PHOTOTRACK

Our newly-designed and expanded 2019 PhotoTrack is sure to generate excitement, with topics ranging from Digiscoping to 4/3 Cameras to Point-and-Shoot to long lenses. We offer something for every interest level and ability. Indoor classroom topics on photo processing, in-the-field excursions to get hands-on experience, guidance from professionals, action shots, and demystifying those settings are some highlights of the new format. If you are new to digiscoping, you can learn from the master, Clay Taylor. If you’re looking to get those crushing Crested Caracara photos, try the Martin Refuge for fantastic photo ops in natural settings. Both the Photo Rodeos and the Point-and-Shoots will touch on every aspect of nature photography to enhance your knowledge and skills.

Note: All trips (other than Martin Refuge and Photo Rodeo: Photographing Birds in Flight- Gulls and Hawks) meet on site – directions to PhotoTrack destinations will be provided in your registration packets.

TRANSIT TIMES ARE SELF-DRIVE IF NO VEHICLE SHOWN

* DIGISCOPING DEMYSTIFIED

With Clay Taylor, Swarovski Optik Ltd. Fee $20 / Thursday 3:30-5pm

This indoor workshop, sponsored by Swarovski Optik, will explain digiscoping – the process of attaching a digital camera or phone to a spotting scope. The workshop will be conducted by Clay Taylor, the Naturalist Market Manager with Swarovski Optik Ltd and a pioneer of digiscoping in the U.S. Clay will cover scope and camera equipment, attachment devices, and tips for success. This class can be taken in conjunction with Digiscoping on the Deck as a field experience or it can be a stand-alone class. Meet at the Harlingen Convention Center assigned breakout room.

Goals: Understand the best ways to use your scope as a long lens to get the best up-close shots from a basic camera.

DIGISCOPING FROM THE DECK

With Clay Taylor, Swarovski Optik Ltd. Fee $20 / Saturday 2pm – 5pm

This workshop, sponsored by Swarovski Optik, is designed to help digiscopers with all levels of experience but will be particularly valuable for struggling beginners. It will be conducted by Clay Taylor, the Naturalist Market Manager with Swarovski Optik Ltd and a pioneer of digiscoping in the U.S. Meet onsite at the deck at Estero Llano Grande State Park Visitor Center. Clay will cover setups, camera settings, field-shooting techniques and reviews of images. Please bring all your equipment including spotting scope, tripod, camera and adapter, fully charged batteries and empty memory cards. If you do not have a spotting scope, let Clay know in advance at [email protected] Clay will also have digiscoping adapters for DLSR cameras and smart phones available.

LAGUNA SECA RANCH

with Ruth Hoyt Fee $125 / Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 7am – 11:30am

Laguna Seca Ranch is renowned for their photo blinds. This world class location is opening their property for a special photo opportunity for a small number of participants. After meeting at the ranch gates at 7am, you will be escorted to a shared blind with the opportunity to photograph

songbirds that are attracted to the water feature or food near the blind. Bathrooms on premises. Photo ops suitable for all hand-held cameras and those requiring tripods. Important: Meet promptly at the ranch gate, directions provided.

MARTIN REFUGE

Fee $225 / Wednesday, Friday, Sunday 6am – 1:45pm

The Martin Refuge, owned by John and Audrey Martin, has hosted wildlife photographers since 2003 on its 300 acres of thorn scrub enhanced by water features and professionally designed photo-blinds. It is particularly renowned for the opportunities it affords to photographers for close views of Crested Caracaras, Harris’s Hawks and other raptors. This trip is an excellent opportunity for behavioral observation and study as well. Patty Raney of Martin Refuge will guide us to the blinds for this unique chance to get great shots of wildlife at this private ranch. After a morning of photography with the raptors, the Refuge will be providing us with lunch at an open air palapa. The trip will be limited to eight participants and is suitable for photographers of all levels. Bring lots of batteries – there is no electricity on site. Restroom available.

PHOTO RODEO: INTRODUCTION TO BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY – Estero Llano Grande State Park

With Tropical Birding Fee $50/Thursday 7am – 12pm

This workshop is targeted at those who are relatively new to bird photography. We’ll meet onsite at Estero Llano Grande State Park Visitor Center. We’ll start with a classroom get-acquainted session going over photo equipment, camera settings, and more before heading into the field to get some guidance and hands-on experience. Goals: Get jump-started on bird photography with proper instruction.

PHOTO RODEO: INTRODUCTION TO BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY – National Butterfly Center

With Tropical Birding Fee $50/Saturday 8am – 12pm

This workshop is targeted at those who are relatively new to bird photography. We’ll meet onsite at the National Butterfly Center. We’ll start with a classroom get-acquainted session going over photo

equipment, camera settings, and more before heading into the field to get some guidance and hands-on experience. The National Butterfly Center’s well-stocked feeders will provide a variety of subjects for practice, and we’ll explore the property for other subjects. Goals: Get jump-started on bird photography with proper instruction

PHOTO RODEO: PHOTOGRAPHING BIRDS IN FLIGHT – Herons and Waterbirds

With Tropical Birding Fee $50 / Sunday 7:30am – 12pm

We’ll meet onsite at the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center. We’ll start in the classroom before heading onto the back deck and boardwalk. Our focus will be on technique rather than species diversity. We’ll explore the coastal marsh on boardwalks and practice with many gulls, terns, or herons. Goals: Increase your skills photographing birds in flight.

PHOTO RODEO: PHOTOGRAPHING BIRDS IN FLIGHT – Gulls and Hawks

With Tropical Birding Fee $75 / Friday 7:30am – 12:30pm

We’ll meet at the Harlingen Convention Center for an orientation inside before riding in RGVBF vehicles (required) to the Brownsville Scenic Landfill. Our focus will be on technique rather than species diversity. We’ll explore the dump and practice with many gulls, Crested Caracara, or White-tailed Hawks. We’ll try to work on action photography in backlit or rapidly changing light conditions. Restroom stops before and after our session at the landfill.

Note: Site may be changed in the event of adverse road conditions or inclement weather. Goals: Increase your skills photographing perched and flying birds in an open setting.

PHOTO RODEO: CLASSROOM WORKSHOP – Introduction to Photo Processing

With Tropical Birding Fee $20 / Thursday, Saturday 1:30pm-3pm

We’ll meet at the new Harlingen Convention Center for this indoor workshop. This class breaks photo processing down to the basics to a point where it will not be intimidating to anyone. Expert guides will share insights into using Photoshop to process photos of – what else—birds!

PHOTO RODEO: CLASSROOM WORKSHOP – Introduction to Photo Cataloging and Processing

With Tropical Birding Fee $20 / Friday 1:30pm-3pm

We’ll meet at the new Harlingen Convention Center for this indoor workshop. Expert guides will share their tips and tricks for using Lightroom to catalog and process photos and help manage your photos so you can find what you need when you need it.

POINT-AND-SHOOT: BASIC FIELD TECHNIQUES

With Stephen Ingraham, Zeiss Inc. Fee $50 / Thursday 8:00am-9:30am instruction, 9:30am–12:00pm field experience

We’ll meet onsite at the National Butterfly Center. Our focus will be on technique rather than species diversity. We will start with an indoor classroom session before moving outside for ample practice time. We’ll explore the water features and feeding stations for photo opportunities with Green Jays, Bronzed Cowbirds, Altamira Orioles and Golden-fronted Woodpeckers. Goals: Increase your skills photographing birds with your Point-and-Shoot camera of any variety.

POINT-AND-SHOOT: FIELD WORKSHOP

With Stephen Ingraham, Zeiss Inc. Fee $50 / Saturday 8:00am – 12:30pm

We’ll meet onsite at South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, where we’ll start with a brief indoor session. Our focus will be on technique rather than species diversity. We’ll explore the extensive boardwalks looking for photo opportunities. There will be many! Goals: Increase your skills photographing birds, butterflies, dragonflies, blooms and scenery.

POINT-AND-SHOOT: CLASSROOM WORKSHOP – An Introduction to Point-and-Shoot Nature Photography

With Stephen Ingraham, Zeiss Inc. Fee $20 / Wednesday 1:30pm-3 pm

We’ll meet at the new Harlingen Convention Center for this indoor workshop on point-and-shoot cameras, settings, and how to make them work for you. Bring your camera for hands-on application. Goals: Getting started on nature photography with your point-and-shoot camera.

POINT-AND-SHOOT: CLASSROOM WORKSHOP – Basic Post-processing for Point-and-Shoot Photography

With Stephen Ingraham, Zeiss Inc. Fee $20 / Saturday 3:30pm-5pm

We’ll meet at the new Harlingen Convention Center for this indoor workshop that will get you started on post-processing your images.

Goals: Learn the basics of post-processing and what it can do for your photographs.

* POINT-AND-SHOOT: ADVANCED FIELD TECHNIQUES

With Stephen Ingraham, Zeiss Inc. Fee $50 / Friday 7:30am-9 am indoors, 9-12:00 field practice We’ll meet onsite at Estero Llano Grande State Park.

This is a hands-on field workshop to get the most out of your point-and-shoot camera. Point-and-shoot cameras can be wonderful for nature photography – let Steve help you expand your skills.

Goals: Improving your own nature photographs with your point-and-shoot camera.

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