Sandhill Crane SUNSET FLIGHT A Sanhill Crane lands against the pink, snow covered Sandia Mountains in golden fields (Grus canadenis, Grue du Canada, SACR) NOT from Bosque del Apache, New Mexico ©Christopher Dodds All Rights Reserved. Canon EOS 1DX, 600mm f/4 L IS USM II & 2X III Extender with Jobu L-Bracket and Jobu Jr. 3 Deluxe ISO 2,000, f/8 @ 1/1,600s Manual mode. Click HERE to order a print or license image for publication.
Better than Bosque?
Is Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge over-rated? Perhaps it's just me, but I feel the offerings there for Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes are far surpassed elsewhere. Don't get me wrong, there are still some awesome opportunities for raptors, ducks and other birds, it's just I feel the hype about Bosque is no longer justified. I'm just back from a nine day trip in the area and only visited Bosque for three sessions, the remainder of our time was spend exploring the surrounding opportunities…. and we hit the pot of gold! I'm in the process of listing a "Better than Bosque" workshop for Dec. 1-5, 2014 so please email me if interested ASAP(chris(at)chrisdoddsphoto.com); there's loads of interest and this will fill very fast. Group size limited to six and we will be based in Socorro, NM. We'll be visiting Bosque when the conditions are right, but our mission is to make the very best images possible; and we'll be visiting several over-the-top spots to do it!
Workshop Leader Woes
While in Bosque, I encountered a few workshops that I just plain need to vent about. Group size varied from 8 to 18 and the lack of fieldcraft and/or knowledge was blatantly evident! Perhaps the participants wanted to go and hang-out for the lowest possible price, or perhaps they signed-up for the first workshop they saw on-line, I dunno; I was simply shocked. I saw workshop leaders prance around like they were royalty, pull-up in front of other photographers and spook fields full of Cranes without even realizing it and I overheard so much gossip and belittlement of other leaders, yet no useful photographic information about composition, exposure or anything else that the participants joined the workshop for. All of the groups went to the same locations to shoot and none of them showed any sense of doing anything different. There were workshops that advertised small groups (they were 18 people - just imagine how much time is wasted with logistics) and leaders who I overheard say "exposure and technical ability is over-rated, just follow your heart and vision" while this sounds romantic, it was clearly a new leader in way over his head when asked how to reliably make well exposed images.
If you would like to experience a small group (max. 6) workshop focused on teaching you how to make better images without the nonsense, then please do check-out my WORKSHOPS and read some TESTIMONIALS. I truly feel I haven't succeeded unless my clients make images that I would be proud to call my own, and work tirelessly to that end! Do join a workshop for the right reason; join because you like my images and want to learn how I make them - if you don't like my images (and that's alright), then email me and I will send you a list of other workshops by other people to consider (many are much cheaper, but expect what you pay for).