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Bosque del Apache
Photo Workshop

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico

Workshop leaders: Ian Plant and Rick Sammon 

December 5-9, 2022 (full)

December 11-15, 2022 (1 SPOT)

Workshop size: 10 

Tuition: $1995 ($300 non-refundable deposit required at booking)

Email Ian at to register.

Join me and my good friend Rick Sammon in one of the best places to photograph birds in the United States. In the early morning and late afternoon, you’ll have a chance to see a dramatic sky filled with hundreds and hundreds of sandhill cranes and snow geese, an awe-inspiring experience that offers endless wide-angle and close-up photo opportunities.

Check out our White Sands National Park Extension.

Here’s a video (with some quick photo tips from Rick) of what you’ll see:

You can find more workshop details below, as well as a gallery featuring plenty of photos from our previous trips to Bosque. Our goal is to help you get photos like these!

Benefits of this workshop:

Combined, Rick and I have been to Bosque seven times. We’ll take you to the best places for the optimum photographs, and then we’ll help you process your images for the most creative results. Our days will start and end with making pictures, with processing sessions in between. 


In the field, we’ll cover photographing with wide-angle and telephoto lenses, composition, exposure and more. At our hotel, we’ll cover creative Photoshop and Lightroom techniques. We’ll also have a ton of fun!


About two months before the workshop, all fully-paid participants will be invited to join a Zoom call in which Rick and I will show you our favorite images from Bosque and review camera settings, lenses, clothing and more. With this knowledge, and by practicing at home, your Bosque photo sessions should be like point-and-shoot photography …. so you can concentrate on composition. The session will be recorded if you can’t make it.

Workshop location: The workshop is based in Socorro, New Mexico.

Physical requirements: This is an easy workshop with little to no walking.

Skill level: Photographers of all skill levels will benefit from this workshop, but if you are new to photography, you might want to learn basic skills elsewhere before signing up for this class. You don't have to be an advanced photographer to take this workshop, but we're going to be focusing on the artistic aspects of photography, so participants are expected to have a working knowledge of their camera and other photographic equipment.

General schedule: Here’s the plan, subject to change:


Day 1

5p.m.: We meet for a briefing followed by our Welcome Dinner. 


Days 2-4

We leave early every morning for sunrise photography, followed by a midday break. We'll meet for classroom sessions in the middle of the day, and head out each afternoon for sunset photography.


Day 5

We do a short, optional sunrise shoot, giving people plenty of time to return to their hotel for checkout. 

Post workshop: Group slide show via Zoom to review images, three each.

Lodging: Lodging is not included in the workshop price. The Best Western Socorro  is our base of operations. Ask for the group rate for the Ian Plant/Rick Sammon workshop. If the hotel is booked (it books up early because it’s the best place, yet affordable, to stay), there are several other nearby hotels in Socorro.

Transportation: The nearest airport is Albuquerque International. It’s about 1.5 hours from the hotel. You’ll need to rent a car to get to our hotel in Socorro, NM. If you want to carpool with someone else to and from the airport and during the workshop, please let us know, we can try to arrange something.  


Here’s the camera gear we recommend: two camera bodies, telephoto zoom in the 100-500mm range, wide-angle zoom in the 24-105mm range, tripod (don’t forget your plate), lens cleaning cloth (it can be very dusty), camera cover in case it rains or snows, battery charger and extra batteries, camera strap and headlamp. We also recommend brining a laptop loaded with Photoshop and/or Lightroom. You may also want to download Topaz Sharper AI and Topaz DeNoise AI, as you will be photographing in very low light in the very early morning. Bring plenty of memory cards and a backup card reader. Also, bring your enthusiasm to share with the group!

Payment policy: The workshop fee is for instruction only. All other expenses, including transportation, accommodations, National Wildlife Refuge entrance fees, and meals are the responsibility of the participant. A non-refundable deposit of $300 is required to secure your spot on this workshop. The remainder will be collected 60 days prior to the workshop start.

If you cancel within 60 days before the start date, a partial or full refund of the workshop tuition might be available as long as we are able to find a replacement. We try to be flexible about emergency cancellations; just contact us and we’ll do our best to work it out!

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