great blue heron taking flight at sunrise with orange water aurora borealis northern lights photo with red bald eagle in flight photo colorado fall aspens photo marshall point lighthouse sunset
First Light Photography Workshops
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April 1 - 7

Osprey Galore and More Photo Workshop

Single Supplement - $300

Flight Destination: Orlando, FL

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gentoo penguin jumping out of water

Imagine every possible osprey nest shot you could get and this is what you will experience on this new one-of-a-kind workshop. We will be spending three days on a lake in two large flat-bottomed boats with lots of space to get every shot possible. We take two boats out so everyone has more than enough space to get flight shots, landing and take-off shots both of the birds by themselves and with fish to feed their young as well as babies in the nest.

The latest Audubon nest count had 325 nests at this cypress lined lake an hour south of Orlando. Some nests are on top of broken trees so low you can see right into them in order to get great shots of the babies in there.

We see the boat launch from our accommodations so there is no getting up real early in order to get to our shooting locations. Some people have used just a 100-400mm lens to do all of their shooting. Me, I never travel without my 600mm but you need to be adept at quick maneuvering to get the osprey as they come and go to the nests.

Also roaming around the area when we not on the lake are numerous limkin that will add a little diversity to the shooting in this area. Picture yourself with 650 adult osprey in the area and young in the nest and know you will come away with as many osprey images as you will ever need.

osprey in flight

osprey landing at nest with fish

osprey young in nest

Beside our three days at the lake with these amazing birds, we will also spend two days at the Gatorland bird rookery, a place you will feel like a kid in a candy store being told you can take as much candy as you want. As you walk around the corner on the boardwalk to the rokkery area of this theme park, your jaw will drop at the number and variety of birds available to photograph, some just a couple feet away.

As the morning turns to evening the subject matter switches from nest and portrait work to birds in flight, including rare wood storks that control one section of trees on the opposite, now sun, side of the marsh. Since its creation in 1991, varieties of egrets and herons along with wood storks, cormorants, anhingas and other birds have flocked to it during breeding season. With such a large variety of birds, it's no wonder there are photographers here every day during nesting season to take advantage of the amount of shooting that can be done.

Each day at Gatorland we will have a photo pass that allows us early entry and late departure so that we can take advantage of the great light and smaller crowds that can wander through once the gates open to the public. Oh, and if you want to get any alligator shots there are plenty of them as well as this is their breeding marsh and they will be in full display.

Our trip also includes a late afternoon / evening shoot at Circle B Bar Preserve. Created in 2006 this nearly 1,300 acre preserve has become home to hundreds of wading birds, waterfowl, ospreys and bald eagles. If we are lucky we will even be graced by the appearance of some sandhill cranes with their babies. Who knows, we might even run across a bobcat. Every visit made here on a workshop has produced something new and exciting. The last time it was a barred owl nest along with the very striking purple gallinute.

What you'll learn on this workshop:

  • Flight photography techniques
  • Learning to observe behavior patterns to help anticipate what will happen next to get peak action shots
  • Sunrise and sunset exposure tips to bring out great colors
  • Learning to read and use natural light to the best of your advantage
  • Proper exposure techniques of white birds

* Hotel, ground transportation and all meals included in cost
* Pick-up and drop-off from designated airport
* Hands-on help in the field and in-room digital instructional programs
* Our aim is to help you capture great images in a relaxed atmosphere and teach material that will help you take better photos the next time you go into the field

cattle egret in breeding plumage

great egret in breeding plumage

sandhill crane aduly and baby

wood stork taking flight