Images of Nature - Instruction - Workshops
Views of Nature Photography
Belize is a small Central American country, formerly British Honduras, that includes a wide variety of things for visitors to enjoy. Our program takes the viewers from the surf to the turf. We start out on South Water Cay, a small, quiet part of the Belize Barrier Reef (second largest in the world, only Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is larger). We then move back to the mainland to visit historic Dangriga, then on to the rainforest to a modern Mennonite settlement, local villages and ancient Mayan sites. We also explore the wide varieties flora and fauna in this tropical land. As with all of our overseas programs, we’ll conclude with tips and suggestions for your own visit.
Japan in Winter
Photographic and travel opportunities in Japan in the winter are really great. This program starts on the northern island of Hokkaido as we look at the endangered red crowned crane, the Eurasian relative of our trumpeter swan, the whooper swan and the indigenous Ainu people. We complete our visit to Hokkaido with time in the bustling city of Sapporo to experience the snow and ice festival as well as the local fish market and brewery. After that we travel down to the main island of Honshu and spend time with Japanese Macaques, known better as snow monkeys. While traveling between wildlife sites, we took advantage of and present to our audience, some of the culture and everyday life in this fascinating country.
The Greek Isles
Our travelogue on Greece allows us to take our viewers on a cruise of the Greek Isles on a tall ship, followed by some time in Athens. We visit six of the Greek Isles including the always popular Delos and Santorini. In addition, we journey to the lesser known islands of Paros, Naxos, Sifnos and Patmos. We present both images and information about the history and culture of the islands as well as a look at modern life on the jewels of the Aegean Sea.
We conclude with a stop in the ancient part of Athens with a visit to the Acropolis and the surrounding historic district. As we always do with our programs, we’ll include some travel tips on visiting Greece.
New England in Fall
New England in the fall is an experience that all travelers must have. The rich color, crisp air, the wonderful food and the experience of moving through the ever-changing landscapes allow travelers to renew themselves and create great memories.
Trees and shrubs in fall color, white churches, covered bridges and ocean front scenes all cry out NEW ENGLAND. These iconic images along with travel suggestions provide our audience with an incentive and a plan to visit this incredible region.
We’ll go from the urban setting of Boston to the coast of Maine, then to the rural regions of Vermont and New Hampshire. We’ll even make a short jaunt into Ontario, Canada.
Our tour will show the fall color, the historic structures, the quaint villages and the overall flavor of New England in the fall.
Monuments of the Four Corners Region
The incredible rock features as well as the mysterious cliff dwellings make this area a doubly interesting trip. The Ancestral Puebloans who inhabited the cliff dwellings, mesa top settlements and many archaeological sites in the Southwest are the ancestors of today’s Pueblo culture, the Hopi and Zuni. The other major tribe, the Navajo, arrived a bit later and now occupy the areas in eastern Utah and northeastern Arizona.
Our starts at Mesa Verde then going west and south to Canyon de Chelly, up to Monument Valley and back to Hovenweep and Canyon of the Ancients. We’ll look at the human impacts and the geologic features of this vast area of land. As we explore the people, we’ll look at the ancient and modern societies.
Please contact us to discuss schedule and pricing information on Travelogues, Short Photography Programs, Nature Photography Programs for Groups, Other Photography Programs for Groups, or Individual and Customized Courses and Programs.
Travel and Nature Photography
The San Luis Valley of Colorado
The San Luis Valley is located in south central Colorado and is one of the most diverse and interesting parts of the state with its history, scenery, wildlife, and modern life experiences. Spanish settlements date back hundreds of years while humans have been here on and off since the Clovis period over 10,000 years ago. Wildlife migration routes date back many millennia.
The Valley is about a four-hour drive from Denver. Upon entering the Valley, the majesty of the mountains and the vast expanses take over. Add in the traditional food at local establishments and the experience just gets better.
We will explore the history, the available activities, the wildlife and the modern life of the Valley. Our many trips to this region allow us to pass on tips and ideas on how the traveler can enjoy the area.
Short Photography Programs
We are pleased to offer a series of short programs ideally suited for camera club meetings and other small group gatherings. These programs can be tailored to beginning or more advanced audiences as needed.
Basic Digital Photography
Our Basic Digital Photography program is an introductory course that looks at what makes a strong image. We cover camera basics, the craft of making images and basic composition. This course is great for beginners using point and shoot cameras or more advanced DSLR cameras.
Beginning Nature Photography
The Beginning Nature Photography program is similar to the Basic Digital class but has a more outdoor emphasis.
Beginning Macro Photography
Our Beginning Macro Photography program explores close-up image making for those with a desire to get into this exciting part of digital photography.
Intermediate Light and Composition
Our Intermediate Light and Composition program looks at using light as a tool and at more advanced composition. This program is designed for those who have a good grasp of the craft of digital photography (exposure, depth of field and so forth) and who want to move from the snapshot stage to making stronger images.
Depth of field
Depth of field and hyperfocal distance are two things that beginning photographers (and not just a few experienced shooters) find confusing. This program will give you the tools and techniques necessary to get those landscape and flower shots you've always wanted. In addition we'll present a primer on focus stacking, a software tool to achieve almost unlimited depth of field.
Fall Color: A class on the equipment and techniques for getting strong images of fall foliage and other autumn subjects. This course can be expanded in the fall to include a field workshop session.
Photographing Colorado's Mountain Towns
Photographing Colorado's Mountain Towns: We have expanded our travel program on Colorado's Mountain Towns to provide our audience with a vision of these towns from the photographer's viewpoint. They are all full of photo opportunities. As with our travel program, this presentation takes the audience to over a dozen towns and explores their history, current status, a glimpse into their future and of course, looks at the opportunities for great photographs. We also discuss the ins and outs of travel to these towns and provide some recommended camera gear for the journey.
Photographing Southern New Mexico (and a little of west Texas).
We’ve expanded our travel program on this part of the southwest to include the photographic opportunities, challenges and solutions, at Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands. We’ll also talk about photography at Hueco Tanks Texas State Park (rock art, desert flora and geologic formations), and the space museum in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Both Carlsbad and White Sands are challenging places to photograph. This program will give you hints and techniques to help bring home great shots!
Zoo Photography: In most major cities there is a place where animals abound, and we can photograph them any time of the year. Zoos, aquariums, wildlife sanctuaries and aviaries offer the photographer a variety of subjects but with caveats. These venues have, in the past, been focused on providing visitors the chance to see creatures normally seen only in exotic and difficult to reach places. Thankfully the mission has changed and most of them are now working to ensure species survival and use their animals as ambassadors to teach as well as entertain. Enclosures have evolved from concrete cages to more animal friendly habitats. Photography in these places is rewarding but still comes with many challenges. This program will provide insight into the techniques to deal with backgrounds, barriers and other distractions and still come away with great images.
Nature Photography Courses for Groups
All of the following courses consist of both classroom and field work.
Nature and Wildlife Photography
Close-up or macro photography is a special activity that requires both technical understanding of the process as well as a good eye for composition. This is an in-depth class that is tailored to your group. Typically, there are three, two-hour sessions and one or two field trips. Classroom and field work experiences will provide you with the skills and knowledge to capture images of the small world of flowers, bugs and other subjects of your choosing.
Beginning Wildlife Photography
This course is designed for the amateur photographer who wants to learn to get the best images possible with their current camera. We assume our students are using point and shoot cameras or entry level digital SLR cameras. The primary intent of this class is to provide an understanding of the creative controls on your camera, basic composition and where to go to get wildlife and scenic images. The class is typically given over a three-week period (three hours of classroom time per week) and includes one or two half-day field trips.
Intermediate Nature Photography
This course assumes the students have either taken our introductory courses or have experience with adjustable cameras (DSLRs). We give a brief overview of the craft of photography (exposure, depth of field, white balance, etc.) and spend a good deal of time on field techniques, the use of light and image composition. The class is typically given over a three-week period (three hours of classroom time per week) and includes one or two half-day field trips.
Have you been enjoying watching and listening to birds in your yard or local park? Birds are one of the most abundant yet challenging photographic subjects. This course will provide students with the tools and strategies to bring home great images. The class is designed to extend over three 2 hour sessions with a 4 hour field trip. It can be tailored to a shorter time and presented without the field work. Contact us to work out details for your organization.
Other Photography Courses for groups
We have a one-hour short course on photographing airshows. Our main areas of expertise are wildlife and travel, but we have long had a passion for aircraft and flight photography. We have presented to many audiences a course we call Airshow Photography 101, A Photographer’s Survival Guide to Airshows.
Our program takes attendees through the logistics of locating and planning to attend airshows, the typical sequence of events, and how to get the most out of the day. We of course, provide a lot of hints on camera equipment and techniques to get those great shots.
We offer a short one hour program on the "ins and outs" of making great images while traveling. The prepared photographer can capture images of natural, cultural and human interest subjects. This course will help you to be prepared.
The program starts with planning, discusses recommended equipment and then uses examples of first world, third world, tour-based and domestic travel destinations to show how to get images you'll be proud to show. We'll also spend a bit of time discussing how to present your travel images to your family and friends.
Photographing Your Kids (and Grand-kids)
We offer a medium length program (about 2 hours) on the techniques you can use to create memorable images of your family. Like all of our classes we start with the basics of using your camera and composing strong images. We then move on to documenting those special occasions as well as just making great images of your family having fun!
Customized and Individualized Classes
We are always eager to work with individuals or small groups to provide a meaningful learning experience, both in an indoor classroom-like setting and/or hands on field work. Our expertise is in general outdoor photography so we can work with students in areas ranging from landscape to macro to wildlife.
Our rates for individual instruction are $135 per day for one person. Small groups (up to 5 or 6) will get a per person discount based on the total number of participants.
Custom Classes and Programs
If you don't see the program or classes that meets your or your group's needs please contact us to discuss a customized program.
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This part of Canada has a long and varied history of English, Scottish, French and American influence. It also has a serene natural beauty that soothes the soul. These provinces are tightly coupled to the sea and as such offer visitors a variety of experiences ranging from culinary delights to grand festivals.
Halifax, capital of Nova Scotia, is a short flight from many east coast U. S. cities and is our entry into the Atlantic Provinces
Our presentation features a tour of the cities, countryside and more remote sections of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. We’ll explore the scenic beauty, some of the special events and look at the history of this far eastern part of our northern neighbor.
Colorado Ghost and Mining Towns
Colorado’s mountains are full of historic mining towns. Some are vibrant tourist spots, others quiet vacation spots and still others have faded away leaving only a few dilapidated structures. This presentation takes the audience to over a dozen towns and explores their history, current status and glimpse into their future.
The Galapagos Archipelago
These islands and the surrounding ocean are a stunning wildlife sanctuary. 97% of this vast area is a national park administered by the government of Ecuador as a permanent sanctuary for the many species of flora and fauna found here. Many of these are unique to the Galapagos while others visit this area on their migrations. Although the animals are varied, they share one trait; they are very tolerant of human presence. This affords visitors the opportunity to be close and observe natural behavior.
Although most people do think of the wildlife when they hear Galapagos, the human history and culture up to the present day are an important part of the area that we present as well.
Our program tours the islands, with superb images of the animals and plant life, We also give our audience a view of the present human population centers as well as an introduction to the geology and the human history of the archipelago.
The upper reaches of the Amazon River System are home to incredible numbers of birds, mammals, reptiles, and other critters. Add to this the thousands of plant species and communities of indigenous people and you come up with a photographer's dream. Our program will take audiences to this ecosystem and will explore the rivers, rainforest and villages with images and stories of our trip. We'll be sure to include hints, cautions and planning ideas for your own trip.
Holland in the Spring
Holland is known for windmills, flowers and cheese. We will explore these along with cultural and historic sites in this delightful western European country. We will also take a quick side trip into Belgium to the historic and picturesque town of Bruges.
The people of Holland (Dutch) have created a country out of the sea bed. Most of Holland is several feet below sea level but remains habitable because of a complex set of canals and water control systems.
We will take the audience on a tour of Amsterdam, Haarlem and Leiden as well as smaller towns including Edam and Gouda. The program will highlight the magnificent spring flowers and contrast the old and new, traditional and modern such as the centuries old cheese market, the ultra-modern cut flower auction and the historic windmills.
The Pacific Northwest is exemplified by the area surrounding greater Seattle. In this region we find the rain forest of the western edge of the western edge of the Olympic range, the urban setting of Seattle, the placid San Juan Islands and the arid expanse of the Yakima Valley. Within each of these areas are sites that excite the traveler. Seattle is a short two-hour flight from the Denver area. Once there, the opportunities to sample the food, the scenery and the lifestyle abound.
Our presentation takes the audience on a tour of the Olympic Peninsula, the Pike’s Place Fish Market, the Yakima Valley, the Boeing Museum and other sites in western Washington. In addition, we have updated this presentation to include images and information from a recent trip. New places and activities include whale watching opportunities in the Juan de Fuca Strait, Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C. and additional places on the Olympic Peninsula.
Colorado's Historic Southeast
Colorado's southeastern plains hold many opportunities to explore and photograph historic sites and natural beauty. Features include the 150 million year old dinosaur tracks in Picketwire Canyon, the remnants of the more recent human history preserved in local history museums and the stark realities of the Japanese Interment Camp near Granada. Couple those with the native rock art and the re-creation of Bent's Old Fort trading post near La Junta and you can see why this region is worth spending many days exploring. Our program will provide the audience with images and stories about many of the small towns, picturesque canyons and the human history of this vast area.
Tasmania, the southernmost state of Australia is home to three species of kangaroo, many other pouched animals (marsupials) and of course the Tasmanian devil. In addition to the wildlife, Tasmania has incredible scenic opportunities and delightful people.
It is a fairly large island, 35,000 square miles with a small population, less than 475,000. This means lots of open space. It is also well south of the tropics so the climate is moderate for the entire year.
Our presentation will take the audience on a tour of cities, countryside and remote sections of this island state. We’ll explore the scenic beauty, some of the special events and look at the lives of the people in this unique part of Australia.
Southern New Mexico (and a little of west Texas).
Travel with us from El Paso (where we’ll stop by the local zoo) up into New Mexico to visit a variety of places. We’ll explore Hueco Tanks Texas State Park with its Native American rock art and Guadalupe National Park, a Park that is almost all trails. We’ll venture into New Mexico to visit two very well-known sites, Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands National Monument. In addition, while in Alamogordo to visit White Sands, we’ll go to a small zoo and visit a great museum dedicated to America’s space program. This presentation will give ideas on exploring an area of the southwest you may not have put on your must-see list.
Sacred Valley of the Incas/Machu Picchu
This high valley in the Andes Mountains of Peru has been occupied by various cultures and empires for thousands of years. The Inca were the last of the indigenous people to rule the area before the Spanish conquest. One of their most celebrated archaeological sites is the magnificent citadel at Machu Picchu.
The Incas did what none of the previous cultures could; they controlled a major portion of western South America. They accomplished this because of superior engineering and administrative skills as well as their prowess in military efforts.
Our presentation will take the audience on a tour of several of the Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley, culminating with Machu Picchu. We’ll also look at both the pre-Inca cultures and the present day Peruvian towns and villages in the Sacred Valley. The Inca Empire is gone but the Inca people are alive and well!