Mentor Series: Costa Rica

The best images from our trek

Winning Image

Lisa Griffis
Don McIntosh

Ed Stone

Don McIntosh
Ed Stone
Heather Lary
Lisa Griffis
Heather Lary
Lisa Griffis
Mickey Edmonds
Scot Lary
Mickey Edmonds
Sherry Icardi
Scot Lary
Sherry Icardi
Mickey Edmonds
Sherry Icardi

When Nikon Mentor Series offered a chance to improve my skills and reach out of my comfort zone to create better photography, I never expected the personal challenges this trip afforded. We learned that a higher ISO is the only way to capture moving subjects such as Toucans and parrots while visiting a rain forest. We learned that getting closer was the best way to tell a story about the production of coffee. We found out that our drivers skills came into play each day we drove the dusty gravel roads over mountain tops and curves. We found out that the best way to motivate a trail horse was to say Vamanos Mailibuuuuuuu! Our guide,' Jorge Avila , provided the cultural background of Costa Rica as a country committed to ecological preservation, education, tourism and fair trade.

This trip was not just about photography but also introduced us to the variety of local foods, the beauty of the secluded hotel properties and the warmth of the natural spring spas, after a long day of hiking. The highlight of the trip for me, however was the zipline option. Being deathly afraid of heights, I planned to opt out of the opportunity. However, our group was so supportive of each other, that we carried forward to the challenge.Maybe we didn't read about this activity in the fine print of the itinerary, because we were initially reluctant to skim across the valleys of the Monteverde rain forest while holding on to a single handle and traveling at over 30 miles an hour. We had 8 zip lines and after surviving the first, we actually replaced the fearful silence with high fives, laughter and selfies.

So to summarize, when you travel with the Nikon Mentor Series you will be immersed in the travel location with many activities to foster a creative approach to photography, life and friendship. Lisa Griffis