Upcoming Photo Workshops

I am a pioneer in the field of photo workshops and tours, offering programs since 1979. Each is carefully crafted and well planned. By limiting the number of participants per program (primarily 3-8), I am able to offer personalized instruction.

Workshops are short and last from 1 to 3 days, often offered over a weekend. Photo sessions in the field are followed by image editing and critiques. My preparation for each workshop includes scouting out the photo opportunities at each location.

Photo Tours on the other hand, last from one to three weeks. They are custom designed and cover multiple locations. Sites are chosen for their natural beauty and relatively accessible wildlife. These can include wildlife refuges, eco-friendly ranches, private wildlife sanctuaries, and state and national parks. As per weekend programs, each location is carefully scouted. For international programs, an English speaking local guide accompanies the group. Past tours have included South Florida, South Dakota, NWT, Bryce/Zion/Arces Yellowstone NP, Glacier NP, Iceland, Argentina, Chile, Newfoundland, and the Falkland Islands.

Nature photography is the focus of the majority of programs with attention paid to composition, lighting, exposure, perspective, creativity, and attracting, locating, and photographing wildlife.

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Outer Banks Workshop (April 2016)

Apr 22, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - Apr 24, 2016 @ 1:30 pm


Outer Banks North Carolina Photo Workshop

 (22 – 24 April 2016)

This weekend Outer Banks Photo Workshop offers a variety of photographic opportunities with visits to local light houses, beaches, inland dunes, small boat harbors, historic sites, and parks. The Outer Bank’s miles of pristine beaches and shifting dunes are some of the most beautiful in North America. Over the ocean, along the shoreline, and in the marshes, waterways, and forests, we will find photographic subjects such as pelicans, herons, shorebirds, warblers, pelagic seabirds, dolphins, and other wildlife. Potential locations to be visited include Jockey’s Ridge; Bodie and Currituck Beach lighthouses, Duck viewpoints over Currituck Sound, Wanchese Harbor; Pea Island, and Hatteras National Seashore. Photographic excursions will be mixed with image critique and discussion sessions @ the Best Western Ocean Reef Suites, Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Note: I will arrive several days prior to the group to access current local conditions and to scout the best locations for photography. The exact locations and times may vary according to weather, safety considerations, current road conditions, and desires of the group.

Brown Pelican
Brown Pelican

The Changing Face of Barrier Islands

The Outer Banks consists of a narrow string of barrier islands running parallel to the North Carolina coast for 150 miles from the Virginia border to Shackleford Banks in the south. A network of bridges and ferries join the islands together making it easy to travel from one to the next.   The Outer Banks are separated from the mainland by bays and inlets, with Pamlico Sound being the largest (30 miles across at its widest). Like all barrier islands, the Outer Banks are in a state of flux, constantly being reshaped by the wind, waves, tides, & storms. Today’s shallow coves fill with sand and become the marshes of tomorrow. The most dramatic changes in appearance are caused by fierce coastal storms like the winter “nor’easters” and the fall hurricanes. When these storms coincide with seasonal high tides, the results can be disastrous, creating new inlets and closing others. Our exact itinerary can be influenced by changes in road access after strong storms.

At this photo workshop at the Outer Banks we will experiment with slow shutter speeds.
Wave Motion


  • Friday, 22 Apr, 7:00 – 9 :00 PM, (Orientation, review of participant images)
  • Saturday, 23 Apr

Sunrise – 10:00 AM, (Photography – Seascapes, local wildlife, Wanchese Harbor)

10:00 AM – Noon (Mid-day lunch break, editing)

Noon – 2:00 PM (Critique)

2:00 PM – Sunset (Photography Currituck Sound, Duck, Currituck Beach,  Lighthouse & the Whalehead Club)

  • Sunday. 24 Apr

Sunrise to 9:30 AM (Photography Jockey’s Ridge, Bodie Light & marsh, Pea Island, Oregon Inlet)

9:30-11:30 AM (Checkout of hotel, Lunch, Mid-day Editing)

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM (Critique) End



(Bodie Island & Currituck Beach Lighthouses)

Sometimes referred to as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” the waters off the Outer Banks are well known for dangerous shoals (shifting underwater sandbars) and colliding offshore currents. This deadly combination has resulted in the demise of hundreds of ships over the years. It is believed that more than 1,000 ships have been lost in these waters. Remains can sometimes be seen protruding from the shifting sands like the wooden planks of the Laura Barns at Coquina Beach. Because of the large number of ships lost, a number of lighthouses and life saving stations were constructed at intervals along the coast to guide ships away from dangerous waters. For easy identification from the sea, each lighthouse differs in appearance and signal. We will visit both Bodie Island and Currituck Beach Lighthouses for photo opportunities.


The community of Duck has constructed an extensive elevated boardwalk adjacent to Currituck Sound. Herons and waterfowl can be photographed from the various viewpoints. This and other access points provide access to the sound and opportunities for sunset photography.

Plover sometimes seen on beaches during photo workshops/
Piping Plover


On Roanoke Island, in the late 1800s, Manteo served as an important port with large boats docking on the west side between the town and Wanchese, another fishing port. Once centers for boat building, both ports have diminished in importance today, but still have small boat harbors where a small number of trawlers, crabbing, and other commercial and sports fishing boats dock. We will explore Wanchese looking for potential photos of work boats, picturesque sheds, ospreys, and pelicans in flight. The presence of boats depends on the ease of access to the ocean which has been encumbered by recent storms.


Jockey’s Ridge is the tallest natural sand dune system in the Eastern United States. Located in Nags Head, it is one of the most significant landmarks on the Outer Banks, North Carolina. Always changing, the dunes and patterns in the sand shift with the prevailing wind. The patterns are best defined in the early morning or late afternoon when side-light strikes the sand’s surface.

On this photo workshop we may encounter a wood duck.
Wood Duck


Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is on the southern side of the Oregon Inlet and covers more than 5,900 acres. The water level is managed by a system of dikes and ponds to favor the production of food high in value to wildlife. The refuge provides a safe haven for wintering migratory waterfowl including 25 species of ducks and more than 265 species of birds. We will stop briefly at the visitor center and overlooks in search of photo subjects – perhaps muskrat, hawks, or waterfowl. (Exact plans will be dictated by access restrictions, conditions at the refuge, and the presence of wildlife.)


Cape Hatteras National Seashore extends more than 70 miles south of Nags Head. It and other undeveloped beaches, offer wonderful opportunities for photography–sunrise, waves, shells, patterns in the sand, dunes, driftwood, beach vegetation, and local wildlife. Because of strong currents and turbulence off shore, food is abundant, supporting not only large populations of seabirds, but dolphins, whales and other marine mammals. Those will longer lenses may be able to capture images of the sanderlings or other small shorebirds as they chase receding waves to feed on crabs and other tiny organisms in the exposed wet sand. You may also have the opportunity to photograph Brown Pelicans flying in formation and gliding just inches above the water’s surface.

Sanderlings are often seen on the beaches of the Outer Banks


Camera (w/manual), sturdy tripod, cable release, close-up accessories if you have them (extension tubes, diopters, or macro lenses, etc.), and lenses varying from wide angle to telephoto. For many situations, you will NOT need a lens longer than 200 mm. However, for timid subjects, 300 mm lenses or longer can be helpful. If you have a tele-converter, bring it. In terms of filters, bring polarizers for your lenses and a neutral density filter. The later is used to reduce light coming into the lens and permit the use of extremely slow shutter speeds that suggest movement. Also bring spare batteries and memory cards for your camera and photo backpack to carry your camera equipment. A Hoodman Hood Loupe can be useful for viewing your images and meta data in the camera’s LCD during the playback mode. A flashlight might be handy for early morning and evening shooting.

For editing images, bring a laptop computer or tablet. Edited images should be saved to a flash drive for transferring to my computer for viewing by the group. Depending on the hotel’s Wi-Fi’s capabilities, you may be also be able to e-mail the images to me.


Most likely it will not be very cold this time of the year but as a precaution bring some warm clothing. Dress in layers. The workshop will begin each day at sunrise to take advantage of the warm, early morning light. Activities will proceed in the rain, so bring rain gear and waterproof covers for your camera and lenses. At this time of year, ticks, flies or mosquitoes may be present so bring insect repellant. For protection from UV radiation, I suggest wearing a hat and using sun screen.


Prior to the workshop, I will send you a handout with exercises that you can do during the class to improve your creativity. Also prior to our first meeting, please send me samples of your nature photography for discussion. Follow instructions provided relative to naming and formatting files. Using the correct naming protocol helps when sorting and reviewing the images. You will also be sent a liability release form and pre-workshop questionnaire that will help me to better address your needs. These should be completed before the class.

Black Throated Green Warbler migrate north along the Atlantic Coast during the spring.
Black Throated Green Warbler


I will provide individual attention to each participant in the field matching each individual’s skill level. The itinerary is flexible and will be adjusted according to the location and availability of subjects, the weather, safety, group interest, and other factors. Paths may be uneven, wet in spots, or sandy. The trails I selected for the workshop are easy to moderate in difficulty. Anyone may abstain from any activity and select an alternate that is less strenuous. Boots with firm ankle support for hiking are recommended. The pace of the workshop is adjusted to the desires of the group and to allow participants to explore each location thoroughly and to ask questions. Car pooling is encouraged where possible.


PRICE $ 655.00 based on double occupancy. $ 742 based on single occupancy.

ACCOMMODATIONS – at the Best Western Ocean Reef Suites in Kitty Hawk, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. All suites have 2 beds in the bedroom and have a separate living area. The hotel is located directly on the beach. Group critiques and discussions will be held in my suite at the hotel. ADDRESS: Best Western Ocean Reef Suites, 107 South Virginia Dare Trail, Outer Banks, 252 441-161, (800) 780-7234 ()

Price includes 2 nights accommodations (22 & 23 April 2016) at the Best Western described above but does not include food, transportation, tolls, any park fees or personal items.

Maximum number of participants – 8

Full payment due by 22 March 2016. Deposit: 50% prior to that date. See cancellation policy posted with registration form on web site. If you have questions, contact me at (410) 679-2873 or e-mail me at ospreyphot@aol.com

(To register, complete the form at top of the “Events” web page).

Fishing boats are possible subjects during the photo workshop.
Fishing Boat



Apr 22, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
Apr 24, 2016 @ 1:30 pm
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