Spoonbill Photography Workshop: 1 open spot!

Yes, that is right, there is still one open spot for the April 22-23 Florida Spoonbill photography Tour! Are you in?

Florida Spoonbill Workshop

Roseate Spoonbills in breeding colors – Tampa Bay, Florida
ISO 2000 | f/5.6 | 1/2000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens coupled with a 1.4x extender and the Canon EOS 5D mark III.

If you have been following the Best Bird Photography Tours blog for a while, you now know that the Tampa Bay is home to the absolute best place to photograph Spoonbills with breeding colors. The photograph above depicts two adults running in the shallow eater after a quick landing. The secret to capture images with multiple birds in action is to back up from you usual shooting point. It is difficult to do as we instinctively want to be closer and closer to our subjects. However, this is key in order not to crop wings and have a chance at including more than one subject. 🙂

Spoonbill Photography Tour - Florida

Roseate Spoonbills in breeding colors – Tampa Bay, Florida
ISO 2000 | f/5.6 | 1/2000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens coupled with a 1.4x extender and the Canon EOS 5D mark III.

Towards the end of April, one will start seeing the newly fledged Spoonbills as they venture out of the nests. See how the two above are testing their metal in the open. Note that is is difficult to see them in their nests, since the nests are behind mangrove trees and on the island where the rookery is located. Since we shoot at a distance from the water, we get to photograph them only when they start discovering the outside World.

Florida Spoonbill Photography Tour

Two newly fledged Spoonbills in action – Tampa Bay, Florida
ISO 2000 | f/5.6 | 1/2000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens coupled with a 1.4x extender and the Canon EOS 5D mark III.

Note the beautiful red and rusty colors in the plumage of this adult running in the very shallow mangrove waters. Hurry up as there is only on spot left!!

Alaska Bald Eagle photography tour

TBD / Email For Info

This is the best Alaska Bald Eagle tour out there!! Next run’s dates are not set yet, contact me at steven.blandin@gmail.com for questions and reservations. $1,000 deposit to book your spot.

Alaska Bald Eagle Photography Tour - 2019

Florida Spoonbills photography tour – $1150

March 25th-26th 2017 / limit 6 people – FULL

April 22nd-23rd 2017 / limit 6 people – 1 opening

3 boat rides to the Spoonbill rookery and 2 working lunch sessions with lunch included.

Florida Spoonbill Photography Tour

Support the Best Bird Photography Tours blog by following our links for your purchases. It comes at no extra cost to you and it helps keeping this photography blog lively!

Steven

Amazing Alaska Bald Eagle Tour Images!

The 2017 Alaska Bald Eagle photography tour just concluded and what an amazing workshop it has been!! We had very diverse weather conditions, from full sun to thick snow 🙂

Bald Eagles in Flight - Alaska Photography Tour

Adult Bald Eagle chasing juvenile in flight – South of Anchorage, Alaska
ISO 1250 | f/2.8 | 1/5000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 300mm f/2.8 L IS II USM lens, the Canon EOS 1DX mark II handheld.

Two Bald Eagles banking side by side during a chase! Wow 🙂 Action photography indeed! I really came to appreciate juvenile Bald Eagles during this tour as I find their mix of colors quite fascinating.

Bald Eagle taking off - Alaska Photography Workshop

Adult Bald Eagle taking off from a log – South of Anchorage, Alaska
ISO 800 | f/4 | 1/2000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 300mm f/2.8 L IS II USM lens with a 1.4x extender and the Canon EOS 1DX mark II handheld.

During this photography workshop, we also shoot on land. This adult was nicely isolated on a tree stump and delighted me with a wonderful take off.

Adult Bald Eagle swooping down - Alaska Photography Tour

Bald Eagle banking to swoop down in flight – South of Anchorage, Alaska
ISO 1250 | f/2.8 | 1/5000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 300mm f/2.8 L IS II USM lens, the Canon EOS 1DX mark II handheld.

The overcast weather conditions that day allowed for a very high key image as above. I really enjoy those situations as you would think the bird was simply drawn into the sky. This effect requires proper over exposure in order to have the subject properly lit up, with the side effect of a nice high key background.

Alaska Bald Eagle photography tour

TBD / Email For Info

This is the best Alaska Bald Eagle tour out there!! Next run’s dates are not set yet, contact me at steven.blandin@gmail.com for questions and reservations. $1,000 deposit to book your spot.

Alaska Bald Eagle Photography Tour - 2019

Florida Spoonbills photography tour – $1150

March 25th-26th 2017 / limit 6 people – FULL

3 boat rides to the Spoonbill rookery and 2 working lunch sessions with lunch included. The tour is now full but contact me at steven.blandin@gmail.com to be put on the waiting list in case of cancellation or for 2018.

Florida Spoonbill Photography Tour

Support the Best Bird Photography Tours blog by following our links for your purchases. It comes at no extra cost to you and it helps keeping this photography blog lively!

Steven

Alaska Bald Eagle Photography Tour coming soon! 2 spots left

There are still two spots available for the incredible Alaska Bald Eagle photography tour of February 2017!! Contact me fast not to loose the opportunity to photograph the most sought after bird in North America. We are going in a fishing town south of Anchorage, where Bald Eagles are observed diving for fish from very close. You will go back home with an astounding portfolio of our favorite bird of prey.

Alaska Bald Eagle silhouette

We will have 10 boat rides across 5 full days.

Alaska Bald Eagle banking

Since the birds tend to come close, you will enjoy spectacular flight shooting angles.

Alaska Bald Eagle in Flight

I do not know of a better place to create action shots of Bald Eagles, period.

natures-best-monopix-steven-blandin

I am also very pleased to announce that twelve of my images were selected for a multi page publication in the Nature’s Best Monopix international magazine of October 2016. You may see the magazine here: https://issuu.com/dickvisser/docs/monopix_oct_2016

Alaska Bald Eagle photography tour – now $3600

February 13th-17th 2017 / limit 5 people – 2 open

Note that there is a $300 price reduction here (from $3900 to $3600), making this tour quite competitive given the location and the service! The very best Bald Eagle tour hands down! 10 boat rides across 5 full days. Contact me at steven.blandin@gmail.com for questions and reservations. $1,000 refundable deposit to book your spot.

Alaska Bald Eagle Photography Tour

Florida Spoonbills photography tour – $1150

March 25th-26th 2017 / limit 6 people – FULL

3 boat rides to the Spoonbill rookery and 2 working lunch sessions with lunch included. The tour is now full but contact me at steven.blandin@gmail.com to be put on the waiting list in case of cancellation or for 2018.

Florida Spoonbill Photography Tour

Support the Best Bird Photography Tours blog by following our links for your purchases. It comes at no extra cost to you and it helps keeping this photography blog lively!

Steven

2017 Alaska Bald Eagle Photography Tour – $300 discount

If you like Bald Eagles and dream to capture outstanding fishing and flying photographs, check out my 2017 Alaska Bald Eagles photography tour! I am now offering a $300 discount, making this exceptional tour one of the most affordable at this unique location. The action takes place in a fishing town, where the eagles are very used to picking up scraps from the fishermen nets. This creates a unique scenario for bird photographers:

Alaska Bald Eagle fishing - Photography Tour

It is truly amazing to have the opportunity to create action photographs of what Bald Eagles do best: fishing! Bird photography is all about being at the right place, at the right time. This is exactly where I will take you in 2017 to create an amazing Bald Eagle portfolio!

Bald Eagle banking in flight - Alaska Photography workshop

The timing was chosen to increase our chances for snow in the background. With the climate warming up, it becomes more and more difficult to narrow the best time. For instance, the last two months of March have had very little snow falls. The very end of January / early February will maximize our chances!

Alaska Bald eagle in flight - photography tour

Believe it or not, but the Bald Eagles come very near the fishing boats and it is possible to create breathtaking action photographs with lenses in the 200-400mm range. This means, that a simple 70-200mm would work quite nicely and there is no need to have the most expensive equipment such as 500mm and 600mm to do very well during this tour!

Alaska Bald Eagle photography tour – now $3600

February 13th-17th 2017 / limit 5 people – 2 open

Note that there is a $300 price reduction here (from $3900 to $3600), making this tour quite competitive given the location and the service! The very best Bald Eagle tour hands down! 10 boat rides across 5 full days. Contact me at steven.blandin@gmail.com for questions and reservations. $1,000 refundable deposit to book your spot.

Alaska Bald Eagles photography tour

Florida Spoonbills photography tour – $1150

March 25th-26th 2017 / limit 6 people – 1 open

3 boat rides to the Spoonbill rookery and 2 working lunch sessions with lunch included. Contact me at steven.blandin@gmail.com

Florida Spoonbill photography tour

Support the Best Bird Photography Tours blog by following our links for your purchases. It comes at no extra cost to you and it helps keeping this photography blog lively!

Steven

Action Bird Photography with the Canon 7d Mark ii in the Sarasota Bay

This post could have been titled three squawks for three poses!! I always enjoy photographing in the Sarasota Bay, and that 2 hour shoot in the Bay last month did not disappoint. Yet another demonstration of action Bird Photography with the Canon 7d mark ii for sure.

First, as this is likely to be my last post before the holidays, HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!!!!!!!

Snowy Egret landing - Sarasota Bay

Snowy Egret landing – Sarasota Bay, Florida
ISO 320 | f/4 | 1/6400 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens (Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM review), the Canon EOS 7D mark II on tripod with gimbal head.

The Snowy Egret image above is quite striking with the diagonal side way landing. The situation was that this particular Snowy Egret is known to me as quite feisty. So, I usually pay close attention to possible new comings in the vicinity to see what kind of chase is going to follow. The key is to not have your eye stuck to the view finder and look around every so often. Surely enough, my favorite feisty Egret spotted a new comer and propelled itself sideways in the air to land close in a furious squawking demonstration. 🙂

Roseate Spoonbill squawking - Sarasota Bay

Roseate Spoonbill squawking – Sarasota Bay, Florida
ISO 320 | f/4 | 1/6400 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens (Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM review), the Canon EOS 7D mark II on tripod with gimbal head.

While the image above was not taken in the Tampa Bay Spoonbill rookery, I find it extremely pleasing with a bright blue grey blurry background. In this case, the bird had approached too close to me for proper horizontal framing, so I switched to vertical to still make it fit! Then, the pleasing background is a result of careful shooting angle, sun angle, background angle and head angle. Once you understand the four angles of success, you will re-think your photography in a very different light.

Great White Egret banking in flight - Sarasota Bay

Great White Egret banking in flight – Sarasota Bay, Florida
ISO 320 | f/4 | 1/6400 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens (Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM review), the Canon EOS 7D mark II on tripod with gimbal head.

This spot in the Sarasota Bay can be a bit challenging for banking shots. There is in fact a narrow window of opportunity when some birds turn around with decent sun angle. The way I see it, instead of following and shooting the bird in flight wherever there is a flying movement, I look for a shooting zone and wait for a bird to have a flight course that is likely to cross it. I much rather take less shots and wait for the right moment…

Florida Spoonbills and Shorebirds photography workshop – $990

Feb 20th-21st 2016 / limit 6 people – FULL

Mar 19th-20th 2016 / limit 6 people – FULL

Apr 16th-17th 2016 / limit 6 people – FULL

Contact me at steven.blandin@gmail.com to be put on the waiting list for possible cancellations or for 2017. Cancellations do happen, so it is not excluded you might still get to join me in 2016.

Florida Spoonbill photography tour

Alaska Bald Eagle photography tour – $3900

January 16th-20th 2017 / limit 5 people – 3 open

The very best Bald Eagle tour hands down! Contact me at steven.blandin@gmail.com for questions and reservations. $1,950 non refundable deposit to book your spot.

Alaska Bald Eagles photography tour

Support our blog by following our links for your purchases. It comes at no extra cost to you and it helps keeping this photography blog lively!

Steven

Brown Pelican Photography Tour in Florida, where to go?

If you are planning a Brown Pelican Photography Tour in Florida, there are many good spots, but my favorite two picks are in the Tampa Bay area. First off, it depends what you are looking for… If you are looking for diving and fishing action, I would recommend Fort Desoto Park in St Petersburg. If you are interested in full breeding color Pelicans with good flight opportunities, Alafia Banks is the place to go to!!

Brown Pelican photography tour - Alafia Banks, Florida

Brown Pelican flying with nesting material – Alafia Banks, Florida
ISO 400 | f/7.1 | 1/3200 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens (Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM review), the Canon EOS 5D mark III on tripod with Gimbal Head. Have a look at the equipment I typically carry with me. Click on the image above to see it at a higher resolution.

The photograph above was created during a photography tour I organized at Alafia Banks. I was explaining to one of my students that Pelicans make for excellent practice for flight photography. It is a fairly slow bird in the air, which will give you a good chance at earning your flight photography skills. The Brown Pelican above was bringing a branch back to its nest as nesting material. The huge advantage of Alafia Banks is that Pelicans are nesting there, allowing the viewer to admire them with their full breeding colors. Adults have a white head, with a vibrant brown around the neck during mating season. They also come back and forth to their nests, allowing for many flight opportunities.

Brown Pelican diving - Fort Desoto, Florida

Brown Pelican diving – Fort Desoto, Florida
ISO 640 | f/8 | 1/2500 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens (Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM review) with 1.4x extender, the Canon EOS 5D mark III on tripod with Gimbal Head. Have a look at the equipment I typically carry with me. Click on the image above to see it at a higher resolution.

When it comes to diving, Fort Desoto tends to be a better place when the conditions are right. The Brown Pelican above is somewhat young and surely does not display breeding colors, but that is quite a nice diving pose! If you know where to position yourself, you might get a good chance at a nice dive photograph.

Brown Pelican photography tour in Florida

Brown Pelican blur – Alafia Banks, Florida
ISO 320 | f/4 | 1/15 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens (Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM review), the Canon EOS 5D mark III on tripod with Gimbal Head. Have a look at the equipment I typically carry with me. Click on the image above to see it at a higher resolution.

Both Fort Desoto and Alafia Banks are good for pre-dawn blurs, but Alafia Banks is a tad better as many Pelicans leave their nests early in the morning to have their first flight of the day, which creates more opportunities. Blurs are typically harder to control and it takes a few tries before getting something that really stands out. However, one does come out with a photograph that is often quite unique. Try to pan with nice early morning colors in the background and you are in for nice results. 🙂

Botswana and the Victoria Falls instructional photography tour / $9,800 / limit 6 people / September 10th-20th 2015:

Join me and Robert O-Toole for an African wildlife safari to remember for years to come!
Wildlife photography tour - Botswana African safari

Florida Spoonbills and Shorebirds instructional photography tour / $880 / limit 5 people / March 7th-8th 2015:

If you would like to get a chance to photograph at Alafia Banks, this is it…
Bird photography workshop - Florida Spoonbills & Shorebirds

Support our blog by following our links for your purchases. It comes at no extra cost to you and it helps keeping this photography blog lively!

Steven