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Notes From Mal Pais, Costa Rica

March 14, 2010

Students on the beach. Mal Pais, Costa Rica

Mal Pais may mean “bad lands”, but it’s one of my favorite places in the world. This little town on the Pacific coast was the venue for our first “Edge of the World” workshop in Costa Rica. Jesse and myself had five photo students and Kevin Chambers taught a sculpture class to six students.

The weather was great for us. Highs in the low 90’s and lows in the 70’s; fahrenheit, that is. We had generally finished shooting for the day by the time it got too hot in the afternoons. The harsh afternoon sun is not exactly the best light for making great photos anyway. There were barely any clouds during the day, but we got enough by evening for some truly spectacular sunsets.

Jesse Brown at Casa Marbella

Our students were great! Everyone was eager to make great photos and learn something new. The students represented all different experience levels, and I think they all went home with some techniques to improve their photos.

White-throated magpie jay. Mal Pais, Costa Rica

The wildlife around the Casa Marbella hotel cooperated quite nicely with us. The trees were filled each morning with parrots, white-throated magpie jays, woodpeckers and more. The afternoon sun brought several iguanas out in the trees just off our balconies. The largest we saw were around three feet long. There was a troop of howler monkeys in the trees along the beach while we were there. We could see them monkeying around each morning and evening from our vantage point on the hill at Casa Marbella.

Casa Marbella hotel. Mal Pais, Costa Rica

Speaking of the hotel… Jim and Stephanie at the Casa Marbella hotel could not have been more accommodating. They were quick to help our students with anything they needed; from extra towels to surf lessons and tours. We are looking forward to hosting another workshop there next spring. I can’t think of a better venue for a class like ours. The hotel is wonderful and it’s in the perfect location along the coast. It is out of the tourist flow, but just a few steps from anything you might need.

All photos in this post by Rob Knight. Please do not reproduce without permission.

More to come…

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