Monday, 4 March 2013

Venezuela Photography Workshop

photo courtesy of alan highton


Lonely Planet says, "Imagine a region where lightning flashes virtually nonstop, but without a single clap of thunder. That's the stunning natural phenomenon that occurs in this bizarre national park on the southwest side of Lake Maracaibo. Known as the Relámpago de Catatumbo (Catatumbo Lightning) or Faro de Maracaibo (Maracaibo Beacon), the flashes can be seen at night all over the region, weather permitting. This phenomenon is found nowhere else on earth." They further go on to say, "The natural lightshow consists of frequent flashes of lightning with no accompanying thunder, which gives an eerie sensation. On clear dry nights you are in for an unbelievable and shocking experience. No-one has proven why it happens, but the clash of cold winds descending from the freezing Andean highlands with the hot, humid air evaporating from the lake is thought to produce the ionization of air particles responsible for the lightning."

Every year we make the trek to Venezuela to witness this natural phenomenon for three nights you will never forget. After your time with the lightning we head up into the Andes Mountains.

Each day we will take advantage of the low light to capture some more wildlife photo opportunities. As we leave the Catatumbo´s marvels our trip takes us inland along the Panamerican Highway and up back roads. Into the Andes Mountains we will go. Waterfalls, forest, circling birds and mountains decorate the scenery. Our goal is a hidden posada, a private and only reserved for exclusive guests at 8,000ft. Our ETA is mid afternoon. It is the paradise of the hummingbird. With patience up to 12 species can be seen up close in a protected, pleasant environment of a 10 degree C. temperature.
 
On our first night we will overnight at the cloudforest guest house bed and breakfast (Breakfast, Dinner). After breakfast we continue to the City of Merida, first passing yet another small national park, La Chorrera. This is where Alan, our local tour guide and a butterfly specialist can show you some more beautiful butterflies. With an early afternoon arrival in Merida; this gives us time to explore the city and, if it's open, even try an ice-cream at the Guinness Record ice-cream parlor with 1,000 flavors. Garlic ice-cream anyone? Merida is a university town with some of the best scenery in the country. Just another hour's drive takes us to Mucuchies, the highest main village in the country at 10,000ft. An ETA of late afternoon gives us the chance to explore the village and enjoy the mountain mist as it comes down over the Andes.

Overnight at a private antique house in Mucuchies  before our last day in the mountains. It will be an extra early start at 5:30am. Our goal is to get you to 13,000ft up in the Andes to catch the sun rise and golden hour around the Mucubaji lake, mountain villages and stunning vistas. With an agreeable sunrise these scenes will be engrained in your memories for a lifetime. From literally the high point of this exclusive journey we head down to Merida for a final group lunch with new found friends... but before we get to lunch there will no doubt be a few stops along the way for a few stunning photo ops in the different micro climates.

Please see, http://www.photographers-lounge.com/international-workshops/2013-workshops/venezuela-photo-tour/ to register for this workshop.