workshop description

Join BPN avian moderator Doug Brown, Greg Basco, and NPN avian moderator Keith Bauer for a 3 1/2 day workshop at the Bosque del Apache this December! The workshop experience will be broad-based, emphasizing manual exposure for long lens flight photography (either hand held or with a tripod). The other major emphasis will be on image optimization with Lightroom and Photoshop. All 3 instructors are well versed in image processing, but Keith is a true expert who teaches classes on both Lightroom and Photoshop. We'll be doing formal and informal computer sessions every day. Additional workshop highlights will include environmental avian photography (one of Greg's specialties), landscapes (including sunrises, sunsets, nighttime shoots), long exposures, and silhouettes. We'll also devote some time to captive raptor photography with a fantastic collection of birds from a local nonprofit raptor education and rehabilitation center (Hawks Aloft). A contribution of $1,000 from the workshop proceeds will be donated to Hawks Aloft to help support their important educational and research programs.

Northern Pintail

Northern Pintail

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Snow Goose

Snow Goose

dates: Nov. 29 - Dec. 2, 2016

price: $1,400 (SOLD OUT)

location: Bosque del Apache NWR, NM, USA


I am convinced I attended the best workshop possible. As a teacher myself and a self proclaimed workshop critic, I can say with confidence that this workshop had several distinct advantages and was the best of the best. The primary difference that I appreciated the most were the three award winning photographers who stood by our sides and made sure each of us took great images. Doug’s expertise in flight photography, Greg Basco’s incredible artistic talents and Keith Bauer’s unique skills and experience made for the perfect combination. Not only did Doug, Greg and Keith teach us one-on-one but they also patiently reviewed exposure theory, camera settings (both Canon and Nikon), bird behavior and equipment issues both in the field and in the classroom.

As most of us know many leaders spend most of their time taking pictures in the field instead of actually supervising the attendees which was definitely not the case with this workshop. These instructors worked very hard walking back and forth teaching and reviewing images the entire time. With a student teacher ratio of 5:1 each attendee had more than enough interaction in the field to capture everything we set out to accomplish.
— Greg Gulbransen, DO

detailed itinerary

day 1, Tuesday, Nov. 29

Participants arrive to Socorro by no later than 12:00 noon.  (See links at the bottom of the page for suggested hotel accommodations)

At 12:30 sharp, we'll begin with introductions and greetings followed by a presentation on Flight Photography to provide you with knowledge of how to begin capturing those great flight images.  After the presentation, we'll head out to the refuge for an afternoon of shooting.  We'll shoot until dusk.

day 2, Wednesday, Nov. 30

Meet very early this morning at the refuge to shoot birds at the pond near the flight deck or at the Crane pools. We'll photograph until around 9:30 this morning and then take time to return to our hotels to download images.

After lunch, we'll review the morning's images with an eye toward ensuring that you are obtaining optimal photos in the field. We'll focus especially on how proper exposures can help you to draw out maximum detail in your bird images with Lightroom and Photoshop. We'll also enjoy a presentation from your leaders on proper exposure.

Mid-afternoon, we'll gear up and return to the refuge, where we'll concentrate on shooting geese and cranes at the fly-in. We'll continue shooting until sunset and will head back to town. Dinner is on own this night.

day 3, Thursday, Dec. 1

We'll meet again early this morning at the refuge for the sunrise, blastoff, and/or Crane pools, and then we'll take the rest of the morning to hone our handheld flight skills.

We'll then work late morning and early afternoon on  LightRoom/Photoshop skills and a solid digital workflow. 

Later this afternoon, we have a special treat for you. We've arranged a captive raptor shoot with a local raptor rehabilitation center. For the next two hours, you'll have fun getting great shots of local raptors.

After the Raptor shoot, we'll meet at a local place in San Antonio for dinner, then go out for a night shoot (skies permitting).

day 4, Friday, Dec. 2

We'll take the very early morning again to photograph the refuge's avian inhabitants at dawn, and we'll continue shooting until mid-morning. After this morning's photo session, we'll have some classroom time devoted to Photoshop-based workflow and image optimization techniques. Our goal is for you to take home a few of your favorite images ready to print and display proudly in your home or office.

Mid-afternoon we head back out to the refuge for our last afternoon of shooting.

workshop leaders

Doug Brown

When not in the operating room (he's a cardiac anesthesiologist by day), Doug Brown is a BBC prizewinning photographer best known for images of birds in flight. Doug is a moderator at in the Avian: Image Critique forum. You can see his photos in the popular smartphone app iBird and also on the website. His work has been published in New Mexico Magazine, Western Birds Magazine, and Aloft. His images are also used extensively in A Field Guide to the Plants and Animals of the Middle Rio Grande Bosque and Raptors of New Mexico. Doug enjoys leading bird photography workshops in the United States and Costa Rica, his favorite international destination for bird photography.

Greg Basco

Greg Basco is a resident Costa Rican professional photographer and environmentalist who enjoys a working relationship with Canon. He is a BBC/Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Nature's Best Windland Smith Rice prizewinner, and his photos have been published by National Geographic, Outdoor Photographer, Newsweek, and other magazines and have been used in many books, public exhibits, calendars, and other projects. Greg's latest work in progress is a coffee table book of artistic photos from the rainforest.

In addition to his own photography, Greg truly enjoys working with tour clients to help them improve their photography and capture great photos of their own in the challenging habitats of Costa Rica. Indeed, he liked it so much that a few years ago he founded Foto Verde Tours, Costa Rica's first and only travel company specializing in photographic tourism.

Keith Bauer

Keith Bauer is a wildlife and nature photographer based in Albuquerque, NM. He is a moderator in the Avian forum on Nature Photographers Network. He's been published in NANPA's Expressions Magazine the past 4 years, winner of the Best of 2010 Visual Wilderness Competition, winner of the International Nature Photographers Network, and best of show in the 2010 Annual New Mexico Photographic Art show, and many others. Keith has many images in the smartphone application iBird. He is a recognized expert in digital post processing and offers classes on Photoshop and Lightroom. When he's not out enjoying photography, he works at a national laboratory managing a group of computer science professionals.