Osprey Landing In Cypress with Spanish Moss by Buddy Eleazer

  • April 5-8, 2018
  • $1,095.00 per person
  • FIVE 3-hour Pontoon Boat or Air Boat cruises
  • Maximum of 4 shooters per boat (We have access to two boats)
  • Group Leaders Include: Buddy Eleazer  and  Joe McBroom

Sunrise on Blue Cypress Lake by Buddy Eleazer

Join one of the most beautiful places in Florida for three action packed days of bird and landscape photography. The feature will be osprey, but we hope to shoot plenty of rosette spoonbills and great egrets as well as other species of birds. We will be based near Vero Beach and photographing Lake Blue Cypress and Stick Marsh in southern Osceola County. Blue Cyprus is known for its high Osprey density; More than 200 pairs of nesting Ospreys build their nests in the Cypress trees along its shores and many of them are at eye level and accustomed to human activity and close approach. Stick Marsh has rookeries for both spoonbills and egrets. Because there is so much beauty on these waters, we will also be working with you to capture some of the landscapes of the region. This is a real bonus to the overall trip.

An Osprey on Blue Cypress takes to the air (photo by Buddy Eleazer)

In Blue Cypress, most of our photography will be from large, stable 24-foot pontoon boats to ensure freedom of movement and excellent photography opportunities without being bothered by any space restrictions during our daily 3-hour photography cruises (weather permitting). We have access to two boats and will have a maximum of 4 shooters plus instructor and boat captain per boat. These comfortable craft allow you to bring along your camera bag to allow easy lens changes as you shift from wider angle landscapes to telephoto lenses for birds in flight.

Spoonbill Fly-By on Stick Marsh (photo by Buddy Eleazer)

You may wonder why we’ve picked April. The answer is simple: CHICKS. The osprey and spoonbills will have eggs hatch in March and by April, the heads of the chicks will be well above the edge of the nest as they eagerly await mom and dad to bring them a fish dinner. This chance to shoot nested chicks and feeding adults make this time of year really special.

Two Chicks and an Adult

During this osprey photography workshop, you will capture images of birds up-close, in-flight, and eye-level, as well as gorgeous environmental shots of the lake. You will also be treated to early morning sunrises and late evening sunsets on the lake, which are a wonderful setting for Florida bird photography.

Osprey Landing at Blue Cypress Lake (photo by Buddy Eleazer)

We will also plan to spend one afternoon shooting from an air boat. The airboat allows us to traverse from Blue Cypress into Stick Marsh via the Zigzag Canal. On the air boat, the trip alone is worth the chance as we glide over lily pads and even over earthen dikes while transferring from Blue Cypress to Stick Marsh. Once at the shooting location, we shut down the engines and have a quiet, stable platform to capture images of egrets, spoonbills and the occasional pelican. We will photograph fishing osprey, eagles, and herons in the Zigzag Canal and then pass into Stick Marsh to concentrate on spoonbills and egrets.


Spoonbills and Egrets Galore on Stick Marsh (photo by Buddy Eleazer)

What You’ll Learn: Photography is about storytelling, gesture and capturing action. We will work on all of these aspects. Buddy and Joe will share the secrets of how to shoot birds in flight. At sunrise, we will work on composition and exposure to create mood. You will learn how to take control of an active situation whether shooting into the sun or into the deeper shadows of the cypress. Best of all, you will learn how to best capture these magnificent birds in all their glory.

There will be a strict limit of 4 photographers per boat so you can photograph in comfort with ample space for your gear. Buddy and Joe will spend equal time with all workshop participants, actively teaching you knew camera settings for bird photography and techniques to capture that special moment.

Spoonbills of Stick Marsh (photo by Buddy Eleazer)

Who should attend: This is a great workshop for any level of photographer from the seasoned pro to a complete novice with basic equipment. Amazing flight images can be made with your dSLR camera and focal lengths of just 300-400mm (full frame equivalent). This a fantastic birding venue for 100-400mm, 300mm, and larger lenses. For our landscapes, any lens from 14mm equivalent to 100mm is perfect.

Price is only $1,095.00 per person with a limit of four participants per boat. Price includes FIVE 3-hour Pontoon Boat/Air Boat cruises (weather permitting). NOTE: All Hotels, meals, beverages and items of a personal nature are NOT INCLUDED. Local transportation during the workshop is not included.

To Book: Send an email to Buddy.Eleazer@gmail.com

There are several hotels at the intersection of I-95 and FL 60 ( also known as 20st. Vero Beach). We recommend the Comfort Suites, 9050 Americana Way, Vero Beach, FL. Currently the rate is running $109/night plus tax for a king bed and $139/night plus for two queens if you are sharing a room. Their contact phone number is (772) 257-3400.

For flights to the workshop, their are many options to either of Orlando’s two airports (MCO or SFB) or West Palm Beach Airport (PBI).

Last modified: April 19, 2018