Florida Bird and Wildlife Photo Tour and Workshops
Florida Bird and Wildlife Photo Tours and Workshops. We lead tours to Florida's best wildlife photography hotspots. Locations in Fort Myers, Everglades National Park, Big Cypress Preserve, Corkscrew Swamp, Sanibel Island, Ding Darling NWR, Myakka River State Park, Bald Eagle Nest, Owl Nests, East Coast, West Coast and Central. Lots of Secret Photo Locations.
Join us on a bird and wildlife photo workshop or photo tour to some of the best locations in Florida including Sanibel Island, Everglades and Big Cypress National Parks and several secret locations. We will also be spending 7 days with incredible photo opportunities. This is a trip of a lifetime.
The goal of this trip is simply explore the best bird photography areas of Florida and shoot incredible amazing photographs that you will never forget. Florida's unique wildlife and climate make it a nature photographer's paradise.
Florida is the premier destination for bird photography. Expect to shoot thousands of bird photos along with other wildlife and awesome landscapes. Escape the winter cold and visit warm southern Florida. February is the dry season. This is the time of year when the tropical storms and the summer rain have passed. The lower water levels means the wildlife is more concentrated and easier to find and photograph.
Florida is known for its incredibly tame birds. It is common to have some species just a few feet away on multiple occasions. We still recommend a 400+ mm lens. There are many companies that rent lenses if you don't already own one.
Each day, we will visit some of the best spots in the state. Each area is handpicked to provide the best photographic opportunities.
John Slonina is a professional nature photographer who has photographed in Florida's wild locations for over 20 years.
We will travel to a variety of natural habitats.
We will be visiting several A+ locations. They include classics like Sanibel Island, the Everglades, Big Cypress National Reserve and Estero Lagoon. We also will be visiting several secret locations; for example eagle nests, nesting owls, rookeries, manatees and osprey nests.
In the past, I have had no problems finding and photographing the following species.
Birds: Bald Eagle, Osprey, Red Shouldered Hawk, Burrowing Owls, Barred Owls, Purple Gallinule, Rosette Spoonbills, Painted Bunting, Sandhill Crane, Green Herons, Little Blue Herons, Night Herons, Great Blue Herons, Tri Colored Herons, Reddish Egret, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Cattle Egrets, Limpkin, Brown and White Pelicans, American Coot, Moorhens, Wood Stocks, Cormorants, Anhinga, Black and Turkey Vultures, Glossy and White Ibis.
Mammals: Manatee, River Otter, Dolphins, Deer, Marsh Rabbits,
Reptiles: Gopher Tortoise, Crocodile, American Alligator, Several species of Turtles.
We should also be able to get full frame photos since many birds and other animals are just a few feet away. We have an extremely high success rate but we can’t guarantee we will see any particular species.
Since we will be shooting a high volume of pictures, please bring lots of memory/flash cards. We also recommend you bring a portable external hard drive to back up your images.
We also work with some companies who will rent longer lenses to participants.
Feb 1-7, 2019
This includes hotels (single occupancy: You will have your own room)
Transportation to and from airport (You do not need a car)
Also instruction, transportation, tolls, refuge fees.
You can pay in full or leave a deposit.
The deposit is $500 per person.
Payment can be made by check to Slonina Photography.
We also accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.
If you prefer to use a credit card you can call our office at (508) 736-1167 or use the online shopping cart on our website.
The itinerary will be dependent on the weather, tide levels and the amount of rainfall. We will be pre-scouting several locations before the trip starts. I will review recent wildlife reports, monitor tides and water levels. Each day is paced to maximize photo opportunities. The schedule will be flexible to maximize getting the best light.
Day 1: Meet at Hotel by 2 pm. Quick group meeting and introductions. Then will leave for an afternoon photo session and photograph until sunset followed by dinner.
Day 2: We will spend the day at beautiful Sanibel Island and the surrounding areas. There is lots of great wildlife and landscape photography, ocean views, beaches, and restaurants.
Day 3: We will be photographing sunrise with several options Eagles, Owls, Birds along the coast.. Later, we will check out and travel to a new hotel near the main entrance to Everglades. We also will do a quick stop at Clyde Butchers Photo Gallery. We will spend the afternoon through sunset photographing the back roads of Big Cypress Reserve and making many stops along the way.
Day 4: We will spend a full day photographing different ecosystems throughout the Everglades. We will be photographing alligators, crocodiles, nesting ospreys, hundreds of birds (some just a few feet away). We will also visit a great location on the East Coast.
Day 5: We will start the day with sunrise at a different entrance to the Everglades. We also will be exploring several boardwalks that will take us deep into the Big Cypress National Reserve. It is full of life, biodiversity and incredible photogenic subjects for the landscape and wildlife photographer.
Day 6: We will have our early AM photo session in the Everglades and then check out of hotel by 11 am photographing some different back roads of the Everglades and Big Cypress Reserve. There are several great options for the rest of the day as we return to Ft Myers.
Day 7: We will be photographing wildlife at sunrise and head back to Ft Myers hotel in time for checkout and afternoon flights.
Our group size is limited to six people which is substantially smaller than other tour companies.
This offers several advantages.
Personalized one on one attention, critiques, and photography advice. Both in the field and in the classroom. I want to make sure you get the best shots while we are on location.
We get much better access to remote areas than bus tours, day tours and car pools. There are several incredible places which only have room for one or two cars.
We will be traveling in one vehicle designed for wildlife viewing. We can access more remote areas and respond quicker to where wildlife has been spotted.
Our smaller groups allow a closer approach to wildlife. Larger groups makes animals more nervous.
This trip will involve some short flat walks. Most of the walks are within sight of my tour van, so you do not have to be in great shape for this tour.
Transportation from hotel to the field locations are included. There is a free shuttle to and from the hotel to Fort Myers Airport if you fly in. No need to rent a car.
The hotel is included in this tour.
We will spend 6 nights
3 nights in Fort Myers.
3 nights near the entrance of the Everglades.
All rooms are single occupancy so you will have you own room
Also included: Instruction and all permits, admission and entrance fees.
Transportation is included from hotel to and from the field locations.
This will also include pickup and dropoff at Fort Myers Airport.
There is no need to rent a vehicle.
Food is not included. We will eat at local restaurants. The hotel will have breakfast.
The flights to and from Fort Myers are not covered.
Fort Myers Airport (RSW): Hotel has shuttle for pickup and drop-off at airport.
John Slonina is a professional nature photographer who has been photographing for over 30 years. He estimates he has taken over 800,000 photos. John has a love of natural history. During the workshop, you will receive information on photography techniques and the natural world. Understanding nature not only increases your appreciation of it but also helps you become a better nature photographer.