Assateague Island National Seashore with Irene Hinke-Sacilotto

Assateague Island is a narrow 37-mile-long barrier island lying off the coast of Maryland and Virginia. Because of its ecological importance, it has been designated as a National Seashore under the management of the National Park Service. It is home to wild horses and wildlife including whitetail deer, fox, raccoons, herons, rails, geese, ducks, shorebirds and other resident and migratory species.

This workshop is designed for those with a basic knowledge of the operation of a 35 mm SLR digital camera an interest in nature photography and who desire to improve their photographic skills and optimize the use of their camera. Topics discussed include 1) equipment selection, 2) composition, 3) metering and exposure, 4) lighting, 5) basic image manipulation and 6) locating, approaching, and photographing wildlife.

A Friday evening orientation session is followed by pre-dawn departure on Saturday for the beach to photograph the sunrise and take advantage of the warm early morning light. Potential subjects include the sand dunes, surf, fisherman, wild horses, and local wildlife. Mid-day will be set aside for editing images, followed by a critique of photos taken during the morning. The remainder of the afternoon will be devoted to more photography of island inhabitants, the beach, and sunset. Sunday, photography will begin before dawn and will continue through the morning followed by a final critique of images. The number of participants is limited to 12. Sponsored by the Assateague Island Alliance. info@assateagueislandalliance.org

“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.