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

Jennifer Woolley – Director of Operations • Email: jennifer@visionarywild.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Workshops by date

Workshops by: type | Location | Focus | Upcoming | Past
Expedition August 4 - 11, 2018
Limit 10 spaces | $6,895* Register

 

Renowned landscape photographer Charles Cramer and highly acclaimed adventure photographer Jerry Dodrill will team up to lead a small group to the dramatic granite spires, alpine lakes, and meadows in Wyoming's Wind River Range. "The Winds" are the most alpine range in the northern Rockies, 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 of the Towers 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."

Charles Cramer and Jerry Dodrill will lead photography outings morning and evening, and whenever else the light and weather conditions offer compelling opportunities. Night photography of the high-elevation starry skies can be amazing too. Options for midday activities will include scouting hikes, talking photography, relaxing around camp, reading, napping, fishing, lake swimming, etc. Beyond the phenomenal landscape and wildlife photography opportunities, these pack trips provide an excellent shared experience with other passionate photographers, enjoying fireside stories and camping under the stars.

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

read more

Map via Google
Expedition August 9 - 18, 2018
0 of 5 spaces left | $12,195* Waitlist

This is the finest jaguar photography experience, bar none.

Excellence is in the details.

 

"To see this iconic species hunting, stalking for yacarés, capybaras, is one unforgetable experience. During the trip, every day got better, lots of excitement, amazing photos, opportunities like no other place in the world for Jaguars."

-Alwin v.d.H., 2016 Jaguars of the Pantanal participant

 

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 hunt 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, an-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 customized photo boat – a state-of-the-art aluminum speedboat with revolving centerline camera mounts – 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.

Justin Black and Morgan "Mo" Heim will provide first-class photo instruction and guidance throughout the itinerary. Justin returns to lead his seventh expedition in the Pantanal for Visionary Wild. Mo comes to photography with a background in wildlife ecology and environmental journalism, bringing years of experiences as a scientist and photographer. Her wildlife photography has been featured in BBC Wildlife, Smithsonian, and National Geographic, ranging from mountain lions to monarch butterflies in Iowa to elusive fishing cats in Thailand. To get the best sense for Mo, we highly encourage you watch this one-minute film, An American Icon, about her recent adventure to photograph bald eagles in Alaska. As Mo puts it, this film reveals her heart. They 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 boat, and a great deal of time one-on-one with the instructors. The video below shows the brilliant design and construction of the boat we will use for photographers:

 

SouthWild Photoboat on Vimeo.

 

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.

We will 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. Our floating hotel for the other six nights of the trip is the 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.

This trip coincides with the surreal magenta bloom of numerous large Tabebuia or "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, ocelots, 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 28 - September 6, 2018
Limit 19 spaces | $* Register

 

Join us for this all-inclusive expedition to the crown jewel of the High Arctic!

Note: Traveling alone? Feel free to book at the lower double-occupancy rates, so long as you are content to be paired with another guest of the same sex.

Designed for photographers by photographers, this expedition to the Svalbard archipelago will take you to the places we love, to make the most of the great spectacle of Arctic light, ice, landscape, and wildlife. Led by a dream team – Michael Melford, Daisy Gilardini, and Justin Black – generous expert photographic instruction will feature prominently throughout the voyage. Here are some highlights:

  • An excellent photography experience aboard the ideal expedition vessel
  • World-class photo instructor team, and an excellent participant-to-instructor ratio (group size limit of 19 guests)
  • The natural beauty of Svalbard itself, a superb destination for both landscape and wildlife photography, timed to coincide with seemingly endless sunsets, first snows of autumn on the mountains, and excellent wildlife opportunities.
  • All-inclusive from airport pickup in Oslo, Norway, featuring a high standard of accommodations and dining, and including R/T flights from Oslo to Svalbard, and all ground transfers.

Our expedition vessel, M/V Plancius, optimizes the photographic potential and overall quality of experience on this trip. She is a very comfortable and capable 296-foot ice-rated expedition ship with accommodation in comfortable en suite cabins and staterooms. We have chosen to do this voyage on this ship because she offers the capabilities, amenities, comfort, dining, and photographic support that will enable us to deliver a thoroughly enjoyable and creatively productive experience, both aboard and on shore. If you wish to travel with a world-class team of photographic instructors to the best locations, and you appreciate the advantages of an adventure designed specifically to optimize both the photography and overall experience, this is an exceptional opportunity.

Our expedition begins in Oslo, Norway, with an introductory reception dinner at one of the capital's finest restaurants. After a restful night at The Thief – a modern Scandinavian boutique hotel that is one of Oslo’s very best – we fly as a group to the small harbor of Longyearbyen on the island of Spitsbergen, where our ship awaits us. We set sail that afternoon through the sheltered waters of Adventfjord on our way to the west coast where we will work our way northward with views of the stunning mountain landscape.

The wild landscape of Svalbard and the pack ice are characterized by a mesmerizing serenity... I felt like I was floating through a dream. –Justin Black

The High Arctic is one of Earth’s most serene, sublime, and evocative places, and in our opinion the mountainous, glacier-covered islands of the Svalbard archipelago are the crown jewels, in part because a visitor here experiences the best features of the Arctic in microcosm. We have deliberately timed this expedition for Arctic autumn – late August and early September – to take advantage of special seasonal phenomena. The quality of light at this time of year is beautiful. The sun sets for several hours at this time of year, but gorgeous post-sunset light lingers all night long. Also, by this time the mountains typically have had their first fresh snow for the season, making the landscape look its best. Polar bears are to be found on both the islands and the pack ice, and Arctic fox patrol the shorelines. Blue whales – the largest animal that has ever lived on Earth – ply the coastal waters. Large walrus colonies can be photographed both ashore and at sea, and seals – bearded, ringed, harp, and harbor – are commonly sighted. Migratory birds linger on for a while, including Ivory Gulls, Kittywakes, Fulmars, Eider ducks, and more, while native Rock Ptarmigans transition to their winter plumage. Temperatures are still relatively comfortable by Arctic standards, but the summer’s mosquitoes will have been killed off by the frost. Weather and seas tend to be calm, and free of fog that can limit visibility in summer.

We have conceived this Svalbard expedition with considerable advantages for the passionate photographer. The first-rate photo leader team comprises three outstanding professionals, all known as generous and engaging teachers, who have a superb collaborative chemistry. Their photographic specialties cover a cross-section of the opportunities we will be presented with during the expedition: wildlife, landscape, natural abstract, travel, fine art, and conservation.

M/V Plancius: Our ice-rated expedition vessel provides an excellent platform for this voyage, in part due to her strength, maneuverability, and ability to navigate the ice pack and waters that can be impassable to larger ships. Those who appreciate small-group travel will enjoy our group's participant limit of nineteen guests, with our own private Zodiacs for landings and cruises to approach wildlife and explore the ice.  The ship typically carries a complement of around 108 passengers, supported by a fleet of ten zodiacs, a highly experienced expedition staff of eight, and a top-notch crew who welcome guests on the ship's spacious bridge. With our relatively small group, everyone will have excellent access to our photo leaders and expedition staff, landing operations will be efficient, and we'll be able to get to know one another well. Plancius offers an impressive range of vantage points for photography, from close to waterline to up high, and her three diesel-electric engines are surprisingly quiet and produce little vibration.

Dining aboard Plancius is of a high standard, with menus prepared by an accomplished German chef, sous chefs, and baker, with ample fresh ingredients and healthy options available. We are assembling an excellent wine list for the trip as well! She’s just a great ship.

PRICING AND ITINERARY – CLICK "READ MORE" AT BELOW RIGHT:

SEE BELOW FOR HIGHLIGHTS, TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS, AND INCLUSIONS/EXCLUSIONS.

read more

Map via Google
Expedition September 14 - 27, 2018
Limit 18 spaces | $13,500* Register

I feel very privileged to have participated in the 2016 Greenland expedition. It far exceeded my expectations. And, as someone who has traveled extensively, I would rate it as truly a trip of a lifetime. – Sid S., 2016 Greenland participant

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

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 – National Geographic photographer Jason Edwards, Justin Black, and Chris Linder – for this exclusive expedition to Greenland, 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, covering 14,700 square miles and penetrating over 200 miles into Greenland's interior – aboard the three-masted expedition vessel Rembrandt van Rijn.  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. Excursions by Zodiac take us in among the icebergs. 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. One thing is for certain: this expedition will yield extraordinary photographic opportunities. This is of course a floating workshop as well, and while underway, Jason, Justin, Chris, and the ship's expedition staff will make inspiring and instructive presentations, answer your questions, and offer constructive feedback on participants’ photographs during group critique sessions, with the aid of the ship's four large LCD screens.


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 Canopy by Hilton, conveniently located in the city center (please note change in accommodations from the Holt Hotel to Canopy by Hilton). 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: 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.

To make this special itinerary possible, we have arranged private Air Iceland charter flights aboard modern twin-engine turboprop airliners (Bombardier Q200). After disembarking Rembrandt at Constable Point, we will be picked up by our aircraft and flown back to Reykjavik, where a celebratory group dinner and final restful night at the Canopy Hotel await you.

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

read more

Map via Google
Creative Core October 8 - 12, 2018
Limit 10 spaces | $3,495* Register

The National Park that would have been, but never was.

Little-known Ricketts Glen State Park, located where Pennsylvania's Allegheny Plateau meets the Appalachian Mountains, is a must-visit destination for passionate landscape photographers who enjoy working with waterfalls and flowing water in the midst of autumn color. Featuring 2,000 acres of old-growth forest, twenty-four named waterfalls, and numerous cascades, President Franklin Roosevelt was in the process of making Ricketts Glen a national park until World War II got in the way. Fortunately, Pennsylvania's state government bought up the land and preserved it as a highlight of its own park system.

This fall, join Jeff Foott and Justin Black for several field sessions to photograph the park's most spectacular waterfalls and watercourses, as well as the rare eastern virgin forest in fall color. 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 you find ways to add greater purpose and meaning to your photography.

Field sessions begin the afternoon of the first day. Each day, we'll be out to photograph during the best light – whether that be early morning, afternoon, or even mid-day if it is overcast – following the daily weather conditions to make the most of opportunities. During field sessions, Jeff and Justin will offer hands-on guidance on your composition and technique, suggest creative ways to capture the mood and spirit of the place, and provide tips on creative use of aperture, shutter speed, filtration, multiple exposures, exposure blending, and panoramic stitching.  Jeff and Justin will also teach on the topics of composition and creativity, light and exposure, digital workflow, and maximizing image potential through post-production. Two constructive sessions critiquing the group's photographs will empower you to revisit and improve upon your creative ideas during subsequent outings. Friday morning will be the final field session, followed by critique until we adjourn at 3:00 pm.

Any enthusiastic photographer will feel right at home in this workshop. Jeff and Justin are both experienced at successfully accommodating a range of experience levels in photography workshops. We supply materials in advance of the session to make sure all participants are prepared to get the most out of the experience.

The group size is limited to ten participants, and the package includes the workshop itself from 1pm on October 8th to 3pm on October 12th, four nights accommodations at Hotel Harrington (without question the best accommodation for miles around), all meals, snacks, and drinks (including adult beverages with dinner). The rate for single-occupancy is $3,495; double-occupancy is $3,295 per-participant; for those who do not need lodging arrangements provided, the rate is $3,095.

Workshop will be operated under a special use permit issued by the park.

read more

Map via Google
Expedition October 12 - 27, 2018
Limit 6 spaces | $16,495* Register

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

"I feel my experience in New Zealand has made me a much better photographer. I had several 'a-ha' moments that I will carry with me everytime I pick up the camera." –Marla R., 2016 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 and Milford Sound – 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.

All of our past three annual excursions were exceedingly well received by our guests (see testimonials at the top and bottom of this page), but nevertheless we have adjusted the itinerary slightly to maximize the quality of the overall experience.

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

read more

Map via Google
Vision October 15 - 19, 2018
0 of 10 spaces left | $4995,.00* Waitlist

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. 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.

Click "Read More..." below right for more details and pricing, and see the image gallery...

read more

Map via Google
Creative Core November 5 - 9, 2018
Limit 10 spaces | $4,350* Register

"Wine is bottled poetry." –Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island, and Napa Valley resident

Coinciding with amazing Napa Valley fall color, this workshop captures the essence of autumn in wine country. Napa has figured prominently in the lives of instructors Elizabeth Carmel and Jerry Dodrill, both of whom have spent significant portions of their careers here. Not only do they know the valley like the backs of their hands, but they each have excellent connections in the community and at some of the world's very best wine estates, which enables us to offer exclusive access to unique Napa Valley photo locations, along with wine tasting and gourmet dining. Our accommodations and classroom will be based at the Mount View Hotel & Spa, in the charming historic town of Calistoga, California, located beneath Mount St. Helena at the north end of Napa Valley.

Participants can expect attentive and thoughtful instruction both in the field and in the classroom, all in an atmosphere of camaraderie and fun. Elizabeth and Jerry will lead eight field trips to locations in and around the local vineyards and beautiful Napa Valley, including highlights such as special visits with our friends at Chateau Montelena, the historic and very photogenic winery featured in feature film Bottleshock, as well as the architecturally splendid Castella di Amarosa. In the classroom, Elizabeth and Jerry will present classroom lectures, and provide two constructive group critiques of images made by participants during the workshop. Elizabeth will also give a tour of Carmel Gallery in downtown Calistoga, and well as her fine printing studio and frame shop. Elizabeth and Jerry will each demonstrate the processes and techniques they use in the creation of museum-grade fine prints.

This course is suitable for a wide range of experience levels, from enthusiastic beginners to serious amateurs, and professionals. Anyone who understands the basic operations of their camera will advance their skills with this workshop. Manageable group size ensures that every participant has ample opportunity to ask questions, photograph alongside Elizabeth and Jerry in the field, and discuss the exciting world of photography with fellow enthusiasts. Excellent group meals provide an informal setting to socialize and address specific interests that may not be covered during lectures and classroom discussion.

For the scheduled workshop itinerary, please click "read more" in the tab below right.

read more

Map via Google
Advanced November 10 - 16, 2018
Limit 12 spaces | $13,600* Register

TESTIMONIALS FROM OUR 2015 and 2016 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, 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 Seal River Heritage Lodge, 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; 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, already led two Visionary Wild Polar Bears Eye-to-Eye expeditions, and was blown away by the quality of the photography and the overall experience each time. Seal River Heritage Lodge 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 Chris will provide highly attentive, thoughtful, and generous instruction throughout the trip, offering feedback and useful guidance drawn from their 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 – Seal River Heritage 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 $13,600 per person, due to the limited number of guest rooms and beds at Seal River Heritage Lodge (its eight rooms sleep a maximum of sixteen guests), and the fact that their operating season is relatively short, which makes the cost for a room for one person exactly double the double-occupancy price. 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.

Click "read more" at below right to continue...

read more

Map via Google
Expedition November 16 - December 2, 2018
-37 of 0 spaces left | $* Waitlist

header_600

Please contact the office directly to book this trip (+1 202 558 9596 or jennifer@visionarywild.com). Please see the pricing information below the itinerary for availability.

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

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 forty-six 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 best restaurants. After a restful night at Hotel Atton–El Bosque, we fly the next morning to the Falkland Islands, where our ship awaits. Once at sea, 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 during southern spring 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 Frans, Tom, and Art. 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. Additional expedition staff will provide natural history interpretation and guide services.

Polar_Pioneer_Antarctica_600

Polar Pioneer: Our exclusive charter vessel provides an excellent platform for this voyage, in part due to her strength, nimble 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 forty-six guests. Every other commercial expedition vessel operating in these waters carries over one hundred 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 ship (Ice Rating 1A), Polar Pioneer has been transformed 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, 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.

read more

Map via Google
Expedition December 10 - 17, 2018
2 of 6 spaces left | $6,695* Register

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.

Expedition leader Justin Black will share his 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.

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.

Click "read more" at below right for the full itinerary

read more

Map via Google
Expedition January 3 - 18, 2019
0 of 6 spaces left | $* Waitlist

A Fly-In – Fly-Out, Antarctic Photography Expedition Aboard S/V Ocean Tramp

Note: As this opportunity has developed on very short notice, and availability of berths is limited, this expedition may be booked directly through our office only. Please either call us at +1-202-558-9596 or email Director of Operations Jennifer Woolley at jennifer@visionarywild.com to book this trip or be added to the waiting list. Online bookings for this expedition are not enabled at this time.

We are pleased to offer this intimate private-charter photographic expedition, including round trip flights across the Drake Passage, 13-nights aboard S/V Ocean Tramp, and instruction and guiding throughout by award-winning photographer and polar specialist Daisy Gilardini.

Ocean Tramp is a 20-meter motor-sail yacht (specifically, a ketch) which is operated by personal friends of Visionary Wild founder Justin Black, whose company Quixote-Expeditions specializes in small-vessel Antarctic adventures. In an era when Antarctic expedition vessels are getting larger and larger, Ocean Tramp offers a wonderful way to go with a very small group of just six guests, on a comfortable vessel that can get into locations that bigger ships can't reach.

Spend almost two weeks on location at Antarctica, rather than wasting precious days "rockin' and rollin'" on the Drake Passage crossing. As master of the boat, Daisy will work with Captain David Roberts (U.K.) to choose the best route to maximize the photographic opportunities at destinations along the way, responding to local conditions of weather and ice. Captain Roberts and Ocean Tramp’s experienced first mate and cook have an excellent track record of delivering exceptional Antarctic experiences for their guests.

Ocean Tramp normally sleeps eight guests in four cabins, but we are limiting the group size to six to eliminate crowding onboard, in the Zodiac, and at landing sites. The boat's Shackleton Suite features an en-suite private bathroom, while the other three cabins share two bathrooms.

ITINERARY:

Jan 3: Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile, by late morning for airport pickup and transfer to Hotel Cabo De Hornos, followed by a group dinner with Daisy at one of our favorite restaurants.
Jan 4: Transfer to the airport for our quick and comfortable jet flight over Cape Horn and across the Drake Passage to King George Island in the South Shetland Islands, where we board Ocean Tramp and begin our adventure.
Jan 4-17: Aboard S/V Ocean Tramp, photographing the wildlife, ice, and landscapes of the Antarctic Peninsula, south to Lemaire Channel and Vernadsky Research Base, using our vessel's size and maneuverability to access places that larger ships can't get to.
Jan 17: Disembark Ocean Tramp for the flight back to Punta Arenas. Daisy will remain at King George Island to meet the next group arriving for our voyage on M/V Hans Hansson. In Punta Arenas, you will be met by a trusted local guide who will coordinate your transfer to Hotel Cabo De Hornos. Final group dinner at one of Punta Arena's best restaurants, and overnight at Hotel Cabo De Hornos.
Jan 18: Transfer to Punta Arenas airport to catch your departing flight.

PACKAGE INCLUDES:

• Attentive and personalized photographic instruction throughout by Daisy Gilardini
• Use of S/V Ocean Tramp and its Zodiac, as well as the services of the experienced crew
• Specially arranged round-trip flights on DAP Antarctic Airways, aboard a four-engine BAE 146 jet, from Punta Arenas to King George Island (seats on these flights typically cost between $6,000 and $8,000 per person).
• Two hotel nights in Punta Arenas (Jan 3 and 17)
• All meals from dinner on Jan 3 to breakfast on Jan 18 (including wine/beer with dinners).
• All necessary transfers from arrival to departure in Punta Arenas, Chile.

PRICING:

• Shackleton Suite (perfect for a couple, with en suite bathroom) – Double-Occupancy at $21,500 per person; or Single-Occupancy at $28,500 (Booked)
• Cabin #3 (a fairly spacious cabin in the bow) – Double-Occupancy: $18,500 per person, or Single-Occupancy for: $25,750 per person (Booked)
• Cabin #2 (Twin bunks, third most spacious) (Booked) – Single-Occupancy only for $24,750
• Cabin #4 (Twin bunks, least spacious) – Double-Occupancy: $14,995 per person, or Single-Occupancy for $22,495 (Booked)

Note: Single-Occupancy bookings are limited to two guests total. Group size is limited to six guests total.

A 50% deposit is required upon registration, with the remaining 50% balance due by September 6, 2018.

Modified Cancellation and Refund Terms

Please note that due to the significant commitments involved in chartering the vessel for this trip, the following cancellation and refund schedule will apply, based on date cancellation notification is received:

  • 121 or more days prior to expedition start date: Full refund (less any non-recoverable credit card processing fees)
  • 120 to 91 days prior to start date: 25% of package cost non-refundable
  • 90 to 61 days prior to start date: 50% of package cost non-refundable
  • 60 days or less before start date: No refund

If you have any questions at all, please let us know. We hope you will join us on this Antarctic adventure!

Contact info@visionarywild.com or +1-202-558-9596 to register or for more information.

VIDEO OF S/V OCEAN TRAMP IN ANTARCTICA
https://youtu.be/jAPXU7DH1ik

VIDEO TOUR OF INTERIOR OF S/V OCEAN TRAMP, by our friend Laura Smith of Quixote-Expeditions: https://youtu.be/YNpsYLosl3M

read more

Map via Google
Expedition January 11 - 27, 2019
0 of 4 spaces left | $16,895* Waitlist

A very special small-group expedition to one of Earth's great wildlife meccas.

Situated in the South Atlantic Ocean 300 miles east of the tip of South America, this wind-blown archipelago of nearly 800 islands is home to four species of penguins (southern rockhopper, gentoo, Magellanic, and king), black-browed albatross, imperial and rock cormorants, southern elephant seals and southern sea lions.

If you’ve ever visited the Falklands by ship, you’ll know that a few hours at each landing site is just enough to hint at the tremendous photographic potential. This tour puts you right in the heart of the Falklands’ most remarkable locations, with ample time in each spot to take advantage of the best opportunities to capture your subjects in the perfect light.  Best of all, because of the scarce accommodations in the Falklands, you won’t be elbow to elbow with other photographers. During group leader Chris Linder's travels to the Falkland Islands, he has frequently found himself to be the only human present, photographing penguins at sunrise and sunset in outrageous light.  It is no hyperbole to say that the Falklands offer an immersive wildlife experience like no other.

Renowned polar photographer Chris Linder will lead this two-week photo workshop.  Chris has spent months at a time in the field photographing penguins and other seabirds, resulting in numerous accolades, including winning the 2015 Nature’s Best birds category.  His knowledge of bird behavior and enthusiastic teaching style will enable you to get the best possible shots of these charismatic seabirds.

This workshop is deliberately capped at only four participating photographers, enabling us to visit locations that are inaccessible to larger groups, as well as providing a more private and comfortable experience overall. The itinerary is carefully crafted to maximize precious time at the prime wildlife locations, including two unique locations you won’t find on any other Falklands photography tour.  We will spend multiple days at Sea Lion Island, Carcass Island (including a day trip to West Point Island), Saunders Island, and Volunteer Point.  The trip is scheduled to coincide with the most photogenic period of penguin and albatross chick rearing.  In January, southern rockhopper, gentoo, and Magellanic penguin chicks will have hatched and will be entering the crèche phase, and black-browed albatross chicks will be large enough to be easily photographed on their mud-cup nests.  In addition, our timing at Volunteer Point should feature newly hatched king penguin chicks resting on their parents’ feet.

The focus of this expedition is photography in the field. Chris will provide generous hands-on mentorship, sharing his expertise and professional insights on developing creativity and personal vision, composition, working with various qualities of light and changing weather, and working landscape scenarios to best effect.

Constructive critiques will be included in the schedule to help participants identify where they are succeeding and how they might focus their energies to advance their vision and skills. During critiques, emphasis is first placed on identifying what participants are doing right with regard to chosen subject and composition, followed by discussion of ways to improve the execution of the image in light of the emotional response, concepts, and aesthetics that led the photographer to make the image in the first place.

ITINERARY

January 11 – Arrival day in Santiago: After landing at Santiago’s international airport (SCL), check-in at the modern and stylish Holiday Inn Santiago - Airport Hotel, conveniently located directly in front of the International Airport Terminal, just steps from baggage claim. During the afternoon, meet for group introductions and orientation at the hotel. Our first dinner as a group will be held at the rather good hotel restaurant, to maximize your time to rest. Overnight at the Holiday Inn Santiago - Airport Hotel. (D)

January 12 – Travel to Sea Lion Island: After an early breakfast at the hotel, we will board the LATAM flight to Mount Pleasant international airport in the Falklands, via Punta Arenas, Chile.  After clearing customs in the Falklands, we will immediately board a Falkland Islands Government Air Service (FIGAS) flight to Sea Lion Island, aboard a BN2B Islander aircraft.  Flight time on the Islander is approximately 25 minutes.  After unpacking and a quick orientation of the island, we will eat dinner and begin our tour with a sunset photo shoot at Rockhopper Point, home to bustling southern rockhopper penguin and imperial cormorant colonies.  The next three nights will be spent at the well-appointed Sea Lion Lodge conveniently located near penguin colonies and beaches. Overnight at Sea Lion Lodge. (B, L, D)

January 13-14 – Sea Lion Island: Sea Lion Island is a National Nature Reserve; livestock was removed here in 2009, allowing native plant and animal species to flourish. The photographic subjects and landscapes here are extremely varied.  Gentoo and Magellanic penguin colonies are within sight of the lodge.  Southern sea lion and southern elephant seals haul out on the nearby beaches.  At the far end of the island (transportation provided), southern rockhopper penguins and imperial cormorants nest on the top of an impressive 80-foot vertical cliff.  Sea Lion Island is also home to small native birds, since predators like rats, mice, and cats have never been introduced here. Overnight at Sea Lion Lodge. (B, L, D)

January 15-18 – Carcass and West Point Islands: We will take another FIGAS flight roughly 45 minutes over East and West Falkland Islands to Carcass Island.  Like Sea Lion Island, Carcass is also cat and rat free, making it a haven for endemic species like Cobb’s wren.  The island has a variety of habitats, from sandy beaches to tussac grasses and rocky cliff tops.  Magellanic penguins nest near the settlement, and a gentoo penguin colony is a short walk away.  Elephant seals, imperial cormorants, night herons, and short-eared owls can also be found on the island.  Weather permitting, on one of our days on Carcass we will take a 1-hour boat ride to nearby West Point Island and spend the day photographing rockhopper penguins and black-browed albatross at Devil’s Nose Cliffs. Overnight at Carcass Island Lodge. (B, L, D)

January 19-20 – Saunders Island (northeast coast): No Falklands itinerary would be complete without a visit to Saunders Island.  We will stay at two different sites to get the full Saunders experience.  The first, The Rookery cabin, is located north of the settlement on the slopes of Mount Richards and is an excellent base of operations for exploring the nearby sea cliffs.  The cabin is short a five-minute walk from a sprawling black-browed albatross colony and a 20-minute walk from two large southern rockhopper penguin colonies.  The rockhopper colony is famous for its “penguin shower”, a tiny waterfall where the rockhoppers bathe after returning from the sea.  Magellanic and gentoo penguins are also found in the nearby valley, and a broad sandy beach is only a 10-minute walk from the cabin. Overnight at The Rookery cabin. (B, L, D)

January 21-23 – Saunders Island (northwest coast):  After our two nights at the Rookery, we will drive to another site on Saunders known simply as “The Neck”.  The Neck is named for the broad sandy beach lying between Mount Harston and Mount Richards.  This location boasts a diverse array of seabird species and spectacular landscapes.  Gentoo and king penguins nest on the beach in between the mountains.  Extensive Magellanic penguin burrows and predatory caracaras can be found on the grassy hillsides.  There are also two southern rockhopper penguin rookeries within easy walking access of the cabin, plus more black-browed albatross nest areas. January sunsets are particularly spectacular, as the setting sun’s rays bathe the gentoo colonies on the beach with warm golden hour light.  Our three days here will pass quickly! Overnight at the refurbished cabin at The Neck. (B, L, D)

January 24-25 – Volunteer Point, East Falkland Island:  Our final destination is the large (2000+) king penguin colony at Volunteer Point.  After a 45-minute FIGAS flight from Saunders to Stanley’s regional airport, we will transfer to 4WD vehicles and drive roughly 2.5 hours to Volunteer Point.  Volunteer Point is a broad, mile-long sandy beach with a king penguin colony, as well as nesting gentoo and Magellanic penguins.  When it is visited at all, Volunteer Point is typically done as a day trip from Stanley, but fortunately, because of our small group size, we will have the opportunity to spend two nights here at the Warden’s Cottage with hosts Derek and Trudi.  Both sunrise and sunset are incredible at Volunteer Point, with thousands of penguins heading out to sea to feed in the morning and returning to their nests at dusk. Overnight at the Warden's Cottage of Volunteer Point. (B, L, D)

January 26 – Return to Santiago: We say goodbye to our generous hosts, Derek and Trudi, to take ground transfers and flights back to Santiago, Chile. Since we arrive back at Santiago late at night, we will return to the airport hotel. Overnight at the Holiday Inn Santiago - Airport Hotel. (B, L, D)

January 27 – Departure day: Wake up for breakfast at the Holiday Inn and say our farewells. (B)

 

Pricing:

  • Double-occupancy: $16,895.00/person
  • Single-occupancy is available at a rate of $17,995.00, for the option of having your own room at three of our accommodations: the Holiday Inn Santiago Airport Hotel, Carcass Island Lodge, and Sea Lion Lodge. All guests will share double-occupancy rooms at The Neck cabin, The Rookery cabin, and the Warden's Cottage at Volunteer Point, in either single beds or bunks.

Payment Schedule:

  • 25% deposit upon booking
  • A further 25% deposit is due by May 15th, 2018
  • Final 50% due October 10th, 2018

PLEASE NOTE:

  • VISA: No advance visa is required for tourist entry into Chile or the Falkland Islands for citizens of the USA, Canada, EU nations, and most other developed countries.
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE: We always strongly recommend arranging travel insurance. Travelguard.com is excellent.
  • FLIGHTS: R/T flights from Santiago to Mount Pleasant Airport in the Falkland Islands are included, in addition to four FIGAS flights around the Falkland Islands. Please contact us if you would like recommendations regarding flights to and from Santiago, Chile (airport code: SCL)
  • LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE: FIGAS flights around the Falkland Islands normally allow for total baggage weight of no more than 44 pounds, but we have arranged an additional allowance 55 pounds. Total included baggage limit is 99 pounds per person, including all carry-ons. Overweight charges apply above this limit. In addition to carry-on luggage, Latam Airlines (R/T flights from Santiago to Mount Pleasant Airport) allows for two checked bags weighing no more than 50 pounds each at no charge. Overweight charges apply above this limit. 
  • GRATUITIES: Tips are included. Our local guides, drivers, and lodging staff work very hard to make our experience be the best it can be, and Visionary Wild budgets for a healthy group tip in recognition of their services. Guests may tip additionally if they would like to recognize exceptional service.

read more

Map via Google
Vision January 14 - 18, 2019
Limit 10 spaces | $3,400* Register

Refine your vision and harness the aesthetic potential of one of the world's most geological wonders.

Wondering where to travel in winter? Bryce Canyon National Park is one of our favorite places to go to view some of the most unique opportunities during this season of snow dustings and low-angled light. Ponderosa pines, fir-spruce forests, slot canyons, horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters, and pink cliffs cover this area. Utah has a wealth of public lands to explore and challenge your photographic senses, and Bryce Canyon National Park in among the most rewarding.

This greatest concentration of hoodoos in the world – an unearthly landscape to be sure – was formed over hundreds of millions of years of deposition and erosion. Bryce's colorful rock spires are oriented perfectly to catch the reflected morning light, resulting in a glowing fairytale landscape providing endless options for creative photography. Join us to capture its splendor.

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 Cliff Zenor. Both instructors have photographed Bryce 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 hoodoos and sculpted designs in the canyons.

Packaged with single-occupancy lodging at the Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel (a Best Western Plus property), located ideally near the park entrance, 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. Our Vision workshops 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
Expedition January 16 - 30, 2019
0 of 11 spaces left | $* Waitlist

A Fly-In – Fly-Out, Small-Group Antarctic Photography Expedition Aboard M/V Hans Hansson

Note: As this opportunity has developed on very short notice, and availability of berths is limited, this expedition may be booked directly through our office only. Online bookings are not enabled at this time. Please either call us at +1-202-558-9596 or email Director of Operations Jennifer Woolley at jennifer@visionarywild.com to book this trip or be added to the waiting list.

We have been presented with the opportunity to take over the charter of a vessel that is in very high demand: Hans Hansson, recently acquired by friends of ours who specialize in small-vessel Antarctic adventures. The prior charterer has had to cancel, which gives us a rare crack at this special vessel – unique in Antarctic waters – which is otherwise booked up entirely through 2020. In an era when Antarctic expedition vessels are getting larger and larger, Hans Hansson offers a wonderful way to go with a very small group, on a comfortable vessel that can get into locations that bigger ships can't reach.  We will spend almost two weeks on location at Antarctica, rather than wasting precious days "rockin' and rollin'" on the Drake Passage crossing. As masters of the ship, your leaders – award-winning polar photographer Daisy Gilardini and Justin Black of Visionary Wild – will  work with the captain to choose the best route to maximize the photographic opportunities along the way, responding to local conditions of weather and ice as necessary. Our small but capable expedition vessel will sleep eleven guests in addition to your two photo leaders and the ship's crew, in six cabins each with two bunks. Two Superior Cabins have en suite private bathrooms, and the other four Standard Cabins share two bathrooms/showers.

Itinerary

  • Jan 16: Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile, for airport pickup and transfer to Hotel Cabo De Hornos, followed by a group dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.
  • Jan 17: Transfer to the airport for our quick and comfortable jet flight over Cape Horn and across the Drake Passage to King George Island in the South Shetland Islands, where we board Hans Hansson and begin our adventure.
  • Jan 17-29: Aboard Hans Hansson, photographing the wildlife, ice, and landscapes of the Antarctic Peninsula, south to Lemaire Channel and Vernadsky Research Base, using our vessel's size and maneuverability to access places that larger ships can't get to.
  • Jan 29: Disembark Hans Hansson for the flight back to Punta Arenas. Celebratory final group dinner at one of Punta Arena's best restaurants, and overnight at Hotel Cabo De Hornos.
  • Jan 30: Transfer to Punta Arenas airport to catch your departing flight.

Pricing

Double-occupancy pricing will be $21,500 for a berth in one of the two Superior Cabins (twin bunks with private-bathroom), and $16,500 for a berth in one of the four Standard Cabins (twin bunks, sharing two showers and toilets located on the corridor very closeby). The rates for single-occupancy cabins will unfortunately have to be nearly twice the double-occupancy rate: $42,250 for a Superior Cabin and $32,250 for a Standard Cabin.

A 50% deposit is required upon registration, with the remaining 50% balance due by September 18, 2018.

Package Includes

  • Attentive and personalized photographic instruction throughout by Daisy Gilardini and Justin Black
  • Use of M/V Hans Hansson and its two Zodiacs, as well as the services of the experienced crew and expedition staff.
  • Specially arranged round-trip flights on DAP Antarctic Airways, aboard a four-engine BAE 146 jet, from Punta Arenas to King George Island (seats on these flights typically cost between $6,000 and $8,000 per person).
  • Two hotel nights in Punta Arenas (Jan 16 and 29)
  • All meals from dinner on Jan 16 to breakfast on Jan 30 (including wine/beer with dinners).
  • All necessary transfers from arrival to departure in Punta Arenas, Chile.

Modified Cancellation and Refund Terms

Please note that due to the significant commitments involved in chartering the vessel for this trip, the following cancellation and refund schedule will apply, based on date cancellation notification is received:

  • 121 or more days prior to expedition start date: Full refund (less any non-recoverable credit card processing fees)
  • 120 to 91 days prior to start date: 25% of package cost non-refundable
  • 90 to 61 days prior to start date: 50% of package cost non-refundable
  • 60 days or less before start date: No refund

If you have any questions at all, please let us know. We hope you will join us on this Antarctic adventure!

read more

Map via Google
Expedition January 16 - 30, 2019
Limit 6 spaces | $* Register

A Fly-In – Fly-Out, Antarctic Photography Expedition Aboard S/V Ocean Tramp

Note: As this opportunity has developed on very short notice, and availability of berths is limited, this expedition may be booked directly through our office only. Please either call us at +1-202-558-9596 or email Director of Operations Jennifer Woolley at jennifer@visionarywild.com to book this trip or be added to the waiting list. Online bookings for this expedition are not enabled at this time.

We are pleased to offer this intimate private-charter photographic expedition, including round trip flights across the Drake Passage, 12-nights aboard S/V Ocean Tramp, and instruction and guiding throughout by National  Geographic photographer Michael Melford.

Ocean Tramp is a 20-meter motor-sail yacht (specifically, a ketch) which is operated by personal friends of Visionary Wild founder Justin Black, whose company Quixote-Expeditions specializes in small-vessel Antarctic adventures. In an era when Antarctic expedition vessels are getting larger and larger, Ocean Tramp offers a wonderful way to go with a very small group of just six guests, on a comfortable vessel that can get into locations that bigger ships can't reach.

Spend almost two weeks on location at Antarctica, rather than wasting precious days "rockin' and rollin'" on the Drake Passage crossing. As master of the boat, Michael Melford will work with Captain David Roberts (U.K.) to choose the best route to maximize the photographic opportunities at destinations along the way, responding to local conditions of weather and ice. Captain Roberts and Ocean Tramp’s experienced first mate and cook have an excellent track record of delivering exceptional Antarctic experiences for their guests.

Ocean Tramp normally sleeps eight guests in four cabins, but we are limiting the group size to six to eliminate crowding onboard, in the Zodiac, and at landing sites. The boat's Shackleton Suite features an en-suite private bathroom, while the other three cabins share two bathrooms.

ITINERARY:

Jan 16: Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile, by late morning for airport pickup and transfer to Hotel Cabo De Hornos, followed by a group dinner with Michael at one of our favorite restaurants.
Jan 17: Transfer to the airport for our quick and comfortable jet flight over Cape Horn and across the Drake Passage to King George Island in the South Shetland Islands, where we board Ocean Tramp and begin our adventure.
Jan 17-29: Aboard S/V Ocean Tramp, photographing the wildlife, ice, and landscapes of the Antarctic Peninsula, south to Lemaire Channel and Vernadsky Research Base, using our vessel's size and maneuverability to access places that larger ships can't get to.
Jan 29: Disembark Ocean Tramp for the flight back to Punta Arenas. In Punta Arenas, after transferring to Hotel Cabo De Hornos, the group will enjoy a celebratory final dinner at one of Punta Arena's best restaurants. Overnight at Hotel Cabo De Hornos.
Jan 30: Transfer to Punta Arenas airport to catch your departing flight.

PACKAGE INCLUDES:

• Attentive and personalized photographic instruction throughout by Michael Melford
• Use of S/V Ocean Tramp and its Zodiac, as well as the services of the experienced crew
• Specially arranged round-trip flights on DAP Antarctic Airways, aboard a four-engine BAE 146 jet, from Punta Arenas to King George Island (seats on these flights typically cost between $6,000 and $8,000 per person).
• Two hotel nights in Punta Arenas (Jan 16 and 29)
• All meals from dinner on Jan 16 to breakfast on Jan 30 (including wine/beer with dinners).
• All necessary transfers from arrival to departure in Punta Arenas, Chile.

PRICING:

• Shackleton Suite (perfect for a couple, with en suite bathroom) – Double-Occupancy at $21,500 per person
• Cabin #3 (a fairly spacious cabin in the bow) – Double-Occupancy: $18,500 per person, or Single-Occupancy for: $25,750 per person
• Cabin #2 (Twin bunks, third most spacious) – Double-Occupancy: $16,500 per person; Single-Occupancy for $24,750
• Cabin #4 (Twin bunks, least spacious) –  Single-Occupancy only for $22,495

Note: Single-Occupancy bookings are limited to two guests total. Group size is limited to six guests total.

A 50% deposit is required upon registration, with the remaining 50% balance due by September 6, 2018.

Modified Cancellation and Refund Terms

Please note that due to the significant commitments involved in chartering the vessel for this trip, the following cancellation and refund schedule will apply, based on date cancellation notification is received:

  • 121 or more days prior to expedition start date: Full refund (less any non-recoverable credit card processing fees)
  • 120 to 91 days prior to start date: 25% of package cost non-refundable
  • 90 to 61 days prior to start date: 50% of package cost non-refundable
  • 60 days or less before start date: No refund

Travel insurance and medical evacuation insurance are required for this trip.

If you have any questions at all, please let us know. We hope you will join us on this Antarctic adventure!

Contact info@visionarywild.com or +1-202-558-9596 to register or for more information.

VIDEO OF S/V OCEAN TRAMP IN ANTARCTICA
https://youtu.be/jAPXU7DH1ik

VIDEO TOUR OF INTERIOR OF S/V OCEAN TRAMP, by our friend Laura Smith of Quixote-Expeditions: https://youtu.be/YNpsYLosl3M

read more

Map via Google
Creative Core January 21 - 25, 2019
Limit 10 spaces | $3,695* Register

We are excited to operate our second workshop based in Moab, Utah, as we visit Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. We are going during the best time of the year—early. After researching visitor statistics, there is no better time: "In January of 2016, about 20,000 people visited Arches. By May, that number jumped to more than 200,000, according to the National Park Service." Roads will be open and soft sheets of snow will illuminate the Parks. Arches National Park contains the highest density of natural arches in the world and Canyonlands National Park has multiple waterways carving away at the sandstone buttes and ephemeral pools with frozen surfaces, making for an impressive and serene landscape like no other.

Instructors Jeff Foott and Jerry Dodrill will lead eight field sessions to explore remote coves, canyons, creeks, the Colorado River, and striking desert ecology. Jeff lives nearby and can frequently be found exploring will know a lot of locations to scout and use for instruction. 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.

Field sessions begin the evening of the first day. Each day, we'll be out to photograph during the best morning and evening light, following the daily weather conditions to make the most of opportunities. During mid-day hours, Jeff and Justin will make presentations from the lecture room at the Gonao Inn on composition and creativity, light and exposure, digital workflow, and maximizing image potential through post-production. During field sessions, Jeff and Justin will offer hands-on guidance on composition and technique, suggest creative ways to capture the mood and spirit of the place, and provide tips on creative use of aperture, shutter speed, filtration, multiple exposures, exposure blending, and panoramic stitching.  Classroom sessions to review and critique your photographs will empower you to revisit and improve upon your creative ideas during subsequent outings. Friday morning will be the final field session, followed by critique until we adjourn at 3:00 pm.

Any enthusiastic photographer will feel right at home in this workshop. Jeff and Justin are both experienced at successfully accommodating a range of experience levels in photography workshops. We supply materials in advance of the session to make sure all participants are prepared to get the most out of the experience.

The group size is limited to ten participants, and the package includes the workshop itself from 1pm on January 21 to 3pm on January 25, four nights accommodations in a suite at Gonzo Inn (arguably the nicest place to stay in Moab), all meals, snacks, and drinks (including adult beverages with dinner). The rate for single-occupancy is $3,695; double-occupancy is $3,395 per-participant; for those who do not need lodging arrangements provided in Moab, the rate is $3,095.

Workshop will be operated under a commercial use authorization issued by Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.

read more

Map via Google
Creative Core February 4 - 8, 2019
Limit 10 spaces | $3,995* Register

The Sierra Nevada's majestic snow-capped mountains, dramatic winter skies and striking sunrises and sunsets make for amazing photographic opportunities. Join master photographers Jim Stimson and Jerry Dodrill for an exploration of the unique winter landscapes of the Eastern Sierra. The workshop will be based at Creekside Inn in Bishop, California, located in America's deepest valley between the dramatic Eastern Sierra Nevada and the White Mountains, both rising to over 14,000 feet.

Jim and Jerry will lead a total of eight early morning and sunset field trips to locations in the Owens Valley, Eastern Sierra Nevada and the White Mountains. Emphasis will be on hands-on instruction, helping participants refine their seeing, improve their landscape compositions and technical skills, and generally empower them to take control of their photography and move to the next level. Participants will learn techniques for photographing in cold weather conditions and managing exposure for snowy scenes ranging from low to high contrast. Lectures and projected constructive group critique sessions emphasize refining your creative vision and developing a strategic image processing workflow utilizing Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

This well-rounded workshop is appropriate for any level of outdoor photographer. The pace of our schedule and group mealtimes provide perfect opportunities to casually discuss a wide range of topics of interest to participants. This will be an upbeat learning environment in which we intend to inspire, energize, and engage. Participants will hone their photographic vision, compositions and techniques during quality time in the field and in the classroom with Jim and Jerry. Both instructors possess an intimate knowledge of the area and share a vast wealth of knowledge when it comes to getting the most from dynamic, fast-changing landscape scenarios.

For a detailed itinerary, please click "read more" below right...

read more

Map via Google
Vision March 4 - 8, 2019
Limit 10 spaces | $4,395* Register

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. If a wet winter precedes the workshop, blankets of golden and purple wildflowers may cover the hills and alluvial fans along the edges of the valley.

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
Expedition March 30 - April 7, 2019
Limit 6 spaces | $13,995* Register

Pumas, wild and up close, beneath the Torres del Paine

Pumas are secretive survivors, adapting to a tremendously diverse range of environments. Also known as Mountain Lions or Cougars (all are Puma concolor), they sometimes thrive in surprisingly close proximity to humans, but rarely permit themselves to be seen, much less photographed up close and eye-to-eye. So, you might wonder what our secret is to reliably photographing wild pumas up close on this Patagonian expedition.

To find out for yourself, make pictures you never imagined were possible, and learn a great deal about puma behavior in the process, join Roy Toft on a huge private ranch, Estancia Laguna Amarga, with panoramic views over one of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth: Chile's Torres del Paine National Park. A healthy population of wild pumas roam free there, moving at will between the ranch and park, and we have mastered the art of successfully tracking these apex predators through this landscape of rolling hills beneath the Paine range.

Based out of excellent accommodations at Hotel Las Torres,  we will observe and photograph many of these amazing cats at distances that can be surprisingly close. With the help of our top notch Puma spotters and guides, our 2018 group had several close-up encounters, including one individual that calmly approached us within thirty feet. Note that the pictures illustrating this page are all the product of Visionary Wild's 2018 Puma trip, not a "greatest hits" collection accumulated over the course of several visits or months on location. The simple fact is that the opportunities here are unrivaled anywhere in the Puma's expansive range. Please watch the videos below (made on an iPhone) for a first-hand glimpse of Pumaland:

Though we will use 4WD vehicles to drive into the vicinity of puma sightings, and may sometimes see pumas from our vehicles, venturing out on foot yields the best opportunities. Throughout the itinerary, we expect to walk a total of about one to two miles each day in hilly, uneven terrain, split between two field sessions. We do recommend that you are fit enough to hike with gear, including tripods and long telephotos. With advance notice, porters can be made available to assist with carrying equipment (at additional cost); please inquire for further details.

On the way back to Punta Arenas, we are including a special day to visit the private “Cerro Palomares” Condor Roost Cliff where Andean Condors fly. From convenient perches, we will photograph scores of “below-horizon fly-bys” of Andean Condors, the world’s heaviest flying creature. The roost cliff normally has 60-90 Andean Condors on it in the late afternoon as they fly back and forth below the horizon, offering the world’s most spectacular photo opportunities for this impressive bird.

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

Landscape Extension – Save $1,000: This itinerary dovetails perfectly with our Torres del Paine landscape photography workshop, led by National Geographic photographer Michael Melford, and Justin Black of Visionary Wild, which meets the Puma group at Hotel Las Torres on April 6, and ends in Punta Arenas on April 16. Joining us for both itineraries entitles you to a $1,000 discount on the combined cost (on a per person basis, in either single or double-occupancy).

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

read more

Map via Google
Expedition April 5 - 16, 2019
Limit 10 spaces | $10,995* Register

This combination of workshop and expedition is a unique hit! The leaders knew the area, worked well together, imparted their knowledge with enthusiasm and congeniality to each participant and the local staff were professional and helped us as a group and individually at all times. The logistics and lodgings were excellent. An outstanding photographic experience! –S. Dater, 2015 Patagonia participant

We returned home with lots of great memories and many images to review and process! It was a very well organised trip & thanks again to the entire team. We will definitely look at Visionary Wild when planning future trips. –G. & H. Cuff, 2018 Patagonia participants

Patagonia: the word is synonymous with awe-inspiring landscape, and Torres del Paine National Park is both its crown jewel and a microcosm of the most aesthetically appealing features of the region. This hybrid program – part expedition, part workshop, led by National Geographic photographer Michael Melford and Justin Black is designed to maximize opportunities to execute well-crafted and compelling photographs that capture the spirit of this incredible place. 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.

Puma Extension – Save $1,000: Those interested in the best opportunity on Earth to photograph wild pumas up close should note that this itinerary is preceded immediately by and can be combined perfectly with our Pumas of Patagonia trip led by Roy Toft, March 30-April 6. Joining us for both itineraries entitles you to a $1,000 discount on the combined cost (on a per person basis, in either single or double-occupancy).

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 and ñirre 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, foxes, and pumas 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...

read more

Map via Google
Expedition July 5 - 22, 2019
Limit 6 spaces | $14,500* Register

There's a reason why two of the six participants from our 2017 expedition to the Kyrgyz Republic chose to join us again in 2018. Yes, this trip is that good.

When I tell folks that my wife Lena is from Kyrgyzstan, the response is usually, "She's from Kurdistan?!?" or alternatively, "What? Where is that?" This little-known Silk Road country is, however, home to some of the most awe-inspiring mountain landscapes on the planet, as well as an immensely hospitable culture. Visionary Wild's first overland expedition there in July 2017 grew out of a lengthy scouting trip that Lena and I made in 2015. This photographic adventure, from the idyllic alpine lake of Song Kul to the glacier-borne basecamp beneath mighty Khan Tengri – one of the world's most beautiful peaks rising to 23,000ft. – represents what Lena and I consider the finest of the Kyrgyz mountain landscape. We have fallen in love with the Kyrgyz people and their spectacular homeland, and look forward to sharing this wonderful corner of the planet with you! –Justin Black

For lovers of wild mountain landscapes, the Kyrgyz Republic is among the most underrated travel destinations on Earth. The Tien Shan mountains rise higher and wilder than the Rockies, Sierra Nevada, Alps, or Andes, and peaks below 16,000-feet in elevation are barely considered worthy of a name. Along the Chinese border, the Kokshaal-Too range soars to truly Himalayan heights, on the world's most northern summits over 7,000 meters: Khan Tengri and Jengish Chokusu (known in the Soviet era as Pik Pobeda). The landscape beneath the peaks is sublime: glacier-carved gorges, slopes covered in alpine wildflowers, raging rivers, spruce and fir forests, and high pastures ("jai-loh") where semi-nomadic Kyrgyz graze small herds of horses, yaks, sheep, and cattle during the short summer.

The sheer scale and beauty of this landscape is phenomenal, but what is almost unimaginable is the fact that it is barely on the tourist radar. The Kyrgyz Republic is an emerging democracy, and the Kyrgyz people take their freedom seriously. Though it is commonly referred to as the "Switzerland of Central Asia," this complimentary moniker neglects to recognize the nation's unique qualities. A former Soviet republic with relatively slow economic growth, Kyrgyzstan has been spared excessive development, so what it lacks in infrastructure is made up for with glorious wild nature. The Kyrgyz people are a Turkic nomad culture that boasts the longest history of all currently extant groups in Central Asia. Over the last fifteen centuries, their language and culture have survived the Uyghurs, the Chinese, the Mongols, various Khaganates, the Russians, the Soviet era, and the challenges of building a viable democracy while surrounded by less democratic neighbors.

Our adventure begins in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, where our guests will be met at the airport and transferred to the thoroughly modern Golden Tulip Hotel, offering excellent accommodations in the city center. There, we will welcome you to our introductory orientation and first dinner as a group. Early the next morning, we load up into our four-wheel-drive caravan, comprising three highly capable and comfortable Toyota Sequoias to carry our six guests, plus Visionary Wild photo leaders Justin Black and Jerry Dodrill, both veterans of three prior trips to Kyrgyzstan. Two additional 4WD support vehicles will carry gear, provisions, our cook and camp staff. From there, we set off on our spectacular route through the Tien Shan mountains.

Our itinerary is designed to take advantage of prime light on the landscape morning and evening each day. After dark, clean air and absence of light pollution provide a superb opportunity for nighttime landscapes including the Milky Way. We will also enjoy excellent opportunities for photography of the Kyrgyz people themselves, in the high pastures, at our yurt camps, and at the sprawling and colorful Osh Market in Bishkek. This will be a highly productive and immensely fun photographic adventure that you'll never forget.

Click "read more" at below right for the full itinerary, inclusions, exclusions, and more photos...

read more

Map via Google
Expedition September 3 - 15, 2019
Limit 18 spaces | $14,950* Register

I feel very privileged to have participated in the 2016 Greenland expedition. It far exceeded my expectations. And, as someone who has traveled extensively, I would rate it as truly a trip of a lifetime. – Sid S., 2016 Greenland participant

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

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, soaring coastal mountains, tundra in autumn color, the vast Greenland Ice Sheet, and the Aurora Borealis combine to form an incomparable landscape. Join a world-class team of leaders – Daisy Gilardini, Daniel Beltrá, and Jerry Dodrill – for this  expedition to Greenland, photographing this arctic wilderness in all its glory. With generous photographic instruction and attentive support throughout, explore the largest fjord system in the world – Scoresbysund, covering 14,700 square miles and penetrating over 200 miles into Greenland's interior – aboard the three-masted expedition vessel Rembrandt van Rijn.

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 as we encounter them, as well a variety of coastal and pelagic birds such as fulmars, kittiwakes, and gannets. Excursions by Zodiac take us in among the icebergs. 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. One thing is for certain: this expedition will yield extraordinary photographic opportunities. This is of course a floating workshop as well, and while underway, Daniel, Daisy, Jerry, and the ship's expedition staff will make instructive and inspiring presentations, answer your questions, and offer constructive feedback on participants’ photographs during group critique sessions, with the aid of the ship's four large LCD screens.


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: 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.

To make this special itinerary possible, we have arranged private Air Iceland charter flights aboard modern twin-engine turboprop airliners (Bombardier Q200). After disembarking Rembrandt at Constable Point, we will be picked up by our aircraft and flown back to Reykjavik, where a celebratory group dinner and final restful night at the Canopy Hotel await you.

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

read more

Map via Google
Expedition September 8 - 19, 2019
Limit 8 spaces | $17,500* Register

The Visionary Wild Iceland Expediton was an extraordinary and wonderful experience. The locations were superb and unique and the instructors are technical experts who offered great instruction. I literally could not have asked more from the trip - it exceeded all my expectations. I would recommend Visionary Wild to all photographers and aspiring photographers who want experiences off the tourist path and to take their photography to the next level. –Alex E., 2017 Iceland Overland participant

Our journey to the inner highlands of Iceland in September 2017 was beyond anything we could have imagined. Every day was unique and awe-inspiring, featuring starkly beautiful landscapes of volcanic rock and glacial ice. We would highly recommend Visionary Wild for serious photographers; traveling with experienced guides who shared our passion to explore and photograph the world was invigorating, educational - and tremendous fun. The mentorship and organizational planning from our group leaders, Justin Black and Chris Linder, was truly world class. We are already planning our next adventures with Visionary Wild!" – Ray M. and Leona D., 2017 Iceland Overland participants

You may think you know Iceland...

Maybe you've already made a trip or two there, and you've seen the standard sights on the south coast.  You’ve lined your tripod up next to the multitudes on the beach at Jökulsárlón, and waited for tourists snapping selfies to get out from behind the waterfall at Seljalandsfoss. The typical visitor wouldn't know it, but much of Iceland is still remote, uncrowded, and unspoiled. The middle of this country is home to the largest wilderness area in Europe—the vast Highlands—where, according to Icelandic legend, outlaws, dragons, and evil spirits once lurked, and some believe elves are still in residence.  This expedition is intended for those who want to get off the beaten track—literally and figuratively—to make truly unique photographs in the otherworldly landscape of the Land of Fire and Ice.  Getting into Iceland’s rugged Highlands is a challenge in itself.  There are no paved roads or bridges over the rivers.  To find your way through this wilderness, a competent 4WD vehicle and experience is mandatory.

Chris Linder and Justin Black will lead this eleven-night photo expedition limited to eight participants.  The itinerary has been carefully crafted based on Chris and Justin's numerous prior assignments and explorations in Iceland, and features incredible locations that can be accessed only be 4WD vehicle. Chris and Justin's extensive knowledge of the Icelandic landscape and environment makes them the perfect fit for getting to the best locations for prime photographic opportunities. Our small group will travel in comfort in four snorkeled "Superjeeps"—customized Nissan Patrols and Toyota Land Cruisers—each driven by an experienced Icelandic mountain guide.  Every participant will have a window seat, lots of elbow room in the vehicles, and ample space for their equipment.  In the Highlands, we will spend each night at comfortable Icelandic mountain huts in spectacular locations close to our dawn and dusk photo locations. As always, we will make the most of light and weather conditions each day.

Helicopter aerials extension (optional): Those who wish also have the option to join us on the South Coast September 19-21 for a extension to do "doors-off" aerial photography aboard our private charter Eurocopter AS350 (at additional cost).

Click the "read more" tab below to continue...

read more

Map via Google
Vision December 2 - 6, 2019
Limit 10 spaces | $4,250* Register

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.

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

read more

Map via Google