Texas Hill Country Workshop


About the Workshop

Rolling hills, carpets of wildflowers, crystal clear creeks and waterfalls, towering oak trees and abundant wildlife…sounds like some place out of a nature photographer’s dream. The dream is reality on this workshop exploring the Hill Country of Texas in Spring. We’ll be photographing on a 400 acre ranch that has been lovingly cared for by the same family for 6 generations. While it is still a working ranch, they have preserved the natural beauty of the land and kept this property undeveloped despite being an hour from Austin. We’ve chosen the perfect week for our workshop. The hills will be bursting with colors, the birds will be back from their migration and well, spring will be in the air. This is photography unlike most places that you have been. You see on this trip we’ll be photographing on a private ranch. You won’t be locking tripods with 20 other photographers, you won’t be in gridlock traffic to photograph flowers that have been trampled by a hundred other photographers, and the wildlife is acclimated to people. The fact is that we’ll have all 400 acres of Texas’ version of Eden all to ourselves. For those that are interested in bird photography, this is one place you’ll love. The ranch has recorded 133 species of birds on the properties. The best part is that we will be photographing the birds from blinds which have long been in use with photographic perches, feeders and water fixtures. The birds love coming here, and you’ll get beautiful portraits of them for your portfolio. The subjects are plentiful and diverse. We will have landscapes of rolling hills, panoramic vistas, babbling creeks and waterfalls. There are fields of intensely colored wildflowers. The ranch is known for its bird photography, but there also amphibians, reptiles, insects and mammals. Need more? Ok, how about a 200 year old creek-side cottage, ancient barns and fences, vintage chuck wagon and equipment. Not enough? How about a train caboose or the sheep being sheared or, or, or… I’m out of space for this, but trust me, there is a something for everyone.

Included in the Workshop

The workshop includes 3 days (May 6-8) of photography instruction at several sites around the property. There are 2 leaders on this workshop and so you’ll have a lot of individual attention as well as the ability to focus on aspects of nature photography that most interest you. For example, if you are mostly interested in wildlife you can spend more time photographing the birds. Conversely, you can also spend extra time seeking out the nooks and crannies of the creek. There will be classroom style sessions with image critiques, discussions about workflow and image editing, and tips and tricks for better nature photography. Needless to say, your fees include the professional instruction of a PAW leader. All workshops have leaders, however a PAW leader is an expert on the location and has proven skills as a workshop instructor. Our instructors are there to help you make better images and fill your portfolios, not theirs. PAW leaders don’t photograph on our workshops; they teach. The workshop fee also includes a welcome reception with food and light beverages the night of the 5th as well as all lunches during the workshop. We are also planning a special evening event session that includes dinner. Basically we are going to feed you, too! The workshop fee does not include transportation to the workshop location or during the workshop. You will also be responsible for your own lodging. This workshop will allow a maximum of 12 participants. A minimum of 6 participants is required for this workshop.

Schedule

Our workshop begins at 6PM on the evening of May 5th. We will gather and get acquainted over something to eat and soft drinks. There will be a short presentation and we’ll go over the basic schedule for the workshop. We’ll photograph at the ranch sites throughout the early morning hours and then again in the evenings the 6th, 7th and 8th. Classroom and other teaching opportunities will be held during the afternoons while we wait for the light to improve for the evening session. The workshop officially ends the evening of the May 8th, 2010.

Equipment and Gear

The average temperature this time of the year will be highs near 90°F and lows near 60°F. Although Texas is in a drought it actually does rain in May and you should be prepared for that type of weather. Camera
  • Battery charger
  • A few extra batteries
  • Memory cards (bring plenty!!!)
  • Sensor cleaning supplies
Lenses
  • 12-24mm (for the 1.5x sensor size cameras) or 17-35mm (full frame)
  • 28-105mm lens or similar
  • a 300mm is adequate for the wildlife a 400mm is perfect
  • Polarizing filter(s)
  • Lens hoods for all lenses
  • Lint-free cloth to clean lenses and air blower for dust
Computer / Digital Accessories
  • Laptop with charger and photo editing software (Photoshop or Lightroom preferred)
  • Portable hard drive as backup.
  • Card Reader
  • Small jump drive (thumb drive) for transferring images for critique.
  • All cables for drives, computer, card readers, storage devices, etc.
Other
  • Cover for camera (for shooting in the rain)
  • Tripod
  • Camera manual
  • Chocolate for David
Other Accessories & Clothing
  • Hiking Shoes/Comfortable walking shoes
  • Hat/Baseball cap
  • Warm layers, jacket, hat, and gloves. Some spring mornings can get cool.
  • Wet weather gear
Be sure to let Jeff know of any special needs that you may have so that we can try to accommodate them.

Transportation and Lodging

Fredericksburg is about 90 miles from the Austin airport and 70 miles from the San Antonio airport. This workshop offers the opportunity to stay on the ranch in their various B&B style accommodations. The Somewhere In Time Guest House is a functioning year-round guest house and is country living at its finest. A historic 1890 German style rock cottage, which has been restored to its original beauty and will accommodate one couple. The Cabin on Block Creek is more rustic and will accommodate two people also. All of the accommodations on the property are quite comfortable. You also have the luxury of living on the site of the workshop. Staying at the ranch is a great experience and highly recommended! You can contact Sharron and Larry by email (sljay@gvtc.com) or 830.438.2423. Did I mention pampering? They are good at that too! The caboose that I mentioned earlier has actually been converted into an apartment, which is also available for booking during the workshop. You can contact David or Myrna at 830.995.2147 or by email (dkl@westernphotographycompany.com). The alternative lodging is in Fredericksburg about a 20-30 minute drive away from the ranch.
Suggested hotels and airports for Texas Hill Country in Spring are shown below. Click on the name of the hotel or airport for more information, including a map. This information is provided as a helpful resource for our participants, but is not guaranteed accurate. Please confirm any important details before making travel plans. Review the workshop description carefully for more information about rates, locations, and dates. If you have any questions, please contact us before making your reservations.

Hotel(s)

    • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)

      3600 Presidential Blvd.
      Austin, TX, 78719
      United States
    • San Antonio International Airport (SAT)
  • La Quinta Inn and Suites Fredericksburg

    1465 E Main Street

    Fredericksburg, TX, 78624

    United States

    Airport(s)

    9800 Airport Blvd.
    San Antonio, TX, 78216
    United States

Date
    Wednesday, May 5, 2010 – 6:00pm
    Sunday, May 9, 2010 – 6:00pm

Location

Fredericksburg, TX
United States

Price

$1,195.00

Participants

6 participants
12 participants

Workshop Flyer

View information about Texas Hill Country in Spring as a PDF.

Final Thoughts

Whether is it landscapes or wildlife, there is something for every photographer next Spring in the Texas Hill Country.

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