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!

 

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

Patagonia Vision with John Shaw, Justin Black and Bill Ellzey

Map via Google

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...

Our trip begins in Santiago, Chile, where we will meet participants at the airport and transfer to a charming and comfortable hotel in the historic district of Santiago. We'll all gather there and go out as a group for a welcome dinner to get to know everyone. The next morning, we'll catch a flight to Punta Arenas, our jumping off point in Patagonia. There we will be joined by our friend Ruth Cohen, regarded as one of the very best local guides in Chilean Patagonia. Proceeding directly to Torres del Paine National Park, we'll check into Hotel Las Torres, the first of three excellent lodges in the park that will serve as our "base camps" for the next nine days and nights – the others are Hostería Pehoe, and Hotel Lago Grey.

John, Bill, and Justin will lead the small group on field sessions adapted to make the most of the conditions each day. Emphasis will be on photography and hands-on mentoring in the field. We'll photograph when the conditions are good, and we'll gather in the lodge for projected lectures on light, composition, visualization, technique, and digital workflow at times when light or weather aren't as conducive for photography (during harsh mid-day light, if a rain storm passes through, etc.). We will also hold constructive critiques of participant photographs, and then head back out into the field to apply what we've learned.

Excursions will include trips by ferry to visit Glacier Grey and, via our group vehicles, spectacular locations around the park. Some locations involve short hikes, and longer hikes to more remote locations may be an option depending on participant interest and conditions.

After dusk each day, we will gather for a nice dinner and some good Chilean wine. Then it's off to bed to rest, as most mornings we'll be out around 6:00am to take advantage of the incredible pre-dawn light. Breakfasts and lunches will be handled in relation to our photographic activities, served either at our lodges or brought with us into the field.

Included in the program:

  • Photographic instruction throughout by John Shaw, Bill Ellzey, and Justin Black, one of the most experienced and effective photo workshops teams ever assembled, with over a century of experience as professional photographers and several previous Torres del Paine visits under their belts
  • Top local guide, Ruth Cohen
  • Flights: Santiago – Punta Arenas – Santiago
  • Ground transportation and transfers
  • Eleven nights lodging (package is priced as single-occupancy; double-occ available at pro-rated fee)
  • All meals, snacks, and beverages (including beer, wine, cocktails with dinner)

 

John Shaw

I think a good attitude to have is that the next frame you shoot is going to be the better, definitive frame.

John, a natural and dedicated teacher, has been a professional nature photographer since the early 1970s. His work has been published in many publications and books, including National Geographic, Nature's Best, National Wildlife, Audubon, Outdoor Photographer, and many others. In 1997 he received the first-ever Outstanding Photographer Award given by the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA). Nikon chose him as a featured Legend Behind the Lens in 2002, while Microsoft designated him an Icon of Imaging in 2006.  He has been part of Epson's Stylus Pro fine art print makers group since 2001.

John has published six books on nature photography, plus five eBooks on Photoshop and Lightroom.  He has photographed on every continent, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, from Provence to Patagonia.  While he once used a variety of film cameras, he much prefers the advantages of digital capture.

Visit John's Website

Testimonials

I just wanted to thank you personally for the best two days of photographic instruction that I've had in my 52 years. – Bill A.

The breadth and width of information that John Shaw provided both as an artist/photographer and his knowledge of digital software was impressive. His ability to communicate the information even more impressive. – Ric K.

John Shaw is a great leader and photographer and I always look forward to traveling with him. – Gordon K.

Justin Black

JUSTIN BLACK is a photographer, writer, editor, photo workshops instructor, expedition leader, and an affiliate of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP). Through both Visionary Wild and Galen Rowell's Mountain Light Photography (1999 – 2009) he has created inspiring and effective educational photographic experiences for thousands of passionate photographers. He is widely recognized as one of the world's leading photo workshops organizers.

A professional photographer since 1995, before founding Visionary Wild he served the ILCP as Executive Director, and for seven years was General Manager and Curator of Mountain Light Gallery.

Justin's photographs have been published by magazines such as National Geographic Adventure, Sierra, Sunset, American Photo, Outdoor Photographer, Rock & Ice, and Nature Conservancy.

Among conservation NGOs that have used his photographs in their campaigns are The Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, Panthera, Land Trust Alliance, Earth Justice, The Wilderness Society, Conservation International, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, ILCP, and the Wild Foundation.

In 2015, Justin was invited to serve as a judge for the Nature's Best Photography Africa competition. He has also served as an editor and contributor to numerous award-winning photo book projects, including Galen Rowell: A Retrospective; Freshwater: The Essence of Life; The Wealth of Nature: Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity, and Human Well-Being; Our National Parks: America's Natural Heritage; as well as Flying South: A Pilot's Inner Journey by Barbara Rowell. His limited edition fine prints are represented by G2 Gallery in Venice, California, and by The Art of Wild in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.

An early career as a travel photographer and image licensing specialist led him to Mountain Light Photography, founded by Galen Rowell – a world-renowned National Geographic photographer, author, and mountaineer – and his wife and business partner, Barbara, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Beginning in May of 1999, Justin managed marketing of the Rowell image collection, assisted Galen on assignments and in his workshop program, and taught seminars on nature photography. In April 2002, the Rowells invited Justin to relocate with them to California's scenic Owens Valley as Mountain Light's General Manager. Justin eagerly embraced the sublime Eastern Sierra Nevada landscape as his new home.

Four months later, Galen and Barbara perished in the crash of a chartered plane, leaving behind a tremendous creative and visionary vacuum. Justin went to work, building on the impressive Rowell legacy to reinvigorate Mountain Light by establishing a seasonal series of guest photographer exhibitions, expanding the image collection, and relaunching the highly acclaimed photo workshop program through collaboration with Galen's leading professional peers, including Frans Lanting, Pat O'Hara, Jack Dykinga, John Shaw, and Jeff Foott. In May 2008, Justin's successful efforts were recognized by both Sunset and American Photo magazines, as each magazine featured editorial recommendations of his workshop program at Mountain Light.

After ten years with Mountain Light, Justin was recruited to take over the position of Executive Director of ILCP, a non-profit association of the best photographers worldwide working in the field of environmental conservation. At ILCP, Justin oversaw an explosion of productivity in expeditions, publishing, multimedia production, and the achievement of successful conservation outcomes. He contributed photographic coverage to ILCP's Rapid Assessment Visual Expeditions (RAVE) program, including Flathead Valley (Canada, 2009), Yucatán (Mexico, 2009), and Chesapeake (USA, 2010), as well as a solo project for The Nature Conservancy, documenting the Dragon Run wetland on Virginia's Middle Peninsula. One of Justin's photographs from the Flathead River project appeared as a section opener in the Vancouver Sun newspaper – the first time the threatened watershed received significant coverage in that nationally important media outlet.  The photograph was later selected by the United States Senate for display in the U.S. Capitol Building, as Canada and the USA reached an agreement to protect the Flathead.

Justin left his position at ILCP in late 2010 to establish Visionary Wild, building on his successful leadership of the Mountain Light workshop program and applying expertise gained at ILCP to provide superlative workshops and expeditions for passionate photographers seeking to advance to the next level of creativity, quality, purpose, and meaning in their work. His own work continues to evolve in new directions, driven by the ongoing search for extraordinary qualities in our world's dynamic landscapes.

Justin lives in Washington, DC, with his brilliant wife, Lena (Visionary Wild's Director of Operations), and their children Philippe and Alexandra.

Justin Black's limited editions portfolio

Justin's Outdoor Photographer Profile

Bringing focus and meaning to your photography

The Top 40 Nature Photos Project

Justin's Conservation Photography Projects

 

Justin’s Camera Bag

After using an array of 4x5, medium format, and 35mm film cameras for most of his career, Justin has switched fully to Nikon digital SLRs. His current gear includes:

Camera Bodies:

Nikon D810 (x2)

Lenses

24mm f/3.5 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

45mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

85mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

24mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

35mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

50mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

85mm f/1.8 G AF-S ED Nikkor

200mm f/4 AF-D Micro-Nikkor

500mm f/4 AF-S Nikkor

18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S ED Nikkor

24-70mm f/2.8 G AF-S ED Nikkor

70-200mm f/4.0 G AF-S ED VR Nikkor

200-400mm f/4.0 G AF-S ED VR Nikkor

 

Nikon TC-14EII teleconverter

Nikon TC-20EIII teleconverter

 

Flash

Nikon SB-900

Nikon SB-700

Assorted Nikon TTL flash cables

Lumiquest soft boxes

Rogue Flashbender

Rosco gels

 

Filters

Nikon Circular Polarizer II

Singh-Ray Vari-ND

Tiffen WW IRND neutral density filters

 

Tripods

Really Right Stuff TVC-24L with leveling base and Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead

Gitzo 1028 with RRS BH-25 ballhead

 

Photo Packs

MindShift Rotation 180 Pro

Mindshift Rotation 180 Horizon

Mindshift FirstLight 30L

Think Tank Photo (TTP) Streetwalker Harddrive

TTP Streetwalker Pro

TTP Airport Addicted V2.0

TTP Airport Acceleration

TTP Urban Disguise 50 V2.0

 

Bill Ellzey

It's probably a colossal cliche to call oneself a seeker of beauty.  But I am one.  I believe that people who take photography workshops in nature are on a similar hunt.  I see my purpose at workshops to be a worthy hunting guide.  Not only a guide to great locations but also a sharer of accumulated experience with camera & lens.  Beyond what it takes to make sharp pictures with desired depth of field, ƒ stops & shutter speeds, though, I strive to awaken in participants a greater noticing.  Noticing line, contrast, balance, form, space, the direction, quantity and above all, quality, of light.

Bill Ellzey picked up his first camera in 1965, at age 20, little knowing that photography would become his profession. Since then camera work has taken him around the world completing assignments and teaching photographers – professional and amateur alike – the art and techniques of the medium.

His work from India, China, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Alaska, Egypt, Ireland, Bhutan, Zambia, Chilean Patagonia, Tibet and the American West has been published broadly around the world.

He directed Western Photo Workshops in Telluride, Colorado for eleven years and continues to teach privately and for distinguished photo programs in North America and overseas.

Bill's images have appeared in magazines, books, calendars, newspapers, catalogs, annual reports, galleries and private collections. His stock photography is represented by National Geographic Image Collection. Bill lives and works from his self-built, strawbale home in Crestone, Colorado.

Bill Ellzey's Website

Highlights

  • One of the world's most spectacular landscapes: peaks of the Cordillera del Paine, lakes, waterfalls, icebergs, glaciers, lagoons, and magnificent Patagonian light.
  • Wildlife: guancos (wild ancestors of llamas), Andean grey foxes, endangered huemul deer, Andean condors, Darwin's rhea, and flamingos
  • Small group of ten participants, with a student-to-instructor ratio of just over 3 to 1
  • An unprecedented level of photographer support with instruction throughout by the highly regarded team of John Shaw, Bill Ellzey, and Justin Black
  • Local support by our friend, Ruth Cohen, perhaps the most highly respected Patagonia guide there is.
  • Creativity and visualization: learn to find new and unexpected compositions
  • Advanced field techniques for landscape and wildlife photography
  • Breaking through creative block and making great photographs in challenging situations
  • Mastering a logical, efficient, and consistent digital workflow, from capture to final master image, that frees you to focus on creativity
  • Ensuring the highest-possible final image quality
  • All-inclusive from Santiago

Accommodations & Travel

Package includes:
  • R/T Flights within Chile: Santiago – Punta Arenas – Santiago
  • Single-occupancy accommodation in excellent hotels: Meridiano Sur Petit Hotel (Santiago – one night), Hotel Las Torres (3 nights), Hostería Pehoe (3 nights), Hotel Lago Grey (3 nights), Cabo de Hornos (Punta Arenas – one night)
  • All ground transportation
  • All meals and snacks
  • Non-alcoholic beverages, and wine, beer, and cocktails with dinner.
airplane iconcar iconboat iconfoot iconweather icon
Fly into Santiago, Chile, to be met for ground transfer to our group's hotel for the first night. In-country flights are included; international flights are not. Ground transportation is provided throughout the workshop. We will make excursions by ferry on Lago Grey and Lago Pehoe in Torres del Paine N.P. Most locations are accessed by short walks from vehicles. Longer hikes are an option, but are not mandatory. Weather is variable, with highs around 60ºF and lows around 45ºF at this time of year. We will likely experience a mix of conditions from partly cloudy to overcast, with wind varying by local microclimate. Rain showers and snow flurries are possible from time to time.