Favorite Photo Workshops/Tours?

If you would like to post, you'll need to register. Note that if you have a BCG store account, you'll need a new, separate account here (we keep the two sites separate for security purposes).

Ivy

New member
What photo tours and workshops have you taken, and which were your favorites? Which did you not enjoy? Why? When and where did you go, and who organized and led it?

Steve's workshops, of course, are very highly rated, and I look forward to taking my first next year. In the meanwhile, it would be interesting to learn of other experiences people may have had.

Thanks!
Greg Downing (NatureScapes) and Greg Basco (Deep Green Photography) run a joint one in Costa Rica. Both are excellent. Natural Habitat Adventures also runs photo tours. I did their trip to S. Africa and Botswana with Richard de Gouveia (shoots Sony) who was outstanding. I have upcoming trips with Steve Gettle based in MI, Denise Ippolito, and Suzi Ezsterhaus. All have excellent reputations which is why I booked with them.
 

Abinoone

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
The truth (spoken in grumbles and whispers among amateur photographers) is that some "great photographers" make simply dreadful trip leaders. It's a matter of whether they are able to make the trip about the clients rather than about placing their own greatness on display. Glenn Bartley is an example of a first-rate photographer who makes his trips all about the clients' needs. He will bring out his own camera occasionally to snap a few shots, but basically, he is attending full-time to the people who paid to accompany him.
Absolutely! I've had a couple of trips that I considered bailing on simply because the leader was terrible.
 

Abinoone

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Greg Downing (NatureScapes) and Greg Basco (Deep Green Photography) run a joint one in Costa Rica. Both are excellent. Natural Habitat Adventures also runs photo tours. I did their trip to S. Africa and Botswana with Richard de Gouveia (shoots Sony) who was outstanding. I have upcoming trips with Steve Gettle based in MI, Denise Ippolito, and Suzi Ezsterhaus. All have excellent reputations which is why I booked with them.
Wow, lucky you! Wish I could afford the Nat Hab and Suzi Ezsterhaus tours!
 

Abinoone

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
We recently returned from a trip to Santa Clara ranch in S Texas with Hector Astorga. He's great and we'll travel with him again. Have also had great experiences with Chesseman's - Botswana/Zambia/Rwanda (Tom Murphy), Yellowstone winter (twice with Tom), Alaska Arctic (Hugh Rose). Also did a trip with Hugh (not through Cheeseman's) to Prince William Sound (on boat) and Lake Clark (Coastal Brown bears). Recommend all highly.
They sound wonderful! Thanks for the info!
 

Abinoone

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
I did Steve’s Costa Rica workshop in 2018 and hope to do his Africa workshop someday.
For the Soutwestern USA, some other regions, macro, critters, post processing, etc.; check the offerings from Arizona Highways Photoscapes https://ahps.org/
The workshop leaders are terrific. These workshops also have special access to places, especially on Indian lands, that are difficult to get to on your own such as the slot canyons, White Pocket, Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelley, and Coal Mine Canyon.
Great info - thank you!
 

IainD

Active member
Matt Shetzer from Colorado is excellent. I have been to Haines Alaska for eagles, Anchorage and then Lake Clark for bears, and Costa Rica for hummingbirds.
I had a Costa Rica return trip planned for 2020, but the virus got in the way. Now I am hoping to go in 2023, and perhaps the Galapagos after that.
Matt organises everything, and in all the trips I have done with him, there has never been one moment of worry or dissatisfaction. He is amazing.
Iain
 

Carlito FE2

Member
Supporting Member
I just did a tour last month with Mike Jackson in Yellowstone. it was great, he seemed to know every rock and vantage point, and was really good about not just showing me what was there in June, but also letting me know how it would change in fall, winter, etc. He did some shooting with me using similar equiptment (wow his photos were better! ) He showed me how and why, explicitly stating some things that I sort of knew interrnally but had not heard articulated so clearly. It was a very worthwhile trip. He is a really nice guy and very skilled as a teacher as well as a photographer. I had sent a PM to one of the Wyoming photographers to ask for a recommendation and was not disappointed. He is at "Best of the Tetons."

Great Thread idea Abinoone, thank you.
Karl
 

Abinoone

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
I just did a tour last month with Mike Jackson in Yellowstone. it was great, he seemed to know every rock and vantage point, and was really good about not just showing me what was there in June, but also letting me know how it would change in fall, winter, etc. He did some shooting with me using similar equiptment (wow his photos were better! ) He showed me how and why, explicitly stating some things that I sort of knew interrnally but had not heard articulated so clearly. It was a very worthwhile trip. He is a really nice guy and very skilled as a teacher as well as a photographer. I had sent a PM to one of the Wyoming photographers to ask for a recommendation and was not disappointed. He is at "Best of the Tetons."

Great Thread idea Abinoone, thank you.
Karl
Gotta look up Mike! Thanks for sharing!
 

Abinoone

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Matt Shetzer from Colorado is excellent. I have been to Haines Alaska for eagles, Anchorage and then Lake Clark for bears, and Costa Rica for hummingbirds.
I had a Costa Rica return trip planned for 2020, but the virus got in the way. Now I am hoping to go in 2023, and perhaps the Galapagos after that.
Matt organises everything, and in all the trips I have done with him, there has never been one moment of worry or dissatisfaction. He is amazing.
Iain
Great recommendation!
 

Tom Reynolds

Active member
Supporting Member
Great topic. Actually I was thinking of proposing a Backcountry Gallery Forum trip limited to members and their families. I was thinking of places where a member could point the group where to go but not actually lead tour. Organizing would be limited to getting everyone at the same spot at the same time hopefully most in the same hotel.

I my case I am planning to go to Morro Bay in November with an expert and again in January just with my wife. Assuming I liked it I was going to propose a BCG Old Farts tour next fall. It wouldn't be limited to Old Farts. It is simply all that I would know about.

Basque del Apache wouldn't need an experienced leader either.

Tom
 

Rodamu

Active member
Supporting Member
I like the Winter Wings Festival (http://winterwingsfest.org) at Klamath Falls Oregon. It is sponsored by the Klamath Audubon Society. Each year a well-known professional bird photographer makes a presentation and also holds at least one workshop. Tours and various events are held centered on the Presidents' Day holiday weekend. The main subjects for participants are the thousands of waterfowl and hundreds of eagles and other raptors that gather in the Klamath Basin wetlands and farm lands each winter.
 

aj500

Member
Only did one photo workshop, Chris Bray Photography. Chris is from Australia and our photo shop was in Kenya. It was a fantastic experience.
 

KimM

Active member
Supporting Member
I have been on two trips with Glenn Bartley, one to Costa Rica and the second to southern Ecuador. I signed up with him for the Pantanal July 2020, but clearly that one didn't happen, and in fact, Glenn has postponed the trip until July 2023. Given the hot mess that is Brazil atm, this was a wise decision, it appears.
Glenn is an excellent photographer, of course, and a terrific leader.

I have been on trips recently with Ken Archer (Colorado grouse tour) and Nate Chappell (Galveston migrants), through Trogon Photo Tours. The Colorado trip was a rip-roaring success in every way; the Galveston trip proved slow in terms of passerine migrants in early May, but that was not Nate's fault.

I am signed up to go with Barbara Eddy to Yellowstone next February. I chose her trip partly because the dates were ideal for me, but also I was really impressed with her brochure/itinerary. I know leaders like to get "followers" who go with them on multiple trips, but I actually like to go with different leaders over time, as each one has something unique to teach or model.

I also have been on multiple "birding tours," which are not really set up for sit-with-your-tripod photography, but more for "run and gun." This is ok with me for some venues, e.g., Northern Ohio in spring Migration, southeastern Arizona, Texas coastal migrants/High Island, etc. You cover a lot of ground more quickly, and you rely on your hand-holdable rig.

The success of a trip can hinge sometimes on the group chemistry exuded by the participants. I have been on trips where this was better or worse, and in fact, I have come to see that "people skills" are a fundamentally important requirement for tour leaders. One real pill of a client can unravel a whole excursion. I hope and pray that I never am that "real pill." So far, so good.
I have done several workshops with Barb Eddy - you won't be disappointed! Experienced in all aspects of field information (light, timing local information - especially this location etc) supporting clients at all skill levels and managing groups. Willing to share any and all information. Good expertise in PS and LR if in need of this.
 

NWGuy

Member
Have done a couple workshops with Hudson Henry out of Portland OR. He does trips to Yellowstone (just done), Tetons, Moab, Michoacan, Argentina, Death Valley, the Palouse (eastern WA, very scenic), OR coast, around Portland. He is more into landscape and milky way, than just wildlife. Very clear that he is there for the attendees, not to get his own photos. Very positive approach in the critique sessions but quite instructional. Very patient with attendees that are learning new skills (like me with Milky Way shots). Has pros as well as amateurs in the workshops. Check out his ATS (approaching the scene) series.
 
Top