With the awe-inspiring grandeur of the Arenal Volcano ever-present, the Mentor SeriesCosta Rica Video Workshop offered participants a spectacular array of once-in-a-life-time experiences and the priceless opportunity to capture them in broadcast-quality videos with the latest Nikon HD-DSLRs. After a brief hands-on equipment intro, we shot a team of ﬁve professional kayakers navigating with incredible skill along the scenic Arenal River, and captured thrilling video of exotic wildlife while ﬂying among the trees in a spacious gondolaon the amazing Sky Tram. Trekkers had the choice of returning on foot or putting their sense of adventure to the test by experiencing the ultimate adrenaline rush on one of 10 Sky Trek zip-lines for an unparalleled 360-degree perspective of the rainforest. Using the features such as Full HD 1080p capture at 30 and cinematic 24/25 frames per sec, it was hardly a surprise the participants came away with a true video experience. That was only day one!
On day two we got to use Nikon HD-DSLRs and lenses to capture hi-res stills and videos from the unique Arenal Hanging Bridges, and to walk along a 3-kilometer rain-forest trail and take in nature’s beauty with our eyes and cameras. In a video editing session we learned how to edit video clips into a complete production that tells a compelling story. In the afternoon, we visited a Butterﬂy Conservatory dedicated to the preservation and study of the rainforest and its tropical species and got to photograph rare butterﬂies, exotic frogs, and other rainforest ﬂora and fauna. Later that afternoon we experienced the awesome beauty of the La Fortuna Waterfall, a 70-meter-high cataract considered a national treasure, shot amazing videos of it, and captured videos and still images of beautiful birds, frogs, and reptiles in their natural habitats at the famed Arenal Ecological Park.
Of course, our Costa Rica Video Workshop was a lot more than merely experiencing a unique and awesome environment and getting to capture it using top quality Nikon equipment. Under the able, empathetic, and always accessible guidance of seasoned mentor Reed Hoffmann, participants learned an incredible amount about camera control, lighting, and video pacing, and received precious tips on still and video photography, video production, and workﬂow that will allow them to create their own unique pro-quality videos going forward. “I learned an incredible amount in a very short time, made a lot of new friends, and created videos and images I will treasure forever,” commented one happy trekker. Once you experience the unique camaraderie of this seamlessly organized photographic adventure that also happens to be a total immersion course in visual expression, you’ll deﬁnitely be back for more.