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

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

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

Sara Robb – Operations Assistant: sara@visionarywild.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

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

Galapagos with Frans Lanting, Tom Mangelsen, Art Wolfe and Justin Black

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

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

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

Click "read more" at below right for:

  • Itinerary
  • Pricing by stateroom class

 

ITINERARY

The landings and photography excursions described below are representative of what we plan to undertake on this trip, though the itinerary is subject to change to enable us to take advantage of special opportunities, or respond to weather and other unforeseeable circumstances.

 

Day 1 – May 6th

Arrival in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Participants will be met at the airport in Guayaquil and transferred to the Hotel Oro Verde. That afternoon, you will meet group leaders Frans Lanting, Tom Mangelsen, and Art Wolfe, as well as the rest of the team, for an introductory orientation program followed by a festive group dinner. Overnight Hotel Oro Verde

 

Day 2 – May 7th

Flight to Isla Baltra, and Setting Sail

After an early breakfast at the hotel, we transfer to the airport for our 08:40 flight to Isla Baltra in the Galapagos Archipelago, arriving around 09:30. After arrival at Baltra airport, we will be met by our naturalist guides and escorted to the harbor. A motor launch will then transfer us to the M/V Eclipse, where we will be greeted by the Captain and crew before embarking on our cruise.

Santa Cruz Island – Black Turtle Cove

Black Turtle Cove is a complex maze of tranquil salt-water islets, surrounded by three different species of mangroves. Its waters are a nursery site for sea turtles, rays and sharks as well as a nesting site for sea birds. Difficulty level: Easy

 

Day 3 – May 8th

Rabida Island

Rabida is a small island with red volcanic rocks surrounding a beautiful red sand beach, home to a colony of sea lions and a pelican nesting site. The trail leads to a saltwater lagoon where numerous species of birds congregate. Rabida is also considered to be one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos Islands. Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate

Santiago Island – Puerto Egas
A trail leads to tidal pools, which are home to a variety of invertebrate organisms, including sea urchins, octopus and starfish. We will also photograph marine iguanas, finches, oystercatchers, and possibly the Galapagos Hawk. The Galapagos Fur Seal grottoes here are one of the only places in the islands where these endangered endemic animals can be seen. Optional: swim or snorkel off the beach, where you will see fur seals, fish, rays and reef sharks, and possibly sea turtles. Difficulty level: Easy

 

Day 4 – May 9th

Isabela Island – Tagus Cove

Tagus Cove was historically used as an anchoring place for pirates, buccaneers and whalers. An optional hike leads through an area of vegetation and the volcanic landscape of Darwin volcano. At the top of the trail, you will enjoy an incredible view of the whole cove and Darwin Lake. This is also an excellent snorkeling location. Difficulty level: Easy to Difficult

Fernandina – Espinosa Point

Fernandina Island is one of the most pristine ecosystems in the entire world and also one of the most dynamic. La Cumbre Volcano last erupted in April 2009, dominating the landscape with lava fields stretching towards the ocean from its base. Punta Espinoza is a narrow piece of land where some of the most unique Galapagos species can be seen, including the flightless cormorant, Galapagos snakes, marine iguanas, penguins and the Galapagos hawk. Difficulty level: Moderate

 

Day 5 – May 10th

Isabela Island – Urbina Bay

Urbina Bay is located in Western Isabela, at the foot of Alcedo volcano. After a wet landing on a beautiful black-sand beach, you may be able to observe sea turtle nesting sites. This area is also known for penguin and flightless cormorant sightings and is one of the best places to see Darwin’s finches as well as large land iguanas. Be on the lookout for Galapagos tortoises which like to feed within the site’s dense vegetation. Difficulty level: Moderate
Isabela Island – Vicente Roca Point
Punta Vicente Roca Nazca features pelicans, swallow-tailed gulls, boobies, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants and penguins, as well as striking geological features. This is also is a wonderful snorkeling site, where sea turtles and a variety of fish species can be photographed. Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate

 

Day 6 – May 11th

Santa Cruz – Puerto Ayora: Charles Darwin Research Station & Highlands

Visit Charles Darwin Research Station, where we will gain insight into the efforts of scientists and managers to preserve the Galapagos ecosystem. After the visit we drive to the green highlands of Santa Cruz, to search for giant tortoises in their natural surroundings. Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate

 

Day 7 – May 12th

Genovesa Island – El Barranco

El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, is a steep path with stairs carved into the rock which leads to a plateau full of bird life amongst a Palo Santo forest. We will likely be able to photograph Nazca boobies, Galapagos doves, mockingbirds and petrels. With some luck, we may spot a short-eared lava owl. Difficulty level: Moderate

Genovesa Island – Darwin Bay

Darwin Bay’s soft, coralline white sand is only the beginning of a spectacular excursion. A trail from the beach takes us into lush mangroves where red footed boobies nest. Other locals include sea lions, swallow-tail gulls, frigate birds, and more. Snorkeling is a must here as sharks, colorful reef fish, rays and tortoises are common. Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate

 

Day 8 – May 13th

Bartolome Island

Bartolome is a small island that has two very different visitor sites. At the first site, you can snorkel around Pinnacle Rock, where penguins are usually seen. Then, it’s back on board for a quick change of clothes followed by a short dinghy ride to a dry landing for a climb to the highest point on the island. On the way up, you will encounter different volcanic formations, including spatter and tuff cones, lava flow and lava tubes. From the summit you will have a wonderful view of Sullivan Bay. An alternate excursion will be provided for those not interested in the hike. Difficulty level: Moderate

Santa Cruz – Dragon Hill

The name Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) stems from the fact that it was one of the few sites on Santa Cruz Island where a healthy population of land iguanas were found in 1975. After landing at a pier, a hike takes you to a salt water lagoon behind the beach, frequented by common stilts, pintail ducks and occasionally flamingos. A short walk up the hill leads you to a land iguana nesting site, with breathtaking views of the bay. You will have the chance to go swimming after the walk. Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate

 

Day 9 – May 14

Santa Cruz – Bachas Beach

Las Bachas Beach is located in the north of Santa Cruz Island. It's soft, white sand is derived from decomposed coral, making it a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind the beach there is a small brackish lagoon, where it is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels. Difficulty level: Easy

Isla Baltra – Flight Home

Return to Isla Baltra, disembark and transfer to the airport for flight departing 13:30, arriving in Guayaquil at 16:20. We say our goodbyes, and guests catch connecting flights home.

 

PRICING BY STATEROOM CLASS

Prices provided below are for the all-inclusive package, based on stateroom class and either single or double occupancy. Stateroom class, occupancy type, and bed arrangement may be selected via our online registration form. A 25% deposit is required upon registration, with an additional 25% due as of September 1, 2015, and the remaining balance due February 1st, 2016.

Available on our expedition vessel are 22 elegantly decorated Staterooms to host a maximum of 41 guests, with picture windows or large portholes for outside views. The en suite bathrooms are fully set with complimentary biodegradable toiletries. All cabins have central air-conditioning, with either a double or twin bed arrangement. Twin beds can be converted to king-size beds. High-quality bed linens, duvets and pillows provide for a peaceful sleep. For your valuables a safe deposit box is available in your cabins. All Staterooms are serviced three times a day.

Deluxe Staterooms (4):  $11,500 per person double-occupancy; $22,500 single-occupancy

These cabins are comfortably situated on the Boat Deck. Each has been carefully furnished to a modern expeditionary style of decoration - just perfect for the Galapagos. These beautifully set cabins have large scenic windows, premium bedding, and well-appointed bathrooms and provide a complimentary one-time fully stocked minibar. Two of the four Deluxe Staterooms feature an extra bed.

Superior Staterooms (8): $10,995 per person double-occupancy; $21,250 single-occupancy 

Also located on the Boat Deck, these offer an excellent combination of comfort and contemporary-type decoration with recently renovated vanities. Panoramic windows allow for bright natural lighting in cabins. Two of them have interconnecting doors to accommodate families. 

Staterooms (7): $10,495 per person double-occupancy; $20,250 single-occupancy

On the Main Deck, we have seven Staterooms with porthole views. These cabins feature the same comfortable amenities as our Superior Staterooms including premium bedding and new vanities. Two of them have interconnecting doors, ideal for families.

Standard Staterooms (2): $10,250 per person double-occupancy; $19,750 single-occupancy 

Slightly closer to the engine rooms, our two available Standard Staterooms, located towards the stern of the Main Deck, offer an excellent opportunity for the more price conscious traveler to enjoy an unrivalled 7 night experience. These cabins are likewise well-appointed and are brightly illuminated with large portholes.

Single Stateroom (1): $10,495 single-occupancy

The popular Single Stateroom with porthole windows are positioned towards the bow of the vessel and are a perfect option for our solo travelers at a very attractive price. This is a bright, well-equipped cabin suited for one passenger.

Frans Lanting

FRANS LANTING has been hailed as one of the great nature photographers of our time.  His influential work appears in books, magazines, and exhibitions around the world.  Born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, he earned a master’s degree in economics then moved to the United States to study environmental planning.  Soon after, he began photographing the natural world—and never turned back.

For three decades he has documented wildlife from the Amazon to Antarctica to promote understanding about the Earth and its natural history through images that convey a passion for nature and a sense of wonder about our living planet.

“Frans Lanting has set the standards for a whole generation of wildlife photographers,’’ according to the BBC.  “Mr. Lanting’s photographs take creatures that have become ordinary and transform them into haunting new visions,” writes field biologist Dr. George Schaller in The New York Times.  “As a chronicler of natural history today, Frans Lanting is a singular, extraordinary talent,” says Thomas Kennedy, former Director of Photography at National Geographic.  “He has the mind of a scientist, the heart of a hunter, and the eyes of a poet.”

Lanting’s work is commissioned frequently by National Geographic, where he served as a Photographer-in-Residence.  His assignments have ranged from a first look at the fabled bonobos of the Congo to a unique circumnavigation by sailboat of South Georgia Island in the subantarctic.  In a remote part of the upper Amazon Basin, he spent weeks on platform towers to obtain rare tree-canopy views of wild macaws.  He has lived for months with seabirds on isolated atolls in the Pacific Ocean, followed lions through the African night, and camped among giant tortoises inside a volcano in the Galápagos.

Lanting did pioneering work in Madagascar, where he documented wildlife and tribal traditions never photographed before.  His celebrated coverage of the Okavango Delta in National Geographic has been credited with inspiring a surge of international interest in wildlife and conservation in Botswana.  His photo essays about rainforest ecology in Borneo, emperor penguins in Antarctica, and the troubled fate of puffins in the North Atlantic, have been featured in publications around the world.  Images from his year-long odyssey to assess global biodiversity at the turn of the millennium filled an issue of National Geographic. 

Lanting’s work also includes profiles of ecological hot spots from India to New Zealand, as well as features on the majesty and plight of albatrosses, and a remarkable study of chimpanzees in Senegal that is shedding new light on human evolution.

In 2006, Lanting launched The LIFE Project, a lyrical interpretation of the history of life on Earth from the Big Bang to the present, as a book, an exhibition, an interactive website (www.LifeThroughTime.com), and a multimedia orchestral performance with music by Philip Glass.  The symphonic version of LIFE premiered in Santa Cruz, California, in 2006 and has been touring North America and Europe ever since.  ORIGINS, a new multimedia production based on LIFE, was performed in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2008, at the official ceremony to inaugurate CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, the largest machine ever built to study the origins of the universe.  LIFE was performed at the Lincoln Center in New York in 2009 to launch the World Science Festival and to honor the distinguished biologist Dr. E. O. Wilson, and in 2012 Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands attended a performance at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam during a gala event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the World Wildlife Fund. 

Lanting’s books have received awards and acclaim: “No one turns animals into art more completely than Frans Lanting,” writes The New Yorker.  His books include Life:  A Journey Through Time (2006), Jungles (2000), Penguin (1999), Living Planet (1999), Eye to Eye (1997), Bonobo (1997), Okavango: Africa’s Last Eden (1993, 2013), Forgotten Edens (1993), Madagascar, A World Out of Time (1990), Islands of the West (1986), and Feathers (1982).  In 2000, his book Eye to Eye was named by National Public Radio-KQED as one of the 50 most influential nonfiction books of the 20th century.

Lanting has received many honors and awards for his work.  In 2001 H.R.H. Prince Bernhard inducted him as a Knight in the Royal Order of the Golden Ark, the Netherlands’ highest conservation honor.  He has received top honors from World Press Photo, the title of BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and the Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award.  Lanting has been honored as a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in London and is a recipient of Sweden’s Lennart Nilsson Award.  In 2012 he was appointed as an Ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund Netherlands.

Lanting’s mission is to use photography to help create leverage for conservation efforts ranging from local initiatives to global campaigns, through his publications, alliances, public appearances, and active support of environmental organizations.  He serves on the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund, on the Chairman’s Council of Conservation International, and on the International Board of WildAid.  Lanting is a Trustee of the Foundation Board of the University of California Santa Cruz, and is an honorary Director of the Friends of Long Marine Lab.  He is a columnist for Outdoor Photographer, a co-founder of the North American Nature Photographers Association (NANPA), and a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP).

Frans Lanting makes his home in Santa Cruz, California, with his wife and partner, Chris Eckstrom, an editor, videographer, and former staff writer at National Geographic with whom he collaborates on fieldwork and publishing projects.

Tom Mangelsen

A Nebraska native, Thomas D. Mangelsen is recognized as one of the world’s premier nature photographers. Mangelsen’s love of nature, his life in the outdoors and business success were heavily influenced by his father. An avid sportsman, Harold Mangelsen took his sons to favorite blinds along the Platte River in Nebraska to observe the huge flocks of ducks, geese and cranes that migrate through the area. From these outings Mangelsen learned important lessons for photographing in the field, including patience, waiting for the right moment and understanding animal behavior.

In the early 1970’s, Tom and his brother David began selling limited edition prints of his images, and opened the first Images of Nature® gallery in 1978 in Jackson, Wyoming.

Tom’s honors include his image Polar Dance being selected by the International League of Conservation Photographers in 2010 as one of the 40 Most Important Nature Photographs of All Time.

He was chosen in 2006 as one of Jane Goodall’s “Heroes of the Animal Planet” and profiled in the television series of the same name. Also in 2006, he was presented with an honorary doctorate from Doane College. Additional accolades were being named one of the “100 Most Important People in Photography” in 2005 by American Photo magazine and also honored with Nikon’s “Legend behind the Lens” recognition. He received an Honorary Fellowship from The Royal Photographic Society in 2002 and was named “Outstanding Nature Photographer of the Year” by the North American Nature Photographer Association’s in 2000. In 1994, Mangelsen received the prestigious British Broadcasting Corporation’s “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” Award. Mangelsen is co-founder of the Cougar Fund, a founding Fellow of The International League of Conservation Photographers, on the international advisory council for the Jane Goodall Institute and a board ambassador for the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance.

Tom’s published fine art books include, Images of Nature: The Photography of Thomas D. Mangelsen, Polar Dance: Born of the North Wind, and Spirit of the Rockies: The Mountain Lions of Jackson Hole, the first and only portrayal of cougars in the wild. In May 2008, Tom’s fourth fine art book, The Natural World, based exclusively on his work in the panoramic format, was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Award for best coffee table/large format book by the PMA, the Independent Book Publishers Association.

Mangelsen’s work has been published in National Geographic, Life, Audubon, National Wildlife, Smithsonian, Natural History, Newsweek, Wildlife Art, American Photo and many other publications as well as featured on television programs from The Today Show and Good Morning America, to CNN's World News and ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

Art Wolfe

It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed.

The son of commercial artists, Art Wolfe was born on September 13, 1951 in Seattle, Washington, and still calls the city home. He graduated from the University of Washington with Bachelor's degrees in fine arts and art education in 1975. His photography career has spanned five decades, a remarkable testament to the durability and demand for his images, his expertise, and his passionate advocacy for the environment and indigenous culture. During that time he has worked on every continent, in hundreds of locations, and on a dazzling array of projects.

Art Wolfe’s photographs are a superb evocation of some of the most breathtaking spectacles in the world. —Sir David Attenborough

 Wolfe's photographic mission is multi-faceted. By employing artistic and journalistic styles, he documents his subjects and educates the viewer. His unique approach to photography is based on his training in the arts and his love of the environment.

His goal has always been to win support for conservation issues by “focusing on what’s beautiful on the Earth.” Hailed by William Conway, former president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, as "the most prolific and sensitive recorder of a rapidly vanishing natural world," Wolfe has taken an estimated two million images in his lifetime and travels nearly nine months out of the year photographing for new projects, leading photographic tours and seminars, and giving inspirational presentations to corporate, educational, conservation and spiritual groups.

Long before the genre of ‘conservation photography’ was conceived, Wolfe was practicing it. In 1997 he created a conservation-themed photography contest as “an event for the advancement of photography as a unique medium capable of bringing awareness and preservation to our environment through art.” After a very successful run in 2012 in which the International Conservation Photography Awards drew entries from around the world and was exhibited and traveled by The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle, the contest is now in hiatus. Currently Art is judging his ongoing “Compelling Image” contest at www.ShutterLoveOnline.com.

Art Wolfe's work tells a story that is overwhelming, breathtaking, and vast. –Robert Redford

In 1978 he published his first book Indian Baskets of the Northwest Coast with the late Dr. Allan Lobb, a close friend and mentor, who also gave Wolfe a start by putting the young photographer’s work into patients’ rooms at Swedish Medical Center. Wolfe was soon photographing for the world’s top magazines such as National Geographic, Smithsonian, Audubon, GEO, and Terre Sauvage. Magazines all over the world publish his photographs and stories, and his work is licensed for retail products and advertising.

Numerous US and international venues have featured monographs of his work as well his traveling exhibits, Travels to the Edge and Beyond the Lens. He has had four major shows at Seattle’s Frye Art Museum, including One World, One Vision. Today his work is available at the Art Wolfe Gallery in Seattle, Rotella Gallery™ in Las Vegas and New York City, as well as online at prints.artwolfe.com.

Art Wolfe is a virtuoso whose eye brings home, again and again, the absolute need to preserve what we have.—Morgan Freeman

Since 1989 he has published at least one book a year—1997 alone saw seven titles in the United States and abroad. He has released over eighty books, including award-winning The High Himalaya, Water: Worlds between Heaven & Earth, Tribes, Rainforests of the World, Pacific Northwest, Land of Light and Water, as well as numerous children’s titles, including O is for Orca and Animal Action Alphabet. Graphis included his books Light on the Land and the controversial Migrations on its list of the 100 best books published in the 1990s. His books have sold over 500,000 copies and have been translated into eight languages.

In 2000 he formed Wildlands Press and subsequently published much of his signature work: The Living Wild, which has more than 70,000 copies in print worldwide and garnered awards from the National Outdoor Book Awards, Independent Publisher, Applied Arts and Graphis; Africa (2001) and Edge of the EarthCorner of the Sky (2003), both of which captured significant publishing awards, including IPPY (Independent Publishers), Benjamin Franklin (Publishers Marketing Association), and National Outdoor Book Award. Wolfe’s latest books are Human Canvas, Graphis Photography Annual 2014 gold medal winner; and two instructional texts published by Amphoto Books: an updated edition of the bestselling Art of Photographing Nature and The Art of the Photograph with author Rob Sheppard. Coming in 2014 is the Art’s encyclopedic Earth Is My Witness with Insight Editions and an eagerly anticipated second edition of Vanishing Act (Cameron + Company).

The intensity, texture, and strange density of Art Wolfe’s photographs are truly astonishing. —Peter Matthiessen

Wolfe has ventured into the world of television production with “On Location with Art Wolfe,” “Techniques of the Masters” and as host of “American Photo's Safari”, which aired on ESPN 1993-1995. In May 2007 Art made his public television debut with the high definition series “Art Wolfe’s Travels to the Edge,” an intimate and upbeat series that offers unique insights on nature, culture, and the realm of digital photography. The thirteen-episode first season garnered American Public Television’s 2007 Programming Excellence Award—unprecedented for a first season show. The thirteen-episode second season garnered five Silver Telly Awards, their highest honor, for outstanding achievement. It has been broadcast more than hundreds of thousands times in the United States and is in syndication throughout the world.

Education is a major component of Wolfe’s work, whether it is about the environment or about photography. He leads domestic and international photographic tours as well as regularly giving his Art of Composition seminar. He is a Phase One Digital Artists Series instructor. In an exciting collaboration of the most renowned nature photographers in the world, he is combining forces with Frans Lanting and Thomas Mangelsen on the Masters of Nature Photography workshops (www.mastersofnaturephotography.com).

Art has the broadest range of excellence of any nature photographer I know. —Galen Rowell

Along with his numerous book and television awards, Wolfe is the proud recipient of the Nature's Best Photographer of the Year Award, the North American Nature Photography Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Photographic Society of America’s Progress Medal for his contribution to the advancement of the art and science of photography; he has been awarded with a coveted Alfred Eisenstaedt Magazine Photography Award. The National Audubon Society recognized Wolfe’s work in support of the national wildlife refuge system with its first-ever Rachel Carson Award. In 1999 he was named to the UW Alumni Association’s magazine list of 100 “most famous, fascinating and influential” alumni of the 20th century. He is a member of the American Society of Media Photographers; he is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers and has served on the advisory boards for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Wolfe has been a member of Canon’s elite list of renowned photographers Explorers of Light, Microsoft’s Icons of Imaging, Fujifilm’s Talent Team, and Nikon’s NPS Pros.

Wolfe maintains his gallery, stock agency, and production company in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood.

Justin Black

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

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

Justin's photographs have been published by magazines such as National Geographic Adventure, Sierra, Sunset, American Photo, Outdoor Photographer, Rock & Ice, and Nature Conservancy among others. His work has also been published by major news outlets in print and online, and has been used in advertising for brands such as MasterCard, Patagonia, Nikon, and Fujifilm.

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

In 2017, he entered the world of motion pictures as an Executive Producer on the award-winning documentary film, Headhunt Revisited: With Brush, Canvas, and Camera, produced and directed by Michele Westmorland. Justin was invited to serve as a judge for the 2015 and 2017 Nature's Best Photography Africa competitions. He has also been an editor and contributor to numerous award-winning photo book projects, including Galen Rowell: A Retrospective; Freshwater: The Essence of Life; The Wealth of Nature: Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity, and Human Well-Being; Our National Parks: America's Natural Heritage; as well as Flying South: A Pilot's Inner Journey by Barbara Rowell. His limited edition fine prints are available through his portfolio website at www.justinblackphoto.com, and are represented by G2 Gallery in Venice, California, and in Europe by The Art of Wild gallery.

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

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

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

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

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

Justin Black's limited editions portfolio

Justin's Outdoor Photographer Profile

Bringing focus and meaning to your photography

The Top 40 Nature Photos Project

Justin's Conservation Photography Projects

 

Justin’s Camera Bag

After using an array of 4x5, medium format, and 35mm film cameras in the first two decades of his career, Justin fully embraced digital cameras in 2010. His current gear includes Nikon DSLRs and Fujifilm mirrorless systems.

 

Fujifilm Medium Format Mirrorless:

GFX 50S camera

23mm f/4 GF Fujinon

32-64 f/4 GF Fujinon

120mm f/4 GF Fujinon

 

Nikon DSLR:

Nikon D810 cameras (x2)

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

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

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

24mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

35mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

50mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

85mm f/1.8 G AF-S ED Nikkor

200mm f/4 AF-D Micro-Nikkor

500mm f/4 AF-S Nikkor

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

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

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

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

Nikon TC-14EII teleconverter

Nikon TC-20EIII teleconverter

Nikon SB-900 flash

Nikon SB-700 flash

Assorted Nikon TTL flash cables

 

Fujifilm APS-C Mirrorless:

X-Pro2 Cameras (x2)

14mm f/2.8 XF Fujinon

23mm f/2 XF Fujinon

35mm f/1.4 XF Fujinon

50mm f/2 XF Fujinon

18-55mm f/2.8-4 XF Fujinon

55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 XF Fujinon

 

Filters and Light Modifiers

Nikon Circular Polarizer II

Singh-Ray Vari-ND

Tiffen WW IRND neutral density filters

Photoflex reflectors and diffusers

Lumiquest soft boxes

Rogue Flashbender

Rosco gels

 

Tripods

Really Right Stuff TVC-24L with leveling base and Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead or Arca-Swiss D4 geared head

Gitzo 1028 with RRS BH-25 ballhead

 

Photo Packs

MindShift Backlight 36L

MindShift Backlight 26L

Mindshift FirstLight 30L

MindShift Rotation 180 Pro

Mindshift Rotation 180 Horizon

Mindshift Rotation 180 Panorama

ThinkTank Airport Addicted V2.0

ThinkTank Urban Disguise 50 V2.0

 

Highlights

  • A unique experience: Travel in style with the world's preeminent nature photographers in Darwin's living laboratory, a wonder of the natural world.
  • Eye-to-eye wildlife photography: The animals of the Galapagos are legendary for their lack of instinctive fear of humans. Nowhere else on Earth can you approach exotic wildlife so closely.
  • Excellent accommodations: M/V Eclipse is unique in offering the generous accommodation of a larger vessel, while preserving the atmosphere and exclusivity of a smaller yacht. The ship features an array of excellent amenities, including comfortable indoor and outdoor common spaces, perfect for informal gatherings and breakout sessions, or simply personal relaxation.
  • First-rate support team: Justin Black of Visionary Wild, Chris Eckstrom of Frans Lanting Photography, Sue Cedarholm of Images of Nature, and Libby Pfeiffer of Art Wolfe Inc.
  • Top naturalist guides, chosen personally by the leaders themselves for their proven expertise, professionalism, and affability.
  • Well-suited for serious photographers and non-photographer guests alike: Due to the nature of this itinerary and the excellent support provided by the ship's crew and our naturalist guides, this trip accommodates non-photographer guests very well.
  • Easy travel: No visa required for passport holders from most of the developed world.
 

Accommodations & Travel

  • In Guayaquil, Ecuador, May 6: The Oro Verde Hotel
  • Galapagos Islands, May 7-14: M/V Eclipse, a 210-foot luxury expedition ship accommodating up to 41 guests (assuming all are double-occupancy; the group will almost certainly be smaller, as some guests will likely book single-occupancy accommodations). The ship was renovated in 2013, and is scheduled for additional upgrades before our departure date.
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No Visa is required for tourist entry into Ecuador for citizens of the USA, Canada, EU nations, and most other developed countries. Fly into Guayaquil, Ecuador (GYE) on May 6th (international flights NOT included). R/T flights from Guayaquil to Isla Baltra are included. All ground transfers are included. We will set sail on M/V Eclipse for an 8-day/7-night private charter to explore the Galapagos Archipelago. Shore excursions will include some hikes of varying difficulty, mostly in the easy to moderate range, with some optional challenging hikes. Weather will be fair and warm, in the range from 72-90ºF (22-32ºC), and the ocean temperature will be around 70ºF. Localized rain showers pass through in the afternoons.

Expectations

What's included:
  • 8-day/7-night Galapagos cruise aboard M/V Eclipse.
  • R/T flights within Ecuador from Guayaquil on the mainland to Isla Baltra in the Galapagos Islands.
  • Photographic guidance by Frans Lanting, Art Wolfe, Tom Mangelsen, and Justin Black, and the support of a world-class team of assistant instructors and naturalist guides.
  • All ground transfers
  • Scheduled group landings and excursions by boat
  • All accommodations, including Hotel Oro Verde in Guayaquil on the night of May 6th, and stateroom aboard M/V Eclipse for the nights of May 7–13
  • All meals from dinner on the night of May 6th to lunch on May 14th, and all non-alcoholic beverages plus wine and/or local beer with dinners
  • Basic group gratuity for ship's crew, hotel and restaurant staff
  • Park Permits and Entry Fees

Not Included:

  • International flights
  • Cost of passports, any necessary entry visas or reciprocity fees, vaccinations, or other personal travel expenses
  • Travel insurance and traveler's medical insurance including evacuation insurance (recommended)
  • Alcoholic beverages other than wine and beer offered at dinners
  • Telephone or internet charges
  • Scuba diving, massages, or other optional private excursions or services not included in the itinerary
  • Additional gratuities for guides, expedition staff, and crew at your discretion
  • Personal purchases, souvenirs, and anything else not listed as included