Category Archives: Workshops/Training

2024 Bird Photography Workshops

Master Bird Photography in California & Florida

Photograph birds in flight with me in San Diego, California, January 14-17, 2024

I’m pleased to announce two birding workshops for 2024. Both of these locations offer can’t-miss bird photography experiences for photo enthusiasts. Both of these workshops are limited in size to offer the best possible instructional experience. I’ll be specializing in Nikon and Olympus/OM System cameras.

Both of these workshops include field and classroom instruction. You’ll learn the optimum settings for bird photography, workflow, and post-processing techniques. Reserve your space before they sell out!

Want even more wildlife photography? Join me in Panama Oct. 18-26 for an unforgettable experience

I’m taking a very small group back to a private eco lodge on a Caribbean island in Panama for an exclusive birds & wildlife photo adventure! Learn more about this trip here.

Snail kite, Bocas del Toro, Panama

The Sheer Audacity of Size

Putting an 800mm lens in a shoulder bag?

Billingham Hadley Pro camera bag
The Olympus 100-400mm telephoto zoom lens easily fits in the small Hadley Pro bag from Billingham.

A few years ago, I was gifted a Billingham Hadley Pro shoulder bag. It’s a very well-made waterproof bag that is ideal for use as a walkabout bag for smaller kits. It’s dimensions are fairly small: 15 3/8″W x 6 3/8″ D x 9 3/8″ H. This makes the Hadley Pro an easy bag to put under an airplane seat as a personal item when traveling. I’ve taken this bag to places like Croatia and Scotland, where it was perfect for a small travel kit, like a Nikon Z7 ii and two zoom lenses.

However, I never thought I’d use this bag for transporting a super telephoto zoom. That is, until I tested it with my OM Systems OM-1 camera and Olympus 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 lens, which has an equivalent angle of view to a 200-800mm lens on a 35mm format camera. By removing the lens collar (something I don’t need for hand-held shooting anyway), I was able to easily fit this telephoto zoom into the Hadley Pro bag. The OM-1 with 12-45mm f/4 lens attached fit as well, and I still had yet another empty compartment available to me.

Top view of the Billingham Hadley Pro bag with 100-400mm lens and OM-1 body with 12-45mm f/4 lens attached.

My colleague, Rick Walker, pointed out something else while we were out shooting together. One could theoretically pair the 100-400mm with the outstanding Olympus 12-100mm f/4 zoom and have a two lens kit that covers the entire range from 24-800mm equivalent, in a bag that fits under the seat of an airplane. Mind blown!

Wildlife photography on Panama’s Isla Bastimentos

Photographing sloths, birds, and more at an upscale eco lodge

I’m flying home to Colorado after my third visit to Isla Bastimentos on Panama’s northwest Caribbean coast, and it was a fantastic visit. My journey started out in Panama City, where I checked in to a modern hotel downtown. As a side trip, I took a short Uber ride to the Metropolitan Nature Park in Panama City. I figured it would be an easy place to explore, and where I could check all the settings on my camera gear. 

On this trip my primary camera was the Nikon Z9 paired with the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 Nikkor Z lens, and the Nikon 1.4x Z teleconverter. This camera and lens combination provides a focal length range from 140-560mm and a maximum aperture of f/8. I was also able to use the Nikon Z9’s DX crop mode, which narrowed the angle of view to effectively 840mm. Because the Nikon Z9 is a mirrorless camera, using DX crop mode magnifies the viewfinder image and improves autofocus accuracy. This comes at the expense of resolution, which drops from 45 to 19 megapixels in DX crop mode.

At the Nature Park, I photographed several bird species, including kingbirds, tanagers, and a squirrel cuckoo. I also encountered red-eared sliders (turtles), basilisk lizards (the fabled “Jesus Christ” lizard), and even a three-toed sloth. Of course, this particular sloth was basically just a ball of fur hunkered down at the top of a tall tree; hardly photogenic (more on this in a moment).

The next day, I greeted my photography clients as they checked in to our downtown hotel. After a brief welcome session, we enjoyed dinner and drinks at the hotel restaurant before retiring for the evening; we had a full day planned for tomorrow and needed to be ready for our morning tour to Monkey Island and the Gamboa Sloth Sanctuary.

The Image Doctors #181

Fall Photo Safari Announced

Join us to photograph Rocky Mountain National Park, Oct. 1-5, 2023.

Join Jason & Rick in Colorado Oct. 1-5 to photograph landscapes and wildlife in and around Rocky Mountain National Park! This is a photo safari we’ve done in the past, and it’s one of our favorite places to shoot. Registration is discounted if you book by April 30th!

Photographer Spotlight: Vivian Maier

Vivian Maier (1926-2009) was an unknown street photographer whose photos were mostly unprinted (and even undeveloped). Instead, she had a vast collection of negatives and undeveloped rolls of film sitting in storage lockers; her photography was something she did for herself, not for others. Her portfolio was accidentally discovered in 2007 when the contents of one of her storage lockers was auctioned off due to unpaid bills. After her death, her work went viral, and her photographs measure up with some of the best street photographers of all time.

Bird Photography Workshop for Nikon Users

Second Session Added: March 1-4, 2023

Join me in South Florida to master bird photography with your Nikon camera.

Join me in South Florida to immerse yourself in the art of bird photography with your Nikon camera. This workshop is tailored specifically to Nikon system users, including both DLSR and mirrorless cameras. Each day, we will download and process our images together as a group, receive critiques, and learn my end to end workflow for creating the best possible images using Adobe Lightroom Classic (or ACR), Photoshop, and Topaz AI plug-ins.

This exclusive workshop is limited to 8 participants for a personalized experience and maximum instructor access. Because of the small group size, I’m able to offer a more intimate instructional style that allows each participant to get the knowledge they need to succeed.

Shooting locations

We’ll be photographing at several can’t-miss locations, including the Wakodahatchee Wetlands and Green Cay Wetlands, where you can expect to photograph dozens of bird species from easily accesible open boardwalks.