Wow what a trip that was!
I had the pleasure of visiting Costa Rica for the first time back in June 2019, which was a fascinating and really enjoyable trip, however it was so good I decided to go back to Costa Rica, on the inaugural Photography Workshop organised by my friend Roy at Chameleon Photography in partnership with Janette at Natural Wonders Photography. What a good decision that was, this trip totally exceeded all expectations, it was fantastic from start to finish, at the end I was really reluctant to pack up my camera gear and come home. Back in June there were a number of key species that we barely saw, especially the iconic Toucans, this time we were blessed with several opportunities to photograph 4 different members of the Toucan family and thankfully I had several opportunities to photograph the stunning but incredibly shy Keel Billed Toucan. Many thanks have to go to the great organisational skills of local guide and all round good guy Jose A Solís, who made the whole group very welcome and provided us with some simply stunning photographic opportunities, highlighting the amazing wildlife of Costa Rica. Most of the photographic opportunities were arranged directly with local families and farmers, so we had mainly private and exclusive opportunities to photograph stunning birds and animals, without having to be worried about competing with large groups of other photographers. All the hotels were comfortable with great facilities and good fresh local food. All in all my time in Costa Rica was by far the most enjoyable and spectacular photographic experience I have had the pleasure to experience so far. Thank you Chameleon Photography and Natural Wonders Photography it was brilliant and I already look forward to returning to Costa Rica with you in future years.
Our tour of Costa Rica was simply amazing. We were greeted at San Jose airport by Jose who was our guide for the whole tour, ably assisted by Marlon our coach driver. We were so impressed with Jose’s management of our daily itinerary, changing and adjusting the schedule according to what birds and animals had been spotted in the locality. Nothing prepares your eyes for the magnificent landscape and the spectacular colours of the birds. Our wish list to see Quetzals, Toucans and Hummingbirds was soon achieved. The sightings and photographic opportunities just kept coming and coming. We were fortunate to have two sightings from hides of the magnificently ugly King Vultures. Our visit to Frog’s Heaven was wonderful. This is Jose’s business and one he is clearly passionate about. His young protégé Frank handled the frogs and snakes with great skill and his knowledge seemed endless. Thank you, Roy, for bringing your flash equipment which certainly enhanced our photos and for your support and encouragement with our photography. The BBQ, refreshments and meals with Jose’s family were delicious and much appreciated. Another highlight was our evening adventure with the bats. Again, we were outdoors in the dark with bats flying around our heads. Thankfully we managed to capture some shots of them feeding using the flash equipment. Sadly, our tour was soon over but we have come home with some fantastic memories and photographs. Thank you to Janette and Roy for organising such an amazing tour.
We had a fabulous trip to Costa Rica with Natural Wonders Photography and Roy and local guide Jose. We saw huge numbers of birds and were also able to photograph frogs, bats and snakes as well as the odd sloth in the tree tops. Using Roy’s professional flash gear, we had an excellent opportunity to take macro shots and fast moving action. The scenery was also stunning, we were also able to photograph the elusive Resplendent quetzal.
Well organised and very enjoyable.
Having done 2 workshops with Roy & Geoff, I cannot say enough about their love and dedication for the animals that they use in their workshops. Always putting the welfare of the animals first they still manage to give you such a diverse set of images to come away with using a seemingly endless supply of props to give you the best possible pictures. Geoff’s tireless interaction and effort with the animals to get them in the right poses with Roy giving you all the technical help you may need setting up your camera to get the best out of your day. A superb relaxed run macro workshop with great sandwiches for lunch and the follow up email with all the details about the animals used for the shoot.
The macro workshop was excellent, Roy and Geoff took great care to ensure we had all possible photo opportunities with varying settings and a wonderfully large choice of subjects. Every effort was made to ensure both photographers and subjects had a good day. Thank you.
What a wonderful day, already thinking about a revisit and what to try next. The set up Roy and Geoff constantly changed to allow us different angles, backgrounds, etc. made it easy and fun to try catching the beautiful creatures in different ways. I found the advice on initial setup of the camera very helpful and I learned more throughout the day. Can’t wait to go back – thanks to you both for a great time and some lovely photos.
Just spent a macro day with Janette, Roy and Geoff. Fantastic, Roy and Geoff are so knowledgeable about all the animals and take great care of them. You can tell by how they handle the creatures how much they care and the animals welfare comes first, as it should. Great advice given on the right settings in the camera to get the best shots. Took images of eighteen different species in total and came away with some great shots. Lovely lunch and a brilliant day that I would recommend to any wildlife and macro lovers!!
Thanks also to Janette who was able to drive me there and must have been well tired at the end of the day!!
Hi Roy, just wanted to say what a fantastic day! Many thanks to both yourself and Geoff for providing such a wonderful, relaxed atmosphere in which to take probably some of the best images I have ever taken. I also learned a lot about the various animals we used and also photography in general (particular using the grip for portrait mode!!) Many thanks.
I drove down from Scotland to spend a day with the guys at their macro workshop. From the moment I arrived I knew it would be fantastic. The studio set up is superb (I’m very envious!) all the animals are in fantastic condition and very well looked after. One could not meet two nicer people, I was made to feel so welcome as soon as I arrived and everything possible was done to cater for my needs. The day flew by in no time and I came away with over 900 images. I can say hand on heart they are among the best I have ever taken. The guys are so knowledgeable about the animals as well as photography I came away a better photographer than when I arrived. I can’t thank you both enough and I’m already making plans to come down again. Many, many thanks.
Hi Roy and Geoff, Many thanks for another great day of photography. I really had fun, learnt a lot and enjoyed the whole day. This was the second time I have undertaken one of your animal macro photography workshops and this one was even better than the first. I took just under 700 shots and now I am working my way through them and picking out the best from each species. I am sure I will have plenty to enter into upcoming club photographic competitions. Thanks to you and Geoff for making it the best day out and I look forward to booking another day sometime in the New Year.
Hi both, please accept my thanks for your great hospitality and another great workshop. I am sending one image of each species photographed in batches of 5 so as not to slow up your computers. There were so many images to choose from that it is very hard to pick any one favourite from each subject but hopefully these will find your approval. I have learnt so much from both of you which has enhanced the enjoyment of the day and I look forward to seeing you both again in the future.
Thank you both so much for a fantastic day, so many beautiful creatures to photograph, we learnt so much about them, where they come from and how to photograph them. They were all so well looked after and it was a privilege to be able to see them so close up. The time flew by and can’t wait to book another workshop! A very professional and relaxed day would highly recommend it to everyone.
Thank you so much to Roy and Will for an amazing 7th birthday party for my son. The children sat for over an hour totally engaged and engrossed in Will and the variety of reptiles he brought. Will was so interesting to listen to and taught the children so many interesting and exciting facts. They loved the hands on experience, especially the big snakes and shaking hands with a gecko! Will had a wonderful manner with the children and I would highly recommend him for a party.
I just wanted to say a huge thank-you to you and Geoff for yesterday. I had a fantastic day. I took 998 photos! I’ve downloaded to my iPad and got them on a slideshow as I just can’t stop looking at them. As promised, I’ll write up a review and send some photos in the next few days. Again, thanks a million for a fantastic day.
Anne Eckersley, Bracknell Camera Club
Thank you so much for yesterday, everybody has said how much they enjoyed it. It was brilliant and you two were fabulous too. Scarily a number of pictures seem to have already appeared on Facebook. I suspect you might be hearing from some of the others soon.
I entered the 2 pictures attached into round 3 of our Open PI competition. This is the first time I have had a chance to enter any of the images that I took on your photo day in January The judge booked didn’t come as he was ill, so the President of the RPS (Walter Benzie) came and stood in for him. Both my images scored 10. The spider image came first and he, after a lot of chatter held it back then when reviewing it again he gave it 10 commenting on how well it was constructed and could the photographer tell him how to take the picture as he had no clue and needed to know the secret. He thought I was taking it from under a piece of glass, like I was on my back. I am not sure how anyone would think that. The image of the Chameleon (Jimmy I think you called him) was also held back and was given a 9.5, but then he said that he needed to look again and changed his mind and gave it a 10, saying it was a really great shot. So I am very happy they top brass enjoyed my pictures and I have you and Geoff to thank again for all your help and instructions on the day. Looking forward to the 4th round in April to enter 2 more shots
They loved the Corn snake (SPA biennial exhibition). Judges selection. Ribbon. Bronze medal. Brilliant! The Panther Chameleon was commended too as a PDI.
Roy & Geoff worked tirelessly to provide us with incredible animals in their studio set up. The variety of subject creatures was amazing and the various colours made for the excellent results achieved. The studio provides everything from lighting, authentic looking props, turn-table, back-drops……the list goes on. Expert advice is available, particularly if you’re a Canon user. (both Roy & Geoff prefer Canon equipment). Thoroughly recommended.
Thanks for the umpteenth time for a fascinating day yesterday. The range of creatures was intriguing and the studio set up very professional. Your obvious enthusiasm and in depth knowledge was impressive, not only from a zoologist point of view but from a photographic point of view too. Thank you for working so hard for us enabling me to take home some super shots.
Thanks again for such a good workshop today. I have a lot of excellent images.
Just a note to thank you and Geoff for the interesting day on Saturday. I thoroughly enjoyed photographing the different species and learn more about them.
I just wanted to thank you and Geoff for the fantastic day yesterday taking photos of some amazing animals.
I had a really good time taking pictures and learnt a lot from the day.
Thank you both for a wonderful 1 to 1 workshop on Friday. The care you both took to ensure an old man had a good day was greatly appreciated. I love the way you handle your beautiful animals. I am putting the attached Panther Chameleon in our club competition on Wednesday and will let you know how it is judged. With grateful thanks, Leo
Thank you both for yesterday . An impressive set up, beautifully managed with care and attention to both the photographers and the animals. All most impressive, what a wonderful range of animals to photograph.
Just a short email to say thank you for a most enjoyable day yesterday. You and Geoff handled the animals so passionately and you were so patient with us to get the wanted shot, that I got some very nice ones !!
The kids had an excellent time, really. Will was great, and the variety of animals was amazing – the children were enthralled. Some of the parents watched, and we very impressed, so we will of course pass on your details.
I have to admit I was pretty tired last evening after the day’s activities. But I thoroughly enjoyed it all and learnt huge amounts. I have uploaded the images to the computer, had a look but it will take some time to process them. I don’t know if they are competition material but I am not bothered by that. I just like a lot of them.Thank you both for a superb day! The combination of both your skills and knowledge makes for a great team. In addition your complete dedication to our enjoyment, knowledge, skills and enjoyment of the day is fantastic. I am really impressed! I would certainly like to do another day, maybe with more insects or other animals. It was also a pleasure to meet your family.
Thank you for a most enjoyable day. It was very intensive photography throughout and I was impressed with the range of animals you had available for us to photograph and the obvious love and affection you had for them as they were often referred to as “sweetie”. I will let you know how the images get on in club competitions.
Thanks Roy and Geoff for a fantastic macro photography workshop @ Chameleon Photography with their marvellous collection of reptiles, insects, etc. Great value and 5 star recommendation!
Thanks for a great session today. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sandwiches were great as well.
Evie loved her mini-beast party with all her friends and I’m pleased to say no creatures escaped !!
What a fantastic mini beast party my daughter had! She had the best time ever.
She was made to feel very special and involved with each animal, and Geoff shared his great knowledge of the animals with each and everyone of us. Capturing the attention of 19x 6year olds is a difficult task but Geoff was fantastic and all the children seemed drawn in to the animal facts he shared!
Thanks again Geoff it was a party to remember, and I cant believe I actually held a tarantula!!!
Would highly recommend for a party that’s a little bit different!
Lisa Gillespie, Lakeside Nursery & Primary School
A HUGE thank you for helping to make our summer fayre a success…. The feedback I’m getting from people who came along is brilliant…. They just loved all the mini beasts and thought u guys were fantastic.
I’d like to say a big thank you to Geoff and Roy for my sons mini beast party. We had children between 3-7yrs and they were all kept engaged and had lots of fun. Roy and Geoff brought a good variety of animals and were very knowledgeable. My son got to hold each animal first and was made to feel special.
He and his friends had a great time and we have some brilliant photos too. A great idea for something a bit different, highly recommended!
Many thanks to Roy and Geoff for a fabulous day, I enjoyed it so much I just had to do a second day to try and photograph Geoff’s new little pets!
What an experience the macro day was! Such a wealth of photographic and animal knowledge between you both, made it all the more interesting. The variety of species available to photograph was well thought out and even though I am very scared of spiders I felt pleased with the shots I was able to get of them.
I would definitely recommend this workshop to other people. Thanks once again for a very enjoyable day.
Thank you both for such a wonderful day yesterday. It was so well organised and you took great care that we all got the shots we wanted. The wildlife was incredible – they were varied and interesting and you displayed them beautifully. Each animal was in perfect condition and you both showed a real passion and knowledge. You were also very helpful in getting our camera settings correct and it seemed nothing was too much trouble. It was a very relaxed and informative day and I came home with some wonderful photographs. In fact I uploaded them to the pc as soon as I got back and they are brilliant. I wish you the greatest success in this venture as it is a wonderful format and I would recommend it to anyone – beginner or professional alike. Where else can you get so many beautiful creatures, properly displayed, in a day’s shooting? If you would like to give anyone interested in your workshop my phone number I can always chat them through it and would, of course, heartily recommend they go. Thanks again to both of you – it really was a super day.