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Point Reyes National Seashore

Our goal is to help people join us in our mission to explore, explain, and protect the natural world. Join us in telling visual stories on conservation issues. Direct your passion for photography towards purposeful change in the world.

Photography Workshop and Field Excursion


Part One: Saturday April 19th 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: California Academy of Sciences

Part Two: Sunday April 20th 8:30am - 6:00pm
Location: Point Reyes National Seashore

What's Included: Full day admission to the Academy on April 19th for Earth Day celebrations and a 3 hour afternoon photography workshop held at the Academy. The second day includes roundtrip transportation between the Academy and Point Reyes, lunch will be provided, and we will also be joined by an interpretive guide while making stops in the field.

Hiking Involved: Participants should be able to hike at least 2 miles at a time with two hiking stops included in the field excursion.


 

The Big Picture

Dive into the art of conservation photography during this hands-on, two-day workshop. On Day One, workshop participants will be introduced to the field’s methodology and techniques among the Academy's live animals. On the second day, the group will put its skills into practice on an all-day excursion to some of California's most dramatic protected spaces in Point Reyes National Seashore. Conservation photography is a field rich with history, which has only recently been recognized as a discipline and powerful medium for conservation of wild areas. Throughout the experience, Academy staff and guest experts will offer photographic guidance and insight into the subjects' natural history.


 

Defining Conservation Photography

Conservation photography is a vision of photography that has a long history with a new purpose. Typically, pressing the shutter defines the photographer with planning and execution culminating in the photograph. A conservation photographer’s work begins once they click the shutter. It’s what you do with these images that matters as it takes you into the active roll of effecting conservation for the natural world.


 

Reservations: Members: $150, General $175. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. Please reserve by April 4th. Ages 18+ (or 12+ with a parent). To reserve a place today, buy a Member or Non-Member ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831

The Workshop

Enjoy a day at the Academy to explore our exhibits and building through your photographic lens. Then, join us for a 3 part workshop that will include fundamentals of exposure, an introduction to digital asset management and the digital darkroom and a segment dedicated to defining conservation photography. This component is to be held at the California Academy of Sciences with the workshop to start at 2pm after you have explored the Academy on your own.


 

Fundamentals of Exposure

In the first hour, we will touch on basic features of the DSLR camera. Topics will include choosing lenses and filters, ISO, white balance, shutter, aperture and program modes, EV, exposure, bracketing, focusing, resolution, histograms and more.


 

Digital Asset Management & The Digital Darkroom

In this hour we explore how to manage all of your digital assets. We will talk about organizing your files and using software such as Adobe Lightroom, and Nik Software plugins for the digital darkroom. Topics will include managing the digital workflow, post production, color management, and simple web publishing.


 

Defining Conservation Photography

In the last hour of the workshop we will talk about what it means to be a conservation photographer and watch a short video that defines conservation photography. We will conclude with a trailer for an active conservation project by the iLCP in British Columbia telling the story of the Great Bear Rainforest. The images tell the story.


 

Reservations: Members: $150, General $175. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. Please reserve by April 4th. Ages 18+ (or 12+ with a parent). To reserve a place today, buy a Member or Non-Member ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831

The Big Picture

On Day Two, we will meet at the Academy in the morning and hop a bus for an 8:30am departure to Point Reyes National Seashore where we will visit some of the most dramatic landscapes in the Bay Area and put into practice the techniques and concepts we explored in the workshop. From egrets to tule elk, ranch lands to wetlands and beyond, the open space in and around Point Reyes National Seashore will offer an ideal setting to begin exploring conservation photography.


 

Audubon Canyon Ranch

For nearly 50 years, the wild lands preserved by Audubon Canyon Ranch have helped Bay Area natives and visitors better understand and appreciate the native plants and animals that call these spaces home. A late April visit to their first protected land – Martin Griffin Preserve – will offer a great chance to encounter mating and nesting egrets, as well as other charismatic animals and wetlands vistas.


 

Agricultural Land

In addition to our other stops, we may also have time to visit one of the local dairy farms that make up an important historical and cultural component of Point Reyes National Seashore. While this section of land is now used for cow grazing, and thus is not “wild,” its preservation after the threat of development has nonetheless helped maintain large tracts of open space in this region. This fact raises interesting questions about what we mean by “conservation,” and will help frame other surprising questions about the intersection of wild spaces and human culture.


 

Tule Elk Reserve

Before European colonization, enormous herds of tule elk roamed coastal California and played a major role in the local ecosystems. They have flourished since their reintroduction to Point Reyes National Seashore in 1978, and their presence near the end of the Point Reyes Peninsula – where Tomales Bay meets the Pacific Ocean – makes for a startling wildlife scene.


 

Reservations: Members: $150, General $175. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. Please reserve by April 4th. Ages 18+ (or 12+ with a parent). To reserve a place today, buy a Member or Non-Member ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831

 

Workshop Tools

If you do not already have the following software, you can download free trials that will allow you to test the software and follow along during the workshop. Please wait until April 19th to download the software so the trial period is still valid during the workshop. Please install and test the software prior to the workshop so you are ready to follow along.


 

Suggested Field Gear

The word of choice in the bay area is "layers". You should be prepared for all kinds of weather and expect conditions to change rapidly while you are in the field. Among the things you should have in your pack: water, layered clothing, comfortable trail shoes, sunscreen, a hat, extra socks sunglasses, a rain jacket (rain not likely but possible), your camera and a tripod. This is not an all inclusive list and it is up to you to be prepared to go into the field where we may hike as many as five miles over the course of the day. Please  check the weather the night before and plan accordingly. We will travel rain or shine!


 

Things To Know

Due to the field component of this program, your ticket is nonrefundable and not transferable. This program is being offered as a two day program and we will not be offering any discounted rates for attending one of the two days. We will have one day programs in the future so check back for more opportunities. This particular program is limited to participants that are 18 and over in age. Space is limited for a better experience.


 

Reservations: Members: $150, General $175. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. Please reserve by April 4th. Ages 18+ (or 12+ with a parent). To reserve a place today, buy a Member or Non-Member ticket online or over the phone at 1-877-227-1831

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