South Florida is a Mecca for wild bird photography and with more species per square mile the Gulf Coast is literally teeming with nesting and mating birds in early through mid winter. Not only are the wildlife opportunities nearly endless, but we will also have the opportunity to photograph pristine beaches, dunes and a special visit to a seashore location on the Atlantic with a rocky coast.
A few of the birds we will photograph include, but are not limited to, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Anhingas, Snowy Egrets, Cattle Egrets, Glossy Ibises, Green Herons, Tricolored Herons, Black-crowned Night-Herons and the crown jewel of the tour, the Burrowing Owl.
Day One: Meet at 2pm at the hotel (to be determined) in Venice, Florida for a meet and greet and opening presentation followed by a sunset field session at the Venice Rookery.
Day Two: We depart before dawn for a 4 hour+ morning session at the Venice Rookery followed by breakfast. After breakfast, we head back to the hotel to pack our belongs and head south to Cape Coral, a 1 hour drive south. After =checking into the hotel and an afternoon break for lunch and rest, we will gather in the late afternoon for a critique session followed by an afternoon session photographing Burrowing Owls and then it's off to the Fishing Pier at Fort Meyers Beach for sunset and beyond.
Day Three: We will be leaving the hotel at sunrise to head over and shoot the Burrowing Owls for as long as the light is good and the birds are active. In the late morning we will have a processing session at the hotel followed by an afternoon into sunset trip to J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island.
Day Four: We will be departing the hotel 2 hours before sunrise for a 1.5 hour drive south to Big Cypress National Preserve where we will photograph sunrise through the early morning hours focusing on intimate landscapes in the swamp as well as gators and birds. Then we head west across Alligator Alley to Homestead Florida t the foot of Everglades National Park. After checking into the rooms and a lunch, we will visit the National Park for the remainder of the day until after sunset focusing on wildlife and landscapes.
Day Five: We start out the day with a sunrise in the Everglades followed by a few hours of photography in the park. After that it's back to the hotel for a quick breakfast before heading north to Jupiter Beach. After checking into the hotel, we will have classroom session followed by sunset at Coral Cove.
Day Six: We will be leaving the hotel for sunrise for a drive north to Jupiter Beach to photograph Blowing Rocks at sunrise. Blowing Rocks Preserve is an environmental preserve on Jupiter Island in Hobe Sound, Martin County, Florida, USA. It is owned by The Nature Conservancy. It contains the largest Anastasia limestone outcropping on the state's east coast. Breaking waves spray plumes of water through erosion holes; the spray can reach heights of 50 feet (15 m). The tour will end at 10am at the hotel & breakfast.
- Dates: January 22-27, 2016
Instructors: Joseph Rossbach
Limit of 6
- Expert instruction and guiding in the field
- Informal digital darkroom instructional sessions
- Image critique sessions
- Transportation (Participants are asked to carpool. Due to insurance reasons, we are not able to drive any participants.)
- Lodging, meals & incidental costs
- - Digital SLR camera (w/extra batteries and memory cards.)
- - Wide to standard zoom lens, with their lens hoods (I carry 14-24mm and 24-70mm lenses)
- - Telephoto zoom lens for extraction and abstract scenes (I use a 70-200mm lens)
- Long Telephoto for birds and wildlife in the 400 to 600mm range.
- 1.4 or 2x teleconverotr
- Flash with Better Beamer Extender
- - Tripod
- - Cable or electronic shutter release
- - Circular polarizing filter
- - Graduated neutral density filters (if you use them.)
- - Rocket blower and micro-fiber cloths for keeping glass surfaces dry and clean
- - Flashlight or Headlamp
- - Rain jacket and pants
- - Waterproof hiking boots
- - Bag to carry photo gear and extra food/clothing
- - Waders or river shoes
- - Clothing for comfort anywhere between 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (bring extra socks!)
Like any outdoor nature photography workshop, a reasonable degree of fitness is ideal. We will not be engaging in any strenuous physical activity. The majority of the locations we will visit can be easily accessed by road, and short 5-10 minute walks. A few locations we may visit require short hikes to access, no more than 1 mile round trip and featuring anywhere from 0-50ft of elevation gain.