July 11th-12th – 6 people – $1,090

This bird photography tour will take you to a top location to photograph Florida Black Skimmers with their hatchlings. This reliable colony of Skimmers gets together once a year in the Sarasota Bay. Hundreds of birds group together along the beach to lay their eggs. It is a unique opportunity to create beautiful images of Black Skimmers in Florida. You will see them skimming on the shoreline, feeding their young and demonstrating aerial stunts. The workshop consists of three shoots (Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning) with two working lunches.

Black Skimmer Nesting Colony_Florida Bird Photography Tour

The Sarasota Bay Black Skimmers Colony

The Sarasota Bay Black Skimmers colony has proven to be quite reliable over the past five years. Black Skimmers congregate together for their annual nesting season. It is a prime location to enjoy those magnificent iconic shorebirds. You are guaranteed to witness plenty of fishing action and adults skimming in the shallow waters. Besides short territory battles, you will see many back of forth between fishing and feeding the youngs. The hatchlings can be quite cute too!!

Black Skimmer Nesting Colony_Florida Bird Photography Tour

Black Skimmers Skimming

At any other time of the year, it is quite challenging to photograph Black Skimmers skimming the water surface: their trademark action-play. Since the adults stay close to go fish for the new born chicks, you will have easy and predictable access to top notch action! This scenario provides a plentiful of opportunities for flight shots and banking images. Many times, you will be able to capture the birds banking in flight with fish in their beak.

Black Skimmer Nesting Colony_Florida Bird Photography Tour

Black Skimmers Colony guidelines

The Black Skimmers colony is protected by the Audubon society and we will make sure to follow their guidelines. It relatively easy to stay far enough from the birds and not impede them from reaching the water. This does not prevent top notch photography! The group of participants will be ideally located to make the most of the light while respecting guidelines.

Black Skimmer Nesting Colony_Florida Bird Photography Tour

What you will learn

This photography tour is for all levels, from beginners to semi-professionals. To make the most of the shooting location, you will want to have at least an effective reach of 400mm-600mm. I shoot most of the time at an effective range of 600mm-840mm at this colony.

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You will learn how to nail down exposure, compose and position yourself in the best way possible each time. I will show you how to respectfully approach Spoonbills so that you understand bird behavior and are able to predict action sequences. Understanding the light and making the most of your camera tracking system will be accompanied by taking into consideration wind direction and angling for the most pleasing background.

Most importantly, I will explain the rational behind my positioning and will call the shots so that you may anticipate the fast action.

Black Skimmer Nesting Colony_Florida Bird Photography Tour

The cost

$1090 for this top notch Black Skimmers colony photography tour! You need to make a $250 deposit to hold your spot.

What is included:

  • 3 shoots (2 mornings + 1 afternoon)
  • 1 hour of online tutoring via screen share conference: I walk you through my digital workflow along with some Photoshop image optimization, or any other topic you chose
  • in-the-field photography instruction from your favorite award-winning bird photographer

What is not included:

  • airfare
  • hotel
  • meals
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Other Birds At The Black Skimmers Colony

Besides the Black Skimmers, you will have access to many shorebirds such as: Royal Terns, Sanderlings, Rudy Turnstones, Willets, Laughing Gulls, Black-bellied Plovers, etc… Last but not least, there is a high chance to have a local Reddish Egret showing up and dancing in the waves surf nearby!!

Reddish Egret_Florida Bird Photography Tour
Rudy Turnstone - Royal Tern
Sandwich Tern - Sanderlings

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