Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Workshop

Come join me on an amazing adventure to one of the most biologically diverse locations on the planet, Costa Rica. Here we will spend our time learn a variety of different camera techniques and skills as we photograph scarlet macaws, cormorants, kingfishers, hummingbirds, caimans, lizards, monkeys, turtles, toucans, tanagers, honeycreepers, parrots, and much much more. If you are looking for a wildlife photography workshop that provides you the opportunity to photograph some of the most colorful and amazing wildlife species on the planet while learning how to be a better photographer, this workshop is geared just for you!

If you want to be notified about our other 2025 photo adventures, be sure to sign up for our click Workshop Waiting List!

Trip Dates

January 6th – 14th, 2025

Tuition Costs

$5250

Group Size

10-12

Difficulty Level

Easy

King Vulture Perched in Boca Tapada from the Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Workshop with Colby Brown
King Vulture Perched in Boca Tapada
A Chesnut-Mandibled Toucan from the Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Workshop with Colby Brown
A Chesnut-Mandibled Toucan

Important Details: Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Workshop

  • The workshop starts on January 6th, 2025 at Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose (SJO) but you can find more details about each trip in the FAQ section below.
  • From there, we will pick you up in our private bus to begin our amazing wildlife adventure.
  • Throughout this adventure, we will provide you with a mixture of wildlife photography opportunities which include finding a variety of species organically in their own natural environments, photographing birds from man-made perches & feeders, and macro night photography excursions.
  • My team and I will work with you to make sure you learn to master a variety of different wildlife-focused techniques such as photographing birds in flight, shooting in low light situations, expanding your plane of focus, understanding AF tracking, macro photography skills using both natural and artificial light and much more…
  • While the workshop starts and ends in San Jose, giving you the opportunity to visit four different Costa Rican providences throughout our time in this amazing country.
  • Our night photography excursions will offer excellent opportunities to photograph a mixture of poison dart frogs, lizards, owls, insects, and even bats. They are truly a highlight of this trip!
  • This trip is gear to photographers of every different skill level, from beginners to professionals. We will work hard to make sure we meet you on your level, answering each of your questions when we are out in the field as well as when we have some downtime at our hotels to focus on the post-processing side of things.
There is a lot to see and experience in Costa Rica….
The group size is limited to a maximum of 10 people, so If interested, sign up today for this fantastic Photography Workshop in January of 2025!
Green & Black Poison Dart Frog from the Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Workshop with Colby Brown
Green & Black Poison Dart Frog
Green Pit Viper in Sarapiqui from the Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Workshop with Colby Brown
Green Pit Viper in Sarapiqui

What is Included?

What is Not Included?

Payment for Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Workshop

If you want to be notified if a spot opens up for this trip or any other, click HERE

Workshop Tuition:

* please read the workshop F.A.Q. section on this page to learn more about visiting Costa Rica and check out our cancellation policies if you have any questions.

Quetzal Perched On Tree Branch during the Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Workshop with Colby Brown
Quetzal Perched On Tree Branch
Long-billed Hermit Feeding during the Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Workshop with Colby Brown
Long-billed Hermit Feeding

While many photography workshops in Costa Rica focus on the most touristed National Parks in the country, this workshop is different. Our time will be spent exploring 4 different Costa Rican Providences that offer some of the best-hidden gems in the country when it comes to wildlife experiences. Away from the crowds, you will have the unique opportunity to explore the lesser-traveled northern part of Costa Rica, making this workshop an incredible experience no matter if this is your first time to Central America or even if you have visited Costa Rica numerous times before.

Where in Costa Rica Are We Going?

What Is In Colby's Gear Bag For This Trip?

With a focus on wildlife photography in Costa Rica, I recommend the following cameras.

Sony a1 (Setup Guide) – The a1 is Sony’s flagship mirrorless camera that can handle everything you can try to throw at it. With a 50mp sensor, 15 stops of dynamic range, industry-leading AF performance, and the ability to shoot up to 30fps, this is my go-to camera for most adventures worldwide!
B&H Photo | Direct from Sony | Rent From Lens Rentals

Sony a7R V (Setup Guide) – Another great option would be the Sony a7R V with its 61mp FF sensor and dedicated AI/AF processor. While limited to 10fps, this camera can hold its own in most wildlife-based situations. Just note that with incredibly fast-moving subjects, the Sony a7R V’s AF system simply isn’t as fast at tracking as the other two recommended camera bodies.
B&H Photo | Direct from Sony | Rent From Lens Rentals

Sony a9 II  – A third alternative or backup would be the Sony a9 II, with its ability to shoot at 20fps with a 24mp FF sensor and a high-speed and accurate AF system. Its solo limitation might be its 24mp sensor, which is less than half the resolution of both the a1 or a7R V listed above.
B&H Photo | Direct from Sony | Rent From Lens Rentals

With longer lenses, you have the ability to fill more of your frame with your wildlife subjects. In Costa Rica, we will be focusing not only on a variety of different bird species but mammals, reptiles, and amphibians as well. I won’t bring all of these lenses, but they are lenses I recommend for this trip.

Sony 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 GM – A great zoom wildlife zoom lens option for those wanting a bit more reach with their images but still have something relatively portable. While the lens is very sharp, it isn’t the fastest lens in the Sony lineup, with a variable aperture of 4.5-5.6. In some situations, the minimum aperture might force you to use a higher ISO to compensate for the lack of light hitting your camera’s sensor. It is ideal for larger animals such as Jaguars, Tapier, Caiman, and even larger birds (Jabiru, Egrets, and Herons) but it might not offer enough reach for smaller birds such as kingfishers.
B&H Photo | Direct from Sony | Rent From Lens Rentals

Sony 200-600 f/5.6-6.3 G – The most affordable telephoto zoom lens in the Sony lens lineup, the 200-600 is a great lens to use to photograph birds and larger mammals such as Jaguars. It is ideal for most wildlife situations where you have enough light to work with. At f/6.3 at 600mm, this lens will struggle at dawn and dusk, forcing you to shoot at very high ISOs.
B&H Photo | Direct from Sony | Rent From Lens Rentals

Sony 400mm f/2.8 GM – If you are looking for optical perfection, look no further than the Sony 400mm prime lenses. This lenses are by far the sharpest and most impressive glass in the Sony lens lineup, but it isn’t cheap or very travel friendly. This lens is ideal for low-light situations with larger mammals, but the 400mm maximum reach is a little short for birders.
B&H Photo | Direct from Sony | Rent From Lens Rentals

Sony 600mm f/4 GM – Sony’s longest telephoto prime lens is the 600mm. Like the 400mm, it offers the best optics and sharpness throughout the Sony lens lineup, although it comes at a cost both financially as well as with how portable/travel friendly it is. However, if you are keen on photographing birds, especially the smaller ones, it does not get better than the 600mm f/4 GM from Sony.
B&H Photo | Direct from Sony | Rent From Lens Rentals

Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro – With a portion of our workshop dedicated to macro wildlife photography, bringing Sony’s super sharp 90mm macro lens is a must. This will be your go-to for nearly all of the frogs, snakes, lizards, and insects we come across in the Jungles of Costa Rica.
B&H Photo | Direct from Sony | Rent From Lens Rentals

What additional accessories might you need for this workshop?

Godox V860III Flash Kit – One of the most important things you need to bring with you to Costa Rica will be a flash, which is instrumental for our macro wildlife photography sessions. I recommend the Godox V860 III flashes as they are powerful, easy to use, and can be shared across different camera systems if needed. This kit comes with the V860III flash + the Xpro flash trigger for off-camera flash use.
BH PhotoSony Kit | Canon Kit | Nikon Kit

Lumiquest Flash Softbox III – Another essential element of your flash kit for this workshop will be a softbox to help defuse the harsh light coming off your flash.
BH Photo

Gimbal Ball Head – While not required, I do recommend that you bring an excellent gimbal head to help you track birds and other animals in motion with more stability. I recommend one of the two Benro Gimbal Heads
B&H Photo – GH5 –  GH2F Foldable Gimbal

Bring a Sturdy Tripod – Nothing is worse than using a telephoto lens out in the field on a tripod that doesn’t feel stable or sturdy. I have seen too many clients complain about their tripods during a workshop because they didn’t listen to advice.
B&H PhotoBenro TMA38CL

With a focus on wildlife photography in Costa Rica, I recommend the following cameras.

Sony a1 (Setup Guide) – The a1 is Sony’s flagship mirrorless camera that can handle everything you can try to throw at it. With a 50mp sensor, 15 stops of dynamic range, industry-leading AF performance, and the ability to shoot up to 30fps, this is my go-to camera for most adventures worldwide!
B&H Photo | Direct from Sony | Rent From Lens Rentals

Sony a7R V (Setup Guide) – Another great option would be the Sony a7R V with its 61mp FF sensor and dedicated AI/AF processor. While limited to 10fps, this camera can hold its own in most wildlife-based situations. Just note that with incredibly fast-moving subjects, the Sony a7R V’s AF system simply isn’t as fast at tracking as the other two recommended camera bodies.
B&H Photo | Direct from Sony | Rent From Lens Rentals

Sony a9 II  – A third alternative or backup would be the Sony a9 II, with its ability to shoot at 20fps with a 24mp FF sensor and a high-speed and accurate AF system. Its solo limitation might be its 24mp sensor, which is less than half the resolution of both the a1 or a7R V listed above.
B&H Photo | Direct from Sony | Rent From Lens Rentals

With longer lenses, you have the ability to fill more of your frame with your wildlife subjects. In Costa Rica, we will be focusing not only on a variety of different bird species but mammals, reptiles, and amphibians as well. I won’t bring all of these lenses, but they are lenses I recommend for this trip.

Sony 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 GM – A great zoom wildlife zoom lens option for those wanting a bit more reach with their images but still have something relatively portable. While the lens is very sharp, it isn’t the fastest lens in the Sony lineup, with a variable aperture of 4.5-5.6. In some situations, the minimum aperture might force you to use a higher ISO to compensate for the lack of light hitting your camera’s sensor. It is ideal for larger animals such as Jaguars, Tapier, Caiman, and even larger birds (Jabiru, Egrets, and Herons) but it might not offer enough reach for smaller birds such as kingfishers.
B&H Photo | Direct from Sony | Rent From Lens Rentals

Sony 200-600 f/5.6-6.3 G – The most affordable telephoto zoom lens in the Sony lens lineup, the 200-600 is a great lens to use to photograph birds and larger mammals such as Jaguars. It is ideal for most wildlife situations where you have enough light to work with. At f/6.3 at 600mm, this lens will struggle at dawn and dusk, forcing you to shoot at very high ISOs.
B&H Photo | Direct from Sony | Rent From Lens Rentals

Sony 400mm f/2.8 GM – If you are looking for optical perfection, look no further than the Sony 400mm prime lenses. This lenses are by far the sharpest and most impressive glass in the Sony lens lineup, but it isn’t cheap or very travel friendly. This lens is ideal for low-light situations with larger mammals, but the 400mm maximum reach is a little short for birders.
B&H Photo | Direct from Sony | Rent From Lens Rentals

Sony 600mm f/4 GM – Sony’s longest telephoto prime lens is the 600mm. Like the 400mm, it offers the best optics and sharpness throughout the Sony lens lineup, although it comes at a cost both financially as well as with how portable/travel friendly it is. However, if you are keen on photographing birds, especially the smaller ones, it does not get better than the 600mm f/4 GM from Sony.
B&H Photo | Direct from Sony | Rent From Lens Rentals

Sony 90mm f/2.8 Macro – With a portion of our workshop dedicated to macro wildlife photography, bringing Sony’s super sharp 90mm macro lens is a must. This will be your go-to for nearly all of the frogs, snakes, lizards, and insects we come across in the Jungles of Costa Rica.
B&H Photo | Direct from Sony | Rent From Lens Rentals

What additional accessories might you need for this workshop?

Godox V860III Flash Kit – One of the most important things you need to bring with you to Costa Rica will be a flash, which is instrumental for our macro wildlife photography sessions. I recommend the Godox V860 III flashes as they are powerful, easy to use, and can be shared across different camera systems if needed. This kit comes with the V860III flash + the Xpro flash trigger for off-camera flash use.
BH PhotoSony Kit | Canon Kit | Nikon Kit

Lumiquest Flash Softbox III – Another essential element of your flash kit for this workshop will be a softbox to help defuse the harsh light coming off your flash.
BH Photo

Gimbal Ball Head – While not required, I do recommend that you bring an excellent gimbal head to help you track birds and other animals in motion with more stability. I recommend one of the two Benro Gimbal Heads
B&H Photo – GH5 –  GH2F Foldable Gimbal

Bring a Sturdy Tripod – Nothing is worse than using a telephoto lens out in the field on a tripod that doesn’t feel stable or sturdy. I have seen too many clients complain about their tripods during a workshop because they didn’t listen to advice.
B&H PhotoBenro TMA38CL

Join the Workshop Waitlist to learn more about any upcoming adventures...

Join the Workshop Waitlist to learn more about any upcoming adventures...

Howler Monkey during the Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Workshop with Colby Brown
Howler Monkey
Three Toad Sloth Smiling during the Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Workshop with Colby Brown
Three Toad Sloth Smiling

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)

WHY SHOULD YOU JOIN THIS WORKSHOP?

A GREAT question! As a professional wildlife, landscape, and travel photographer for the last 18 years, I have been very fortunate to have worked all over the globe, both as a photographer and a photo instructor. I started my career working forNational Geographic as a photography instructor in South America and currently, I average around 10-15 workshops each year. I am a firm believer in an organic to teaching photography, which involves a mixture of technical, philosophical, and hands-on learning that gives you the best opportunity to make the most out of each of our workshops. Our goal is to meet you at your level and work together to help you achieve your goals.

WHEN & WHERE DOES THE WORKSHOP START?

The workshop begins in San  Jose, Costa Rica (SJO airport code). You would want to arrive early on the 6th or fly in a day earlier to give yourself more time to adjust and get over any jetlag. If you do decide to arrive early, I recommend you stay at the Fairfield by Marriott San Jose Airport Hotel in Alajuela.

*Please confirm your flights with me before purchasing anything to make sure everything lines up

WHEN & WHERE DOES THE WORKSHOP END?

The workshop ends in San  Jose, Costa Rica (SJO airport code) on January 14th. You can look for flights that leave San Jose after 2pm on the 14th.

*Please confirm your flights with me before purchasing anything to make sure everything lines up with our schedule.

WHAT AIRPORT DO I FLY IN & OUT OF?

For this workshop, you will fly into the San Jose, Costa Rica Airport (SJO).

DOES COSTA RICA REQUIRE TRAVEL/COVID INSURANCE?

It is recommended by the Costa Rican government to purchase separate travel insurance before entering the country, but not required. I recommend THIS one or World Nomads.

WHAT ARE OUR ACCOMMODATIONS LIKE?

We will be staying in comfortable 3 star and above accommodations throughout our time in Costa Rica. Our goal is to get you as close to the amazing wildlife as possible, which means we found accommodations that will put us right inside the jungle where we will be photographing each day.

IS THE WORKSHOP TUITION BASED ON DOUBLE OCCUPANCY?

Yes, your tuition fees as based on the idea that you will be sharing a room with another workshop client of the same sex. If you wish to have your own private room, that can be arranged for an additional $950 USD charge.

WHAT CAMERA GEAR IS NECESSARY?

With the focus on wildlife photography, you will want to have a camera that is capable of shooting at high FPS (Frames Per Second). Additionally, using longer-telephoto lenses will allow you to fill more of the frame with your subjects. Refer to the “Gear” section above on this page for more information.

HOW DIFFICULT IS THE WORKSHOP?

This workshop is not overly challenging in terms of physical activity involved. While we will have some walks/hikes in the jungle and forests, they are not overly challenging in terms of physical difficulty.

WHAT HEALTH & SAFETY MEASURE WILL BE IN PLACE ?

My goal is to have each of my clients feel safe, healthy, and comfortable throughout the workshop. We will abide by any local or federal COVID-19 regulations put out by the Costa Rican government. 

To learn more about Colby Brown Photography workshops in general, please visit our FAQ page

Red Eyed Green Tree Frog during the Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Workshop with Colby Brown
Red Eyed Green Tree Frog in Costa Rica
Ghost Glass Frog Perched on a Leaf

Meet Your Instructors & Guides

Colby Brown is a photographer, photo educator and author based out of Eastern Pennsylvania. Specializing in landscape, travel workshops and humanitarian photography, his photographic portfolio spans the four corners of the globe.

Colby Brown

Owner/Photographer/Author

Colby Brown is a photographer, photo educator and author based out of Eastern Pennsylvania. Specializing in landscape, travel and humanitarian photography, his photographic portfolio spans the four corners of the globe and all 7 continents. Not too long after picking up his first digital camera in 2006, Colby was leading workshops for National Geographic in South America, further spurring his love for both travel and photo education. In 2011, he founded The Giving Lens, an organization that blends photo education with support for various non-governmental organizations (NGO) and causes around the world, such as child education, clean drinking water projects, and women’s rights.

Testimonials

Maximo Hernandez
Costa Rica Wonderful Workshop!

It was my first workshop with Colby and can't wait till next one!

From first day Colby and Kenneth had everything in place so that I could find the right spots with the right animals to get the photos I was expecting. Actually, my workshop photos surpassed by far all my expectancies!

We were able to see the wonderful quetzal, owls, many other birds, frogs, bats, snakes etc. Everything with great light(...)

Anthony Goldman
A Spectacular visit to Costa Rica!!

This was a special photographic workshop for me and had high expectations that were significantly exceeded! Colby has a special way in managing people in groups and always made everyone feel good about themselves. He makes a point to spending quality time with everyone in the group. He has a special relationship with Kenneth (His local guide) which really enhanced the trip. We had spectacular viewing of all(...)

Warren Treacher
The Best Costa Rica Trip!

I was fortunate enough to take a recent trip with Colby Brown to Costa Rica, and it was fantastic!

Colby manages to be spot on every day in spite of being pestered all day with my repetitive questions and comments. He somehow wrangles cats without ever losing his composure, sense of humor, or delightful temperament! Several times (likely everyday) I would find myself struggling with either the camera(...)

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Cancellation & Refund Policy

No one wants to miss out on a trip of a life time…but things do happen. In those situations, the following applies…

The first thing to note is that deposits are not refundable, but they are transferable.  In addition, all cancellations are subject to a minimum of a $150 service charge to cover PayPal transaction fees. In most situations, we ask for the remaining balance of a workshop is to be paid 120 days from the start of the workshop in question. If you wish to cancel within 120 days from the start of a workshop and we find someone to fill your spot, you would be entitled to receive a refund (minus your deposit and the $150 processing fee) or transfer to another workshop with no penalties or fees.

If we don’t find someone to fill your spot, what does your refund window actually look like?

120 Days or More...

Your deposit will be transferable to another Colby Brown Photography Workshop without issue.

90 to 120 Days

You will receive a refund of 50% of the full tuition fees minus the non-refundable deposit.

Less Than 90 Days...

If you wish to cancel within 90 days of your workshop starting, you are not entitled to a refund.

Puffin Iceland Colby Brown Photography