Daily schedules: Thursday / Friday / Saturday


Presentations typically last an hour and can accommodate about 40 participants.
Workshops are more hands-on, are limited to 10-12 participants, and typically last 90-120 minutes.
Safaris are at ranches, parks, or private properties and typically last a morning or afternoon.

All events are subject to change (e.g. by adding more activities). We will contact existing registrants via email if there are new programs or other major changes. Check the website from time to time for new offerings.

P01t – La Quinta meeting room, 9am Thursday (3/15/2018), 1 hour
P03f – La Quinta meeting room, 1pm Friday (3/16/2018), 1 hour

Instructor: Dave Allen

In this presentation, Dave Allen presents his approach to wildlife photography. Dave will take you through a variety of topics including:

  • Gear tips and tricks
  • Camera setup, shutter speed, and exposure
  • Relationship between shutter speed, aperture and ISO
  • Lighting, backgrounds and depth of field
  • How to use your histogram in the field
  • What makes a good photo
  • Composition rules and when and how to break them

$25 | Limit 40 |

P02t – La Quinta meeting room, 10:30am Thursday (3/15/2018), 1 hour
P06s – La Quinta meeting room, 2:30pm Saturday (3/17/2018), 1 hour


Instructor: Dave Allen

In this 60 minute presentation, Dave Allen will expand on some of the topics that he covers in his introductory presentation and move on to more advanced photography techniques.

  • Techniques for capturing crisp images
  • Large lens hand-holding: when, why and how
  • What I carry into the field
  • Specific photography techniques for in-flight birds
  • Pleasing blur
  • Story-telling through photography
  • Using wind and light to your advantage
  • How to choose a setup location
  • Dressing for the occasion

$25 | Limit 40 |


Blind and water feature. Photo courtesy of Laguna Seca Ranch

Photo courtesy of Laguna Seca Ranch

P04s – La Quinta meeting room, 4pm Saturday (3/17/2018), 1 hour

Instructor: Ruth Hoyt

In this program, Ruth shows how to set up an outdoor nature photography studio that can be built anywhere from a small back yard to a large ranch. Learn about selecting a location for the best subject matter, distance to subjects, lighting and backgrounds, as well as how to avoid common mistakes.



$25 | Limit 40 |


P04f – La Quinta meeting room, 3pm Friday (3/16/2018), 1 hour

Instructor: Ruth Hoyt

In this presentation, Ruth provides an introduction to the digital photographer’s two most popular imaging programs. The first, Adobe Lightroom, is designed for image cataloging, management and basic processing. The second, Adobe Photoshop, is used for more complex, advanced image processing. Her presentation covers the basic functions of each of the programs, with examples of how she uses them in her work.

$25 | Limit 40 |

John Humbert photo

P03t – La Quinta meeting room, 3:30pm Thursday (3/15/2018), 1 hour

Instructor: Cissy Beasley

Cissy Beasley shares her techniques and practices that allow her to get those award-winning wildlife images with the least impact on the subject.

You want to be unobtrusive when you enter the world of wild plants and animals to capture those flawless images.  Of course, that is a practical impossibility. Your very presence in a natural setting is an intrusion.  All nature photographers face a challenging decision each time they pursue their love of being there, at the perfect time and at the perfect place, and in the perfect light, to get that perfect photo.  We all want to pursue our passions ethically, but ethics is a complex, subjective, moving target when it comes to wildlife photography.  It’s down to a balance between the laudable goal of fostering greater appreciation of wild things and the potential damage that might be caused by disturbing an otherwise natural environment.  Almost every situation is complex and different.  How should we navigate through the ever changing variations and distinctly personal decisions that strike a balance between the good we create and the bad we do?  Like all of us, Cissy Beasley faces these dilemmas; she will share how she has found her way down that narrow path.

$5 | Limit 30 |

P03s – La Quinta meeting room, 1pm Saturday (3/17/2018), 1 hour


Instructor: Cissy Beasley

All of us know that capturing a high-quality wildlife image that’s “in-the-place” and “in-the-time” is only the first step toward a finished photo of which you can be proud. Accomplished wildlife photographers will say that post-processing is the most important aspect of taking the journey from the field to the gallery. Many of us think of post processing as the act of sitting at a keyboard and making those all-important subtle adjustments that bring out the very best in the raw materials with which you work. You would be right. That is a fair definition of post-processing. Wait: there is a vital piece that fits between the camera and the keyboard and it is often overlooked. That (sometimes-underrated) piece is the philosophy that backs up the work you do at the keyboard. In this presentation, Cissy Beasley focuses on her workflow, beginning with a clear sense of what she wants to achieve (her philosophy) and ending with a discussion of best tools for bringing her visions to the surface. Everyone from beginners to advanced photographers will benefit from Cissy’s experience.

$25 | Limit 40 |

Kristin AllenP01s – La Quinta meeting room, 9am Saturday (3/17/2018), 1 hour


Instructor: Kristin Allen

What is the best first step to take when processing a wildlife photo? What can you do in the field to make your processing better and easier? Kristin Allen answers these questions and more while presenting basic to advanced tips on enhancing your photos through photo processing. She will demonstrate how to avoid mistakes and what to do to make your photos pop. Then she moves on to some basics of workflow, including avoiding SD card disasters, tips and tricks for backing up your work, and a brief discussion on the latest photo editing programs.
$25 | Limit 40 |

P01f – La Quinta meeting room, 9am Friday (3/16/2018), 1 hour


Instructor: Stephen Fisher

Snuggled into the genre of Nature Photography is a very different “animal.”  Unlike the split-second techniques used to get those birds in flight, or the days of preparing a feeding station to bring in the Green Jays, landscapes present a completely different challenge.  This presentation concentrates on the principles of composition and aesthetic design and conveying meaning and emotion through your images.  The importance of scouting your area and finding the perfect spot will be discussed.  Getting into position before that special lighting casts itself over the scene, will be emphasized. You will learn about correct exposure, filtration, and sharpness and how to balance the extremes of contrast.  If you are not already doing landscapes and want to add this to your skill bag, be sure to sign up for this presentation and associated safaris.

$25 | Limit 40 |

P02f – La Quinta meeting room, 10:30am Friday (3/16/2018), 1 hour


Instructor: Karen L. P. Benson

Populated with armored plants and their vicious thorns and secretive animals that fly and scurry under the bushes, the South Texas Brush Country presents a challenge for nature photographers. Success is improved by having the correct cameras and lenses, having a thorough understanding of how to use your equipment, and (possibly most importantly) knowing what is in the brush and where to find it.

Karen Benson is a Texas Master Naturalist and has spent years in the brush becoming one with the nature there. Karen will point out the birds, flowering plants and other animals that you might encounter during a visit to South Texas in March. She will discuss where to find them and what times are best for meeting up with your photo subjects. This presentation is designed to provide you with that extra little boost that puts you in the right place at the right time.

$5 | Limit 40 |

P05f – La Quinta meeting room, 4:30pm Friday (3/16/2018), 1 hour
P02s – La Quinta meeting room, 10:30am Saturday (3/17/2018), 1 hour


Instructor: Robert Benson

The ratio of the brightest luminance to the darkest luminance is called dynamic range. The dynamic range of the human eye is about 20 stops, or a million to one. That is an extraordinary range. Under proper conditions, a human could see a candle burning at 30 miles then turn to the bright lights of a busy city and see that with ease. Your eyes are built to do that. Not so modern cameras. The best DSLRs on the market can reach around 15 stops (depending on how you measure). No DSLR presently on the market can match the range of the human eye, so what to do?

It is possible to combine multiple images taken with different exposures and create a composite image with higher dynamic range than any of the individual exposures can achieve. Focus stacking is another example of using multiple exposures to achieve much greater depth of field than would be possible with DSLRs and high-end glass.

Robert will discuss the theory of dynamic range and depth of field and use examples to show how software can be used to improve your images in both cases.

$25 | Limit 40 |