Have you ever had the chance to see an Elk? If so, have you ever seen one along the coastline? The Tule Elk of Point Reyes National Seashore provide an amazing opportunity to photograph these large animals with the stunning background of the California coast. They are also approachable enough to take close up pictures. Better yet, I am running this workshop during the elk rut increasing our chances for some dramatic behaviors. You will have multiple opportunities to take images of these majestic animals during this Tule Elk Photography Workshop.
Required Photo Equipment:
– Camera (Digital SLR Camera preferred)
– Telephoto Lens (200 and above is recommended, 400 through 800mm range is best) *
Optional Photo Equipment:
– Wide angle lens
– Monopod/Tripod (or bean bag)
– Better Beamer
– Graduated Neutral Density Filters
– Remote Trigger
What to Bring
Clothing: California has a Mediterranean climate which means that the mornings are rather cold while the afternoons get hot. This means it’s 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.
Camera Gear Protection: Nothing special required, except to bring items to clean your camera and lenses of dust.
Learning Materials: A notepad will be good to take notes with.
Travel: Fly into San Jose, Oakland, or San Francisco airport (depending on which is cheapest), where you can rent a car. Look for hotels near Inverness.
Accommodations: Are not included in the workshop fee. Please ask me if you have questions about where to stay.
Food: There are a few supermarkets and restaurants in the area, but it may be a good idea to buy some supplies before arriving in the area. Food is also not included in the workshop fee.
Transportation: There will be a fair amount of 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 from and to the airport.
Schedule: We will meet on location 20 minutes before sunrise and then shoot until the light is too harsh or if all of us are exhausted. After that we will have a long break with learning opportunities and free time (you can even nap if you want to!). We will then go out for a sunset photographic session which will end fifteen minutes after sunset. During the entire time, I will be available for one-on-one instructions.
Physical Requirements: There will be everything from very short to medium length hikes during this trip, the terrain will be uneven and hilly.
What’s included in the price: Services of Sebastian Kennerknecht as photographic guide which includes knowing the area, having extensive natural history knowledge of the local fauna (especially the elk), helping you with any special needs, and helping you create more interesting and unique pictures of these amazing mammals.
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):
Tule Elk (Cervus elaphus nannodes)
Black-tailed Deer (Odocoileus hemonionus)
Coyote (Canis latrans)
Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
California Quail (Callipepla californica)
Common Raven (Corvus corax)
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
Brush Rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani)
Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargeneteus)
White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus)
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)
Examples of other species photographed during the workshop:
Testimonial from previous participant:
“I took a Point Reyes Photography Class with Sebastian Kennerknecht and it was phenomenal!!! He is a super-nice guy, very knowledgeable not only about photographic skills, but also about species and behavior of all the wildlife around us. Thanks to his knowledge and approach and patience we got to see amazing birds and mammals (elks in abundance, several close-up coyotes, a long-tailed weasel and bobcats), and I loved his non-intrusive approach that put the animal’s welfare first. Sadly this is an approach that I often miss with other companies but should be the guiding element of any wildlife photographer.
There is a reason that Sebastian is a member of the esteemed International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) ! He lives and breathes conservation and his love for photography and animals is transparent, engaging and motivating. If you can take a class, do it!
You will not regret it and it may live in your memory as one of the best days spent in nature 🙂“
— Annette Herz, Mountain View, CA