And only one more Spoonbills tour to go for the season! Note that there is still one open spot for the Florida Black Skimmers colony tour… The February session turned out great, with lots of opportunities and a very first for me: images featuring the moon in the background 🙂
During the tours, we always arrive on site a good 15min-20min ahead of sunrise. It is the perfect time to practice artistic blurs as the image above illustrates. After instructing the boat Captain on the best positioning, the group had the opportunity to create blurs of flying Spoonbills with the mangrove trees as close background. The combination with the trees allows for the creation of the green streaks above. Stunning effect if you ask me 🙂
Take off images are among the hardest ones to create! The main reason is that one needs to anticipate on the action, which is much more difficult than “simply” follow a flying bird until landing. And among the take off shots, my preferred ones are the ones with the wings all the way up, preferably with a good view at the upper wing detail. While it seems like a tall order, good positioning combined with being able to read the bird’s behavior greatly helps in getting those pictures. During the tours, I do my very best to call out those shots ahead of time.
The “Moon shot” above is a first at the Spoonbill rookery for me, and hopefully the beginning of a new pursuit! After pointing out to the group that we had a newly risen sun on one side of the sky and a moon about to set on the opposite direction, I noticed there were a few birds occasionally flying right in front of the moon. While staying in Shutter speed priority mode (Tv for Canon), I simply raised the shutter speed from blur tempo to about 1/1000 of a sec. Then, I had the rare opportunity to create the image above as a juvenile Spoonbill flew at the exact height of the moon.
February Spoonbill Tour Testimonial
“This workshop was great. The spoonbill rookery in Tampa Bay provides great photo opportunities and Steven gave us many tips on how to get the best shots. What a wonderful opportunity to photograph one of our showiest, most flamboyant birds!” — David C
June 26th-27th 2021 / limit 4 people – 1 open
Receive a full refund up to one week prior to the tour in case of COVID-19 issues! 3 shoots and 1 over-the-shoulder Photoshop tutoring to a unique Florida Black Skimmers colony along the beach. $250 deposit. Limited to 4 participants until social distancing guidelines loosen. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
April 24th-25th 2021 / limit 4 people – Full
3 boat rides and 1 over-the-shoulder Photoshop tutoring on a pristine cypress trees lake. Many nests are at eye level, allowing shooting from up close in a natural habitat. No big lens needed! An ideal setup for beginners… 1 working lunch sessions with lunch included. $300 deposit. Send me an email at email@example.com to book the last available spot!
January 30th-31st 2021 / limit 4 people – Full
February 27th-28th 2021 / limit 4 people – Full
June 5th-6th 2021 / limit 4 people – 1 open
3 shoots and 1 over-the-shoulder Photoshop tutoring to the absolute best rookery to photograph spoonbills with breeding colors. $250 deposit. Limited to 4 participants until social distancing guidelines loosen. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .