Birds of Spain Photography Workshop

Up until a month ago, if someone asked me where in the world they should go photograph birds, Europe would have been dead last. Birds have fallen prey for their feathers for centuries. Wars have destroyed birding habitat, and now the sprawling population takes its toll. Then I found paradise and people who love the birds and work to protect wildlife and present photographers with unmatched photo opportunities.

Our destination is approximately 600 acres (250 hectares) of pristine wetlands. The property is at the confluence of two great rivers the Guadiana and Ri√°nsares. The overflow from the rivers has created a magnificent lagoon, and it is a perfect sanctuary for birds. The location is also ideal for the millions of birds that migrate from as far away as South Africa to Northern Europe. In other words a bird photographers paradise.

Main Lagoon Birds of Spain Photo Workshop

Main Lagoon Birds of Spain Photo Workshop

You will learn a lot during this 7-day workshop, whether you want to or not! ūüôā

One of the most important things that I will teach you is how to think about your photography. It’s not always about the settings; it is about envisioning photographs! Superb compositions lead to high impact imagery. I am continually observing bird behavior, often without my camera. I want to hear vocalizations that announce their presence or that a predator is near. Those audio cues help me take my possible images. I watch bird behavior to anticipate their next move better. When you can “sense” the direction a bird will depart the scene, you will likely capture that perfect moment. Lastly, my typical approach while photographing birds; is to start shooting as soon as I see a bird and continue to hammer away until the bird is gone. Then I sort it all out at home on the computer. This “shotgun” approach does yield results, but with a downside. The big problem is downloading hundreds or even thousands of duplicate and awful images. It is also likely that you missed the one best shot of the encounter. During this workshop, we have the luxury of photographing from a hide. The huge benefit is the birds will typically linger in camera range. There is no need to blast away, take a breath, and look for the picture the birds have presented!

With a small group and smaller blinds, there will be plenty of time for one on one instruction. We will have group downloads, and I will be happy to look over your images offering congratulations and or advice on taking your bird photography to the next level.

My goal is to ensure you thoroughly enjoy our adventure, make some images that you brag about, and leave a better bird photographer than when you arrived!

This workshop is a first for me; I am taking clients to a location that I have not personally experienced. With 20 years of experience leading photography workshops around the world, I have every confidence you will not notice. I have spoken with the owners often and have been very specific in what we need and expect. I believe everything will meet or exceed all of your expectations. Based on all my  bird adventures over the years, I am confident this experience also will be memorable.

As an incentive to join me on this exciting adventure, I am offering the 2021 Birds of Spain workshop at an introductory price of $2995. The 2022 rate will be at least $3995.

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May 31, 2021 – Day 1

You will arrive in Madrid and be transported to a nearby hotel for the first night. This will ensure we hit the ground running the next day, and we will have time to shop for anything that may have been lost or forgotten.

We will have a group dinner and get to know each other a little bit. Also, I will give you more details about the process of the workshop.

June 1, 2021 – Day 2

After breakfast, we will depart the city for our countryside estate and home for the workshop duration. Hopefully, the light will be with us, and we can head straight to the birds. 

After our lunch and siesta, it will be back to the blinds and more photography.

June 2 Р7, 2021 РDays 3 to 6 

Our photography days will follow the same routine of breakfast, photography, lunch, group download, or nap, followed by more photography and more food and discussion. 

There are over 30 blinds on the estate. No two locations are the same, and the number of photographers in a blind can be from 2-6. Rest assured, everyone will work from every blind at least once. It is unlikely we will all be together in a blind at any given moment. Our local guides and I will be roaming the hides making sure everything is working well, and you are happy.

June 8, 2021 – Day 7

After one last morning photography session will return to Madrid for your evening flights back home.

What is Included?
  • Airport pickup and drop off at Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Su√°rez Airport
  • All accommodation during your tour
  • All meals
  • Admission fees for planned facilities and excursions
What is Not Included?
  • Your flight and any other travel costs to Spain and back home again after the tour
  • Lodging should you choose to arrive to depart early.
  • Alcohol, food not mentioned as included, laundry, items of a personal nature
  • The cost of any vaccinations that your physician may advise before traveling to Spain.¬†
  • The cost of any health checks that may be required for admittance to Spain.
  • Visas if required from your home country
  • Travel Insurance
  • I will share all of the bird photography knowledge I’ve learned over the last 20 years. I have also been using and teaching Lightroom editing for 14 years, and I will share my workflow with you.
  • How to add impact to your images.
  • Bird photography composition guidelines and techniques
  • You will learn about planning shots, reading the light, and making the correct camera adjustments.Using previsualization and revisualization to improve your images
  • Learn how to quickly and efficiently choose your best images.
  • I will share my time-saving Lightroom workflow.

The link below is a downloadable species list of the birds that we are most likely to photograph. There are many fascinating birds, and I hope we get them all. Well, not the House Sparrow or the European Starling!

Birds of Spain Species List

What Should I Bring?
  • You‚Äôll need at least one SLR or mirrorless camera, ideally two to give you the opportunity to shoot with multiple lenses simultaneously, and also as a backup
  • Lenses from wide-angle up to around 400mm (or the 35mm equivalent)
  • A sturdy tripod and cable release, and a polarizer and neutral density filters also broaden your horizons
Weather
  • High Temperature 70 F – 21C
  • Low Temperature 55F – 13C
  • Sunshine 10 hrs
  • Rain 1.8 in – 30mm
  • Rain Days 6

It’s almost impossible to list everything that you’ll need, you will be sent some recommendations and then this will be covered again before your trip on a one on one phone discussion we will have with you.

At any point feel free to reach out to either of us and we’ll talk you off of the ledge!

US Citizens Traveling To Spain*

Passport

6 Months validity advised, 3 months beyond your date of departure is required

Visa Requirements

Not required for stays less than 90 days

Vaccination Recommendations

None

Consult your physician or travel doctor for current information.

Arrival and Departure Airport

Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Su√°rez Airport (MAD) is the ultimate destination airport in Madrid. Our drivers will meet us at the airport after we clear customs and immigration and re-claimed our luggage.

Early Arrival?

Let us know if you need help with accommodations if you plan to arrive early.

Departures

We will drop you off at the airport after our last adventures at the estate.

Lodging & Transportation

The workshop includes all lodging and local transportation, as described in your itinerary. You may be liable for any changes to that itinerary.

Trip Insurance

We always use trip insurance. It’s so much easier and with so many more benefits when you compare it with your insurance. I’ve found the costs to be reasonable, given the benefits. I use Travel Guard when I travel, and even though; I’ve not had a claim, they were helpful and easy to deal with on the phone.

*Information for US citizens travel to Spain was obtained from the US Department of State and was valid as of August 2020. 

If you are not an American citizen, please check with your embassy regarding your country’s travel requirements.

Click the Green Button at the Bottom the page and that will take you to my payment processor and you can choose your favorite method of payment. In the White Box you can enter the number of places that you would like to book.

About 30 days before departure, you will get a welcome kit with the nuts and bolts of what to expect. Of course, feel free to email me or call me and we can talk about it as much as you like!

There is a 2.5% convenience fee to pay your balance by credit cards. There are no fees with any of the listed payment methods for your deposit. Be sure to read the Terms and Conditions and or the FAQ to fully understand about deposits, cancellations and other important, but boring stuff.

I’ve been very passively advising my clients to purchase travel insurance for a while, but lately it seems like there have been multiple people having travel issues. Some have lost their deposits and sometimes even the cost of the entire trip!

Based on my client’s experience, I cannot stress more strongly how crucial it is to purchase travel insurance. Like I said before, and here it comes again, there is never a way to predict what is going to happen when you are booking trips months and years into the future.

You can read more about my thoughts about the importance of travel insurance in this blog post.

Or you can go get a free quote and book your vital travel insurance.

https://wildlifeworkshops.link/Travel_Insurance_Quote

With uncertainty in the Corvid era, I have decided to offer a few considerations to ease your mind about choosing to sign up for a workshop.

Deposits

The deposit is fully refundable until 75 days before the workshop.

Notifications

As mentioned, this is a new workshop, and I don’t have the usual experience regarding the logistics of the trip. I do have more than enough experience to judge the potential of a location. I have spoken with the estate owners on multiple occasions, going over my requirements. I am confident that you will be pleased and will bring home remarkable images.¬†

If you have any concerns, let’s talk!

All photographs in this listing were provided by the estate.

Registration Information

Tuition

The tuition for the Bird of Spain workshop $2995 USD double occupancy.

Deposit

The deposit for this workshop is $100 USD. The deposit can be paid by PayPal, Credit Card, Wire Transfer or Check. Actually, if you have another way you would like to pay, I am open to new ideas when it comes to collecting money!

The balance of the workshop tuition will be due March 2, 2021 (90 days prior).

Ready to Go?

Here is the Birds of Spain workshop in a nutshell. You are going to learn something new, you are going to make beautiful photos, you are going to Spain and photograph incredible new birds. Oh, and it’ll be fun too! How does this sound? Do it! Hit the register button now!

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