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SOUTHEAST ARIZONA BIRDING FESTIVAL | August 7–11, 2019 | Tucson, AZ

Photography Trips & Workshops

The Southeast Arizona Birding Festival has many opportunities for nature photographers to hone their skills in the field or the classroom.  All workshops held at and field trips depart from the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels near Reid Park unless otherwise noted.

 

Meet Our Photography instructors! Click on names for details.

  • Scott BourneOlympus Visionary, Scott is a professional wildlife photographer, author and lecturer who specializes in birds.
  • Daniel GraysonThe photographs Daniel presents are a catalog of incredible adventures to far off lands and inspiring wildlife encounters in untouched areas that the digital world has long since forgotten.
  • Stephen IngrahamStephen has been celebrating the wonders of the natural world with a camera for over 50 years and was the Birding and Nature Observation Product Specialist for ZEISS Sports Optics for the last 12 years.
  • Lisa LangellLisa is an award-winning professional photographer and is genuinely passionate about three things: Creating emotionally evocative images of nature; providing exciting, fun and high quality learning experiences for her workshop participants; and being a good steward of our natural resources.
  • Marc MorrisNow with Tamron, Marc is a 21 year veteran of the photo imaging industry and has sold cameras to a Beatle!
  • Steve VaughanSteve is a professional nature photographer and instructor. His photographs have appeared in numerous publications including Audubon magazine as well as Audubon books and calendars. Steve was president of Aiken Audubon Society in Colorado Springs for 5 years and has also participated in Tucson Audubon’s Living with Nature free talk series.

 

Free events below require a separate registration. Paid events require registration on the main Festival form.

 

Easy Digiscoping with Carl Zeiss Sports Optics at Reid Park

  • 10:00am – 11:00am
  • Free. Register here
  • Learn about simple ways to use a spotting scopes to take beautiful images of the natural word! Includes us of both smart phones and mirrorless camera systems. We will also take a look at post processing of your images.

Hummingbird Photography Class with Steve Vaughan

  • 2:00pm – 5:00pm
  • $25/person
  • Register through the main registration form
  • Hummingbirds can flap their wings up to 80 times a second, which can present quite the challenge for a photographer. This is the perfect opportunity to learn the specialized techniques needed to create stunning images of hummingbirds. We will cover ambient light, fill-flash and high-speed flash photography techniques. Join professional nature photographer Steve Vaughan for this fantastic opportunity to experience the joys of photographing these flying jewels. Recommended equipment: Digital SLR, TTL flash, tripod and a telephoto lens capable of focusing close enough the fill the viewfinder with a 5 x 7 inch object.
    You can email Steve at StephenHVaughan@Gmail.com if you have questions. No participant limit for this class, but separate field trip is limited to 8 participants and you must sign up separately.

Amazing Bat Photography with Daniel Grayson

  • 6:00pm – 10:00pm
  • $110/person
  • Register through the main registration form
  • Difficulty: 1 (Prepare for hot temperatures with cooling as sun goes down. Most of time spent in photography blinds)
    The desert comes alive at night and the Pond at Elephant Head offers the perfect opportunity to catch it in action with your camera. Join Wildlife Photographer, Daniel Grayson, fresh out of the Amazon Rainforest for a day (or two), for an evening of photographing bats and other wildlife at this private photography location. Limited to 9 participants.

SOLD OUT Pond at Elephant Head Photography with Brian Gibbons

  • 5:00am – 1:00pm
  • $140/person
  • Register through the main registration form
  • Difficulty: 2 (Cool morning will quickly turn into a hot day, close-toed shoes, long pants and long sleeves, sun hat and sunscreen recommended. Some walking over uneven, rocky terrain expected. Most of time spent in photography blinds)
    Join us for a early departure to a private wildlife photography ranch, The Pond at Elephant Head, on the west flank of the Santa Ritas, where the Sonoran Desert scrub yields to desert grassland and montane woodland nearby ensuring a good variety of birds. We will be largely sedentary in the early morning while we wait, in blinds, at a pond that is maintained for wildlife. Hummingbirds, Orioles, Woodpeckers, Sparrows, Doves, Thrashers, Quail, Roadrunner and a variety of early migrants are all possible at the pond as well as other wildlife. Collared Peccary, Coyotes, Deer and Bobcat are all regular visitors, but we would be lucky, on a single morning, to catch any of these. Butterflies and reptiles might be roaming the desert around the pond too. Late morning, when activity at the pond subsides, we might wander around searching for other subjects ranging from birds, butterflies and mammals to reptiles.
    Needed Equipment: DSLR Camera, telephoto lenses, tripod, small tripod-type folding chair if desired, and binoculars. Lunch included.

Close-up Wildlife Photography with Daniel Grayson

  • 5:00am – 1:00pm
  • $140/person
  • Register through the main registration form
  • Difficulty: 2 (Cool morning will quickly turn into a hot day, close-toed shoes, long pants and long sleeves, sun hat and sunscreen recommended. Some walking over uneven, rocky terrain expected. Most of time spent in photography blinds.)
    Join Wildlife Photographer Daniel Grayson, fresh out of the Amazon Rainforest for a day (or two), for a morning of photographing the wildlife wonders of the Sonoran Desert. A full cast of characters come to visit the Pond at Elephant Head including Northern Cardinal, Pyrrhuloxia, warblers, Gila & Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, Gambel’s Quail, Greater Roadrunners, and of course the occasional surprises. Shooting from sunrise through the morning with the plan to leave the blinds just before noon. Lunch is included. The day offers opportunities to capture thousands of quality images of the local animals using unique methods to enrich your Portfolio with these desert delights. Limited to 9 participants.

Stop Documenting. Start Creating Beautiful Bird & Wildlife Images! with Lisa Langell

  • 10:30am – 12:00pm
  • $25/person
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner to Advanced Photographer
    How can we think differently about nature and wildlife photography? How can we be innovative at a time when wildlife photography has virtually exploded to a point where nearly every subject seems over-photographed?
    Via an engaging, interactive and dynamic session, Lisa Langell will share her inspirational thoughts, guidance, and techniques regarding the purpose, composition, and inspiration behind both how and why we photograph nature—and how we can do so in more creative, purposeful, artistic, and fulfilling ways. Limited to 30 participants.

Transitioning into Bird and Nature Photography with Lisa Langell

  • 2:00pm – 3:30pm
  • $25/person
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner Photographer
    As an increasing number of birders and nature enthusiasts are turning to photography, the choices can be overwhelming for gear and accessories. This session will introduce the main categories of cameras available, as well as the pros and cons of each type of camera—from point-and-shoots, DSLR and mirrorless cameras—and even digiscoping. You’ll learn the basic terminology and how to determine your needs so that you select what’s right for you. Tips for selecting tripods, tripod heads, and truly helpful accessories will also be provided—all with a practical, budget-minded perspective so that you get what you need without overbuying gadgetry. Limited to 30 participants.

When Science and Art Collide with Daniel Grayson

  • 5:00pm – 6:00pm
  • Free. Register here
  • Dano Grayson’s “When Science and Art Collide” is a comprehensive presentation showing the use of scientific methods and photography to catalog the behaviors of animals found near and far. Dano has spent a lifetime getting close to nature and having worked on projects with the government of Peru, San Diego Zoo, and USGS and has been allowed access to some of the most wild places. The pictures shown during this presentation are an archive of adventure travel and science and he hopes to show the world the beauty of biodiversity through the use of his non-invasive photography methods. More information on Dano and sample images from this presentation can be found at http://www.danograyson.com/

Amazing Bat Photography with Daniel Grayson

  • 6:00pm – 10:00pm
  • $110/person
  • Register through the main registration form
  • Difficulty: 1 (Prepare for hot temperatures with cooling as sun goes down. Most of time spent in photography blinds.)
    The desert comes alive at night and the Pond at Elephant Head offers the perfect opportunity to catch it in action with your camera. Join Wildlife Photographer, Dano Grayson, fresh out of the Amazon Rainforest for a day (or two), for an evening of photographing bats and other wildlife at this private photography location.  Limited to 9 participants.

Introducing Point and Shoot Nature Photography: Birds and Wildlife, Macro and Landscape with Stephen Ingraham

  • 12:30pm – 2:00pm
  • $10/person
  • Register through the main registration form
  • Serious nature photography is no longer the sole domain of the well-equipped DSLR photographer. As thousands of photographers have discovered over the past few years, today’s long zoom Point and Shoot digital cameras, in the hands of a thoughtful and creative photographer, are capable of amazingly satisfying images of everything from birds and wildlife, to macros of wildflowers and insects, to grand landscapes and sweeping panoramas under dramatic skies…all in a relatively small, compact, and inexpensive package. This workshop provides a basic introduction to the cameras (including how to choose the best one for your needs) and techniques that put nature photography within the reach of anyone with the desire to share what they appreciate in the natural world. Part inspiration and part instruction, it will change the way you look at nature photography…and convince you that it is indeed possible to be a “real” nature photographer with a Point & Shoot camera. Limit of 20 registrants.

Tamron Sponsors — Lecture and Hands on Tips from the Wildlife Experts!

  • 3:30pm to 5:00pm
  • $10/person
  • Join wildlife photographer, Lisa Langell, and falconer Kalen Pearson, of Falcon Force, for close-up images of raptors and hands-on photography tips. Tamron will be loaning lenses so please bring your camera body to get some great images!

SOLD OUT Learn to Photograph Raptors in Flight – A Rare Opportunity with Lisa Langell and Kalen Pearson sponsored by Tamron

  • 7:00am – 10:00am
  • $100/person
  • Difficulty Level: Intermediate Photographer.
  • Off-site Location: Tucson Audubon’s Mason Center (3835 W. Hardy Road in Tucson)
  • *Tamron will have optics to loan so please bring a camera body

We are excited to offer a very rare and exciting opportunity for photographing numerous raptors in flight.  Two talented women — professional wildlife photographer Lisa Langell (Scottsdale, AZ) and professional falconer, Kalen Pearson (Scottsdale, AZ) are teaming up to bring you a birds-in-flight experience unlike anything we have offered before!  Both Lisa and Kalen have been avid bird watchers since they were children.  They share a passion, respect and love for our feathered friends and are excited to help you capture special in-flight images during this event.

While Lisa provides you with helpful instruction, Kalen will fly numerous types of raptors to photograph as they take off, are in-flight, and are landing in semi-controlled, yet natural settings. In addition to refining your photography skills, you will learn fascinating facts about each raptor species flown. Kalen will also explain the truths, myths, purpose, and ethics and more with regard to contemporary falconry. For example, did you know that these birds are regularly used as a more natural alternative for pest abatement? This practice helps avoid the use of harmful pesticides, guns, traps and other noise deterrents. Lastly, Kalen and Lisa will also help you understand specific behaviors unique to each bird that will help you predict their movements and increase your accuracy when photographing them during the event and in-the-wild. Using the right settings for your camera, lens, and even the right technique for both hand-holding and tripod use are critical to the successful photography of birds-in-flight. If you struggle with this challenging aspect of bird photography, this is the perfect class for you.
Limited to 12 participants.

Prerequisite skills:  Familiarity with manual settings, including how to use Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, ISO and full manual. Information will be provided in advance of this class for you to download and review as a “pre-session” assignment.  This will help you prepare for your in-the-field class.

Recommended equipment:

  • Please bring your camera’s manual (in digital or paper form)
  • Camera body: DSLR or Mirrorless cameras.  (Bridge and point-and-shoot cameras are welcome; however, not all recommended options/settings may be available within your specific model of camera.)
  • Lenses:  Please bring one or more of the following types of lenses that have at least 300mm of reach.  Examples include, but are not limited to: 100-400mm, 300mm, 500mm, 150-600mm, etc.
  • Please bring your camera’s manual
  • Tripods are not required, but are recommended.  A ball-head or gimbal head is also recommended; however, we will have samples for you to test/try.

SOLD OUT Hummingbird Photography Field Workshop with Steve Vaughan

  • 6:00am – 2:30pm
  • $100/person
  • This trip is the field counterpart to accompanying hummingbird photography class. Hummingbirds can flap their wings up to 80 times a second, which can present quite the challenge for a photographer. This is the perfect opportunity to learn the specialized techniques needed to create stunning images of hummingbirds. The field portion will be limited to 8 participants from the workshop and will be traveling to the Paton Center for Hummingbirds. We will cover ambient light, fill-flash and high-speed flash photography techniques. Join professional nature photographer Steve Vaughan for this fantastic opportunity to experience the joys of photographing these flying jewels. Recommended equipment: Digital SLR, TTL flash, tripod and a telephoto lens capable of focusing close enough the fill the viewfinder with a 5 x 7 inch object. You can email Steve at StephenHVaughan@Gmail.com if you have questions. Limited to 8 participants.

Stunning Raptor Portrait Photography with Lisa Langell and Kalen Pearson sponsored by Tamron

  • 7:00am – 10:00am
  • $50/person
  • Difficulty Level: All skill levels and cameras are welcome—even smart phones!
  • *Tamron will have optics to loan so please bring a camera body

It is rare to have the opportunity to photograph raptors at close range, but this year’s festival will provide you with a truly special opportunity to do so!  We are offering a special session focused on to photograph numerous raptors– close-up and personal!  Two talented women — professional wildlife photographer Lisa Langell (Scottsdale, AZ) and professional falconer, Kalen Pearson (Scottsdale, AZ) are teaming up to help you take excellent images of these birds with any camera – including your smart phone!

30 Secrets to Bird Photography for Anyone from Beginner to Pro with Scott Bourne of Olympus

  • 10:00am – 11:30am
  • $25/person
  • Difficulty Level: Beginner to Advanced Photographer
    Olympus Visionary Scott Bourne will (in rapid-fire manner) roll through AT LEAST 30 secrets to bird photography that will help anyone who’s interested in avian photos. Everything from when and where to shoot, gear selection, technique and composition will be discussed. Even brand new bird photographers will be able to pick up great tips from this class.

Science of Optics with Marc Morris of Tamron

  • 12:30pm – 1:30pm
  • $10/person

A discussion on modern lens design. We’ll be talking about how the demands of digital changed photographic lens design and, further, how today’s high resolution sensors continue that paradigm shift. We’ll go over autofocus systems and their foibles, stabilization and its importance, how to read MTF charts at a glance (further enabling understanding such sites as DxO and Olaf) while also putting those charts in their place when considering a lens’s actual use in the real world. Bokeh, crop factor equivalence, transmission, rendering… the hope is that you’ll have a better understanding of lenses not just as angles of coverage and depth of field but also as crafted tools in and of themselves… and how that craft can affect the beginnings of your creative process, as well as the nuances of your final output.

 

Close-up Wildlife Photography with Daniel Grayson

  • 5:00am – 1:00pm
  • $140/person
  • Register through the main registration form
  • Difficulty: 2 (Cool morning will quickly turn into a hot day, close-toed shoes, long pants and long sleeves, sun hat and sunscreen recommended. Some walking over uneven, rocky terrain expected. Most of time spent in photography blinds.)
    Join Wildlife Photographer Daniel Grayson, fresh out of the Amazon Rainforest for a day (or two), for a morning of photographing the wildlife wonders of the Sonoran Desert. A full cast of characters come to visit the Pond including Northern Cardinal, Pyrrhuloxia, warblers, Gila & Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, Gambel’s Quail, Greater Roadrunners, and of course the occasional surprises. Shooting from sunrise through the morning with the plan to leave the blinds just before noon. Lunch is included. The day offers opportunities to capture thousands of quality images of the local animals using unique methods to enrich your Portfolio with these desert delights. Limited to 9 participants.

Amazing Bat Photography with Daniel Grayson

  • 6:00pm – 10:00pm
  • $110/person
  • Register through the main registration form
  • Difficulty: 1 (Prepare for hot temperatures with cooling as sun goes down. Most of time spent in photography blinds.)
    The desert comes alive at night and the Pond at Elephant Head offers the perfect opportunity to catch it in action with your camera. Join Wildlife Photographer, Daniel Grayson, fresh out of the Amazon Rainforest for a day (or two), for an evening of photographing bats and other wildlife at this private photography location. Limited to 9 participants.

SOLD OUT Field Techniques for Point & Shoot Nature Photography with Stephen Ingraham

  • 8:00am – 10:00am
  • $25/person
  • Register through the main registration form
  • We will spend time in the field exploring the basic camera settings and important attitudes for bird, wildlife, macro, and landscape photography with a Point and Shoot camera. The camera is going to do most of the hard work, but you do need to know how to point it in the right direction… both in its basic setup (menus etc.) and in a more literal sense of what to take pictures of, and how those choices determine what you ask the camera to do. This workshop should build your confidence in both the camera’s and your own abilities. Bring whatever camera you have and we will share. Meets at Sweetwater Wetlands, 2511 W. Sweetwater Drive. Limited to 10 participants.

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Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120 Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447

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Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120
Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447