Winter Waterfowl Photo Tour at Bosque Del Apache
National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico
Click here for images from Bosque Del Apache
Suitable for intermediate to advanced photographers
Photo tours include in-the-field instruction and some work on post processing images; however, participants must have a good working knowledge of their camera and have a basic understanding of exposure. Tours emphasize spending time in the field, where my extensive knowledge of the location and bird behavior will bring you many exciting photo opportunities.
Located along the Rio Grande, Bosque del Apache is a winter paradise for Snow Geese, Sandhill Cranes, and other waterbirds. I've spent a lot of time at Bosque and have earned numerous publishing credits as a result. I offer you my expertise as a professional waterfowl photographer to help you create an impressive portfolio from this amazing location.
The wetlands and agricultural fields around the refuge provide resting and feeding areas for tens of thousands of birds. This is a special place where normally wary birds are very approachable. This tour will focus on the wildlife and landscapes of Bosque, and we will concentrate our efforts there. This is an intensive photo tour designed to give you as many chances as possible to come away with a large and varied collection of images. Wind direction and cloud cover are important factors when photographing birds in flight, and my experience at the refuge will optimize your time wisely. The later date of this trip helps us avoid the crowds and dust and guarantees that most ducks will be in great plumage. Our visit also coincides with a full moon which may provide for some unique compositions.
We will capture many birds in flight as well as landscapes full of roosting birds, and there will be many opportunities for beautiful silhouettes, panoramas and motion blurs. Since this tour is limited to 4 participants in 1 vehicle, we'll be able to move quickly when we need to. We will also do some photography from the vehicle, which is an added benefit that can only be done with a small group such as this.
Each day we will be at the refuge well before dawn so we'll have ample time to strategize on the best locations depending on wind direction and cloud cover. By late morning we'll be back in town for a meal, downloading images and some relaxation. By late afternoon we'll be back at the refuge to photograph other wildlife before the geese and cranes return to roost. Other photographic opportunities may be include Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, Ring-necked Duck, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, Gambel's Quail, Snipe, Greater Roadrunner, Say's Phoebe, Loggerhead Shrike, Mountain Bluebird, Western Meadowlark and huge flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds. Mule Deer, coyotes and bobcats are often seen, and we might see javelinas or get a rare glimpse of a mountain lion!
Bosque is one of the few places that one can successfully photograph birds with shorter lenses such as 200-300mm. However, 400mm & longer lenses will provide for many more opportunities. The tour includes in-the-field instruction, as well as my instruction on post processing images during the middle of the day and evenings. Participants should have a good working knowledge of their cameras and have a basic understanding of exposure. This trip is about spending as much time in the field as possible during the best times for photography.
"Bosque Del Apache was an amazing trip. Dave has photographed at this spot several times and was able to find the optimum locations for each part of the day. The sunrise snow goose liftoff, early morning lounging of Sandhills and geese followed by more flight shot opportunities. Late morning closeups of Pintails, Shovelers and Gadwall. Local specialties like Gambel's Quail and Say's Phoebe were also special photo moments. Dave worked hard to ensure the best approach and was always ready to provide technique guidance." - Steve Rosenberg
-- 5 full days of photography (mornings and late afternoon/evenings)
-- Transportation between the Albuquerque International Sunport and Socorro
-- All transportation during the tour
-- All refuge entry fees
-- Lodging for 6 nights in Socorro with breakfast
-- Professional instruction in the field
-- Photoshop instruction during midday and evenings
-- Image critique
We'll stay in nearby Socorro which has comfortable lodging and a good choice of restaurants. Closer to the refuge in San Antonio we'll hit the Buckhorn for one of their famous green chili cheeseburgers! Participants for the tour must be in good general health. Most photography locations are within a few steps of our vehicle. Mornings may be extremely cold with large areas of the refuge frozen. This will provide for some dramatic images of birds in the ice or snow and we will have to be dressed for it. Afternoons are usually pleasant with highs in the 50's or 60's.
We will meet at the Albuquerque International Sunport on Sunday, January 12, 2014, at 4:00 p.m. From there we will go to Socorro, check into our rooms and discuss the next day's plan over dinner. The tour concludes on Friday evening. On Saturday morning, January 18, 2014, we will return to the Albuquerque International Sunport for your travels home.
The tour is $2395 per person. Participants are responsible for all transportation to and from Albuquerque, meals (except for breakfast at the hotel in Socorro), and any other personal expenses. A deposit of $500 is required to secure your registration. The balance of the tour fee ($1895) is due by October 14, 2013, or your space may be forfeited. Please see the registration form for the cancellation policy, terms, and conditions. Details on recommended equipment and clothing will follow upon registration. For more information, please call 810-895-6286 during office hours of Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.