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Ian Plant Wildlife Photography Tour - 7D/6N

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Trip Code : ian-plant-nature-photography-workshop
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A full-time professional nature photographer, writer, and adventurer, Ian Plant has been photographing our natural world for almost twenty years. Ian travels the world in order to find rare convergences of light, composition, mood, and moment, looking to transcend mere scenery to produce a compelling view of his nature subjects.

His photographs and instructional articles have appeared in a number of books, calendars, and magazines, including Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography, Le Monde de la Photo, Nature Photographers Online Magazine, National Parks, Common Ground, Blue Ridge Country, Adirondack Life, Wonderful West Virginia, and Chesapeake Life, among others. Ian also writes a regular blog column for Outdoor Photographer online.

Ian is the photographer/author of eight print books, including Chesapeake: Bay of Light (2007), which received critical acclaim from the Washington Post, Washington Times and Baltimore Sun, among others. Ian is also one of the lead authors and designer of The Ultimate Guide to Digital Nature Photography (2009). Most recently, Ian has authored a number of nature photography instructional eBooks, including Chasing the Light (2010), and several books in the Behind the Lens and Five Landscape Challenges series. Ian is also the author of a number of digital processing video tutorials.

Ian's mission is to educate, inspire, and entertain others in the art of nature photography. To that end, Ian launched the Dreamscapes photoblog, which is now a collaborative blog involving several other professional photographers.

Ian Plant Nature Photography Workshops


Where: Tambopata National Reserve, Peru
When: November 3-10, 2012
Tuition: $3200
Deposit: $800 (full tuition is due 90 days before the workshop)
Class Size: 10
If you have any questions, or if you wish to register for this workshop, please email Ian Plant (ianplantphoto@gmail.com).


Looking to take your creative expression to the next level? Creative Vision Photo Workshops are designed to challenge you to reach new heights with your nature photography. Join Creative Vision instructors Ian Plan and Richard Bernabe on an intensive, multi-day field instructional workshop that will help you create photographs you've always dreamed of making!

The Destination

The Tambopata National Reserve is a 275,000 hectare conservation unit created by the Peruvian government in 1990 to protect the watersheds of the Tambopata and Candamo rivers. It is adjacent to the huge 1 million hectare Bahuaja Sonene National Park. Both conservation units protect some of the last untouched lowland and premontane tropical humid forests in the Amazon. This Connecticut-sized area of pristine forest contains 600 bird species, 32 parrot species (10% of the world’s total), 200 mammal species, 1200 butterfly species and over 10,000 species of vascular plants. Within Tambopata lie three lodges – Posada Amazonas, Refugio Amazonas and Tambopata Research Center. They are a small part of the network of organizations and communities that are attempting to protect this amazing wilderness.

Sample Itinerary

DAY 1
  • Opening reception at Puerto Maldonado Headquarters; transfer by Boat from Tambopata River Port to Posada Amazonas

  • The forty five minute boat ride from the Tambopata Port to Posada Amazonas will take us deep into the rain forest.

  • Boxed lunch & orientation: Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.

  • Photography Lecture: After lunch we will have a photography presentation to discuss tips and techniques for photographing the rain forest.

  • Dinner

  • Night Photography: Night walks are great for photographing insects and frogs. We may be able to find praying mantis, cicadas, leaf mimicking grasshoppers as well as huge toads, shiny green tree frogs and bizarre horned frogs.
  • Overnight at Posada Amazonas
DAY 2
  • Breakfast

  • Photography at the PAL parrot clay lick: This clay lick is only a twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas. From a blind located about twenty meters away you will see dozens of parrots and parakeets descend on most clear mornings to ingest the clay on a river bank. From the blind next to this lick, even the amateur photographer can take good pictures of these wonderful birds.

  • Lunch

  • Photography from the Tower: A thirty minute walk takes us to this 30 meter tall scaffolding tower, which will add a whole new dimension to our Amazon birding experience: the forest canopy. We will wait for a canopy mixed flock to appear. We will see lonely raptors riding the thermals. This is your best chance for hawk-eagles and even harpy!

  • Dinner

  • Photo Review Session: After dinner we have time to pick our best photos and load them into the computer for a slide show. We will have time to analyze and talk about the day’s photography. Any questions about camera/lens usage, composition, etc. can be addressed.
  • Overnight at Posada Amazonas


DAY 3
  • Breakfast

  • Photography at Tres Chimbadas oxbow lake: Tres Chimbadas is thirty minutes by boat and forty five minutes hiking from Posada Amazonas. Once there you will paddle around the lake in a catamaran, searching for the resident family of nine giant river otters and other lakeside wildlife such as caiman, hoatzin and horned screamers. The lake provides wonderful opportunities to photograph majestic trees, water reflections and, if we are very fortunate, animal life.

  • Transfer by boat from Posada Amazonas to Tambopata Research Center: Six and a half hours by boat from Posada Amazonas, in the pristine heart of the reserve, lies the Tambopata Research Center. As we cross the confluence with the Malinowski River, we will leave the final traces of human habitation behind. Within the 700,000 hectare uninhabited nucleus of the reserve, sightings of capybara, caiman, geese, macaws and other large species will become more frequent.

  • Boxed Lunch

  • Orientation: Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.

  • Photography from Overlooks: A three to five kilometer hike will lead us to overlooks commanding magnificent views of the Tambopata winding its way into the lowlands. The forest on this trail, regenerating on old bamboo forest, is good for Howler Monkey and Dusky Titi Monkey. The overlooks provide excellent panoramic photo opportunities of the Tambopata winding its way down from the highlands. On a clear day, it will even be possible to view and photograph the snow capped Andean peaks in the distance. At each overlook we will have good chances of encounters at eyelevel at 30-50 yards with large turkey-like birds called guans and chachalacas, or toucans, or macaws roosting on the trees.

  • Dinner

  • Overnight at Tambopata Research Center


DAY 4
  • Macaw Clay Lick Photography from the Beach: On most clear mornings of the year dozens of large macaws and hundreds of parrots congregate on this large river bank in a raucous and colorful spectacle which inspired a National Geographic cover story.

  • Breakfast

  • Photography in the floodplain forest: This five kilometer trail covers the prototypical rain forest with immense trees criss-crossed by creeks and ponds. Amongst the figs, ceibas and shihuahuacos we will look for Squirrel, Brown Capuchin, and Spider Monkeys as well as peccaries. TRC is located within this habitat. Our principal focus will be general rain forest shots as well as portraits of the huge trees that are scattered throughout this forest.

  • Lunch

  • Photography on the Pond Platform: Ten minutes upriver from the lodge is a tiny pond with a platform in the middle. Opportunities to photograph beautiful birds will abound, as the lighting and visibility of the pond is excellent and these birds´ habits are predictable over short periods of time.

  • Dinner

  • Overnight at Tambopata Research Center
DAY 5
  • Breakfast

  • Photography around the TRC clearing: We will photograph herps around the TRC clearing: frogs, snakes and lizards. The chicos, a flock of semi-wild, hand reared macaws will provide additional photographic opportunities as they fly about around the lodge.

  • Lunch

  • Photography from the palm swamp tower: Although macaws nest from October to April, there are different degrees of macaw activity at the swamp year round. From this vantage point we can photograph Blue and gold macaws landing and roosting on their nest holes in dead palms. The nests are all less than fifteen yards away, and only a yard or two above eye level. As the sun sets behind the birds´ golden chests we will have opportunities for close ups of superb quality.

  • Dinner

  • Night Photography

  • Overnight at Tambopata Research Center
DAY 6
  • Breakfast

  • Transfer by Boat from TRC to Refugio Amazonas: A three and a half hour boat ride brings us to Refugio Amazonas.

  • Boxed Lunch

  • Brazil Nut Trail and Camp: A few minutes hike from the lodge is a beautiful old growth patch of Brazil Nut forest that has been harvested for decades (if not centuries) where the precarious remains of a camp used two months a year by Brazil Nut gatherers can still be experienced. We will be demonstrating the whole process of the rain forest's only sustainably harvested product from collection through transportation to drying.

  • Dinner

  • Overnight at Refugio Amazonas
DAY 7
  • Breakfast

  • Transfer by Boat from Refugio Amazonas to Tambopata River Port

  • Transfer fro Tambopata River Port to Pto Maldonado Headquarters

  • Transfer Puerto Maldonado Headquarters to Airport

  • We retrace our river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado, our office and the airport. Depending on airline schedules, this may require dawn departures.


Fitness Level As noted above, we will do some hiking on this workshop. Hikes will typically be easy to moderate in difficulty, although decent physical fitness will certainly facilitate your enjoyment of this workshop. Every participant must complete and sign a standard liability waiver and medical form before participating in this workshop.

Getting There Participants are required to get to Puerto Maldonado. To get to Puerto Maldonado, one usually must travel from Lima or Cusco first before reaching the Padre Aldamiz (PEM) airport in Puerto Maldonado.

Entry Requirements A valid passport is required to enter and depart Peru. Tourists must also provide evidence of return or onward travel. Visit the Embassy of Peru Website for the most current visa information. Peru does not require any immunizations for entry, although it recommends vaccination against Yellow Fever.

What's Included
  • Photography instruction
  • Double occupancy lodging (single supplement $500)
  • Local transportation to and from Padre Aldamiz airport
  • Meals
What's Not Included
  • Airfare to and from Puerto Maldonado; transfer from airport to hotel
  • Any applicable visa fees and local airport taxes
Recommended Equipment
  • Wide angle to normal zoom lenses (in the range of 17mm to 200mm)
  • Longer telephoto zoom for wildlife (100-400mm)
  • 400mm or 500mm lens with 1.4x teleconverter
  • Electronic shutter release
  • Sturdy tripod
  • Sunscreen
  • Raingear
  • Waterproof boots
  • Bug repellant; headnet
  • Pack to carry photo and personal gear while hiking
  • Water bottle
  • Clothing for warm weather


Deposit Required An $800.00 deposit will be required with the balance to be redeemed no later than 90 days before the workshop.

Questions? If you have any questions, or if you wish to register for this workshop, please email Ian Plant (ianplantphoto@gmail.com).


Included Programs based on double occupancy. Includes all meal, accommodations, and services, all river transportation, and transfer from and to the airport of Puerto Maldonado.

Not Included International or domestic airfares, airport departure taxes or visa fees, excess baggage charges, additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations, alcoholic beverages or bottled water, snacks, insurance of any kind, laundry, phone calls or messages, reconfirmation of flights and items of personal nature.

Notes: Programs to Refugio Amazonas : There is an additional $13 per person charge for entrance into the national park. This applies for tours to Refugio Amazonas Lodge Programs to Tambopata Research Center : There is an additional $75 per person charge for entrance into the national park. This applies for tours to Tambopata Research Center Lodge

Lodge Transfers

  • Transfer-in (From Puerto Maldonado to Lodge): we have two departures daily at 13:00 and 14:30
  • Transfer-out (Lodge to Puerto Maldonado) : Two daily departures at 07:00 and 08:00 For other schedule possibilities please consult us

ESPAÑOL

Incluido Programas en base acomodación en habitación doble. Todos los transportes terrestres y acuáticos de acuerdo al itinerario. Traslados Aeropuerto – Albergue - Aeropuerto. Todas las excursiones con guía bilingüe. Re-confirmación de vuelos nacionales desde Puerto Maldonado. Comidas especificadas en el itinerario.

No Incluido Vuelos internacionales o nacionales, impuestos aeroportuarios, exceso de equipaje, noches adicionales por mal tiempo o cancelación de vuelos, bebidas alcohólicas, gaseosas o agua mineral embotellada, snacks, seguro de cualquier tipo, lavandería, llamadas telefónicas nacionales o internacionales, reconfirmación de vuelos internacionales.

Notas: Programas a Refugio Amazonas : Hay un pago adicional de $13 por persona por la entrada al parque Nacional que aplica a los visitantes a Refugio Amazonas Lodge Programas a Tambopata Research Center : Hay un pago adicional de $75 por persona por la entrada al parque Nacional que aplica a los visitantes a Tambopata Research Center

Transfer a los Albergues:

  • Traslado de llegada (Puerto Maldonado – Albergue): Tenemos dos traslados diarios a las 13:00 hrs. y 14:00 hrs.
  • Traslado de salida (Albergue – Puerto Maldonado) : Dos salidas diarias a las 07:00 hrs. y 8:00 hrs. Para otras alternativas de traslados por favor consúltenos.



Superior Room at Refugio Amazonas Lodge
Superior Room at Refugio Amazonas
The Loft Area at Refugio Amazonas
Refugio Amazonas Dining Room
Tambopata Research Center Room
Tambopata Research Center
Posada Amazonas Commons Area
Posada Amazona Classic Room
Refugio Amazonas Loft
Motorboats are used for transport on the river
Beautiful Butterfly
Macaw Clay Lick (click to enlarge)
A Baby Capybara
Side Necked Turtles
A Big Caiman
Parrots at Clay Lick
Learning About Wildlife in the Amazon
A Happy Guide with a Happy Visitor
Bat Falcon (Falco rufigularis)
A Jaguar near TRC
Squirrel Monkey
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