Okefenokee and Night Sky - Outdoor Photos By Rena

Okefenokee and Night Sky Photography Workshops

Baby Gator Okefenokee Swamp

2-Day, 3-Day & 4-Day Deluxe Workshops are available.

Current Dates, Prices and Availability are listed below. 

Payment Plans are available on all workshops. Contact me below for details.

Astrophotography and Beyond:

Its All Very Simple:

Capturing amazing images of the Milky Way,  meteor showers, eclipses, star trails, and  even lightening can be done rather quickly and easily once you know how. This applies to all types of photography as well. 

With the Right Equipment:

That is what these workshops are all about.  As soon as you sign up for the workshop of your choice, I begin working with you to make sure you have all of the tools and/or equipment that you need and if you don't, I will help guide you through picking out the best ones for your specific interests. All workshops can be done with the equipment listed in the "What You Will Need" section for each one. 

And Knowing How to Use Those Tools:

Beyond just having the equipment, you will need some technical know how and tricks of the trade to be able to use those tools to capture these incredible scenes. That is where the classroom portion of each workshops comes into play. I go over everything you will need in this session at the beginning of the workshop and then work with each participant individually throughout the workshop to meet you where you are and help you to take your photography skills to the next level so that you can be efficient at using the tools you have. 

To Really Make Your Images Pop:

Even with the right tools and technical know how, sometimes images can still be lacking something. Maybe they just don't quite pop like you wish they did. That is where the third aspect of these workshops picks up. In that classroom we mentioned above, we will go over basic composition and rules of photography and how they can benefit all of your images, and night sky images specifically. Then in the field, I work with each student to take those rules out of the box and play around with them some in order to get truly exceptional and unique images. 

So that you leave the workshop with Amazing and Unique Images:

As a bonus, I also make it my mission to insure that each participant gets some images that are different even from others in the same workshop, so that everyone doesn't go home with all of the exact same images. I want you to know that you have incredible images unlike anyone else's that truly emphasize your personal passion and interpretation of each scene. 

If all of that is not enough, Look Up:

Anyone that has ever tried to photograph the night sky knows that you have to be in what is known as a dark-Sky location to get exceptional images. There are about 31 IDA (International Dark-Sky Association) certified parks in the United States and one of them is in the Okefenokee Swamp!  On Nov 9th, 2016, Stephen C Foster State Park was recognized and certified by the IDA as such a location, the first one ever in the state of Georgia. I was very honored that my images of the dark sky, Milky Way and several meteor showers from this location could play a part in this designation.   

This place truly is a photographers paradise! 

Our Agenda: 

We will begin the workshop with a classroom presentation going over everything you need to know in order to capture all of these amazing scenes both in the Okefenokee and above it!

Then we will head out into the park itself to begin our hands on individual work one-on-one going over everything we covered in the classroom.

During the workshop, we will explore several different aspects of the swamp including popular areas for the wildlife, birds, and plants. We will walk out the boardwalk and for those that wish, we can climb the tower so that we can see the swamp from up in the canopy.  We will take a boat ride out into the swamp itself on the first day of the workshop. We will also shoot the sunset each evening and have the option to shoot the sunrise each morning for any of those who wish to do so. We will also have the option to photograph the night sky each night. During the night sky shooting sessions, we will also do some Light Painting.  The 3-Day Workshop will include another boat ride into the swamp itself to capture the sunrise. The 4-Day workshop will add an additional full day of intense post-processing training and work.

What You Will Need:

A camera that allows for manual controls

A Tripod  

Your camera manual or a guide for it if you do not know how to use the manual controls on your camera.

Recommended But Not Required:

A Remote Release

A Flash light or headlamp with a red light setting

A circular Polarizing Filter

A Wide Angle Lens

Comfortable Shoes

Snacks and Drinks

A Laptop If you are doing the 4-Day Workshop

What is Included: 

Includes all handouts and material given at the workshop as well as any additional help given prior to attending. Classroom session on the first morning and all sessions until the end of your desired workshop, either 2-day, 3-day or 4-day deluxe.

Food is not included in the package. However, most people talk in the comment section as the workshop gets closer and plans a potluck sort of arrangement.  We do have time allowed for lunch and dinner each day of the workshop. 

Accommodations are only included in the "All-Inclusive" 4-Day Deluxe package. Other options will be available upon request. 

What is Not Included: 

Airfare is not included

Transportation to or inside the park is not included, other than the boat tours.

Accommodations, other than those made in advance.

Food, drinks or snacks.

Equipment of any sort.

About the Okefenokee:

The Okefenokee is a magical place full of mystery and intrigue everywhere you look. It is one of my absolute all-time favorite places to photograph or be for that matter. 

Located in the Southeastern corner of the State of Georgia, this 438,000-acre (approximately 700 square miles) wetland is the largest black water swamp in North America.

When I first mention how much I love the swamp to most people, they look at me like I am crazy. I am sure they are thinking of nothing more than muddy water, Cyprus trees and Spanish moss, all being overtaken by mosquitoes or worse. The truth of the matter is though, that while you do have all of those things, it so much more as well, and the mosquitoes are not as bad as everyone imagines them to be!

The Okefenokee Swamp is made up of quite a diversity of environments and habitats actually. It does have the swamp areas with the Cyprus trees and Spanish moss hanging down from them along the beautiful boardwalks and waterways. And of course who can take their eyes off a beautiful lake filled with beautiful water lilies. However, it also has everything from dry prairie areas to dark forests that will make you feel as if you are no where near a swamp. The eastern edge of the swamp is even made up of a high ridge of sand, known as Trail Ridge.

This diversity in habitat also makes it a perfect home for a huge variety of wildlife including an assortment of mammals, reptiles and birds. On any given trip into the Okefenokee Swamp you might see any of the approximate 30 different species  of native mammals that make  this their home including Black Bear, Deer, Foxes, Raccoons, Opossums, Bobcats, Coyotes, Wild Hogs and many others. Pretty much all species of wading birds and waterfowl can be found here, depending on the time of year. White Ibises, Egrets, Herons, Wood Storks and Owls are all very common. Wood ducks and sand hill cranes can also be found here year round. In the Spring and fall, you can also expect to see a variety of migratory birds.

And of course, it wouldn't be a swamp worth exploring if it didn't have alligators! These are the one of the things that you can expect to see on any trip into Okefenokee, again sometimes more than others.

There is nothing like floating along one of the canals and slowing going past a majestic huge alligator sunning itself on the bank or on an old fallen tree. You will feel as though you have stepped back in time as the only sounds you will hear are the guttural calls of the adult alligators accompanied by the clicks of the babies nearby. For a background chorus, day or night you can hear a symphony of birds or frogs signing as if they are alone in the world. It truly is like taking a journey through a work of living art. 

2017 Okefenokee and Night Sky Workshops

Okefenokee Swamp & Delta Meteor Shower Night Sky

July 29th & 30th 2 Day-Workshop $575 --- 5 spots available

We will begin the workshop with a classroom presentation going over everything you need to know in order to capture all of the amazing sessions and scenes that we will shoot on this 2 day, one night adventure workshop. This will also include a sunset and sunrise shoot as well as a boat ride during the day out into the swamp itself and a walk along the infamous boardwalk into the "Land of the Trembling Earth". 

July 29th - 31st 3-Day Workshop $725 --- 5 spots available

Includes everything in the 2-Day workshop listed above plus an additional day and night of shooting as well as a special early morning excursion into the swamp to shoot the sunrise from out in the middle of it. 

July 29th - Aug 1st 4-Day Deluxe Workshop $875 --- 4 spots available

Includes the 3-Day workshop listed above plus another full day of in-depth post processing to finish out the shoot with everything you need to know from start to finish so that you go home with incredible images ready to share!

July 29th - Aug 1st 4-Day ALL-INCLUSIVE Workshop $1250 --- 4 spots available

Includes everything in the deluxe workshop above as well as 3 nights accommodation in a beautiful cabin conveniently located next door to where we will be shooting! These shared accommodations are based on double occupancy. Some special arrangements can be made upon request. 

Private Workshops are also available. Please use the Form Below or the "Contact Me" link at the top of the page and let me know what you have in mind :)

Ready to sign up for a workshop or have questions? Fill out the form below.

For workshop signups, I will send you an invoice for the amount due along with further instructions about the workshop. All questions will be answered through email at my earliest possible time.

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