PANAMA: THE DARIEN, PIPELINE ROAD & THE CHIRIQUI HIGHLANDS

  • DATE: NOVEMBER 16-28, 2022 -  SOLD OUT
  • MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE: 6 Photographers (Minimum of 4)
  • FROM: Panama City, Panama
  • WORKSHOP LEADERS: Glenn Bartley

EMAIL GLENN TO JOIN THE WISH LIST FOR 2024


 

AN INTRODUCTION TO THIS PHOTO WORKSHOP

This all-new workshop focusses on visiting some of Panama's most exciting bird photography destinations. Starting in the wild Darien rainforest we'll search this unique ecosystem for some fantastic tropical birds. Maybe even a Harpy Eagle. Afterwards we'll visit the famous Pipeline Road area in search of more great birds as well as mammals. Finally, we'll head up to the highlands for some more great action around some productive fruit and hummingbird feeders. The coffee is great up there too!  Overall, this promises to be a unique new opportunity that we are happy to add to our roster. 

PHOTO ITINERARY

On this trip we will focus on some of the really unique and interesting bird (as well as mammal) photography destinations that exist in Panama.  We’ll visit three very unique ecosystems from the lowland rainforests up in to the highland cloud forests. To start the tour participants will be met at the Panama City airport and transferred to our nearby meeting hotel in Panama City.

We'll get the trip started off by driving south from Panama City to the wild area known as the Darien. We’ll spend three nights here focussing our efforts on the special birds that live in the Darien. Beautiful birds like Black Oropendolas, Gray-cheeked Nunlets, Black and White Owls and many, many more call this area home. Around our glamping tent camp, we can work on the fruit feeders as well as hummingbird feeders for more beautiful birds. And, if the opportunity presents itself, we will even try to visit a Harpy Eagle or Crested Eagle nest site!

We’ll break the drive up to our second site by stopping in at a birding site in the foothills around Panama City. Here we’ll be searching for a few unique birds like the Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker, Black and Yellow Tanager and other foothills specialties. Later we’ll visit a private hummingbird garden to continue to work on our collection of hummingbird images.

Next up we’ll continue on to the famous Pipeline Road area of Panama. There’s a lot to see and do in this region and our 3 days are sure to fly by. One of the most unique and incredible opportunities will be right from our hotel. Atop the hotel is a canopy tower where we will spend a few morning sessions working on canopy birds right at eye level. Awesome birds like Cinnamon Woodpeckers, Black-breasted Puffbirds, Gartered Trogons, Green Shrike Vireos, and many more can be seen in the trees surrounding the tower. In addition, there is a very healthy population of Sloths and Monkeys around. So, we’ll have lots to look for!

Away from our hotel grounds we’ll also have the opportunity to visit another canopy tower further in to the park as well as bird the trails around it. Of course, we’ll also visit the Pipeline Road to search for tropical lowland species like Antbirds, Woodcreepers, Antpittas, Puffbirds, Manakins and many more!

Our final destination will be the highlands in the north of Panama in an area called Chiriqui. We’ll drive up there and spend 3 days searching the highlands for some really awesome birds. We’ll visit a fantastic set of feeders where Fiery-billed Aracaris, Lesson’s Motmots, White-ruffed Manakins and a host of other Tanager species will be present. Other top targets up in the highlands will be birds like the Flame-throated Warbler, Long-tailed Silky Flycatcher, Collared Redstart and Ruddy Treerunner.

We’ll spend some time working on hummingbirds at several sites and spend an afternoon using multiflash techniques to capture some stunning images of species like the Snowy-bellied Hummingbird, Lesser Violetear, White-throated Mountain Gem, and Talamanca Hummingbird.

And before we know it it will be time to drive a short distance back to the city of David to wrap up the tour.

It should be a fantastic itinerary filled with great birds and photo opportunities. I hope you can join me!

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES

On this photo adventure we will focus on the following opportunities:

Multi-flash Hummingbird Photography: Learn techniques to use 4 flashes to achieve otherwise impossible flight photographs of these flying jewels. What makes this workshop special is that Glenn will be sharing his techniques for taking multi-flash images that actually look natural (unlike most others out there).

Attracting birds to a perch setup: Participants will learn strategies to attract birds to a given perch and how to achieve images that have attractive light, an outstanding perch and a smooth background.

Strategies for successful tropical field photography: Glenn has spent over a year and a half photographing wildlife in the tropics. Throughout the workshop he will share tips and tricks that he has learned along the way.

Using flash effectively as a source of fill light: Because tropical regions are often cloudy - it is extremely important to learn how to use flash - either as fill or as a main source of light. Participants will also learn how to do set-ups for birds using more than one flash. These skills can easily be taken home and applied in your very own backyard!

Nocturnal photography: During the nights around the lodges we will keep our ears open for night birds like owls and potoos. If we hear any we will try to track them down and learn techniques for successful night time bird photography.

Digital Workshops:  During the evenings for those who wish to participate, we will have image review sessions and talk about techniques and what we can expect to see the next day.  In these post processing workshops participants will have ample opportunities to improve skills in Adobe Photoshop.  Guided by Glenn, participants can learn how to take their images from straight out-of-the-camera RAW images to stunning final works of art (ready for printing or websites).

A Few Highlight species include:

  • Fiery-billed Aracari
  • Flame-throated Warbler
  • Spotted, Bicolored and perhaps Ocellated Antbirds
  • Golden collared Manakin
  • Volcano Hummingbird
  • Spot-crowned Barbet
  • Snowy-bellied Hummingbird
  • Long-billed Starthroat
  • Talamanca Hummingbird
  • Cinnamon Woodpecker
  • Crimson-crested Woodpecker
  • Black-breasted Puffbird
  • Gartered Trogon
  • Long-tailed Silky Flycacther
  • Fantastic mammal photo opportunities
  • Possibility of visiting a Harpy Eagle nest (if suitable photographic conditions and access)

 

KEY LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

On this photo adventure participants will focus on the following learning objectives:

  • Proper exposure settings for challenging tropical lighting conditions
  • Proper use of flash as fill or ambient lighting
  • How to "set up" a nature photograph and get pleasing images
  • How to place your subject in the frame and get beautiful backgrounds
  • Advanced field photography techniques.
  • Image workflow and digital processing that will ensure your images are the best that they can possibly be

 WHY TRAVEL ON GLENN BARTLEY'S WORKSHOPS?

  • Glenn focuses on more personalized attention,instruction and guidance.
  • Glenn is regarded one of the world’s top professional photographers in bird portrait photography. Just go pick up a birding magazine and you will almost certainly find his images.
  • Glenn often utilizes local guides with years of experience in their home areas.
  • Glenn has more experience.  He has been to the places that he will take you – not for a week or two – but for months!!  Glenn knows where to get the best possible images and can show you how to achieve them. 
  • Having completed his Msc. in Environmental Studies Glenn is very environmentally and socially aware.  When we visit communities around the world we give something back to these places and the people who live there. 
  • At the end of the day Glenn’s goal is simple – To give you the best possible photographic workshop imaginable.

 PHYSICAL ACTIVITY REQUIREMENTS

  • This is a medium activity level trip.
  • At the first two sites we will be mostly looking for birds in the field. This will involve slow walks on flat trails.
  • Some shooting will also be done each day near the lodges or vehicle.
  • In the Darien if there is an active Harpy Eagle nest this may involve a longer hike (optional). The exact nature is impossible to predict as they birds change nest sites each year.
  • The Darien is likely to be hot.
  • In the highlands (3rd stop) we will mostly be shooting around feeder stations.

LOGISTICS

This workshop/tour is limited to 6 photographers to ensure the best photographic opportunities and instruction possible.

Price:

  • The cost of this photo workshop is USD $6999 / person
  • I preffer payments and deposits to be made by check. Paypal can also be arranged (send email).
  • Accommodations are designed to be two persons per room. If you will be traveling alone and would like a private room there will be an additional charge of $750
  • Once we have received your deposit we will send you a confirmation invoice and registration package.

Prices include:

  • All expert photo instruction
  • Local guides and drivers
  • All entrance fees to natural areas visited
  • All accommodations, based on double occupancy
  • All meals from the first evening of the tour to breakfast on departure day
  • Land transportation during workshop
  • Airport transfers to hotel at start of trip

Price does not include:

  • International airfare to place of tour origin (Panama City)
  • Departure flights from place of tour end (David)
  • Any additional nights accommodation outside of the tour dates
  • Additional tips for staff such as guides and camp staff
  • Fees for passport, visas, immunizations and insurance
  • Bar bills at lodges
  • Laundry, phone and other items of a personal nature
  • Cost of hospitalization and evacuation if necessary

Payment Terms:

A $1500 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve a space on this tour.  The balance of the payment is due before July 16, 2022.

Suggested Equipment:

It is recommended that each participant bring the following equipment:

  • A digital SLR and a lens of 300mm or greater.
  • A wide angle lens (if you are interested in landscape photography)
  • A tripod is recommended
  • A flash (if you have more than one)

HOW TO JOIN THIS PHOTO ADVENTURE? WHAT SHOULD YOU DO NEXT?

We like to keep our workshops small, so space is extremely limited. Once the workshop seats are full – that’s it…  If this exciting photo workshop sounds like fun to you, then now is the time to register.

STEP 1 - Read the booking and refund policies below.

STEP 2 - To confirm your registration you will need to mail a check for the $1500 deposit to Glenn Bartley. Payments can also be arranged through Paypal. Please email me to let me know that you are sending a deposit or for paypal instructions. Once a deposit is received it is understood that you have read, understood and accepted all terms and conditions as outlined in the Booking and Refund Policies.

Please make checks out to:Glenn Bartley - Email me for mailing address

Once I have received your deposit I will send you your complete registration package by mail.

Please see the complete booking and refund policy by clicking the link below.

If you have any questions before registering, send me an e-mail with any inquiries to:

Please note:

  • Glenn Bartley Nature Photography strongly recommends that you purchase travel insurance.
  • All funds are quoted in USD dollars and subject to exchange rate fluctuation and gas surcharge if we are billed additionally.
  • We will attempt to stay true to this itinerary. However, certain unforeseeable conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may require changes to the itinerary. We reserve the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will do our absolute best to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible.

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