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Our Instructors

Greg Basco

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 www.DeepGreenPhotography.com.

Pablo Cervantes

Pablo Cervantes

Pablo came to work as a guide and photographer by accident; this die-hard city-loving engineer helped Tandayapa Bird Lodge in the mountains of Ecuador for a week and suddenly realized there was far more to life than Quito nightlife. He became hooked on bird photography and quickly started guiding professional photographers and helping with photography workshops. He now guides trips around Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Madagascar, South Africa, Costa Rica, and Australia. He is currently working on several new photo field guides for birds and wildlife of Ecuador. He also now manages the Tandayapa Bird Lodge. You can find him tinkering with new techniques for photographing hummingbirds and other birds around the lodge.

Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson

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, and more.

Tom Whelan

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: www.WhelanPhoto.com or his blog at tomwhelan.wordpress.com.

Nikhil Bahl

Nikhil Bahl

Nikhil Bahl is a full time professional photographer, author, educator, workshop instructor and environmentalist residing in the Washington D.C. area. Drawing inspiration from nature, Nikhil adopts novel approaches and seeks meaningful interpretations: to create photographs that transcend the commonplace, reflect deeper insights, and convey an enchantment of the subject's beauty.

An offshoot of Nikhil’s fine art photography and love of nature is his documentation of wildlife behaviors and habitats. As a volunteer with the National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, his goal is to portray environmental stories with an artistic appeal, so his photographs educate and motivate about the imperative of conservation.

Each year Nikhil leads several photography tours and instructional workshops in the United States and abroad. His teaching encourages participants to advance beyond ordinary photos and develop their own style and vision. Nikhil is a regular speaker at photography clubs, expos and industry events. He authored the acclaimed eBook, Creative Interpretations and writes articles on the creative and technical aspects of photography.

Nikhil’s work has been published in a number of print and electronic media and his fine art prints have been widely exhibited in the Washington metropolitan area, and are part of many private collections.

See more of Nikhil’s work at www.NikhilBahl.com.

Iain Campbell

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. A 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.

Carl Donohue

Carl Donohue

“I’m a wilderness advocate, and consider my photography a critical part of that journey. I'm also a fan of the creative process, of creating, of the experience of making art, which reflects the wildness within our selves; is creating art in the external wilderness perhaps a perfect union? When possible, I write, photograph, hike, camp and dally in the places I love; when I can’t, I imagine I’m writing, photographing, hiking, camping and dallying in the places I love,” says Carl Donohue. “The lessons I learn in the wilderness are some of the most valuable experiences in my life, and for each of them, I’m grateful. I’m currently working on a book on Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park, Alaska, which grants me time in some absolutely amazing places. What a world!” And, says Carl, “For better living, visit the wild.”

Chuck Keim

Chuck Keim

Chuck Keim has been running his charter business for 20 years now, and there’s simply no one in the business with anywhere close to his experience. He’s the person so many of the world’s foremost wildlife photographers and filmmakers and researchers turn to when they need great brown bear photography. Chuck’s absolutely “the guy”.

Jan Post

Jan Post

Jan was born in 1972 in Hoorn, a small town near the west coast of the Netherlands. Growing up in that part in of Holland means sailing, surfing, or cycling, which are still some of Jan’s favorite activities today. During his studies in Amsterdam and having trouble to find the right study, he discovered a passion for gastronomy and worked as a chef in various high-end restaurants. The call of nature took him eventually to the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea while crewing private sailing yachts as a chef and mate. On the yachts he picked up an interest for scuba diving and became a dive instructor. It was not until much later that he ended up in the Galápagos Islands and never left.

Jan has worked for ten years on yachts throughout the Galápagos as a naturalist guide both underwater and on land. What he likes most about being a naturalist is you never stop learning and thus wondering. He is very interested in zoology, oceanography, geology, and biogeography. Ecuador, with its biodiversity, active volcanoes, and many cultures, is a fantastic base for a naturalist and Jan is confident that it will spark many more fields of interest in years to come.

At home you will find Jan baking bread or pastry with one of his daughters, in his garden, or on one of his surfboards trying to catch a wave.

Paulo Valerio

Paulo Valerio

Paulo Valerio is an amateur nature and outdoor photographer, very interested in macro and wildlife. He has also started working in other areas of photography, such as landscape, black and white, and studio. He is also an avid birdwatcher. Paulo’s photos have been published in Outdoor Photographer and other magazines.

Costa Rican born and raised, Paulo graduated as a tropical ecologist from the Biology School of the National University, where he also worked in the Soil and Hydrology Lab. During his graduate studies, he specialized in the development of sampling and research methods for high-flying bats in the rainforest canopy. Involved with ecotourism since 1992, Paulo has worked as a naturalist guide and field instructor for several companies, and developed and directed field study programs for the National Learning Institute (INA) in Costa Rica and universities in the United States, including Nassau Community College in New York, Pepperdine University in California (where he was an associate professor), and Auburn University in Alabama.

He has taught tropical ecology courses and workshops at the One Earth One People international events, organized by the Woodleaf Outdoor School and Foundation in California, and lectured at several events, such as NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) conventions and bird festivals in the U.S. Lately, Paulo has been collaborating in group leader training and customer service, not only in Costa Rica, but with leaders from other Latin American countries, including Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Argentina. Paulo has combined his travels with his photography and also decided to pursue a long time interest and passion by earning his PhD in traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture.

To see more of Paulo’s work, visit his website at www.ArtNaturePhoto.com.

José López

José López

My name is José López and I’m Costa Rican. I was born on August 31, 1967, in a small agricultural town called Grecia, located 45 kilometers northwest of San José, the capital.

I’ve been involved in the tourism industry for more than 20 years. 10 years ago I was given the opportunity to become the driver of a photography tour. This was a great opportunity for me to learn more about a hobby that had become a passion. Thanks to the kindness of many master photographers who devoted part of their valuable time to train me as a nature photographer, I learned the specifics of working in tropical areas. During this long journey, my teachers also guided me through the different types of photography, techniques, and technologies. Through the years I’ve had the opportunity to work with a long list of photographers who have contributed more and more to my knowledge—so many that I don’t dare to mention them all.

See more of José’s work on his website at naturephotographycr.smugmug.com.

Greg Downing

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 www.NatureScapes.net 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 www.GDPhotography.com.

Alan Murphy

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 www.AlanMurphyPhotography.com.

E.J. Peiker

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, U.S. 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: www.EJPhoto.com.

Workshop Testimonials
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The Ultimate Falklands workshop offered the best combination of location, timing, and leadership that I've experienced to date. Greg worked tirelessly to see that all details were perfect and to offer guidance to all participants regardless of ability level. He was always alert to those small details that make a big difference.
Paul S.
Ultimate Falklands - Falkland Islands
I had high expectations when I signed up for the workshop, based on NatureScapes' sponsorship and Nikhil's photographs and eBook. Those high expectations were fully met. Each outing was well planned, with adequate time allowed for hiking to alternate locations when footprints went farther out than hoped. All the locations were superb. Nikhil's coaching has me looking for balance and seeing layers everywhere I look.

White Sands is a dazzling, unique area, and Nikhil took us to spectacular locations within the park. His teaching method of illustrating a composition or technique and then encouraging each of us with our own compositions, while pointing out the details we need to take care with to make our photos better, works really well for me.

We also had a terrific group of people. It was so much fun to meet new people, get to know them a bit, and see their photos. Where else can you meet other people who think it's fun to hike 2 miles in the dark when it's 12F?
Christopher S.
White Sands National Monument Photography Workshop - New Mexico
I have been a photographer for over 50 years. I never want to stop learning, and this workshop was a great learning opportunity. Multi-flash technique is an amazing way to freeze even the fastest hummingbird motion. Greg is a great instructor who made this technique come alive. I highly recommend this workshop.
Marc B.
Hummingbirds and More - Ecuador
I especially enjoyed the shoots, of course the loons, but also the opportunity to see and photograph birds I don't normally see: Ruddy Duck, Red-Naped Sapsucker, Mountain Bluebird, Stellar Jay, and Evening Grosbeak. Greg and Alan, you do a superb job of teaching—not just getting us to a shooting position, but teaching as we go. Thank you.
Julie J.
Loons and More - Kamloops, BC
Nikhil is a great person in general and in my eyes a very good instructor. In the field he made sure to work with each individual on whatever settings or techniques they were having issues with but also didn't give a lot more time to any one person. His critiques were done to honestly better our work and not to find fault.
Neil N.
Springtime at Chincoteague Island - Virginia
Nikhil was very attentive and helpful to me in working on composition and shooting technique. I found his image review and Lightroom sessions invaluable. This was the best photography workshop experience that I have had. In addition to the photographic opportunities, I particularly enjoyed the classroom sessions. I found Nikhil's critique and comments on composition very helpful. The post-processing sessions were of great value to me as a novice.
Stephen W.
California Coast - Big Sur and Monterey Bay