For thirteen days we aim our lenses at two completely different magical locations: the western Andean cloud forest of Mindo, and Yasuni National Park in the Amazon basin. From hummingbirds, toucans and glass frogs, to caimans, monkeys, and sloths – we immerse ourselves in ‘seeing.’ Not only will we make pictures of an array of flora and fauna, but we will begin to understand the threats and conservation issues that surround them; working to tell these stories through imagery. Alongside biologists and scientists, student photographers will learn about their work, and also meet the indigenous communities who call these areas home; those who understand what it means to preserve their natural heritage in order to ensure their own cultural survival.
Our days will be filled with capturing the components of a conservation story: from message-centric storytelling images, to technical portraits using flash; editing, talks from top scientists in Ecuador, to spending “a day in the life” of an indigenous community – each day we will build our stories, and learn how to create a message which can be used to raise awareness, and ultimately help save a species, or a land, or a culture.
We hope that you will join us on this wonderfully exciting adventure! See you in the jungle!!
Mindo, Northwest Cloudforests, 5 nights
The Mindo region; a stunning cloud forest on the Northwest side of the Andes.
The Septimo Paraiso Cloud Forest Reserve is a private protected area known for its bird diversity, its incredible reptile and amphibian populations and a variety of ecosystems; it is also home to pumas, spectacled bears, two-toed sloths and Andean coatis-just to name a few. Local guides and instructors will lead day and night hikes to find and photograph the wildlife.
It is here we begin our first photo story. Working alongside scientists and authors who are doing work to document and discover new species, we begin to make images of their roles, and their work in the environment.
Yasuni National park, Amazon Basin, 5 nights
Having warmed up our shutter fingers in Mindo, we hit the ground running and turn our lenses to giant river otters, parrot clay licks, hoatzins and howler monkeys, and an entire macro world of insect species.
Yasuni National Park, one of the most biologically diverse places on the earth, becomes our home for the next few nights. This place is a successful eco-tourism project where the local indigenous community has invested in an environmentally sound system offering some of the best eco-friendly tourism in South America.
We have been offered the unique opportunity to get to know and photograph the local indigenous community. We have been invited to visit their village, and experience “a day in the life of” their world. Our photo stories will continue here, documenting the relationship of a culture, to its environment.