February 2nd-3rd and April 27th-28th 2019 – 6 people – $1290

This bird photography tour will take you to the absolute best location to photograph Roseate Spoonbills with breeding colors in the state of Florida. You will have the very best chances to create images of beautiful Spoonbills flying, landing, preening and more. The workshop consists of three boat rides (Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning) to the Spoonbill rookery and two working lunches.

Florida Spoonbill Tour - Hands Up             Florida Spoonbill Tour - Wings Up

The Tampa Bay Spoonbill rookery

The Tampa Bay Spoonbill rookery, located at the mouth of the Alafia river, is the biggest rookery in the state of Florida overall. Among the numerous other species represented, the Roseate Spoonbills come breed at this location in great numbers. There is no other place where you can predictably observe and photograph those beautiful pink feather birds with breeding colors. It will also be a fantastic opportunity to create stunning flight images as I will point out to you some likely flight trajectories. I have created some of my highest awarded images at the Tampa Bay Spoonbill rookery, including many BBC Wildlife Photographer Of The Year final round selections.

Florida Spoonbill Tour - Flash of pink             Florida Spoonbill Tour - Banking in flight

Spoonbills with breeding colors and more

The rookery is a seasonal breeding ground for many other species. You will be very likely to photograph Double-crested Cormorants, White Ibises, Reddish Egrets, Great Blue Herons, American White Pelicans, American Oystercatchers, Long-billed Curlews. There is potential to see just about any species common to Florida as well as a very numerous Brown Pelican population in breeding colors.

Florida Spoonbill Tour - Landing over the blue water             Florida Spoonbill Tour - Banking over the blue water

Spoonbill photography guidelines

The boat will take us to the Spoonbill rookery, where we will shoot in the water with water level around mid-thighs. Chest waders will be provided to you and we will remain at least 50 feet away from the point of highest tide to follow the Audubon guidelines and make sure we do not cause any stress on the breeding birds.

Florida Spoonbill Tour - Pink Symphony              Florida Spoonbill Tour - Wing flap

What you will learn

This photography tour is for all levels, from beginners to semi-professionals. However, you will want to have at least an effective reach of 600mm to make the most of this workshop. I shoot most of the time at an effective range of 840mm-1200mm at this rookery.

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. Very few tour leaders have the confidence to take the risk of doing the latter…

            

The cost

$1290 for the best Spoonbill with breeding colors photography tour! You need to make a $250 deposit to hold your spot.

What is included:

  • 3 boat rides
  • boat Captain tips
  • 2 lunches
  • image critique and Photoshop image optimization tutorials during lunch breaks with interactive help on whichever need you have
  • in-the-field photography instruction from your favorite award-winning bird photographer

What is not included:

  • airfare
  • hotel
  • meals other than lunches

           

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