Central Florida Segment

Flight School Photography hosts half of the Best of Florida workshop. This segment of the workshop will be conducted by award winning bird photographer Jim Neiger. Jim has spent the past several years observing, studying and photographing the birds of central Florida and knows this avian-rich area like no one else. Jim has also perfected unique techniques for photographing birds in flight using large telephoto lenses, hand held. Although your needs, goals, and desires will dictate the focus of the workshop, you will have the opportunity to learn and practice Jim’s hand held, long lens techniques for photographing birds in flight.

The workshops will be held in some of the most beautiful, wild, and unspoiled wilderness areas of central Florida. Central Florida lakes feature numerous desirable subjects in the springtime, among them the Snail Kite, which is the rarest bird of prey in North America and the featured subject of this segment of the workshop. The workshops are also likely to provide participants with opportunities to photograph other birds that are endangered and rarely seen. Possible subjects are too numerous to list.
The 4-day Central Florida segment will begin with a classroom session devoted to teaching you how to photograph birds in flight and also how to safely use bird song recordings to maximize your photographic opportunities. This will be followed by six half-day photography sessions in the field. The majority of the photo sessions will be conducted via boat, because some of the best photographic opportunities in central Florida are only accessible by boat. This includes the endangered Snail Kite, one of the most sought after avian subjects in the world.

Jim’s 2007 pontoon boat was purchased and customized specifically for use during photography workshops. It is roomy (capacity of 12 people), comfortable, and stable. The boat is equipped with an extremely quiet, four-stroke motor for silent cruising. It also has a powerful, silent, electric trolling motor with wireless remote control. This allows Jim to position the boat precisely and silently. The boat can be configured with no top, a half canopy to provide shelter from sun and rain, or with a half enclosure that can completely protect participants from the elements. The boat even has a private changing room with a portable toilet. Refreshments are provided during all workshops.

One photography session will be held on land to photograph the remarkably co-operative Barred and Great Horned Owls. Other species that are possible during the land-based session include Caracaras, Bald Eagles, Eastern Meadowlarks, Red Shoulder Hawks, Sandhill and Whooping Cranes, and many others.

In keeping with our main focus (you), each workshop segment will be limited to only four (4) participants so that everyone may photograph in comfort and receive lots of personalized instruction.