Galapagos Photo Workshop

Galápagos Photography Workshop – West

In Galapagos Photo Workshop, Upcoming Workshops by Matt Shetzer

ITINERARY

GALÀPAGOS PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP - WEST


Table of Contents

Day 1 – Arrive Quito, Ecuador
Galápagos Photo Workshop

A curious Blue-footed booby

At the start of the Galápagos Photography workshop, you will be greeted at the airport in Quito, Ecuador by our representative. Your driver will escort you to your hotel for the night, a historic colonial-style seventeenth-century building, just outside Quito, the second-largest city in this beautiful country.

The hotel has beautiful gardens whose trees are centuries old. If you have any free time, take advantage of gardens and look for the 33 species of birds that regularly visit.

Tonight, we will have a group dinner to get to know everyone, and talk about the exciting days to come in the Galápagos Islands.

For those arriving early, Quito has one of the best-preserved historic centers in the Americas, and is great to explore on foot.

Some places to explore prior to the workshop include:

  • Plaza San Francisco and the Church and Convent of St. Francis
  • Casa Gangotena (a recently restored historic mansion and boutique hotel)
  • Carondelet Palace (the seat of government of the Republic of Ecuador)
  • Basilica del Voto Nacional (the largest neo-Gothic basilica in the Americas)
  • The Metropolitan Cathedral (one of the oldest and largest Roman Catholic cathedrals)
  • Gold leaf interior of the Church of the Society of Jesus
  • Church of San Francisco, Church of El Sagrario and Church of Santo Domingo

After dinner, we spend the night in the historic hotel. Get plenty of rest — tomorrow, we begin taking photographs in the beautiful Galápagos Islands.


Galápagos Photography Workshop

Galápagos Photography Workshop – West Route

Day 2 – Baltra Island (1) and Santa Cruz Island – Bachas Beach (2)

We head out early this morning from Quito to Baltra Island in the Galápagos Islands. As we over fly the Galápagos, you will notice signs of the volcanic history of these amazing islands. Upon arrival in the Galápagos, we will be met at the airport by our naturalist guide, and transferred to our chartered yacht for the week. We will meet the crew, get comfortable on the yacht, and enjoy a nice lunch as we depart Baltra for Santa Cruz Island, our first excursion.

Bacha beach, our destination on Santa Cruz Island, is home to one of the only remnants of World War II in the Galápagos. During the war, the US government rented strategic locations from Ecuador, and abandoned an old barge there after the fighting was done. “Bacha” means “barge” in the local accent.

Santa Cruz Island is the headquarters of the Galápagos National Park and has beautiful white coral beaches, black lava rock, and brackish water lagoons. We hope to see abundant wildlife here, including the colorful pink greater flamingos.

After landing on the island, we will take a short hike to photograph some of the species in the list below — especially greater flamingos, sea turtles, black necked stilts, and brilliant sally lightfoot crabs.

Galápagos Photography Workshop Route Species List – Bacha Beach

 

  • Greater flamingo (native)
  • Blue-footed booby (native)
  • Darwin’s Finches or Galápagos Finches (endemic)
  • Galápagos mockingbirds (endemic)
  • Galápagos shearwater (endemic)
  • Great frigatebird (native)
  • Lava Gull (endemic)
  • Yellow warbler (endemic)
  • Sally Lightfoot Crabs
  • Marine Iguana (endemic)
  • Lava Lizards (endemic)
  • Sanderling (migrant)
  • Whimbrel (migrant)
  • Black-necked stilt (native)
  • Brown Noddy (native)
  • Brown pelican (native)
  • Great blue heron (native)
A sample of the wildlife that visit this location. We hope to photograph many of the species on the list

After our short hike, we will have the option to snorkel right off the beach. Bacha is a great place to get comfortable with snorkeling and enjoy the colorful fish.

As the sun gets low in the sky, we will head back to the yacht for snacks, dinner and this evening’s photography workshop.


Day 3 – Mosquera Island (3) and Santa Cruz Island – Dragon Hill (4)

We start the morning at Mosquera Island, a small, sandy island between North Seymour and Baltra that was created by geological uplift. We will use the zodiacs to make a wet landing, then view one of the largest sea lion colonies in the Galápagos. There are multiple sea lion harems on the island — this is a spectacular location to observe and photograph their behaviors.

Galápagos Photo Workshop

Flamingos in one of the many lagoons we will visit

We hope to see Galápagos Sea Lions, Blue-footed boobies, lava herons, and other coastal birds, as well as marine iguanas, lava lizards, and colorful sally lightfoot crabs.

Some of the species we hope to photography while at Mosquera Island:

  • Galápagos Sea Lion (endemic sub-species)
  • Blue-footed booby (native)
  • Marine Iguana (endemic)
  • Galápagos heron or Lava heron (endemic)
  • Lava Gull (endemic)
  • Sanderling (migrant)
  • Brown pelican (native)
  • Great frigatebird (native)
  • Sally Lightfoot Crabs
  • Lava Lizards (endemic)

On Mosquera Island we are free to wander without the usual Galápagos restrictions. We can stroll on the beach looking for unique compositions, with the wildlife set against the textured lava rock and white sand beaches.

We will then head back to the boat for a short break, a snack, and our optional snorkeling trip for the day, a deep-water snorkel down a rock wall filled with colorful tropical fish.

After lunch, we will make our way to Santa Cruz Island and Dragon Hill. Dragon Hill is a beautiful location with white beaches, black lava rock, and a hill with great views of the area. We will take a short hike to photograph flamingos, common stilts, great blue herons, lava herons, and mockingbirds at the hyper-saline lagoon.

Our hike continues up Dragon Hill toward beautiful views of the bay. Make sure you bring your landscape lens, as well as your wildlife lens for our next destination: a nesting site of land iguanas.

Many land iguanas call this area home. They are such a unique reptile, and their yellow textures photograph very nicely.

Galápagos Photography Workshop Route Species List – Dragon Hill

 

  • Land Iguana (endemic)
  • Galápagos flycatcher (endemic)
  • Galápagos mockingbirds (endemic)
  • Large Ground-finch (endemic)
  • Small ground finch (endemic)
  • Yellow warbler (endemic)
  • Marine Iguana (endemic)
  • Whimbrel (migrant)
  • Wilson’s phalarope (migrant)
  • Blue-footed booby (native)
  • Brown pelican (native)
  • Great blue heron (native)
  • Great frigatebird (native)
  • Sally Lightfoot Crabs
  • Lava Lizards (endemic)
A sample of the wildlife that visit this location. We hope to photograph many of the species on the list

After returning to the boat, we will have a long navigation toward Isabela Island, the largest island in the archipelago. Formed from six overlapping volcanoes, Isabela has the greatest biodiversity in the Galápagos.

Keep your eyes out for whales like the short-finned pilot whale and killer (orca) whales. After the sun sets, we will cross the equator twice, rounding the north side of Isabela Island.


Galápagos Photography Workshop

Typical room with 2 single beds

Day 4 – Isabela Island – Tagus Cove (5) and Fernandina Island – Espinosa Point (6)

This morning we will explore Isabela Island’s Tagus Cove. This protected cove on the west side of Isabela was a favorite resting site for pirates, who preserved their names for history by carving them into the high cliffs of the bay. As we approach Tagus Cove, we will hope for a beautiful sunrise as we get our landscape lenses ready.

After breakfast, we will take the zodiacs in for a dry landing on the island. We will take a scenic hike uphill to Darwin Lake, a unique saltwater crater lake. The trail will take us up a parasitic spatter cone toward great views of the lava fields surrounding Darwin Volcano.

Once we complete our hike, we will aim to photograph Galápagos penguins (the only penguins in the Northern hemisphere), blue-footed boobies, and flightless cormorants. Flightless cormorants are an interesting case study of evolution: their wings are too small to fly, illustrating how their environment has selected for other traits over time.

Galápagos Photography Workshop Route Species List – Tagus Cove

 

  • Galápagos Penguin (endemic)
  • Flightless cormorant (endemic)
  • Blue-footed booby (native)
  • Galápagos Sea Lion (endemic sub-species)
  • Galápagos petrel (endemic)
  • Galápagos Green Turtle (endemic sub-species)
  • Darwin’s Finches or Galápagos Finches (endemic)
  • Galápagos shearwater (endemic)
  • Marine Iguana (endemic)
  • Wilson’s phalarope (migrant)
  • Brown pelican (native)
  • Elliot’s Storm Petrel (native)
  • Magnificent frigatebird (native)
  • Sally Lightfoot Crabs
  • Bottle-nosed Dolphin
  • Lava Lizards (endemic)
  • Manta Ray
A sample of the wildlife that visit this location. We hope to photograph many of the species on the list

After a short break, we will visit a fascinating snorkeling location in Tagus Cove, featuring marine invertebrates and vertical walls. In addition to colorful fish, we hope to see Galápagos green turtles and Galápagos penguins swimming amid the walls and coves.

This afternoon, we will explore Fernandina Island’s Espinosa Point, one of the highlights of the Galápagos Photography Workshop.

Another short hike on this narrow stretch of land will take us to a stretch of black lava rock teeming with marine iguanas. This is one of the best spots to photograph iguanas in large groups.

Fernandina Island is an extremely active volcano — it has erupted 22 times in last 200 years. It is the youngest and most volatile island in the whole Galápagos chain.

As we explore the lava coast and snap pictures of the thousands of marine iguanas, we will also get a chance to view a lava flow up close. Here, the endemic Lava Cactus grows in large groups on the black lava rock. Bring your landscape lens: the leading lines and textures are excellent.

Galápagos Photography Workshop Route Species List – Ferdandina Island

 

  • Marine Iguana (endemic)
  • Galápagos Hawks (endemic)
  • Lava Cactus (endemic)
  • Galápagos heron or Lava heron (endemic)
  • Blue-footed booby (native)
  • Galápagos Sea Lion (endemic sub-species)
  • Flightless cormorant (endemic)
  • Galápagos shearwater (endemic)
  • Galápagos Dove (endemic)
  • Lava Gull (endemic)
  • Galápagos Green Turtle (endemic sub-species)
  • Semi-palmated plover (migrant)
  • American oystercatcher (native)
  • Brown pelican (native)
  • Hermit Crabs (native)
  • Sally Lightfoot Crabs
  • Lava Lizards (endemic)
A sample of the wildlife that visit this location. We hope to photograph many of the species on the list

We will also keep our eyes out for more Galápagos Sea lions and Galápagos penguins. (You can never photograph too many penguins!)


Day 5 – Isabela Island – Urbina Bay (7) and Elizabeth Bay (8)

This morning we head out to Isabela Island’s Urbina Bay, land that rose out of the sea at the foot of the Alcedo Volanco. We will take the zodiacs in for a wet landing on the beach. On the shore we hope to photograph land iguanas, flightless cormorants, pelicans, lava lizards, and mockingbirds.

As we walk around the trails, we hope to see the Galápagos tortoise, the largest tortoise in the world. Galápagos tortoises are so well adapted to this arid landscape that they can survive a year without eating or drinking.

Galápagos Photo Workshop

A Galápagos Sea Lion enjoys a beautiful day on a white sand beach

Some of the species we hope to photograph while at Urbina Bay:

  • Giant Tortoises (endemic)
  • Land Iguana (endemic)
  • Galápagos mockingbirds (endemic)
  • Blue-footed booby (native)
  • Darwin’s Finches or Galápagos Finches (endemic)
  • Flightless cormorant (endemic)
  • Yellow warbler (endemic)
  • Marine Iguana (endemic)
  • Galápagos Green Turtle (endemic sub-species)
  • Brown pelican (native)
  • Hermit Crabs (native)
  • Lava Lizards (endemic)

We will use a unique method to get around this island: walking along a former coral bed that has risen above the surface, taking photographs as we go. After our short hike, we will have the chance to go snorkeling and search underwater for Galápagos green turtles.

After lunch, we will explore Elizabeth Bay on west side of Isabela Island, a spot where wildlife is abundant. Using the zodiacs, we will tour the protected mangrove forests and see all four types of mangroves: white, black, button, and red. The mangrove trees at Elizabeth Bay are the tallest in the Galápagos Islands.

As we meander around the mangroves, Galápagos green turtles will be feeding on the algae, while Galápagos penguins swim around the bay and nest on the lava rocks. In the air, we will see lots of blue-footed boobies, great frigatebirds, and brown pelicans diving for fish.

Galápagos Photography Workshop Route Species List – Elizabeth Bay

 

  • Galápagos Green Turtle (endemic sub-species)
  • Galápagos Penguin (endemic)
  • Galápagos Sea Lion (endemic sub-species)
  • Blue-footed booby (native)
  • Great frigatebird (native)
  • Flightless cormorant (endemic)
  • Galápagos heron or Lava heron (endemic)
  • Galápagos mockingbirds (endemic)
  • Yellow warbler (endemic)
  • Brown Noddy (native)
  • Brown pelican (native)
  • Franklin’s gull (native)
  • Magnificent frigatebird (native)
  • Lava Lizards (endemic)
A sample of the wildlife that visit this location. We hope to photograph many of the species on the list

Day 6 – Isabela Island – Moreno Point (9) and Puerto Villamil (10)

This morning, we will explore the lava fields of Moreno Point, and view all three species of cactus of the Galápagos: lava cactus, candelabra cactus, and prickly pear cactus. In the middle of the lava fields are water pools where we hope to see the greater flamingos, white-cheeked pintail ducks, and common gallinules that frequent this area. As we hike through the lava fields, keep your eyes open for interesting compositions in the textures of the rock.

Galápagos Photography Workshop Route Species List – Moreno Point

 

  • Greater flamingo (native)
  • Darwin’s Finches or Galápagos Finches (endemic)
  • Galápagos Penguin (endemic)
  • Marine Iguana (endemic)
  • Flightless cormorant (endemic)
  • Galápagos Dove (endemic)
  • Galápagos mockingbirds (endemic)
  • Galápagos petrel (endemic)
  • Galápagos shearwater (endemic)
  • Galápagos Sea Lion (endemic sub-species)
  • Galápagos Green Turtle (endemic sub-species)
  • Smooth-billed ani (introduced)
  • Blue-footed booby (native)
  • Brown Noddy (native)
  • Brown pelican (native)
  • Common gallinule or Moorhen (native)
  • Elliot’s Storm Petrel (native)
  • Great frigatebird (native)
  • Magnificent frigatebird (native)
  • Sally Lightfoot Crabs
  • Lava Lizards (endemic)
A sample of the wildlife that visit this location. We hope to photograph many of the species on the list

As we depart Moreno Point in the zodiacs, expect more Galápagos penguins, flightless cormorants, and an abundance of marine iguanas.

After exploring the lava fields, we will go for a snorkel. We hope to see Galápagos green turtles, Galápagos sea lions, and penguins in the water, as well as thousands of colorful fish.

Galápagos Photography Workshop

Relax on the sundeck

Once we arrive back at the yacht, we will enjoy a cruise for the rest of the day. We will navigate to the south of Isabela Island toward Puerto Villamil. As we enjoy the scenery of Volcano Cerra Azul and the shoreline, we will relax after a very busy six days, and keep our eyes out for opportunities to photograph whales and dolphins.

The great frigatebirds like to hitch a ride on the boat as we navigate. Even though that they have the largest wingspan-to-body-mass ration of any bird, and can stay aloft for a week, they enjoy a free ride.

In the evening, we will arrive at the harbor of Puerto Villamil, and prepare ourselves for a very busy day tomorrow.


Day 7 – Isabela Island – Sierra Negra Volcano (11) and Puerto Villamil (12)

This morning, we adventure to the Sierra Negra Volcano by bus, and head uphill until we overlook the caldera. As we ascend, the vegetation will change, and the climate will grow more damp. Keep your eyes out for the brilliant vermillion flycatchers that call this area home.

At the rim of the volcano, we will photograph beautiful views of the 6.2-mile-wide caldera. The vast lava fields we will see were created in 2005, during the most recent eruption of Sierra Negra.

We will then turn our focus toward the endemic Sierra Negra Volcano turtle with its distinctive saddleback shell, before making our way back to small town of Puerto Villamil.

Our afternoon excursion will take us to the lagoons of Villamil to photograph colorful pink flamingos, white-cheeked pintail ducks, common gallinules, black-necked stilts, and whimbrels in the brackish waters. We will also visit the Tortoise Breeding Center to see different subspecies of Galápagos land tortoises, and learn about their progress in restoring the endangered tortoise population.

Galápagos Photography Workshop Route Species List – Sierra Negra and Puerto Villamil

 

  • Giant Tortoises (endemic)
  • Greater flamingo (native)
  • Vermilion flycatcher (endemic sub-species)
  • White-cheeked pintail Duck (native)
  • Common gallinule or Moorhen (native)
  • Marine Iguana (endemic)
  • Smooth-billed ani (introduced)
  • Semi-palmated plover (migrant)
  • Black-necked stilt (native)
  • Galápagos martin (endemic)
  • Galápagos mockingbirds (endemic)
  • Medium ground finch (endemic)
  • Small tree finch (endemic)
  • Yellow warbler (endemic)
  • Cattle egret (native)
  • Sally Lightfoot Crabs
  • Lava Lizards (endemic)
  • Fiddle Crabs
A sample of the wildlife that visit this location. We hope to photograph many of the species on the list

We will then have a little free time to relax in Puerto Villamil. Enjoy the beautiful beaches, relax with a cold drink at one of the beachside establishments. Why pick — you can do both!


Day 8 – Floreana Island – Cormorant Point (13), Devils Crown (14), Post Office Bay (15)

We have a very full schedule this morning on the north side of Floreana Island, visiting three different locations.

Galápagos Photo Workshop

A pair of Galápagos tortoises talking about the beautiful weather

Cormorant Point
We start with a wet landing on the “Green Beach” of Punta Cormorant. This unique beach shines green in the sunlight due to the high concentration of olivine crystals in the sand.

As we walk on the beach, we will photograph a very large salt-water lagoon, where flamingos, black-necked stilts, Galápagos petrel, and white-cheeked pintail ducks hang out. The lagoon is one of the flamingos’ favorite locations, and hosts the largest flamingo flock in the Galápagos Islands. The diversity of wildlife at Cormorant Point is truly impressive.

We hope to see blue-footed boobies with their young chicks, as well as males and females doing courtship dances — he prances around, showing off his colorful blue feet, while she coos distinctively. The female Blue-footed boobies prefer the males with the bluest feet. After the dance, if she accepts him, the male lays a single twig at the female’s feet to symbolize the nest they are about to build. It is quite a display.

Make sure you have a landscape lens: the sandy beaches and lava rock are beautiful.

Galápagos Photography Workshop Route Species List – Cormorant Point

 

  • Blue-footed booby (native)
  • Greater flamingo (native)
  • Galápagos Sea Lion (endemic sub-species)
  • Elliot’s Storm Petrel (native)
  • Galápagos heron or Lava heron (endemic)
  • Galápagos Penguin (endemic)
  • Yellow warbler (endemic)
  • Marine Iguana (endemic)
  • Galápagos Green Turtle (endemic sub-species)
  • Galápagos petrel (endemic)
  • Semi-palmated plover (migrant)
  • Brown pelican (native)
  • Cattle egret (native)
  • Great blue heron (native)
  • Magnificent frigatebird (native)
  • White-cheeked pintail Duck (native)
  • Sally Lightfoot Crabs
  • Lava Lizards (endemic)
A sample of the wildlife that visit this location. We hope to photograph many of the species on the list

Next, our walk will take us to the White Flour Sand Beach, which is made of white coral. This location is known for its nesting marine turtles, and for the many stingrays that dart through the vibrant green shallow water.

Devil’s Crown
Our second location for the day is the remains of a volcanic caldera that looks like a giant black crown. One of the best snorkeling sites in the Galápagos Islands, the Devil’s Crown has an enormous variety of fish, as well as many seabirds — including everyone’s Galápagos favorite, blue-footed boobies.

Those choosing to snorkel will get to see an amazing amount of wildlife and fish everywhere. The colors of the water at the Devil’s Crown are fantastic.

Some of the species we hope to see while at the Devil’s Crown:

  • Blue-footed booby (native)
  • Flightless cormorant (endemic)
  • Galápagos Dove (endemic)
  • Galápagos Gull or Swallow-tailed Gull (endemic)
  • Galápagos Penguin (endemic)
  • Galápagos Sea Lion (endemic sub-species)
  • Brown pelican (native)
  • Nazca booby (native)
  • Red-billed Tropicbird (native)

Post Office Bay
Post Office Bay gets its name from a 300-year-old tradition: the “post office” is a barrel which relies on the kindness of strangers to get the mail to its destination. If you find a postcard addressed to the city you call home, take it with you, and get it to the recipient once you’re back. Bring a postcard of your own, and someone else might by your kindness forward by sending you a Galápagos memory in the future!

We then head towards Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz. We will have a little free time in the afternoon to walk around this vibrant town while the crew provisions the yacht.


Day 9 – Daphne Island – Daphne Major (16) and Baltra Island (1) and return to Quito, Ecuador

On our last day of the Galápagos photography workshop, we will spend the morning enjoying Daphne Island, made famous by Peter and Rosemary Grant’s studies of the Darwin’s Finches. The Grants’ research showed the finches can adapt to environmental changes in only one generation, altering their beak size depending on the conditions and type of food available.

Galápagos Photo Workshop

A Land iguana poses (this one might of taken a modeling class)

No visitors are allowed on this special island, but we can pilot our zodiacs around the small turf cone, enjoying the unique wildlife.

Some of the species we hope to see while viewing Daphne Major:

  • Nazca booby (native)
  • Great frigatebird (native)
  • Magnificent frigatebird (native)
  • Galápagos Dove (endemic)
  • Galápagos Gull or Swallow-tailed Gull (endemic)
  • Brown pelican (native)

We then return to Baltra Island in time for our morning flight back to Quito. We say goodbye to the crew and head back to the Baltra airport to conclude the workshop and begin our journey home.


ITINERARY CHANGES

The operator(s) and/or the captains of the yacht reserve the right to make changes to or cancel any part of the itinerary or programs without giving prior notice. Changes may be necessary due to unforeseen circumstances, such as new Galápagos National Park rules, public authority decisions, weather or natural disasters, force majeure, and/or any other extreme circumstances. These decisions will be made to avoid problems and protect the safety of the passengers. If we must make a change, we will offer the best possible alternatives or adjustments.


DIFFERENCES IN EAST VS WEST ITINERARIES

We offer two different itineraries for the Galápagos Islands. There is so much diversity in the islands that each location is very different. Each trip has subtle differences we have detailed below.

Still can’t decide? Join us for both itineraries on our Two-Week Galápagos workshop, and enjoy two weeks in the Galápagos Islands at a discounted rate.

DIFFERENCES IN ITINERARY EAST VS ITINERARY WEST

 

East Itinerary

  • More boobies including Nazca and Red-footed
  • Bobbies and Frigates, with nesting and mating displays
  • Galápagos Fur Seals
  • Galápagos Short-eared Owl
  • Waved Albatross
  • More birds
West Itinerary

  • More Greater Flamingos
  • More Galápagos Green Turtles
  • Flightless Cormorants
  • More Galápagos History and Geography
  • More Marine Iguanas, especially at Fernandina Island
  • More wild Giant Tortoises


Two-Week Galápagos Photography Workshop
Want to see even more Galápagos and save $830.00 USD


Consider joining us for both of our Galápagos workshops, and explore the East and West of the Galápagos Islands at a discounted rate.

We offer two different itineraries for the Galápagos Islands as there is much diversity in the islands and each location is very unique.

Consider the Two-Week Galápagos Photography Workshop experience as we explore the East and West over two weeks.

The Red route is our West Itinerary, with the Yellow route being our East Itinerary

Ultimate Galapagos Photo Workshop




 

PRICE INCLUDES

  • 9 Days / 8 Nights’ Galápagos Photography Workshop
  • 8 Days / 7 Nights’ accommodation aboard Galápagos yacht – Double occupancy (Single Occupancy available)
  • 1 Night accommodation in Quito, Ecuador – Double occupancy (Single Occupancy available)
  • Airfare from Quito, Ecuador to the Galápagos Islands and return
  • Ground transportation to and from the Quito, Ecuador airport
  • Ground transfers in the Galápagos Islands
  • All shore excursions with an English-speaking Galápagos naturalist guide
  • Snorkeling equipment: mask, tube and fins with size 34 – 45 included. (Optional)
  • Galápagos National Park entrance fee
  • Ecuador Transit Control Card
  • All meals are provided during the workshop. Expect to gain a couple of pounds on the trip.
  • Instruction in the field with your photographer guides. (2 guides if 10 guests or more)
  • Photography instruction on photo editing techniques
  • A planning package that includes recommendations on the proper camera gear and clothing
  • We take care of all the trip logistics once guests arrive Quito, so the only thing you should concentrate on is having a fantastic time and capturing stunning images in the Galápagos Islands

Anytime before you embark on your journey, our trip leader Matt is happy to provide a free phone consultation. He can give you guidance on what equipment to bring, answer questions about the locale, and give general photography advice to make sure you are ready to capture your dream images.

Galápagos Photography Workshop

Each stateroom has a private bathroom

 

NOT INCLUDED

  • Air Transportation to Quito, Ecuador from your home base and back
  • Alcoholic drinks / Bottled beverages
  • Personal Items
  • Wet suits (Shorty wet suits in all sizes will be available to rent on board)
  • Gratuities to yacht crew and local naturalist
  • Travel/Cancellation/Emergency evacuation insurance

 

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

You should be in good physical health. You will be walking on trails with your camera gear for about 2 hours, typically 1-2 miles per destinatino. While most of the trails are smooth, some are on uneven terrain such as lava rock. You will need to be able to get in and out the zodiac boats, both on the yacht and in knee-deep water when we make wet landings. There are stairs/ladders on the boat which you will need to be able to go up and down comfortably.

If you are concerned about the physical demands of this trip, please contact us, and we will be glad to discuss options to accommodate your needs.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY SKILL LEVEL

Our Galápagos Photography Workshop is open to all photographers, from beginners to professionals.

 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

This is the perfect time to explore the Galápagos. The weather is ideal, neither too hot nor too cold. Low temperatures are typically around 72° Fahrenheit (22° Celsius), with highs of a pleasant 82° Fahrenheit (28° Celsius).

Expect very little rainfall — the islands average less than an inch for the month.

Galápagos Photo Workshop

The colorful sally lightfoot crab

 

TRIP LEADERS

Matt Shetzer – Matt has been leading photographic workshops all over the world since 2011, and loves being outside and enjoying nature. To read more about Matt, click HERE.

 

INSTRUCTIONAL TOPICS

While our primary goal is maximum field time, we will take advantage of non-optimal photography conditions to provide photo workshops, discussing the following subjects in detail:

  • Achieving the best composition
  • Proper exposure for the scene
  • Focus techniques for that crisp image
  • Getting the most out of the histogram
  • Mastering the modes (when to shoot manual, aperture and shutter priorities)
  • Taking images for HDR (High Dynamic Range)
  • Image workup techniques with Photoshop and Lightroom. At each workshop, we demonstrate how to work up attendees’ images from scratch, displaying our nondestructive techniques to produce the highest quality image.
  • Best Plugins to use
  • Color Correction
  • Layers and Masks (Masks are targeted adjustments)
  • Noise reduction and sharpening techniques
  • Lightroom and portfolio management
  • Photography discussions – Review select images and discuss which images work and why to expand your skills and move to the next level

Over the course of the Galápagos Photography Workshop, you will learn photographic techniques to hone your digital photography skills, learn how to achieve the perfect exposure with the camera and take control of your camera to achieve the sharpest and highest quality images.

Galápagos Photography Workshop

A typical double room

 

CAMERA EQUIPMENT TO BRING

  • A telephoto lens from 80 to 400mm
  • A landscape lens from 24-70mm
  • Camera Backpack
  • Lots of memory cards. We typically shoot about 1,000 images a day. Bring more than you think you need.

Prior to the trip, you will receive a detailed planning package with recommendations for camera gear

 

NON-PHOTOGRAPHER GUESTS

The Galápagos Islands provide a spectacular experience for everyone. Whether you enjoy photography or just have a love for nature, there is something for you in the Galápagos Islands.

Non-photographers are welcome on the tour, and are free to join us on all activities at a discount of $250.00.

 

CLIENT COMMENTS

Galápagos Photo Workshop

The blue-footed boobies are always a highlight

Read what our fantastic guests are saying out our workshops. Client Comments

 

GALLERIES

Images from some of our previous trips can be found in our GALLERIES

 

CANCELLATIONS/TRIP INSURANCE

We strongly recommend that you purchase trip insurance from a third-party operator to protect your travel investment against medical emergencies, cancellations, travel delays, and emergency evacuations. All tour cancellations must be submitted in writing, and will result in loss of deposit and all fees paid.

 

COVID-19 CANCELLATION POLICY

If regulatory restrictions prevent the workshop from running, the workshop will be canceled or rescheduled to a later date. All guests will receive a full refund, or option to move the trip to a future date.

 

WAITING LIST – IF A TRIP IS SOLD OUT

Over the last few years, all of our trips have sold out. We start to fill up about a year before the workshop, and keep the website updated with the current availability of space. If a workshop is full, you can add your name to the waitlist. If a spot becomes available, we will contact the guests on the waitlist immediately, in the order they signed up. We tend to have the most cancellations 90-180 days before a trip start, so being on the waitlist means you still have a good chance of getting on the trip. We require no deposit to get on the waitlist.

 

PAYMENT/RESERVATIONS

The cost for the tour is $7,995.00 USD based on double occupancy. We offer single accommodations for an additional $5,995.00 USD per person, which guarantees a single attendee a private cabin for the trip.

To reserve a spot on this tour, we require a $1,000.00 USD deposit per person, paid by credit card at the time of registration. 50% of the full amount of the workshop fee will be due three hundred (300) days prior to the start of the workshop. The remaining payment for the workshop will be due one hundred and eighty (180) days prior to the start of the workshop. Fees can be paid by check or bank transfer. All fees are non-refundable.

Once we have received the final trip payment, we will send the detailed trip planning documents to each guest, to help them plan for their best possible photography workshop.

If you are not traveling with someone, we will assign you a roommate depending on group makeup and gender.

Our workshops are filled on a first come, first serve basis. Workshop availability will be updated on this page.

If you have any additional questions or would like to speak to one of us, please contact us at 303-888-2710 and we would be happy to answer your questions.

GALÀPAGOS PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP - WEST


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Galápagos Photography Workshop – West was last modified: June 30th, 2020 by Matt Shetzer