2020 Monte Vista Crane Festival One-Day Photography Workshops (NOW FULL)

Three One-Day Workshops. Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, March 6, 7, or 8, 2020. Limited to 10 participants per day. $125/person/day. (FULL)

Photograph Wildlife in a Beautiful Landscape

Sandhill Cranes performing their courtship dance

Hawks, Eagles, Owls, and Falcons

Spectacular Sangre de Cristo mountains as a backdrop

Small Workshops Focused on Field Technique

Three, separate, one-day workshops will be offered, Friday, March 6 – Sunday, March 8, 2020

Each workshop is limited to ten photographers per day — please sign up early to reserve your spot!

The cost for each one-day workshop is $125 plus tax per participant. Proceeds help support the Monte Vista Crane Festival.

 No “tag-alongs” please, each person attending the workshop must register, including spouses.


Photography Workshop Agenda

5:30AM* — 11:00AM  Field instruction on the refuge

11:00AM — 2:00PM Student free time, rest period

For those ride sharing we can arrange to drop you off back in Monte Vista for the break

Normally the workshop participants join for lunch in Monte Vista during the break (no host lunch).

2:00PM —   7:00PM Field instruction on the refuge

*Sunday March 8, 2020 the workshop starts at 6:30AM due to Daylight Savings Time change.

Dates and Times

  • March 6, 7, or 8, 2020.  Friday, Saturday, or Sunday
  • 5:30AM to 7:00PM (March 8 class starts at 6:30AM )

Target Audience

  • Beginner to Intermediate photographers welcome

Required equipment

  • DSLR or mirrorless camera with removable lenses
  • Lens of 300 mm or longer focal length for wildlife
  • Wide angle lens for landscapes (24mm or less)
  • Tripod
  • Spare batteries
  • Extra memory cards for camera

Physical Demands

  • Walking less than 200 meters while carrying your camera / tripod
  • Standing in cold weather for 1-2 hours
  • We will be close by our vehicles during the workshop.
  • We will carpool to have 5 vehicles or less.  Carpools will be arranged at the morning meeting place.

What You Will Learn

  • How to properly expose your images
  • How to use manual exposure mode
  • How to focus on birds-in-flight
  • Depth of field settings
  • How to find wildlife and approach without disturbance
  • Landscape photography technique
  • Autofocus settings
  • Photographic strategy
  • Composition
  • Lighting
  • ISO settings

Wildlife Species

  • Sandhill Crane
  • Canada Goose
  • Northern Harrier
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Prairie Falcon
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Rough-legged Hawk
  • Northern Pintail
  • Mallard
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • American Coot
  • Mule Deer
  • Elk
  • Pronghorn
  • Cinnamon Teal

Male Northern Harrier (aka “The Grey Ghost”) hunting at dusk, Monte Vista NWR, Colorado.

Sandhill Cranes performing their courtship dance, Monte Vista NWR, Colorado.

Male Northern Harrier hears a vole and pounces. Monte Vista NWR, Colorado.

Pied-Bill Grebes snuggling in the golden light. Monte Vista NWR, Colorado.

Ed MacKerrow, Instructor

  • Full time professional photographer
  • Award winning gallery artist/photographer
  • I have taught photography workshops in Colorado,Alaska, and New Mexico for the past 8 years
  • I have a PhD in Physics/Optics and teach both the science and art of nature photography
  • Wildlife expert, scientific research on raptors
  • Insured and permitted for photography workshops on the San Luis Valley USFWS Refuges Complex
  • I foster a friendly learning environment for all levels of photographers

Ken Duckert, Instructor

It is a pleasure to welcome back Ken this year.

  • Photographing natural phenomena is a central focus of Ken’s work.
  • Images that speak to life, simplicity and natural beauty are a priority for Ken.
  • Ken’s approach to art provides a personal and spiritual connection with what is important to each of us.
  • Ken has served as an instructor of advanced digital photography at CNM and as an instructor at 3-day advanced wildlife photography workshops at Bosque del Apache NWR and Monte Vista NWR.
  • His work has received awards and been selected for public relations purposes by various West Coast businesses and nonprofit organizations.
  • Ken’s work is currently displayed at several Corrales restaurants and at the Yucca Gallery in Albuquerque’s Old Town.

Ken’s photography can be seen here.

The 2020 Monte Vista Crane Festival Photography Workshops are Now Full

The 2020 Monte Vista Crane Festival Photography Workshops are Now Full

Please add your name to the waiting list below.

There are a couple openings remaining in the Southern Colorado Nature Photography Workshop, March 18-22, 2020.  We will be photographing wildlife on the refuges in the San Luis Valley during this workshop, along with other areas in Southern Colorado.

If you have any questions, please contact me.

2020 Monte Vista Crane Festival Waiting List

    Your information will not be shared with anyone. You will receive my newsletter, about once per month. You will also be given advanced notice for future workshops.