Hummingbird Photo Workshop #2 – Mindo and Beyond

In Hummingbirds of Ecuador, Upcoming Workshops by Matt Shetzer

Hummingbird Photography Workshop #2 – Mindo and Beyond

2022
Dates: April 16 - April 23, 2022
(2 SPACES AVAILABLE)
Register for the Workshop

Locations: Best Hummingbird lodges in Ecuador and Quito, Ecuador

Fee: $4,495 USD PP.
Single Supplement of $500.

Deposit: $1,000

Limit: 4 photographers. 2 photographers per light setup

Duration: 8 days/7 nights

Skill Level: Beginner to Pro

Non-Photographers Discount: $250

Trip Leader: Matt Shetzer

Trip Origination: Quito, Ecuador

Trip Discount: Save $500.00 when you book the Hummingbirds Photography Workshop with one of our Galápagos Photo Workshops.
Galápagos West Photo Workshop
Galápagos East Photo Workshop

More: We offer another Hummingbird photo workshop in Ecuador. More at:
Hummingbird Photography Workshop #1

Ask Questions about the Workshop

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Hummingbird Photo WorkshopJoin us as we explore the regions of Mindo, Pichincha, and Amagusa all known for their diversity of birds and large endemic population. Mindo and Beyond is our second itinerary specializing in hummingbird photography in the beautiful South American country of Ecuador.

 

Over the course of this Hummingbird Photography Workshop you will learn specialized techniques to create stunning images of hummingbirds as they feast on native flowers. In pursuit of this goal, we will journey over mountain passes and across the equator into Ecuador’s famous cloud forests. Though hummingbirds are our primary focus, we will take advantage of our location and photograph stunning birds such as the Cock-of-the-Rock, the colorful Plate-billed mountain toucans and vibrant tanagers.

During the week we will visit five (5) of Ecuador’s finest locations for hummingbirds and photograph diverse species of hummingbirds and many native flowers, providing the opportunity to create your own exclusive portfolio of exotic hummingbird images.

 

Why Ecuador for our Hummingbird Photography Workshop?

Ecuador is home to over 120 species of hummingbirds and has the best hummingbird photography opportunities than any country in the world. The lodges across Ecuador have dedicated viewing areas for various species of hummingbirds and we visit several of the most impressive hummingbird lodges, where we will photograph a rainbow of hummingbird species.

See all the hummingbird species that can be seen in Ecuador.

Trip Discount: Save $500.00 when you book the Hummingbirds Photography Workshop with one of our Galápagos Photo Workshop:
Galápagos West
Galápagos East

The weather in Ecuador is incredibly comfortable, ranging from 50 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during our trip window.

These lodges cater specifically to photographers, and have time-tested systems for attracting rare and diverse groups of hummingbirds, allowing our guests to capture many different species of hummingbirds without having to travel more than is necessary.

 

How do you photograph hummingbirds?

We will use advanced multi-flash setups to help us freeze these notoriously fast birds in their tracks. Participants in the Hummingbird Photography Workshop will be guided in the cutting-edge, state-of-the-art techniques used to photograph hummingbirds.

These tiny birds can flap their wings up to 80 times a second, which can present quite the challenge for a photographer.

We have perfected our hummingbird photography setup by using a series of seven to eight flashes synchronized by wireless radio transmitters. The multi-flash technique creates a strobe effect and freezes hummingbird wings in their tracks.

The effect is very impressive; you will notice details in your pictures which would be impossible to observe in real life.

Topics we will cover:

  • Master the Multi-Flash hummingbird light setup
  • Balancing flash and natural light
  • Natural light techniques for creating sharp and blurred wing images
  • Priority exposures vs manual exposure – Benefits of each mode
  • Different metering modes
  • Techniques for sharp and high quality images
  • Learn attractive compositions with local flowers
  • Create natural looking images with flash
  • Manual flash configuration to gain control
  • Remote flash techniques and flash placement
  • Focusing techniques for hummingbirds in flight
  • Image post processing with Lightroom and Photoshop
  • Best Photoshop Plug-ins to speed up post processing

Hummingbird species found at the lodges we visit

 
  • Velvet-purple Coronet (Boissonneaua jardini)
  • Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera)
  • Booted Racket-tail (Ocreatus underwoodii)
  • Violet-tailed Sylph (Aglaiocercus coelestis)
  • Andean Emerald (Amazilia franciae)
  • Brown Inca (Coeligena wilsoni)
  • Brown Violetear (Colibri delphinae)
  • Buff-tailed Coronet (Boissonneaua flavescens)
  • Collared Inca (Coeligena torquata)
  • Fawn-breasted Brilliant (Heliodoxa rubinoides)
  • Gorgeted Woodstar (Chaetocercus heliodor)
  • Lesser Violetear (Colibri cyanotus)
  • Green-crowned Brilliant (Heliodoxa jacula)
  • Mountain Velvetbreast (Lafresnaya lafresnayi)
  • Purple-bibbed Whitetip (Urosticte benjamini)
  • Purple-throated Woodstar (Callipholox mitchellii)
  • Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl)
  • Sparkling Violetear (Colibri coruscans)
  • Speckled Hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys)
  • Tawny-bellied hermit (Phaethornis syrmatophorus)
  • Tyrian Metaltail (Metallura tyrianthina)
  • Wedge-billed Hummingbird (Schistes geoffroyi)
  • Western Emerald (Chorostilbon melanorhynchus)
  • White-bellied Woodstar (Chaetocercus mulsant)
  • White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora)
  • Empress brilliant (Heliodoxa imperatrix)
  • Gorgeted sunangel (Heliangelus strophianus)
  • Green-fronted lancebill (Doryfera ludovicae)
  • Black-breasted puffleg (Eriocnemis nigrivestis)
  • White-throated wedgebill (Schistes albogularis)
  • Hoary puffleg (Haplophaedia lugens)
  • Short-tailed woodstar (Myrmia micrura)
  • Geoffroy’s wedgebill (Schistes geoffroyi)
  • Sapphire-vented puffleg (Eriocnemis luciani)
  • Purple-backed thornbill (Ramphomicron microrhynchum)

ITINERARY

Small Groups Only!


The best hummingbird photography is in small groups to maximize your time in the setups.  Only 2 photographers per setup on this trip.

Day 1
You will be greeted at the airport upon your arrival in Quito, Ecuador. Your driver will escort you to your hotel for the night, a historic colonial style seventeen century building, and just outside Quito, the second largest city in this rugged country. We will have a group dinner tonight and get to know everyone, as well as talk about the exciting days to come.

Enjoy a restful night in anticipation of the start of photography the following morning. For those arriving early, the historic center of Quito has one of the best preserved historic centers in the Americas and is great to explore.

Workshop participants who arrive in Quito early can also enjoy adventure attractions such as rafting, mountain biking, swimming in waterfalls, climbing snow-capped volcanoes and cruising around the Galapagos Islands. There are also opportunities to see Quito’s modern side, taking scenic tours, shopping at South America’s largest market and enjoying cultural fare.

Some of the 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

Day 2
We will leave the hotel in the early morning after breakfast, and take a beautiful three-hour drive through the mountains, journeying from 8,000 feet (2,400 meters) elevation to 6,000 feet (1,800 meters). As we descend the pass you will witness two ecosystems collide as the vegetation flourishes beneath the steep mountainside and the rainforest begins.

We arrive at our first lodge located on a ridge in the heart of the Cloud Forest at about 11 a.m. and setup immediately to begin capturing beautiful images of some of the hummingbird species that visit this lodge.

We will spend the next 2 days photographing some of the following species of hummingbirds that frequent their feeders:

  • Velvet-purple Coronet (Boissonneaua jardini)
  • Booted Racket-tail (Ocreatus underwoodii)
  • Violet-tailed Sylph (Aglaiocercus coelestis)
  • Andean Emerald (Amazilia franciae)
  • Brown Violetear (Colibri delphinae)
  • Buff-tailed Coronet (Boissonneaua flavescens)
  • Collared Inca (Coeligena torquata)
  • Fawn-breasted Brilliant (Heliodoxa rubinoides)
  • Gorgeted Woodstar (Chaetocercus heliodor)
  • Lesser Violetear (Colibri cyanotus)
  • Purple-bibbed Whitetip (Urosticte benjamini)
  • Purple-throated Woodstar (Callipholox mitchellii)
  • Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl)
  • Sparkling Violetear (Colibri coruscans)
  • Speckled Hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys)
  • Tawny-bellied hermit (Phaethornis syrmatophorus)
  • Tyrian Metaltail (Metallura tyrianthina)
  • While-bellied Woodstar (Chaetocercus mulsant)
  • White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora)
  • Empress brilliant (Heliodoxa imperatrix)
  • Gorgeted sunangel (Heliangelus strophianus)
  • Green-fronted lancebill (Doryfera ludovicae)
  • Black-breasted puffleg (Eriocnemis nigrivestis)
  • White-throated wedgebill (Schistes albogularis)
  • Hoary puffleg (Haplophaedia lugens)
  • Short-tailed woodstar (Myrmia micrura)
  • Geoffroy’s wedgebill (Schistes geoffroyi)

In addition to photographing the hummingbirds, we will also enjoy photographing the endemic Plate-billed mountain toucan, Toucan barbets, Parrots, Wood creepers and eight species of tanagers.

As the day goes on, we enjoy the hospitality of the lodge as the staff prepares fantastic meals of Ecuadorian cuisine, especially their traditional soups.

Day 3
We will be photographing all day at the bird lodge continuing to capturing dazzling images of hummingbirds from the deck. It is a great time to enjoy a hot cup of fresh Ecuadorian coffee as we photograph our colorful subjects.

Day 4
After breakfast today, we take a day journey 2 hours North to the Mashpi Amagusa Reserve, one of the best birding preserves in the world due the diversity of the birds and abundance of colorful tanagers.

Some of the species we hope to photograph what at Amagusa:

  • Rufous Throated Tanager
  • Green glistening Tanager
  • Flame Faced Tanager
  • Swallow Tanager
  • Golden Naped Tanager
  • Golden Tanager
  • Rufous Throated Tanager
  • Black Chinned Mountain Tanager
  • Moss Backed Tanager
  • Palm Tanager
  • Lemon Rumped Tanager
  • Yellow Throated Bush Tanager
  • Golden Headed Quetzal
  • Toucan Barbet
  • Crimson Rumped Toucanet
  • Smoky Brown Woodpecker
  • Red Faced Spinetail
  • Spotted Barbtail
  • Orange Bellied Euphonia

For those wishing to continue photographing hummingbirds at the lodge, you are welcome to stay at the lodge on this day.

Later in the day, we will return to the lodge for another great meal and relax in the evening and talk about photography techniques.

Day 5
Early this morning, we venture with a local birding guide to photography the Cock-of-the rock, a beautiful and unique bird found in the area. We will hike into a remote location before dawn and view them near their lek. For those wishing to stay back at the lodge and continue photographing the hummingbirds, you are welcome to do so.

Late in the morning we depart our lodge and journey down the valley dropping a little elevation to our next lodge. The lodge features a classy and comfortable lounge, a patio and balcony – all with bird watching opportunities – as well as a dozen rooms equipped with hot water, a private bathroom and electricity, nestled amid the awe-inspiring beauty of the rainforest.

The décor of the lodge is naturally inviting, boasting a variety of wooden furniture and deep-colored tile flooring. There are also bird feeders hanging throughout the grounds, so you can see a variety of exotic birds just outside the windows.

We will spend the next 2 days photographing some of the following species of hummingbirds that frequent their feeders:

  • Violet-tailed Sylph (Aglaiocercus coelestis)
  • Booted Racket-tail (Ocreatus underwoodii)
  • Purple-bibbed Whitetip (Urosticte benjamini)
  • Fawn-breasted Brilliant) (Heliodoxa rubinoides)
  • Brown Violetear (Colibri delphinae)
  • Lesser Violetear (Colibri cycanotus)
  • Brown Inca (Coeligena wilsoni)
  • Purple-throated Woodstar (Callipholox mitchellii)
  • Western Emerald (Chorostilbon melanorhynchus)
  • Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl)
  • Andean Emerald (Amazilia franciae)
  • Buff-tailed Coronet (Boissonneaua flavescens)
  • Tawny-bellied hermit (Phaethornis syrmatophorus)
  • Wedge-billed Hummingbird (Schistes geoffroyi)
  • Sparkling Violetear (Colibri coruscans)
  • White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora)
  • Green-crowned Brilliant (Heliodoxa jacula)

Day 6
We will be photographing all day at the bird lodge capturing dazzling images of hummingbirds from the deck and along the edge of the forest canopy. In your free time you are welcome to go on hikes in the Cloud Forest to view the colorful birds that are unique to Ecuador, or try to spy on some of the more secretive birds you rarely see in the wild.

Day 7
This morning we will depart our Mindo lodge and head South to a very remote reserve gaining altitude, which in turn provides a whole new set of hummingbird species. As our altitude climbs, so does our species list as we are at a location that the famous Sword-billed hummingbird calls home.

  • Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera)
  • Collared Inca (Coeligena torquata)
  • Mountain Velvetbreast (Lafresnaya lafresnayi)
  • Sparkling Violetear (Colibri coruscans)
  • Tyrian Metaltail (Metallura tyrianthina)
  • White-bellied Woodstar (Chaetocercus mulsant)
  • Sapphire-vented puffleg (Eriocnemis luciani)
  • Purple-backed thornbill (Ramphomicron microrhynchum)
  • Buff-tailed Coronet (Boissonneaua flavescens)
  •  
    In addition the the unique hummingbirds at this locations, we also hope to see:

  • Chestnut-naped Antpitta
  • Rufous Antpitta
  • Crimson Mantled Woodpecker
  • Masked Flower Piercer
  •  
    As the day comes to a close, we will pack up our gear, and head back to Quito for the night.

    Day 8
    On our final day of the workshop, we will have breakfast, and transportation will be arranged from the lodge directly to the airport for your departure. From here we say our goodbyes and begin the journey home or on to our next adventure.

    If you have extra time, there’s a abundance of activities to enjoy throughout the area:

    • The historic center of Quito is lined with captivating architecture of priceless churches, chapels, monasteries and convents, museums and colonial plazas. It is one of the first places to be declared World Cultural Heritage Sites by UNESCO and is one of the largest, best-preserved historic centers in the Americas.
    • A visit to the Galapagos Islands provides exciting opportunities to walk along sandy beaches, watch sea-lions and tortoises, snorkel with sharks and explore the lush landscapes of the islands which inspired Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory.
    • Avid birdwatchers will enjoy the myriad of colorful birds and other amazing wildlife species found along the Amazon River in Ecuador. A variety of activities are offered in the jungle habitat of the Amazon, including birding hikes, canoe trips, night excursions and fishing for piranhas.

    (Tour schedules are subject to change due to changes in weather or other unforeseen events.)

     

    PRICE INCLUDES

    • 7 nights’ accommodation at premier bird lodges. Double occupancy (Single Occupancy available)
    • Transportation to and from the Quito airport
    • Transportation between lodges
    • All meals are provided during the workshop. Expect to gain a couple of pounds on the trip.
    • The use of multi-flash setups containing flashes, radio triggers, light stands and backgrounds.
    • Instruction in the field with your photographer guide, with a maximum of 4 photographers per guide
    • 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 reach Quito, so the only thing you should concentrate on is having a fantastic time and capturing stunning images of hummingbirds.
    • Prior to embarking on your journey, we are happy to provide a free phone consultation with your trip leader, who will 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 image.

     

    NOT INCLUDED

    • Transportation to/from Quito, Ecuador
    • Alcoholic drinks
    • Lodge and driver tips
    • Travel/Cancellation/Emergency evacuation insurance
    • Personal Items
    • If you would like to spend a day with a bird guide, we can certainly arrange that for you in advance with the lodges. (Additional costs would apply, paid directly to the lodge.)

     

    PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

    Hummingbirds of Ecuador, Mindo and Beyond, is one of our easier workshops physically, however you will need to be able to walk about 300 feet on cobbled paths. Our shooting takes place primarily from the patios at the lodges, therefore those with limited mobility won’t have any problems. The day to Amagusa and the outing to photograph The-Cock-of-the-rock can be more physically demanding due to the terrain, however both of these are optional for those concerned about the physical demands.

    For those who enjoy hiking, there are numerous trails at each lodge to explore.

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

    PHOTOGRAPHY SKILL LEVEL

    We welcome any and all photographers from beginners to professionals.

     

    WEATHER CONDITIONS

    Weather in Ecuador is very comfortable. It ranges from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit at two of our lodges. The weather at the third lodge is a little cooler and ranges from 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

     

    TRIP LEADER

    Matt Shetzer – Matt has been photographing hummingbirds for more than a decade, and loves being outside watching these amazing birds. Sharing this beauty with our guests is always a highlight of the year. To read more about Matt, click HERE.

     

    INSTRUCTIONAL TOPICS

    • Learn how to set up and configure a multi-flash setup to achieve high quality natural looking hummingbird images and freeze the high-speed action of these amazing birds.
    • Instruction on how to photograph hummingbirds in natural light
    • Proper exposure for the scene
    • Getting the most out of the histogram
    • Focus techniques for that crisp image
    • Achieving the best composition
    • Motion blur to add movement to your images
    • Mastering the modes (When to shoot Manual, Aperture and Shutter Priorities)
    • 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 Photoshop Plugins to use
    • Color Correction
    • Layers and Masks (Masks are targeted adjustments)
    • Noise reduction and sharpening techniques
    • Lightroom and portfolio management
    • Photography discussions – We’ll review select images and discuss which images work and why to expand your skills and move to the next level

    CAMERA EQUIPMENT TO BRING

    • A telephoto lens from 200 to 400mm (500-600mm can be used as well but not necessary)
    • A wide-angle lens from 24-100 for landscapes
    • Tripod with Gimbaled or Ball Head
    • Remote Trigger\Cable release
    • Lots of memory cards. We typically shoot about 1,000 images a day so bring plenty of memory cards.

    If you need assistance selecting gear to meet your photography goals just let us know. All guests will receive a detailed planning package to assist in the process prior to the trip and optional phone consultation.

    NON-PHOTOGRAPHER GUESTS

    The Ecuadorian rainforest and its fantastic bird lodges provide a spectacular experience for anyone involved on the hummingbird photography tour. Non-photographers are welcome to join us in the field and join in on all activities with a discount of $250.00.

     

    CLIENT COMMENTS

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

     

    CANCELLATIONS/TRIP INSURANCE

    We strongly recommend all participants purchase trip insurance purchased from a third-party operator to protect your travel investment against medical emergencies, participant trip cancellations, trip interruption and delay, weather delays, missed connections, baggage loss or delay, emergency evacuation and repatriation or simply ‘Cancel for any reason coverage’.

    Because Shetzers Photography must pay fees for reservations and leases of accommodations and transportation needs of the group far in advance of the workshop, all paid tour fees are non-refundable, non-transferable and cannot be applied to a future workshop. Shetzers Photography runs small group workshops and wants to ensure the workshops are not canceled due to participant cancellations thus impacting the participants who do not cancel. All tour cancellations must be submitted in writing and will result in loss of deposit and all fees paid.

    Please review our Workshop Terms and Conditions.

     

    COVID-19 AND VARIANTS CANCELLATION POLICY

    If regulatory restrictions in the hosting location prevent the workshop from running as scheduled, the workshop will be rescheduled to a later date.

    If you feel there is any reason now or in the future that you may not be able to attend the workshop, we recommend that you do not sign up at this time as no refunds or rescheduling will be allowed due to guest cancellations.

     

    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 workshop availability. If a workshop is full\sold out you can add your name to the waitlist. If a spot becomes available we will contact the guests immediately on the waitlist in the order they signed up. We tend to have the most cancellations 90-180 days before a trip starts so being on the waitlist can help you get on a sold out trip. We require no deposit to be on the waitlist.

     

    PAYMENT/RESERVATIONS

    The cost for the tour is $4,495.00 based on double occupancy. We do offer single accommodations for an additional $500.00 per person.

    To reserve a spot on this tour, we require a $1,000.00 deposit per person that is paid by credit card at the time of registration. Full tour payments must be completed 90 days prior to the start of the tour and are paid by check or bank transfer.

    Once the final trip payment has been received, the detailed trip planning documents will be sent to each guest to assist in planning for the best photography workshop.

    Our workshops are based upon 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.

    Hummingbird Photo Workshop #2 – Mindo and Beyond was last modified: September 9th, 2021 by Matt Shetzer