheet (this is how entomologists catch and photograph insects, spiders and other creepy crawlies). AND you will be able to photograph the night sky from our refuge. The refuge is in an area with absolutely no light pollution, just imagine how fantastic the milky way looks in this setting!

Day 3- Monday 14th August 

Camera trapping and night safari

Finn and Fabian will explain you how to place camera traps properly. We will enjoy a relaxing dinner in the refuge and we will ´suffer`another night safari (by now, you will be used to them and we know that you will be looking forward to them).

Day 4- Tuesday 15th August

Wildlife Photography Competition in jungle refuge, Lightroom and Photoshop tuition

This is a repetition of day 8 Wildlife Photography Competition in jungle refuge, Lightroom and Photoshop tuition.

Day 5- Wednesday 16th August 

Photography tuition by Molly Ferrill, bird photography techniques by Rafael Salvador, night safari.

Molly Ferrill will provide photography advice on documentary composition, lighting, shutter speeds, etc. Rafael will then pick up the baton and he will teach you specialized autofocusing techniques to help you photograph even the fastest birds in flight. The day will finalise with a night safari, where Finn and Fabián will bring you to photograph kingfishers and other nocturnal animals.

Day 6- Thursday 17th August

Hide photography and birds in flight day

After an early breakfast this morning we will all go into the jungle to shoot from hides. Toucans, hummingbirds, macaws, are just a few of the subjects we can photograph. The afternoon will be spent in the fantastic ARA Project, where everyone will enjoy capturing photos of birds in flight. This can be very tricky! The macaws fly very fast, they move to places with patches of shade and light, and you'll need to learn how to use your flash properly. Leave this to us!

Day 7- Friday 18th August

Seashore birds day

This day is better described with an actual list of the unique birds that you can encounter:

- Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)

- Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens)

- Herons (various sp)

- Sandpipers (various sp)

- Kingfishers (various sp)

- Stilts (various sp)

- Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

- Common Black Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus)

- Vultures (various sp)

Day 8- Saturday 19th August

River birds day 

We´ll Rent a boat and go in the Moin River (Limon) which is part of the Tortuguero river system, known as the amazonas of Costa Rica. This is an amazing location and one of the few places where you have a chance to spot a jaguar!

Birds:

- Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga)

- Bare-throated Tiger heron (Tigrisoma mexicanus)

- Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias)

- Boat-billed Heron (Cochelearius cochlearius)

- More Herons... (various sp)

- Egrets (various sp)

- Tucans (various sp)

- Parrots (various)

- Ducks (various sp)

- Spoonbills and Ibises

- Hawks and Eagles (various sp)

- Falcons (various sp)

- Oropendela / Montezumas (Psarocolius montezuma)

- Jacanas

- Limpkin

- Sungrebes

- Kingfisher (various sp)

Reptiles:

- Central American Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus fuscus)

- Green Iguana (Iguana iguana)

- Green Basilisk / Jesus Christ Lizard (Basiliscus plumifrons)

- Colubrids (various sp)

- Freshwater turtles (Various species)

Mammals:

- Jaguar (Panthera onca)

- Neotropical River Otter (Lutra longicaudis)

- Mantled Howler Monkey (Alouatta palliata)

- White-throated Capuccin (Cebus capucinus )

- Central American Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroy)

And many more….

Day 9- Sunday 20th August

Migratory bird day 

Birdwatching from a bird observatory tower in Kekoldi Indigenous reserve. We'll photograph birds from a hide and we'll improve our long lens and zoom lens techniques. Enjoy America's biggest raptor migration!

Several thousand vultures:

- Black Vulture

- Turkey Vulture

- King Vulture

Hawks:

- Common Black Hawk

- Great Black Hawk

- White Hawk

- Crane Hawk

- Tiny Hawk

- Bicolored Hawk

- Roadside Hawk

- Broad-winged Hawk

- Short-tailed Hawk

- Swainson´s Hawk

- Northern Harrier

- Semiplumbeus Hawk

Eagles:

- Ornate Hawk-Eagle

- Black Hawk-Eagle

- Crested Eagle

- Solitary Eagle

Falcons:

- Red-throated Caracara

- American Kestrel

- Merlin

- Bat Falcon

- Peregrine Falcon

- Laughing Falcon

- Barred Forest Falcon

- Slaty-backed Forest Falcon

- Collared Forest Falcon

Day 10- Monday 21st August

Wildlife photography competition in the jungle and frog night safari

We conclude this trip with the best we have to offer: a wildlife photography competition inside our refuge! You'll roam freely inside the Costa Rican deep jungle and we´ll all work together to help you achieve amazing photos of all the wildlife that you will certainly spot walking in the rainforest or close to our refuge. We finish our adventures with a night safari, where we'll walk around the pond near the refuge to spot some of the most iconic frogs of the country, such as the bull frog and the Costa Rican red-eyed tree frog.

Day 11- Tuesday 22nd August

Return home

We will return to San José and we'll embark into the airplane that will bring us all back home.

Recommended gear

  • ANY CAMERA. But be aware that we recommend full frame cameras for landscape and macro, and cropped sensor cameras for shooting action such as wildlife.
  • A telephoto zoom, such as a 70-200, 70-300, 100-400 or an 150-600.
  • A wide angle lens, such as a 16-35, or a general purpose lens with wide angle capabilities, such as a 24-105 or a 24-70.
  • A macro lens or a diopter such as a Canon 250D to use with a telephoto zoom
  • A circular polarizer that fits your wide angle lens
  • Graduated neutral density filters or your preferred filters. 
  • An E-TTL/i-TTL Flash
  • A sync cord for your flash. An extra flash might be useful for macro and/or if the first flash stops working.
  • A cable release for long exposures
  • A flash diffuser such as a softbox, and a Better Beamer
  • Flash bracket to hold your flash off-camera
  • Rain protection for all your camera gear and for yourself (rain covers)
  • Silica gel bags
  • A smaller camera bag
  •  Lens cleaning tools, (be careful and bring your sensor cleaned before arriving to each destination).

Trip Inclusions

Meals: Up to three meals per day are included in the price for this module.

THIS ITINERARY INCLUDES

• Accommodation as specified

• Meals as specified

• Transportation as specified w/private driver in shuttle

• Professional, full-time photo instruction from lead photographers Molly Ferrill and Rafael Salvador and additional assistance from Tom Stables and Alex Laberge.

• Entrances and fees for all described activities

• Up to 6 head lamps for the first 6 people that book a module/s

• Taxes for all specified services

THIS ITINERARY DOES NOT INCLUDE

• Airplane tickets

• Airport departure tax (£24, may be included in the price of your plane ticket. Check your airline)

• Beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic

• Non-mealtime snacks

• Room supplements for other people

• Return transport from Puerto Viejo to San José airport (can be provided upon request, once in Puerto Viejo)

Recommended gear

  • ANY CAMERA. But be aware that we recommend full frame cameras for landscape and macro, and cropped sensor cameras for shooting action such as wildlife.
  • A telephoto zoom, such as a 70-200, 70-300, 100-400 or an 150-600.
  • A wide angle lens, such as a 16-35, or a general purpose lens with wide angle capabilities, such as a 24-105 or a 24-70.
  • A macro lens or a diopter such as a Canon 250D to use with a telephoto zoom
  • A circular polarizer that fits your wide angle lens
  • Graduated neutral density filters or your preferred filters. 
  • An E-TTL/i-TTL Flash
  • A sync cord for your flash. An extra flash might be useful for macro and/or if the first flash stops working.
  • A cable release for long exposures
  • A flash diffuser such as a softbox, and a Better Beamer
  • Flash bracket to hold your flash off-camera
  • Rain protection for all your camera gear and for yourself (rain covers)
  • Silica gel bags
  • A smaller camera bag
  •              Lens cleaning tools, (be careful and bring your sensor cleaned before arriving to each destination).

Trip Date & Price

Action
Departure Dates
Price (Per person)
Trip Status
13-08-2017
£2100
Available

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