TOUCANS & HUMMINGBIRDS WITH GREG BASCO
Sponsored by NatureScapes and led by Foto Verde Tours founder and professional photographer Greg Basco, this instructional workshop takes you to some of the best places in Costa Rica for photographing toucans and hummingbirds. Of course, we'll also shoot colorful tanagers and honeycreepers as well as some great macro and landscape subjects. Greg will be with you every step of the way to ensure that you get great images and learn techniques such as metering, maximizing sharpness, mixing ambient light and on-camera fill-flash, using multiple off-camera flashes for bird setups, and composing for dynamic images. NOTE: FOR SIGNUP, YOU WILL BE TAKEN TO THE NATURESCAPES SITE.Sign Up & Register Now
Features & Info
When working with bird feeder setups, it's not enough to put up just any old stick. Greg will choose beautiful perches that give character, composition, and a sense of place to your images.
Greg will teach you his secrets for obtaining natural-looking hummingbird images with multiple flash setups.
Full Itinerary & Tour Leaders
Day 1, July 19 Arrival to San Jose
Arrival to Costa Rica. Meet our representative at the Juan Santamaría International Airport and transfer to your Hotel Bougainvillea near the capital city of San José, where your leaders will be waiting for you. The Hotel Bougainvillea is surrounded by a beautiful tropical garden filled with great subjects for macro photography, including orchids, bromeliads, and passionflowers. There is free wireless Internet throughout the property.
Day 2, July 20 Atlantic Lowland Rainforest
After breakfast, we head north toward our first destination, a lodge in the Atlantic lowland rainforest where we have arranged a feeder that offers unparalleled photo opportunities for keel-billed toucan, chestnut-mandibled toucan, brown-hooded parrot, Montezuma oropendola, and collared aracari. We arrive to our lodge for lunch and check-in and then we set about photographing toucans immediately!
Day 3, July 21 Atlantic Lowland Rainforest
Today we divide our time at the lodge between photographing toucans and visiting the lodge manager's house, where we can set up perches to photograph red-legged honeycreepers, green honeycreepers, blue dacnis, and olive-backed euphonia. You couldn't ask for a better day photographing tropical birds!
Day 4, July 24 Atlantic Lowland Rainforest
And today we get to do it again! We have a second full day to photograph toucans and honeycreepers, as well as tanagers such as Passerini's, golden-hooded, and blue-gray.
Day 5, July 23 Cloud Forest
After breakfast, we check out and head to the higher cloud forests of the northern Central Volcanic Mountain Range and our next lodge and photography base for the rest of our trip. Our lodge is located in one of the most biodiverse areas of the country, nestled in a picturesque valley at approximately 4,500 feet above sea level. With its rushing mountain streams, cool air, and orchid and moss-festooned trees, the area is akin to a tropical Colorado. But first, we visit a surprise secret destination – a nearby farm owned by a local family that is a great place for photographing both the Great Green and Scarlet Macaws. The macaws are free flying but stay close to the farm to roost and feed. We have been working with the owner to set up an area to capture the macaws in flight. We'll enjoy lunch at the macaw farm and arrive to our cloud forest lodge in the late afternoon with time for dinner and a bit of relaxation after this busy day.
Day 6, July 24 Cloud Forest
After breakfast, we set in immediately to begin photographing hummingbirds at our multi-flash setups right on the lodge grounds. We will concentrate on the violet sabrewing (Costa Rica's largest species), the purple-throated mountain gem, and the green-crowned brilliant. Greg Basco's company, Foto Verde Tours, is the only company that has permission to do multi-flash hummingbird photography at this lodge. When not on the setups, you can relax and download images, photograph black guans, coatimundis, and agoutis, or explore the cloud forest trails for macro and landscape photography.
Day 7, July 25 Cloud Forest
After breakfast today, we make a day trip to a nearby waterfall, which is 110 meters high and offers beautiful photographic opportunities of the waterfall itself and the surrounding cloud forest. In addition, we have secured permission to set up our multiple flashes near the feeders at the restaurant at the waterfall, which gives us a great chance to photograph some hummingbird species, such as the green hermit, black-bellied, green thorntail, coppery-headed emerald, and white-bellied mountain gem, that are less common at our lodge. And there are some spectacular tropical foliage shots here of palms and ferns on the cliffs surrounding the waterfall. We enjoy a delicious typical lunch at the waterfall and return to our lodge in the evening for a relaxing dinner and time to download our great hummingbird and landscape images.
Day 8, July 26 Cloud Forest
Today we have another entire day to work with our multiple-flash hummingbird setups with time to experiment with different backgrounds and different hummingbird poses as well as different and creative lighting techniques mixing flash and ambient light. Of course, we'll also continue photographing the guans, agoutis, and coatimundis as well as any macro subjects we come across. This will be a relaxing but very productive day at one of our favorite lodges in Costa Rica.
Day 9, July 27 Cloud Forest to San Jose
After breakfast, we pack up and check out, stopping for some photography of the beautiful church and park in Greg Basco's hometown. We arrive to the Hotel Bougainvillea for a light lunch and then free-time to photograph the hotel gardens or to relax and do final packing before enjoying a farewell dinner at the hotel restaurant.
Day 10, July 28 Airport
Private transfer to the airport for your flight home.
END OF SERVICES
THIS ITINERARY INCLUDES
Photographic instruction all day every day with Greg
All lodging in specially selected hotels and lodges
All meals except as noted below
Equipment for multiple-flash hummingbird photography
Private transfers to and from hotels on first and last days
Garden View rooms at San Jose hotel first and last nights
Professional driver/photo/nature guide and private transportation in spacious tour bus
Entrance fees for all described activities
Taxes on all services listed above
THIS ITINERARY DOES NOT INCLUDE
Airport departure tax (US $28)
Dinner the first night (July 20)
Non-meal time snacks
Non-meal time soft drinks and bottled water
SGL room supplement $400
Your Tour Leaders
Greg Basco is a resident Costa Rican professional photographer and environmentalist who enjoys a working relationship with Canon. He is a BBC/Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Nature's Best Windland Smith Rice prizewinner, and his photos have been published by National Geographic, Outdoor Photographer, Newsweek, and other magazines and have been used in many books, public exhibits, calendars, and other projects. Greg's latest work in progress is a coffee table book of artistic photos from the rainforest.
In addition to his own photography, Greg truly enjoys working with tour clients to help them improve their photography and capture great photos of their own in the challenging habitats of Costa Rica. Indeed, he liked it so much that a few years ago he founded Foto Verde Tours, Costa Rica's first and only travel company specializing in photographic tourism.