Photography Holidays Costa Rica  bienvenido

Sandwiched by the Pacific Ocean on one side, and the Caribbean Sea on the other, with lush jungles, pristine beaches, never-ending wildlife, and lots of happy people in between – this is surely one of the most beautiful countries in Central America. Our 10-day Costa Rica photography holiday combines exhilarating adventure, captivating wildlife, gorgeous coastlines and neck-aching volcanoes; you’ll see such vibrant, deep shades of green you’ll think there’s been an addition to the colour spectrum.

Our ever-friendly Costa Ricans guides will waft you through the highlights of this stunning country; ziplining 2.5 km through a cloud forest, night shooting active volcanoes, grinding your own coffee tico style, then lazing on a powder white Caribbean beach.

There is truly something for everyone in Costa Rica, the country that holds number one position on the Happy Planet Index. It won’t take long to realise why …

Costa Rica is tiny, smaller than Wales, but huge in versatility, with coasts on two oceans, coral-lined beaches and active volcanoes, luxury resorts and surf camps, roaring streams and rich biodiversity.

 

So why go? According to the most recent Happy Planet Index, which aims to measure human well-being and environmental impact, Costa Rica came out top as the most satisfying place to live on the planet.  Britain, on the other hand, languishes in 34th.

It’s coffee is some of the best in the world, trickles of tourists (so plenty of space to shoot); it has four UNESCO World Heritage sites, a quarter of the country is part of a protected forest or reserve – there are not one but fourteen volcanoes and it’s tropical rainforests are often referred to as “jewels of the earth”, as they are home to two-thirds of all living animal and plant species on the planet.

Must we go on?

 

 

All our material is hand-crafted from years of professional photography for top brands, magazines and galleries – and as far away as possible from the monthly magazine ‘tip’. We don’t ever tell you the ‘5 best ways of …’ doing something;  instead we find your way – our small groups allows us to teach each of you independently, at your own pace.

Whether you are an absolute beginner or seasoned shooter, we use a mix of visual examples, 1-to-1 teaching and mentoring, and regular, detailed reviews, to push your work to levels you never thought you could reach.

From 2017, each trip we offer has completely different material – across all skill levels – so if you’re coming with us again, it’s all new. If you’re just starting out, we’ll get you fully to speed, manually using your camera quickly with confidence, and then some. We spend only a fraction of the holiday on the technical (actually its pretty simple when you know how), the rest learning the art of taking great photographs. It’s the most interesting bit, after all.

On your Creative Escape to Costa Rica, you’ll

  • Learn the art of street photography in the backstreets of San Jose, not a tourist in sight
  • Shoot inside the jungle at night; vibrantly lit tree snakes, tarantulas and red eye frogs in their natural habitat
  • Create sweeping panoramics from elevated positions deep in the cloud forest
  • Craft rich black-and-white reportage photography at a working coffee plantation
  • Snap the vibrant emerald lakes of Irazu, an active volcano at 3,342m
  • Set up a beach studio, capturing portraits of local ticos
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Highlights.

Itinerary.

It’s only a short hop from the airport to our luxury boutique hotel in the heart of San Jose – Costa Rica’s spectacularly set capital city – ringed by jagged mountains, lush planta- tions and volcanoes on all sides. Our hotel, the Grano de Oro, is the finest hotel here, a 40-room former Victorian mansion, is a true oasis, a sanctuary in the heart of the city. Here we begin the basics of photography; understanding in very non-techy language how to confidently use your camera. Later, we’ll swing by some of the opulent museums of gold and jade, capture some colourfully arresting murals and hipster buskers in historic neighbourhoods, and then kick back and drink the buzzing night- time atmosphere at Calle La Amargula. Welcome to the world’s happiest place!

Today, we head north, to Montverde Cloud Forest Reserve, extending over 35,000 acres and eight life zones atop the Continental Divide. Home to over 100 species of mammals, 1,200 amphibians plus jaguars, pumas and the resplendent quetzal, we’ll check into our junior suites, and get ready for our first adventure. At nightfall, a new world awakes in the clouds, and we’ll be there to capture the nocturnal biodiversity of the tropical forest by flashlight, led by experienced guides. Next day, we’ll delve further into the skills required to shoot great nature photography, then board the sky tram. Soon, high inside the forest, we’ll walk along sky trails at the level of the treetops, with spectacular views of the entire Biological reserve. Then, for those brave enough, we’ll descend 2.5 kilometres of ziplines up to 40mph, chance to silently observe the forest in all it’s might.

Costa Rica is home to a great number of volcanoes, six being active and another 61 dormant or extinct. Today, we’ll venture first to Irazu, the highest volcano in Costa Rica, from which on a clear day you can see both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. After an afternoon shooting over the emerald lake and surrounding moonscapes, we’ll take a short drive to Turrialba, to our stunning ranch with fabulous views of an active volcano – chance to learn the art of night photography in plush, safe surroundings. Next day, we’ll switch into black and white mode, going behind the scenes at a working coffee plantation, chance to get your hands dirty roasting beans, grinding, blending then a private tasting (and some liqueurs too).

East today, to the Caribbean, to where the flora and fauna meets gorgeous beaches, crystal clear blue waters and unspoilt, authentic seaside towns. Here we’ll chill, chance to get into the Caribbean rhythm, and capture portraits in this untouched paradise. Today, we’ll find our own adventures, meeting rainforest fruit farmers, local surfers, and hawkers cooking up a storm in their rickety shacks. This is Costa Rica in second gear, and a smorgasbord of photographic opportunities to capture one of the last original communities. In your freetime, take a snooze in the grounds of our luxury hotel, learn how to surf, or learn the art of creole cookery in our lunchspot at Maxims. Later, we’ll review all of the shots of the day, beachside – with cocktails, of course.

Our final stop back to the luxurious Grano de Oro, chance to put all your skills in portraiture, documentary, action, nature and landscape photography into practice, and work closely with your tutor to develop some shots for our final nights pop up exhibition in the grounds of the hotel. We’ll help pinpoint your emerging technique, give you tips on where to develop your skills, and some advice on the best kind of kit to suit your style. Finally, to round the trip off, we’ll host a pop-up outdoor exhibition overlooking the city of San Jose, then head out to celebrate all of our creative exploits. Next day, you’ll have time to relax and explore Costa Rica one last time before the plane flight home.

Details.

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3 – 12 November, 2017
Spaces Available

23 November – 2 December, 2018
Spaces Available

10 days. 9 nights. Starts and ends in San Jose, Costa Rica.

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£2195 sharing / £2815 single

Price includes 
10 days, 9 nights accommodation at the listed hotels
10 full days tuition from our UK-based professional photographer
Entrance to Monteverde Cloud Forest
Private night shoot in the jungle, with guide
Ziplining in the Cloud Forest
All transfers to and from the airport
All transportation between shooting locations
Private tour of coffee plantation, with samples
Multiple 1-on-1 tuition sessions

Price excludes international flights, lunch and dinner.

 

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British Airways operate twice-weekly flights into San Jose from the UK. Virgin Atlantic and Delta also operate a codeshare via Atlanta, with minimal connection times. Prices start from £500.

"A fantastic experience. The venues for each day's shoot are varied and well chosen, and the instruction is great, tailored for the people on the course. The restaurants are good too, with a variety of styles and cuisines, as is the hotel. There's a wonderful atmosphere on the course, working hard on the assignments, reviewing each other's work, and relaxing in the evenings."


Andrew Merritt, Costa Rica 2015