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Wildlife Weekend – a 3-Day Immersive Workshop

Wildlife Weekend – a 3-Day Immersive Workshop

Workshop Dates: (Click on the date to reserve your space)
Friday – Sunday, June 27-29, 2014

Cost: $495 plus your own expenses (travel, lodging, meals, etc).  Registration is limited to 20 and requires a minimum of 6.

There’s nothing like photographing wildlife to bring the joy of photography into razor sharp focus!

But wildlife photography is easily one of the most demanding aspects of the hobby.  It requires creativity, vision, persistence, fast reflexes and technical skill – not to mention research, skill and luck required to locate your subjects.

We’ll spend 3 days in the field photographing the elk heard in Benezette, PA as we learn and practice methods of creating compelling wildlife images.

Bull Elk at Sunset (c) 2013 www.TheAmazingImage.com

Bull Elk at Sunset, Benezette PA (c) 2013 www.TheAmazingImage.com

We’ll talk about gear and how to make the most of whatever you have.  From lenses to tripods and different kinds of heads to what kinds of cameras perform best for wildlife and lots more.  And we’ll practice using it too.

Elk in the Snow (c) www.TheAmazingImage.com

Female Elk in the Snow. Benezette PA (c) www.TheAmazingImage.com

Through hands-on, in the field shooting, you’ll learn how to anticipate the critical moment, to take advantage of wildlife behavior, to compose your images and to manage your focus points, burst shooting, buffer, metering modes and other critical camera settings and functions.

Most of all, you’ll learn how to pre-visualize your images and how to set yourself up to capture the image you’ve dreamed of by mastering your camera gear and your environment!

We’ve chosen Benezette, PA because we have abundant subjects with largely unrestricted access.  That allows us to minimize the time spent searching for subjects and maximize our time in the field – and that maximizes your learning.

Elk are relatively docile and make excellent practice subjects.  The principles you learn will be applicable to other wildlife subjects from birds to bears and everything in between.

Brown Bear with Salmon (c) www.TheAmazingImage.com

Alaskan Brown Bear with Salmon (c) www.TheAmazingImage.com

Benezette is about 9 hours by car from Boston, 2.5 hours from Pittsburgh, 4.5 hours from New York and 3 hours from Buffalo.

If you’re planning to fly in, Pittsburgh is probably the best bet.  Car rentals are available from all of the major national companies. If you’re driving from the greater Boston area, I may be able to share a ride in my car for a small additional fee.

Barred Owl Peekaboo (c) www.TheAmazingImage.com

Barred Owl Peekaboo (c) www.TheAmazingImage.com

Schedule

Friday – Meet at our hotel at noon.  Late arrivals can catch up with us via cell phone and/or e-mail.  Check in and head out to locate and photograph the elk.  We go back to the hotel at dusk and after eating, we review and critique our days work, with an eye toward sharpening our skills for the next day.  We’ll also work in Aperture to perform basic editing.  Bring your laptop with your photo editing program!

Saturday – Early to rise, we’re out at sunrise for a morning shoot.  Mid-day, we’ll break for lunch and then head out to shoot some more.  We’ll head back to the hotel about dusk and review our images after a meal.

Sunday – Another early rise and photo shoot, followed by a mid day lunch and wrap-up discussion.  We’ll head for home about 1 PM.

Bald Eagle with Fish (c) www.TheAmazingImage.com

Bald Eagle with Fish (c) www.TheAmazingImage.com

This workshop is recommended for those who are at an intermediate skill level or above.  You should be familiar with all of the basic camera controls.  You should be somewhat comfortable navigating your camera’s menus and adjusting aperture, shutter speed and ISO.

DSLRs, mirrorless or advanced “point & shoot” cameras with long telephotos are best for this workshop.  Lenses in the 300mm (effective) range and longer are recommended.

Cameras, lenses and tripods are all available for rental at LensProToGo, a company we recommend highly.  They are based in Concord, MA and allow you to pick up gear there to save on costs.  If you are planning to rent, consider a camera body with a fast burst rate and a lens in the 500mm-600mm range.  We will be happy to offer suggestions, as will the folks at LensProToGo.

For those who are beginners, we recommend attending the Digital Camera Bootcamp or a One-on-One private photo lesson as a fast way to get up to speed for this workshop.