This is the week of the Florida Birding and Photo Fest. The festival offers so many different types of photography workshops all around St. Augustine, Florida with award winning photographers. If you are in the area in the end or in mid April I highly suggest stopping into the fest and taking some workshops. This is my 3rd year with the birding festival and every year it gets better and better.
One of my favorite workshops I did this year was with Maxis Gamez, a National Geographic photographer. He is an absolute amazing and brilliant photographer. You will learn so much from him in just a few hour workshop. The workshop he put on this morning was “Birds of Prey” where, birds are brought in (from the Avian Reconditioning Center) such as owls and hawks to photograph. They set up a scene to make it look like you are in the wildlife photographing birds. The Avian Reconditioning Center sets up the birds in place on the branch and photographers can go crazy photographing birds without the worry of not getting “the shot” because the birds fly away. It was every birding photographers dream come true!
The coolest thing about the birds was each bird was a rescue. The Avian Reconditioning Center rescues birds and either releases them back into the wild or keeps them if they are unable to survive in their own natural habitat. The story behind the owl in my photographs is “Gordon” was a baby when he fell from his nest onto the ground and was found by man who was a tree cutter and happened to see the little baby owl on the ground. Gordon is a Great Horned Owl. Gordon had been abandoned by his parents. The man that found him kept Gordon as his pet for awhile. Soon, the man turned Gordon into the Avian Reconditioning Center. He has been with them ever since. Gordon can not be released back into the wild because since he wasn’t raised in his natural habitat and wasn’t taught by his parents how to hunt and survive, so Gordon will stay with the rescue center. He would not survive without the help from the Avian Reconditioning Center. They did an amazing job with the birds and helping all of the photographers capture the birds and giving us the opportunity to do so.
A special thanks to Maxis Gamez and The Avian Reconditioning Center.