Date: February 17 – 21, 2020

Location: Sarasota, FL

Leader(s): Adam Jones & Mike Matthews

Pricing: $1,495

Deposit: $400

Participants: Maximum 12


By January and February most of us are eager to get away from the icy grip of winter. Join me and fellow photographer Mike Matthews in sunny south Florida for three intensive days photographing a wide variety of birds, alligators, and elegant landscapes of stately live oaks draped in Spanish Moss.

We are there to lead you and assist with tips and techniques every step of the way as we explore some of our favorite birding locations. Mike was a former south Florida resident, naturalist, and photographer who knows the areas well and is a great guy to work with on our workshop. We led this workshop to the same locations in 2017 with outstanding results. We photographed: Kingfisher, Limpken, Caracara, Sandhill Crane, Great Blue Herons fishing & nesting, Green back Heron, Tri Color Heron, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Anhinga, Osprey, Red Shouldered Hawk, Pied Billed Grebe, Little Blue Heron, Glossy Ibis, Scrub Jay, Black Crowned Night Heron, Whistling Ducks Alligator, Rat Snake, and Raccoons. In addition to wildlife, the live oak trees at Circle B Ranch make outstanding landscape subjects located just a few yards from our cars.

What You Will Learn

Instructional Topics

  • Setting up your camera to work the way You want
  • In the field instruction on panning and focusing on flying birds
  • Best focus modes for tracking moving subjects.Lecture/field work on how to get perfect exposure in any situation
  • Why spot metering in manual mode is perfect for wildlife
  • Lecture/field instruction:  Tack sharp images with 1.4x and 2x teleconverters
  • Lecture/field instruction:  Understanding natural light and using it effectively
  • Lecture/field instruction:   Using flash for accessory lighting that looks natural
  • Demo:  Eliminating high ISO noise with no loss of sharpness



Day 1:

6PM, meet at the Courtyard Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch Area, FL, 8305 Tourist Center Drive, Bradenton, FL 941-360-2626 Bring your cameras with you to the meeting, we go over and set up best camera settings, discuss techniques, and schedule for the next morning shoot.

Day 2:

Early AM departure from our base hotel to the Venice Rookery. Begin shooting at first light continuing throughout the morning. This action packed location, features nesting egrets, Anhingas, and Great Blue Herons on a small island just off shore. The Venice Rookery is a spectacular location for Great Egrets in full breeding plumage, lots of interaction in and around nests including the feeding of young chicks. We commonly capture great flight shots as Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, and Anhingas taking off and landing right in front of our lenses. With so many birds nesting so close together there is territorial squabbling and fighting action to keep it interesting.

  • Depart Venice Rookery mid-day for lunch at Lashley’s Crab House, Punta Gorda
  • Afternoon highlights various Burrowing owl locations in Cape Coral
  • Late afternoon filming active eagles nest nearby.
  • Photograph Circle B Ranch in best afternoon light until sunset!

Day 3:

Sunrise shoot at circle B Bar Ranch. Beautiful location for foggy vistas of giant live oak trees draped in Spanish Moss. Walk on foot to various locations for birds, lagoons, and lots of alligators. This may be one of the best locations in Florida for great Limpkin photos. The diversity in this wetland is amazing. We photographed osprey fishing, Red shouldered Hawks, huge alligators, snakes, turtles, bobcats, and several varieties of perching birds.

Depart Circle B Ranch mid day and drive to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. In route we stop for a fun shoot at Cruickshank Sanctuary, noted for extremely tame scrub jays. So tame, they often land on photographers cameras, and even your head. Once everyone has captured great scrub jay images, we head on to our final hotel in Titusville, FL.

  • Depart circle B Ranch for lunch in Lakeland, then driving on to Titusville Hampton Inn.
  • Afternoon filming at Merrit Island National Wildlife Refuge, Dinner at Dixie Crossroads

Day 4:

Full morning exploring and photographing the amazing concentration of bird life found here. This National Wildlife Refuge offers wide-open wetland environment. With an easy drive through, the refuge is ideal for stopping for interesting, often action packed photos. It’s not uncommon to see Reddish Egrets dancing about with wings spread, as they engage their fanciful fishing tactics. The refuge is also a great location to photograph skimmers as they glide inches above calm lagoons skimming their lower beak in the water in graceful flight.

The diversity at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is amazing: In recent years the refuge has become one of the must see locations for bird photographers. Last year we saw and photographed: Eagles, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Glossy Ibis, Limpkin, Purple Gallinule, Warblers, Green back Herons, Blue Herons, Whistling Ducks, Anhingas, Cormornats, Osprey, and Kingfisher.

  • Lunch locally, afternoon shoot at Cruickshank Wildlife Sanctuary and Viera Wetlands.

Day 5:

Morning filming at the Apopka Bird of Prey center. He have a session reserved for us to photograph raptors in flight for exciting opportunities.

  • Afternoon: Either Apopka Wildlife Drive or Circle B depending on conditions and activity level at either location.



February 17th & 18th:
Courtyard Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch
8305 Tourist Center Drive, Bradenton, FL 34201

February 19th & 20th:
Hampton Inn Titusville/I-95 Kennedy Space Center
4760 Helen Hauser Blvd. Titusville, FL 32780

A discount link to the above hotels provided upon registration!

Food, Lodging, and Transportation are not included.



For more information, or to register by mail, please email me: adam@adamjonesphoto.com