Tangier Island with Irene Hinke-Sacilotto 

My spring 2018 Tangier Island Photo Workshop features photography of a unique waterman community and local wildlife.  Just south of the Maryland line, in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, lays Tangier Island, VA. Covering approximately 1.2 square miles, Tangier Island is actually a series of small islands connected by narrow wooden bridges spanning marshes and tidal creeks. Tangier is a charming community of waterman and shop owners. Many inhabitants make their living, as did their ancestors for more than 400 years, by crabbing, fishing, and oystering. Each day we will rise before dawn, hoping to capture sunrise images and photos of the waterman as they man their skiffs and works boats, heading out to their offshore crab shanties to gather up their crab pots, scrapes, floats, and other gear for the day. For photos from the water, Saturday morning I chartered a boat for a trip around the island with the hopes of photographing the docks, waterman at work, and local birdlife.

During our stay, we will explore the beach, tidal creeks, and wetlands in search of wildlife. Ducks, geese, herons, rails, shorebirds, skimmers, terns, and pelicans take advantage of the rich food supply that the island and its surroundings afford. There is also a healthy population of ospreys nesting on nearby platforms and jetties. It is not uncommon to see one fly overhead with a fish in its talons..

Includes: One-on-one instruction; image critiques; two night’s accommodations at a B&B; full breakfast; boat charter trip to photograph crab shanties, waterman and ospreys from the water; and transportation around the island by golf cart.

Photo workshop size limited 3-8 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.

Bosque del Apache NWR with Irene Hinke-Sacilotto and Sandy Zelasko

Co-Leaders: Irene Hinke-Sacilotto & Sandy Zelasko:
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. To feed the huge number of birds visiting the refuge each year, nearby fields are planted with corn, wheat, millet, and other grains. Loop roads transect the refuge marshes and fields and provide prime sites for wildlife photography. Species that may be seen include shovelers, buffleheads, pintails, teal and other ducks, eagles, hawks, turkey, meadowlarks, quail, roadrunners, coyotes, mule deer, and more.

In late November and early December, thousands of snow geese and sandhill cranes will be present on the refuge. From the wetlands where they spend the night, at dawn the geese and other waterfowl rise in-mass and sweep overhead on their way to feed in field in a must-see spectacle. Each day we will arrive at the refuge at dawn to photograph this event plus local wildlife. After a short mid-day break, we will return and continue photographing until sundown. Includes two experienced leaders who have scouted this year’s best photo locations prior to your arrival, an orientation PowerPoint presentation, one-on-one instruction in the field, and a critique of images for on-site feedback. To register, contact Sandy Zelasko with Sandra Lee Photography, Phone: 760-749-2174

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