Patagonia FAQ's - Don Smith Photography

Can I pay with a credit card? Full payment can be made with a credit card through PayPal; any PayPal payment less than the full workshop amount will have a 3% credit card fee added. E-mail Don Smith to request a PayPal invoice. Don Smith:

Do you accept a deposit? Yes, a $2000.00 non-refundable deposit will reserve your spot. Final balances are due on or before 100 days prior to start of Workshop. Deposit and Balance payments are accepted by personal check only. Please email me before sending: don@donsmithphotographycom and I will send you an address. Once I know the check is going out, I will hold your spot.

When Does Workshop Begin? We will begin with a 10am Orientation Meeting in lobby at Kau Yatan Hotel in El Calafate on February 19.

When Does Workshop End? We will end the workshop with  a boat tour on the 28th - it will arrive back to port near sunset. We cover your room in Puerto Natales that evening.

Recommended Departure Airport: We recommend flying out of Punta Arenas Airport. There is a bus station in Puerto Natales and it is about a three-hour ride that delivers you right to the airport. If you would like to leave the day after the workshop concludes, let me know ASAP and we can arrange bus tickets for you. If you wish to stay on longer, then the hotel Weskar can make arrangements for you.

Can my wife/husband/friend share my room? Because we're providing transportation with only enough space for the workshop participants, their gear and luggage, only full-paying participants can join us.

How much gear can I bring? We are limited by our driving services to one suitcase and one personal bag (camera bag and laptop).

Where do I fly to? The Workshop will begin in El Calafate, Argentina, and will end in Puerta Natales, Chile. Each participant will need to take a taxi to the Kau Yatun Hotel. It will be about a 15-minute drive from the El Calafate Airport. The Workshop will end in Puerta Natales, Chile. We recommend flying out of Punta Arenas Airport - about 3 hours from the Weskar Hotel in Chile. There is local bus service to the Punta Arenas Airport.

Why Fall? We only offer workshops when and where we would photograph on our own. We chose late summer/fall  for Patagonia simply because that's when the photography is best. The real heavy winds blow in the summer months, so by fall, the winds are calming down. Wind was never an issue during our two-week scouting session.

How much hiking will there be? There will a few moderate walks at a photographer's pace (time to shoot along the way), but nothing that requires significant fitness. If you can walk one mile with a few hills, you'll be fine.

What's the weather like? As mentioned, Patagonia can be windy, though this was not an issue during our stay. We will also be there in late-summer/early fall. Average temperatures in February: El Calafate: 59F/41F, El Chalten: 63F/45F, and Puerto Natales: 60F/49F. We recommend light rain gear as stray showers can occur while on location.

What will the workshop days be like? Every day will be a little different, but the emphasis will be on shooting whenever conditions cooperate. Many of our drives between lodging cities include fantastic photo opportunities that we'll take advantage of at every opportunity. Because we'll stay in three different towns, most of our sunrise/sunset locations will be fairly close to our hotels. With 6:30am sunrises, we won't need to start super early. Most mornings we will have you back for breakfast, or you can eat before departing. Moreover, with 9:15pm sunsets, we'll eat dinner either in the parks or before leaving for shoots. We will give you some down time in-between to process images and/or take a nap.

Will there be training? Given the amount of photography we have planned, training will happen more in the field and on the road than in a classroom (though there will be some classroom time in El Chalten). Much of the training schedule will depend on the photography conditions we encounter, but we want everyone to feel that they've received all the guidance they need to get the shots they want, and to become better photographers. Class sessions will involve image review and workflow training.

How much driving will there be? We've organized our locations to minimize the travel time between lodging destinations, and to break up as much of our drive time as possible with photo opportunities. We also will stay consecutive nights in most locations. Most of our lodging locations are 2-3 hours from each other. We do have one 6 1/2- hour drive from El Chalten, Argentina to Punta Natales, Chile, but it will be broken up by some fantastic locations that will mean nearly an entire day of beautiful photography.

Do I Need Converters for my Electronics and Phone? All plugs in Patagonia (both Argentina and Chile) are 220V and will require a simple converter that you can purchase at most electronic stores (Best Buy, Radio Shack, etc.) or even online via Amazon. They are about $12-$15 per plug and we recommend two and a US power strip and you can charge as many items as you need. Best Buys sells a kit for $35 that includes plugs for all countries in the world! We are all Apple and everything worked fine and even our Sony and Nikon battery chargers worked great. It is really a non-issue but best to check with your product.

Who will my instructors be? Both Don Smith and Ron Modra will be leading this workshop. All locations we will be taking you to have personally been scouted and photographed by us.

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