White Sands & Bosque del Apache Photography Workshop
White Sands National Park
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
Photography Workshop Overview
November 10-15, 2021.
White Sands National Park (Wednesday afternoon Nov 10 –> Friday afternoon, Nov 12)
Bosque del Apache NWR and surrounding local area (Friday afternoon, Nov 12 —> Monday afternoon, Nov 15)
Advanced-beginner to advanced.
- Experience with DSLR and/or mirrorless camera body
- Use of lenses with 200 mm focal length or longer
- Experience using a tripod
- Familiar (not an expert) with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop
$985/person. Limited to 7 participants.
“Stormy Sunset at White Sands”
“Bathing in the Bosque Light“
We will begin our workshop Wednesday late afternoon at White Sands National Park photographing the golden hour, sunset, and twilight out on the spectacular white gypsum dunes. After our evening photoshoot, we will have a group dinner (no-host) in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
White Sands National Monument will be our landscape photography palette for Thursday morning (sunrise), Thursday evening (sunset), and Friday morning (sunrise). We will have hands-on post-processing sessions mid-day to learn how to refine your photographs using Lightroom and Photoshop, and associated third-party plugins. We will offer a mid-day naptime for rest after our early morning outings.
Friday morning we will depart for the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. We will photograph wildlife and landscapes at the Bosque del Apache NWR from Friday afternoon until sunset on Monday, November 15th. Some photographers in our group will check out of our Socorro hotel on Monday, others will opt to stay Monday night — depending on each photographer’s travel itineraries.
- The workshop is ideally timed:
- Coincides with abundant migratory birds,
- Fall colors,
- There is no in-person Festival of Cranes in 2021 at the Bosque del Apache NWR — fewer people
- Learn how to photograph the Bosque del Apache from a local full-time professional photographer. I know the Bosque very well and photograph it all year round!
- We will have a special raptor photography session with falcons and hawks — this is the best way to learn how to photograph birds in flight.
“Dark sky, white sand“
- Tripod and hand-held technique.
- Learn how to optimally focus on birds in flight .
- Incorporate the beautiful landscape in your BIF compositions.
In addition to Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese the workshop will also focus on raptor photography. The “Bosque” is an excellent habitat for photographing hawks, falcons, harriers, and owls.
- Special Bird-in-Flight (BIF) raptor photography with trained falconry birds.
- Unique opportunity to refine your technique in real time.
- It would take a lifetime in the wild to photograph as many raptors at close range!
- You will be able to improve your focussing, exposure, and composition technique.
- Apply what we learn with falconry birds to photograph wild raptors.
- Practice BIF technique so it becomes second nature to you!
“Locked On: Peregrine Falcon”
“Harris’s Hawk Hunts the Brush“
“Fall Huntress, Northern Harrier over the Bosque del Apache”
White Sands National Park offers a unique and amazing location for landscape photography. The bright white gypsum dunes reflect the colorful New Mexico skies. Ripples in the white sand provide for artistic compositions where you can follow your creative eye to photograph powerful compositions.
The Bosque del Apache NWR is one of the best places for landscape photography in the world — independent of the wildlife that visits there.
- Brilliant emotional lighting,
- Mirror-like bodies of water that reflect the sky colors,
- Colorful foliage provides awesome photographic compositions.
You will learn how to take advantage of this beauty and how to creatively integrate wildlife into stunning landscape images.
Classroom Instruction on Post Processing
Interactive hands-on instruction on image post-processing, photographic strategy, and presentation will occur at mid-day in Socorro.
- Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.
- Useful third-party plugins
- Learn complete nature photography workflows
Permitted and Ethical Nature Photography
In Light of Nature Photography is permitted under the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), insured, and operates its workshops ethically with the utmost respect for wildlife and the refuge.
“Bosque del Apache Bobcat Stare“
“Silver Sentinels” (1st place in 2015 Bosque del Apache Photo Contest)
Bosque del Apache lit up at sundown
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
- 3:00PM – 6:30PM “Afternoon/Evening” photoshoot at White Sands National Park.
- 7:30 PM Group (no-host) dinner in Alamogordo
Thursday, November 11, 2021
- 5:30AM – 10:00 AM Sunrise-morning photography at White Sands National Park
- 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM Post-processing instruction
- 3:00PM – 6:30 PM Afternooon-evening photography at White Sands National Park
Friday, November 12, 2021
- 5:30AM – 9:00 AM Sunrise-morning photography at White Sands National Park
- 9:30 AM – 1:00 PM Post-processing instruction
- 1:00 PM depart for Bosque del Apache NWR (2 hour drive)
- 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM Afternoon-evening photography at Bosque del Apache NWR
Saturday and Sunday November 13 and 14, 2021
- 5:30 AM – 10:30 AM Dawn, sunrise, morning photography at Bosque del Apache NWR
- 11:30AM – 2:30PM Post-processing instruction
- 3:30 PM – 6:30PM Afternoon-evening photography at Bosque del Apache NWR
Monday, November 15, 2021
- 5:30 AM – 6:30 PM Photography on the Bosque del Apache NWR (no post-processing this day)
- You choose if you want to stay Monday night or not in Socorro.
“Up Before Dawn“
American Badger hunts the fields
- Gloves, warm hat, warm boots, parka
- Thermos with a hot beverage is recommended
- Water bottle, at least 1-quart capacity
- Sunhat, sunglasses, sunscreen, water bottle.
- Headlamp, ideally with a red-light option
- DSLR (or mirrorless) camera that you are familiar with
- 300 mm or longer (prime or zoom)
- zoom lens (e.g. 70-200/300 mm or 100-400 mm)
- wide angle lens (e.g. 16mm – 24 mm, 24-70mm
- Sturdy tripod(s)
- Extra camera batteries with charger (a car charger is recommended)
- Extra memory cards, card reader
- Laptop computer with an external hard drive(s)
- Jumbo Ziploc bags for protection at White Sands NP
Moonrise over the fall colors at the Bosque del Apache
Expected Physical Demands
- Ability to stand outside in cold temperatures for 1-3 hours.
- Ability to walk up and down sand dunes for ~ 1/4 mile.
- Ability to carry your photography gear for 200 – 300 meters on occasion.
- The majority of photography locations will be located close to our vehicles.
- Ability to walk short distances and set up photography equipment in the dark (pre-dawn).
- Ability to manipulate photography equipment with cold hands in the morning.
- Restrooms are located around the refuge.
Aplomado Falcon, a favorite of the raptor photography class
- Workshop photographers are responsible for making their lodging reservations
- Alamogordo, New Mexico: White Sands Motel, (575) 437-2922” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener” data-wplink-url-error=”true”>(575) 437-2922
- Check-in date = Wednesday, November 10, 2021
- Check-out date = Friday, November 12, 2021
- Rooms are saved under In Light of Nature / Ed MacKerrow.
- Socorro, New Mexico: Holiday Inn Express. (575)-838-4600” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener” data-wplink-url-error=”true”>(575)-838-4600
- Check-in date = Friday, Nov 12, 2019
- Check-out date = Monday, Nov 15, 2019
- More detailed logistics will be sent to registered photographers
Dawn’s early light at the Bosque del Apache NWR
Bald Eagle between the lines of sunrise at the Bosque del Apache