Visionary Wild, LLC • 2200 19th St. NW, Ste 806, Washington, DC 20009

E-mail: info@visionarywild.com    •    Tel: 1-202-558-9596 (9am to 5pm, EST).

Justin Black – Managing Director: 1-202-302-9030 • Email: justin@visionarywild.com

Sara Robb – Operations Assistant: sara@visionarywild.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Workshops by past

Workshops by: type | Location | Focus | Upcoming | Past
Expedition September 5 - 12, 2011
Limit 10 spaces | $14,995* Closed

Visionary Wild is kicking off our program of world-class photography workshops and expeditions with a unique opportunity in British Columbia’s remote and pristine Great Bear Rainforest, based out of the world-class King Pacific Lodge, September 5-12, 2011. This expedition is led by photographers Jack Dykinga and Daniel Beltrá, both of whom became intimately familiar with this threatened coastal ecosystem in September 2010, during a Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition (RAVE) organized by the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP). Justin Black of Visionary Wild will manage workshop operations and serve as assistant instructor.

There are few places on Earth where pristine temperate rain forest merges with a healthy and thriving marine ecosystem. Jack Dykinga characterizes the place beautifully:

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Vision January 10 - 14, 2012
Limit 10 spaces | $3,750* Closed

The majestic Santa Catalina Mountains will be our backdrop in a landscape containing over 5,000 saguaro cactus – our outdoor classroom for this workshop, part of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction designed and presented by world-renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw.

The creation of a truly great finished photograph is part of a process from initial concept and vision through execution in the field to digital workflow and creation of a high-quality, final master file ready for printing or publication. Vision workshops with John Shaw and Jack Dykinga address the two greatest challenges faced by photographers as they advance. The first of these is the tendency for original creative vision to reach a plateau in development, and the second is a digital workflow in need of streamlining and refinement to make the most of your images.

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Vision January 17 - 21, 2012
Limit 10 spaces | $3,750* Closed

This second session has been added due to popular demand for the Vision Workshops series.

The majestic Santa Catalina Mountains will be our backdrop in a landscape containing over 5,000 saguaro cactus – our outdoor classroom for this workshop, part of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction designed and presented by world-renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw.

The creation of a truly great finished photograph is part of a process from initial concept and vision through execution in the field to digital workflow and creation of a high-quality, final master file ready for printing or publication. Vision workshops with John Shaw and Jack Dykinga address the two greatest challenges faced by photographers as they advance. The first of these is the tendency for original creative vision to reach a plateau in development, and the second is a digital workflow in need of streamlining and refinement to make the most of your images.

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Expedition January 24 - 30, 2012
Limit 6 spaces | $8,249* Closed

In the final year of the 5,126-year Mayan calendar cycle, we bring you a very special expedition for six photographers into this land of hidden cenotes, stunning pre-Columbian cities, elegant haciendas, and abundant tropical life.

The Mexican state of Yucatán, on the west side of the peninsula, is a world apart from the more familiar tourist Mecca of Cancún.  It is a wonderful, safe, and intriguing place, rich with human and geological history and overflowing with haunting beauty. Subtropical forest conceals beneath its roots a geological sponge of porous limestone. The Chicxulub impact crater, created by the asteroid that ended the age of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, filled with water that dissolved pockets and channels in the subterranean limestone around its periphery, creating myriad caves and underground rivers.

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Creative Core March 26 - 30, 2012
Limit 15 spaces | $2,495* Closed

Point Reyes National Seashore and the Marin Coast are truly a photographer's playground, rich with diverse subject matter – landscape, seascape, flora and fauna –  with ever-changing light and the beautiful interplay of sun and marine fog. It's the perfect setting for a workshop focused on developing creativity and honing skills. The talented team of Jerry Dodrill and Justin Black will teach you to take control of the finer points of composition, exposure and tonal control, and specialized techniques for approaching this sublime coastal landscape.

Click the "read more..." tab below right for more information and to see the photo gallery!

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Expedition May 3 - 14, 2012
Limit 10 spaces | $5,995* Closed

 

What happens when a group of enthusiastic photographers join together for a 10-day raft trip through 226-miles of mind-bending Grand Canyon scenery and 1.75 billion years of geological history?

Here are some impressions that our friends from past trips have shared with one another:

The sand may be gone, but my mind is still in the Canyon. Thanks to you, Jack and Justin, for putting together this amazing experience. The Canyon is past wonder. I am sitting here working on the images and can’t seem to leave the river.

While I think I've finally gotten the sand out of all of my clothes, equipment and person, it will most definitely be a long time before I get the Grand Canyon sand out of my soul. I think Jack said it best when he said that the Grand Canyon was a special temple. It is awe-inspiring. I really enjoyed my time with you all, and hope to see all of you again on another Jack and Justin adventure.

About two days into the trip...I realized that I should enjoy the trip because it was just about as good as it gets. It was indeed. At this point, maybe it's enough to say that I actually miss the sand and I hope we all will continue to keep in touch.

Designed by Jack Dykinga and Justin Black, this trip absolutely maximizes photographic potential and overall quality of experience that can be had during ten days on the Colorado River in the mile-deep Grand Canyon.

* Note: Please click the "read more" tab below right for all the details, the image gallery, and National Park Service concessionaire compliance information.

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Vision May 21 - 25, 2012
Limit 10 spaces | $3,995* Closed

The superb Pacific coast landscape around Bandon, Oregon, will be our outdoor classroom for this workshop, part of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction designed and presented by world-renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw.

The creation of a truly great finished photograph is part of a process from initial concept and vision through execution in the field to digital workflow and creation of a high-quality, final master file ready for printing or publication. Vision workshops with John Shaw and Jack Dykinga address the two greatest challenges faced by photographers as they advance. The first of these is the tendency for original creative vision to reach a plateau in development, and the second is a digital workflow in need of streamlining and refinement to make the most of your images.

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Advanced July 8 - 12, 2012
Limit 12 spaces | $2,995* Closed

The Olympic Peninsula offers an astonishing array of landscapes and micro-climates in a relatively compact area. From its dramatic rocky coast and tidal pools, to old-growth temperate rainforest, to alpine meadows, glaciated peaks, and vast wilderness, it seems to have it all. Marine fog pours through mountain passes, filling inland valleys while ridge-top meadows in full bloom bask in the sun. Roosevelt elk bugle in the lush forest, home to some of the world's largest trees. The snowcapped splendor of the Olympic Mountains provides a constant backdrop. No one knows this majestic place better than the award-winning photographic team of Terry Donnelly and Mary Liz Austin.

Click the "read more..." tab below right to continue and see the photo gallery.

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Advanced September 13 - 17, 2012
Limit 12 spaces | $3,585* Closed

Characterized by the ebb and flow of tides and fog, California’s sleepy Sonoma Coast features light, atmospherics, and landscape as fine as the region’s famous pinot noir. Dramatic headlands, sea stacks, and beaches are sculpted by the Pacific waves and the action of tectonic plates along the San Andreas Fault. The rugged beauty here offers unending opportunities for passionate photographers. This advanced workshop is geared for photographers who are fairly comfortable with the fundamentals of photography and digital workflow, and who seek higher-level mentorship.

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Creative Core October 8 - 12, 2012
Limit 12 spaces | $2,950* Closed

Zion National Park’s red rock and limestone cliffs and spires tower above sculpted canyons, grottoes, and waterways, forming a unique and awe-inspiring landscape at the convergence of the Colorado Plateau, the Great Basin, and the Mojave Desert.  Autumn’s arrival brings comfortably cool temperatures and fall colors in the maples and cottonwoods.  Zion is quite simply one of the gems of the National Park system, a highlight of the American Southwest, and one of our favorite outdoor photographic "classrooms."

For three decades, Jack Dykinga has captured the astonishing beauty of light, form, texture, and natural history that make the southwestern American deserts and canyons unique. He knows this landscape and its amazing light better than anyone and enjoys nothing more than sharing his insights and vision with other passionate photographers. Assistant instructor Justin Black has co-led three prior workshops with Jack at Zion and is always struck by the way Zion reveals its secrets like the layers of an onion being peeled back – every visit yields a new discovery and new qualities of light. This all-inclusive workshop will be based at Flanigan’s Inn of Springdale, Utah, just outside the western entrance of Zion National Park, providing excellent access to field locations. Along with eight field sessions, Jack and Justin will present projected lectures on composition, light, exposure control, anticipating and working through changing conditions, and essentials of digital workflow. Three critique sessions will provide essential constructive feedback on images created during the workshop.

Click "read more" below right for more information...

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Creative Core October 15 - 19, 2012
Limit 10 spaces | $2,950* Closed

Boulder Mountain rises to the west of Capital Reef National Park in the picturesque Aquarius Plateau of South Central Utah. It is the highest timbered plateau in North America, with over 50,000 acres of rolling forests of pine, spruce, fir, and aspen, as well as expansive meadowlands. The area features the dramatic red rock canyons and sculpted formations for which southern Utah is famous, but it is a little known and refreshing alternative to more heavily trafficked southwestern locations.

Situated immediately adjacent to the majestic Grand Staircase descending toward the Grand Canyon and the canyons of the Escalante, this place is a creative photographer's dream come true.

The author and desert wilderness advocate Edward Abbey once astutely observed:

There are more hills, holes, humps and hollows, reefs, folds, domes, swells and grabens, buttes, benches and mesas, synclines, monoclines, and anticlines than you can ever hope to see and explore in a lifetime.

We'll add that the quality of light and atmosphere here are superb.

Click "Read More..." below right to read on.

read more

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Advanced December 2 - 8, 2012
Limit 10 spaces | $5,495* Closed

Exotic Birds – Poison Dart Frogs –  Monkeys – Waterfalls – Wild Pacific Beach

All of this and more is to be found in one of the most biologically exciting places on Earth – Coast Rica's remote Osa Peninsula – and we'd like to share the best of it with you. Envision original primary rainforest rising up a low ridge from a pristine and entirely undeveloped Pacific beach, stretching as far as the eye can see. Native toucans, scarlet macaws, and four species of New World monkeys cruise through the trees, while dramatic waterfalls roar in the jungle. Numerous species of visually striking frogs inhabit the area, including three species of colorful poison dart frogs, red-eyed tree frogs, masked tree frogs, and massive cane toads in their native habitat. Hundreds of exotic bird species abound. In addition to the toucans and macaws, long-tail hermit hummingbirds, trogons, blue-capped manakins, crested caracaras, ibis, various raptors and myriad other species are readily photographed. The forest itself is stunning, with old-growth trees full of character and beautiful graphic compositions just waiting to be discovered.

Instructors Daniel Beltrá and Justin Black will share their creative approaches to photographing rainforest fauna and flora, as well as the dramatic landscape. Hands-on in the field, we will cover long-lens and macro wildlife techniques, control of composition and light, fill-flash, control of focal plane and perspective with tilt-shift lenses, panoramic stitching, and other techniques that can be used to great effect in this amazing place.

CLICK HERE to read Justin Black's article "Frogs of the Osa" in Outdoor Photographer magazine

Click "read more..." below right for more information and the photo gallery...

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Vision February 11 - 15, 2013
Limit 10 spaces | $3,750* Closed

The majestic Santa Catalina Mountains will be our backdrop in a landscape containing over 5,000 saguaro cactus – our outdoor classroom for this workshop, part of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction designed and presented by world-renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw.

The creation of a truly great finished photograph is part of a process from initial concept and vision through execution in the field to digital workflow and creation of a high-quality, final master file ready for printing or publication. Vision workshops with John Shaw and Jack Dykinga address the two greatest challenges faced by photographers as they advance. The first of these is the tendency for original creative vision to reach a plateau in development, and the second is a digital workflow in need of streamlining and refinement to make the most of your images.

read more

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Vision February 18 - 22, 2013
Limit 10 spaces | $3,750* Closed

The majestic Santa Catalina Mountains will be our backdrop in a landscape containing over 5,000 saguaro cactus – our outdoor classroom for this workshop, part of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction designed and presented by world-renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw.

The creation of a truly great finished photograph is part of a process from initial concept and vision through execution in the field to digital workflow and creation of a high-quality, final master file ready for printing or publication. Vision workshops with John Shaw and Jack Dykinga address the two greatest challenges faced by photographers as they advance. The first of these is the tendency for original creative vision to reach a plateau in development, and the second is a digital workflow in need of streamlining and refinement to make the most of your images.

read more

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Creative Core March 11 - 15, 2013
Limit 10 spaces | $2,250* Closed

Nevada's Valley of Fire derives its name from the firelight glow of red sandstone formations reflecting the sun's magic-hour rays. Swirling "wave" formations, majestic arches, wind-eroded pocket caves, water-polished slot canyons, layered beehives, hoodoos, and layered ridges catching sunset like flickering flames are among the incredible array of landforms here. The color of the rock ranges from oranges, yellows, and pinks to magenta and blue.  Mesozoic petrified trees and cryptic petroglyphs left behind by ancient cultures are found at several sites around the park. It's the southwest in microcosm, conveniently located just an hour from Las Vegas.

This workshop is a camping trip limited to a small group of ten. Our base camp right in the middle of the landscape will allow us to focus on photography in the field, making the most of the potential of the place. Instructors Jeff Foott and Justin Black will lead the group on photo excursions to capture the best morning and evening light. During mid-day hours, the group will head into slot canyons and other sheltered areas to photograph in the warm glow reflected from the colorful stone. Jeff and Justin will guide participants through the process of conceiving, planning, and creating inspired photographs among the wind-chiseled, swirling formations.

There will be plenty of time in the field for personalized instruction, discussion, and Q&A. Back in camp each evening, we will gather to review and critique the day's images on our laptops. Those who are interested can even take advantage of the clear desert air to photograph by moonlight.

Click "read more" below right for the image gallery and Jeff Foott's thoughts on Valley of Fire:

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Vision May 13 - 17, 2013
Limit 10 spaces | $3,995* Closed

The superb Pacific coast landscape around Bandon, Oregon, will be our outdoor classroom for this workshop, part of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction designed and presented by world-renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw.

The creation of a truly great finished photograph is part of a process from initial concept and vision through execution in the field to digital workflow and creation of a high-quality, final master file ready for printing or publication. Vision workshops with John Shaw and Jack Dykinga address the two greatest challenges faced by photographers as they advance. The first of these is the tendency for original creative vision to reach a plateau in development, and the second is a digital workflow in need of streamlining and refinement to make the most of your images.

read more

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Expedition June 3 - 21, 2013
Limit 5 spaces | $18,750* Closed

We bring the big telephotos so you don't have to.

Etosha – Chobe – Victoria Falls, and more...

Over the last year, we have packaged a unique wildlife photography safari for a small group of five passionate photographers, visiting Etosha National Park in Namibia, Victoria Falls, and Chobe National Park in Botswana. Scheduled for June 3-20, 2013, in the early part of the winter dry season, we will enjoy comfortable temperatures and dramatic concentrations of diverse wildlife at the watering holes of Etosha. Black rhinos, giraffes, lions, elephants, and numerous antelope species are common here, and cheetahs and leopards are often seen as well.

At Chobe, animals congregate along the river in the dry season to drink and feed on the lush greenery on the banks and flood plain. In addition to Chobe’s population of over 50,000 Kalahari elephants, opportunities include hippos (with young at this time of year), Nile crocs, buffalo, waterbuck, kudu, impala, giraffes, fish eagles, lions, hyenas, African wild dog, baboons, and numerous bird species.

At both locations we have arranged use of new photo safari vehicles with innovative custom features that deliver an ideal photographic experience. The two 4WD vehicles we will use at Etosha seat three photographers each, and the custom-built photo boat at Chobe comfortably accommodates our whole group. Both on land and on the water, each photographer will have his or her own photographer's chair with fully adjustable Wimberley-equiped telephoto lens mount.  Included at no additional cost is loan of Nikon super-telephoto lenses (600mm f/4, 500mm f/4, and 200-400mm f/4 plus teleconverters) and pro camera bodies, so there is no need to carry big glass to Africa.

Click "read more" below right for the itinerary, photo gallery from Chobe and Etosha, and more information...

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Expedition June 22 - July 3, 2013
Limit 10 spaces | $10,250* Closed

Magical places with towering red sand dunes, ancient withered, desiccated forests, and storm-ravaged coastline make Namibia unique.  Rare desert lions, gemsbok, elephants, and giraffes inhabit the area, with the colorful Himba people carving out a life in this arid region.

In all my travels, I have never seen such amazing and colorful dune formations.  The colors ran from black to garnet to peach and red colored...sometimes bathed in coastal fog.  The Namib Desert has a timeless quality that calls to me. –Jack Dykinga

Experience the haunting beauty of Namibia – Africa’s desert gem – with renowned landscape photographers Jack Dykinga and Justin Black. We will explore the striking quiver tree forests and geological formations, a ghost town abandoned to drifting sands, the rugged beauty of the coast, culminating with three days of intensive photography among the elegant forms of the thousand-foot red dunes of Sossusvlei. With warm tints of apricot, orange, red and maroon, these dunes offer abstract beauty unseen anywhere else in the world. This special place is also home to the ancient sun-blackened skeletons of camel thorn trees at the white clay “dead marsh” of Deadvlei.

A string of colonial port towns dot the coast, trapped between the South Atlantic and the dunes. Lüderitz, on the edge of the diamond-rich Sperrgebiet area, is a fascinating relic of Germany’s late 19th-century imperial aspirations. Nearby is the otherworldly and sand-bound abandoned mining town of Kolmanskop, where dunes have invaded the abandoned buildings. The photographic potential of this place is astonishing. Further north, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay bracket the southern end of the Skeleton Coast. Both possess a welcoming resort town atmosphere, with ample photographic opportunities along the coast.

Awe-inspiring and unrestrictive, this diverse geography leaves an impact you won’t soon forget.

Our itinerary has been designed to take maximum advantage of the best landscape photography opportunities that Namibia has to offer. In addition to attentive photographic instruction throughout by Dykinga and Black, our group of up to ten photographers will be led by two excellent local guides. This trip includes excellent lodging, in-Africa flights (Johannesburg–Windhoek–Johannesburg), transfers and group ground transportation from start to finish, and all meals, snacks, and beverages.

Namibia is a very safe and welcoming country, and a tourist visa is not necessary for citizens of the USA and most developed nations.

We hope you will join us! To sign up, click the "REGISTER" link above right.

Click "read more" at below right to continue to the itinerary and image gallery...

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Expedition August 3 - 10, 2013
Limit 10 spaces | $5,500* Closed

Renowned landscape photographer Marc Muench and Visionary Wild's Justin Black have teamed up to lead a trip to the dramatic granite spires, alpine lakes, and meadows at the Cirque of the Towers in Wyoming's Wind River Range. "The Winds" are the most alpine range in the Wyoming-Montana-Idaho complex, with soaring granite peaks reminiscent in many ways of the High Sierra Nevada but less well known and more lightly visited. The alpine wildflowers in the meadows and nearby lakes and streams offer excellent foregrounds for photographing the east-facing Cirque and other nearby peaks, which catch spectacular alpenglow at sunrise.

This is one of North America's great mountain wildernesses, but don't take our word for it. Following a summer 1999 horse pack trip into the Winds, internationally acclaimed mountain photographer Galen Rowell wrote the following in his April 2000 column for Outdoor Photographer magazine:

"The Wind River Range is my favorite in the Rockies. Warm, relatively dry summers create a paradise for backpackers, climbers, and photographers. Hundreds of peaks rise over 12,000 feet above glaciers and snows that last late into summer. Melt waters cascade into alpine basins filled with meadows, open pine forest, and countless lakes before joining into rivers separated by the Continental Divide."

Our itinerary begins with a group orientation and dinner at Diamond 4 Ranch in Dickinson Park, Wyoming, on the east side of the Wind River Range (Lander is the closest large town). Our first night will be spent at an elevation of 9,200ft. in the ranch's rustic cabins, which will serve to help acclimate us to the elevation. After an early breakfast the next morning, the experienced wranglers of Diamond 4 Ranch will lead our group on a horseback ride to camp at Lizard Head Meadows. No prior horseback experience is necessary. The horses are docile and very familiar with the trail to our camp, our base for five nights at an elevation of 10,000ft. – where a camp manager and backcountry chef will take great care of us. This is a "drop" or "spot" trip, meaning that all of our gear, coolers of fresh food, etc., will be carried in on horseback, and our camp will serve as our base for short hikes to explore the Cirque's rich photographic opportunities.

Click "read more" below right for more information and the image gallery...

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Expedition August 20 - 29, 2013
Limit 6 spaces | $8,750* Closed

The Brazilian Pantanal, the world's largest continental wetland, is a luxuriant forest-savannah mosaic in central-western Brazil that is home to the highest density of jaguars in the world. It is also simply the greatest wildlife spectacle of Latin America. In addition to its jaguars, which happen to be far more accessible to photographers here than anywhere else in their range, it harbors the world’s largest parrots (hyacinth macaw), the world’s largest snake (anaconda), the world’s largest otter, and many other species of wildlife, often in incredibly high densities.

Rivers and channels provide easy access by boat to water's-edge locations frequented by the big cats in the dry season. This is the closest thing to an East African photo safari in the New World, but without the crowds and malaria.

Award-winning nature photographer and film maker Jeff Foott – a Pantanal veteran – and Justin Black of Visionary Wild look forward to sharing this expedition with six passionate photographers. The small group size will ensure ample space to maneuver for photography from the boats.

Our floating hotel is anchored right in the middle of the best jaguar action.  This privileged location permits us to spend up to two hours extra time per day with the cats, and at the best times of day for quality of light, comfortable temperatures, and scenic beauty in the Pantanal. We have secured enough space on the "Flotel" for each of the six participants to have a private en-suite room if they wish (double-occupancy clients save $650 per person; single-occupancy rate is $9,400).

Click "read more" below right for the itinerary, photo gallery, and more information...

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Expedition September 14 - 25, 2013
Limit 10 spaces | $* Closed
What happens when a group of enthusiastic photographers join together for a 10-day raft trip through 226-miles of mind-bending Grand Canyon scenery and 1.84 billion years of geological history?

Here are some impressions that our friends from our last two trips have shared:

It's difficult not to heap superlative praise on Jack Dykinga and Justin Black for their photographic expertise and their absolute willingness to share that expertise with the rest of us.  They are truly visionaries in the landscape photography world, and their love of the Grand Canyon is infectious, and are a lot of fun to be around.

Having traveled to 5 continents, I can honestly state the Grand Canyon river trip was the best photo trip I have ever taken.

Seeing the Grand Canyon from the bottom is a visual and spiritual experience that is not to be missed by any photographer. This was my second trip down the Colorado River with Justin and I expect that it won't be my last.

My mind is still in the Canyon. Thanks to you, Jack and Justin, for putting together this amazing experience. The Canyon is past wonder. I am sitting here working on the images and can’t seem to leave the river.

While I think I've finally gotten the sand out of all of my clothes, equipment and person, it will most definitely be a long time before I get the Grand Canyon sand out of my soul. I think Jack said it best when he said that the Grand Canyon was a special temple. It is awe-inspiring. I really enjoyed my time with you all, and hope to see all of you again on another Jack and Justin adventure.

About two days into the trip...I realized that I should enjoy the trip because it was just about as good as it gets. It was indeed. At this point, maybe it's enough to say that I actually miss the sand and I hope we all will continue to keep in touch.

Designed by Jack Dykinga and Justin Black, this trip absolutely maximizes photographic potential and overall quality of experience that can be had during ten days on the Colorado River in the mile-deep Grand Canyon.

* Note: Please click the "read more" tab below right for all the details and the image gallery.

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Creative Core October 14 - 18, 2013
Limit 10 spaces | $3,495* Closed

Boulder Mountain rises to the west of Capital Reef National Park in the picturesque Aquarius Plateau of South Central Utah. It is the highest timbered plateau in North America, with over 50,000 acres of rolling forests of pine, spruce, fir, and aspen, as well as expansive meadowlands. The area features the dramatic red rock canyons and sculpted formations for which southern Utah is famous, but it is a little known and refreshing alternative to more heavily trafficked southwestern locations.

Situated immediately adjacent to the majestic Grand Staircase descending toward the Grand Canyon and the canyons of the Escalante, this place is a creative photographer's dream come true.

The author and desert wilderness advocate Edward Abbey once astutely observed:

There are more hills, holes, humps and hollows, reefs, folds, domes, swells and grabens, buttes, benches and mesas, synclines, monoclines, and anticlines than you can ever hope to see and explore in a lifetime.

We'll add that the quality of light and atmosphere here are superb.

Click "Read More..." below right to read on and see the image gallery...

read more

Map via Google
Creative Core October 21 - 25, 2013
Limit 10 spaces | $3,495* Closed

Boulder Mountain rises to the west of Capital Reef National Park in the picturesque Aquarius Plateau of South Central Utah. It is the highest timbered plateau in North America, with over 50,000 acres of rolling forests of pine, spruce, fir, and aspen, as well as expansive meadowlands. The area features the dramatic red rock canyons and sculpted formations for which southern Utah is famous, but it is a little known and refreshing alternative to more heavily trafficked southwestern locations.

Situated immediately adjacent to the majestic Grand Staircase descending toward the Grand Canyon and the canyons of the Escalante, this place is a creative photographer's dream come true.

The author and desert wilderness advocate Edward Abbey once astutely observed:

There are more hills, holes, humps and hollows, reefs, folds, domes, swells and grabens, buttes, benches and mesas, synclines, monoclines, and anticlines than you can ever hope to see and explore in a lifetime.

We'll add that the quality of light and atmosphere here are superb.

Click "Read More..." below right to read on and see the image gallery...

read more

Map via Google
Expedition November 30 - December 7, 2013
Limit 10 spaces | $5,850* Closed

Exotic Birds – Poison Dart Frogs –  Monkeys – Waterfalls – Wild Pacific Beach

All of this and more is to be found in one of the most biologically exciting places on Earth – Coast Rica's remote Osa Peninsula – and we'd like to share the best of it with you. Envision original primary rainforest rising up a low ridge from a pristine and entirely undeveloped Pacific beach, stretching as far as the eye can see. Native toucans, scarlet macaws, and four species of New World monkeys cruise through the trees, while dramatic waterfalls roar in the jungle. Numerous species of visually striking frogs inhabit the area, including three species of colorful poison dart frogs, red-eyed tree frogs, masked tree frogs, and massive cane toads in their native habitat. Hundreds of exotic bird species abound. In addition to the toucans and macaws, long-tail hermit hummingbirds, elegant and violaceous trogons, blue-capped manakins, crested caracaras, ibis, various raptors and myriad other species are readily photographed. The forest itself is stunning, with old-growth trees full of character and beautiful graphic compositions just waiting to be discovered.

Click the "read more" tab below right to see the itinerary and photo gallery!

read more

Map via Google
Vision January 13 - 17, 2014
Limit 10 spaces | $3,890* Closed

Pastel pinks and blues reflect from the sky at dawn and dusk, painting gypsum dunes that roll elegantly across the landscape. The tapestry of light and shadow, form and texture inspires the creative mind. Yuccas punctuate the landscape, rising in striking graphic isolation against the sand and sky. This is New Mexico's White Sands National Monument, home of the world's largest gypsum dune field, covering 275 square miles, set in a high desert basin with a dramatic mountain backdrop. This will be our outdoor classroom for this Vision series workshop, a special program of advanced instruction designed and presented by world-renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw. Jack is recognized as one of the greatest practitioners and teachers in the history of landscape photography, and John is a natural photographic educator who is relied upon by some of the most successful photographers in the business to keep them current on digital workflow practices and Photoshop techniques. The combination is a uniquely effective and enjoyable experience.

Our fieldwork during this workshop will emphasize the search for elegant, carefully crafted compositions while anticipating the flow of light over the landscape each morning and evening. Opportunities abound, from classic near-far compositions that use yuccas to anchor foreground design, to abstracts harnessing the tones, curves and colors of the dunes, to broad panoramics and macro subjects.

The creation of a truly great finished photograph is part of a process from initial concept and vision through execution in the field to digital workflow and creation of a high-quality, final master file ready for printing or publication. Vision workshops with John Shaw and Jack Dykinga address the two greatest challenges faced by photographers as they advance. The first of these is the tendency for original creative vision to reach a plateau in development, and the second is a digital workflow in need of streamlining and refinement to make the most of your images.

Click the "read more" button below right to continue...

read more

Map via Google
Vision February 10 - 14, 2014
Limit 10 spaces | $3,850* Closed

The majestic Santa Catalina Mountains will be our backdrop in a landscape containing over 5,000 saguaro cactus – our outdoor classroom for this workshop, part of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction designed and presented by world-renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw.

The creation of a truly great finished photograph is part of a process from initial concept and vision through execution in the field to digital workflow and creation of a high-quality, final master file ready for printing or publication. Vision workshops with John Shaw and Jack Dykinga address the two greatest challenges faced by photographers as they advance. The first of these is the tendency for original creative vision to reach a plateau in development, and the second is a digital workflow in need of streamlining and refinement to make the most of your images.

Click the "read more" button below right for more information and the image gallery...

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Vision March 26 - April 6, 2014
Limit 10 spaces | $11,250* Closed

This workshop is designed to maximize opportunities for well-crafted and compelling photographs in one of the world's most awe-inspiring landscapes. Participants will have ample time to get to know Torres del Paine during its colorful autumn splendor, and your photography there will benefit from the opportunity to revisit fruitful situations to apply lessons learned and to take advantage of changing weather and light. The goal is for each participant to come away from this trip with a strong body of work, a new body of knowledge, new friendships, rejuvenation, and priceless memories.

Torres del Paine National Park and Biosphere Reserve is the centerpiece of Patagonia – the ultimate distillation of the region's most inspiring qualities. It's one of those rare places that routinely exceeds the grandest dreams of even the most experienced photographers. Peaks and spires thrust abruptly upward above turquoise lakes, forcing moisture-laden winds off the ocean to form soaring lenticular clouds that catch the fiery sunrise and sunset alpenglow. Glaciers spill down from the Patagonian icecap, depositing cobalt blue icebergs on the shores of Lago Grey. Endemic lenga tree forests glow in hues of gold and copper in the southern autumn. Rivers tumble over cascading waterfalls as condors ride thermals on the flanks of the Cordillera del Paine mountains. Guanacos and foxes range over the golden pampas, and flamingoes wade the lagoons. At this time of year, the days are a manageable length with extended periods of dawn and dusk, and the sun never rises more than 35 degrees above the horizon. The quality of light is spectacular.

Click "read more" below right for the itinerary and image gallery...

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Creative Core May 26 - 30, 2014
Limit 10 spaces | $2,995* Closed

Truly a photographer’s playground, the sublime, dramatic, and moody Pacific coast around Bandon, Oregon, will be our outdoor classroom for this landscape- and seascape-oriented photo workshop, presented by renowned photographers and workshops leaders Justin Black and Jerry Dodrill.

Ever-changing light and the beautiful interplay of sun, waves, towering sea stacks, tide pools, wind-sculpted clouds, and marine fog mean that every day offers a different mood, even when we revisit our primary location, the sprawling Bandon Beach. Just down a wooden stairway from our hotel, it's the perfect setting for a workshop focused on developing creativity, honing skills, and refining your personal vision. Justin and Jerry will teach you to take control of the finer points of composition, exposure and tonal control, and specialized techniques for capturing this amazing coastal landscape.

A SPECIAL GIFT TO PARTICIPANTS: Each participant in this workshops is entitled to have two free fine exhibition prints up to 20"x30" in size made by the master printmakers at West Coast Imaging one of the very best digital fine art photography labs in the world. These print packages include all the expert digital prep work of your original image file, based on your wishes and input as the artist, to make the best possible print. This special offer is cumulative, so you get two prints for each workshop you take.

Click the "read more..." tab below right for more information and to see the photo gallery!

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Creative Core June 2 - 6, 2014
Limit 12 spaces | $2,850* Closed

Colossal redwoods thrust upward into the coastal fog. The pink blooms of wild rhododendrons take on a translucent glow against the dark greens of the forest. Dramatic seastacks and driftwood accent the wild Pacific coast. One of the world's most creativity-inspiring and evocative landscapes – Northern California's Redwood Coast – will be our outdoor classroom for this photo workshop, presented by photographers Justin Black and Jerry Dodrill. This place is truly a photographer's playground, rich with diverse photographic opportunities and a dynamic interplay of sun and fog. It's the perfect setting for a fun, upbeat, and supportive workshop focused on developing creativity and honing skills. Participants will learn to take control of the finer points of composition, exposure and tonal control, and specialized techniques for approaching this sublime coastal landscape.

Click the "read more..." tab below right for more information and to see the photo gallery!

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Expedition July 13 - 25, 2014
Limit 10 spaces | $11,995* Closed

 Join Daniel Beltrá nd Justin Black for this unique photographic experience in the land of fire and ice.

Storybook waterfalls gushing over volcanic formations... Icebergs on black sand beaches... Orange-billed Atlantic puffins perched on sea cliffs... Deep sapphire hues in ancient glacial ice... steaming geothermal rivers flowing through a multi-colored volcanic landscape…

This is Iceland, land of fire and ice. Astride the Mid Atlantic Ridge, this geologically active island is being ripped in two by the opposing movement of the North American and Eurasian Plates, while magma surges through the Earth's fractured crust to fill the void of displaced land. The ice cap and glaciers feed pristine rivers, and over 100 volcanoes and countless geothermal springs dot the landscape.

Renowned photographers Daniel Beltrá and Justin Black will lead this twelve-night photo workshop for ten participants, emphasizing photography in the field at amazing locations selected on our prior Icelandic travels. Our small group will travel in comfort in a specially customized bus with room for everyone to have a window seat, complete with Wi-Fi and numerous power outlets to enable us to edit our images while we're on the road.

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Expedition August 2 - 18, 2014
Limit 5 spaces | $18,500* Closed

"This was the experience of a lifetime. Visionary Wild provided a terrific photo safari. The educational value of this workshop was unparalleled, and I have participated in many workshops. Justin Black and Lou Coetzer were both terrific in facilitating the photography learning experience and in finding the best locations to maximize the opportunities." –2013 African Vision Safari Participant

Join award-winning wildlife photographers Lou Coetzer and Justin Black for this superlative African safari experience for a small group of five, designed to exceed a passionate photographer's wildest dreams. South African pro Lou Coetzer is simply the best there is at teaching the anticipation of animal behavior, timing, and camera handling skills that empower you to capture successful "decisive moment" wildlife images.

We will visit Africa's very finest wildlife destinations at an ideal time of year: Masai Mara, Kenya during the Great Migration, and Chobe River, Botswana, with mammals and birds concentrated along the river by the dry season.

• Includes loan of big telephotos – 600mm f/4 and 500mm f/4 – so you don't have to travel with them. Full-frame Nikon DSLR bodies available for free loan too!

• The best photo safari vehicle set-up in the business, both on the land and on the water, complete with photographer's chairs featuring fully adjustable 360-degree revolving Wimberley camera mounts. This makes it a breeze to work with big lenses and photograph dynamic wildlife behavior.

This package is designed to deliver a superb overall experience, and includes first-rate lodging, all meals, beverages (including fine wine and beer at dinners), expert guides, photographic instruction, loaner Nikon telephotos and cameras, park entry fees, ground transfers, and in-Africa flights during the itinerary.

Conceived as a unique wildlife photography experience that delivers the best that east and southern Africa have to offer, this experience for a small group of only five passionate photographers focuses on the incredible biodiversity accessible via the Chobe River in Botswana, and the peak of the great migration at Masai Mara. Masai Mara is famous for its August migration of millions of wildebeest, zebras, and Thompson's gazelles, accompanied by an abundance of lion, cheetah, leopard, and other African species. At Chobe, animals congregate along the river in the dry season to drink and feed on the lush greenery on the banks and flood plain. In addition to Chobe’s population of over 50,000 Kalahari elephants, opportunities include hippos (with young at this time of year), Nile crocs, buffalo, waterbuck, kudu, impala, giraffes, fish eagles, lions, hyenas, African wild dog, baboons, and countless bird species.

At both locations we have arranged use of new photo safari vehicles with innovative custom features that deliver an ideal photographic experience. The two 4WD vehicles we will use at Masai Mara seat three photographers each, and the custom-built photo boat at Chobe comfortably accommodates our whole group. Both on land and on the water, each photographer will have his or her own rotating photographer's chair with fully adjustable revolving Wimberley-equiped telephoto lens mount.  Included at no additional cost is loan of Nikon super-telephoto lenses (600mm f/4 and 500mm f/4) and pro camera bodies, so there is no need to carry big glass to Africa.

Click "read more" below right for the itinerary and more information...

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Expedition August 14 - 22, 2014
Limit 6 spaces | $9,500* Closed

Just a few years ago, it was inconceivable that there could be a place where a photographer could reliably photograph wild jaguars in their home habitat, and better yet, in the open along a river bank and in great light. Incredibly, such a place exists in the Pantanal wetland of Brazil. The Visionary Wild group that visited in August 2013 enjoyed multiple jaguar sightings each day, lasting anywhere from five minutes to an hour and a half each, totaling nine individuals patrolling their territories in the area. We discovered a mother and daughter that had not been known to local biologists (so members of our group got to assign the nicknames biologists will use for reference), and we were very fortunate to see one of our favorite cats, nicknamed "Mick Jaguar," stalk and take down a 200-pound, seven-foot-long caiman from a great vantage point just forty meters away! Rivers and channels provide easy access by boat to water's-edge locations frequented by the big cats in the dry season.This is the closest thing to an East African photo safari in the New World.

The Brazilian Pantanal, the world's largest continental wetland, is a luxuriant forest-savannah mosaic in central-western Brazil that is home to the highest density of jaguars in the world. It is also simply the greatest wildlife spectacle of Latin America. In addition to its jaguars, which are far more accessible to photographers here than anywhere else in their range, it harbors the world’s largest parrots (hyacinth macaw), the world’s largest snake (anaconda), the world’s largest otter, and many other species of wildlife, often in astonishingly high densities.

Award-winning nature photographer and film maker Jeff Foott – a Pantanal veteran – looks forward to sharing this expedition with six passionate photographers. The small group size will ensure ample space to maneuver for photography from the boats.

Our floating hotel is anchored right in the middle of the best jaguar action.  When compared with other accommodations in the area, this privileged location on the water permits us to spend up to two hours extra time per day with the cats, and at the best times of day for quality of light, comfortable temperatures, and scenic beauty in the Pantanal. We have secured enough space on the "Flotel" for each of the six participants to have a private en-suite room if they wish (double-occupancy clients save $650 per person; single-occupancy rate is $10,150).

Click "read more" below right for the itinerary, photo gallery, and more information...

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Expedition September 19 - 27, 2014
Limit 6 spaces | $8,950* Closed

Just a few years ago, it was inconceivable that there could be a place where a photographer could reliably photograph wild jaguars in their home habitat, and better yet, in the open along a river bank and in great light. Incredibly, such a place exists in the Pantanal wetland of Brazil. The Visionary Wild group that visited in August 2013 enjoyed multiple jaguar sightings each day, lasting anywhere from five minutes to an hour and a half each, totaling nine individuals patrolling their territories in the area. We discovered a mother and daughter that had not been known to local biologists (so members of our group got to assign the nicknames biologists will use for reference), and we were very fortunate to see one of our favorite cats, nicknamed "Mick Jaguar," stalk and take down a 200-pound, seven-foot-long caiman from a great vantage point just forty meters away! Rivers and channels provide easy access by boat to water's-edge locations frequented by the big cats in the dry season.This is the closest thing to an East African photo safari in the New World.

The Brazilian Pantanal, the world's largest continental wetland, is a luxuriant forest-savannah mosaic in central-western Brazil that is home to the highest density of jaguars in the world. It is also simply the greatest wildlife spectacle of Latin America. In addition to its jaguars, which are far more accessible to photographers here than anywhere else in their range, it harbors the world’s largest parrots (hyacinth macaw), the world’s largest snake (anaconda), the world’s largest otter, and many other species of wildlife, often in astonishingly high densities.

Award-winning nature photographer Justin Black – a Pantanal veteran – looks forward to sharing this expedition with six passionate photographers. The small group size will ensure ample space to maneuver for photography from the boats.

Our floating hotel is anchored right in the middle of the best jaguar action.  When compared with other accommodations in the area, this privileged location on the water permits us to spend up to two hours extra time per day with the cats, and at the best times of day for quality of light, comfortable temperatures, and scenic beauty in the Pantanal. We have secured enough space on the "Flotel" for each of the six participants to have a private en-suite room if they wish (double-occupancy clients save $650 per person; single-occupancy rate is $9,600 per person).

Click "read more" below right for the itinerary, photo gallery, and more information...

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Vision October 13 - 17, 2014
Limit 10 spaces | $4,395* Closed

Boulder Mountain rises to the west of Capital Reef National Park in the picturesque Aquarius Plateau of South Central Utah. It is the highest timbered plateau in North America, with over 50,000 acres of rolling forests of pine, spruce, fir, and aspen, as well as expansive meadowlands. The area features the dramatic red rock canyons and sculpted formations for which southern Utah is famous, but it is a little known and refreshing alternative to more heavily trafficked southwestern locations.

Situated immediately adjacent to the majestic Grand Staircase descending toward the Grand Canyon and the canyons of the Escalante, this place is a creative photographer's dream come true. This is our outdoor classroom for this workshop, part of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction designed and presented by world-renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw.

The author and desert wilderness advocate Edward Abbey once astutely observed:

There are more hills, holes, humps and hollows, reefs, folds, domes, swells and grabens, buttes, benches and mesas, synclines, monoclines, and anticlines than you can ever hope to see and explore in a lifetime.

We'll add that the quality of light and atmosphere here are superb.

Click "Read More..." below right to read on and see the image gallery...

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Vision October 20 - 24, 2014
Limit 10 spaces | $4,395* Closed

 

Boulder Mountain rises to the west of Capital Reef National Park in the picturesque Aquarius Plateau of South Central Utah. It is the highest timbered plateau in North America, with over 50,000 acres of rolling forests of pine, spruce, fir, and aspen, as well as expansive meadowlands. The area features the dramatic red rock canyons and sculpted formations for which southern Utah is famous, but it is a little known and refreshing alternative to more heavily trafficked southwestern locations.

Situated immediately adjacent to the majestic Grand Staircase descending toward the Grand Canyon and the canyons of the Escalante, this place is a creative photographer's dream come true. This is our outdoor classroom for this workshop, part of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction designed and presented by world-renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw.

The author and desert wilderness advocate Edward Abbey once astutely observed:

There are more hills, holes, humps and hollows, reefs, folds, domes, swells and grabens, buttes, benches and mesas, synclines, monoclines, and anticlines than you can ever hope to see and explore in a lifetime.

We'll add that the quality of light and atmosphere here are superb.

Click "Read More..." below right to read on and see the image gallery...

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Expedition November 8 - 23, 2014
Limit 6 spaces | $14,500* Closed

Motion picture director Peter Jackson chose New Zealand as the location to film the fantasy world of Tolkien's "Middle Earth" for a very good reason: the variety of incredible landscapes found in such a small area is simply astounding! Towering mountain ranges, wind-swept coastlines, pristine river valleys, and moss-covered tree fern forests are just some of the scenes we will photograph as we explore the South Island on this unique small-group 15-day journey led by National Geographic photographer Michael Melford, Justin Black, and renowned "Kiwi" landscape photographer Phillip Bartlett.

We wanted to take you to wild places on the South Island which are off the regular tourist path, locations which are seldom-visited, but that offer superb photography. To access these areas we will be travelling by 4WD vehicles, with a maximum of three passengers per vehicle. In addition, private-charter excursions by helicopter and boat provide us access to some truly phenomenal opportunities.

Click "read more" below right to see the itinerary and photo gallery...

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Creative Core December 1 - 5, 2014
Limit 10 spaces | $3,250* Closed

 

A Special Last-Minute Addition To Our 2014 Program

We have added a workshop based in Moab, Utah, December 1-5, 2014, with Jeff Foott and Jerry Dodrill. The group size is limited to ten participants, and the package includes the workshop itself from 1pm on December 1st, to 3pm on December 5th, four nights accommodations in a king-bed guest room at Gonzo Inn (arguably the nicest place to stay in Moab), and all meals including wine/beer with dinners. Jeff and Jerry will lead early morning and afternoon photo excursions each day to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, and mid-day hours will be used for presentations and constructive image critique at our meeting room at Gonzo Inn. The rate for single-occupancy is $3250; double-occupancy is $3000 per-participant; for those who will make their own lodging arrangements in Moab, the rate is $2750.

 All participants in this workshop will be entitled to have two exhibition-quality fine prints, up to 20"x30" in size, made of their work, by our friends at West Coast Imaging.

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Vision January 12 - 16, 2015
Limit 10 spaces | $3,890* Closed

Pastel pinks and blues reflect from the sky at dawn and dusk, painting gypsum dunes that roll elegantly across the landscape. The tapestry of light and shadow, form and texture tempts the creative mind. Yuccas punctuate the landscape, rising in striking graphic isolation against the sand and sky. This is New Mexico's White Sands National Monument, home of the world's largest gypsum dune field, covering 275 square miles, set in a high desert basin with a dramatic mountain backdrop. This will be our outdoor classroom for this Vision series workshop, a special program of advanced instruction designed and presented by world-renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw. Jack is recognized as one of the greatest practitioners and teachers in the history of landscape photography, and John is a natural photographic educator who is relied upon by some of the most successful photographers in the business to keep them current on digital workflow practices and Photoshop techniques. The combination is a uniquely effective and enjoyable experience.

Our fieldwork during this workshop will emphasize the search for elegant, carefully crafted compositions while anticipating the flow of light over the landscape each morning and evening. Opportunities abound, from classic near-far compositions that use yuccas to anchor foreground design, to abstracts harnessing the tones, curves and colors of the dunes, to broad panoramics and macro subjects.

The creation of a great finished photograph is part of a process from initial concept and vision through execution in the field to digital workflow and creation of a high-quality, final master file ready for printing or publication. Vision workshops with John Shaw and Jack Dykinga address the two greatest challenges faced by photographers as they advance. The first of these is the tendency for original creative vision to reach a plateau in development, and the second is a digital workflow in need of streamlining and refinement to make the most of your images.

A SPECIAL GIFT TO PARTICIPANTS: Each participant in this workshops is entitled to have two free fine exhibition prints up to 20"x30" in size made by the master printmakers at West Coast Imaging of Oakhurst, California, one of the very best digital fine art photography labs in the world. These print packages include all the expert digital prep work of your original image file, based on your wishes and input as the artist, to make the best possible print. This special offer is cumulative, so you get two prints for each workshop you take.

Click the "read more" button below right to continue...

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Vision February 2 - 6, 2015
Limit 10 spaces | $3,850* Closed

The majestic Santa Catalina Mountains will be our backdrop in a landscape containing over 5,000 saguaro cactus – our outdoor classroom for this workshop, part of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction designed and presented by world-renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw.

The creation of a truly great finished photograph is part of a process from initial concept and vision through execution in the field to digital workflow and creation of a high-quality, final master file ready for printing or publication. Vision workshops with John Shaw and Jack Dykinga address the two greatest challenges faced by photographers as they advance. The first of these is the tendency for original creative vision to reach a plateau in development, and the second is a digital workflow in need of streamlining and refinement to make the most of your images.

A SPECIAL GIFT: Each participant is entitled to have two fine exhibition prints made by the master printmakers at West Coast Imaging. Please see the "Outcomes" section below for details.

Click the "read more" button below right for more information and the image gallery...

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Vision March 25 - April 5, 2015
Limit 10 spaces | $11,250* Closed

This workshop is designed to maximize opportunities for well-crafted and compelling photographs in one of the world's most awe-inspiring landscapes. Participants will have ample time to get to know Torres del Paine during its colorful autumn splendor, and your photography there will benefit from the opportunity to revisit fruitful situations to apply lessons learned and to take advantage of changing weather and light. The goal is for each participant to come away from this trip with a strong body of work, a new body of knowledge, new friendships, rejuvenation, and priceless memories.

Torres del Paine National Park and Biosphere Reserve is the centerpiece of Patagonia – the ultimate distillation of the region's most inspiring qualities. It's one of those rare places that routinely exceeds the grandest dreams of even the most experienced photographers. Peaks and spires thrust abruptly upward above turquoise lakes, forcing moisture-laden winds off the ocean to form soaring lenticular clouds that catch the fiery sunrise and sunset alpenglow. Glaciers spill down from the Patagonian icecap, depositing cobalt blue icebergs on the shores of Lago Grey. Endemic lenga tree forests glow in hues of gold and copper in the southern autumn. Rivers tumble over cascading waterfalls as condors ride thermals on the flanks of the Cordillera del Paine mountains. Guanacos and foxes range over the golden pampas, and flamingoes wade the lagoons. At this time of year, the days are a manageable length with extended periods of dawn and dusk, and the sun never rises more than 35 degrees above the horizon. The quality of light is spectacular.

Click "read more" below right for the itinerary and image gallery...

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Expedition May 15 - 28, 2015
Limit 10 spaces | $14,500* Closed

After thirty visits to PNG over the last two decades, photographer Michele Westmorland considers it her "second home." She and co-leader Karen Kasmauski, one of the world's most highly respected photojournalists with over two dozen feature assignments for National Geographic magazine to her name, invite you to experience this incredible photographic journey in some of the most remote and beautiful areas of Papua New Guinea, featuring the best accommodations available and charter flight transfers between our various locations.

On her first visit to Papua New Guinea in 1991, Westmorland was immediately hooked:

"I was completely taken by the beauty and diversity of the underwater world," she says. "It was on my third or fourth trip that I raised my head above the water and realized how diverse the landscape and the people are."

PNG is home to the most linguistically diverse population on Earth with around 800 different languages spoken in a country with a population of around 5 million people. It is a land of traditional cultures living a subsistence hunter-gatherer lifestyle, and small villages and small-scale farming are the norm. The colorful wigmen of the Huli tribe of the southern highlands use multi-colored clays, feathers, and flowers for traditional body decoration. Birds of Paradise grace the forests with their dramatic color and form.

In contrast the young men of the Sepik region, formerly the home of a head-hunting culture, undergo painful decorative scarring on their backs. Life in the Sepik area revolves around the river, with men paddling narrow dugout canoes full of goods for trade, women fishing or making sago, and children joyfully swinging from trees to splash down in the river. Crocodiles are the manifestation of the local river spirits. The Sepik is a gallery of tribal art – each village boasts a unique style and every villager is an artisan.

Through the song, dance, and pageantry of "sing-sings," proud local people showcase their traditional customs and artistry. It's a wonderful opportunity for us to photograph the various cultures of Papua New Guinea together in an array of color and passion.

The Cape Nelson in Oro Province of Papua New Guinea is full of mystery as we approach from the air.   The short one-hour flight from Port Moresby reveals the green fingers of land stretched out into the turquoise waters of the Solomon Sea.  Arriving in the morning, we will settle into our charming accommodations and prepare for the next 3 days of a rich cultural experience in a stunning coastal environment. Our group will experience the beauty of the fjord areas by traditional canoe allowing for exceptional photography, or a bit of video, as exotic birds swoop overhead.  Hornbills, parrots and cockatoos are common in this area.

Our village hosts will not only share their daily lives with our group of photographers, but prepare for another sing-sing where we will capture the extensive body décor that reveals the sense of pride these warm and friendly people have in their tradition.  In addition to the dance, there will be demonstrations of facial tattooing, fire making and sago preparation.  Sago is a staple food source that comes from the pulp of a endemic palm.Other activities will include a trip to waterfalls or hikes to vistas overlooking the fjord areas.  And if you are willing to put your camera down, you can snorkel along the mangroves and forest growth in the shallow reef areas.

PACKAGE
This trip is packaged as single-occupancy by default (double-occupancy guests save $1250 each), and includes all lodging, meals, beverages (including beer or wine with dinner), air and ground transfers (including six internal charter flights), excursions, special performances and cultural photo-ops, and of course expert photographic instruction and guiding throughout by Michele Westmorland and Karen Kasmauski.

 
ITINERARY: Click "read more" below right...

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Expedition May 16 - 24, 2015
Limit 10 spaces | $5,695* Closed

The sinuous channels, sculpted slick rock, red rock formations, abstract glowing reflections, and sublime canyon light of Lake Powell and Glen Canyon await you on this eight-day, seven-night photographic exploration with Gary Ladd, Jeff Foott, and Justin Black. A professionally crewed deluxe 75-foot houseboat will be our base camp, and three motorboats will provide access to the quiet corners of the sprawling lake, including sections of Glen Canyon that haven't been seen since it was flooded. We'll also have a few kayaks along for accessing slot canyons so narrow that one can touch both sides with arms outstretched.

The trip will begin at Comfort Inn and Suites in Page, Arizona, with an afternoon meeting and orientation before going out for an inaugural group dinner. The next morning, we'll drive across Glen Canyon Dam to Wahweap Marina to board our boat and cruise out to onto the lake. From pre-dawn to post-sunset each day, we will make the most of the light, including mid-day use of bounced canyon light. Instructors Gary Ladd, Jeff Foott, and Justin Black will guide excursions by motorboat to explore and photograph while the houseboat crew cruises from one anchorage to the next. We will make short, easy hikes into side canyons and across the slickrock landscape to access mind-bending locations. Each evening, we will spend the night at anchor in a secluded cove beneath the amazing starscape of the  clear southwestern sky.

Accommodations on the houseboat include five staterooms with queen beds, plus two large pull-out beds (all suitable for single or double occupancy), as well as the option of sleeping out under the stars on the sun deck (the crew and leaders will share this space). The boat also features two full bathrooms with showers, spacious common areas, hot tub, fireplace, and more.

Hearty meals will be prepared by our friendly boat crew: captain Randy Tucker – a Coast Guard-licensed and experienced Lake Powell and Grand Canyon guide – and his wife Barbara, a certified Grand Canyon raft guide. Randy and Barb are some of the finest people we know, and we are very pleased to have them join us for this trip. We hope you will too!

 

 

 

 

 

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Creative Core June 1 - 5, 2015
Limit 12 spaces | $3,250* Closed

Colossal redwoods thrust upward into the coastal fog. The pink blooms of wild rhododendrons take on a translucent glow against the dark greens of the forest. Dramatic seastacks and driftwood accent the wild Pacific coast. One of the world's most creativity-inspiring and evocative landscapes – Northern California's Redwood Coast – will be our outdoor classroom for this photo workshop, presented by photographers Jeff Foott and Jerry Dodrill. This place is truly a photographer's playground, rich with diverse photographic opportunities and a dynamic interplay of sun and fog. It's the perfect setting for a fun, upbeat, and supportive workshop focused on developing creativity and honing skills. Participants will learn to take control of the finer points of composition, exposure and tonal control, and specialized techniques for approaching this sublime coastal landscape.

Click the "read more..." tab below right for more information and to see the photo gallery!

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Expedition June 8 - 19, 2015
Limit 9 spaces | $16,995* Closed

A Dream of Wild Africa

The Serengeti ecosystem supports the largest concentration of animals on the planet! This itinerary puts us in the heart of that living, breathing, moving...... sea of beasts! –Roy Toft

Roy Toft and Justin Black have selected three of the very finest safari destinations in all of Africa – Tanzania's Tarangire and Serengeti National Parks and little-known Grumeti Reserve – to offer a world-class, all-inclusive safari experience that features superb opportunities to capture stunning wildlife behavior, generous and effective photographic instruction, luxury amenities, excellent photographer support, a lack of crowds, and a ton of fun! Roy and Justin are both renowned for the lengths they go to to ensure safari participants have an exceptional experience that exceeds expectations, all within a good-humored atmosphere of camaraderie and mutually supportive exploration and learning. We promise a superb safari experience and a great time had by all.

Itinerary and Locations

June 8, 2015: Upon arrival at Tanzania's Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met by our representative who will assist with your private vehicle transfer to Onsea House. Accommodation: Onsea House Private Room – This tranquil boutique hotel works hard to maintain its status as the best luxury bed and breakfast in Arusha.

June 9: Today you will transfer from Onsea House to the Arusha airstrip for your light aircraft flight to Oliver’s Camp. Accommodation: Oliver’s Camp Luxury Tent – A lovely, friendly, remote, and rustic tented camp that has by far the best location at Tarangire, within the best game viewing area in the park.

June 9 – 13: Spend your days exploring all that Tarangire National Park has to offer. Roy, Justin, and our naturalist will lead morning and evening wildlife photography excursions, with time mid-day for image review and critique, and presentations including wildlife photography technique, composition, and digital workflow and processing.

Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park is famous for its tree climbing lions, stout baobab trees, massive elephant herds, and, importantly, a lack of crowds (particularly compared to tourist-mobbed Ngorongoro crater). Our safari coincides with the beginning of the dry season when animal numbers and concentrations are at their peak. The Tarangire River is a trickle when compared with the wet season, but it throbs with wildlife. Herds of up to 300 elephants wallow in the river bed, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest, and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It is the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem proper, and this is the only place in Tanzania where the stately fringe-eared oryx and elegant long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed. Sausage trees in Tarangire are home to leopard, where they are often seen waiting for prey.

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Expedition August 17 - 26, 2015
Limit 7 spaces | $9,650* Closed

New in 2015: Upgraded lodging and an extra day on location!

Jeff Foott has also been added to this itinerary as co-leader at no extra charge.

Just a few years ago, it was inconceivable that there could be a place where a photographer could reliably photograph wild jaguars in their home habitat, and better yet, in the open along a river bank and in great light. Incredibly, such a place exists in the Pantanal wetland of Brazil, and years of research have proven it to be by far the world's most productive location for photography of wild jaguars. Our 2013 Visionary Wild group enjoyed multiple jaguar sightings each day, lasting anywhere from five minutes to an hour and a half each, totaling nine individuals patrolling their territories in the area. We discovered a mother and daughter that had not been known to local biologists (so members of our group got to assign the nicknames biologists will use for reference), and we were very fortunate to see one of our favorite cats, a seven-year-old male nicknamed "Mick Jaguar," stalk and take down a 200-pound, eight-foot-long caiman from a great vantage point just forty meters away! Rivers and channels provide easy access by boat to water's-edge locations frequented by the big cats in the dry season. This is the closest thing to an East African photo safari in the New World.

The Brazilian Pantanal, the world's largest continental wetland, is a luxuriant forest-savannah mosaic in central-western Brazil that is home to the highest density of jaguars in the world. It is also simply the greatest wildlife spectacle of Latin America. In addition to its jaguars, which are far more accessible to photographers here than anywhere else in their range, it harbors the world’s largest parrots (hyacinth macaw), the world’s largest snake (anaconda), the world’s largest otter, and many other species of wildlife, often in astonishingly high densities.

Award-winning nature photographer Justin Black – a Pantanal veteran – looks forward to sharing this expedition with six passionate photographers. The small group size will ensure ample space to maneuver for photography from the boats.

Our floating hotel for five nights of the trip is the brand-new and spacious Jaguar Suites, offering the finest guest rooms in all the Pantanal, purpose-built to support serious photographers in comfort. Anchored on the Cuiabá River right in the middle of the best jaguar action, when compared with other accommodations in the area this privileged location on the water permits us to spend up to two hours of extra time per day with the cats, and at the best times of day for quality of light, comfortable temperatures, and scenic beauty in the Pantanal. The suites also feature scenic river views, air-conditioning, high-speed Wi-Fi, and desktops with multiple power outlets for charging laptops and batteries. We have secured enough space at the Jaguar Suites for each of the six participants to have a private room with en-suite bathroom. The suites accommodate double-occupancy very comfortably as well.

We will also spend a total of four nights (the first night, and the final three) at the Pantanal Wildlife Center’s Fazenda Santa Teresa, an intimate and very comfortable lodge located on an expansive estate on the banks of the wildlife-rich Pixaim River. This trip coincides with the surreal magenta bloom of numerous large Ipê trees on the lodge grounds and across the Pantanal landscape. Unique wildlife observation towers include one located 16 m east of an active nest of habituated Jabiru storks – perfect at first light in the morning – and a second one in gallery forest along the banks of the river. Virtually guaranteed wildlife sightings here include giant otters, capuchin monkeys, numerous bird species including toco toucans, hyacinth macaws, rufescent tiger heron, anhingas, crested caracaras, various fishing hawks, stunning yellow-billed cardinals, an the extraordinary great potoo. Jaguars and tapirs are sometimes seen that Fazenda Santa Teresa as well.

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Expedition August 8 - 17, 2015
Limit 6 spaces | $10,195* Closed

New for this itinerary in 2015

• Upgraded, spacious accommodation at the floating Jaguar Suites

• An extra day in the Jaguar Zone

• Leader Jeff Foott will be joined by co-leader Justin Black, providing an incredible participant to instructor ratio of 3:1.

Just a few years ago, it was inconceivable that there could be a place where a photographer could reliably photograph wild jaguars in their home habitat, and better yet, in the open along a river bank and in great light. Incredibly, such a place exists in the Pantanal wetland of Brazil, and years of research have proven it to be by far the world's most productive location for photography of wild jaguars. Our 2013 Visionary Wild group enjoyed multiple jaguar sightings each day, lasting anywhere from five minutes to an hour and a half each, totaling nine individuals patrolling their territories in the area. We discovered a mother and daughter that had not been known to local biologists (so members of our group got to assign the nicknames biologists will use for reference), and we were very fortunate to see one of our favorite cats, a seven-year-old male nicknamed "Mick Jaguar," stalk and take down a 200-pound, eight-foot-long caiman from a great vantage point just forty meters away! Rivers and channels provide easy access by boat to water's-edge locations frequented by the big cats in the dry season. This is the closest thing to an East African photo safari in the New World.

The Brazilian Pantanal, the world's largest continental wetland, is a luxuriant forest-savannah mosaic in central-western Brazil that is home to the highest density of jaguars in the world. It is also simply the greatest wildlife spectacle of Latin America. In addition to its jaguars, which are far more accessible to photographers here than anywhere else in their range, it harbors the world’s largest parrots (hyacinth macaw), the world’s largest snake (anaconda), the world’s largest otter, and many other species of wildlife, often in astonishingly high densities.

Jeff Foott – a multiple-award-winning nature photographer, wildlife cinematographer, and a three-time Pantanal veteran – looks forward to sharing this expedition with six passionate photographers. The small group size will ensure ample space to maneuver for photography from the boats.

Our floating hotel for six nights of the trip is the brand-new and spacious Jaguar Suites, offering the finest guest rooms in all the Pantanal, purpose-built to support serious photographers in comfort. Anchored on the Cuiabá River right in the middle of the best jaguar action, when compared with other accommodations in the area this privileged location on the water permits us to spend up to two hours of extra time per day with the cats, and at the best times of day for quality of light, comfortable temperatures, and scenic beauty in the Pantanal. The suites also feature scenic river views, air-conditioning, high-speed Wi-Fi, and desktops with multiple power outlets for charging laptops and batteries. We have secured enough space at the Jaguar Suites for each of the six participants to have a private room with en-suite bathroom. The suites accommodate double-occupancy very comfortably as well.

We will also spend a total of three nights (the first two nights, and the final one) at the Pantanal Wildlife Center’s Fazenda Santa Teresa, an intimate and very comfortable lodge located on an expansive estate on the banks of the wildlife-rich Pixaim River. This trip coincides with the surreal magenta bloom of numerous large Ipê trees on the lodge grounds and across the Pantanal landscape. Unique wildlife observation towers include one located 16 m east of an active nest of habituated Jabiru storks – perfect at first light in the morning – and a second one in gallery forest along the banks of the river. Virtually guaranteed wildlife sightings here include giant otters, capuchin monkeys, numerous bird species including toco toucans, hyacinth macaws, rufescent tiger heron, anhingas, crested caracaras, various fishing hawks, stunning yellow-billed cardinals, an the extraordinary great potoo. Jaguars and tapirs are sometimes seen that Fazenda Santa Teresa as well.

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Expedition September 9 - 21, 2015
Limit 16 spaces | $14,995* Closed

 

 

 

Featuring private charter of the three-masted expedition vessel Rembrandt van Rijn, helicopter flights onto the second largest ice cap on Earth, close encounters with the Arctic's largest icebergs, and excursions onto the colorful autumn tundra.

Greenland's remote and little-visited west coast is a world of arctic grandeur. Each year, the massive Jakobshavn Glacier calves some 35 billion tons of icebergs into the sheltered waters of Disko Bay and Ilulissat Icefjord, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on the world's largest island. Towers, arches, and walls of ancient blue ice thrust skyward from the water's surface. Whales and seabirds abound. Steep-walled fjords, dramatic coastal mountains, tundra in autumn color, the Greenland Ice Sheet, and the Aurora Borealis combine to form an incomparable landscape. Visionary Wild presents a unique opportunity to experience and photograph this arctic wilderness in all its glory.

Join this world-class team of leaders – Frans Lanting, Christine Eckstrom, Justin Black, and Chris Linder – for our all-inclusive photographic exploration of Greenland's west coast. The 168-foot, three-masted schooner Rembrandt van Rijn (click here for more about the vessel) will be our private floating base camp for the first eight days in Greenland. We are radically under-booking this comfortable vessel to ensure ample space for our group both on the ship and in zodiacs – our group will consist of only sixteen participants and four leaders, though Rembrandt normally sleeps 33 guests in addition to her crew of twelve. She is exceptionally well-suited to exploration and photography along the Greenland coast, with a reinforced hull, expansive unobstructed sight lines even under sail, and very comfortable accommodations. We will make frequent landings by zodiac to photograph in morning and evening light, and as serendipity presents us with compelling opportunities along the way. In addition to the arctic landscape, we will photograph Disko Bay's whales, including beluga, bowhead, and humpbacks, and a variety of coastal and pelagic birds such as eider ducks and albatross. The etherial glow of the aurora borealis dancing in the night sky over the iceberg-dotted bay will be the sight of a lifetime.

After disembarking from Rembrandt, we will move on to the nearby town of Ilulissat, home to 5,000 Greenlanders and an equivalent number of sled dogs. There, our base will be Hotel Hvide Falk (White Falcon). One of the highlights of our four days there will be a series of helicopter excursions (one hour of flight time per participant, each with a window seat) to do aerial photography of icebergs, Jakobshavn Glacier and Ilulissat Icefjord, and to access the Greenland Ice Sheet itself, where we will land and photograph at a moulin, meltwater lake, or other interesting feature on the kilometers-deep icecap. We will also make excursions on a local charter boat to approach large icebergs, and hikes on the autumn tundra with stunning views of Disko Bay and the coastal mountains.

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Creative Core September 14 - 18, 2015
Limit 7 spaces | $3,950* Closed

Characterized by the ebb and flow of tides and fog, California’s sleepy Sonoma Coast features light, atmospherics, and landscape as fine as the region’s famous pinot noir. Dramatic headlands, sea stacks, and beaches are sculpted by the Pacific waves and the action of tectonic plates along the San Andreas Fault. The rugged beauty here offers unending opportunities for passionate photographers. This advanced workshop is geared for photographers who are fairly comfortable with the fundamentals of photography and digital workflow, and who seek higher-level mentorship.

Instructors Jeff Foott and Jerry Dodrill will lead eight field sessions to explore remote coves, sea arches and tidepools, coastal ridges and steep canyons filled with redwood forest. They will share insights that will help you to refine your creative vision, composition skills, and field techniques, understand the practical implications of human visual cognition, explore ways to use the element of time to expand your creative horizons, and help find ways to add greater purpose and meaning to your photography.

Our basecamp at historic Timber Cove Inn, located on a headland with dramatic views of sea stacks and surf, serves as an excellent position from which we will set off for a range of photographic objectives from Bodega Bay’s bluffs and sand dunes to the Russian River, Fort Ross, and the sculpted tufoni sandstone formations and wind-sculpted bishop pines at Salt Point. We will visit mysterious Bowling Ball Beach and the historic Point Arena lighthouse. Special features of this workshop include a field session in a scenic ridge-top old-vine Zinfandel vineyard, and a private wine tasting dinner with a local wine maker.

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Expedition October 9 - 24, 2015
Limit 6 spaces | $16,995* Closed

 

 

An intimate first-class photo adventure through the magnificent landscape of the South Island

"The NZ trip was really spectacular...and you're to be congratulated for ensuring that it was such a great experience for us from beginning to end." –Kathy R., 2014 participant

Towering mountain ranges, hanging alpine glaciers, wind-swept coastlines, crystal blue lakes, pristine turquoise river valleys, and primordial tree fern rainforests are just some of the scenes we will photograph as we explore the South Island on this intimate 15-day journey led by three top pros: National Geographic photographer Michael Melford (who recently covered the South Island on assignment for Nat Geo), Justin Black of Visionary Wild, and Phillip Bartlett, a renowned Kiwi landscape photographer and guide. It was with good reason that motion picture director Peter Jackson chose New Zealand as his location for the fantasy world of Tolkien's "Middle Earth": the variety of incredible landscapes found in such a compact area is simply astounding.

We sought to design a trip that would take your breath away, visiting locations off the regular tourist path that offer superb photography. To access these areas we will be travelling by 4WD Toyota Landcruisers, with two to three passengers per vehicle. In addition, private charter excursions by helicopter and boat – at Fox Glacier, Milford Sound, Lake Wanaka, and Kaikoura – provide us access to some truly phenomenal opportunities. All the while, your trip leaders offer generous guidance and instruction to ensure that you make the most of the photographic possibilities.

Our 2014 trip was exceedingly well received by our guests (see testimonials at the bottom of this page), but nevertheless we have made significant improvements to this trip in 2015, upgrading accommodations, adding a second helicopter excursion, and refining the itinerary to maximize the quality of the overall experience.

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Vision October 12 - 16, 2015
Limit 10 spaces | $4,495* Closed

The majestic Grand Staircase descending toward the Grand Canyon and the canyons of the Escalante are a creative photographer's dream come true. This outdoor classroom is a highlight of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction focusing on refining your personal creative vision, composition, and digital workflow, designed and presented by renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw, with support by popular workshops leader Jerry Dodrill, a protégé of the legendary Galen Rowell. Packaged with single-occupancy lodging at the beautiful Boulder Mountain Lodge, and with first-class dining at the famous Hell's Backbone Grill, this is a superb workshop scenario, which helps explain why Visionary Wild clients often repeat this experience. We hope you'll join us!

Boulder Mountain rises to the west of Capital Reef National Park in the picturesque Aquarius Plateau of South Central Utah. It is the highest timbered plateau in North America, with over 50,000 acres of rolling forests of pine, spruce, fir, and aspen, as well as expansive meadowlands. The area features the dramatic red rock canyons and sculpted formations for which southern Utah is famous, but it is a little known and refreshing alternative to more heavily trafficked southwestern locations.

The author and desert wilderness advocate Edward Abbey once astutely observed:

There are more hills, holes, humps and hollows, reefs, folds, domes, swells and grabens, buttes, benches and mesas, synclines, monoclines, and anticlines than you can ever hope to see and explore in a lifetime.

We'll add that the quality of light and atmosphere here are superb.

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Vision October 19 - 23, 2015
Limit 10 spaces | $4,495* Closed

The majestic Grand Staircase descending toward the Grand Canyon and the canyons of the Escalante are a creative photographer's dream come true. This outdoor classroom is a highlight of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction focusing on refining your personal creative vision, composition, and digital workflow, designed and presented by renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw, with support by popular workshops leader Jerry Dodrill, a protégé of the legendary Galen Rowell. Packaged with single-occupancy lodging at the beautiful Boulder Mountain Lodge, and with first-class dining at the famous Hell's Backbone Grill, this is a superb workshop scenario, which helps explain why Visionary Wild clients often repeat this experience. We hope you'll join us!

Boulder Mountain rises to the west of Capital Reef National Park in the picturesque Aquarius Plateau of South Central Utah. It is the highest timbered plateau in North America, with over 50,000 acres of rolling forests of pine, spruce, fir, and aspen, as well as expansive meadowlands. The area features the dramatic red rock canyons and sculpted formations for which southern Utah is famous, but it is a little known and refreshing alternative to more heavily trafficked southwestern locations.

The author and desert wilderness advocate Edward Abbey once astutely observed:

There are more hills, holes, humps and hollows, reefs, folds, domes, swells and grabens, buttes, benches and mesas, synclines, monoclines, and anticlines than you can ever hope to see and explore in a lifetime.

We'll add that the quality of light and atmosphere here are superb.

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Creative Core October 26 - 30, 2015
Limit 12 spaces | $3,250* Closed

Zion National Park’s red rock and limestone cliffs and spires tower above sculpted canyons, grottoes, and waterways, forming a unique and awe-inspiring landscape at the convergence of the Colorado Plateau, the Great Basin, and the Mojave Desert.  Autumn’s arrival brings comfortably cool temperatures and fall colors in the maples and cottonwoods.  Zion is quite simply one of the gems of the National Park system, a highlight of the American Southwest, and one of our favorite outdoor photographic "classrooms."

Charles Cramer is a masterful artist renowned for landscape photographs that derive their power from their elegant and gentle calm. He has returned again and again to Zion over the years to draw inspiration from its astonishing interplay of canyon light, color contrasts, and dramatic forms. Garnering rave reviews whenever he teaches, Charlie enjoys nothing more than sharing his insights, creativity, and craftsmanship with other passionate photographers in an effort to help them refine their own vision. Assistant instructor Justin Black has led four prior workshops at Zion and is always struck by the way this landscape reveals its secrets like the layers of an onion being peeled back – every visit yields a new discovery and new qualities of light.

This all-inclusive workshop will be based at Flanigan’s Inn of Springdale, Utah, just outside the western entrance of Zion National Park, providing excellent access to field locations. Along with eight field sessions, Charlie and Justin will present projected lectures on composition, light, exposure control, anticipating and working through changing conditions, and essentials of digital workflow. Three critique sessions will provide essential constructive feedback on images created during the workshop.

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Advanced November 14 - 20, 2015
Limit 10 spaces | $10,950* Closed

Picture yourself standing on arctic tundra at the edge of Hudson Bay, photographing a pair of polar bears wrestling in the glow of sunset as they wait for the bay to freeze over so they can begin their annual hunting season on the ice. An arctic fox watches the action from the sidelines. The only sounds are the bears, the breeze, and waves lapping at the ice forming on the shoreline. Then imagine, as the light fades and temperatures drop, you walk just a few feet away to sit beside the fire in a cozy wilderness lodge, joining your fellow photographers for a glass of wine while reviewing the day's photographs, in anticipation of a gourmet dinner and excited conversation about the opportunities that await tomorrow. Keep your camera ready, though... the aurora borealis may well appear in the night sky.

Join Roy Toft and Justin Black at Seal River, a remote wilderness lodge positioned in prime polar bear territory on the shores of Hudson Bay about 40 miles north of Churchill, Manitoba. This is a very special opportunity to intensively photograph polar bear behavior close-up in the wild. Forget the diesel-belching tundra buggies at Churchill and the crowded cruise ships at Svalbard. Our small group will photograph the bears from eye level, on foot, via short excursions onto the tundra and from the grounds of the lodge, where polar bears walk within inches of the fence line.

Roy, a highly regarded and widely published professional wildlife photographer and inspiring workshops instructor, recently had the opportunity to photograph the polar bears at Seal River, and he was blown away by the quality of the photography and the overall experience. Seal River is a comfortable fly-in lodge that offers unique access to a high density of polar bears with a lovely landscape backdrop. To ensure you make the most of your visit, Roy and Justin will provide highly attentive, thoughtful, and generous instruction throughout the trip, offering feedback and useful guidance drawn from their combined four decades of experience as professional nature photographers. They will provide recommendations on camera setup optimized for wildlife photography, teach strategies and techniques to empower you to anticipate and capture fleeting wildlife behaviors, offer advice on composition and working the available light and weather conditions for best effect, and more. In the evening, Roy and Justin will provide feedback and constructive critique of your images to ensure that the quality of your work improves significantly over the course of the trip.

Included in the package are round-trip flights (Winnipeg – Churchill – Seal River Lodge), all lodging, all meals, all beverages, all photographic instruction and bear guiding, and Canadian tax. Though most Visionary Wild workshops and expeditions are packaged and priced as single-occupancy by default, this workshop is packaged as double-occupancy at $10,950 per person, due to the limited number of guest rooms and beds at  Seal River Lodge (its eight rooms sleep a maximum of sixteen guests), and the fact that their operating season is relatively short, which makes the single-occupancy supplement for this trip $6,550. We will be happy to help pair up individual participants of the same gender who wish to share a room, but we can certainly accommodate those who wish to book single-occupancy rooms.

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Expedition November 29 - December 6, 2015
Limit 6 spaces | $8,500* Closed

Exotic Birds – Poison Dart Frogs –  Monkeys – Waterfalls – Wild Pacific Beach

All of this and more is to be found in one of the most biologically exciting places on Earth – Coast Rica's remote Osa Peninsula – and we'd like to share the best of it with you. Envision original primary rainforest rising up a low ridge from a pristine and entirely undeveloped Pacific beach, stretching as far as the eye can see. Native toucans, scarlet macaws, and four species of New World monkeys cruise through the trees, while dramatic waterfalls roar in the jungle. Numerous species of visually striking frogs inhabit the area, including three species of colorful poison dart frogs, red-eyed tree frogs, masked tree frogs, and massive cane toads in their native habitat. Hundreds of exotic bird species abound. In addition to the toucans and macaws, long-tail hermit hummingbirds, elegant and violaceous trogons, blue-capped manakins, crested caracaras, ibis, various raptors and myriad other species are readily photographed. The forest itself is stunning, with old-growth trees and vegetation full of character and beautiful graphic compositions just waiting to be discovered.

Leaders Tom Mangelsen and Justin Black will share their creative approaches to photographing rainforest fauna and flora, as well as the dramatic landscape. Hands-on in the field, we will cover long-lens and macro wildlife techniques, control of composition and light, fill-flash, control of focal plane and perspective with tilt-shift lenses, panoramic stitching, and other techniques that can be used to great effect in this amazing place.

Read Justin Black's article "Frogs of the Osa" in Outdoor Photographer magazine

Our base camp is El Remanso, a top-rated eco-lodge, which offers a uniquely rich and accessible environment to witness and explore the incredible flora and fauna of Central America's rainforests.  The owners are our personal friends, and the staff make guests feel like family. It’s a peaceful resort where it’s easy to let go of the hassles of travel logistics and fully immerse yourself in exploring and photographing the birds, waterfalls, monkeys and frogs, gorgeous old-growth trees, and the stunning Pacific beach.

The staff at El Remanso take great care of us – providing a delicious mix of international and local Tico cuisine, fresh tropical fruits, not to mention the superb margaritas, caipirinhas, and piña coladas – all on an inviting and spacious covered dining deck perched at the top of a canyon, at eye-level with the forest canopy.  We'll bring our long lenses to breakfast to photograph monkeys, macaws and toucans feeding in the trees.  The opportunities to explore don’t end with the setting sun. A stroll with our naturalist guides around El Remanso just after dark reveals all manner of nocturnal species.

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Vision January 11 - 15, 2016
Limit 10 spaces | $4,195* Closed

Refine your vision and harness the aesthetic potential of one of the world's harshest landscapes.

At first glance, the largest National Park in the Lower 48 appears to be nothing more than a stark and desolate wasteland, desiccated by sun and wind in the rain shadow of the High Sierra and the Panamint Range. Depite its reputation as a land of extremes – the driest place in the United States, the lowest elevation in North America, and the hottest place on Earth – the careful observer will find Death Valley to be a place of elegant and haunting beauty.

This outdoor classroom is a highlight of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction focusing on refining your personal creative vision, composition, digital workflow and image processing, designed and presented by renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw, with support by Visionary Wild's Justin Black. All three instructors have photographed Death Valley extensively and know its secrets well. We will photograph at a variety of locations in the park during our morning and evening field sessions, with emphasis on the dunes, salt formations, water courses, and sculpted designs in the canyons. At this time of year, the days are comfortable and the nights are cool, and the weather can bring anything from sunny bluebird skies to dramatic boiling storm clouds. Death Valley always serves up surprises, which is one reason we like to return time and time again.

Packaged with single-occupancy lodging at Stovepipe Wells Hotel, located ideally near Mesquite Flat Dunes, and with all meals, snacks and beverages included, this is a superb workshop scenario. We hope you'll join us!

About Vision Workshops

The creation of a truly great finished photograph is part of a process from initial concept and vision through execution in the field to digital workflow and creation of a high-quality, final master file ready for printing or publication. Vision workshops with John Shaw and Jack Dykinga address the two greatest challenges faced by photographers as they advance. The first of these is the tendency for original creative vision to reach a plateau in development, and the second is a digital workflow in need of streamlining and refinement to make the most of your images.

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Vision January 18 - 22, 2016
Limit 10 spaces | $4,195* Closed

Refine your vision and unlock the aesthetic potential of one of the world's harshest landscapes.

At first glance, the largest National Park in the Lower 48 appears to be nothing more than a stark and desolate wasteland, desiccated by sun and wind in the rain shadow of the High Sierra and the Panamint Range. Depite its reputation as a land of extremes – the driest place in the United States, the lowest elevation in North America, and the hottest place on Earth – the careful observer will find Death Valley to be a place of elegant and haunting beauty.

This outdoor classroom is a highlight of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction focusing on refining your personal creative vision, composition, digital workflow and image processing, designed and presented by renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw, with support by Visionary Wild's Justin Black. All three instructors have photographed Death Valley extensively and know its secrets well. We will photograph at a variety of locations in the park during our morning and evening field sessions, with emphasis on the dunes, salt formations, water courses, and sculpted designs in the canyons. At this time of year, the days are comfortable and the nights are cool, and the weather can bring anything from sunny bluebird skies to dramatic boiling storm clouds. Death Valley always serves up surprises, which is one reason we like to return time and time again.

Packaged with single-occupancy lodging at Stovepipe Wells Hotel, located ideally near Mesquite Flat Dunes, and with all meals, snacks and beverages included, this is a superb workshop scenario. We hope you'll join us!

About Vision Workshops

The creation of a truly great finished photograph is part of a process from initial concept and vision through execution in the field to digital workflow and creation of a high-quality, final master file ready for printing or publication. Vision workshops with John Shaw and Jack Dykinga address the two greatest challenges faced by photographers as they advance. The first of these is the tendency for original creative vision to reach a plateau in development, and the second is a digital workflow in need of streamlining and refinement to make the most of your images.

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Expedition February 8 - 25, 2016
Limit 6 spaces | $18,500* Closed

Ultimate Photographer's Safari

Join award-winning wildlife photographers Lou Coetzer and Justin Black for this superlative African safari experience in the Serengeti, for a small group of six passionate photographers, coinciding with the Wildebeest calving season and excellent big cat activity.

"This was the experience of a lifetime. Visionary Wild provided a terrific photo safari. The educational value of this workshop was unparalleled, and I have participated in many workshops. Justin Black and Lou Coetzer were both terrific in facilitating the photography learning experience and in finding the best locations to maximize the opportunities." –2013 African Vision Safari Participant

In our experience, Lou Coetzer has proven to be the best there is at teaching the anticipation of animal behavior, timing, and camera handling skills that empower you to successfully capture "decisive moment" wildlife images. He and Justin Black of Visionary Wild have carefully chosen two distinct regions of Tanzania’s incredible Serengeti National Park – the Grumeti Western Corridor and Southern Serengeti near Ndutu – to offer a world-class, all-inclusive safari experience that features superb opportunities to capture stunning wildlife behavior, generous and effective photographic instruction, luxurious amenities, excellent photographer support, and a ton of fun! Lou and Justin are both renowned for the lengths they go to to ensure safari participants have an exceptional experience that exceeds expectations, all within a good-humored, collaborative atmosphere of camaraderie and mutually supportive exploration and learning.

• Unquestionably, the best photo-safari vehicles in the business: Our vehicles feature photographer's chairs with fully adjustable 360-degree revolving, gas-assist-lifted Wimberley camera mounts. This makes it a breeze to work with big lenses and photograph dynamic wildlife behavior, repositioning and panning with ease.

• Loan of big telephoto lenses: We provide Nikon 600mm f/4 and 500mm f/4 AF-S super telephotos at no additional cost, so you don't have to travel with them. Full-frame Nikon DSLR bodies are available for loan as well at no additional cost.

• Upscale &Beyond camps: Selected for their proximity to superb wildlife opportunities as well as excellence of accommodation, service, and catering, Grumeti Serengeti and Serengeti Under Canvas serve as first-rate safari base camps.

This package is designed to deliver a superb overall experience, and includes first-rate lodging, all meals, all beverages (including fine wines with dinner), expert guides, photographic instruction, loaner telephotos and cameras, use of custom photo vehicles, park entry fees, ground transfers, and charter flights during the itinerary.

Conceived as a unique wildlife photography experience optimized for opportunities to photograph peak action and behavior of Serengeti wildlife, this safari focuses on the heightened level of predator activity of early green season in the Western Corridor (when the grass is green but still short, and The Great Migration is not present so predators have to spend more time actively in search of prey), as well as the prey-rich Wildebeest calving in the south, when lion, cheetah, leopard, African wild dogs, hyenas, and jackals converge on the massive migratory herds to prey on newborn calves.

Rather than seeking to photograph a "tick list" of African fauna, we will give preference to excellent photographic scenarios: compelling subjects, dynamic behaviors and action, great light, and photogenic backgrounds. That said, other resident species we will encounter include elegant Thompson's gazelles, Burchell's zebras, elephants, giraffes, imposing African buffalo, impalas, topis, hippos, and crocodiles. If we are as fortunate as we have been in the past, we may even locate a few of Tanzania's few remaining black rhinos. Diversity of birdlife is at its peak at this time of year as well, with over 550 species present in the Serengeti. From the brilliantly colorful Lilac-Breasted Roller, to the endangered dinosaur-like Southern Ground Hornbill, to the stately Crowned Crane, we will have ample opportunities for bird photography, which our photo vehicles and long lenses will facilitate tremendously.

Two new 4WD photo safari vehicles with innovative custom features deliver an ideal photographic experience. They seat three photographers along the centerline of the vehicle, with excellent lines of sight through pop-up hatches on either side. Each photographer has his or her own rotating photographer's chair with fully adjustable revolving Wimberley-equipped telephoto lens mount.  Included at no additional cost is the loan of Nikon super-telephoto lenses (600mm f/4 and 500mm f/4) and pro camera bodies, so there is no need to carry big glass to Africa.

Click "read more" below right for the itinerary and more information...

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Expedition April 9 - 17, 2016
Limit 9 spaces | $* Closed

Testimonials from our 2015 Lake Powell participants

"I just wanted to take a minute to thank you (and the rest of the crew) for the wonderful Lake Powell workshop. Both Lynne and I had a great time and the uniqueness of the location was perfect for a variety of different photographic challenges." –Steve A.

"Thanks again for another great trip... Quite the adventure!" –Dan W.

"Just back from a houseboat-based photo workshop on Lake Powell with Visionary Wild. It was a great trip with lots of old friends, and few new ones." –Julie F 

"Thanks again for great time at Lake Powell!  I had a ton of fun." –Walter R.

The sinuous channels, sculpted slick rock, red rock formations, abstract glowing reflections, and sublime canyon light of Lake Powell and Glen Canyon await you on this eight-day, seven-night photographic exploration with Jack Dykinga and Jeff Foott. A professionally crewed deluxe 75-foot houseboat will be our base camp, and 19-foot Boston Whaler motorboats will provide access to the quiet corners of the sprawling lake, including sections of Glen Canyon that haven't been seen since it was flooded. We'll also have a few kayaks along for accessing slot canyons so narrow that one can touch both sides with arms outstretched.

The trip will begin at Comfort Inn and Suites in Page, Arizona, with an afternoon meeting and orientation before kicking things off with a group dinner. The next morning, we'll drive across Glen Canyon Dam to Wahweap Marina to board our boat and cruise out to onto the lake. From pre-dawn to post-sunset each day, we will make the most of the light, including mid-day use of bounced canyon light. Instructors Jack Dykinga and Jeff Foott will guide excursions by motorboat to explore and photograph while the houseboat crew cruises from one anchorage to the next. We will make short hikes into side canyons and across the slickrock landscape to access mind-bending locations. Each evening, we will spend the night at anchor in a secluded cove beneath the amazing starscape of the  clear southwestern sky.

Accommodations on the houseboat include five staterooms with queen beds (suitable for single or double occupancy), plus two large pull-out beds (convertible dinette areas, best suited to single occupants), as well as the option for two guests to sleep out under the stars on the sun deck (the crew and leaders will also share this space). The boat also features two full bathrooms with hot showers, washbasins, and toilets, spacious common areas, a hot tub, fireplace, and more. Hearty meals will be prepared by our friendly, Coast Guard-licensed captain and guide, Myron Cook.

 

Pricing and Accommodation Options:

Master Suite - One Queen Bed, extra room, and private entrance onto stern deck (Quantity: 1 only)
$6995 Double Occupancy (per person) – or – $7995 Single Occupancy 

Standard Cabin – One Queen Bed (Quantity: 4)
$5995 Double Occupancy (per person)  – or – $6995 Single Occupancy 

Convertible Dinette Bed – One full (Quantity: 2)
$5995 Single Occupancy 

Sun Deck Mattress – Outside, under the Stars (Quantity: 2)
$5500 Single Occupancy

Maximum group size is limited to nine guests.

This workshop will be operated under a Commercial Use Authorization issued by the National Park Service.

 

 

 

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Expedition May 6 - 14, 2016
Limit 40 spaces | $* Closed


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Note to Single Travelers: We may have limited availability for those seeking to share double-occupancy staterooms aboard M/V Eclipse. Please contact us if interested.

Join us for this unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The world's preeminent natural history photographers – Frans Lanting, Tom Mangelsen, and Art Wolfe – have joined forces to lead an expedition to photograph the extraordinary wildlife spectacle on a little volcanic archipelago that changed the world forever: Galapagos. The Masters of Nature Photography and Visionary Wild are pleased to present this luxury photo adventure, aboard our 210-foot private expedition vessel, M/V Eclipse. Learn as you travel through the islands, with instruction and guidance by Lanting, Mangelsen, and Wolfe, and generous support by a first-rate team of assistant instructors and the best naturalist guides in the Galapagos. This is a rare opportunity to spend one-on-one quality time with each of these great masters, both in the field and onboard. During our daily excursions in this wondrous wildlife hotspot, you will experience close-up encounters with species found nowhere else on the planet, including giant tortoises, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, and Darwin's finches, among others.

We will make regular landings at locations that offer unparalleled opportunities to observe and photograph wildlife behavior up-close and eye-to-eye, with the dramatic volcanic landscape as a backdrop. Aboard Eclipse, enjoy informal discussions and image reviews with the masters. Eclipse's spacious and luxurious staterooms, impressive amenities and relaxing public spaces, fine dining, and the services of an expert crew and our certified Galápagos naturalists. Presentations by Lanting, Mangelsen, and Wolfe will inspire creativity and help elevate your photographic technique, while our expert naturalists paint the rich and colorful picture of the Galapagos' remarkable natural history. The itinerary is designed to optimize opportunities for photography, but at its core this is a first-class natural history tour of the Galapagos, making this a perfect opportunity for non-photographer guests to join in as well.

Click "read more" at below right for:

  • Itinerary
  • Pricing by stateroom class

 

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Expedition May 13 - 21, 2016
Limit 40 spaces | $* Closed


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Note to Single Travelers: We may have limited availability for those seeking to share double-occupancy staterooms aboard M/V Eclipse. Please contact us if interested.

Join us for this unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The world's preeminent natural history photographers – Frans Lanting, Tom Mangelsen, and Art Wolfe – have joined forces to lead an expedition to photograph the extraordinary wildlife spectacle on a little volcanic archipelago that changed the world forever: Galapagos. The Masters of Nature Photography and Visionary Wild are pleased to present this luxury photo adventure, aboard our 210-foot private expedition vessel, M/V Eclipse. Learn as you travel through the islands, with instruction and guidance by Lanting, Mangelsen, and Wolfe, and generous support by a first-rate team of assistant instructors and the best naturalist guides in the Galapagos. This is a rare opportunity to spend one-on-one quality time with each of these great masters, both in the field and onboard. During our daily excursions in this wondrous wildlife hotspot, you will experience close-up encounters with species found nowhere else on the planet, including giant tortoises, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, and Darwin's finches, among others.

We will make regular landings at locations that offer unparalleled opportunities to observe and photograph wildlife behavior up-close and eye-to-eye, with the dramatic volcanic landscape as a backdrop. Aboard Eclipse, enjoy informal discussions and image reviews with the masters. Eclipse's spacious and luxurious staterooms, impressive amenities and relaxing public spaces, fine dining, and the services of an expert crew and our certified Galápagos naturalists. Presentations by Lanting, Mangelsen, and Wolfe will inspire creativity and help elevate your photographic technique, while our expert naturalists paint the rich and colorful picture of the Galapagos' remarkable natural history. The itinerary is designed to optimize opportunities for photography, but at its core this is a first-class natural history tour of the Galapagos, making this a perfect opportunity for non-photographer guests to join in as well.

Click "read more" at below right for:

  • Itinerary
  • Pricing by stateroom class

 

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Map via Google
Expedition June 30 - July 8, 2016
Limit 6 spaces | $4,975* Closed

 

This special boat-based Botswana photo safari offers a first-rate experience and an unbelievable value.

Join award-winning wildlife photographer Lou Coetzer on Botswana's spectacular Chobe River for this exciting all-inclusive boat-based safari for a small group of six participants. Lou is simply the best there is at teaching the anticipation of animal behavior, timing, and camera handling skills that empower you to capture successful "decisive moment" wildlife images.

Set in one of Africa's finest wildlife destinations at an ideal time of year, this safari focuses on the incredible biodiversity accessible via the Chobe River's various channels, islands, and wetlands, where animals congregate along the river in the dry season to drink and feed on the lush greenery on the banks and flood plain. In addition to Chobe’s population of over 50,000 Kalahari elephants, opportunities include hippos (with young at this time of year), Nile crocodiles, leopards, buffalo, waterbuck, kudu, impala, giraffes, fish eagles, lions, hyenas, baboons, and countless bird species. In fact, this safari is a bird photographer's dream, featuring the tiny and colorful Malachite Kingfisher, the largest heron in the world – the Goliath, several species of Bee-Eater, African Jacanas, and an endless array of water birds.  The concentrated displays of mammalian wildlife behavior, from battling hippos to leopards drinking at water's edge and herds of elephants looming overhead on the riverbank, ensure you will capture peak moments of exceptional behavior. The quality of light in morning and evening is wonderful on the Chobe, as the wide, open floodplain enables low-angle light at sunrise and sunset to skim over the water and bathe the animals in golden illumination.

• Includes loan of big telephotos – 600mm f/4 and 500mm f/4 AF-S Nikkor Lenses – so you don't have to travel with them. Full-frame Nikon DSLR bodies available for free loan as well.

• The best boat-based photo safari set-up in the business, complete with photographer's chairs featuring fully adjustable 360-degree revolving Wimberley camera mounts, makes it a breeze to work with big lenses and photograph dynamic wildlife behavior.

This very competitively-priced package is designed to deliver a superb overall experience, and includes excellent accommodations, all meals, beverages (including fine wine or beer at dinners), snacks and soft drinks during photography sessions, expert guides, photographic instruction, loaner Nikon telephotos and cameras, park entry fees, ground transfers, and in-Africa flights during the itinerary.

We have arranged use of Lou's custom-built photo boats with innovative features that deliver an optimal photographic experience. Each photographer will have his or her own rotating photographer's chair with fully adjustable revolving Wimberley-equiped telephoto lens mount.  Included at no additional cost is loan of Nikon super-telephoto lenses (600mm f/4 and 500mm f/4) and pro camera bodies, so there is no need to carry big glass to Africa.

 

Click "read more" below right for the itinerary and more information...

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Map via Google
Expedition June 30 - July 8, 2016
Limit 6 spaces | $4,975* Closed

 

This special boat-based Botswana photo safari offers a first-rate experience and an unbelievable value.

Join award-winning wildlife photographer Johan Greyling on Botswana's spectacular Chobe River for this exciting all-inclusive boat-based safari for a small group of six participants. Johan has a distinct, recognized talent in story telling photography, exhibiting excellent quality and personal passion in capturing candid wildlife behavior, particularly from the waters of the Chobe River.

Set in one of Africa's finest wildlife destinations at an ideal time of year, this safari focuses on the incredible biodiversity accessible via the Chobe River's various channels, islands, and wetlands, where animals congregate along the river in the dry season to drink and feed on the lush greenery on the banks and flood plain. In addition to Chobe’s population of over 50,000 Kalahari elephants, opportunities include hippos (with young at this time of year), Nile crocodiles, leopards, buffalo, waterbuck, kudu, impala, giraffes, fish eagles, lions, hyenas, baboons, and countless bird species. In fact, this safari is a bird photographer's dream, featuring the tiny and colorful Malachite Kingfisher, the largest heron in the world – the Goliath, several species of Bee-Eater, African Jacanas, and an endless array of water birds.  The concentrated displays of mammalian wildlife behavior, from battling hippos to leopards drinking at water's edge and herds of elephants looming overhead on the riverbank, ensure you will capture peak moments of exceptional behavior. The quality of light in morning and evening is wonderful on the Chobe, as the wide, open floodplain enables low-angle light at sunrise and sunset to skim over the water and bathe the animals in golden illumination.

• Includes loan of big telephotos – 600mm f/4 and 500mm f/4 AF-S Nikkor Lenses – so you don't have to travel with them. Full-frame Nikon DSLR bodies available for free loan as well.

• The best boat-based photo safari set-up in the business, complete with photographer's chairs featuring fully adjustable 360-degree revolving Wimberley camera mounts, makes it a breeze to work with big lenses and photograph dynamic wildlife behavior.

This very competitively-priced package is designed to deliver a superb overall experience, and includes excellent accommodations, all meals, beverages (including fine wine or beer at dinners), snacks and soft drinks during photography sessions, expert guides, photographic instruction, loaner Nikon telephotos and cameras, park entry fees, ground transfers, and in-Africa flights during the itinerary.

We have arranged use of Lou Coetzer's custom-built photo boats with innovative features that deliver an optimal photographic experience. Each photographer will have his or her own rotating photographer's chair with fully adjustable revolving Wimberley-equiped telephoto lens mount.  Included at no additional cost is loan of Nikon super-telephoto lenses (600mm f/4 and 500mm f/4) and pro camera bodies, so there is no need to carry big glass to Africa.

 

Click "read more" below right for the itinerary and more information...

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Map via Google
Expedition August 9 - 18, 2016
Limit 6 spaces | $11,995* Closed

 Award-winning video made on Visionary Wild Jaguars of the Pantanal Expedition

Captured on Visionary Wild's 2013 jaguars expedition, this collaboration by our clients Sally Eagle and Dan Mead was selected as the winning video for the 2014 Windland Smith Rice International Awards by Nature’s Best Photography. In anticipation of the action, instructor Justin Black positioned the boat in just the right spot to catch this amazing event.

This is the finest jaguar photography experience, bar none.

Excellence is in the details.

It was once inconceivable that there could be a place where one could reliably photograph wild jaguars in their home habitat, and better yet, in the open along a river bank and in great light. Incredibly, such a place exists in the Pantanal wetland of Brazil, at an inland river delta where at least 47 individual jaguars presently prey along 70 miles of riverbank. Years of research have proven it to be by far the world's most productive location for photography of wild jaguars. On all of our prior trips here our guests have enjoyed multiple jaguar sightings each day, lasting anywhere from five minutes to seven hours (most sightings are typically in the range of twenty to ninety minutes). On a previous trip, we have discovered a mother and daughter that had not been known to local biologists, and members of our group got to assign the nicknames that biologists will use for reference. We were also very fortunate to see one of our favorite cats, a seven-year-old male nicknamed "Mick Jaguar," stalk and take down a 200-pound, eight-foot-long caiman in the open and from close range  (see photos in the gallery and link to the video at the bottom of the page). Rivers and channels provide easy access for our wide and stable aluminum speedboats to locations frequented by the big cats in the dry season. This may be the closest thing to an African photo safari in the New World.

The Brazilian Pantanal, the world's largest continental wetland, is a luxuriant forest-savannah mosaic in central-western Brazil that is home to the highest density of jaguars in the world. It is also simply the greatest wildlife spectacle of Latin America. In addition to its jaguars, it harbors the world’s largest parrots (hyacinth macaw), the world’s largest snake (anaconda), the world’s largest otter, and many other species in astonishingly high densities.

Award-winning nature photographer and BBC wildlife cinematographer Jeff Foott, and Visionary Wild founder Justin Black, both Pantanal veterans, look forward to sharing their experience, expertise, and good humor on this expedition for just six passionate photographers. The small group size ensures ample space to maneuver for photography from the boats, and a great deal of time one-on-one with the instructors.

Our floating hotel for six nights of the trip is the brand-new and spacious Jaguar Suites, offering the finest guest rooms in all the Pantanal, purpose-built to support serious photographers in comfort. Moored to the riverbank where the Piquiri and Cuiabá Rivers meet in the heart of the best jaguar action, when compared with other accommodations in the area this privileged location on the water permits us to spend an additional two hours per day with the cats, and at the best times of day for quality of light, comfortable temperatures, and scenic beauty in the Pantanal. The suites feature scenic river views, powerful air-conditioning, high-speed Wi-Fi, and desktops with multiple power outlets for charging laptops and batteries. We have secured enough space at the Jaguar Suites for each of our six guests to have a private room with en-suite bathroom. The suites accommodate double-occupancy very comfortably as well. In 2015, the upper deck restaurant and common areas at the floating Jaguar Suites have undergone a stylish renovation and expansion, offering guests a great place to relax in comfort and modern elegance.

We will also spend a total of three nights (the first two nights, and the final one) at the Pantanal Wildlife Center’s Fazenda Santa Tereza, an intimate and comfortable lodge located on an expansive estate on the banks of the wildlife-rich Pixaim River. This trip coincides with the surreal magenta bloom of numerous large Ipê trees on the lodge grounds and across the Pantanal landscape. Unique wildlife observation towers include one located just 16 meters from an active nest of habituated Jabiru storks – perfect at first light in the morning – and a second one in gallery forest along the banks of the river. Virtually guaranteed wildlife sightings here include giant otters, capuchin monkeys, numerous bird species including toco toucans, hyacinth macaws, rufescent tiger heron, anhingas, crested caracaras, various fishing hawks, stunning yellow-billed cardinals, an the extraordinary great potoo. Jaguars and tapirs are sometimes seen at the Fazenda Santa Tereza as well.

Click "read more" below right for the itinerary, photo gallery, and more information...

read more

Map via Google
Expedition August 18 - 27, 2016
Limit 6 spaces | $11,995* Closed

 Award-winning video made on Visionary Wild Jaguars of the Pantanal Expedition

Captured on Visionary Wild's 2013 jaguars expedition, this collaboration by our clients Sally Eagle and Dan Mead was selected as the winning video for the 2014 Windland Smith Rice International Awards by Nature’s Best Photography. In anticipation of the action, instructor Justin Black positioned the boat in the ideal spot to photograph this amazing event.

This is the finest jaguar photography experience, bar none.

Excellence is in the details.

It was once inconceivable that there could be a place where one could reliably photograph wild jaguars in their home habitat, and better yet, in the open along a river bank and in great light. Incredibly, such a place exists in the Pantanal wetland of Brazil, at an inland river delta where at least 47 individual jaguars presently prey along 70 miles of riverbank. Years of research have proven it to be by far the world's most productive location for photography of wild jaguars. On all of our prior trips here our guests have enjoyed multiple jaguar sightings each day, lasting anywhere from five minutes to seven hours (most sightings are typically in the range of twenty to ninety minutes). On a previous trip, we have discovered a mother and daughter that had not been known to local biologists, and members of our group got to assign the nicknames that biologists will use for reference. We were also very fortunate to see one of our favorite cats, a seven-year-old male nicknamed "Mick Jaguar," stalk and take down a 200-pound, eight-foot-long caiman in the open and from close range  (see photos in the gallery and link to the video at the bottom of the page). Rivers and channels provide easy access for our wide and stable aluminum speedboats to locations frequented by the big cats in the dry season. This may be the closest thing to an African photo safari in the New World.

It was once inconceivable that there could be a place where one could reliably photograph wild jaguars in their home habitat, and better yet, in the open along a river bank and in great light. Incredibly, such a place exists in the Pantanal wetland of Brazil, at an inland river delta where at least 47 individual jaguars presently prey along 70 miles of riverbank. Years of research have proven it to be by far the world's most productive location for photography of wild jaguars. On all of our prior trips here our guests have enjoyed multiple jaguar sightings each day, lasting anywhere from five minutes to seven hours, though most sightings are typically in the range of twenty to ninety minutes. On previous trips, our groups have identified three jaguars that had not been known to local biologists – a mother and daughter, and a large male –  that members of our group earned the privilege to bestow with the nicknames that biologists will use for reference. We were also very fortunate to see one of our favorite cats, a seven-year-old male nicknamed "Mick Jaguar," stalk and take down a 200-pound, eight-foot-long caiman in the open and from close range  (see photos in the gallery and link to the video at the bottom of the page). Rivers and channels provide easy access for our wide and stable aluminum speedboats to locations frequented by the big cats in the dry season. This may be the closest thing to an African photo safari in the New World.

The Brazilian Pantanal, the world's largest continental wetland, is a luxuriant forest-savannah mosaic in central-western Brazil that is home to the highest density of jaguars in the world. It is also simply the greatest wildlife spectacle of Latin America. In addition to its jaguars, it harbors the world’s largest parrots (hyacinth macaw), the world’s largest snake (anaconda), the world’s largest otter, and many other species in astonishingly high densities.

Award-winning nature photographer and BBC wildlife cinematographer Jeff Foott, and Visionary Wild founder Justin Black, both Pantanal veterans, look forward to sharing their experience, expertise, and good humor on this expedition for just six passionate photographers. The small group size ensures ample space to maneuver for photography from the boats, and a great deal of time one-on-one with the instructors.

Our floating hotel for six nights of the trip is the brand-new and spacious Jaguar Suites, offering the finest guest rooms in all the Pantanal, purpose-built to support serious photographers in comfort. Moored to the riverbank where the Piquiri and Cuiabá Rivers meet in the heart of the best jaguar action, when compared with other accommodations in the area this privileged location on the water permits us to spend an additional two hours per day with the cats, and at the best times of day for quality of light, comfortable temperatures, and scenic beauty in the Pantanal. The suites feature scenic river views, powerful air-conditioning, high-speed Wi-Fi, and desktops with multiple power outlets for charging laptops and batteries. We have secured enough space at the Jaguar Suites for each of our six guests to have a private room with en-suite bathroom. The suites accommodate double-occupancy very comfortably as well. In 2015, the upper deck restaurant and common areas at the floating Jaguar Suites have undergone a stylish renovation and expansion, offering guests a great place to relax in comfort and modern elegance.

We will also spend a total of three nights (the first night, and the final two) at the Pantanal Wildlife Center’s Fazenda Santa Tereza, an intimate and comfortable lodge located on an expansive estate on the banks of the wildlife-rich Pixaim River. This trip coincides with the surreal magenta bloom of numerous large Ipê trees on the lodge grounds and across the Pantanal landscape. Unique wildlife observation towers include one located just 16 meters from an active nest of habituated Jabiru storks – perfect at first light in the morning – and a second one in gallery forest along the banks of the river. Virtually guaranteed wildlife sightings here include giant otters, capuchin monkeys, numerous bird species including toco toucans, hyacinth macaws, rufescent tiger heron, anhingas, crested caracaras, various fishing hawks, stunning yellow-billed cardinals, an the extraordinary great potoo. Jaguars and tapirs are sometimes seen at the Fazenda Santa Tereza as well.

Click "read more" below right for the itinerary, photo gallery, and more information...

read more

Map via Google
Expedition September 22 - October 4, 2016
Limit 18 spaces | $15,995* Closed

Thank you for another fantastic VW expedition! What a privilege to experience and photograph this wild and remote area in comfort while accompanied by the best leaders offering a wealth of experience and a willingness to share their immense talents. Thanks to Justin’s meticulous advance planning, all the arrangements were perfect throughout. –David & Kathy R., 2015 Greenland participants


THIS UNIQUE ADVENTURE MAY NOT BE REPEATED, AS OUR SHIP'S CHARTER COMPANY WILL REPOSITION HER FOLLOWING OUR VOYAGE AND FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.

Greenland's remote and little-visited ice fjords hold a wealth of arctic grandeur. Towers, arches, and walls of ancient blue ice thrust skyward from the water's surface. Steep-walled fjords, dramatic coastal mountains, tundra in autumn color, the vast Greenland Ice Sheet, and the Aurora Borealis combine to form an incomparable landscape. Join this world-class team of leaders – Frans Lanting, Christine Eckstrom, and Justin Black – for this exclusive expedition to Greenland's east and west coasts, photographing this arctic wilderness in all its glory. With generous photographic instruction and attentive support along the way, explore the largest fjord system in the world – Scoresbysund on the east coast – aboard the three-masted expedition vessel Rembrandt van Rijn, followed by a four-night stay on Greenland's west coast at Ilulissat, where the massive Jakobshavn Glacier calves some 35 billion tons of icebergs into the sheltered waters of Ilulissat Icefjord, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on the world's largest island. Excursions by helicopter for doors-off aerials, and by boat to get in among the massive bergs, yield extraordinary photographic opportunities.


Greenland was a trip of a lifetime. Imagine fog-shrouded icebergs, vibrant red/orange/yellow tundra, unreal sunsets, glistening ice and snow, colorful villages clinging to rocky headlands, Northern Lights and so much more under the generous guidance of world class instructors. I learned so much while having lots of fun. Thank you! –Ann L., 2015 Greenland participant


Our adventure begins in Reykjavik, Iceland, the world's northernmost capital. Guests will be greeted upon arrival at Keflavik International Airport and transferred to the elegant Hotel Holt, conveniently located in the city center. After an introductory group meeting and dinner at Grillmarket, one of Reykjavik's finer restaurants, the next morning we board our private charter flight to Greenland's east coast. Awaiting our arrival will be our private floating base camp for the first eight days in Greenland: the 168-foot, three-masted schooner Rembrandt van Rijn (click here for more about RVR). We are booking the entire ship for our exclusive use to ensure ample space for our group both on the ship and in zodiacs – our group will consist of sixteen to eighteen participants and three leaders (though Rembrandt normally sleeps up to 33 guests) in addition to her twelve-person crew and expedition staff. She is exceptionally well-suited to exploration and photography along the Greenland coast, with a reinforced hull, expansive unobstructed sight lines even under sail, and very comfortable accommodations. We will make frequent landings by zodiac to photograph in morning and evening light, and as serendipity presents us with compelling opportunities along the way. In addition to the arctic landscape, we will photograph whales if we encounter them, as well a variety of coastal and pelagic birds such as fulmars, kittiwakes, and gannets. The ethereal glow of the Aurora Borealis dancing in the night sky over the iceberg-dotted fjords and bays will be the sight of a lifetime. While underway, in the ship’s common area Frans, Justin, and the ship's expedition staff will make inspiring and instructive presentations, and offer constructive feedback on participants’ photographs during group critique sessions, with the aid of the ship's four large LCD screens.

To make this special itinerary possible, we have arranged three private charter flights aboard modern twin-engine turboprop airliners (Dash-8 and Bombardier Q200). After disembarking Rembrandt, a private charter flight whisks us across the world's second largest icecap to the west coast and the small fishing port of Ilulissat, home to 5,000 Greenlanders and an equivalent number of sled dogs. There, our base will be Hotel Hvide Falk (White Falcon). One of the highlights there will be a series of helicopter excursions (one hour of flight time per participant, each with a window seat) to do aerial photography of icebergs, Jakobshavn Glacier and Ilulissat Icefjord, and to access the Greenland Ice Sheet itself. We will also make excursions on a local charter boats to approach towering icebergs, and hikes on the autumn tundra with stunning views of Disko Bay and the coastal mountains.

Click "read more" at below right for the detailed itinerary...

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Vision October 10 - 14, 2016
Limit 10 spaces | $4,295* Closed

The southwest United States holds some of the world's most inspiring landscape photography destinations, and the area including Capitol Reef National Park is one of our favorites. In addition to numerous steep ridges, colorful canyons, and sandstone formations, Capitol Reef National Park boosts the largest exposed monocline in North America and layers of sedimentary rock recording nearly 200 million years of geological change. This outdoor classroom is a highlight of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction focusing on refining your personal creative vision, composition, and digital workflow, designed and presented by renowned photographers Jack Dykinga, John Shaw, and Cliff Zenor. Packaged with single-occupancy lodging at The Broken Spur Inn in Torrey, the closest town to the Park, this is a superb workshop scenario set to challenge and amaze all participants. We hope you'll join us!

Photography sessions will take place in locations with very unique geology, including the Waterpocket Fold, Cathedral Valley, Temples of the Sun and Moon, and other opportunities scouted in advance by the instructors. The timing of this workshop was specifically chosen to coincide with the burst of peak fall foliage found among the cottonwoods and willows in the canyons, and aspens in the high country. The leaves of these trees turn into a brilliant hues of yellow, orange, and red during the fall. When set against a background of reddish-orange Entrada Sandstone or grayish desert storm clouds, capturing photos of these glowing leaves will be a very rewarding and exhilarating experience for the landscape photographer.

Packaged with single-occupancy lodging at The Broken Spur Inn, located ideally near the entrance to Capitol Reef National Park, and with all meals, snacks and beverages included, this is a superb fall foliage and landscape photography workshop scenario. We hope you'll join us!

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Expedition October 10 - 25, 2016
Limit 6 spaces | $16,495* Closed

 

 

An intimate first-class photo adventure through the magnificent landscape of the South Island

"The NZ trip was really spectacular... and you're to be congratulated for ensuring that it was such a great experience for us from beginning to end." –Kathy R., 2014 participant

"The expedition greatly exceeded my expectations. It was no doubt an amazing and awesome experience of a lifetime!" – Susan S., 2015 participant

Towering mountain ranges, hanging alpine glaciers, wind-swept coastlines, crystal blue lakes, pristine turquoise river valleys, and primordial tree fern rainforests are just some of the scenes we will photograph as we explore the South Island on this intimate 16-day journey led by two top pros: National Geographic photographer Michael Melford (who recently covered the South Island on assignment for Nat Geo), and Phillip Bartlett, a renowned Kiwi landscape photographer and guide who is acclaimed for his professionalism and intimate knowledge of New Zealand's stunning landscape. It was with good reason that motion picture director Peter Jackson chose New Zealand as his location for the fantasy world of Tolkien's "Middle Earth": the variety of incredible landscapes found in such a compact area is simply astounding.

We sought to design a trip that would take your breath away, visiting locations off the regular tourist path that offer superb photography. To access these areas we will be travelling by 4WD Toyota Landcruisers, with two guests per vehicle. In addition, private charter excursions by helicopter and boat – at Fox Glacier, Milford Sound, and Kaikoura – provide us access to some truly phenomenal opportunities. All the while, your trip leaders offer generous guidance and instruction to ensure that you make the most of the photographic possibilities.

Our 2014 and 2015 trips were exceedingly well received by our guests (see testimonials at the bottom of this page), but nevertheless we have adjusted the itinerary slightly to maximize the quality of the overall experience.

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Vision October 17 - 21, 2016
Limit 10 spaces | $4,295* Closed

The southwest United States holds some of the world's most inspiring landscape photography destinations, and the area including Capitol Reef National Park is one of our favorites. In addition to numerous steep ridges, colorful canyons, and sandstone formations, Capitol Reef National Park boosts the largest exposed monocline in North America and layers of sedimentary rock recording nearly 200 million years of geological change. This outdoor classroom is a highlight of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction focusing on refining your personal creative vision, composition, and digital workflow, designed and presented by renowned photographers Jack Dykinga, John Shaw, and Cliff Zenor. Packaged with single-occupancy lodging at The Broken Spur Inn in Torrey, the closest town to the Park, this is a superb workshop scenario set to challenge and amaze all participants. We hope you'll join us!

Photography sessions will take place in locations with very unique geology, including the Waterpocket Fold, Cathedral Valley, Temples of the Sun and Moon, and other opportunities scouted in advance by the instructors. The timing of this workshop was specifically chosen to coincide with the burst of peak fall foliage found among the cottonwoods and willows in the canyons, and aspens in the high country. The leaves of these trees turn into a brilliant hues of yellow, orange, and red during the fall. When set against a background of reddish-orange Entrada Sandstone or grayish desert storm clouds, capturing photos of these glowing leaves will be a very rewarding and exhilarating experience for the landscape photographer.

Packaged with single-occupancy lodging at The Broken Spur Inn, located ideally near the entrance to Capitol Reef National Park, and with all meals, snacks and beverages included, this is a superb fall foliage and landscape photography workshop scenario. We hope you'll join us!

Click "Read More..." below right to read on and see the image gallery...

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Advanced November 2 - 8, 2016
Limit 12 spaces | $11,950* Closed

 

TESTIMONIALS FROM OUR 2015 POLAR BEAR GUESTS:

I have to say that was the best trip ever!!!!!  So many great photos and a really great group. I would love to go back, but I think the mark that was set would be hard to beat. –J. Furber

Loved our polar bear trip. Many thanks for putting together such a great trip. Am very pleased with my pictures and still trying to decide which ones to cull out. –J. Allen

Back from the shores of Hudson Bay on a polar bear photo safari with lots of images. Great adventure with expert assistance from Visionary Wild. The experience of a lifetime! –K. Cochran

Picture yourself standing on arctic tundra at the edge of Hudson Bay, photographing a pair of polar bears wrestling in the glow of sunset as they wait for the bay to freeze over so they can begin their annual hunting season on the ice. An arctic fox watches the action from the sidelines. The only sounds are the bears, the breeze, and waves lapping at the ice forming on the shoreline. Then imagine, as the light fades and temperatures drop, you walk just a few feet away to sit beside the fire in a cozy wilderness lodge – reserved for our group's use only – joining your fellow photographers for a glass of wine while reviewing the day's photographs, in anticipation of a gourmet dinner and excited conversation about the opportunities that await tomorrow. Keep your camera ready, though... the aurora borealis may well appear in the night sky.

Join Roy Toft and Chris Linder at Nanuk, a remote wilderness lodge positioned in prime polar bear territory on the shores of Hudson Bay east of the mouth of the Nelson River in Manitoba. This is a very special opportunity to intensively photograph polar bear behavior close-up in the wild. Our small group will photograph the bears from eye level, on foot, via short excursions onto the tundra and from the grounds of the lodge, where polar bears walk within inches of the fence line. This area is unusual in also enjoying excellent sightings of wolves, and it's also one of the few places on Earth where polar bears and black bears can be seen together.

Our 2015 Polar Bears – Eye to Eye workshop with Roy Toft was a great success, and our group was blown away by the quality of the photography and the overall experience. Nanuk is a very comfortable fly-in lodge that offers unique access to a high density of polar bears with a lovely landscape backdrop. To ensure you make the most of your visit, Roy and assistant instructor Chris Linder will provide highly attentive, thoughtful, and generous instruction throughout the trip, offering feedback and useful guidance drawn from their combined four decades of experience as professional nature photographers. They will provide recommendations on camera setup optimized for wildlife photography, teach strategies and techniques to empower you to anticipate and capture fleeting wildlife behaviors, offer advice on composition and working the available light and weather conditions for best effect, and more. In the evening, Roy and Chris will provide feedback and constructive critique of your images to ensure that the quality of your work improves significantly over the course of the trip.

Included in the package are round-trip flights (Winnipeg – Churchill – Nanuk Lodge), all lodging, all meals, all beverages, all photographic instruction and bear guiding, partial gratuities, and Canadian tax. Though most Visionary Wild workshops and expeditions are packaged and priced as single-occupancy by default, this workshop is packaged as double-occupancy at $11,950 per person, due to the limited number of guest rooms and beds at Nanuk Lodge (lodge normally accommodates sixteen guests, but we are limiting our group size to twelve and buying out the remaining beds to ensure that our group has exclusive use of the lodge), and the fact that their operating season is relatively short, which makes the single-occupancy supplement for this trip $6,550. We will be happy to help pair up individual participants of the same gender who wish to share a room, but we can certainly accommodate those who wish to book single-occupancy rooms.

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Expedition November 4 - 20, 2016
Limit 40 spaces | $* Closed

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Join us for this all-inclusive, exclusive-charter expedition to the crown jewel of the sub-Antarctic

Note for Interested Parties: We currently have limited availability for those seeking to be paired with a roommate in double-occupancy. Please contact us for more information or to add yourself to the waitlist.

Designed for photographers by photographers, this expedition to the Falklands and South Georgia Island will be led by Frans Lanting, Tom Mangelsen, Art Wolfe, and Justin Black. We will take you to the places we love and will allow us to make the most of the southern ocean's greatest wildlife spectacle, based on our collective experience.

Exclusive charter of Polar Pioneer – a 235-foot expedition ship with accommodation limited to fifty guests in simple but comfortable cabins – facilitates our goals for this trip. We have chosen to do this voyage on this ship because it offers a degree of intimacy that makes for superior interactions and experience for everyone, both aboard and on shore. If you wish to travel with the best photographers to the best places and are willing to sacrifice a little luxury in favor of a world-class photographic adventure, there is no better trip, and this one may never be repeated.

Our expedition begins in Santiago, Chile, with an introductory reception dinner at one of the capital's finest restaurants. After a restful night at Hotel Atton–El Bosque, we fly the next morning to the Falkland Islands, where our ship awaits. Once we set sail, the decks of the Polar Pioneer provide a great vantage point for sightings of Commerson's dolphins, imperial cormorants, and more. On our first full day of the trip, we plan to kick off our photography with an excursion to one of the largest breeding colonies of black-browed albatrosses in the world, numbering around 200,000 pairs, on Steeple Jason Island. At nearby Saunders Island, colonies of rockhopper, king, and gentoo penguins await us as well. As always, weather, wind, and sea conditions will dictate our exact landing site.

We then move on to South Georgia. Along the way, we hope to see dolphins ride the ship's bow wave, and whale sightings are common. This rugged island of towering mountains covered in immense glaciers hosts extraordinary gatherings of penguins and pelagic birds – including wandering, grey-headed, light-mantled sooty, black-browed, and royal albatrosses – as well as southern elephant seals and Antarctic fur seals. In spring, currents of krill sweep up from the Weddell Sea, providing food for one of the planet’s greatest wildlife concentrations. In addition to the vast colony of 200,000 king penguins at Salisbury Plain, we will visit a colony of yellow-crested macaroni penguins at Hercules Bay, the historic whaling base of Grytviken, and more, photographing sublime landscapes too along the way.

The Land of the Kings - Print - 6193

We’ve chosen to let go of Antarctica itself on this trip, in favor of focusing our time on the best concentrations of wildlife in the entire sub-Antarctic region. The timing of our trip means South Georgia looks its best: the newly returned penguin colonies are clean, and fresh snow still blankets the mountains looming just inland of the coast.

Learn as we travel, with instruction throughout by Lanting, Mangelsen, and Wolfe. This is a rare opportunity to spend time with these masters, both in the field and onboard. Visionary Wild founder Justin Black will serve as assistant instructor, and Christine Eckstrom and Sue Cedarholm will be on hand for technical support. We have recruited Denise Landau, a first-rate expert on South Georgia Island and governor of the American Polar Society, to act as the ship’s expedition leader. Natural history interpretation and guiding will be provided by the ship’s staff.

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Polar Pioneer: Our exclusive charter vessel provides an excellent platform for this voyage, in part due to her strength, maneuverability, and ability to navigate waters that can be impassable to larger ships. Those who appreciate small-group travel will enjoy the passenger limit of fifty guests. Every other commercial expedition vessel operating in these waters carries at least twice as many passengers, resulting in a far less intimate experience. With our relatively small group and large photo leader team, everyone will have excellent access to leaders and expedition staff, landing operations are more efficient, and we'll be able to get to know one another much better.

Built in Finland as a polar and oceanographic research vessel (Ice Rating 1A), Polar Pioneer was never meant to be a luxury cruise ship. She has been transformed, however, into a highly effective expedition vessel offering an excellent balance of capability, functionality, and comfort. She offers simple-yet-comfortable, clean, well-maintained cabins that offer plenty of room for you and your gear, as well as pleasant public spaces for presentations by trip leaders, informal gatherings, and group meals. Superb expedition support includes a large fleet of zodiacs (seven plus a spare), highly experienced expedition staff, and the top-notch crew, who welcome guests on the ship's spacious bridge. Outside areas on the ship provide excellent platforms at various levels for photographing marine fauna, icebergs, and the seascape.

We have coordinated with Polar Pioneer's new kitchen staff, headed by two talented chefs from New Zealand, to develop a menu offering meals that are tasty, wholesome, and satisfying, with emphasis on fresh ingredients and healthy options. We are assembling an excellent wine list for the trip as well!

PRICING and ITINERARY – Click "read more" at below right:

See below for Highlights, Travel arrangements, and Inclusions/Exclusions.

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Expedition December 4 - 11, 2016
Limit 6 spaces | $6,995* Closed

Exotic Birds – Poison Dart Frogs –  Monkeys – Waterfalls – Wild Pacific Beach

All of this and more is to be found in one of the most biologically exciting places on Earth – Coast Rica's remote Osa Peninsula – and we'd like to share the best of it with you. Envision original primary rainforest rising up a low ridge from a pristine and entirely undeveloped Pacific beach, stretching as far as the eye can see. Native toucans, scarlet macaws, two- and three-toed sloths, and four species of New World monkeys cruise through the trees, while dramatic waterfalls roar in the jungle. Numerous species of visually striking frogs inhabit the area, including three species of colorful poison dart frogs, red-eyed tree frogs, masked tree frogs, and massive cane toads in their native habitat. Hundreds of exotic bird species abound. In addition to the toucans and macaws, long-tail hermit hummingbirds, elegant and violaceous trogons, blue-capped manakins, crested caracaras, ibis, various raptors and myriad other species are readily photographed. The forest itself is stunning, with old-growth trees and vegetation full of character and beautiful graphic designs just waiting to be discovered.

Leaders John Shaw and Justin Black will share their creative approaches to photographing rainforest fauna and flora, as well as the dramatic landscape. Hands-on in the field, we will cover long-lens and macro wildlife techniques, control of composition and light, fill-flash, control of focal plane and perspective with tilt-shift lenses, panoramic stitching, and other techniques that can be used to great effect in this amazing place.

Read Justin Black's article "Frogs of the Osa" in Outdoor Photographer magazine

Our base camp is El Remanso, a top-rated eco-lodge, which offers a uniquely rich and accessible environment to witness and explore the incredible flora and fauna of Central America's rainforests.  The owners are our personal friends, and the staff make guests feel like family. It’s a peaceful resort where it’s easy to let go of the hassles of travel logistics and fully immerse yourself in exploring and photographing the birds, waterfalls, monkeys and frogs, gorgeous old-growth trees, and the stunning Pacific beach.

The staff at El Remanso take great care of us – providing a delicious mix of international and local Tico cuisine, fresh tropical fruits, not to mention the superb margaritas, caipirinhas, and piña coladas – all on an inviting and spacious covered dining deck perched at the top of a canyon, at eye-level with the forest canopy.  We'll bring our long lenses to breakfast to photograph monkeys, macaws and toucans feeding in the trees.  The opportunities to explore don’t end with the setting sun. A stroll with our naturalist guides around El Remanso just after dark reveals all manner of nocturnal species.

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Vision January 9 - 13, 2017
Limit 10 spaces | $4,395* Closed

Refine your vision and harness the aesthetic potential of one of the world's harshest landscapes.


Yet another amazing week in nature with great professional photographers, and my brother. Death Valley revealed its real beauty for us and it was an inspirational time to improve my photo skills! –Scott S., 2016 Death Valley Vision Workshop participant


At first glance, the largest National Park in the Lower 48 appears to be nothing more than a stark and desolate wasteland, desiccated by sun and wind in the rain shadow of the High Sierra and the Panamint Range. Depite its reputation as a land of extremes – the driest place in the United States, the lowest elevation in North America, and the hottest place on Earth – the careful observer will find Death Valley to be a place of elegant and haunting beauty.

This outdoor classroom is a highlight of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction focusing on refining your personal creative vision, composition, digital workflow and image processing, designed and presented by renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw, with support by Visionary Wild's Justin Black. All three instructors have photographed Death Valley extensively and know its secrets well. We will photograph at a variety of locations in the park during our morning and evening field sessions, with emphasis on the dunes, salt formations, water courses, and sculpted designs in the canyons. At this time of year, the days are comfortable and the nights are cool, and the weather can bring anything from sunny bluebird skies to dramatic boiling storm clouds. Death Valley always serves up surprises, which is one reason we like to return time and time again. A great example was the blankets of golden and purple wildflowers that covered hills and valley floors during the workshops of 2015.

Packaged with single-occupancy lodging at Stovepipe Wells Hotel, located ideally near Mesquite Flat Dunes, and with all meals, snacks and beverages included, this is a superb workshop scenario. We hope you'll join us!

About Vision Workshops

The creation of a truly great finished photograph is part of a process from initial concept and vision through execution in the field to digital workflow and creation of a high-quality, final master file ready for printing or publication. Vision workshops with John Shaw and Jack Dykinga address the two greatest challenges faced by photographers as they advance. The first of these is the tendency for original creative vision to reach a plateau in development, and the second is a digital workflow in need of streamlining and refinement to make the most of your images.

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Vision January 16 - 20, 2017
Limit 10 spaces | $4,395* Closed

Refine your vision and harness the aesthetic potential of one of the world's harshest landscapes.


Yet another amazing week in nature with great professional photographers, and my brother. Death Valley revealed its real beauty for us and it was an inspirational time to improve my photo skills! –Scott S., 2016 Death Valley Vision Workshop participant


At first glance, the largest National Park in the Lower 48 appears to be nothing more than a stark and desolate wasteland, desiccated by sun and wind in the rain shadow of the High Sierra and the Panamint Range. Depite its reputation as a land of extremes – the driest place in the United States, the lowest elevation in North America, and the hottest place on Earth – the careful observer will find Death Valley to be a place of elegant and haunting beauty.

This outdoor classroom is a highlight of our Vision series, a special program of advanced instruction focusing on refining your personal creative vision, composition, digital workflow and image processing, designed and presented by renowned photographers Jack Dykinga and John Shaw, with support by Visionary Wild's Justin Black. All three instructors have photographed Death Valley extensively and know its secrets well. We will photograph at a variety of locations in the park during our morning and evening field sessions, with emphasis on the dunes, salt formations, water courses, and sculpted designs in the canyons. At this time of year, the days are comfortable and the nights are cool, and the weather can bring anything from sunny bluebird skies to dramatic boiling storm clouds. Death Valley always serves up surprises, which is one reason we like to return time and time again. A great example was the blankets of golden and purple wildflowers that covered hills and valley floors during the workshops of 2015.

Packaged with single-occupancy lodging at Stovepipe Wells Hotel, located ideally near Mesquite Flat Dunes, and with all meals, snacks and beverages included, this is a superb workshop scenario. We hope you'll join us!

About Vision Workshops

The creation of a truly great finished photograph is part of a process from initial concept and vision through execution in the field to digital workflow and creation of a high-quality, final master file ready for printing or publication. Vision workshops with John Shaw and Jack Dykinga address the two greatest challenges faced by photographers as they advance. The first of these is the tendency for original creative vision to reach a plateau in development, and the second is a digital workflow in need of streamlining and refinement to make the most of your images.

Click "Read More..." below right to read on...

read more

Map via Google