An Superb Costa Rica Photograph Workshop!

Pura Vida is the watchword of the folks of Costa Rica. “Pure life.” It springs, I really feel from the boundless fantastic thing about the place, and sense of renewal the solar and the rain convey, the 2 beautiful sweeps of shoreline, east and west, framing one of many really serene and magical locations on earth–the Cloud Forest. Couple all this resplendent nature with the nice and cozy hearted folks of Costa Rica, and it’s a place that compels visitation, particularly visitation with a digital camera.

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What higher place for a workshop, a brand new one for us, referred to as: The Coast to the Clouds. A memorable journey with buddy and fellow Nikon Ambassador, Tamara Lackey. And we did go from the coast to the clouds! Because of Tamara, we additionally made it a must-see to search out sloths within the wild – and we did with our professional guides at Jacamar. We began in San Jose on the Gran Lodge Costa Rica, which was a fantastic leaping off level. Tremendous good people, and inside straightforward distance of the blue of the Pacific. A beautiful opening dinner at Restaurante Grano de Oro was an ideal kickoff.

A be aware of due to our photographers. For Tamara, Annie and I, they had been superior! They took the solar, and the rain, in stride, all the time working exhausting and being open to new experiences, strategies, making an attempt totally different gear, and mountaineering within the very humid rain forests. On the lookout for lizards, frogs (colourful, toxic frogs!) and likewise serving to each other usually to make nice footage. Fortunate to journey and discover with such a congenial group. They had been fearless when it comes to making an attempt new issues, displaying the group their successes and errors, and supporting one another.

Rain is a reality of Costa Rican life. Dangerous climate makes for good footage, somebody as soon as mentioned, however then once more, fixed deluge dampens lenses and spirits. However photographer’s luck was with us. We dodged some severe predictions of nonstop rain within the month of October! We scouted final 12 months in late September, and listened intently to our extremely educated native guides and thought the professionals of going final month outweighed the cons. Lush forests and greenery. Lively animal life. Extra native life and fewer vacationers. Annie was speaking frequently to somebody up within the clouds, as we had nice climate.

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We settled on the plan of “Coast to the Clouds” as a result of there’s a lot to see. How are you going to go there and never see the seashores? How are you going to go there and never go to the rain forests and the Cloud Forest? All are imperatives, particularly photographically. We journeyed to Alma del Pacifico Seaside Lodge & Spa situated on the Pacific Ocean first. And, it’s actually on the ocean. Beachfront, not seashore view or close to the seashore, and we had all of it to ourselves. No different visitors. Spilled out of the room (or the bar) proper onto the seashore. Can’t say sufficient optimistic issues about this place. The colour is off-the-charts. And the employees at Alma had been champs, realizing that they had a lodge stuffed with photographers who had been searching for the sunshine. They made breakfasts early, and we bought into the sector with the solar.

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Bonus of taking on the place is we arrange an gear depot within the foyer. Large due to our associates at Profoto for the lighting kits! Our photographers had been universally shocked on the simplicity and high quality of the sunshine we may convey to bear. Unbelievable to have the ability to outfit teams to then cost onto the seashore, arrange on the pool or seashore bar, and use any of the wild interiors as tropical backgrounds. And a thanks shout out to the intrepid Steve Lackey, who shot lots of the BTS snaps you see right here on the weblog, and basically was tremendous useful to all, pulling and hauling gear!

One other massive motive to arrange camp at Alma was the shut distance to the Nationwide Parks. We had a fantastic morning on the Tarcoles River for a non-public wildlife/hen photograph tour labored out by Jacamar Excursions and Nature Group Costa Rica, then hiked in Carara Nationwide Park.

Thence to the mists and fantastic thing about the Cloud Forest! El Silencio Lodge & Spa is likely one of the most stunning, luxurious properties I’ve ever visited. It isn’t only a place to remain. It connects to the soul of the traveler. It’s serene. Quiet. You possibly can hear the decision of the birds as you stroll out of your room within the morning to actually top-of-the-line breakfast menus ever. You eat with the soul-healing sound and a view of a dashing mountain stream. We had the place all to ourselves. No different visitors. And the bar seems to be to be a spot Hemingway might need penned a novel.

Our hen photographers had been loving the Hummingbird Backyard and bought phenomenal pics. Workers once more couldn’t have been extra useful and pleasant at El Silencio. Our mannequin shoot day was a loopy, enjoyable morning unfold out all around the property (principally like a giant playground) they usually supported all of it!

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We liaised with Nature Group Costa Rica (operated by Randall Ortega Chaves) which has a wonderful staff of skilled guides who particularly customise excursions for pictures and never the essential side-of- the-road, right here’s the gorgeous vista vacationer outing. Large distinction. Randall is extremely educated concerning the wildlife and the Tarcoles River, and is a passionate, fantastic photog in his personal proper. Nice day on the River and Rain Forest with him and his staff, and the terrific guides at Jacamar.

I discussed above the fantastic folks of Costa Rica and the way welcoming the place is. Very true. We made lifelong associates there. Photographer and videographer Jairo Rojas joined us for a couple of days and was invaluable. What a hardworking, proficient photog! He continuously circulated with our group, holding lights, explaining menus and simply usually being a part of the glue that saved us all taking pictures and laughing. Jairo was particularly useful on our lighting days. Which after all brings me to our fashions! At Alma on the Pacific, and at El Silencio in the clouds, our separate, distinctive crews of fashions ran, leaped, posed and partnered with us in magnificent vogue. A dozen fashions, hair and make-up, on totally different days of lighting instruction, once more, in one of the stunning locations on earth.

Talking of beautiful, the Jardín Else Kientzler is a lush botanical backyard in Sarchi that hosted us and colourful dance troupes who carried out dances and afterwards posed for pure mild portraits. An ideal break on our journey day north – bought to expertise native tradition and make pics.

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And at last, a BIG shout out of due to Jacamar Naturalist Excursions. We hit the jackpot with Jacamar. Prime notch all the way in which from the autos, fearless drivers, professional guides, coordination – implausible people – and with us almost the whole journey. Our lead nature information – Ronald Caravaca – and MELANY OCÓN weren’t solely endlessly educated (along with being photographers themselves) about wildlife , birds, tradition, custom, they had been enjoyable to hang around with. The incomparable Lory Chacon Campos at Jacamar made all of it potential. Lory managed and coordinated all the small print like a talented puppeteer. She not solely ensured that each one issues went easily, working with Annie for months forward, however actually put her coronary heart and soul into the whole lot for the expertise. She and Annie have now bonded for all times!

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Our Costa Rican hosts and guides had been as passionate to indicate us one of the best of their nation, as all our photographers had been to place their digital camera to their eye. It was a terrific marriage of entry, schooling, pure magnificence, expertise, laughs, unbelievable meals and in the end, an enormous array of wonderful pictures from our contributors. A visit to be repeated. One other weblog to return on the journey with extra pictures and tech information. An expertise wealthy and numerous, and the rewards had been nice, not solely in footage however in ongoing friendships. Kudos to all.

Wanting forward, spots are filling for the Eire and Tuscany, Italy workshops in 2024 with Tamara Lackey and I instructing collectively once more. European adventures await!

Extra tk….

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