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NatureScapes Photography Workshops - Instructors
Our Instructors

Greg Basco

Greg Basco lives and works in Costa Rica where he photographs the rainforest. His photos have been awarded in both the Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition and the Nature's Best Windland Smith Rice Competition (most recently winning the Art in Nature category in the latter). He is co-author of the popular e-book The Guide to Tropical Nature Photography and recently finished a coffee table book titled National Parks of Costa Rica. He is co-founder of a new conservation photography organization called The Tropical Conservation Photography Group which will work to provide photographic support for local and national conservation and sustainable development efforts in Costa Rica. When he is not out photographing, he leads photo workshops in Latin America, including a number of popular Costa Rica tours through NatureScapes. You can see more of Greg's work on his website at

Piper Mackay

Piper Mackay is a freelance cultural documentary and wildlife photographer. Her work is heavily concentrated on the African continent, a land she fell in love with when she first touched foot on its rich red soil. Her passion for the natural world has grown into a lifelong commitment to inspire others to explore, respect and preserve the beauty of our fragile planet.

Her work is licensed through Getty Images. Her images have been displayed at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington DC, The Museum of History and industry in Seattle Washington, The Art Wolfe gallery, as well as local galleries in the Los Angeles area. Featured articles of her work have been displayed in major publications such as Rangefinder, Nature Photographer, and Selamta, as well as several regional publications. Her images have graced the pages of National Geographic, Nature's Best, WWF calendars, and many other publications. She also leads tours to Africa.

Bret Edge

Bret Edge is a nature and adventure photographer in Moab, Utah. His interest in photography evolved as an extension of his life long passion for the outdoors. He is an avid hiker, backpacker, mountain biker and canyoneer. A visit in 1999 to an exhibit featuring photographs by Ansel Adams, Jack Dykinga and David Muench stoked Bret's creative fire such that he immediately purchased his first SLR camera, a Canon Rebel. In the years since, he has traveled extensively throughout the American West creating a diverse portfolio of dynamic images.

Bret's work has appeared in magazines, calendars, travel guides and advertising campaigns. His clients include Backpacker magazine, Popular Photography, the Utah Office of Tourism, Charles Schwab & Co. and Jackson Hole Mountain Guides.

While Bret enjoys seeing his work in print, he receives the most satisfaction by helping others realize their potential as photographers. He accomplishes this by leading several group workshops each year and guiding photographers on private photo excursions. For information about his workshops and guided excursions, visit To view a collection of Bret's images, visit

Bret lives in Moab with his wife, Melissa, their son Jackson, and two All-Terrain Pugs named Bierstadt and Petunia.

Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson

Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson, is a leading authority on the birds of Iceland and one of the country’s most experienced bird photographers. He has written numerous articles on birds in books, magazines and papers and is the author of the bestselling book Icelandic Bird Guide, a photographic guide which has been sold in almost 40,000 copies. Jóhann Óli has held many courses, lectures and exhibitions and his photographs has been published around the world in books, magazines, on stamps, bank notes, etc.

Tom Whelan

Tom Whelan is an award-winning nature photographer and naturalist who specializes in close-up photography of plants and insects, portraits of wildlife, and intimate landscapes. His images range from abstracts of natural designs, to butterfly portraits, high magnification images of ice crystals, floral abstracts, and forest and waterfall scenes. He is a member of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, the North American Butterfly Association, and the Massachusetts Butterfly Club. His clients include the City of Aspen, Colorado, Trent University (Ontario), the North American Butterfly Association, the Boston Museum of Science, and others. Tom's photographs have won awards in competitions sponsored by the National Wildlife Foundation and the North American Butterfly Association. Visit his website at: or his blog at

Jason Hatfield

Jason J. Hatfield is a professional nature photographer living in Denver, Colorado with his wife Megan. He specializes in landscape photography of the American West, nightscapes and Adobe Lightroom education. An Ohio native, Jason developed his passion for photography through his family's many camping trips to the west. A constant explorer at heart he's spent the past 6 years travelling extensively around the western states and Canada. His other interests include trail running, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and skiing. Jason's work has been displayed in magazines, newspapers, advertisements, galleries and museums; he also travels to select art shows in the Southwest. Jason published a popular eBook on one of his favorite subjects titled "Colorado's Fall Colors—A Photographer's Guide."

Jason's vision is to share the beauty of nature through his art, to reveal all that is breathtaking and beautiful, astonishing and different. "Whether it's a place often visited or not at all, I want others to see the world as I have, to motivate them to see it for themselves and protect our wilderness. The best way to do that is by sharing my knowledge and passion for photography through education and wilderness conservation."

To learn more about Jason and his work please visit his website at

Steve Metildi

Steve has lived his entire life in southern California where he has been an avid wildlife photographer since his late teens. He spends most of his time pursuing large mammals and birds in optimal photographic locations and staying current in all technical aspects of nature photography. As much as he is passionate about the latest gear and techniques, Steve is most interested in wildlife conservation and thoroughly understanding animal behavior prior to setting out to photograph a species.

The majority of the time Steve photographs along the diverse coastline, desert, and mountains near his home in southern California and has assembled an extensive portfolio of western birds and mammals. Steve's highest interest though is reserved for traveling the world to capture intimate portraits and environmental photos of the world's great predators and primate species. In the past few years this has led him to the Alaskan and Canadian Arctic, the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, the Canadian Rockies, Iceland, Brazil, Ecuador, Rwanda, and Tanzania. Steve thrives on meeting others with these same interests and in teaching others his techniques and photographic vision.

Check out Steve's work at

Nikhil Bahl

Nikhil Bahl is a professional photographer, educator, author, lecturer and workshop instructor. He currently resides in Montgomery Village, Maryland (U.S.A.). His goal is to inspire people to appreciate the splendor of nature by transforming the mundane into the exciting through contemplative and artistic interpretation. While his primary aim is to create art with his photographs, he also strives to document the natural world with an eye toward conservation and education. This has led him to volunteer his time and photography skills with the National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Nikhil's work has been published in a number of print and electronic media. His fine art prints have been widely exhibited in the Washington metropolitan area, and are part of many private collections. Nikhil leads several nature photography workshops and tours in the United States. His instruction is focused on in-camera interpretation and developing personal vision, rather than simply following the traditional rules of photography.

Check out Nikhil's work at

Iain Campbell

Iain started his life in Australia as a fanatical birder. He ended his career as a geochemist in West Africa when he decided that watching birds was indeed far more important than gold. He moved to Ecuador, started Tandayapa Bird Lodge and Tropical Birding and spent his time guiding people around the world. Few years ago listing species started to wear thin and he became more interested in chasing down individual rare species and getting photographs of them. He now guides bird and wildlife photographers around the world to shoot the world’s coolest species.

Greg Downing

Greg has been traveling the world teaching professional and amateur photographers for more than 15 years hosting his instructional workshops and seminars. Instructing photographers of all experience levels Greg has earned a reputation for his gracious and generous teaching style.

Greg's images are known for their unique style, exacting composition and strict attention to detail. As an internationally recognized photographer, his numerous publishing credits include books, advertising campaigns and editorial publications such as Birding Magazine, Outdoor Photographer Magazine, Birder's World, National Geographic and many others. Especially passionate about birds, his images can also be found in printed form in several Wildbird Centers on the east coast, as well as appearing in private art exhibitions.

In 2003 Greg founded with E.J. Peiker and Heather Forcier. Today Greg is the Publisher, President and sole owner of the company and oversees all operations from his home base in Parkton, Maryland.

As Greg travels the world taking pictures he enjoys meeting others, teaching and sharing his passion while making new lifelong friends in the process.

To see more of Greg's work visit his website at

Alan Murphy

Alan Murphy, an award winning photographer, grew up in England and is an avid birder. Upon immigrating to the States Alan picked up a camera and began pursuing his vision of how birds should be photographed. Alan has developed a style that is very recognizable with stunning portraits of birds on beautiful perches. Alan turned a full time professional bird photographer a few years ago and is now in demand to speak at festivals, conferences and photography clubs around the nation. Alan is the Author of an ebook called "Alan Murphy's Guide to Songbird Set-up Photography" which has sold thousands of copies and has helped many photographers learn how to take better photographs of birds.

Alan teaches his techniques around the nation through his highly successful in-the-field workshops with small groups. If Alan is not in the field taking images, then he is busy submitting images to many magazines. His published credits include National Geographic, Birders World, Wildbird, Birding, and many more.

Visit Alan's web site at

E.J. Peiker

E.J. was born in 1960 in Augsburg, Germany and moved to Ohio in 1969. He attended Purdue University and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering and completed graduate studies in Microelectronics and Semiconductor Physics. After working for the Intel Corporation for 27 years, he is now retired from the electronics industry and is a professional freelance photographer. E.J. and has formally studied photography at the University of New Mexico and completed courses from The Rocky Mountain School of Photography. E.J. has two sons, and has lived in Chandler, Arizona since 1994. A photographic specialty is artistic images of ducks and E.J. has published the book Ducks of North America - The Photographer's Guide. E.J. is also prolific in landscape photography, his first photographic love. E.J.'s photographs have been published worldwide in books, advertising, magazines, billboards, murals and more. Some of his publishers and clients include The National Geographic Society, World Wildlife Fund, The United States National Parks Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the United States Navy, State Parks Arizona, Barrons, and Dorling Kindersley. New Zealand Post honored E.J. by making one of his penguin images the primary image for their 2014 Commemorative Antarctica Ross Dependency Stamp set. He has also been named one of the top 100 Wildlife Photographers in the world by Eastern Europe's Digital Photographer Magazine. Visit his website at:

Workshop Testimonials
Nikhil was very generous with his time and his considerable expertise. I could not have imagined a more dedicated, conscientious, knowledgeable, and personable photographic guide.
Martha M.
The Best of Southwest Florida
Being in Amboseli National Park, Kenya with Piper Mackay was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. She knows the area, the behavior of the animals and is a pro at directing the driver to get in position for that perfect head-on shot. I came home with priceless images and memories!
Laurie Rubin, Nik Software
The Best of Kenya, Africa
The reality of our experience with Greg Downing during the Ultimate Africa Experience workshop FAR EXCEEDED our expectations. We chose NatureScapes because of Greg. Based on our past interactions with him at conferences as well as a previous trip, we knew this trip would be well organized and that we would enjoy spending time with and learning from Greg. The itinerary that Greg designed certainly was “the ultimate African safari”. His photographic support was invaluable in making MANY high quality images. Both our driver/guide, Ellson, and the other driver-guide, Thomson, were also primary reasons why the trip was so enjoyable and successful; they were extremely knowledgeable and genuinely cared about providing us with the best safari possible. We were surprised at the opportunities to closely view and photograph an enormous number and wide variety of wild animals in their natural environment—many times with no one else around us for long periods of time. Ellson was especially patient and accommodating with our interest in seeing a variety of birds as well as the spectacular mammals. We thought of this as a “once in a lifetime trip”. Now, we are saving up for another African safari, hopefully with NatureScapes—it was THAT AMAZING!
Debora and Paul Novak
Ultimate Africa Experience
The locations like Látrabjarg, Flatey and Floi were beyond my expectations as a birder, as was the simply stunning scenery at every turn. But apart from the natural wonders, it was also fantastic to meet such a great group of like minded people.
Whayne P.
Ultimate Iceland Adventure
My first trip to Africa, and I am so glad we were able to experience it with Greg at the helm. The itinerary was good. We were able to see diverse habitat and animals, of which there were plenty! Greg is very good at showing me what to take photos of, especially guiding me to try more artistic shots as well. I found that exciting! Also, getting the habitat in the photo, not just concentrating on the animals filling the frame. I was so happy when Greg helped me! It got me excited about trying new ways to see and photograph my surroundings, because there were many times I experienced "sensory overload" with animals everywhere! What to photograph? Vast landscapes as far as the eye can see... how to capture that? Greg helped me. And he has a very calm and easy manner. In a nutshell, he's a very good instructor. And he was very knowledgeable of the area. He knew where to go and we kept going. At a good pace, I think. So overall, I can say it was fantastic! Thanks Greg!
Lorelei M.
Ultimate Africa Experience - Tanzania
It was great to have Greg as a mentor. He is very forthcoming and does not mind sharing inside info on how to, camera settings, use of equipment and in general to get the most out of what is important at that moment. I will for sure take many more workshops with him.
Carlotta G.
Loons and More - Kamloops, BC