Nikon Sponsored Program
PATAGONIA & EASTER ISLAND
May 2 – 12 2023
Patagonia, Chile, the southernmost tip of the world, is the most spectacular place for photography. In every corner, you’ll find an unimaginable landscape and with every passing minute, you will see dramatic change of color and light. This workshop will take you to the rugged mountains, gigantic glaciers and crystal clear volcanic lakes of Patagonia where you will also encounter iconic local figures, the gauchos, riding horses on the vast prairie.
Easter Island, Chile, the world’s most remote inhabited island located in the South Pacific Ocean, is the photographer’s dream place. Famous for its large stone statues, Moai, the island is filled with the mystery and history. You will venture into the natural wonder of volcanic crater and lava-made caves, encounter the pride and heritage of local people, Rapa Nui. We will also experiment with variety of night photography, capturing incredible stars with light-painted Moai. Immerse yourself in this very popular program on the tranquil and mystical island.
This program is possible through collaboration between Photographer Katsuyoshi Tanaka (www.katsutanakaphotography.com), Nikon (www.nikonusa.com) the world leading imaging company, and explora (www.explora.com), the 5 star resort group in Chile.
Nikon Inc. has been sponsoring the program since it has started in 2013.
Official website for the program by Nikon:
Program article by Nikon LEARN & EXPLORE:
explora Patagonia is located at the center of the Torres del Paine National Park, the heart of Patagonia, on the shores of Lake Pehoé. The massive mountains of Paine are right in front of you.
explora Rapa Nui (in Easter Island) is located on a tranquil spot from which the island´s mysteries and dramatic isolation are in full view. Its award winning architecture blends the island’s unique geography and heritage, with its vibrant present.
May 2 (Tue) – May 12 (Fri) 2023
Patagonia, Chile…. 5 nights (5/2 – 7)
Easter Island, Chile…. 4 nights (5/8 – 12)
(*Stay on 5/7 at hotel in Santiago Airport)
Patagonia and Easter Island, Chile (9 nights/10 days)
Room rates per person:
double occupancy $8,847 per person
single occupancy $9,969 per person
Rates are per person, U.S. Dollars. Program rates include airport transfers to and from the explora lodges, accommodations, meals, open bar, daily explorations, and the entrance to national parks and reserves.
Airfare ( international & domestic in Chile ) and any hotel expenses in Santiago (night of April 21)
Depart Santiago early morning to Punta Arenas.
Transfer from the airport in Punta Arenas to explora Patagonia’s Hotel Salto Chico, situated in the heart of the Torres del Paine National Park. The explora Patagonia team will welcome you to the lodge and show you the rooms.
You'll meet the photographer and leader of the expedition, Katsuyoshi Tanaka, along with the explora’s guide to discuss the program.
Late afternoon, we will start photographing the massive mountains in the park.
Welcome slide presentation and lecture at night.
Sunrise and lakes: The finest landscape in Torres del Paine National Park, with an astonishing array of mountains and lakes, can be found right in front of the lodge. Wake up early in the morning and you will be able to appreciate the spectacle of the sunrise in Patagonia. During this session, you will learn how to capture the changing light, color and ambience as the sun rises.
In the morning, you’ll photograph the magnificent color of the lakes surrounding the lodge and will learn how to frame images with various natural elements to add patterns, shapes and colors (Lake Pehoe and/or Nordenskjold).
Grey Glacier: This exploration will take you by boat to Grey Glacier, at the southern end of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, one of the world’s largest freshwater reserves. (Please note: the boat trip is dependent on weather conditions).
Quincho & Gaucho culture: In the morning you will head to the explora Quincho to get a closer look at the local gauchos. This is a perfect opportunity to learn how to take portraits and interactive photos.
Encounter wildlife: During the afternoon, we will venture into the Nordenskjold Field. Great opportunity to photograph wildlife including herds of Guanaco and wild birds.
French Valley: This is a full day exploration that combines both adventure and photography. We will leave explora by boat (30 min.) and then walk along the undulating trail that borders Lakes Pehoe and Skottsberg. There are spectacular views of the two lakes, Paine Grande Mountain and the Paine Horns. We then
cross the hanging bridge over the French River for the view of French Glacier.
Micro nature: In the morning, we will head to the wetland area to capture the variety of vegetation, learning micro photography. Other choice of trekking is available depending on the weather condition and guests’ interest.
Run, run, run!: Horses will be your best companions in Patagonia and they will certainly add a graceful touch to landscape photography. During this exploration, you will be able to capture them while riding through the fields. If you are up to it, you can even ride yourself !
Leaving the hotel in the morning, we will take the flight back to Santiago, and stay overnight at a hotel in Santiago airport.
Depart Santiago early morning to Easter Island.
Transfer from the airport in Easter Island to explora Rapa Nui, 10 minutes drive from the main town, Hanga Roa. The explora Rapa Nui team will welcome you to the lodge and show you the rooms.
Welcome slide presentation and lecture.
First encounter with Moai: Program starts with the incredible sunset shoot at Ahu Tahai, where line of famous Moai statues stand on the hill. The sun goes down behind them and it makes impressive silhouette figures.
Sunrise at Ahu Tangariki: Ahu are the sacred stone platforms for Moai statues. Tangariki has the biggest Ahu on the island with 15 massive Moai. You will try to capture the dramatic sunrise with the statues, learning how to control the changing light, color and ambience.
Crushing waves along the coast: One of the fascinating landscapes on the island is the majestic coast with crushing waves. The water looks incredibly blue and the gigantic waves constantly crush into the cliff. You will capture this dynamic scenery.
You will also venture into the volcanic high island, photographing the lava-made caves, the rounded hills and mountains with the wild horses running around.
Quarry – birthplace of Moai: Most Moais on the island remain at Rano Raralku, the quarry where they were carved. You will learn the history and mystery of Moai making, horn your skill of how to compose the strong images.
Portrait shoot with local: Meet the local with the pride of their heritage. He or she will present their tattoo and body painting, the artistic and cultural manifestation on the island. Portrait shoot will be arranged and you will learn the model shoot.
Volcano and Bridman Village: Largest volcanic crater, Rano Kau, is the most spectacular natural wonder on the island. Walking along the massive crater, you will learn how to position yourself and how to choose the right lens for high impact pictures. You will visit the archaeological site, Orongo, where people used to celebrate the rituals of “Birdman Competition”
Night shoot with Moai: One of the highlights of this program is experiencing various night photography. There is no other place in the world where you can experiment in making such unique photos with light painting on Moai and long exposure shot of the Milky Way.
Visit the town: In the morning, you will visit the island’s main town, Hanga Roa, photographing morning mass at the church, the local market on the street, fishermen at the port.
Local Culinary: Food culture on the island is also unique and photogenic. Fresh seafood is sometimes cooked seaside on hot stones.
Boat trip to islets: Late afternoon, you will head to the ocean by small boat and capture the crystal clear water. You will witness the 3 sacred islets, which were the center stage of the Birdman cult races.
Leaving the hotel around noon, we will take the flight back to Santiago, then connecting the flight back home.
“The itineraries are subject to modified and changed. We will try all our effort to operate programs as planned, but alterations may still occur based on the weather and other conditions.”
Multiple layers of clothing are recommended, including a base layer of clothing: thick socks, warm underwear, short or long sleeved thermal t-shirts; a second layer of clothing: trekking pants and a thin fleece shirt; a third layer of clothing:
a windbreaker; a fourth layer of clothing: waterproof pants and jacket (recommended for Patagonia); comfortable trekking shoes, gloves, sunglasses with UV filter with a strap and side protection, sun hat to protect your face and ears from the sun and wind, sunblock and a daypack.
EQUIPMENT AND FURTHER RECOMMENDATIONS:
These expeditions are designed for photographers of any level that are passionate for photography, nature and adventure. We highly recommend that participants bring a digital SLR camera, tripod and their own laptop computer with software for organizing and submitting photos as we will have daily critique sessions. Both in Patagonia and Easter Island, we will have Nikon camera equipment available for your use upon request. Please contact for the detail.
Our expeditions are led by NY based photographer and Latin America specialist Katsuyoshi Tanaka, who has traveled extensively in both Patagonia and Easter Island. In addition to Katsuyoshi Tanaka, one of explora’s bilingual guides will accompany you on each exploration, introducing you the history, flora & fauna, geography and other key features of the area. All of the explora guides have advanced level Wilderness First Responder certification and always carry a radio and emergency kit with them.
SAFETY OF THE PROGRAM:
It is unique and challenging time for everyone to travel due to COVID-19. Our priority is the safety and health of the guests and we will take every necessary step to manage COVID-19. We will also follow the safety protocol from the Chilean government and the local communities in Patagonia & Easter Island.
For more information about the safety protocols in explora, please see the following link:
“ This 10-day photo expedition takes you on a journey of discovery and learning unlike any other! Katsu’s energy and passion for his craft is infectious. A fantastic human being and a great mentor and guide, he starts with teaching you the right way to hold your camera and soon takes you through a crash course in photography – from landscapes to portraits, action to macro, and wildlife to astro-photography. All this in some of the most beautiful locations on Earth, with top-notch arrangements. It is a truly magical experience that you won’t like to miss! “
(Vivek Goyal, Singapore)
“ After seeing photos of Patagonia and Easter Island for so many years, it was surreal to actually see them all for myself – and they lived up to every expectation. While I know it cannot be easy to orchestrate all these experiences, keep to our itinerary, and manage a group of different skill levels, Katsu and explora make it all seem effortless. Katsu, you are a star! I am so grateful for the opportunities you have given me and my family to experience the world in so many unique ways. To see your photos is a testament to your talent, to know you is a testament to your incredible generosity, care for your craft, and compassion for all your guests. Thank you for another amazing adventure! “ (Meredith Keller, Connecticut, USA)
“ This whole experience in both hotels in Patagonia & Easter Island was nothing short of spectacular! The lodges themselves, the activities, the staff, the guides, the drivers, the food… all magnificent!! A very big THANK YOU to all of you who contributed to make this adventure so memorable. “
(Fran Keller, Connecticut, USA)
“ Katsu, I just wanted to send you a special thank you. I continue to be touched, thinking back on the trip and your quiet, yet persistent, showing of care and support of me, as a person, and as a total novice. You never made me feel incompetent….or too much of a burden …. both of which would be accurate assessments! As you know, this trip was researched and planned by my husband…I was excited to see these places and hoped to learn a little photography along the way. What I got was so much more than that! As your guest….I feel that I am starting to learn to not only see the world behind the lens…but to also “feel” the world through the lens. My husband selected well by choosing your trip…. I believe you have a unique way of helping people experience their world ….”
(Ann Zellmer, Ohio, USA)
“ It was an immense privilege to be able to see such totally unspoiled parts of the World. The beautiful scenery and wildlife took your breath away. It seemed at times that you could wave your camera around almost at random, press the shutter and still you would have taken photos to treasure forever. Some people often exaggerate about a so-so holiday being “The Trip of Lifetime”. However, in the case of Katsu’s Chilean Expedition, it truly was the trip of a lifetime and one that I will remember always.”
(Chris Tattersall, New Zealand)
“ For me, the experience was meditative. I have loved photography for nearly thirty years, in part because it allows me to escape from my daily life and be present in the moments when I have my camera in a way that I am not otherwise. So, to be able to have that experience for extended periods in some of the most beautiful locations in the world was an extraordinary gift. I was able to truly unplug from my New York life and be truly present and experience these magnificent places.”
(Joshua Sohn, New York, USA)
“ Katsu is not just a master photographer, but a great passionate teacher. I have been taking pictures all my life and I learned more in 10 days with him than I learned in decades.”
(Hakam Kayasseh, Texas, USA)
“ My wife and I did this photographic learning adventure. He is not only a master coach but also a master human being. We thoroughly enjoyed every day of the interaction and learning new things. A wonderful adventure ! ”
(Graham Smith, Sydney, Australia)
“ I would say how great the photography learning is…, most especially because Katsu is such a great, practical, learn-by-doing teacher! And then to compliment it, the blessed nature of extreme weather in Patagonia and historical Easter Island as the backdrop for photography learning session. ”
(Ridha Wirakusumah, Hong Kong)
“ Katsu is a professional teacher who has the whole program tailored to learn and have fun. He is skilled at learning who the guests are and how to interact them.“
(Noel Cilker, California, USA)
" It's a five star program filled with adventure, the best instructor, personal attention, and some of the most beautiful places on earth! It is an opportunity to do what you dream of."
(James Martellotti, California, USA)
" Our instructor is a master in his art of teaching through advise while shooting and daily critique. The program was very well planned and executed !! “
(Pierre Debbane, Beirut, Lebanon)
" Yes, it was a once in a life time opportunity ! A great field instructor with real passion and commitment to teaching. “
(Jerry Cooper, Georgia, USA)
“ I rate the whole experience A+A+A+. Thank you to Nikon, explora and Katsu !“
(Barbara Coburn, Michigan, USA)
“ A beautiful and educational trip to two remarkable and beautiful places on the planet and instructions on how to capture the experience on your camera. Mostly the expert and compassionate guidance of our leader, Katsu. He was most effective in the teaching and sharing of his photographic knowledge as well as organizing and making things happen as they should. He works extremely well with all of explora hotel staff and all member of our group. He is clearly well respected by explora employees. “
(Gerald Baum, New York, USA)
“ Over the years, I have attended numerous photography workshops and Katsu’s expeditions are the best I have encountered for every type of photographer. My wife was a beginner and was rather reluctant to attend but she learned so much and had truly wonderful time. Shortly after we registered for the expedition, we received an e-mail from Katsu and it was very different from anything I received in the past. He wanted to know our photography experience, what we hoped to achieve on this trip, a full list of all my equipment and would soon call us and spoke to each of us, answered all of our questions…. “
(Jeffrey Falk, New York, USA)
“ Katsu – you knew the needs of every person in the group and addressed them. You checked on everyone continuously. Exposed us to the most wonderful sights and experiences. (Did you sleep at all ?) Loved having all our meals together. Your planning is meticulous – from choice of photo sites, introduction to local people. An extraordinary trip. “
(Leslie Falk, New York, USA)
“ The workshop took my photography skills to a level I never imagined would be possible in two weeks. I learned advanced techniques that I thought only experienced photographers could learn. Katsu teaches with patience and the passion with which he does so is infectious. ”
(Sonia Rebeles, California, USA)
“ 10 days of shooting outdoors in nature at the best locations, with the best photographer and guides. Days can be long and tiring, but so worth it. You forget how early you woke up or what time you got to bed. This trip has been by far the best trip I’ve ever taken! Thank you Katsu!!! ”
(Maribel Castaneda, California, USA)