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2020 Sandhill Crane Workshops 

Location: Grand Island, Nebraska

 

Experience level: Intermediate 

 

Schedule:  March 18th-20th  2020  Price: $1295  Maximum of 3 participants 

                    March 20th-22nd  2020 Price: $1295  Maximum of 3 participants 

 

 

Instructor : Rick Rasmussen

Rick has been capturing images of nature and wildlife for over 40 years. He is best know for his captivating images of Sandhill Cranes along the Platte River in South Central Nebraska. 

 

Rick has 2 blinds on private property built specifically for photography. Each blind holds 4 photographers comfortably with slots for your tripod so you can have your lens out the window.

 

What You'll Need

  • Long telephoto lens in the 400-600mm range 

  • Mid-range telephoto zoom 

  • Wide angle lens 

  • Digital camera

  • Tripod 

  • Laptop with image processing software

  • Layered clothing with wind and water protection, warm boots, gloves, and warm head-wear. no bright colors camouflage preferred but not necessary

 

What You'll Learn

  • Proper wildlife and nature photography techniques

  • Best equipment for nature and wildlife photography

  • Utilizing light and exposure to capture stunning images

  • How to set up your camera menus

  • Photoshop and Lightroom techniques and workflow

 

  Day 1:

 

4:30 pm Meet in Grand Island and carpool to my cabin where you will learn blind etiquette and camera settings for the evening shoot.

5:30 leave for the blind. Sunset is at 7:45 we will need to stay in the blind until dark so we don’t spook the birds when we walk out.

 

Day 2;

 

6:15 am meet at my house

6:40 position in blind

10:00 return to my house

10:00 - 12:00 classroom in cabin

12:00 return to your accommodations 

3:00 return to my house

3:00 - 5:00 classroom in cabin

5:00 - 5:30 eat sack lunch that you will need to bring with you.

5:30 leave for the blind 

 

Day 3: 

 

6:15 am meet at my house

6:40 position in blind

10:00 return to my house

10:00 - 12:00 classroom in cabin

12:00 workshop ends 

 

WHAT WILL WE DO:

  •   This workshop will provide opportunities to photograph sandhill cranes from photography blinds on the Platte River as the cranes come back to the river to roost for the evening, and when they leave the river  in the mornings. In the mornings we will be up early and get to the blind and be settled in an hour before sunrise and will not leave until the birds have left the river. In the evenings, we will arrive at the blind about two hours before sunset and will not leave until dark. Between blind trips, we will download and edit images, have a group critique session of selected images and teach you how to edit your images in photoshop.

  •   Long telephoto zoom lenses that can reach out to the 400-800mm range are a must to have the chance to fill the frame with cranes. Because of low light levels and shooting through windows in the blinds, you will also need to have a sturdy tripod that will hold your long lens.

  •   Mid-range telephoto zooms that you can handhold within the 80-400mm range provide great flexibility and make great landscape lenses that put the birds in context of  the habitat. Finally, a wide angle lens will allow you to capture the big skies and if we are lucky,  fire red prairie sunsets.

This Sandhill Crane population in the Central Flyway is hunted in every state and province along their migratory pathway, except in Nebraska. Therefore the cranes are very skittish when they arrive here and usually do not tolerate human presence at less than several hundred yards unless you are in a blind or a vehicle. And while there are many protected areas for cranes and other wildlife along the river, central Nebraska is not wilderness. It is countryside, mostly in private ownership, and ranks as some of the most productive farmland in the world. Finally, the cranes and their daily rhythms and patterns change constantly, dictated by weather, water levels and disturbance, which are ever changing along the Platte. In late March, it can be 80 degrees and shirt sleeves one day, and 15 degrees and a blizzard the next. Together, this makes photographing these birds very challenging. Photographing here is a practice in patience, persistence, and acceptance of what it gives you, but it can also be very rewarding and the experience itself and its sight and sound is unforgettable.

 

Food and Lodging not included

 

For more information or to sign up for the workshop contact:                                                           

 

Rick Rasmussen    

308-380-3529

platteriverphotography@yahoo.com                                                                                                                                                                    

 

 

For more information about Grand Island visit: