"Exotic, Unique, Stunningly Beautiful, Off the Beaten Path" are just some of the words and phrases used to describe the Galapagos Islands. Ever since Charles Darwin first visited the Islands in 1835 and shared his amazing observations with the world, this small archipelago of islands has captured the imagination of adventure travelers, nature photographers, and a host of others worldwide wanting to witness firsthand the Island’s special beauty. Briefly stated, the Galapagos Islands are a series of islands unlike any other on the planet and an absolute "must see and shoot" location for any nature photographer.
What truly makes these islands so special is that they are home to some of the highest levels of endemic species (found nowhere else on earth) anywhere on the planet. About 80% of the land birds, 97% of the reptiles and land mammals, 30% of the plants, and more than 20% of the marine species you will see in the Galapagos are found no place else on the planet. Favorites and the most famous include the giant Galapagos tortoise, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, and the Galapagos penguin—the only penguin species to be found in the Northern Hemisphere. Furthermore, since the animals of the islands have existed free from human contact until recent history, they show relatively little if any fear of human beings. For the wildlife photographer, conditions for up close and personal wildlife images couldn’t be more perfect.
To get the absolute most out of this special Aperture Academy Sojourn, we have designed a photography trip that goes far and beyond the standard tourist Galapagos visit. We have emphasized an upscale balance of absolute comfort and luxury, extensive landings at multiple islands at the best wildlife locations during the best photographic hours with like minded individuals, and perhaps best of all, exclusive use of our own private luxury yacht – widely considered one of the very best in the Galapagos. This means we have far more time and freedom to photograph than the standard cookie cutter cruise options that most tour operators offer. Every detail, every consideration has been taken into account to maximize our ability to capture world class, publication quality images.
Under the expert guidance of professional nature photographers you will learn the subtle tips and techniques of nature photography that help differentiate a good shot from a great one. Utilizing extensive hands-on in field instruction, ship board image reviews and critiques, as well as detailed photoshop instruction, our absolute goal is to take your photography skills whether you are new to photography or an advanced shooter, to the next level in a fun, supportive, exciting and thrilling atmosphere.
In addition to pro photographers Stephen and Ellie, we are fortunate to also have special guest instructor Jonathon Green, a 25-year former Galapagos park guide and professional photographer...which gives an unsurpassed instructor ratio of 3 guides to 16 passengers as we seek out incredible photos of giant tortoises, lizards, marine and land iguanas, penguins, blue-footed boobies, albatross and myriad other species of birds, sea turtles, sharks, sea lions & more. This active adventure also allows you to snorkel with large marine creatures, zodiac cruise among unique ecosystems, hike on pristine beaches and stark volcanic landscapes, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, and of course, take in majestic sunsets & stargaze under the equatorial sky.
When you compare all the facets of this Sojourn, we truly believe we have crafted a Galapagos photography trip that far surpasses what others provide. This is a trip of a lifetime that will create images and memories that will last a lifetime. We feel there should be no compromises. It’s the Aperture Academy way.