Wildlife of the Prairie Workshop

June 17-21, 2013
Limited to 6 participants

Where the buffalo roam… where the deer and the antelope play…”Pronghorn

America is home to many wonderful and diverse ecosystems, but it is the wide-open prairie that conjures up images of powerful bison, swift pronghorn antelope, and comical prairie dogs. Join us for five fun-filled days of photography and instruction in the Black Hills of South Dakota. While nothing in nature is guaranteed, we should have countless opportunities to photograph bison, pronghorn and prairie dogs, all set against stunning prairie backdrops.

Bison calf and cowWe have chosen a time when these three reliable species will all be raising adorable babies and we’ll focus much of our efforts on these three, but the Black Hills supports an amazingly diverse set of mammals. We are likely to have the opportunity to photograph coyotes, mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, yellow-bellied marmots, and cottontails as well. Avian subjects are also plentiful, with Western Meadowlarks, Mountain Bluebirds, Upland Sandpipers, and Grasshopper Sparrows being abundant local specialties. There are hosts of other species of all types of animals around and we won’t pass up any good opportunity that presents itself! If the wildlife isn’t enough for you, the stunning landscapes, dramatic sunrises and sunsets, and fields of wildflowers will provide numerous landscape opportunities to keep you photographing nearly non-stop.

Prairie dog eating flowerAs important as the photographic subjects are, we also offer exceptional instruction during this workshop. Class size is limited to 6 participants and Robert will be spending his time in the field helping you make the most of your opportunities, not taking shots for his own portfolio. In addition to the individual instruction in the field, each day will have one or two classroom sessions that teach techniques and skills pertinent to the trip. Some of the topics that will be covered include: how to photograph big game, biology of the animals, how to create beautiful backgrounds, camera settings, post-processing, and capturing action.

Black Hills SunriseRequirements: Most of the animals we will be working with are large and fairly bold. Because of this, a 400mm lens will suffice for most situations and you will still have many opportunities even with a 200mm lens. The fitness requirement is also lower than that of other workshops we offer since a good portion of the photography will be done from vehicles. When we photograph outside the vehicles, it will normally require only a short walk although it may be over rocky and hilly terrain. Days will be long (starting before sunrise and ending after sunset), but will be packed with fun, excitement, photography, and learning. With relatively low equipment and fitness requirements, this workshop is well suited for both novice and experienced wildlife photographers.

Bison in stormParticipants are responsible for their own lodging in the Custer, SD area, ground transportation, and the modest park entrance fees. The workshop price is $950, and a deposit of $300 is required to reserve a spot. Please see our refund policy for refund details. We hope you can join us for this amazing experience in the prairie!

Sign up for the workshop here.

Read about other Theme workshops here.

(The photographs on this page represent just a few of those taken over a 5 day period in June 2012 by Robert Rommel.)

Prairie dog sitting and eating
Young pronghorn
Upland Sandpiper

Bison sunset

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