Workshop “Cypresses, Warm Springs & Birds”
November 21 — 24, 2021.
Location — Northern Florida. Exact location will be revealed to all participants after their full payment
Dates: November 21 — 24 of 2021
Tuition: $ 1350 per participant (limit: 7 participants).
Instructor: Alex Mironyuk
Deposit: $ 350 (payments accepted for the remainder of the balance)
Come explore one of the most unusual, picturesque ecosystems in southern USA — cypress swamps and lakes, where old trees are growing in the middle of the water. Those places are very seldom visited by tourists due to their remoteness, lodging problems, luck with restaurants, and so on. In addition, most of the time the weather is hot and humid.
But we’re going there during the most comfortable season when the temperature usually won’t go higher than 75°F and won’t go lower than 50°F. But most importantly November is usually the peak of fall colors, when the cypresses get some dark red tones along with other yellow and red trees and bushes.
However, these swamps and lakes are home to Florida’s infamous gators. With that in mind the safest place to take pictures of the cypresses is a kayak, boat, or a lake shore. If you feel comfortable and safe in that environment you may carefully set up your tripod in shallow water. In that case some waders would be very helpful.
Don’t forget your telephoto lens at home — aside from alligators these swamps are home to many bird species, deer, rabbits, raccoons and other beautiful animals.
You will get a chance to photograph the area like you have never seen it before. I will lead you to photograph my favorite places all around the cypress swamps and lakes.
This workshop is designed to master your photography skills and to also boost your creative process. This entire workshop is hands on and I will be with you every step of the way covering composition, camera settings, chasing the light, and much more.
Physical Difficulty: Moderate. This Workshop Involves some kayaking at the cypress lakes and rivers and easy walks on the shore lines.
Fitness Level: Like any outdoor nature photography workshop, a reasonable degree of fitness is ideal. We will not be engaging in any strenuous physical activity.
Airport: the closest major airport is Jacksonville, FL (about 1,5 hours drive). Participants can consider fly to Tampa, FL or to Orlando, FL (2,5 hours drive).
Lodging: simple cabins lodging is included in the workshop’s tuition (2 people per bedroom). Each cabin furnished with 1 queen bed and 2 twin bunk beds. Linens, towels, blankets and pillows are not provided, so each participant suppose to have his own set or just a simple camping sleeping bag. Also each cabin has a shower, coffee machine and tabletop stove. You can upgrade your stay to a single occupancy for $350.
Meals: are not included in the workshop tuition. Fortunately within the walking distance from our cabins we can have a lunch and a dinner in a restaurant. But due to restaurant’s business hours we have to cook breakfast for ourselves.
In order to get perfect shots we need to be on the water and float between cypresses. You workshop tuition includes 2 person canoe so you will ride it with another participant. As on December of 2020 You can’t upgrade it to single ride (canoe or kayak) other way than buy 2 workshop’s spots due to lack of tourist infrastructure in that region. And I can bring with me only 4 canoe for our workshop.
No level of experience is necessary for participants of this workshop. Whether you are just beginning or are a seasoned pro, I am happy to help you move forward with your photography.
Day 1. November 21, Sunday
Our group will meet at our cabins at 3 PM where you can meet everyone and get to know each other. After short introducing meeting we will go to our canoe and will spend for about 20-30 minutes to get familiar with boarding techniques and how to paddle the canoe. After that rest of the day we will be on the lake taking pictures of the cypresses in the water.
We will get back to our cabins after sunset and will have a very first dinner together.
Day 2. November 22, Monday
That morning we will get in our canoe at about 8 AM to start the adventure on one of the most amazing Florida’s river with countless springs along of the river banks.
Believe it or not but for about 4 miles the water would be blue and crystal clear so you will be able to see the river’s bottom almost all the time throughout our journey on the water.
But don’t be afraid that this would be a hard workout — a regular not trained person can make it for about 2 hours in a very relaxing pace because the river’s currant will work for us too!
I don’t think that we will have a lot of stops during the first part of the day to take a landscape pictures from the shoreline. Most of the time we are going to use our telephoto lenses right from our canoes to get some wildlife shots. Expect to see a lot of egrets, herons, ibises, hawks, ospreys, deer, turtles and maybe even some small gators. If time permits we can try to get that ride one more time
After that we will go back to our cabins and before the dinner we one more time will launch our canoe to get to the one of the most unusual Cypress Ponds in Florida. Don’t worry it wouldn’t be a hard workout — we will paddle our canoe one way just for about a half a mile or so.
Day 3. November 23, Tuesday
All day we are going to explore unique cypress sceneries along the river, discover hidden ponds and bays full of calm water and cypress reflection.
Day 4. November 24, Wednesday
After our morning session at one of the countless cypress ponds and the breakfast we will check out from our cabins and our workshop will be officially over.
Payment schedule and cancellation policy:
The full tuition for the workshop is $ 1350
A non-refundable deposit of $ 350 is required to reserve a space in this workshop.
The final balance of $ 1000 is due by October 1, 2021. Full tuition is due at this time, and there will be no refunds on the full amount owed if you cancel after the final payment. However, if we find another client to fill your space, you will receive a full refund, minus your non-refundable deposit.
If we will cancel this workshop — you will get a full refund.
What is included:
- Double occupancy room* in a forest cabins;
- Rent of a canoe for 2 persons (so you will ride it with another participant) and some help in their using. As on December of 2020 You can’t upgrade it to single ride (canoe or kayak) other way than buy 2 workshop’s spots due to lack of tourist infrastructure in that region. And I can bring with me only 4 canoe for our workshop;
- Expert instructions and guidance to a wonderful variety of locations, In-field instruction on capture technique (composition, compensating for high dynamic range, focus stacking, creating effective sun-stars, night photography, light painting and much more);
- In-field recommendation on your photo gear;
- An incredible, unforgettable experience, full of adventure with amazing people and loads of great photos!!!
* You can upgrade your lodging to a single occupancy for $350— just send this inquiry before you will book the workshop.
What is NOT included:
- Meals and snacks;
- Medical Insurance & Incidental Costs;
- Linen, pillow, blanket and towels in our forest cabins. All participants must to have their own! Also participants may use a regular camping sleeping bags and pillows**;
- Camping towel**;
- Air fare to and from Florida;
- Travel passports, visas, and other travel documents;
- Alcoholic beverages.
** In order to reduce transportation and fuel expenses I recommend all participants get in touch with each other to carpool.
**You can buy all your camping stuff in any Walmart. You don’t need to buy something special to carry it in a backpack. The simplest, sleeping bag, pillow, towel would cost you total not more than $ 40−50
Recommended Photo Equipment:
- Camera (DSLR or Mirrorless) W/Extra Batteries And Memory Cards
- Tripod with a ball head (leveling base is optional but very helpful to take a panoramic shots)
- Shutter release
- Wide to standard zoom lens, with their lens hoods (I carry 12-24mm and 24-70mm lenses)
- Telephoto zoom lens for extraction and abstract scenes (I use a 70-200mm)
- Telephoto zoom lens for wildlife shots (I use 150-600mm lenses)
- Circular polarizer filter to remove glare from the water (it’s OK if you do not have one)
- Graduated neutral density filters (if you use them)
- Rocket blower and microfiber cloths for keeping glass surfaces dry and clean
- Most importantly — a great attitude!
Recommended Camping Equipment:
- Rubber boots or waders
- Water shoes
- Dry bag to care your photo gear in the canoe
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Rain jacket and pants
- Fleece jacket
- Waterproof hiking boots
- Extra warm clothing for possible cold weather condition including long underwear, hats and gloves
- Backpack (bag) to carry photo gear
- Sleeping bag
Questions? Please feel free to call me at (386) 627-1449 if you have any questions, or send me a message.
A follow-up email with schedule details, recommended gear, and a liability release will be sent to registered photographers.