Focus On Nature Weekend At Joe Wheeler



A group of American White Pelicans rest on a log near Wheeler Dam


Joe Wheeler Lodge

Here is something that Val and I are really excited about.  Whenever we’re talking to other photographers, we almost always here the same thing from someone “I love nature photos but I don’t really know how to get the best photos or where to go to see the things you see”. While anyone who knows us knows that Val and I would love to take everyone with us when we go out, the truth is our schedule makes a lot of our work “spur of the moment” and doesn’t usually allow enough time for others to plan….  Also a lot of the places we go are hard to get to and often the outings are unproductive when the animals don’t cooperate. However, Now the great folks at Joe Wheeler are hosting a entire weekend dedicated to those of us who love both nature and photography. Focus On Nature weekend is February 27th – March 1st at Joe Wheeler State Park. Val and I believe that this is a “Can’t Miss Event” if you’re like us and love good nature photography and the fellowship of other like minded people. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice and just getting started or someone who’s done this for a long time, there will be something for everyone during this event.

Joe Wheeler State Park is a beautiful park and the PERFECT place to hold this event. The Lodge is incredible and the staff just might be the best staff in the state.  After meeting and talking to them it seems they all enjoy both nature and nature photography as much as we do, and it’s evident by the effort and preparation that they’re putting into this event.


A Black Crowned Nigh Heron Fishes in the tailgaters below Wheeler Dam

The weekend all starts Friday evening with a reception at 7 and a Welcome at 7:30.  Sign up for field trips begins then as well. I suspect this will also be a great time of meeting new friends and sharing information.  We’ve found that this type of meeting and sharing to be invaluable time. Some of the most productive time you can have as a nature photographer, is time like this.

There will be field trips on Saturday to different sites.  On these trips you’ll be taken out to different sites to view and photograph nature with both a photography instructor and a naturalist who can answer questions and help you in any way they can. This is a great way to not only find places to photograph wildlife and nature but also learn about the places and the habits of the speciecs there so that you might be able to return and enjoy, and photograph, them at the most productive times of the year. There are several choices of field trips for Saturday.

Also on Saturday there are a series of short classes.  Basic photography, Advanced Photography and Photo Editing for Nature Photographers, will all be offered Saturday morning after a Sunrise Field Trip (Optional) and breakfast.  Val and I are honored to be teaching the “Advanced Photography” and “Photo Editing” classes.  We love doing this and we love sharing our enthusiasm with others who feel the same. After the field trips on Saturday, there is a reception at 6 and a keynote speaker at 7.

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes on the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge


On Sunday there are pontoon boat rides, (weather permitting) and another field trip in the park.

This is an awesome time of year coming up for nature photographers.  All of the birds are in their best plumage, nesting season is beginning now and the green of spring is only a very few weeks away.  The timing couldn’t be better for this event if you’re looking for information  about both places to shoot and how to shoot better.

I encourage you to check this out, I can’t imagine a better way to spend a weekend in late February in such a beautiful place as we’re blessed to live in. Below is a link to their website for more information and registration:

God Bless,
Joe & Valerie

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