Birds of the Cloud Forest

Escape to Ecuador

March 20-28 2023

Join Looking Glass Photo's Jen Waicukauski and Nikon Ambassador Kristi Odom in Ecuador for an Epic Photo Escape.

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Ecuador has a huge diversity of bird life with over 1600 confirmed species.  From the Sword-Billed hummingbird (the only bird to have a beak that is longer than its body length) to the Torrent Ducks (white water rafting ducks), it has species beyond imagination.  This incredible biodiversity makes the Ecuadorian cloud forest the perfect spot to explore while creating visual works of art. 

LEARN, EXPLORE & CREATE

 

With Kristi and Jen by your side throughout the experience, you will receive guided instruction, insights and answers to your questions. You will learn about camera settings, receive help with your photography gear and receive ideas for tapping into your personal creative voice. Bottom Line: Not only will you get to explore somewhere new that feels like a different world, you’ll also become a more confident photographer throughout it all!  

 

We know that everyone is unique, with their own style. This adventure has been crafted to help all guests photograph birds by tapping into their unique ways of seeing the world. That said, on this adventure you decide what you want to focus on.  

 

Prior to traveling to Ecuador, Jen will lead an instructional Zoom session regarding how to outfit yourself and gear up for this once in a lifetime adventure, ensuring that you have everything you need before we start our journey.  

 

During your time in Ecuador, every guest will receive a 20 minute one-on-one with both Kristi and Jen. 

 

During your 9 day escape, while at our cozy lodges, Kristi will offer skills classes that teach the following: 

 

  • Autofocus settings for birds in flight

  • Using off camera lighting

  • Macro photography (for use on the unique orchid species)

  • Slow motion video.  

 

Since every photographer is unique, these classes are optional and you decide what you want to master.  Kristi and Jen will be close by throughout for any questions on that journey. 

CONSERVATION IS CORE

   

Conservation is fundamental to all of our workshops, and while the lodges do use hummingbird feeders, we have scouted first-hand to make sure that they meet guidelines set forward by the Audubon society.  The feeders are cleaned daily and have been placed with the well-being of the birds in mind.   

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Itinerary & LOGISTICS
 

A TYPICAL DAY (click for full itinerary)

 

A typical day will include spending lots of time at feeders photographing hummingbirds, going on hikes to find toucans, attending demonstrations for hands-on skill development, embarking on excursions to birding hotspots (either in local national parks or community-lead birding hot spots).  There are hiking trails all around that will take you deeper into the cloud forest.

 

The evenings can be spent relaxing by the fire with a glass of Canelazo (a traditional Ecuadorian highlands drink made from sugar cane liquor and local fruit) and sharing images from the day, or perhaps sitting on the restaurant balcony and watching for the resident Black-banded Owl to come out at night.  And to top it off, the lodges have world class, 3-course meals.

DETAILS

 

This escape is limited to 10 guests, ensuring a positive and personalized experience.

 

Timing: March 20th - March 28th of 2023 (fly into Quito on March 20th and fly out on March 28th)

 

Pricing: US$5,980 early bird registration until August 14th, 2022; Thereafter registration will be US$6,280.  A reservation fee of $2,000 is required at time of registration with the balance due no later than December 1st, 2022. 

Included with Reservation:

  • Airport Transfer (from Quito to your Lodge)

  • Lodging & Accommodations

  • All meals during your stay in the cloud forest

  • Shared double occupancy rooms (single rooms available for an additional $675 subject to availability)

  • Photography guides and education

  • Translator and bird guides

Exclusions:

  • Travel Insurance (required)

  • Flight to Quito

  • Personal Expenses (such as alcohol, laundry, telephone calls)

  • Tips and Gratuities

 

For more information and to reserve your spot now, click here!

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MEET THE INSTRUCTORS
 

KRISTI ODOM

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Kristi Odom is an internationally acclaimed photographer, a Nikon Ambassador, an associate fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, and a motivational speaker. A photographer and filmmaker, her work focuses on connecting people emotionally to animals and celebrating those who have a connection to the natural world. 

Her accolades include over 60 international photography awards including 2 Nature’s Best Photography awards, which exhibited her images at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Her work has appeared either online and/or in print for the following clients: National Geographic, Nikon, Forbes, Rollingstone, Microsoft and Outside Magazine. Learn more about Kristi on her website: https://www.kristiodomfineart.com/

JEN WAICUKAUSKI 
 

Jen is midwest raised with a west coast heart. It was her love of the Bay Area that helped her decide to drop everything and travel across the country to earn her BA in fine art photography at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. While earning her degree, Jen displayed her work in dozens of art shows and galleries. Shortly after graduating, Jen was honored to be invited back as a substitute instructor. While Jen was teaching at Academy of Art, she also branched out to assist artist Rondall Partridge and continued to hang her art in various art shows in the Bay Area and beyond.  


Though she was deeply in love with the art world and just beginning to grow her reputation there, Jen also saw the potential of Looking Glass Photo and wanted to take it to the next level. She saw how the store and its staff were inspiring and helping a whole community of photo enthusiasts and wanted to maximize this potential. After taking the helm at Looking Glass Photo, Jen quickly established a photography school curriculum designed to further inspire and nurture the community she serves. She also masterminded numerous charitable events and photography campaigns to raise money for various causes. To put it simply, Jen runs Looking Glass the same way she leads her life: with a commitment to community and social responsibility. She truly believes that photography can change the world and make people’s lives better. 

 

To see some of Jen's recent work, click here.

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