• DATE:  Nov 1-13, 2024 - NOW BOOKING
  • MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE: 8 Photographers (4 min)
  • FROM: San Jose, Costa Rica
  • WORKSHOP LEADERS: Glenn Bartley & Greg Basco




The Central American country of Costa Rica is world famous for its coffee, as a surfing destination, and above all else for its astonishing diversity of wildlife and scenic beauty. The country is home to over 9000 species of flowering plants, over 600 species of butterflies, more than 200 different mammals as well as prehistoric looking reptiles and boldly colored amphibians. And, for those of you interested in photographing birds there are few better places on earth. With over 875 species Costa Rica is home to more avian species than Canada and the United States combined. Opportunities for landscape photography are equally diverse with mountains, beaches, volcanoes, tropical forests, waterfalls and much, much more. What more could a nature photographer ask for?


Our Photo Adventure starts In Costa Rica's capital city of San Jose. We will meet at our charming hotel and after a first evening of getting to know each other head off first thing the following morning into the Costa Rican rainforest.

Our first destination takes us to the Atlantic lowland rainforest in the north part of Costa Rica. At this site we Greg has worked to set up a feeder that offers unparalleled opportunities to photograph keel-billed toucans, chestnut-mandibled toucans, and brown-hooded parrots among many other birds. We arrive at the lodge for lunch and set in immediately to photograph at the feeders! This evening, Greg and Glenn will give a presentation on fill-flash for bird and wildlife photography.During our time at this first lodge we will divide our time at the lodge photographing toucans, parrots, king vultures, honeycreepers, and hummingbirds – tropical bird photography doesn't get any better!! And at night, we have a special treat – bat photography with multiple flashes!

Our second destination is in the Arenal Volcano area. Though currently experiencing a lull in activity, until recently Arenal had been the country's most active volcano, with continuous emissions of lava and incandescent pyroclastic flows since the beginning of the recent active cycle in 1968. On clear nights, the views of incandescent avalanches can be breathtaking. Hopefully it will become more active again soon but that, of course, is beyond our control. En route to Arenal, we stop for lunch and then a private nature reserve to photograph caimans, boat-billed heron, and butterflies, among other possible subjects. We arrive at our lodge in the afternoon and, after check-in, photograph the sunset over Lake Arenal. Over the next few days we will have ample time to roam the hotel grounds in search of wildlife to photograph, including monkeys, crested guan, and collared aracaris. We also will take time to photograph the numerous Montezuma oropendolas at the lodge feeders. During one day in Arenal we will visit a nearby spot with an amazing collection of frogs, snakes, and lizards. This place is run by one of Greg's friends, and the staff there will help us to photograph these colorful animals on natural stages that we will set up on site. This is a great opportunity to photograph a number of species that are very difficult to find in the wild and also to continue our work on creative lighting for pleasing macro images.

Our third destination is in the higher cloud forests of the northern Central Volcanic Mountain Range. Our lodge is located in one of the most biodiverse areas of the country, nestled in a picturesque valley at approximately 4,500 feet above sea level. With its rushing mountain streams, cool air, and orchid and moss-festooned trees, the area is akin to a tropical Colorado. En route, we stop at a local farm to photograph free-flying great green and scarlet macaws that inhabit the owner's large farm property. Once we arrive at our lodge we can photograph tanagers and black guans or explore the cloud forest for macro and landscape photos. The next day we will set in immediately to begin photographing hummingbirds at our multi-flash setups right on the lodge grounds. We will concentrate on the violet sabrewing (Costa Rica’s largest species), green hermit, purple-throated mountain gem, and green-crowned brilliant. We will run the setups and provide attractive native flowers to ensure that you capture some fantastic hummingbird images. On our third day here we will visit a nearby waterfall, which is 110 meters high and offers beautiful photographic opportunities of the waterfall itself and the surrounding cloud forest. There are some absolutely world-class landscape and lush tropical foliage images to be made here. In addition, we have permission to set up our multiple-flash here to take advantage of some very interesting small hummingbird species such as black-bellied hummingbird, coppery-headed emerald, and green thorntail. We'll shoot throughout the day, alternating our time between the setups, perched hummingbirds, and landscape photography.

Our NEW final location is on the Central Pacific Coast. We chose to add inthis relaxing and productive final stop for two nights where we can focus on mainly opportunities on the Tarcoles River. We'll have access to an awesome boat and will go out cruising the river several times to photograph waders, kingfishers, crocodiles and whatever else is flying around. It'll be super fun!

After more morning photography around the lodge grounds and feeders, we have lunch and then pack up and leave for San José. En route, we stop at Greg B's hometown for some HDR photography of the beautiful church and park. We arrive at our hotel in the late afternoon, we have a bit of time to relax and photograph in the fantastic hotel gardens before enjoying a farewell dinner at the hotel. Again, our hotel offers free wireless Internet throughout the grounds and in the rooms and also offers some great macro and nice bird photo opportunities for those departing later the following day.

It will be an action packed 10 days of tropical set up photography. You dont want to miss this one...


On these photo workshops we will focus on the following opportunities:

Multi-flash Hummingbird Photography: Learn techniques to use 4-6 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).

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!

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 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.

Macro photography of tropical insects and frogs: At each of our locations there will also be opportunities to find and photograph an amazing diversity of colourful frogs, butterflies and insects.

Spectacular landscape photography: The rainforests of Costa Rica are spectacular places and the opportunities for landscape photography are superb. We will also keep our fingers crossed for a clear day up in the mountains where we may be able to create beautiful mountain images.

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:

  • Chestnut-mandibled and Keel-billed Toucans
  • Collared Aracari
  • Montezuma's Oropendola
  • Trogons
  • Hummingbirds at multi-flash
  • Red-legged Honeycreeper
  • A variety of colourful tanagers
  • Scarlet Macaw
  • And much, much more!


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

  • How to use multiple flashes to achieve natural looking photos of hummingbirds and other birds
  • 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
  • Techniques for macro photography of tropical insects, butterflies and frogs
  • How to place your subject in the frame and get beautiful backgrounds
  • Image workflow and digital processing that will ensure your images are the best that they can possibly be


  • 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.


  • This is a very relaxed trip.
  • All of the shooting is done near the lodges.


This workshop/tour is limited to 8 photographers to ensure the best photographic opportunities and instruction possible. Note that there will be 2 instructors to ensure lots of personalized attention.


  • The cost of this photo workshop is USD $7995 USD / 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 $650.
  • 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 morning of the tour to departure day
  • Land transportation during workshop
  • Airport transfers to hotel
  • Bottled water for the duration of the workshop

Price does not include:

  • International airfare to place of tour origin
  • Any additional nights accommodation outside of the tour dates
  • Meals while in San Jose at the arrival hotel (arrival night)
  • 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 $2000 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve a space on this tour.  The balance of the payment is due before July 1, 2024.

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 or two (if you have more than one)


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 $2000 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.
  • 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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