Frequently Asked Questions
Who are Frozen Hiker Photography?
Frozen Hiker Photography was created by Don Tredinnick in 2012 with the goal of providing classes and workshops for people wanting to improve their photographic skills.
Don leads weekend workshops and classes in Minnesota and is the photo-hike leader for the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. He is an experienced nature and wildlife photographer who travels extensively to capture amazing nature and wildlife images. Some favorite locations include Kaktovik Alaska, Galapagos Islands, Death Valley National Park, Costa Rica, Maine, South Florida, and Yellowstone National Park. In 2013, he spent time as Artist in Residence at the North Cascades Institute in North Cascades National Park. He enjoys photographing nature, wildlife, and old dilapidated buildings and equipment. Don moonlights as an engineer. www.frozenhiker.com
Bruce Norman has been a professional photographer since 2005. He specializes in wildlife, landscapes, portraits, light, smoke, and extreme fast-motion capture. He has worked with Don on several Frozen Hiker workshops. Like Don, he has a background in engineering. www.brucenorman.com
Why should I go on a special photography trip when I can take photos on any trip?
Although it is easy to take close-up wildlife photos on any Galapagos trip, getting ones that you might want to put on your wall can be a bit harder. Tips on lighting, composition, equipment settings can do wonders for your results. Learning processing techniques and working your images during your trip means your images will be ready to show when you return, rather than being a hefty item on your eternal "to-do" list.
Some photo trips are more like trips with the photographer present rather than actual workshops. Don and Bruce will focus on helping you get your best shots and your best digital results rather than them getting their best shot. They proposed this trip to INCA because they want to share their passion as teachers of photography skills.
Do I need any special equipment?
Don recommends the following equipment for your Galapagos trip. He will speak with potential guests to make sure the trip is right for them and answer any photography questions.
- Wide Angle Lens - for capturing landscapes
- Telephoto Zoom lens - wildlife can be very close, and is rarely far away. We recommend a lens that extends to 300 or 400mm for a full frame camera, 200 to 300 for a crop sensor camera. Some examples are 28 - 300, 70 - 200, 80-400 for full frame, 18 - 200, 18 - 270, 28 - 300, for crop sensor
- Backpack style camera bag - these tend to have better padding and protection
- Polarizer - to help remove the glare from the water and rocks
- Dry-Bag - salt water is very nasty to camera gear, while transporting to and from the islands you will want to keep your gear safe from any sea spray
- Microfiber Towel - to dry off equipment in case it gets wet
- Rain Protection for Camera - we will shoot in the rain provided conditions are safe enough to land on the island
- Rain Gear for you (in case of rain)
- Lens Cleaning Equipment - the salt air will cause the front element of the lens, or your filters to get dirty rather quickly
- Camera Manual
- Spare Batteries & Memory Cards
- Laptop and Card Reader
- Adobe Lightroom installed
- External storage to backup your images - it is not uncommon to shoot over 10,000 images during the week
Can I use a flash?
No. Flash photography is forbidden at visitor sites, both ashore and underwater.
Can I use a drone?
No. Drone photography is prohibited within the Park boundaries without special (and rarely granted) permits.
Will I need a tripod?
Although both Don and Bruce are big proponents of using tripods, especially for landscape photography, for this workshop Don does not recommend them as they will often be in the way. If you need help with stabilization, a monopod is a better option.
Will I need a laptop?
Having a laptop computer or a tablet that allows you to edit photos is recommended if you want to participate in image reviews and critiques.
Do I need Lightroom?
Adobe Lightroom is not required, but it is preferred. Please bring a photo editor that has advanced editing capabilities if you would like assistance with post processing of images.
How much time is spent ashore during the day?
Time at each visitor site is highly regulated by the Galapagos National Park. Each yacht is allocated a time slot and all passengers must complete their visit during this time, usually around 2-3 hours. Most days have two shore visits and one snorkel or kayak per day.
Do not be fooled by time limits--your naturalist guides and yacht captain have organized and maximized the itinerary so each day is complete.
How much time is spent in the water each day?
The Galapagos Marine Reserve is one of the largest and most biologically diverse marine protected areas in the world and well worth exploring. There are snorkeling opportunities almost every day and on some days twice. A snorkel will last around 45 minutes. Due to the cold ocean currents, wetsuits are highly recommended and you will have an opportunity to rent one in Galapagos.
What will the weather be like in Galapagos in early July?
The average high temperature in July is 79F/26C and the average low temperature is 68F/20C. The hot season has passed and the cloudy, garua season is approaching.
Can I enjoy this trip even if I'm not a photographer?
Yes! Galapagos is unique and fascinating, and our naturalists are experts at sharing in the most engaging ways. While the photographers are focused on their shots, you can be focused on the naturalist's presentations. And while the group is working with their images aboard Integrity, you can be in the jacuzzi, enjoying the view, reading and relaxing. There is not a lot of down time during the day on any Galapagos cruise--you will be busy.
How fit do I need to be?
Your Galapagos experience more enjoyable when you are in good health. Challenging walks on the Eastern Route include: over tipsy lava boulders for two hours (to see Waved Albatross), up and down a steep (but short) tuft-cone gully, 150 ft. up and down steep stairs carved into a caldera, across sharp black pahoehoe lava, and 374 wooden steps to the top of Bartolomé. Most walks are along sandy beaches and relatively flat trails.
Snorkeling is one of the highlights of a Galapagos experience. Your trip will be more enjoyable if you know how to swim and can practice using a mask and snorkel tube before you arrive.
If you wish to skip an activity during the cruise, you are welcome to stay at aboard Integrity. If your naturalists feel it would be unwise for your safety and the safety of the group for you to undertake a particular activity, they may require you to stay aboard.