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 Photo Workshop North Carolina 2023
Nov 30, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - Dec 3, 2023 @ 12:00 pm$995
Outer Banks Photo Workshop North Carolina 2023
30 Nov – 3 Dec 2023
Price – $995 (single occupancy)
This Outer Banks Photo Workshop offers a variety of photographic opportunities —lighthouses, miles of pristine beaches, sand dunes, small boat harbors, historic sites, fishing piers, wildlife reserves, and parks. Over the ocean, along the shoreline, and in the marshes, waterways, and forests, we will look for photographic subjects including pelicans, herons, shorebirds, warblers, pelagic seabirds, dolphins, deer, fox,and other wildlife. Locations to be visited include Bodie and Currituck Beach Lighthouses, Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse, Duck boardwalk overlooking Currituck Sound, Wanchese Harbor, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, Currituck Banks Coastal Estuarine Reserve, and Hatteras National Seashore. On the Outer Banks, sunrises are often spectacular. The image below is of Avalon Pier as the sun is rising. Jennette’s Pier (1000 foot-long pier in Nags Head) also offers wonderful opportunities for photography where we hope to capture images of flying pelicans, pelagic birds, propose, surfers, and fisherman.
On 30 November there will be an orientation meeting at 7 pm, EST where participants are invited to share their background in photography and goals for the workshop. I will discuss logistics, safety, the tentative schedule, potential subjects and locations, and photo tips. Each day will begin at dawn for sunrise photography and will end the day at sunset except on Sunday, 3 December when the program will end at noon. Three night’s accommodations at the John Yancey Inn are included in the workshop price.
Note: As usual with my workshops, 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.
I do not photograph during the workshop so my attention can be focused on each participant.
Skimmer Board used at Jennette’s pier by young boy.
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, those of the Outer Banks are in a constant state of flux 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, washing out sections of the main highway running the length of the Outer Banks (Route 12) and tumbling beach-front homes into the sea. Our exact itinerary can be influenced by weather and changes in road access.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
For thousands of years, North Carolina’s Outer Banks have survived onslaughts of wind and sea. This thin, broken strand of islands curves out into the Atlantic Ocean and back again sheltering North Carolina’s mainland and offshore sounds. Cape Hatteras National Seashore protects long stretches of beach, sand dunes, marshes, and woodlands that are part of three barrier islands– Bodie Island, Hatteras Island, and Ocracoke Island. It 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. Or you may have opportunities to photograph Brown Pelicans flying in formation and gliding just inches above the water’s surface or plunging head first into the ocean.
Oregon Inlet connects the Atlantic Ocean with Pamlico Sound. For years, the Bonner Bridge, the longest bridge on the Rt. 12 which runs the length of Outer Banks, provided vehicle access to the southern part of the Outer Banks. Due to shifting sand, strong currents, and instability, the Bonner Bridge had to be replaced. The 2.8-mile Marc Basnight Bridge now connects the northern and southern parts of the Outer Banks.
The southern portion of the old Bonner bridge was turned into a 1046-foot long fishing pier. The Pier opened on Oct. 1, 2021 with cooperation between the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Oregon Inlet is rich with marine life due to mixing of salt water with fresh and attracts fish, birds and fisherman. From the pier, we will try to get images of pelicans, cormorants, ospreys, and pelagic sea bird attracted to the abundant food supply.
Near the entrance to the pier is a historic US Coast Guard station, (formerly a Lifesaving station) that has great photo potential. Near to the ocean, it sits in the midst of beautiful sand dunes.
The Bodie Island Lighthouse was erected to mark the entrance to Oregon Inlet and is still operating today. It is located at the north end of Cape Hatteras National Seashore, just south of Nags Head and 4 miles before the inlet. Todays lighthouse was built 1872 after the original one on the opposite bank of the inlet was destroyed in the Civil War. It was renovated in recent years, with the work concluded in 2013. It stands 150 feet tall and has a keepers quarters is adjacent to it. It is tucked away between tall pine trees and freshwater marshland. Deer are not an uncommon sight on the main entrance road to the parking area. There are several nature trails nearby including a .4 mile long boardwalk leading to a viewing platform overlooking a pond and marshland frequented by wading birds and others species.
Duck Boardwalk and Currituck Sound
The community of Duck on the northern end of the Outer Banks constructed an elevated boardwalk that is nearly a mile in length and is adjacent to Currituck Sound. Herons, waterfowl, turtles, and other species can be photographed from the various points along the walkway. It is the perfect place to capture incredible sunsets with swans or cypress trees in the foreground.
Currituck Beach Lighthouse & Whalehead
The Currituck Beach Lighthouse still functions as a guide for passing mariners. It located in the heart of Corolla near the northern end of Rt. 12, the primary road that runs the length of the Outer Banks. This 162 foot tall lighthouse stands out for its distinctive red exterior. The design was intentional to set the Currituck Lighthouse apart from its Outer Banks neighbors. The lighthouse has been left unpainted so visitors could marvel at the sheer number of bricks involved in its construction. The lighthouse is adjacent to the the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, the historic Whalehead Club, and Corolla Park. The Whalehead, with its beautiful architecture, is a 1920’s mansion. Although serving other purposes over the years, it was once a secluded oceanfront retreat for this country’s wealthy hunters and conservationists.
Manteo & Wanchese
On Roanoke Island, in the late 1800s, Manteo served as an important port and is one of the oldest towns in North Carolina with large ships docking at is waterfront. A short distance away is Wanchese, another fishing port. Once centers for boat building, both ports have diminished in importance today. But they still have small boat harbors where a small number of trawlers, crabbing, and other commercial and sports fishing boats dock.
The Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is on the east end of the Manteo waterfront. Reaches 40 yards out into Roanoke Sound with a boardwalk for access. Unlike Bodie and other lighthouses on the Outer Banks, the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse is a replica of a lighthouse that was constructed in 1877 at the southern entrance of the Croatan Sound in the village of Wanchese to help sailors and fishermen to find their way to port. It is a river lighthouse. So like its counterparts, it is much shorter and squatter than the other lighthouses on the Outer Banks. With its red roof, black shutters, and cottage-like appearance, it is a favorite subject for photographers. The town of Manteo, one of the oldest towns in North Carolina, is quaint and worth visiting with a number of unique shops, pubs, coffeehouses, restaurants, and a boardwalk along the water. It is a nice place to pick up a coffee or sandwich after an active morning shooting session. Nearby is the small community of Wanchese with a small harbor and marina with large sport fishing boats. Usually there are a few work boats tied up at the wharf along with fishing nets, crab traps and other gear. In the past, it has been a good location to photograph ospreys and pelicans.
PEA ISLAND NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
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 with 25 species of ducks and more than 265 species of birds including osprey, Wilson’s plover, black skimmers, wading birds, and least terns. We will explore the overlooks and trails in search of photo subjects. In early winter thousands of waterfowl including tundra swans arrive at the refuge.
What to Bring
DSLR or Mirrorless camera, instruction manual, spare memory cards ,and batteries. Lenses from wide angle to 300 mm or more. Polarizing and a neutral density filter. Sturdy tripod. For the image review session and 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.
It can be cold at this time of the year, so bring some warm clothing. But in early December temperatures can also be mild. Dress in layers. The workshop will begin each day at dawn 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 could still be present so bring insect repellant. For protection from UV radiation, I suggest wearing a hat and using sun screen. To prevent dehydration, bring water to each outing.
Also prior to our first meeting, please bring me on a thumb drive 2 sample images of your nature photography images for discussion. In a future handout, I will provide guidance as to file naming and formatting. Using the recommended naming protocol helps when sorting and reviewing the images besides info on what to bring. 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.
I will provide individual attention to each participant in the field matching each their 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 & safe. Much in terms of health precautions will depend on the situations relative to COVID or other health risks at the time.
PRICE $ 995 based on single occupancy; $ 870 based on double occupancy.
ACCOMMODATIONS – Price includes 3 nights accommodations (John Yancey Inn, Ocean Front, Kill Devil Hills, Outer Banks), but does not include food, transportation, tolls, any park fees or personal items.
Maximum number of participants – 6
Full payment due 30 days prior to the start of the workshop. 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 (410) 960-5871 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
(To register, complete the form at top of the “Events” web page).
Notifications of cancellation must be in writing.
The following charges apply per person at the time I receive your written notification of cancellation:
- Cancel up to 121 days prior to departure date – full refund.
- 120 to 61 days prior to departure, $125 administrative fee charged. ($35 admin fee for weekend workshops.)
- 60 to 46 days prior to departure, 50% of workshop or tour cost.
- 45 days or less prior to departure – NO REFUND
Medical circumstances or emergencies do not constitute grounds for exception to the cancellation policy nor does weather. Therefore, trip cancellation & interruption insurance is HIGHLY recommended. Travelers Insurance Company and others provide such policies at a reasonable rate. In the unlikely event that the trip is canceled due to insufficient enrollment, your money will be refunded in full, with the exception of expenses you personally incurred while preparing for the trip