During Jeff Parker’s Bosque del Apache Photo Tour 2021 we’ll photograph the thousands of Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes that fill these breathtaking skies and cold Rio Grande waters!
Bosque del Apache is one of my favorite locations and I know it well. I’ll get you to the right places at the right times so you — and your images — fully benefit from the non-stop action taking place amidst these gorgeous desert mountain landscapes.
I am doing this tour a couple weeks earlier than I used to in the hopes we’ll get some fall color on the many cottonwood trees on the refuge. (I can’t promise color, but this is our best shot at getting some once the birds arrive.)
The final shoot of the tour takes place at a nearby canyon where we’ll do landscapes, night photography, and light painting. While there, we’ll also enjoy a hot Mary O meal in the field.
Limited to six (6) photographers. Includes some meals. ~ SOLD OUT! ~ Want on the wait list? Please email me.
This Bosque photo tour offers lots of chances to perfect your flight photography skills as well as opportunities to “play” with the effects lighting has on images. Though, honestly, this experience is so wonderful from a natural-beauty perspective that you might forget all you know — or want to know — and just grin and stare.
Nearly 60,000 acres of restored wetlands bordering the Rio Grande provide multitudes of birds with wintertime refuge. Birds of note include: Gambel’s Quail, Pintails, American Widgeons, Mallards, Northern Harriers, Ross’s Goose, Canada Geese, Roadrunners, and –if really lucky– Bald Eagles.
We’ll also keep our eyes peeled for winter-coated Mule Deer, Bobcats, and Coyotes.
WHAT YOU CAN LEARN ON THIS TOUR:
- How to photograph birds in flight
- How to do pan blurs
- Techniques to get images featuring tack sharp birds in flight
- Learn bird behavior clues that can help you get action shots
- How to master manual exposure (& when it’s better than priority exposures)
- How & when to do silhouettes
- Light painting techniques (during canyon shoot)
- Night sky photography (during canyon shoot)
- Knowledge provided through our unique Skill Sharing Sessions (see below for more info)
What’s a Skill Sharing Session?
Our Skill Sharing Sessions give me a unique opportunity to give you one-on-one assistance when not in the field, while also providing a way for other photographers to share their skills and problem solve with each another.
During our Skill Sharing Sessions, tour participants gather together to share expertise and discuss wildlife/nature photography challenges and solutions. Such sessions provide a way for everyone to benefit both from my knowledge as well as one another’s.
A note about instruction on my photo tours:
Since skills levels vary so much on photo tours, I tailor my teaching to individual needs. Please do not be shy about telling me what you need.
- Refuge entry fee for those who don’t have a pass
- Breakfasts in the field — including hot beverages to warm you up!
- Dinner the last night (during our night photography/landscape shoot)
- Six (6) on-location photo shoots with Jeff’s hands-on guidance
- One-on-ones with Jeff (image review also available after tour if time during the tour doesn’t allow)
- Flight photography lesson
- Evening landscape shoot at another location (this shoot goes into darkness for starry skies & light painting)
- Night photography instruction
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:
- Lunch & Dinner* — *except our last night; that dinner IS included as Mary O will provide us with a hearty hot meal on-site.
- Lodging (Check out our extensive list below to what Socorro offers)
- Transportation (Albuquerque is closest airport)
PLEASE NOTE: This is an estimated schedule and we’ll do our best to stick to this itinerary, but certain conditions may necessitate changes. Good photographic experiences and opportunities to view wildlife will be our primary goals at all times.
Saturday, November 13, 2021
Meet in Socorro, New Mexico at 7:00 on Saturday evening for an orientation & get-acquainted dinner. (Meal not included in price of tour.)
Sunday, November 14, 2021
Pre-dawn we’ll head to the refuge to get in position to catch the dramatic sunrise and awakening birds. This makes a great time to learn how to create silhouette images. We’ll enjoy a Mary O breakfast complete with hot coffee and cocoa in the field.
After a break, it’s time for scheduled one-on-ones with Jeff. Be sure to schedule yours sometime during the tour! Following those, Jeff will give the group a lesson on flight photography. We’ll also work in a Skill Sharing Session, energy & interest willing. (See: “What You Can Learn on This Tour” above)
Come late afternoon, we focus on our evening shoot.
Monday, November 15, 2021
Enjoy your second Bosque morning “blast-off. ” Mid-day we’ll do some duck photography with the focus on flight-photography. We’ll be seeking images of a couple of bird species not found on the refuge.
For the evening shoot, we’ll head back to Bosque del Apache to take advantage of the golden light as it plays upon the mountaintops.
Plan on and capturing vivid images and perfecting your flight photography & command over light all the while.
Before the evening shoot, Jeff will once more be available for one-on-ones for those who would like to meet with him.
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Savor another pre-dawn at Bosque, as you anticipate the sunrise. Utilize your new and/or improved skills in flight photography, shooting silhouettes, and animalscapes to capture keepers.
Our final shoot takes place at a nearby canyon. There, we’ll do some landscape photography during the day’s last light before enjoying a Mary O Meal together in the field. (Fingers crossed the canyon cottonwoods will still be donning gold!) Once it grows dark, it’s time for night-sky photography & light painting.
LOGISTICS, EQUIPMENT & SUCH:
There are minimal physical requirements for this tour. You will access all shot locations via vehicle.
The terrain at our last shot location (in the canyon) may be a little problematic for those with balance issues. In some places in the cayon, the ground is uneven and the sand thick.
Click on this EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST (PDF) to see what gear I suggest you bring along. You do NOT have to own it all nor bring it all. If you have any questions about suitable or minimum equipment needed, please do not hesitate to contact me.
The nearest airport and car rental is Albuquerque (75 miles). The airport there is called Albuquerque International Sunport (airport code: ABQ). Interstate 25 connects Socorro and Albuquerque and it’s pretty much a straight shot and an easy drive that only takes about an hour. The El Paso airport is 197 miles away. The code for the El Paso Airport is ELP (officially: El Paso International Airport).
The tour includes a hot breakfast in the field all three (3) mornings. It also includes a hearty dinner in the field our last night.
Lunch is not included in the tour price, nor are dinners other than the last one in the field.
Your tour will include an organized schedule that includes the names, addresses, and websites of the two places we’ve chosen for our dinner meals. NOTE: Lunch will be on your own this year; we’ve heard feedback that folks would appreciate a little mid-day down time to download and relax.
You will want to lodge in Socorro, which is about a 20-minute drive from the refuge. All Socorro hotels are equally convenient as they’re all located on the “main drag” – California Street.
This info is based on our many years of Bosque experience and what our clients have shared about their own experiences:
- ECONO LODGE: This used to be our favorite place to stay in Socorro. Nice rooms at a good price. The rooms around back (what they call “suites”) cost a bit more, but are worth it. They’re quite nice. Even the regular rooms are pretty good sized and in good condition. Downside: The manager is cantankerous and can be very rude. He’s treated more than one of our clients poorly. Bummer because the rooms are nice and a great value. And the rest of the staff is fine.
- SUPER 8: Rooms are fine. Nothing special, but it’ll do the job. This hotel is in need of a bit of TLC and can be a bit “creaky” but noise level isn’t a deal breaker. Staff is usually friendly.
- SAN MIGUEL INN (No website): A pleasant surprise for a budget motel. A family-run business, not a chain. In need of spiffing up and maintenance, but not bad. To book, call: (575) 835-0211 or use one of the hotel booking sites online (e.g., Hotels.com, etc.)
- BEST WESTERN: The lobby is really nice, and the rooms are, too… but they are surprisingly small! We stayed here only once; the room felt too small with us and all my gear.
- HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS: This hotel is significantly more expensive than the others, and you don’t really get anything special for that higher price. Rooms tend toward the small side.
- COMFORT INN: They recently completed room updates. This hotel is a good value for the money. The staff is friendly.
- ECONOMY INN: This is not a chain motel. Basic budget motel. Clean rooms, but old. Very friendly staff.
- RED ROOF INN: I’d recommend only staying here if you can’t get a room at another place. The cheapest motel in town and not the cleanest.
- DAYS INN: Clients haven’t had much positive to say about this hotel. Crazy to think it’s part of the Wyndham family of hotels! Run down, dirty, and not-so-friendly folks.
Mary O and I will be staying in an AirBnB near San Antonio.
GENERAL INFO / SIGN UP:
- DURATION: 3 days, 4 nights
- DATE: Saturday evening, November 13, 2021 through Tuesday night, November 16, 2021
- PRICE: $995.00
- SPACE FOR: Six (6) ~ SOLD OUT! ~ Please email me to be on wait list.
- DEPOSIT AMOUNT: $500
- PAYMENT DUE DATE: The balance after the deposit ($495) is due 60-days prior to start date of tour.
Please read our Cancellation Policy before purchasing.(Follow the provided link or go to link under “MORE” on sidebar to the right.) Thanks!
At the start of each event, we’ll ask you to sign this liability waiver. We encourage you to review it before signing up.