Secret Swamps and Wildlife

Nov 10-14, 2024 - Sold Out!

Photograph several lesser known cypress swamps teeming with wildlife. Herons, egrets, ibises, and cormorants will be busy fishing as alligators and turtles enjoy the sun. Our dates are timed for the best chances of fall colors and foggy conditions! Each day we venture out on small motorized boats to access many diverse areas. With a max group size of 4 participants, 1 photo instructor, and a local guide, you'll have plenty of space and individual attention. Classroom sessions will be held during the midday hours for post-processing training and image critique. This workshop is rated Easy for physical difficulty and includes lodging and ground transportation.

Tuition

  • $4300
  • Includes Lodging

Max Group Size

  • 4 Students Max

Instructor(s)

  • Kevin McNeal
Secret Swamps and Wildlife Photography Workshop

Highlights

  • Get off-the-beaten and into several lesser known cypress swamps that are rich in wildlife and away from crowds.
  • Experience the sublime beauty of the Cypress Swamps with fall colors and possible foggy conditions!
  • Efficiently access vast areas with a stable, quiet, and nimble motor boat to optimize landscape and wildlife photo ops.
  • A small group of only 4 photographers will ensure plenty of individual attention.
  • Expert local knowledge from our boat operators and guides.
  • Lodging and all boat/ground transportation is included.
  • Post-processing instruction included during the midday hours.

Itinerary

The exact itinerary will be flexible based on the weather and current conditions.  If we get foggy conditions one day, we'll spend more time out on the boats. With pro photographers and local boat operators, we'll get you to the best places at the best times. The itinerary below is just an example of what you can expect.

  • Day 1: 7PM orientation session where we'll cover the specialized photo techniques you'll be using during our upcoming days together.
  • Day 2: We awake well before dawn, drive to the put-in spot, board the boats, and arrive at an enchanting cypress grove as beautiful fog sifts through the majestic trees.  Vibrant fall colors adorn the branches and calm water amplifies the reflections.  As the morning light begins to filter in, we shoot various compositions.  The fog continues to last throughout the morning and we continue chasing the light until almost noon. We return for lunch and then head out again on the boats in the late afternoon for our sunset shoot.
  • Day 3: We are out early again and capture some incredible wildlife images of the egrets and herons in the ethereal forest. A few alligators also make their appearance! We boat back to the pier and do a midday post-processing session.  We depart again on the boats for our sunset shoot where we find some magnificent fall color!
  • Day 4: We head out on boats again for our sunrise and sunset photo shoots, chasing the best light and looking for wildlife. We do one more midday post processing session showing you how to make the most of your images with many new digital darkroom techniques.
  • Day 5: Although it's hard to believe, today is our final sunrise shoot. It's our lucky day as fog has returned and we capture some amazing atmospheric images.  Everyone is thrilled with what they were able to capture.  We return to the pier and the workshop will conclude no later than 11AM.
Secret Swamps and Wildlife Photography Workshop
Secret Swamps and Wildlife Photography Workshop
Secret Swamps and Wildlife Photography Workshop

Logistics

This workshop is rated Easy for all activity levels. Participants need to have good mobility for getting into and out of the small boats. We will be doing a lot of handheld shooting from the boat to maximize our photo compositions. In contrast to Caddo Lake, the swamps we will access during this workshop are rich in wildlife. We will focus on photographing native birds and wildlife and capturing them in their natural environment.

Double occupancy hotel lodging is included in the workshop price and single rooms are available for an additional fee (see Pricing section below). Once you sign up, we will release the airport and meeting point via email. All ground and boat transportation is provided once you arrive in our homebase. We will also hold a pre-workshop Zoom Meeting to ensure you are setup for success when we are a couple months out.

Pricing

$4300 Person + Tax

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Trip Includes:

  • 4 nights double occupancy hotel lodging. Single rooms add $300.
  • Boat and ground transportation once you arrive in the gateway location.
  • Photography guiding and instruction by pro-photographers.
  • Local guides and experts.
  • Post-processing and image critique
  • Pre-workshop zoom meeting

 

Trip Does NOT Include:

  • Travel to/from your home to the gateway location.
  • Meals, beverages, and snacks
  • Tips and Gratuities for instructors and local guides.

 

When you complete the checkout process, you will be given the option to either pay the full amount or put down a 50% deposit.  If you pay the deposit, the remaining amount will be charged approx 90 days prior to the credit card we have on file. See our full Terms and Conditions.

Secret Swamps and Wildlife Photography Workshop
Secret Swamps and Wildlife Photography Workshop
Secret Swamps and Wildlife Photography Workshop
Secret Swamps and Wildlife Photography Workshop

Recommended Camera Gear

  • Digital SLR or mirrorless camera body.
  • Wide angle lens in the 16-35mm range.
  • Mid-range zoom lens in the range of 24-100mm.
  • Long telephoto zoom lens in the 100-600mm range.  Most of the shots you'll take will be with the telephoto lens.
  • Circular polarizers are recommended.
  • A monopod can come in handy for handheld shooting from the boat.
  • Backpack to carry your gear.
  • Extra batteries, memory cards, and cleaning supplies.
  • Laptop if you wish to backup and review your photos.

Personal Gear List

  • Sturdy footwear and long pants.
  • Warm jacket for cool mornings
  • Waterproof shell or rain jacket.
  • Headlamp
  • Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Sun Hat.
  • Water bottle.
  • Knee pads for photographing from the boat
Kevin Profile

Kevin McNeal

Photography Instructor

Kevin McNeal is a Washington-State photographer who is passionate about photographing grand landscapes that reflect the most unique places on earth. Capturing moments of magic light and transferring this to print is the ultimate goal. His images hold a combination of perseverance, patience, and dedication to capture landscapes in fresh ways. The stories of how these images are rendered come across in the feelings the images convey. He has traveled all over North America, shooting diverse landscapes and finding remote places with the hope that we can convey to the public that this earth is worth caring for. His award winning images can be seen in galleries and showings across the United States.  He was recently invited to the Art Wolfe Art Gallery for the Environmental Photography Invitational. Kevin was the grand winner of the Landscape category for the Natures Best Magazine and was selected for the Smithsonian National Museum of History in Washington D.C..  He is a regular contributor to publications like Outdoor Photographer.

Artist’s Statement

“I believe that the Earth shares secrets with us that only can be discovered by trying to understand our position on this planet. We are never fully intimate with the planet but are given brief moments that make our souls want more. These glimpses of nature’s power are fleeting and never the same twice. I also believe it is important to share with those who want it. The treasures that await us given the patience that is out there. What I try to do is bring some of that magic to my images to share with the rest of the world. Each of my images tells a story that everyone can relate to in some way whether it is success, fear, or challenging oneself to overcome obstacles

View Kevin's Portfolio.