Pacific Elephant Seals with Tom Mace

Join us as we visit the West Coast of California to witness an awesome collection of sea life, sunsets, and huge gatherings of Monarch butterflies. There are a handful of Elephant Seal Rookeries on the West Coast of California, we know the best location and the right time for photographers to capture 16 foot, 5000 lb. bulls on the beach establishing their dominance. Elephant Seals migrate back to the California coast in early to late winter to give birth, mate, and layout on the sandy beaches. The photo opportunities are endless. We have also mapped out several locations to capture California sunsets, possible encounters with wild Sea Otters, and a short excursion to see a Monarch Butterfly Grove that has thousands of butterflies congregated for the winter. In addition; we will see many birds, as our location is a stopover on the Pacific Flyway for birds migrating from Alaska to South America. Home to over 200 species of birds with one of the largest Heron Rookeries in California, Morro Bay is the site of one of the largest birding festivals which takes place the week before our visit. Your guides, being California natives, are very familiar with these areas and know where to put you in front of the action.

This is an all inclusive photography workshop. All ground transportation, hotel, meals, fees, and all the little things are handled by Tripod Travelers.

Six weeks in the Smokies as artist-in-residence

Story and photography by Tom Haxby

It was my dream come true to have been the Artist in Residence as a photographer in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for six weeks from September through November of 2016. I have been to the park many times and I would never have imagined having this opportunity. My background as a natural resource manager for 26 years along with my passion for photography helped to secure the chance to take photographs for an entire season in one of the most picturesque national parks. For me, it was about more than just taking photos. I wanted to take the time to gain a greater understanding of the park.

Oncoaluftee Watershed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. All landscape photos seen in this article were taken with a Nikon D800 and this assortment of lenses: 14-24mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm. All were on a tripod. © Tom Haxby

Oncoaluftee Watershed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. All landscape photos seen in this article were taken with a Nikon D800 and this assortment of lenses: 14-24mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm. All photos were taken on a tripod.
© Tom Haxby

The National Park Service, the Friends of the Smokies and the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts sponsor the artist program in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Continue reading