For the past two years, several NIHCC members have attended a workshop at the Sylvan Heights Bird Park, led by Mollie Isaacs of Awake the Light Photographic Tours and Workshops www.awakethelight.com. Once again, Mollie is offering the workshop and has agreed to let NIHCC members have a special rate if they register early.
The dates are January 27-30, 2015. The listed fee is $795, but NIHCC members will pay $595 if they sign up by December 5 and $695 after that. Room and board are not included, but lodging is inexpensive.
The park is in the town of Scotland Neck, NC, a 3-4 hour drive from Bethesda. It has an extensive collection of birds (primarily waterfowl) from around the world, including many endangered species. You can read all about the park here: www.shwpark.com.
The birds are situated in various viewing areas, and are close enough that a super telephoto is not necessary to get great images. January is one of the best times to visit, as many birds are in their prime breeding plumage. The workshop provides a good opportunity to practice watching for certain behaviors (courtship, grooming, bathing, etc.), and predicting them in order to capture the right moment.
The workshop begins with a welcome and orientation meeting after dinner on January 27, followed by two days of shooting, with image critique sessions in the evenings. There will be a final instructional session the morning of the 30th (image critique, Q&A, and/or Lightroom lesson). This event is appropriate for photographers at all levels, from novices to more-experienced amateurs.
Those of us who’ve attended in past years have found it to be a fun and instructive event. Mollie is a great teacher, and I can tell you from personal experience that you won’t find any workshop leader who is more devoted to the success of her students. You can learn more about this workshop here.
If you are interested in reserving a spot act soon, as attendance is limited and the workshop is expected to fill up quickly. To register, email Mollie at firstname.lastname@example.org.