This salamander photo workshop is intended for photographers who want to improve taking images of salamanders while adding some central coast species to their repertoire. I have “herped” extensively in the area and will show you good locations that will not only provide for full length and portrait shots of these animals, but will provide the opportunity to show these animals in their natural habitat. The goal of the workshop is to create unique and interesting photographs of the more common species of salamanders while also trying to get pictures of the rarer species.
Required Photographic Equipment:
– Point and shoot, or Digital SLR Camera
Optional Equipment: Items on this list are not required, but may be beneficial for getting unique images.
– Wide angle and/or macro lens
– Telephoto lens (if you want to photograph other wildlife we may see)
– Extension Tube(s)
– Graduated Neutral Density Filters
– Remote Trigger
What to Bring for the Salamander Photo Workshop:
Clothing: California has a Mediterranean climate which means that the mornings are rather cold while the afternoon gets hot. This means its best to wear lots of layers that can be taken on and off during the day. Also bring a rain jacket and rain pants if you have them. If you are prone to getting cold, you may want to bring a beanie and gloves.
Shoes: Hiking boots or running shoes, depending on what you feel comfortable walking up and down hills in. If you feel comfortable walking in rain boots then those might be your best option.
Camera Gear Protection: Since it may rain, bringing a plastic bag with rubber bands, a proper camera protection, or an umbrella to protect your gear.
Learning Materials: A notepad will be good to take notes with.
Travel: Fly into San Jose airport, where you can rent a car. Look for hotels on the west side of Santa Cruz.
Accommodations: Are not included in the workshop fee. Please ask me if you have questions about where to stay.
Food: There are lots of supermarkets and restaurants in the area. Food is also not included in the workshop fee.
Transportation: There will be limited driving on this trip. Ask about getting a ride with me in my car during the workshop, but you would still be responsible for getting to and from the airport.
Schedule: We will meet in the field at 1:00pm and shoot until around 6:00pm. (Sunset is at 5:53pm). During the entire time, I will be available for one-on-one instructions.
Physical Requirements: All of our shooting locations will be less than a mile from the car, but the terrain will be uneven and at times will be steep.
If you arrive prior to workshop start time: N/A
What’s included in the price: Park entrance fees, services of Sebastian Kennerknecht as photographic guide which includes knowing the area, having extensive natural history knowledge of the local fauna (especially the salamanders), helping you with any special needs, and helping you create more interesting and unique pictures of these amphibians.
What’s not included in the price: Flights and other travel to and from the location, accommodations, meals, and anything not listed in the “What’s included in the price” list above.
Possible Species List (underlined species are the most commonly seen) for Salamander Photo Workshop:
Yellow-eyed Ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii xanthoptica)
California Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps attenuatus)
California Newt (Taricha torosa)
Rough-skinned Newt (Taricha granulosa)
Arboreal Salamander (Aneides lugubris)
California Giant Salamander (Dicamptodon ensatus)
California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense)
Santa Cruz Long-toed Salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum croceum)
Testimonial from previous salamander photo workshop participant:
“I had a great time during your workshop, and I greatly look forward to more opportunities to photograph nature with you in the future. Thank you so much for making this a rewarding and fun learning experience!” – Lauren Porter