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Padre Island Excursion

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Padre Island Excursion

Spring time on the Texas coast is all about bird and chicks. The lush Texas coast is the breeding season home of many species including the charismatic Whooping Crane and Sand Hill Crane. Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Little Blues and a host of other wading birds mate and fledge their young along the coast.

During this workshop we will be concentrating on photographing birds: mating, feeding and raising their young. We will be photographing around Padre Island National Seashore, Laguna Madre, Mustang Island State Park and Aransas Pass National Wildlife Refuge.

During the workshop, Andrew will guide the group to locations where you are likely to see various birds and find compelling scenes. He will be there to help and instruct students in every situation to help them maximize their results and also improve and hone their photography skills.

Private Boat Tour

We will venture out for a 5 hour private boat tour on the marshy edges of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Our captains are local Rock Port residents and experts on where to find our subjects. This boat tour is the best way to see both the endangered Whooping Cranes and Sand Hill Cranes that call the marsh edges home during their breeding season as well as a host of other birds away from human infrastructure such as roads and bridges. 


The workshop starts with orientation at 4PM on Feb 7th and ends after sunset on Feb 9th. Students will be emailed details on the orientation meeting location 2 days prior to the workshop. Other than the boat tour, the itinerary is fluid. Andrew will be arriving early to re-scout locations and confirm the itinerary. Please be at orientation or make arrangements directly with Andrew to receive the finalized itinerary.

Getting Around, Admissions & Where to Stay

Students are responsible for their own transportation between shoot locations. During the workshop, we will visit Padre National Seashore, as well as possibly other state parks. Students are responsible for their own admissions to these parks. National or State Park passes will work where applicable. 

The price of the private boat trip is included in the cost of the workshop. 

Camping is available (with hookups) at Padre Island National Seashore. Primitive camping is available along the beech inside the park. A variety of hotels are available on the island in a variety of prices. Be advised when looking at hotels: Make sure you are looking at Padre Island near Corpus Christi (sometimes called North Padre). Some of the hotel sites bring up South Padre which is not what you want.

Camera Gear

We will be focusing on birds for this workshop. A long super telephoto is recommended. See below for recommendations. Omni-zooms (something like a 18-300mm) are workable but usually have poor focus speed. They can be frustrating when trying to photograph flying birds.

Recommended Minimum Focus Length

Full Frame (FX): 500mm
Crop Frame (APS-C, DX): 300mm
Micro 4/3 (m43): 200mm

We will have the opportunity to make landscape photos as well. A normal and/or wide lens will be useful for that.If in doubt, bring it. 

What to Bring (non-camera)

Clothes: We will be working in a variety of beach and marsh areas. Students should bring clothes they are not afraid of getting dirty. Many of the best shots are made from “worms eye” level, or after walking through mud or water. Weather is highly variable in February. Check the forecast just before leaving and plan accordingly. If in doubt bring both warm and cold weather options.

Shoes: Students should bring at least a pair of “keep dry” shoes that are comfortable to walk in and something appropriate for the water/mud. We suggest sandals or wading boots.

Food: bring snacks and drinking water. Many of the areas we will be shooting at are a long drive from the nearest food or running water. Students are responsible for their own food during the trip and the itinerary has breaks built in in some cases. In others, we will be “eating on the fly” while we shoot.

Sun/Bug Protection: Sunscreen and bug spray are advisable year around on the coast.

Laptop: If you have a laptop, bring it to use for photo download and review. Students should also bring ample drinking water and snacks with them during shooting sessions. There are no facilities or concessions on the beach. A camp or beach chair is also handy.

Please review our class/event cancellation policy below. 

Class & Event Cancellations

Excursions- Big Bend Classes, Joshua Tree, Padre Island, etc.
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.

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. Please note that class refunds are only issued during business hours, Monday through Friday.

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.


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