Conservation Photography Workshop

 A collaboration by:

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Join Seedlight Workshops and environmental documentarian Bridget Besaw, in collaboration with Leica for a weeklong course documenting the preservation and stewardship of the Aysén region of Patagonia. This workshop partners with Patagonia Sur Foundation, whose objective is to support and promote social and economic development in Chilean Patagonia, in concert with the protection and conservation of the region’s natural resources.

This workshop is part of a larger offering of Seedlight Workshops Climate Change Photo Workshop series. Although Chile is a low carbon emitter, responsible for only 0.24% of total global emissions, it is nonetheless vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. Changes in temperature, glacial retreat, shifts in rainfall patterns, drought, expanding deserts will all impact the interplay between Chile’s economic development and natural environment including: water availability, food security, land use, land-use change and forestry.

Bridget’s work visually illustrates ecological issues in Patagonia, making powerful statements that help us steward the environment.
Photographic opportunities include all aspects of the story of the Patagonia landscape and the conservation of this region:
  • Capture the outdoor adventure aspect of wild-land preservation while horseback riding, hiking, river floating, mountain biking, bird watching and fishing.
  • Cultural coverage of the foundation’s community projects in traditional arts, sustainable ranching, and organic agriculture initiatives.
  • Conservation through the lens of science as we visit the Patagonia Sur reforestation and climate change research sites.
This workshop is designed for both professional and amateur photographers with an interest in travel photography as well as environmental issues.
Also, if a friend, spouse, or partner would like to accompany you, and they are not interested in participating in the photography workshop, they may instead avail themselves of the range and depth of professionally guided outdoor activities Patagonia Sur has to offer, including fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, river rafting, flora and fauna expeditions, and mountain biking.
March 23-30, 2013 (Saturday to Saturday)
Patagonia Sur’s Valle California and Melimoyu sites will serve as home base for participants. Please click here to view photos of accommodations and amenities for Valle California's La Estrella Ranch and Melimoyu's Casa Bahía.

Valle California is framed by snow-capped mountains and encompasses more than 10 miles of the El Tigre River. The greater environ is surrounded by crystalline mountain lakes and neighbors the 118,000-acre Lago Palena National Reserve.

Melimoyu lies at the nexus of the southern edge of the Valdivian temperate rain forest and the northern edge of the sub-Antarctic rainforest. This one-of-a-kind ecosystem is home to a combination of species not found anywhere else on Earth. Equally unparalleled is the area’s marine life: blue whales congregate just off the coast to feed after delivering their young, while dolphins, penguins, seals, and sea lions illustrate Melimoyu's extraordinary diverse marine environment.

From these inspiring settings, workshop participants learn documentary field techniques and put them into practice while creating a portfolio of imagery that tells the important story of the conservation of this vast, pristine, wilderness region—one of the last of its kind in the world. The end result is a portfolio of imagery that participants can be proud of on a multitude of levels.

  • The all-inclusive rate for this 8-day | 7-night workshop is $7,725 per person, in double occupancy.*
  • Trip price includes:
    - Workshop instruction and guidance
    - Use of Leica camera and lenses
    - 8 days and 7 nights' accommodations (in double occupancy)
    - Round-trip charter flights between Puerto Montt, Chile (PMC) and the workshop locations
    - All meals, beverages, and snacks
    - Guided daily activities integral to the workshop.  Excursions led by Patagonia Sur's highly trained, bilingual Expedition Team
    - Complimentary laundry services.
  • Group size is limited to 12 maximum
  • Trip price does not include:
    -  Round-trip transportation from your city of origin to Puerto Montt, Chile
    -  Hotel accommodations outside of your stay with Patagonia Sur
    -  Entry and exit fees
    -  Transit and personal expenses.
*(Please note: If you are traveling unaccompanied and would like the double occupancy rate of $7,725, we will pair you with a same gender workshop participant roommate. If you would prefer private accommodations, the rate for single occupancy is $9,825).

SAMPLE ITINERARY (subject to change, based on weather and participant interest)
Monday, March 25, 2013
Morning class: Conservation Photography
How this unique visual storytelling approach plays a vital role in conservation efforts. Project research, planning and shoot preparation.

Afternoon photo assignments:
 Preserving Wilderness Adventure OR Discovering Serenity in Nature.

Tell the story of how people are enriched by this beautiful place while horseback riding, river floating, fly-fishing, mountain biking, kayaking, or hiking in the Patagonia Sur Nature Reserve.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Morning class: Photographing Science
Understanding the science behind conservation so you can photograph it well. Learn how compelling images of science-in-action encourage people to invest in nature.

Afternoon photo assignment: Communicating Carbon
Tour the Patagonia Sur Valle California Reforestation & Biodiversity research site to photograph a healing relationship between science and nature.  We illustrate the story of how trees planted in Patagonia will benefit generations to come all around the planet.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Morning class: People in nature
Why imagery of the human relationship to protected places is vital to sustainable conservation. 

Afternoon photo assignments: 
Sustainable Agriculture, Traditional Arts or Conservation Education.

Spend the day photographing activities in the nearby village of Palena where the Patagonia Sur Foundation is working with residents to support conservation initiatives and promote economic and social development.

For questions or more information, please email

To register, please visit:  The Leica Akademie

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