Fort Myers, Florida – 2018

NANPA Regional Workshop

Fort Myers, Florida February 24-27, 2018

Event is sold out.
To join the wait list, click on the “Register Online” button below.

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Event Details –

Join Canon Explorer of Light Rick Sammon and Maresa Pryor-Luzier as they explore the abundant wildlife of the area at prime light. Individualized instruction and bird photography tips will be provided during mid-day. In addition, there will be time to discuss post processing workflow and techniques. Plan to immerse yourself in 2 1/2 days of nature, wildlife, and photography while developing skills that will last a lifetime!

Great Egret

About Fort Myers-

Fort Myers is located in southwestern Florida and is the gateway to some of the best birding locations in Florida. We’ll be visiting some of the coastal islands near Ft Myers Beach, Sanibel, and Captiva. Other sites include; J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and Venice Rookery, as well as several state and county parks near Fort Myers for birds, beaches, sunrises, and sunsets. This area is one of the premiere birding destinations in North America to photograph water birds that are approachable. Photographers typically can observe and photograph different behaviors, breeding displays, breeding plumage, birds feeding in groups, and foraging in different habitats—mangroves, beaches, tidal areas, small islands, etc. The abundance of wildlife near Fort Myers provides a wealth of opportunity for photographic exploration!


White Ibis

What to Expect –

This event differs from NANPA’s traditional Regional Events and will be in more of a Workshop format. You’ll photograph in the mornings and late afternoon/evenings, but will also attend mid-day workshops at the hotel where leaders Rick Sammon and Maresa Pryor-Luzier will share techniques and critique your work.

This event is designed for amateur and professional photographers interested in improving their photography skills or possibly looking for location guidance to capture that perfect shot. If you are new to photography, the leaders will be available to answer questions, teach new techniques and help you improve your photographic skills. If you already have plenty of photography experience, the leaders will ensure that you’re in the best locations at the best times for those perfect shots.


Reddish Egret

Just the Facts –

Date: February 24-27, 2018 Registration & orientation Feb. 24, 2018 @ 6:30 p.m.

Cost: $495 NANPA member, $595 non-members (includes Tuesday Brunch)

Location: Fort Myers Beach, Florida

Last date to register: February 10, 2018

Maximum number attendees: 16

Fort Myers, FL Regional Event Cancellation and Refund Policy:  Written requests for registration refunds or cancellations must be postmarked on (or received by email or fax to the NANPA office) by January 24, 2018.  Cancellations received by January 24, 2018, will be refunded less a $50 processing fee.  No refunds will be made for requests submitted after January 24, 2018.  Refunds will not be made for no-shows regardless of the reason.  The program is subject to change.  NANPA reserves the right to cancel any event or activity due to insufficient registration or any unforeseen circumstances. It also has the right to substitute presenters if those originally scheduled cannot attend.


Lodging –

LaQuinta Inns & Suites – Ft Myers -Central
4850 S. Cleveland Avenue
Ft Myers, FL
Phone: 239-275-3300

We have blocked rooms for the following rates:
Standard Room with 2 beds: 2/24 $129.60, 2/25-26 $120.60.

Please contact the Group Desk at 800-642-4239, Option 1 and ask for the special rate for North American Nature Photography Association.
The cutoff date for this rate is 2/2/18.


Leaders –

Rick Sammon – Canon Explorer of Light and award-winning photographer, Rick Sammon, loves his day job. A tireless, prolific and inspirational image-maker, Rick, called by some “The Godfather of Photography,” is one of the most active photographers on the planet – dividing his time between creating images, leading photo workshops, and making personal appearances. Rick’s enthusiasm for digital imaging is contagious. He is a man on a mission – a mission to make digital photography fun, creative, exciting and rewarding for others.

Rick’s latest books are Creative Visualization for Photographers and Evolution of an Image. Exploring Photographic Exposure, Rick’s 37th book.
While Rick describes himself as “evolving,” he hesitates to categorize his work. “I’m an A-to-Z type of photographer. I do it all – and I enjoy the freedom of not specializing.”

With nearly 40 years of experience, this self-taught photographer has many accomplishments – and many more anticipated for the road ahead.

Maresa Pryor-Luzier – As a freelance photographer, Maresa specializes in the field of wildlife and nature. Her travels have taken her around the world to extraordinary places such as the Galapagos Islands, Cuba, Central America, Norway, Puerto Rico, Southern Africa, and the United States.

She has served as both board member and chapter president of the American Society of Media Photographers of Central Florida, and is a founding member of the North American Nature Photography Association.

Published worldwide her credits include: Audubon, Field & Stream, Living Bird, Mother Earth News, National Geographic Kids & Book Series, National Wildlife, Outdoor Photographer, Ranger Rick, and more. She is represented by two agencies in New York and Washington state.

Photo Locations – 

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning—the leaders will lead groups to different areas in the early morning and again on Monday and Tuesday afternoons. Leaders will have scouted the area prior to your arrival and will take you to locations with the best bird and photo opportunities at the time. Here’s a sample of potential locations we may visit:

Little Estero Pond – is a critical wildlife area Roger Tory Peterson once dubbed “possibly the best place in the world to photograph shorebirds.” You may see the Great Blue Heron, Great, Snowy, and Reddish Egrets, American Oystercatchers, Skimmers, Plovers and a variety of other shorebirds.

Bunche Beach Preserve – The Preserve is a natural area indicative of “Old Florida.” This ecosystem ranges from sandy beach to mangrove forests to salt flats with the wide variety of wildlife appropriate to those habitats. This is a wonderful place to photograph shorebirds and seabirds. You may see Reddish Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Black-Bellied Plovers, Long-Billed Curlews, Piping Plovers, Marbled Godwits, Black Skimmers, Red-Breasted Mergansers, Osprey, White Pelicans, Brown Pelicans, and many kinds of terns.

Lovers Key Beach State Park –Lovers Key Beach is one of 4 barrier islands comprising the state park. This is a great evening location–Lovers Key State Park stands out as one of the finest examples of subtropical, coastal habitat remaining in Southwest Florida. This area of the Gulf Coast of Florida is home to dolphins, manatees, bald eagles and roseate spoonbills, in addition to thousands of migratory wading birds, shorebirds and White Pelicans, Reddish Egrets, Tricolored Herons, Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, and Yellow-Crowned Night Herons. This is a location where it is possible to photograph from your car.

Blind Pass Beach – Blind Pass Beach on the Island is another early morning spot for great birds. In early morning, Laughing and Ring-billed Gulls, and Royal, Forster’s and Sandwich Terns may roost on the beach, often in large flocks with a few Black Skimmers.

The East Gulf Beaches – A low tide walk on the Gulf beach west of the lighthouse can provide opportunities to photograph a variety of birds, including wintering Black-bellied Plover, Willet, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Red Knot, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, and an assortment of terns and gulls. Large flocks of winter plumage Sanderlings and/or Red Knots in dull gray non-breeding plumage can be found on occasion along this stretch. Ospreys can also be seen here diving for fish.

The Sanibel Causeway – The Sanibel Causeway is a three-mile-long stretch of three bridges (A, B, and C) connecting Sanibel Island to the mainland. Built over such a long expanse of ocean habitat, birds can be seen throughout its span. An option for afternoons is the Causeway islands (islands A and B) that are traversed by the Causeway as you drive back to Fort. Myers. Since you will find birds almost anywhere along the beaches of these three islands, the Causeway can be an excellent afternoon location.

Venice Rookery – Managed by the Venice Area Audubon Society, the Venice Rookery is the site of a small island rookery in the middle of a small lake. If you don’t feel like walking much to get to your destination, this is the place for you. Just pull up, walk a few yards, and you’re right there. February is at the height of nesting season with daytime visitors including Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Anhingas, Snowy Egrets, Cattle Egrets, Glossy Ibises, Green Herons, Tricolored Herons, and Black Crowned Night Herons building nests, courting, incubating eggs and raising chicks. You can even sit in the shade of the pavilions and watch the birds!

J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge – Boasting as the number one birding spot, Ding Darling NWR is home to over 245 species of residential and migratory birds. February is one of the best times for birding as the residents are hosting the plentiful migratory birds. You will find an abundance of shorebirds, waterfowl, wading birds, passerines and raptors. In addition, watch for cold water fish in the impoundment; and alligators sunning themselves.

Schedule –

Basic 2018 Fort Myers Regional Event Schedule
Saturday, February 24: 6:30 pm Registration and Orientation
Please eat dinner prior to the meeting.

Sunday, February 25 and Monday, February 26: Morning and afternoon field trips to photography locations. This event is a workshop, and you will be processing images during the afternoon, so bring your laptops.

Tuesday, February 27: Morning field trips followed by a group brunch/lunch (included in your event registration fee).

Meals: all meals are on your own except Tuesday lunch, which is included in the event registration fee. Attendees are encouraged to eat together with their groups as part of the overall experience.

Transportation: is on your own.