Yellowstone in Winter with Sandy Zelasko

Join us as we travel into the magical winter landscape called Yellowstone!

Emerge yourself! Concentrate on photographing winter wildlife and mystic landscapes during this week of intense photography in the best place on earth! The trip itinerary has been carefully planned to maximize photographic opportunities for YOU! Arranged for the nature photo enthusiast as a unique journey to explore the wonders of Yellowstone National Park during winter season. All photographic skill levels are welcome. Our goal is for you to enjoy your time with fellow photographers and leave with outstanding images from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

All transportation from Bozeman, MT included, six nights total. Two days of Snowcoach travel in the interior of the park and one night at the historic Snow Lodge at Old Faithful. See the itinerary for full details.

Wind River Bighorns with Sandy Zelasko

Join the National Bighorn Sheep Center and professional photographer Sandy Zelasko for a day of winter bighorn sheep photography in the Whiskey Basin of the Wind River Mountain Range.

Improve your overall knowledge of one of the largest wintering wild sheep herds in North America while fine tuning your photographic skills in winter environments. Learn why depth of field is an important tool when photographing wildlife and conquer exposure in snow conditions. Never be fooled by your camera’s metering system again!

Transportation to all viewing spots is included in the cost of the workshop. Bagged lunch is available for an additional fee.

“Bosque Wildlife” at Bosque del Apache NWR with Sandy Zelasko and Irene Hinke-Sacilotto

Situated along the Rio Grande River, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge covers more than 57,000 acres and is a major wintering ground for cranes and waterfowl. Refuge personnel manage the water levels of its wetlands and impoundments to simulate what was once the seasonal flow of water from the Rio Grande before the river was damned and the flow altered. To feed the huge number of birds visiting the refuge each year, nearby fields are planted with corn, winter wheat, millet, and other grains. Loop roads transect the refuge marshes and fields and provide prime sites for wildlife viewing and photography. Species that may be seen include shovelers, buffleheads, pintails, teal and other ducks; bald and golden eagles; kestrels and other hawks; turkey; meadowlarks; quail; roadrunners; coyotes; mule deer; and more. In November, large flocks of snow geese and sandhill cranes will be present. At night to escape predators, the birds flock to the marshes and shallow pools. With dawn, the snow geese and other waterfowl rise in mass from the wetlands and sweep overhead on their way to nearby fields to feed. Each day we will spend the early morning and late afternoon hours at the refuge photographing birds and many other species of wildlife which are present at the sanctuary.

Melissa Groo on Ethics in Wildlife Photography

Story and Photos by Melissa Groo

In British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, a mother grizzly bear pauses with a freshly caught salmon before retreating into the forest with her cub.

In British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, a mother grizzly bear pauses with a freshly caught salmon before retreating into the forest with her cub. © Melissa Groo

As Melissa Groo explains in her Outdoor Photographer article Finding the Right Track back in March- “Now, more than ever, we need an open discussion on the ethics of wildlife photography. This is the best time in history to be a wildlife photographer, and this is the worst time in history to be a wild animal. That statement might sound extreme, but consider the facts. It has never been easier to find a wild subject. Online databases, photography forums, texting and social media yield instant information on the location of a bird or other animal—often with GPS coordinates. Workshops that promise spectacular shots of wildlife in thrilling destinations abound. Thermal-imaging devices locate dens and nests; camera traps, drones and buggies find and track elusive animals. It also has never been easier to actually photograph a wild subject. Current lens technology, AF systems, and gear lightness and maneuverability make stunning images easily within reach of both amateurs and professionals. Ultimately, it’s up to each of us when we’re out in the field. If we work within the bounds of patience, respect and an understanding of the challenges wild animals face, we’ll be on the right track.” Continue reading