Caddo Lake, Texas Photography Workshop
Autumn in the Cypress Swamp
November 5th - 8th, 2023 Workshop Full - Waitlist Available!
Instructor Andy Cook
Join us for the 1st run of a unique experience as we photograph compelling, autumn scenery in the cypress swamps of east Texas. Towering bald cypress trees draped with Spanish moss create breathtaking intimate scenes in the bayous, sloughs and ponds of Caddo Lake. To further immerse the group in the character of the area our lodging will be in a historic hotel in the charming old town district of Jefferson, TX.
The 2023 workshop starts on Sunday, November 5th, at 2:45 pm with introductions and a brief meeting. At 3:30 pm the group will leave the hotel for the first photo location.
Lodging Location: Historic Kahn Hotel, 123 West Austin Street, Jefferson, TX 75657. 903-601-4471
Check-in Sunday, November 5, 2023; Check-out Thursday, November 9, 2023.
Check-in time is 2:00 pm.
We have reserved a block of rooms for the group. Participants should secure one of these rooms by calling the hotel directly and requesting one of the reserved rooms for "Rocky Mountain Photography".
The workshop ends after the evening shoot on Wednesday, November 8th, 2023.
LODGING: We think it is advantageous for you to stay in the same hotel as the instructor, but it is not necessary. There are many nearby hotels.
Generally, participants can expect to be at a shooting location for the start of civil twilight and we'll stay at that location through sunrise. We will provide breakfast bars and snacks for enjoyment in the field. We will not provide water bottles during this workshop; reducing 1 use plastic bottle waste. Please bring a reusable water bottle from home. We will go to breakfast after the morning shoot.
Photographing in a cypress swamp is a unique experience and challenges one's ability to compose photographs. We strongly recommend participants bring a laptop to download and review photos in order to help with compositional review/improvement during the workshop. During the first two days we will schedule time for image review midday and after dinner.
We have scheduled dinner in a restaurant, each day, after the evening's photography.
During this workshop when photographing from shore our shooting locations will be just beyond the parking lot, a 5 minute walk. Elevation gain is not a factor, the walking is deemed light activity. Walking surfaces beyond the parking lot are generally uneven and soggy to wet. Water proof hiking or rubber boots are recommended. When photographing from kayaks one should be prepared to spend 3+ hours in the water at one time. Getting in and out of kayaks can be a wet process so bring a shoe that works for this. Andy also recommends having a dry bag to put the camera and lens in while entering and exiting the water and gaining a feel for the kayak. One will have to help move one's kayak from the water to it's storage location. One doesn't have to be in tip-top shape, but a participant's enjoyment will be enhanced by good health and preparation. Please consult with your doctor before attending our workshop.
Be prepared for temperature fluctuations from chilly to warm and sudden changes in weather. We will be out in darkness before sunrise and after sunset, please bring a flashlight.
Workshop Photography Notes: In the cypress swamp we approach photography differently than at our other workshops. When photographing from kayaks many will prefer to hand hold, some may try to use a tall tripod. Placing a tall tripod in the shallow swamp water, at the edge of one's kayak, does expose it to muck at the bottom of the swamp, for this it may be best to use an older, less favorite tall tripod.
Equipment Recommendations: Bring all camera equipment including the camera's manual. For this workshop Andy believes the most critical lens to have is a long zoom, something like a 100 - 400 mm or 70 - 300 mm after lens multiplication factor (LMF). Wider lenses such as 16 - 35 mm and 24 - 70 mm after LMF may rarely be useful. However, as always we think participants should bring their entire range of lenses, just in case :). Bring lots of memory.
When on land one should shoot with a sturdy outdoor tripod that can adjust from the photographer's standing height without cranking up a center post, to very close to the ground. This type of tripod does not have attachments from the legs to the center post; i.e. the legs move independently. To ensure a comfortable view above a boardwalk railing, participants need to verify their tripods hold their cameras at least 55 inches or higher above the ground. Please use a cable release or know how to work the camera's timer delay to avoid camera shake.
To be as prepared as possible for this workshop, please review the 2 videos, 7 lessons and 10 workshop handouts found at the link below:
Below please find the PDF handouts recommended for this workshop. One needs to print or download to a digital device these documents before the workshop from the link above.
For this workshop we recommend that participants:
*Print: Blank Workshop Locations Visited.
*Print or download to field digital device: CFDER Field Reminder (This is useful to those new to our workshops and/or trying to develop a useful field workflow.)
*Print or download to field digital device: Steps to Capture Panorama Photographs
*Print or download to field digital device: Hyperfocal chart for camera’s LMF. (Unless you already have a depth-of-field app on your smart phone.)
*Print or download to digital device: Andy’s Camera Settings (Only if unsure about what the camera’s settings should be.)
*Print or download to digital device: Tripod Tips and Techniques (Only if one is new to tripod use or are considering a tripod purchase.)