Costa Rica Workshop, April 26 - May 3, 2024 (COMPLETED)

Costa Rica Workshop, April 26 - May 3, 2024 (COMPLETED)

Regular price $6,995.00 Sale

If you would like to be notified for our 2025 Costa Rica workshop, join the waitlist via email.

You won’t find a more biodiverse place on the planet than the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, and it is that diversity that makes it such an amazing playground for a photo workshop. In this special, 12-person workshop, you will find no lack of subjects, from birds in flight (and at rest), to monkeys, crocodiles and other animals. And the rainforest itself, with its rivers, waterfalls and rugged coastline will provide a wealth of photographic opportunities.

During the workshop, we will be joined by my good friends David Archer and Rick LePage, and a fantastic local guide, Dennis Valverde. David is an amazing wildlife photographer who has explored and photographed the Osa extensively. Dennis knows the peninsula and its wild inhabitants like the back of his hand and is a phenomenal wildlife photographer in his own right. We are so fortunate to have this team leading our workshop. Together, we will teach you the ins and outs of wildlife, macro, flash and landscape photography in one of the most incredible locations on Earth. If you are looking for unbelievable wildlife opportunities and the chance to hone your photographic skills, this workshop can’t be beat.

During the workshop, we will stay at the luxurious new Botanika Resort at Crocodile Bay and photograph primates, birds, reptiles and amphibians from boats, cars and on foot. All lodging, breakfasts at Botanika and transportation within Costa Rica is included as part of the workshop fee, and if desired, we have options for non-photographer spouses or friends who would also like to explore this area of Costa Rica with you.

Costa Rica as a Location and the Workshop Format
We will travel from location to location photographing wildlife, landscapes and culture. The focus will be on putting ourselves in dramatic yet accessible locations with spectacular wildlife and exploring basic and advanced photographic techniques through in-the-field demonstration. For alumni of my prior workshops the format will be a bit different. We will still try to have as many image critiques of the previous day’s work as possible, but lessons will be primarily in the field instead of the classroom.

What differentiates the Osa Peninsula from other wildlife locations is the scale of biodiversity and wealth of wildlife subjects. There will be no lack of subjects to practice a variety of disciplines with from macro/flash photography to birds in flight. And the rainforest offers plenty of landscape options for you to explore.

The locations we will focus on are accessible even for those with limited hiking stamina. The bulk of our work will be easily accessible from the road or boats. Having Rick, David and I instructing will let us trade off, with some of us accompanying those who wish to take short hikes and others staying for those who don’t wish to hike.

Tentative Course Schedule

April 26: Arrive in Costa Rica (Travel Day)

  • Arrive in San Jose. Transport will meet you.
  • Check into Hilton Garden Inn San Jose La Sabana for one-night stay before flying to Crocodile Bay.

April 27: Fly to Crocodile Bay

  • Meet and greet, with guided resort property tour.
  • Discussion about Costa Rica as a location, weather check and orientation.
  • Overview about photographing wildlife, camera settings and technique.
  • Image reviews

April 28: Safari in Matapalo Rainforest

  • We will spend the day driving safari-style, photographing the monkeys, sloths, birds, and other creatures on route to the waterfalls and spectacular beaches of Matapalo in the southern part of Corcovado National Park. 
  • Lunch at a local family-run restaurant on route.
  • Return to Crocodile Bay for Q&A, editing, and image reviews.

April 29: La Tarde and Macro Exploration

  • We will drive to photograph wildlife deep in the primary forest of Corcovado National Park, a place famous for its birds and reptiles. Our destination is La Tarde, a nature center where we’ll practice our macro techniques in both artificial and natural light, photographing tiny, colorful frogs, snakes, and lizards. Along the way we’ll have ample opportunity to photograph monkeys, birds and other subjects.
  • Return to Crocodile Bay for Q&A, editing and image reviews.

April 30: Explore Crocodile Bay

  • We’ll focus on photographing around our beautiful resort location with a laid-back pace. Subjects include a diverse array of nesting birds, crocodiles, lizards, iguanas and monkeys. 
  • This day will also give us a chance to get some class time, clean gear, organize, edit and review images, hit the pool and rest up a little.
  • Class sessions on organizing and backing up images on the road, as well as discussion of raw processing and finish editing techniques.
  • Q&A for David, Rick and me.
  • Image reviews

May 1: Sloth Sanctuary and Safari

  • Visit a dedicated sloth sanctuary where we can photograph a variety of sloths and enjoy some fabulous homemade food and drinks.
  • Drive through Matapalo for a second foray photographing its monkeys, sloths, birds and beaches.
  • Return to Crocodile Bay for Q&A, editing and image reviews.

May 2: Sierpe River Boat Cruise

  • After a scenic drive, we’ll travel by pontoon boat along the Sierpe River, photographing birds, snakes, primates, and crocodiles. We’re going into an extremely wild habitat on a river through lush rainforest. Bring plenty of memory cards and batteries for this boat trip. 
  • Lunch at a local restaurant.
  • Return to Crocodile Bay for Q&A, image reviews and farewell dinner.

May 3: Leave Osa (Travel Day)

  • Fly to San Jose to catch afternoon return flights home.

You will need to organize a flight into San Jose, Costa Rica on April 26, and a flight out of San Jose in the afternoon of May 3. We will organize transportation to and from the airport.

During the workshop, all flights within Costa Rica, breakfasts at the resort, all ground and boat transportation are included in your workshop fee. Note that there is a 50-pound luggage limit for the flights we will be taking from San Jose to Crocodile Bay. Additional weight will cost $1/pound of the total weight.

For the first night in Costa Rica (in San Jose), you will be staying in the Hilton Garden Inn San Jose La Sabana, and this is included in the workshop price. We will fly the next morning as a group to the beautiful new Hilton Botanika resort in the heart of the Osa Peninsula, where we will be staying for the balance of the workshop. We have booked rooms on a double occupancy rate. If you have special needs or concerns please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Breakfast at Botanika is included, but all other meals are the responsibility of the participants and additional guests. While there are restaurant facilities on the resort grounds, the area has many fun local places to eat, from authentic jungle hangouts and surf/yoga retreats deep in the rainforest to pizzerias in town. We are free to explore the local cuisine and culture while always having an easy fall back of fine resort dining at Botanika.

Fees and Payment Terms
The pricing for the Costa Rica workshop is $6,195 (double occupancy), or $6,995 (single occupancy). This includes all travel and transportation during the workshop, lodging for 8 nights, and breakfasts while at the resort. You can secure your place with a $2,000 deposit. An invoice for the remaining balance will be sent approximately 120 days prior to the workshop. The balance must be paid in full 90 days prior to the workshop.

Non-photographer friends or family members (‘plus ones’) can join you in your room for an additional $1,850, which includes flights and ground transportation to and from San Jose to Crocodile Bay, and all hotel costs in both locations. The fee does not include any tours or activities. Those may be added once on-site at Botanika and will be charged to your room.

Workshop payments are fully refundable less a 10% fee up to 90 days prior to the first day of the workshop. If you cancel anywhere from 89 to 60 days prior to the workshop, we will make every effort to find a replacement. If we can fill your spot, 90% of the workshop fee will be refunded; if we cannot find a replacement, we will refund 50% of the fee. Any cancellation within 60 days is non-refundable.