Happy Holidays To All - Bosque Del Apache Workshop Update
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I just got back from my Bosque del Apache Workshop in New Mexico. This year I noticed an incredible amount of improvement within the refuge. The new management team is doing a fantastic job keeping the refuge “photographer’s friendly” cleaning and creating new windows to witness one of the most amazing bird migration in the country.

I kept hearing from other photographers that the conditions weren’t ideal before our arrival with very little clouds during the most important time of the day…. Sunrise!  My group and I experienced a similar scenario on day one. However, the weather was pleasant but more importantly the bird activity was outstanding even with the “shortage” of Sandhill Cranes due to warmer weather. San Antonio was reporting 10 degrees warmer than previous years and today I was reading about the warmest year yet! With that said, clear skies are perfect for silhouettes.


Bosque Del Apache Sunrise - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 1D MKIV, Canon 70-200mm L f/4 @ f/22, 1/800 sec, ISO 800 in Manual mode and Hand-held.


Snow Goose Landing - Bosque Del Apache - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKIII, Canon 800mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 1250 in Manual mode and on a tripod.


Sandhill Crane, Bosque Del Apache - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 1D MKIV, Canon 800mm L with 1.4x III @ f/8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 800, Manual exposure,
Tripod, Single focusing point

Workshop participants were excited to witness Bosque for the first time. We concentrated on capturing the “blast off” which is an eye opener. I wanted to spend as much time as possible with everyone, I was hand-holding my cameras a lot as I was moving from person to person. However, I used the trees nearby to support myself and be as steady as possible even during such low shutter speeds.


Bosque Del Apache Sunrise - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 1D MKIV, Canon 24-70mm II L @ f/8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 800, Manual exposure,
Tripod, Single focusing point


Bosque Del Apache Sunrise - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKIII, Canon 24-70mm L II @ f/8, 1/1320 sec, ISO 1600 in Manual mode, Hand-held


Snow Goose Cruising - Bosque Del Apache - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKIII, Canon 800mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 1250 in Manual mode and on a tripod.

Soon after the sunrise was over, we moved to different locations to photograph the same similar blast off but this time with the sun behind us. It's so easy to fill the frame with these beautiful birds. We also photographed Sanhill Cranes taking off the near-by fields to feed for the day.


Bosque Del Apache Sunrise - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 1D MKIV, Canon 800mm L with 1.4x III @ f/8, 1/1600 sec, ISO 800, Manual exposure,
Tripod, Single focusing point


Sandhill Cranes Trio, Bosque Del Apache - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKIII, Canon 800mm L @ f/8, 1/2000 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure, Tripod


Sandhill Cranes Trio, Bosque Del Apache - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKIII, Canon 800mm L @ f/8, 1/2000 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure, Tripod


Snow Geese Fly-by - Bosque Del Apache - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 1D MKIV, Canon 800mm L with 1.4x III, @ f/8, 1/500 sec, ISO 400 in Manual mode


Sandhill Crane Fly-over - Bosque Del Apache - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKIII, Canon 800mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 1250 in Manual mode and on a tripod.


The Beauty of Bosque - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKIII, Canon 70-200mm f/4 L @ f/11, 1/320 sec, ISO 400 in Manual mode, Hand-held


Crane Pool - 21 images Panorama - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKIII, Canon 70-200mm f/4 L @ f/11, 1/500 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure, Hand-held
See 1024px version by following this link


Snow Goose Before Taking off, Bosque Del Apache - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 1D MKIV, Canon 800mm L with 1.4x III @ f/8, 1/2000 sec, ISO 800, Manual exposure, Tripod


Snow Goose Fly-by, Bosque Del Apache - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 1D MKIV, Canon 800mm L with 1.4x III @ f/8, 1/2000 sec, ISO 800, Manual exposure, Tripod


Sandhill Crane Taking Off - Bosque Del Apache - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKIII, Canon 800mm L @ f/8, 1/1000 sec, ISO 400 in Manual mode

Over my last few visits to Bosque, I've always wanted to create the image you see below and finally this year I had the perfect opportunity right in front of me as this Snow Goose posed for me long enough to create few image using my flash. I was jumping on one foot of happiness <smile>


Snow Goose - Fill Flash, Bosque Del Apache - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 1D MKIV, Canon 800mm L @ f/8, 1/250sec, ISO 800, 600-EX RT with Better Beamer,
All in Manual mode

Our trip ended at White Sands Nat'l Monument. The dunes were a complete disappointment. Foot prints all over as far the eye can see. No wind to clean the dunes either and very little opportunities. We walked about one mile each way but didn't create one single image. Hopefully the winds will pick up and clean the foot prints for future trips.

Unfortunately a workshop participant struggled walking down the short distance and slowed down the group down a bit. We were running out of light but with that said, I was able to find a good area with the composition you see below at a different area. I managed to teach the group how I paint with light using my head-lamp as fill. Worked out perfectly!!


White Sands Nat'l Monument Light Painting Technique - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKIII, Canon 24-70mm L II @ f/11, 6 sec, ISO 50, Manual exposure, Tripod,
Head-lamp as light source
, NIK


Few Workshop Participants - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Galaxy SIII Camera Phone


Yours Truly - Thank you Joe K. For Sharing this image, All Rights Reserved

Overall, Bosque Del Apache was my 12th and last workshop of 2012 and was also yet another successful workshop. Great group of folks, amazing opportunities and lots and lots of fun!

Thank you all for participating in my workshops. I sure look forward to another successful year. I wish everyone a great holiday season!!

Thank you!


Bosque Del Apache Snow Goose Fly-by - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 1D MKIV, Canon 70-200mm L f/4 @ f/22, 1/800 sec, ISO 800, Manual exposure, NIK.

I post images on Facebook daily. If you are on Facebook make sure to add me as a friend. I'm sure you'll pick up few tips from my post. In this case, I wanted to share how I created the image you see above.

Some folks at Bosque del Apache (not in my group) asked me how I created this image because they were panning following the flying birds and not creating sharp images. I suggested my technique (read below) and they got it right away. The trick is very simple. Here are the steps.

  • Set your camera in Manual mode and expose for the sky
  • Set your camera on Single Shot mode and focus on the subjects on the water.
  • Once you lock focus, keep the shutter button pressed half-way. DO NOT LET GO of the button or you will have to re-focus again
  • Make sure you have a good shutter speed, fast enough to stop the flying birds
  • Wait until the flying birds fill the frame and finally press the shutter button fully and let the camera create several images
  • Pick the best out of the bunch!

A simple trick that works every time!! <smile>

Hope this helps!

Thanks!


Everglades National Park Workshop 2012 - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved


Everglades National Park Workshop 2012 - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved


Everglades National Park Workshop 2012 - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved

Just a quick reminder that the Everglades Workshop is upon us. Make sure to register as soon as possible as this workshop always sells out. Limited to 5 participants!!!

If you are interested, register by following this link. Everglades National Park Workshop

Join me!

Thank you all!