TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE 2020: Chile

Photography Workshop

DATES: December 13–18, 2020

Join me on the ultimate photography adventure. We’ll photograph and Total Solar Eclipse in the Pucón area and after that we’ll explore the lakes and national parks of the region.

Plus an optional excursion to Easter Island!

For the eclipse, we can expect about 2:09 of totality.

Basic Expectations

Lodging: I’m booking each participant a room of their own. No sharing, unless you buy two seats on the journey and travel with your photo buddy and want to stay together. Contact me as I can save you about $200 each for those who want this option.

Transportation: I’m renting a van which means the major point to point transportation is covered on the mainland. Local bus fares, Uber and the like, if necessary, are on your own.

Photographic and Travel Expertise: You’ll get about five and a half days of instruction/mentoring by me, Brent Bergherm. We will plan to squeeze in some post production of your images but we must remain flexible due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather. Additionally, since we’ll be pushing it hard early mornings and late into the evenings, brief siestas may also be possible for an afternoon or two.

I have not been to this part of Chile before. You can bet I have spent countless hours researching locations but I just wanted to make sure you knew what you were getting into. I’m thrilled to have you join me for this journey filled with exploration and discovery.

Small Group: With a limit of six attendees you’re virtually guaranteed some quality time with me and the other attendees. We will get to know each other pretty well given how much time we’ll be spending together.

Physical Requirements: Some trails are rated “moderate” by AllTrails.com. The longest one is about 4 miles with an optional extension to a basin with small mountain lakes. Good hiking boots and a pack large enough to carry your gear and food stuffs is required.

Weather: Be prepared for rain. December is the driest month, but the Pucón region is rather wet. We’ll plan to shoot unless it gets to be a total downpour.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Arrival: Please plan to fly into Temuco. Airport code: TCO.

Lodging tonight: You must arrive by 3:00 p.m. please. We need to get out of town no later than 4:30 as it’s almost two hours to our destination of Pucón. Lodging in Pucón is covered tonight.

Sunday, December 13

Sunrise is at 6:15: Officially we’ll plan to rest in a bit to recover from all the travel. However, for those that are itching to get out, we’ll shoot sunrise in Pucón. We’ll get some breakfast and head on out for the day by 9:30 a.m.

Rest of the day: Today is all about exploring options for the eclipse happening tomorrow. We plan to drive around a couple lakes, get to the Villarica Ski Area. We’ll take some pics as we go and we’ll find a place to eat somewhere, but the main focus will be to explore the options for that wonderful celestial event happening tomorrow.

Monday, December 14, ECLIPSE TODAY

Sunrise: We’ll get out and shoot the sunrise at or in the area of Villarica Ski Area, or another location we found yesterday. We’ll get a breakfast then get into position for the Eclipse.

The Eclipse: The initial transition happens at about 11:41 a.m. Totality starts at about 1:03 p.m. and lasts two minutes and nine seconds, give or take a few seconds depending on how far south or north we get of Pucón. The final departure of the moon in front of the sun ends at about 2:31 p.m. I will want to get a full transition sequence shot if we have the right foreground.

Afternoon/Evening: We will either photograph the night in Trogir, a small island city that is dripping with awesomeness, or we’ll go to Diocletian’s Palace in Split. Whatever the group wants to do.

Weather Concerns: It rains a lot in the Pucón region. However, December is one of the driest months. Plus, we’ll be able to drive to really high elevations. That said, we are at the mercy of the weather on this trip.

Tuesday–Friday, December 15–18

Sunrises: We’ll play things by ear a little bit. If the group is wanting to get out and get sunrises we’ll do it. We’ll then get breakfast somewhere in a town near where we’re shooting.

Location Options: 

Huerquehue National Park Lakes and Waterfalls trail. It’s about 4 miles at a minimum and longer if we want to go to the lakes. Great views of Villarica Volcano.

Ojos del Caburgua. Popular waterfalls that are easily accessible.

Salto Copihue and Salto Bellevista. Two waterfalls close to Carburgua. A bit of a walk but shouldn’t be too bad.

Lake Vallarica, Lake Colico, Lake Caburgua, Lake Tinquilco, Lake Calafquén, Salto Palguin, Salto La China, Salto El León. Each of these areas has trails, views and other great spots to visit and photograph. If we don’t find something interesting for the weather we have we’ll simply move on.

End of Main Workshop: The main event ends at sunset on Friday the 18th. The last day for included lodging will be the same. Those wishing to extend the fun can add the Easter Island extension, keep reading for details!

BONUS: Saturday and Sunday, December 19–20, 2020

Early Saturday Morning: Sleep in. We’ll need it. Flights out of Temuco generally don’t leave until afternoon. Our departure time from Pucón depends on flight departure times from Temuco.

Rest of the day: Drive to Temuco. Fly to Santiago and onward to Easter Island. Note, most flights leave Temuco in the evening. We’ll spend the night in Santiago (I’m happy to simply stay in the airport) and we’ll fly out Sunday morning. Since airfare is not included in the workshop fee we will be in communication regarding our respective flight times.

Sunday Morning: Flight to Easter Island at about 9:30 a.m. Arrives mid afternoon.

Sunday Evening: We’ll get settled in and do a sunset shoot on a beach.

Monday and Tuesday, December 21 & 22

Both days: I’m coordinating with a tour company to take us to various locations to guarantee we get to good spots for our photography. It will include a hike around the north west corner of the island.

Wednesday, December 23

Return Home: The workshop is over and it’s time to head home in time for Christmas, for me anyway.

Camera stuff: If you’ve got questions I’ll be able to help you find out how do to something with your camera, if your camera offers it anyway. Bring your user manual as a “backup” of sorts in case we need to look things up.

Shooting and post-processing: My priority is you and your image making. We’ll be talking about the scene as we are shooting and I’ll help you understand how to shoot a scene according to what your end goal is. This may slow us down a bit. And to me, that’s just fine. I’d rather get it right, as much as possible, and focus on the meaning and purpose of the image over a “spray and pray” approach. We’ll then have opportunities to look at some of what you created and we’ll do everything from light weight editing in Lightroom to pushing the heavyweight adjustments that requires Photoshop. I’ve been teaching this stuff for 12 years, however, I’m sure all of us will have opportunities to learn from everyone else as well. That’s one of the great benefits of a workshop!

Composition: I love to encourage you to experiment and this gives us something to talk about. It’s good to analyze images and understand what works and what doesn’t. We’ll do this both as we’re shooting, and afterwards.

Nature: We’ll be photographing waterfalls primarily, but along with that may be some macro opportunities as well as other landscapes and certainly some lakes to photograph as well.

City/Street photography: We’ll be visiting many small towns and cities. There’s bound to be a bunch of people around and we’ll celebrate that fact, and we’ll work to get shots without people as well.

Telling a story: You’ll find me asking you something like “what does this image say?” to you or “what do you want it to say?” to your viewer. Maybe certain images aren’t that strong and don’t live well by themselves, but they work great in a series. Creating a body of work that only you can tell will be our focus. My job is to help you decide what you want to say with your images if you haven’t figured that out already, and then how to best execute that.

Lodging: I’ve already got the hotels figured out. We’ll be staying in Pucón for the duration of the workshop. You’ll have your own room as well. If you want to room with someone, please contact me and I’ll issue a coupon code that’s good when you buy two seats at the same time. You’ll save a couple hundred per person and I’ll then plan to have you stay in the same room. The default is single occupancy though.

Transportation: Since I’m renting a van the major point to point transportation is covered. Local bus fares, Uber and the like are on your own.

Transportation on Easter Island: Excursions coordinated with the tour company will include transportation. Airport transfers and all other transportation is on your own.

Photographic and Travel Expertise: You’ll get about five and a half days of instruction/mentoring by me, Brent Bergherm. We will plan to squeeze in two sessions of post production of your images but we must remain flexible due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather. Additionally, since we’ll be pushing it hard early mornings and late into the evenings, brief siestas may also be possible for an afternoon or two.

Small Group: With a limit of six attendees you’re virtually guaranteed some quality time with me and the other attendees. We will get to know each other pretty well given how much time we’ll be spending together.

Physical Requirements: Please expect to walk up to 4 miles per day. Sometimes more but usually a bit less too. We won’t be doing any “long distance hiking” per se, but good walking boots are certainly needed.

Easter Island Extension

If you’re interested, you can extend the main journey with a couple extra days photographing on Easter Island. See the details under the main itinerary tab. 

We’ll plan to shoot the rugged coast, the statues and some nigh-time photos as well.

Food & Drink: Meals, snacks, drinks, they’re all on your own, although the hotel may have a breakfast. But as we’ll be out and about so much plan to provide for all your food.

Bottled water is plentiful and can range in price from very affordable to downright expensive. It just depends on where you are. We’ll certainly go to some restaurants, but since we’ll be shooting so much we’ll often “forget” to eat. So we’ll need to be prepared and keep some calories with us. Grocery stores and markets or bakeries will be our friends. Please plan for enough cash on hand to provide for all your own food and drinks and enough room in your pack to keep you going all day.

Other Entrance Fees: I AM including the following entrance fees: Villarica National Park, Huerquehue National Park and Volcanic Caves Park. Other entrance fees are not included if they are applicable. Due to the nature of this workshop we may have “unplanned” stops and destinations as we find more to shoot once there.

Incidental Transportation: I am including major point to point transportation in the workshop fee through a van/car rental. But Uber rides, short bus rides and the like are not included and will have to be covered by you.

Insurance: Please secure your own travel insurance. Also ensure that your medical insurance is valid overseas. Please expect me to ask you to verify your insurance coverage. Both medical and standard travel insurance. What if I have to cancel the trip for some reason? That would stink, but there will be some fees that simply can’t be recouped (such as your airfare) and travel insurance will keep that from being a big issue.

Airfare and other “getting there” transportation: You’ll have to fly or otherwise transport yourself to Temuco (ZCO) for the start of the workshop and plan for departure from the same airport. If you want to extend your journey on your own that’s completely wonderful. Just communicate with me when you will be leaving the group.

Miscellaneous: If it’s not on the “included” list above, assume it’s not included in the workshop fee.

Last updated 7-23-19

Money: ATMs are widely available in all the spots we’ll be heading to. These are the best options for getting cash. But what happens if your card goes bad? Or is lost? Bringing an emergency stash of cash is a good idea. But please be smart about it and carry it dispersed throughout your various pockets and places where cash can hide. Also, please bring at least two bank cards. The last time I was there one of my debit cards worked in the ATM and the other didn’t, and they’re both from the same bank! It was very frustrating and the bank couldn’t figure it out.

Camera Gear: I usually risk it and only bring one camera on my travels. Two is just too burdensome. Bring the gear you think you’ll need, minus one or two pieces if at all possible. I recommend limiting yourself in your gear selection for two main reasons. 1). You can challenge yourself creatively by forcing yourself to make good images with the gear you have with you. 2). We need to be as light and mobile as possible. Carrying more and more gear will be counter intuitive to that notion. Be sure to bring your tripod though 🙂

Pack Light: I’ll be limiting myself to one Tenba DNA 13 messenger bag (or equivalent sized bag) for all my camera gear. My clothes and computer are limited to one carry-on sized bag or day-sized backpack. That’s it. I hope you’ll consider this a good example. If you bring more gear it may simply not fit in the van!

Please, DO Pack Light: I need you (and your fellow travelers need you to as well) to pack really light. Limit yourself to one carry-on size piece of luggage and your camera bag. And that’s it. We are only there a week. And we’ll have the opportunity to wash clothes in our rooms.. I will literally be bringing one pair of pants, one pair of shorts, three shirts, the necessary unmentionables and that’s about it. Other than that, it’s camera and computer stuff. I’ll bring three lenses, one body and my MacBook Pro 15″ computer with external HDs. If you need help packing light, please let me know. We’ll chat via Skype or something like that.

Medications and safety/health: Croatia is a fairly modern country, but you’ll still need your own medications. Please familiarize yourself with any of the alerts and warnings posted here at travel.state.gov. As of this writing there are none for Croatia, however there is a general travel warning for all of Europe. For U.S. Citizens, you can learn some important information here, also on the travel.state.gov website for Croatia. Or check out this link for information on Bosnia and Herzegovina. And check out this basic information page for Montenegro.

For your information (readings): If you’d like to read up on Croatia, I recommend the following books: Lonely Planet Guide; Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, written in the early ’40s, this book is loaded with practical history. But it’s over 1,100 pages long, about the first 350 pages are pertinent to the parts we’re traveling in. Croatia: Travels in Undiscovered Country, this book, while great, does focus on many areas we won’t be going to.

Weather: It’ll be somewhat warm along the coast. Expect the temps to be in the 80’s and 90’s. Evenings are cooler. It’s almost always sunny as well. Inland, such as Plitvice Lakes National Park, it can get cooler and be overcast more often. This can certainly help a lot with our waterfall shots, but in short, be prepared for anything, especially rain. When I was there last, the whole country basically shut down for a day due to the rain. If that happens to us we won’t be able to do much but either drive around or do post-processing. That was a once-in-a-generation type storm though, so I don’t expect it to be like that again. However, we’ll have our own van so we’ll not be dependent upon the busses and other public transport.

Anything else: If you have other questions please do let me know. I’ll get them in here as I’m sure others will have them as well. Don’t be shy! 🙂

More Money Matters: Croatia has their own currency, the Kuna. Bosnia Herzegovina uses Convertible Marks and Montenegro uses the Euro.

Last updated: 9-16-18

Eclipse and Lakes District

$2990
  • 6 days of exploration and shooting
  • Min 3 Max 6 attendees
  • Lodging Included!
  • Early bird pricing and full-payment discounts available.

Eclipse, Lakes District and Easter Island

$3990
  • 6+3 days of exploration and shooting
  • Min 3 and Max 6 attendees
  • Lodging Included!
  • Early bird pricing and full-payment discounts available.

Before and After

I’ll create a private Facebook group for communication and photo sharing and review.  You’re encouraged to post images after the shoot for review by me and others that have attended. I’ll plan to leave the group open for several months after the tour but we’ll hope to see all review requests submitted within six weeks after the workshop. After that you’re still encouraged to submit images for review, I may not get to them in a timely fashion though 🙂

As we get closer to the workshop I’ll be posting some blog items about shooting the eclipse and I’ll email you all about filters and such. Plan to bring a wide angle lens for the “regular” shots and a telephoto lens to really zoom in and get the transition going. I’ll likely be able to provide some solar filters, but a 10 stop by Breakthrough Photography is really your best option.

 

Lodging notes

  • Pucón: We’re staying at a standard hotel. You’ll have your own room unless you want to pay for two workshop seats at once and coordinate with me on double occupancy.
  • Easter Island: Details are still being worked out as of 7-23-19. Inquire if desired. This will be updated once the details are arranged.

Small Print

There’s just a few stipulations/restrictions that apply to this workshop. They are…

  • Workshop fees are non-refundable unless I’m able to find a replacement in time. I will refund your workshop fees minus a cancellation fee of $150 if a replacement is found. Should you need to cancel and we do find a replacement, I’ll handle everything. I’ll charge them the participation fee and refund you the appropriate amount. I need to do it this way because as I switch up rooms and the like additional costs may be involved which I will have to pass on to the new attendee. If you pay the deposit but are unable to make the final payment, let’s work together to find a replacement for you.
  • Workshop fees only cover instruction, lodging, entrance fees and major transportation as mentioned above. Other costs such as minor transportation, other entrance fees, transfer fees, airfare or other fees to get too and out of Chile are not covered in the workshop fee.
  • Food, drinks and other incidental items are not included.
  • I reserve the right to cancel the workshop and fully refund any fees paid due to unforeseen circumstances. Please be sure you buy insurance. My total liability will only be refunding the fees paid less costs incurred that are non-refundable by me. Unforeseen circumstances include but are not limited to a death in the family, war, act of terror, extreme weather or other natural disaster or other serious issue.
  • Registration Deadline: I need a minimum of three attendees signed up by March 1, 2020, or we risk cancellation. I’ll be in communication with anyone who’s paid fees by the deadline should we run in to this issue. By this point I won’t have paid any non-refundable deposits, so you would expect a full refund.
  • Release of Liability. You’ll be asked to sign a form onsite. But also, by purchasing you agree to release me and my heirs, relatives, business associates and others from any liability for any personal injury, death, loss of valuables and safety risks, or any other malady that may strike due to your involvement in this workshop. You agree that you’re aware of the risks international travel presents and you’re taking these risks upon yourself. You agree to be fully financially independent in all circumstances. Attendees are not vetted before the journey. We will get to know each other via a Facebook group beforehand, but that’s not a substitute for true vetting and getting to really know a person. You understand the risks involved and while I will do all I can to aid and assist with issues that may arise, you agree to hold me and my aforementioned associates harmless due to any interpersonal interactions with fellow attendees and/or anyone we encounter along the way. If you are unwilling to agree to any of these terms listed here please don’t sign up for the workshop.
  • I reserve the right to add to and/or modify or subtract anything on this description page as necessary and without warning. I will notify you if there’s a need to make a change and you’ve already made payment.
  • If we have fewer people than 6 sign up I will rent a smaller vehicle as necessary.