Taking great shots of hummingbirds in which you freeze their wings is very difficult -- unless you know how to do it. Once you understand the technique, this will be the easiest bird photography you've ever done. You sit in a chair (with a drink in hand if you want), and snap the shutter. Jim sets up the light stands, the flash units, and the background, and all you do is take incredible pictures. Costa Rica has some of the world's most beautiful hummers, and it's an exciting experience to capture them with tack sharp clarity.
In addition, one day is spend photographing tropical amphibians and reptiles native to Costa Rica. Frogs, snakes, basilisks, iguanas and more will make this experience an unforgettable one. Past participants have told me this was one of the highlights of the trip.
The lodges we use have beautiful gardens where you can do macro work, and many species of birds and butterflies are constantly present. Costa Rica is a nature photographer's dream come true.
Limited to 9 people
TOUR COST: $3495
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT (if you want your own room): $750
Price includes all hotels/lodges, all ground transportation, all meals, use of flash equipment for the hummingbird setups, photo instruction, and critiques.
Does not include international airfare, items of a personal nature, departure tax of $28. A visa is not required for US and Canadian citizens.
Day 1, Saturday, Nov. 30: We depart from home and arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica. We transfer to our hotel where you can spend the afternoon photographing the beautiful botanical garden on the grounds of the hotel. In the late afternoon or early evening, Jim will present a slide program in which he explains the technical and artistic aspects of hummingbird photography. Overnight at Hotel Bougainvillea.
Day 2, Sunday, Dec. 1: This morning we drive to Bosque de Paz, arriving for lunch. We spend the afternoon photographing hummers on the lodge grounds in three different setups. Other species of birds are commonplace also, and in a single afternoon you will take some great images. Overnight at Bosque de Paz lodge.
Day 3, Monday, Dec. 2: The entire day is devoted to hummingbird photography at Bosque de Paz or Toro Waterfall. The waterfall itself is stunning, and you will want to photograph it from the restaurant terrace as well as from the bottom. Both views are great. Overnight at Bosque de Paz lodge.
Day 4, Tuesday, Dec. 3: After breakfast, we drive to the Mt. Arenal area, stopping for photography and lunch en route at a macaw farm. We arrive at the hotel in late afternoon. From the hotel terrace, we have a spectacular view of the mountain (it's not active at the moment), and there are dozens of species of birds that are within telephoto range because of the fruit the hotel places at feeders to bait the birds. Tropical flowers are everywhere, and this is a good chance to do some wonderful macro work. Overnight at Arenal Observatory Lodge.
Day 5, Wednesday, Dec. 4: Today we spend our time at the reptile zoo to photograph many of Costa Rica's indigenous species of snakes, frogs, basilisks, and more. It's a special experience, and everyone gets award-winning shots. Overnight at Arenal Observatory Lodge.
Day 6, Thursday, Dec. 5 After breakfast, we depart for San Jose, stopping en route for lunch at the iguana bridge restaurant. You will see dozens of common iguanas, some very large, hanging out in the trees and coming in very close to eat the vegetables the restaurant people provide to attract the reptiles. It's a great opportunity to capture amazing pictures of these imposing reptiles. Overnight at Hotel Bougainvillea where you can take more pictures in their botanical garden.
Day 7, Friday, Dec. 6: This morning we transfer to the airport for flight home.