In The Spirit of Atacama Photography Workshop in Chile

The next Ateliers


From the 28th of October till the 2nd of november (Only 3 persons,  special accomodations conditions. Contact us for more information)

From the 4th of november till the 11th of november

Duration: seven days

From the 4th of november till the 18th of november Duration: fourteen days, including three days of jeep excursions across the Atacama Desert.

From the 18th of november till the 2nd of december * NOT AVAILABLE ANYMORE*

From the 2nd of december till the 16th of december * NOT AVAILABLE ANYMORE *


From the 30th of december till the 6th of january * NOT AVAILABLE ANYMORE *

The course offers a unique, unforgettable experience in fascinating landscapes. Venturing out into these difficult, impervious areas, there is an opportunity to produce some amazing photographs. We travel by jeep across a terrain that is simply unique.

The program is aimed at technical, artistic and personal growth. With its silence, a desert is an ideal place to start discovering personal inner attitudes and points of view and to begin to really see and understand everything that surrounds you.

When you are in the desert, you will acquire a deeper and stronger sense of the present moment.

Maximum number of participants: 4-6 people.

Levels: Beginners, Intermediate, Expert

  • an overview of each phase when shots are taken;
  • switching to manual mode;
  • professional growth as a photographer;
  • discovering and reflecting on your own personal approach as a photographer.


  • the camera: functions and characteristics;
  • analogical and digital processes;
  • ISO data, aperture and exposure times;
  • focus-setting;
  • camera histogram: how to interpret images;
  • portraits;
  • landscape photography;
  • low light photography;
  • photos taken at dawn and in the evening;
  • white balance;
  • light temperature;
  • use of HDR;
  • photo/image editing (studio).

La Murtra: our base and headquarters

Close to the village of Chiu Chiu, La Murtra is situated next to Santa Maria del Silencio, the oldest church in northern Chile.

Outside the village, there is a ten-bedroom house and another structure with a large kitchen, a library, a workshop and a garden facing the Andes Cordillera.

Lourdes Flavia and Pepe, the owners, developed the property, creating a place where visitors can enjoy a totally silent atmosphere, meditate and rest. Some people stay at this site for weeks, spending their time reading, contemplating the scenery and listening to the wind. It is a simple, very comfortable location.

During the morning the Oratorium, a small intimate place,is flooded with the sun’s rays, offering a fascinating sight to anyone inside it. It conveys a sense of strength and concentration and is a destination for visitors of all faiths.

La Murtra is not a hotel in the strictly modern sense but a very comfortable boarding house open to everyone, offering all of the basic services that are required.  Each room has a personal bathroom and a balcony offering views of the cordillera. The owners prepare and offer breakfast for their guests, who have to leave their rooms in order and tidy up the kitchen after meals.

We always have a special treat: after long days spent out in the nearby areas our Italian chef prepares some delicious food for us.

However, if you prefer to stay in the small village hotel (15 Km from La Murtra) you can reach an agreement with the owners and with a small contribution made for the cost of the gasoline we will come to pick you up.


A typical day

Photography at dawn, capturing unique light. A warm breakfast, and then we’re off!

  • an in-depth review of basic concepts;
  • starting the excursion;
  • on-site technical control of cameras;
  • a stunning tour of impervious, unique spots;
  • photos of a variety of subjects in the desert; camera setup techniques, and creative use of our equipment;
  • lunch in the shade out in the desert, or back at the base;
  • returning to the field, and pictures taken at sunset;
  • back at the base: photo-editing session (lightroom);
  • refreshments, sharing our experiences and enjoying a good dinner!
  • Until late in the evening we can review the day’s photos and compare our experiences. It is possible to take shots of the night sky. You will be amazed by views of the Milky-Way galaxies and other wonders. The sky is clear and bright to such a degree only in deserts of this kind.

Other events:

  • A visit to El Tatio geyser field.
  • Excursion to the salt desert.
  • Meeting local people who have acquired prominence in the cultural world.
  • A meeting with Claudio Perez, a photographer who has gained fame with his albums of photographs of the Acatama Desert and Chile in general.
  • A ‘one-day-one-night’ trip to San Pedro de Atacama, with accommodation at a comfortable hotel.

And, optional…

a magical night spent in a single tent on the shore of a nearby lake.


Beginners level

Would you like to bring the compact camera you have at home?

Well, it may be all right, but it must have the PASM exposure mode and optical zoom facility.

You can choose between a compact, bridge-type or hybrid camera with interchangeable lenses.

We recommend a DSRL or equipment that will allow you to use PASM mode and change lenses. With a DSRL – even one of the less expensive models – you can achieve full control and develop good technical skills in just one week. You will start using it immediately and will easily understand how the lenses work. Then you can go on to manual mode and control the exposure of your shots.

Intermediate level

Again, for this level we would recommend a DSRL, a hybrid or a compact model, which should have an angularzoom or telephoto-zoom lens.

  • Lenses: With DSRL cameras, both novices and experts can replace lenses according to the subjects they are interested in. For landscapes, the best solutions are from 16 to 40 mm. For close-up images of distant subjects, 70 to 200-mm lenses are a good choice.
  • Tripods: indispensable in the desert, to avoid undesired movements.
  • 3 or 4 SHDC cards to download photos and a 4-GB USB stick to save them.

Please contact me for any technical advice you may require. I will be pleased to help you.


In the Andes Cordillera the summer season, characterised by warm, dry, sunny and cloudless days, begins between November and December. The average temperature will be 35°C.

During the winter, starting in May, the nights can be quite cold (temperatures descending to -3°C), but there are beautiful days with temperatures of up to 30°C. The winter atmosphere is more limpid than in the summer, but the days are not so sunny. In an almost total absence of humidity, the ideal choice with respect to clothing is lightweight during the day, properly covering your arms and legs, and fully-protective casual garments in the evening.

It is advisable to use the strongest type of sun-protection oil at all times and good quality sunglasses.


How to get there

Many participants will fly to Atacama from different continents. The best solution is to meet at Calama at the end of your flight. Flights from all over the world normally arrive in the morning at Santiago, the capital of Chile. You can then fly to Calama, either directly or via Antofogasta.

It takes about an hour to reach Calama, where you will find us waiting for you with our jeep.

After a 40-minute ride you will be in the desert. This is where the adventure begins!

 Duration and costs

7 days: $ 1.100,00 (one thousand and one hundred US Dollars)

14 days: $ 2.200,00 (two thousands and two hundreds US Dollars)

Payment procedure

Once you have booked the flight, you can communicate the registration code to us. At that point you should send us an advance payment of 40% of the total fee, and we should receive the remaining amount upon your arrival in Chiu Chiu.

The cost of the course covers instructors’ fees, your board and lodging at La Murtra and the shared jeep rental and fuel;

 It does not include:

  • the cost of your flight;
  • any nights spent at hotel In San Pedro