Capture the Hummingbird: West Texas Photography Excursion with Lee Hoy

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Capture the Hummingbird: West Texas Photography Excursion with Lee Hoy

Learn how to photograph hummingbirds using high speed flash and natural light with a variety of backgrounds. Hummingbirds migrate south and the Davis Mountains of West Texas are an excellent spot to find up to 6 species! Participants will learn how to use flash to freeze hummingbirds and then will have a chance to photograph hummingbirds in natural light.

All equipment necessary will be provided, you only need bring your camera and lens! Morning pick-up and evening drop-off will be in the parking lot at the Hotel Limpia in Fort Davis. 

  • Limited to two (2) photographers. 
  • Expected species are Rufous, Black-chinned, Ruby-throated, Calliope, Broad-tailed, and Lucifer Hummingbirds. Rarities which could show are White-eared, Violet-crowned or Broad-billed Hummingbirds.
  • The workshop is at 6,143′ up in the Davis Mountains.
  • This workshop is for two (2) and a half days of shooting.
  • Photographers are picked up in Fort Davis in the parking lot in front of the Hotel Limpia and driven to the shooting location and then returned each evening.
  • Photographers only need to provide a DSLR or mirrorless camera capable of manual mode and a telephoto lens in the 400mm to 600mm range (300 is ok, but on the shorter end). All other equipment is provided.

Topics Covered

  • Photographic techniques when working with high speed flash setups and with natural light for hummingbird photography.
  • How to capture high speed hummingbird images with natural, black, and white backgrounds.
  • How to properly utilize a high speed flash setup and flash settings.
  • How to compose your image with constantly moving subjects and retain a pleasing composure.
  • How to maximize your camera settings to help you capture hummingbird images.
  • Which, if any, in-camera processing you should use.
  • Anticipating bird behavior to be ready for the shot.

Post Processing for Bird Images (Lightroom & Photoshop)

  • Setting the proper white balance
  • Adjusting basic settings to make your images their best
  • Sharpening and noise reduction for your bird images
  • Making sure your colors are realistic
  • Mass editing made easy
  • Removing feeders from your image
  • How to create a custom mask to really make your bird images pop

About the instructor

Lee Hoy is owner/operator of Big Bend Birding & Photo Tours, Lee focuses his time on helping others enjoy the beauty of the Big Bend National Park Region and serving as a freelance photographer when time permits. Publishing is fun, but his main interest is in helping others find that special bird or teaching them to capture  spectacular images while they are visiting Big Bend National Park or surrounding areas. He is an award winning photographer and his images have been in Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine, Texas Highways, Bird Watcher’s Digest, & NANPA’s Expressions.

He also serves as a photography workshop instructor for Wildside Nature Tours and Kevin Loughlin with destinations such as the Galapagos Islands National Park, Ecuador, Amazon Riverboat Cruise, Costa Rica, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park in winter, and more.

His passion for teaching comes from a long line of educators in his past and having taught beginning birding classes, photography classes, and Lightroom classes. He has served as an instructor for Travis Audubon Society (Austin, TX), Williamson Audubon Group (Williamson County, TX), many Master Naturalist classes, and for the Texas Ornithological Society for which he is currently serving as a board member for the Trans Pecos Region.

Over 30 years of birding and photography experience in Big Bend National Park and the surrounding regions means Lee knows where and when to take you to the best location to find the right bird or get the right shot.


Workshop Fee

The fee includes the workshop only. Transportation, lodging, park entry fees, food, and other miscellaneous expenses are not included. About a month before the workshop, all registrants will receive an email with a rough itinerary and planning details.

There will be a $100 fee for any spouse who wishes to join the group at our shooting locations, but does NOT photograph. Of course, our workshops include photography instruction, but they also include our guiding services and sharing our knowledge of the area.


Transportation/Entry Fees

Transportation to/from Terlingua and during the workshop is the responsibility of each participant.

*Participants should plan to arrive in Fort Davis on July 22nd for an early start on July 23rd and the workshop will conclude around 11:00 a.m. on the 25th.*

Required Equipment

• Camera
• Lenses
• Memory Cards & Readers
• Batteries & Chargers
• Tripod
• Laptop (or note taking supplies)
• Sturdy Shoes
• Comfortable clothing (hiking boots, layers & rain gear)
• Sunblock
• Bug spray


Please review our class & event cancellation policy below. 

Class & Event Cancellations

Tier 3: Excursions
Full refunds (less a $75 fee) will be issued to students who cancel at least 30 days prior to an excursion. Refunds will not be issued to cancellation requests made within 30 days of the start of an excursion unless the spot can be filled. If your spot is filled you will receive a full refund (less a $75 fee). If you do not show up for an excursion, your registration will be forfeited and you will not be permitted a refund of any amount or to reschedule.

Minimum Enrollment
Each class needs a minimum number of students to enroll before the class can “make.” If the minimum enrollment has not been met two business days before the class begins, the class will be cancelled. All students who enrolled in the class will be notified by telephone or email, and may transfer to a different class or be issued a refund (see refund procedure). We encourage all students to enroll as soon as registration begins. Please check your phone and email messages, including your SPAM.

How to Reschedule or Cancel a Class
Please contact the store at 512-467-7676 or email to cancel a class. Class cancellations or requests to be rescheduled that are sent through other channels, such as Facebook or messages, will not be honored.


6 and 12 Month Special Financing* Available

On purchases of $299 or more. Online through Klarna, available at checkout.

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