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A Photographic Expedition in Patagonia and Atacama, Chile

Patagonia, Chile, the southernmost tip of the world, is the ideal place for photography. In every corner, you’ll find an unimaginable landscape and with every passing minute, you will see dramatic changes of color and light. This workshop will take us to the rugged mountains, gigantic glaciers and crystal clear volcanic lakes of Patagonia where we will also encounter iconic local figures, the gauchos, riding horses on the vast prairie.

Atacama, Chile, the driest desert in the world, is the most dramatic place for photography. Sharp contrast between sun and shadow, extreme nature in the high altitude volcanic mountains, the deadly quiet and soundless landscape. You will be surprised by the array of colors, evergreen trees and springs in the oasis, burning red desert in the sunset, and pure white salt lakes spreading in Andes Mountains. This exploration is designed to put you in all unique environment and let you capture the astonishing moment which nature can only create.

This program is possible through a collaboration between Photographer Katsuyoshi Tanaka (, Nikon, and explora (, the 5 star resort group in Chile.

This once in a lifetime experience will provide you with the opportunity to capture amazing images. The program is designed for photographers of all skills and experience—anyone who has passion for photography, nature and adventure.

Our journey is not only with photography and adventure. It is also with absolute comfort and luxury. Our daily base is 5 star resort, explora. Both lodges in Patagonia and Atacama are surrounded by astonishing nature. 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 Atacama is located in the Ayllu de Larache (initially a kin-based community of the ancient Atacameño people), near the village of San Pedro de Atacama. You are at the foothills of the Andes, surrounded by the vast desert.

Program dates:

May 9th – 14th, 2015 — Patagonia, Chile
May 14th - 18th, 2015 — Atacama, Chile


Patagonia and Atacama, Chile (9 nights/10 days)

Room rates per person: double occupancy $7,856 or single occupancy $9,975

Rates are per person, U.S. Dollars. Program rates include airport transfers to and from the explora lodge, accomodations, meals, open bar, daily explorations, and the entrance to national parks and reserves. Airfare and any hotel expenses in Santaigo (if necessary) are not included.

See the terms and conditions here.


For more details and to make a reservation, please contact: Trips Away Travel., Inc. (, call Josette at 201-569-1812 ext. 114 or email

Recommended clothing:

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 Atacama, we will have Nikon equipment available for your use upon request, consisting of Nikon D7000 D-SLRs, 18-200mm NIKKOR lenses, and COOLPIX AW100 compact digital cameras.


Our expeditions are led by NY based photographer and Latin America specialist Katsuyoshi Tanaka, who has traveled extensively in both Patagonia and the Atacama Desert. 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 others 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.

Patagonia, Chile


Transfer from the airport in Punta Arenas to explora Atacama’s Hotel Salto Chico, situated in the heart of the Torres del Paine National Park. The explora Patagonia team will be waiting to welcome you to the lodge and show you to your room. You'll meet the photographer and leader of the expedition, Katsuyoshi Tanaka along with the explora guide to discuss the program.

Welcome slide presentation and initial lecture.


Sunrise and lakes The finest landscapes 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 sun rising 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 (Lakes 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 the wildlife During the afternoon, we will venture into the Nordenskjold field and do some trekking. 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 a view of the French Glacier.


Half day expedition with trekking to Grey Lake. You will see the massive glacier spreading along the field from top of the hill. Other choice of trekking is available depending on the weather condition and guest’ interest.

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 though the fields. If you’re up to it, you can even ride yourself!


Leaving the hotel in the early morning, we will take the flight from Punta Arenas — Santiago — Calama.

Atacama, Chile


Transfer from the airport in Calama to explora Atacama’s Hotel de Larache, situated in the San Pedro Oasis. The explora Atacama team will be waiting to welcome you to the lodge and show you to your room. We will discuss the program for the coming days, including a welcome slide presentation and lecture.


Sunrise in the desert This exploration will take you deep into the desolate desert to witness the sensational sunrise. Learn how to photograph the different textures of nature as you walk through the cactus field.

Atacama Salt Lake Enjoy a bike ride along desert trails followed by swimming in the salt water lagoons. There will be plenty of opportunities to grab action shots during the bike ride and at the lagoons. This exploration will also give you a chance to acclimate before heading to higher altitudes.

Horse and valley Horses are great subjects for photography. We will try to capture them running through the dynamic landscape of desert and valley, learn how to take action shots.  

Sunset at Death Valley Situated close to the lodge, Death Valley with its stunning panoramic views of the desert, mountains and its unique combination of light, shade and color, is one of the best spots for photographing sunsets. We will have some trekking along the hill and sand dune.


Encounter the wildlife We will venture into the majestic landscape of Altiplano, visiting various lagoons and mountains, with its great opportunity to photograph the wildlife such as vicunas, llamas and wild birds.

Retreat at hot springs During the afternoon, we will stop at the Puritama Hot Springs, a luxurious treat in the middle of desert, for lunch and bathing.

Visiting Catarpe, the near-by village where you can visit the Inca’s ruin.


Altiplano Lakes Pre-dawn departure by van to Altiplano lakes. This is a full day exploration with fantastic opportunities for landscape photography. You will visit the volcanic lakes and salt flats in the high plateau of the Andes, at an altitude of over 13,000 feet above sea level. You will also learn how to position yourself and how to choose the right lens for high impact pictures.

Nothing tastes better than the breakfast in the middle of the majestic field. BBQ dinner will be set at the explora Quicho, the adobe-made local building. Perfect setting for learning the mix-lighting photography with dimmed light from sunset and artificial light.

DAY 10

Morning orientation. If you have an afternoon flight, you will have time to photograph the town of San Pedro de Atacama.



"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, Tustin, CA

"The instructor provided great opportunities with photography activity choices, not only to see the beauty of Patagonia and Atacama but to experience it, to feel it... amazing!

— Deborah Snyder, Hamptonville, NC

Katsuyoshi Tanaka’s Bio:

A native of Japan, Katsuyoshi Tanaka, relocated to New York in 1993. After working as an assistant for a National Geographic photographer, he began his freelance career in 1995. Since then he has been involved in various projects for magazines, books and exhibitions in the U.S., Japan and many other countries.

He travels extensively in Europe and South America and has been documenting traditional cultures and lifestyles such as bullfighters in Spain, Inca descendants in Peru, and mixed races and cultures in Brazil. He has also documented social issues such as school reform in the United States and America’s imprisoned.

In recent years, he has photographed various performing arts such as ballet and dance companies as well as opera theaters. He held a series of photo exhibitions of the American Ballet Theatre in Tokyo, New York, and Alexandria, Virginia. He also held an exhibit of Argentina Tango at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. in 2007 with full support from American Red Cross. He was also the official photographer for Cirque du Soleil, Canadian based world-famous circus art group when they opened the residential show in Tokyo, 2008.

Tanaka started documenting Brazil in 2001 and has photographed people and nature throughout the country. In February 2011, he published the book, “BRAZIL – The Poetry of Diversity” with full sponsorship of Nikon Inc.

Tanaka started photographing Chile in 2005. He has been fascinated by the grandeur of the landscape and has frequently traveled to Patagonia, Atacama Desert, Easter Island and the high plateau in the Andes with the support of explora.

To view his work, visit his website:

Nikon provides information about this tour for reference and educational use only. Attendees assume all risk associated with booking and traveling for this photo tour and Nikon is in no way responsible for loss, damage or injury associated with a customer’s decision to reserve and travel on this trip.