Wildlife photographers have their secrets–they must combine the technical knowledge of photography with the photographer’s skills as a hunter. We must know our camera in depth and skillfully maximize its capacity to capture animals in all situations. At the same time the photographer’s artistry must be present to achieve a wildlife scene with beauty and harmony using reflections, backlighting or the elegance of a bird in flight during sunset.
As wildlife photographers we also spend hours in nature, immersed in unique landscapes, often with fantastic light. That is why it is equally important to also know how to set up your cameras for landscape photography so as to be able to take advantage of these situations.
Do you love taking photographs of animals or birds? Would you love to learn more or to sharpen your skills? During this exclusive and intensive wildlife photography master class with Ossian Lindholm, you will have 10 incredible days to study, practice and review your photos in Ibera, an extraordinary natural oasis we have chosen for its variety and abundance of wildlife and for the many opportunities to experience and photograph it. Ibera is often referred to as the “Serengeti of South America and is the second-largest wetland in the world after Brazil’s Pantanal
Ibera’ is also one of Ossian’s favorite wildlife destinations; he knows it intimately and has a vast network of local contacts. This wildlife photography master class is a unique opportunity to experience his passion and expertise for this magical place with his expert teachings in wildlife and landscape photography
This exclusive tour is based in the Ibera wetlands, found in the northwestern province of Corrientes. This vast area of some 7,000 square miles was, until quite recently, unexplored. Now it is recognized as one of South America’s most important freshwater reservoirs. Its myriad rivers, streams, lakes, and wetlands are all fed by natural rainfall, and make Ibera a wonderful refuge for a huge diversity of wildlife. Ibera, or “brilliant waters” in the Guarani language, was in fact once the riverbed of the Parana river.
Like many environmental oases, Ibera has been at serious risk of degradation, mainly as a result of overhunting and overfishing. These activities were destroying the biodiversity of the region, undermining its crucial ecological role, and ruining the local economy. In 1983 the Ibera Nature Reserve was created to help preserve it, and its innumerable and unique species of fauna and flora, for future generations.
Fifteen years ago the situation changed for the better when gaming, poaching, and commercial fishing were completely forbidden. The environmentalists who have worked so hard to protect it now believe Ibera is one of the most remarkable of Argentina’s ecosystems. Today it is open for careful and sensitive exploration, by photographers and nature-lovers from around the world.
In fact, educational and conservation-focused tourism, like this wildlife photography tour in Ibera have helped ensure the economic success of the area. This, in turn, has helped to guarantee its environmental future: the people who once hunted wildlife here are now its guides and teachers. And as guests in Ibera, you will be making your own contribution to this inspiring and sustainable conservation model.
With its mild climate and wonderful isolation, Ibera is one of the last natural paradises on earth. Similar to the Galapagos where animals and birds are not afraid of humans, Ibera is an area where wild animals really are the stars of the show! Its marshes offer wildlife-lovers countless close-up encounters. There are caimans, capybaras, and otters to be spotted in its waters. The marshlands are home to swamp deer, pampas deer, and anaconda. You can also find howler monkeys and greater rheas here—in fact there are over 200 species of birds in Ibera.
All of these extraordinary features—stunning landscapes, enormous abundance of wildlife, perfect climate, peaceful isolation, careful and active conservation efforts, Ossian’s masterful teachings, and options for non-photographer all at an excellent value—make a journey to the Ibera wetlands a wildlife photographer’s dream come true. This wildlife photography master class, with its emphasis on wildlife photography skill building and total sensory immersion, will showcase its beauty for you from every angle. And most importantly, your tourism dollars will contribute towards sustaining this paradise for generations to come.
As a special bonus, we are offering you the Conservation Land Trust Experience, an inside view and hands on experience of the work of the late and great conservationist, Douglas Tompkins who with his wife Kris, co-founded CLT, dedicated to the creation and expansion of national or provincial parks to ensure the perpetuity of their ecological and evolutionary processes with the strongest long-term protection guarantee possible.
The primary goal of the Ibera project is to expand and upgrade conservation protections for land within the Ibera Natural Reserve, a protected area designated by the province in 1983. The reserve is comprised of roughly 40 percent public land and 60 percent private property controlled by some 1,800 landowners. You will witness and photograph their inspiring and important work that supports programs for the protection of wildlife, reintroduction of locally extinct species, land restoration and programs for local development, normally involved in ecotourism, sustainable farming and environmental education. Their programs are sustained by values that are based on an eco-centric view of the world, prioritizing the importance of ecosystems and all forms of life therein, regardless of their use to man.
ABOUT OUR GUIDE
Your guide for this tour will be Ossian Lindholm, renowned photographer and documentary filmmaker from Tucuman, Argentina. He has filmed and produced over 100 documentaries, and written six books on the natural and cultural splendor of Argentina. Through his life experiences as a scholar, agricultural engineer, photographer, teacher, and now filmmaker, he has come to realize that his life’s work is to deliver a powerful message—the vital importance of conservation and sustainability for preserving his homeland’s splendor.
- Airport shuttles
- 12-person van
On The Tour
- Select wine tastings
- Entrance fees to museums and archaeological sites
- Two expert guides throughout the program
- 12-person van
Accommodations & Meals
- Water and dried fruits to snack on board the van
- All accommodations & meals
Here what you will learn during Ossian’s nine-day wildlife photography master class
Class 1: An approach to Conservation Photography. Playing with light in nature. An overview of the dozens of animals and over a hundred species of birds we will see during our workshop.
Class 2: Exposure: Exposure Modes. Light metering modes. Exposure compensation. RAW vs JPG files. Basic photoshop editing for nature photography.
Class 3: Focal distance: autofocus modes, autofocus area modes. Burst modes. The back button focusing mode or rear focusing mode. Photoshop editing using masks.
Class 4: ISO and Noise. Composition: How to photograph birds in flight, Ossian’s recommended wildlife and landscape settings. Photoshop editing using adjustment layers.
Class 5: Characteristics of light: How to deal with difficult light conditions. Photography inside the forest, the use of a flash in wildlife photography. Photoshop editing using adjustment layers.
Class 6: Camouflage techniques.
Class 7 to 8: Landscape photography vs. wildlife photography: How to move in both worlds and become a complete nature photographer. The secrets to getting dramatic landscape images. Bracketing. Introduction to the HDR photography. The control of depth of field. Photoshop editing using adjustment layers.
Additional Trip Highlights:
- Daily and abundant close encounters with wildlife
- Exploration of Ibera, one of the most important freshwater reservoirs on the continent and the second-largest wetland in the world
- Tranquil boat rides that glide through pristine wetlands
- Educational talks by local naturalists and conservationists
- Charming accommodation and the savoring of local specialties
- Night photography sessions
Day by Day
Day 1: Buenos Aires
We meet you at the Buenos Aires aiport and transfer to your hotel in the Recoleta. After lunch we have an afternoon photo walk of the center of the city, going through different porteño’ neighborhoods: La Boca, birthplace of Tango, the blue collar neighborhood of Buenos Aires in which the main street Caminito shows you the history of this beautiful and original rhythm. San Telmo, the oldest “barrio” of Buenos Aires, where the city was founded for the first time in 1536. Emblematic places as Parque Lezama, Defensa Street, and the Flea Market premises, Ezeiza family house and San Lorenzo alley talking about the slave market, the arrival of the great European immigration, literature and last but not least British Invasions to the city during 1806 and 1807. Group welcome dinner at a typical restaurant.
Day 2: Posadas- Carlos Pelligrini
Early morning transfer for the flight from Buenos Aires to the Posadas Airport in the Corrientes Province,where we will escort you in our own private van to our boutique hotel Nande Reta. Here we will spend three days immersed in the total peace and serenity that Ibera provides. After a stroll around the Estacia’s grounds, we will host our first wildlife master class, which will cover conservation photography, playing with light in nature and an overview of the dozens of creatures you will enjoy in Ibera. After a well-deserved rest you will be invited to enjoy a welcome feast made up of choice.
Day 3: Aguape Lodge, Carlos Pelligrini
Sunrise photography class. We will rise early on your first morning here to make the most of the breathtaking reds, yellows and golds reflecting on the serene Ibera waters. After breakfast, we will enjoy a water excursion to enjoy sightings of the abundant birds and animals that live here undisturbed. After a picnic lunch we will return to the Nande Reta for our Master Class and an opportunity to share and review the photos taken during the day.
The golden hour of sunset offers another opportunity to study and capture the subtle, precious interplay of light across this watery landscape. As evening draws, you can share your day’s photography adventures over a delicious dinner. This will be followed by a special night under the stars to practice the magic of night photography.
Day 4/5: Aguape Lodge, Carlos Pelligrini
The beauty of this special wildlife photography tours is that, with all the rich visual stimulation, one short day can feel like so many more! Pre-dawn, full daylight, sunset, or the night sky —each offers up distinctive and rich wildlife captures and experiences, all waiting to be captured through the lens of your camera. Today, we get up with the sun to witness animals and capture the subtle dawn light from another angle. With each passing day, you’ll find yourself slowing down and opening up to the tranquil spirit of this magical place.
We will share our photographic experiences over a delicious breakfast followed by a master class Before lunch we head to the Estero wetlands in a 4-wheel drive for more unique wildlife opportunities. At lunchtime we will enjoy a picnic of local specialties before heading back to Nande Reta, our beautiful home-away-from home. In the afternoon, you’ll receive valuable one-on-one technical and artistic feedback from Ossian—our veritable treasure trove of photographic knowledge and experience. Non-photographers can enjoy the multitude of activities that are offered by the lodge—birdwatching, motor boat safaris, night walks and horseback riding.
Day 6: Carlos Pellegrini—Rincon de Socorro
Hour transfer to Rincón del Socorro.
Estancia Rincon del Socorro is a eco-touristic estancia that has been restored and is located inside a incredible nature reserve. The complex ecosystem of estuaries and reservoirs shelters a great variety of fauna. Among this fauna there are many species in danger of extinction. Rincón del Socorro, includes 12,000 hecatares dedicated to the recovery and care of the environment.
Upon arrival we have lunch in the estancia. Meals are prepared with fruits and organic vegetables, mostly from the garden itself. When the weather permits, lunches and dinners are served outdoors.
Once in the Estancia, we will have a tour of the main house and its surroundings in order to understand about the history of the place and Conservation Land Trust’s dedicated and ongoing projects to recover the original ecosystem.
In addition to our daily wildlife photography classes, activities included in your stay include:
- Horseback riding or hiking in the estancia: These excursions are aimed at learning more about wildlife and to understand the conservation projects more thoroughly. There will also be visits to the organic gardens and other TLC projects.
- Day and night birdwatching with the possibility of being able to see the Aguara guazú.
Guided visit of the farmyard of animals that are being released in the marshlands after their reproduction
Day 7/8/9: Rincon de Socorro
During our stay here we will continue with daily excursions and wildlife photography master classes
Day 10: Rincon de Soccorro—Estancia Santa Ines–Posada
In the morning transfer to Estancia Santa Ines for lunch before a transfer to Posadsas airport to make your international connections. Santa Ines is a place to breathe in history! It was founded more than a hundred years ago by Don Pedro Nuñez, a great pioneer of the area. The estancia covers 2000 hectares, from which 800 have used to grow the yerba mate plant, some of which are over a hundred years old and still in full production. Long walks and horseback riding through the plantations, natural mount, forests of pine trees and eucalyptus, are some of the activities to take on in here. There’s also a great variety of birds and a lagoon populated by yacarés.
Pre-trip to Iguazu Itinerary:
The Atlantic Forest reaches into Argentina along the bank of the major rivers (Parana, Uruguay and Paraguay, etc). The network of jungle-bordered rivers constitutes a biological corridor through which fauna grows. The highlight of the region are the Iguazu Falls, considered by many to be the most beautiful and spectacular waterfalls in the world, thanks to 200 streams that suddenly appear from the rainforest to form a myriad of gorgeous falls, large and small, which mingle and blend so graciously with the surrounding vegetation.
Day One: Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu
Flight to Puerto Iguazu, transfer to our Hotel. After the check inn we will do our first visit to the Iguazú National Park. Our specialist Natural History guide with a vast experience in the region will share his enthusiasm for the birds and its lifestyle. During the private tour of Iguazu, the guide will show you and make you notice the different sounds that the jungle offers. This birding visit covers several areas of the National Park. The aim is to observe endangered and native species. The bird life variety is really remarkable, with more than 300 species (about 40% of all those present in Argentina) having been sighted. Most notables are: Hummingbirds, Trogons, Woodpeckers, Gleaners, Ant birds, Tyrants, Manakins and Tanagers.
Day Two: Puerto Iguazu.
In the early morning we visit the Garganta del diablo with a birdwatching guide to enjoy the landscape.
You will be then driven to the entrance of the park to meet the walkways guide and start the standard visit of the park. If you would like to, you have the chance to visit the Garganta del diablo again. In the afternoon we will visit El Jardin de los Picaflores ( Hummingbird garde ) to be able to photograph some of the vast species of hummingbirds of the area. Night Hotel La Cantera.
Day Three: Iguazu to Ibera.
In the morning transfer to Ibera with a stopover at San Ignacio Mini Ruins to take a guided visit. The Jesuits extensively colonized this beautiful region in the 17thCentury. Here they remained there two centuries. By that time, those lands where inhabited by the Guarani Indians and nowadays their descendants can still be found. Jesuits were expelled by the Spanish crown at the end of the 18th Century when they became so powerful in the region that turned them into a potential threat. It is fascinating to visit the ruins of their churches, towns and ranches, remembering the epic days as depicted in the movie “The Mission”. Today, these ruins have been declared a World Heritage Site. After our lunch at Estancia Santa Inés we drive to Colonia Carlos Pellegrini in the heart the Esteros del Ibera.