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Hone Your Nature Photography Skills at the 2018 Southeast Arizona Birding Festival

Photos and information submitted by

Matt Griffiths, Digital Media & Bird Conservation
Tucson Audubon Society, 520-971-7924, tucsonaudubon.org

Tucson Audubon

Cormorant and Moon By Lisa Langell

The Festival in August has many opportunities for new and seasoned photographers to fine-tune their skills in the field or classroom.

Tucson Audubon Society’s 8th annual Festival, presented by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, takes place August 8–12. Hosted at a new venue, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel near Reid Park, this event is the region’s premier birding experience. Visitors come from across the country for the chance to see over 200 species of birds. Southeast Arizona is one of the top birdwatching destinations in the country with many species found here and nowhere else in the U.S.

In addition to awesome birding opportunities, this year’s Festival has greatly expanded photography experiences for beginners and experts alike. From point and shoot basics and digi-scoping, to getting amazing shots of raptors and bats up-close, you’ll easily find a trip or workshop to fit your skill level.

Tucson Audubon

gilawoodpecker By Lisa Langell

Trips and workshops have fees, but there are some free talks on offer. Some highlights are:

Pond at Elephant Head Photography

Join us for an early departure to a private wildlife photography ranch, The Pond at Elephant Head, on the west flank of the Santa Ritas. 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.

Tucson Audubon

Annas Hummingbird By LisaLangell


Hummingbird Photography Workshop

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. This workshop includes both a classroom discussion and field instruction to maximize your learning experience. The field instruction is limited to eight participants. 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.

Tucson Audubon

Bat at Elephant Head By Dano Grayson


Bat Photography at Pond at Elephant Head

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. See the Pond at Elephant Head website here. Limited to 9 participants.

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

We are excited to offer a very rare and exciting opportunity for photographing numerous raptors in flight. Professional wildlife photographer Lisa Langell and professional falconer, Kalen Pearson are teaming up to bring you a birds-in-flight experience unlike anything we have offered before!

Tucson Audubon

At Your Service By Gator Gray

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 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.

Tucson Audubon

sunset By Lisa Langell

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

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.

Meet Our Expert Photography Instructors

  • Scott Bourne – An Olympus Visionary, Scott is a professional wildlife photographer, author and lecturer who specializes in birds.

  • Daniel Grayson The photographs Dano 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 Ingraham - Stephen has been celebrating the wonders of the natural world with a camera for over 50 years. He was the Birding and Nature Observation Product Specialist for ZEISS Sports Optics for the last 12 years.

  • Lisa Langell – Lisa 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 Morris – Now with Tamron, Marc is a 21 year veteran of the photo imaging industry and has sold cameras to a Beatle!

  • Stephen Vaughan - Stephen is a professional photographer and ornithologist who moved to Tucson a year and a half ago. He was president of Aiken Audubon Society in Colorado Springs, CO for five years.

Learn more about the Southeast Arizona Birding Festival and register for these events and more at tucsonaudubon.org/festival.

Tucson Audubon
Tucson Audubon

Thursday, August 9

Pond at Elephant Head Photography

  • 5:00am – 1:00pm

  • $140/person

Easy Digiscoping with Carl Zeiss Sports Optics at Reid Park

Hummingbird Photography Class Workshop

  • 2:00pm – 5:00pm

  • $25/person

Bat Photography at Pond at Elephant Head

  • 6:00pm – 10:00pm

  • $110/person

Friday, August 10

Pond at Elephant Head Photography

  • 5:00am – 1:00pm

  • $140/person

Bat Photography at Pond at Elephant Head

  • 6:00pm – 10:00pm

  • $110/person

When Science and Art Collide

Stop Documenting. Start Creating Beautiful Bird & Wildlife Images!

  • 10:30am – 12:00pm

  • $25/person

Transitioning into Bird and Nature Photography

  • 2:00pm – 3:30pm

  • $25/person

Saturday, August 11

Learn to Photograph Raptors in Flight – A Rare Opportunity

  • 7:00am – 10:00am

  • $100/person

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

  • 3:30pm to 5:00pm

  • $10/person

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

  • 12:30pm – 2:00pm

  • $10/person

Sunday, August 12

Stunning Portrait Photography:  Raptors

  • 7:00am – 10:00am

  • $50/person

30 Secrets to Bird Photography for Anyone from Beginner to Pro

  • 10:00am – 11:30am

  • $25/person

Science of Optics

  • 12:30pm – 1:30pm

  • $10/person

Pond at Elephant Head Photography

  • 5:00am – 1:00pm

  • $140/person

Field Techniques for Point & Shoot Nature Photography

  • 7:30am – 9:30am

  • $25/person

Bat Photography at Pond at Elephant Head

  • 6:00pm – 10:00pm

  • $110/person