There will be two Spoonbill photography tours to Alafia Banks (Tampa Bay rookery, Florida) in 2016. One workshop in mid-February and one in mid-April. For those interested, quickly sign up as the demand is high!

On a separate note, I am very pleased to announce that two of my images have been selected for the BBC Wildlife Photographer Of The Year final round! Let’s see how that turns out šŸ™‚

Roseate Spoonbill landing - Alafia Banks, Florida

Roseate Spoonbill landing – Alafia Banks, Florida
ISO 1600 | f/4 | 1/1600 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens, the Canon EOS 7D mark II on tripod while kneeling in the water.

The Roseate Spoonbill image above, like the other ones below were all created during this year group workshop. We enjoyed a mix of weather conditions, which made for a nice diversity in the photographic results. The first morning was overcast and we enjoyed creating lots of high key photographs. With my experience of the site, the group was always at the right place, at the right time šŸ™‚

For instance, I ideally placed our group to have many opportunities on landings with bright backgrounds. When it is overcast, you want to overexpose in order to have a proper exposure on your subject, often creating blinkies on the background elements. The results are high key images, where the subject seems to have been drawn with a sharp pencil.

Roseate Spoonbill bathing - Alafia Banks, Florida

Roseate Spoonbill bathing – Alafia Banks, Florida
ISO 400 | f/4 | 1/4000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens, the Canon EOS 7D mark II on tripod while kneeling in the water.

On the second morning, we had the privilege to witness a Roseate Spoonbill bathing in front of us. The image above was created from that sequence. The same Spoonbill went for nice wing flaps afterwards, but the bird stayed really close to the flock and it was tough to get a clean shot. However, with patience and a good eye I created a few good photographs of that part of the action as well. Will share on a different post!

Roseate Spoonbill calling - Alafia Banks, Florida

Roseate Spoonbill calling – Alafia Banks, Florida
ISO 640 | f/5.6 | 1/1600 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens, the Canon EOS 7D mark II on tripod while standing in the water.

It is not that common to see a Spoonbill on top of a clear perch, with a nice diffused background behind (not full of close twigs and branches). While not the best looking guy of the bunch, the one above graced us with a few beautiful head throw calls. The key in the photograph above is to position yourself so that you have the bird’s eye parallel to you, while keeping a pleasing background: it is all in balancing the 4 angles of success šŸ™‚

Spoonbill Photography Tour - Alafia Banks, Florida

Our group!

Spoonbill photography workshop testimonials

As a multi-time participant in your photography workshops, both in a group format and in a private format, I have been thrilled with the quality of your teaching. You have helped me greatly recognize superior nature photography situations and placed me in the path of success many times. I am delighted with the results I have been able to achieve thanks to your directions and I am looking forward to further improving my nature action/flight photography skills as I will keep participate in your tours for sure! Plus, time flies when we are having fun J
Ejaz K.

I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed going to the spoonbill rookery with you. You were extremely generous with your time and knowledge. Your patience in showing me the techniques involved in photographing birds in flight is much appreciated and I learned a lot. Additionally, your love of photography and teaching are immediately obvious and infectious.
All the best Steven and I would wholeheartedly recommend your workshop to photographers of any level. I hope to be able to do another of your workshops in the future.
Patty G.

I appreciate the variety and organization of your 2 day spoonbill workshop. When you only have a short time and live in New England, it is nice to get a selection of birds we don’t get to see. For two days you put us in the best position in great places we would not have been able to access otherwise and it really paid off. Having an agenda and sticking to it really optimized our time and your attention to everyone in the group ensured that we got the images we were looking for, a real trick since everyone is trying to get something different. Your style of teaching/sharing without hovering was much appreciated. I look forward to taking another workshop with you soon.
Carole W.

Used gear for sale!

Canon EF 300mm f/4 L IS

I am putting my 300mm for sale at $950. Quite a saving versus the price in store for a lens in mint condition that delivers pro results for a very small price. You may contact me by email at if you are interested šŸ™‚

Florida Spoonbills and Shorebirds instructional photography tour – $990

Feb 20th-21st 2016 / limit 6 people – 6 open

mid April 2016 / limit 5 people – 2 open

Contact me at and $250 non refundable deposit to book your spot.
Florida Spoonbill Photography Tour

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Comments (5)

  1. Vicki Santello


    Hey Steve!

    Thanks for the update and congrats on your images moving up in the rounds.

    I see you only have 2 spots open for your April 2016 workshop. I misunderstood your email offering me a pre-public offering spot! T thought your offer was only for Feb since the April dates were TBD. If you are taking sign ups for April 2016 now I’d like to reserve a spot. Any idea on the dates yet?

    Thanks and have a lovely day! šŸ˜Š


    • Reply

      Thank you Vicki! Most likely the dates will be April 16th-17th (I can confirm two weeks from now). I am putting you down for April if that works with you. šŸ™‚

  2. Reply

    I recently completed a three-day workshop with Steve – two days in a group and one private day. It was an excellent experience and I found Steve to be very tuned in to the needs of his clients. He also was very helpful with processing images after we had finished shooting.
    I would highly recommend any workshop with him.

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