Bosque del Apache NWR with 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 December, 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 on the refuge. Includes orientation, instruction in the field, and image review. Limited to 6 participants.

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge with Irene Hinke-Sacilotto

Chincoteague NWR is located on the southern Virginia end of the barrier island of Assateague. In the fall, the refuge attracts large numbers of snow geese along with ducks, swans, herons, ospreys, shorebirds and other migrants. It is also the home to wild horses, deer, raccoon, fox squirrels, and other animals. Used to being protected, the wildlife is unusually tolerant of humans and presents visitors with great photo opportunities. The ocean, dunes, shells, workboats, harbor, and spectacular sunrises and sunsets offer workshop participants a variety of subjects with which to work. The program includes tips on locating and approaching wildlife, capturing in-flight shots of birds, equipment selection, composition, lighting, and exposure. We will explore both the refuge, seashore, and the community.

Autumn in Southern West Virginia with Irene Hinke-Sacilotto

This photo workshop celebrates Autumn in Southern West Virginia near the New River Gorge. The program is designed for those with a basic knowledge of the operation of a 35 mm SLR digital camera with an interest in nature photography. Workshop emphasis is on improving photographic skills, creativity, and optimizing the use of your camera. The workshop includes an orientation PowerPoint program followed by instruction and photography in the field. Included is a critique/review of images from the weekend. Topics covered: 1) equipment selection, 2) composition, 3) metering and exposure, 4) lighting, 5) basic image manipulation and 6) locating, approaching and photographing wildlife. Beginning and advanced photographers are welcome. The workshop is timed to coincide with peak fall color in the region.

Locations visited include the Rim of the New River Gorge, Grandview, Sandstone Falls, Cathedral Falls, and Babcock State Park with the Glade Creek Grist Mill among other sites..

Includes accommodations based on double occupancy, orientation, field instruction, and image review. Limited to 8 participants.

“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.

Badlands National Park

Story and Photography by Irene Hinke-Sacilotto

Hikers at Sunset © Irene Hinke-Sacilotto

A Scenic and Wildlife Photography Paradise

Badlands National Park is a terrific destination for landscape and wildlife photographers. It is the location of my June 2017 photo workshop, co-lead by Sandy Zelasko.   The park is a convenient hour drive east from Rapid City on Interstate 90. North of the Pinnacles Entrance lies the town of Wall where you can find accommodations and other amenities. Near Cedar Pass, at the eastern end of the park, there are campgrounds, cabins, and a few other places to overnight. Continue reading