BOSQUE del APACHE Photo Tour 2019

Nov. 15 – Nov. 18, 2019
Join Jeff Parker for his Bosque del Apache Photo Tour this November.

Join me for my “Bosque del Apache Photo Tour” this November — the perfect time to photograph the thousands of Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes that fill these breathtaking skies and cold Rio Grande waters! 

I am doing this tour a couple weeks earlier than I have in the past in the hopes we’ll get some fall color on the many cottonwood trees on the refuge.

Limited to six (6) photographers ~ SOLD OUT! ~ Please email me if you’d like to be on the wait list.

There’s a reason this national wildlife refuge is famous worldwide with nature photographers and wildlife lovers!

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.

Bosque del Apache Photo Tour with Jeff Parker

This 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 (the morning “blast off,” especially, can take your breath away!).

Nearly 60,000 acres of restored wetlands bordering the Rio Grande provide multitudes of wintering birds with wintertime refuge. Other birds of note include: Gambel’s Quail, Pintails, American Widgeons, Mallards, Northern Harriers, Ross’s Goose, Canada Geese, Roadrunners, and –if lucky– Bald Eagles. In addition, we hope to spot the endangered Aplomado Falcon, a species first re-introduced to the region in 2006 following a successful captive-breeding program. We’ll also keep our eyes peeled for Mule Deer, Bobcats, and gorgeous, winter-coated Coyotes.

In addition to our photo shoots at the Refuge, we’ll enjoy an off-site night shoot at a unique and picturesque canyon in the region.

We also do a mid-day shoot to focus on flight photography instruction.  (It gives us a chance to capture images of a couple waterfowl species we don’t see on the refuge.) 

Explore in Focus with Jeff Parker during his Bosque Del Apache Photo Tour 2018.


  • As much practice as you can stand for photographing 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)

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
  • Snacks & hot beverages on-site during your cold morning shoots
  • Dinner on-site during night photography/landscape shoot
  • Six (6) on-location photo shoots with Jeff’s hands-on guidance
  • Image-review (after tour if time during the tour doesn’t permit it)
  • A focus on flight photography instruction
  • Evening landscape shoot at another location (this shoot goes into darkness for starry skies)


  • Food* — except the dinner of our night photography/landscape shoot–Mary O will provide us one of her awesome dinners on-site.  We also provide morning snacks at the refuge.
  • Lodging
  • Transportation (we’ll carpool to and from photo shoots ~ Albuquerque is closest airport)

Sandhill Crane in flight in perfect morning light


Friday, November 15, 2019

Meet in Socorro, New Mexico at 7:00 on Friday evening for an orientation & get-acquainted dinner.

Saturday, November 16, 2019
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 great silhouette images. Mid-day we’ll do some duck photography with the focus on flight-photography instruction. Come evening, we’ll head back to the refuge to take advantage of the golden light as it plays upon the mountaintops.

Sunday, November 17, 2019
Enjoy your second Bosque morning “blast-off” and another evening capturing vivid images at the refuge, perfecting your flight photography & command over light all the while. After lunch, we’ll shoot for some image review time. Come evening, we are refuge-bound once more.

Bosque del Apache Photo Tour with Jeff Parker

Monday, November 18, 2019
Savor another pre-dawn at Bosque, as you anticipate the sunrise. Utilize your new and/or improved skills in flight photography as you capture more great images. After lunch we’ll get in some image review time for those interested. We’ll head out for our final photo shoot at a nearby canyon. We will shoot into the darkness for some night-sky photography. Mary O will serve us one of her delicious dinners in the field. 

Bosque del Apache Photo Tour with Jeff Parker


There are minimal physical requirements for this tour. You will access all shot locations via vehicle.

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).

This Bosque Photo Tour includes an evening shoot at a nearby canyon.
We will break during the middle of the day for lunch and a bit of downtime. We generally eat together but of course you are welcome to do your own thing. There are several restaurants in Socorro as well as a grocery store and super Walmart. The evening of our starry-skies/landscape shoot includes a Mary-O Meal in the field.

Your tour will include an organized schedule with the names, addresses, and websites of every place we are scheduled to eat so that you can view the menus ahead of time (in most cases). And, yes…we definitely do go to one of the restaurants famous for the renowned New Mexican green chili burger!

Click on this EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST (PDF) to see what equipment 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.

You will want to lodge in Socorro. It is about a 20-minute drive from the refuge. The nearest “town” to the refuge, San Antonio, has no lodging. It does, however, have an RV campground.  I’ll be staying at an AirbnB in San Antonio.

In the mornings, you’ll want to grab a quick bite before we head out. Unfortunately, most hotels in Socorro do not offer breakfast early enough so you may want to have breakfast bars, etc. handy.  There is also a 24-hour coffee shop next door to the Econolodge where you can get breakfast before dawn.  It’s called “El Camino Restaurant & Lounge.”

If you’re not a breakfast person, it may be enough for you that Mary O will have coffee, hot cocoa and hot water (for tea) for us in the field as well as fruit, nuts, KIND and Clif Bars.


    • DATE: Friday evening, November 15, 2019 through Monday night, November 18, 2019
    • SPACE FOR: (6) SIX ~  SOLD OUT!
  • PRICE: $865.00

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Sandhills Cranes preening with an interesting reflection, photo by Jeff Parker.

Explore in Focus™ / Wildlife photography tours & workshops for the Naturally Curious™