Cypress Swamps Magic
Start Location — Savannah, GA
Dates: November 14 — 18 of 2020
Tuition: $ 1850 per participant (limit: 7 participants).
Instructor: Alex Mironyuk
Deposit: $ 500 (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: Easy to Moderate. This Workshop Involves some kayaking at the cypress lakes 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.
Simple hotels and cabins lodging are included in the workshop's tuition (2 people per bedroom).
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 14, Saturday
Our group will meet at the hotel in Savannah, GA November 2 around 3 PM where you can meet everyone and get to know each other. After short introducing meeting we will go to a pleasant photo-walk to the historic center of that beautiful southern city with a big history. During this our very first evening photo-session we will have informal practical workshop We will teach a variety of photo techniques that will help you improve your skills and your artistic vision, focusing on a number of professional tricks for shooting powerful nature images, such as:
- Working with dramatic light during a sunrise and a sunset;
- Using regular midday light to your advantage;
- The fundamentals of powerful composition.
Night in Savannah, GA
Days 2 — 4. November 15 — 17, Sunday — Tuesday
On Sunday after breakfast we will visit one of the most picturesque place in Savannah area — Wormsloe Plantation with very impressive 300+ years old oak’s alley. After that we will spend some time to buy some food and other supply for next 4 days and by 1 PM we will head to the our cypress lake.
Believe it or not, there are hardly any mosquitoes at these swamps and lakes. However, I would still recommend for you to have bug repellent with you.
For the three nights we will live close to the lake in comfortable forest cabins. We can cook for ourselves (there are several different options such as: grilling, stove-top cooking, and of course the age old microwavable food) or within a 15 mile range from the cabin you can find a couple of restaurants and some grocery stores.
In order to get perfect shots we need to be on the water and float between cypresses on 2 person canoe.
Every day we will have morning and evening session at the swamp, during the day time we can rest and improve our skills in a pictures' editing in Lightroom and Photoshop. We will have at least one informal class, where also teach professional «Digital Darkroom» secrets and the fundamentals of image processing, including but not limited to:
- Raw converting in Lightroom
- Using some Lightroom’s filters
- Working with adjustment layers;
- Layer masking and image blending techniques;
- Color management and special effects for artistic expression;
- Preparing images for optimum web presentation.
We will stay 3 nights in comfortable forest cabins
Day 5. November 18, Wednesday
After our morning photo-session by 11 AM we will check out from our cabins, return our canoes, kayaks and jon boats to a rental office and our workshop will be officially over.