Bosque del Apache Avian Photography Workshop THANKSGIVING SPECIAL! 2020 With Scott Bourne


I am going to once again, offer two photo tours to Bosque del Apache this year. The first one sold out and I got enough names on a wait list to be confident that the second will also sell out. Read on to learn more about this trip.

There’s no sound like it on earth. Thousands of birds leaving at once, flying skyward in search of food. There’s no visual like it on earth. The sky can seem to darken as the mass of birds obscures the sky on their flight northward. Only those who have been there in person really know what it’s like at Bosque del Apache near Socorro, New Mexico. And once the place has its hooks into you, it’s hard to shake it.

The good news is that Bosque is back! In 2018/19 the refuge management made great strides to improve the conditions at Bosque and the photo opportunities were the best they have been in years. By all accounts, 2020 should also be a great year.

Based on popular demand, I will once again be leading tours to Bosque del Apache, National Wildlife Refuge in 2020.

The 2020 tour dates are being opened early to make sure everyone has plenty of advanced notice.

WHAT: Bosque del Apache Avian Photography Tour With Scott Bourne

WHEN: November 27 - November 30, 2020 Small Group Tour - NOTE: This is a shorter tour than my usual Wed/Sun trips due to the Thanksgiving holiday. We will have five shooting sessions instead of seven so this trip is a little bit less expensive than my usual trips and less expensive than the one I already sold out for December.

WHERE: Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge 1001 New Mexico 1 - San Antonio, New Mexico (Nearest airport Albuquerque, New Mexico)

COST: Group fee $1149 per person. There is a $150 early bird discount if you reserve your seat and pay your deposit before April 1, 2020. That makes the net cost $999. All seats are sold first-come, first served. This tour will sell out early so act now if you are interested. $500 non-refundable deposit holds your seat. Balance due in full no later than September 1, 2020.

All Photos Copyright Scott Bourne

General Information: The small group tour allows for up to nine participant-photographers plus the instructor to explore the wildlife refuge twice daily in planned activities plus additional one-on-one critique sessions in the afternoons. We will also take a trip to Albuquerque (weather permitting) to photograph at one of Scott's favorite (secret) locations for waterfowl.

About Your Tour Leader

Scott Bourne is an Olympus Visionary and award winning nature and wildlife photographer, who has had his work featured in more than 200 publications. Scott will lead this workshop to one of his most favorite places to shoot on the planet: Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. With three decades of experience at the refuge, Scott knows where to go and what to look for and he will teach participants how to photograph avian subjects for publication. He has been a featured speaker at the "Festival of the Cranes" hosted by the Friends of the Bosque and has even written a book on how to find and photograph birds at Bosque del Apache. Lots of people lead tours here - few with Scott's experience or credentials.

What you will learn on this tour...

  • Recognizing and evaluating a situation/learning to see like a professional
  • Choosing your perspective
  • Getting the right exposure: basic principles, exposing for highlight control, exposing to the right and evaluating/adjusting the histogram
  • Tripod handling and hand-holding techniques
  • Capturing the sharpest images possible
  • How (and why) to get on sun angle
  • Poses and proper head angle and what the orientation of the subject should be relative to the imaging sensor
  • Understanding what wind direction has to do with (and how it impacts) bird photography
  • Flight photography basics

Participants will learn how to properly expose and create artistically designed images. Because of the small group size, you will have plenty of attention and support from Scott. Most tour companies bring twice as many students making it harder for you to get your questions answered. On this tour, you will have plenty of room to work and all students will have the chance to shoot elbow to elbow in the field with Scott. You will learn his award winning techniques and the essential aspects of avian photography. Throughout the tour, participants will learn professional insights and techniques.

All registered participants will receive an information package with details on what to wear, what to bring, where to stay and meet, suggested gear list, sample itinerary, etc. All registered participants will receive an orientation phone call prior to the tour.

Skill Level:

A firm understanding of your camera operations is required. It is preferable that participants are familiar with using manual mode, f-stops and shutter speed is needed. This workshop is for advanced beginners as well as intermediate and advanced photographers.

All Camera Types/Brands Welcome

No matter what type of camera you have or what brand you use, you will be welcome on this tour. It is advised that you bring a lens of at least 400mm (or equal on crop sensor bodies) to have the best experience. Scott shoots with Olympus and if you are an Olympus shooter, he can help set up your camera for success at Bosque. All other camera brands are welcome but you are expected to know how to set up your own camera.

Included With The Tour Fee:

  • Guide service
  • Photography instruction
  • Image critique sessions
  • Daily / Weekly admission into Bosque del Apache, National Wildlife Refuge

NOT Included With The Tour Fee:

  • Airfare/Transportation to Socorro, NM
  • Transportation to, from and on the Refuge (we will car pool)
  • Food/Beverages
  • Hotel accommodations

To register, or to have your questions answered, please send an e-mail scott@picturemethods.com. All seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. All participants will be required to sign a Waiver of Liability. All fees must be prepaid and all fees are non-refundable - trip insurance is strongly advised. We use World Nomads and can confidently recommend them if you need a good company from which to buy trip/travel insurance.

This tour is not open to residents of New Hampshire.

P.S. Scott will have all the proper permits to lead this tour. The federal government requires tour leaders to have a National Wildlife Refuge System Commercial Activities Special Use Permit. Liability insurance is also required. If you attend a Bosque tour with a leader who doesn't have a permit or insurance, you face the very real possibility that your trip will be cut short and/or your experience very negatively impacted. Be sure you only travel to National Wildlife Refuges on commercial tours that are properly insured and permitted.


Copyright Scott Bourne 2020 - All Rights Reserved - scott@scottbourne.com