Yesterday I returned to Rockport after spending almost a week up on Galveston Island. I went there to participate in a photography workshop... as a student. Well I know how to use my camera, and have been a "full-time" shooter for almost 10 years. Why would I spend the money going to someone else's workshop? Lots of reasons...
I wanted to photograph songbirds migrating north for the spring/summer. This is an annual event and I wanted to be in the perfect place at the perfect time to do this. I could have gone there on my own, but wouldn't have had access to the best place on Galveston Island to see these birds.
I would have also missed out on the workshop leader's years and years of experience studying these birds during their migration. These guys know the set-ups needed to get some amazing images of a LOT of different species... right in front of you. Their knowledge of the habits of each species really shortened the learning curve for me. Why reinvent the wheel?
And then theres the fellowship of being with 4 other expert photographers wanting exactly what you want. We were all there for basically the same reason. Sharing experiences with like-minded people is a good feeling. I made friends that I will definitely keep in touch with on a regular basis.
Was it worth it? You bet! Will I do it again? You bet!
This is a bird I would have NEVER found on my own. It's a Seaside Sparrow. This sparrow does't migrate... living all year in the salt marshes of Texas. We hiked out in the marsh to find this handsome small bird perching on tall shoots of marsh grasses and singing his heart out. We had to kneel in the wet and muddy marsh to wait... but it was a treat.