March 4, 2017

Photo Workshops expose wondrous wildlife

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center has many Photo Tours throughout the year, but its Photo Workshops are a different animal.
There are One-Day Photo Workshops scheduled for Sept. 29 and Oct. 20. Also, Two-Day Photo Workshops are slated for June 23-24 and Nov. 3-4. They are hosted by Brian and Shirley Loflin, a couple from Austin who are naturalists, writers and photographers. Together, they manage more than 100,000 color images as stock photography available for publication and commercial use.

“We’ve been doing these Photo Workshops at Fossil Rim since 2010,” Brian said. “From a photography standpoint, I think the thing that is really appealing about Fossil Rim is the ease of access to animals and the diversity of species.”
The workshop is very in-depth regarding camera operation and numerous helpful tips are provided, as is a list of needed items.
“Most people who attend our workshops have at least a little photography experience,” he said. “They need to know the settings on their camera and how to make good exposures so that we can get started when they arrive.”
A primary premise helps shape what Brian looks for in quality wildlife photography.

“The statement that I always make is animal portraits are a dime a dozen, as far as an image of an animal just standing there,” he said. “What you want is animal interaction and interesting behavior, such as a young animal nursing from its mother or dynamics of herd behavior, for example. Those make for more interesting photographs.”
The one-day version, which is from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and costs $149 per person, includes hands-on instruction, wildlife photography alongside the Loflins, lunch and work review.
“I don’t think everyone will remember and absorb everything we’ll go over, but we can look at their pictures throughout the course of the day and hopefully provide some insight,” Brian said. “Getting a critique of your work from someone with experience can be very helpful.”
The two-day workshop, which starts at 2 p.m. on day one and ends at 4 p.m. the following day, is $450 per person. It includes hands-on instruction, four photo game drives, work review, three meals – including dinner and breakfast buffets – and an overnight stay in a Foothills Safari Camp cabin. The final game drive is actually a Behind-the-Scenes Tour in the Intensive Management Area.

“The instruction is a little more in-depth for the two-day workshop, but mainly there is just more going on with the longer event,” Brian said.
To see some of his photography, check out Brian and Shirley have written and published numerous works on Texas wildlife and natural science. Two notable books are Grasses of the Texas Hill Country and Texas Cacti. Both books are published by Texas A&M University Press and available through booksellers everywhere.
To contact Brian with questions about the photo workshops, email him at To reserve your spots in any of the workshops, call Fossil Rim at 254.897.2960.
“The combination of easy access to the animals, along with the low ratio of instructors to students – 2 to 12, for example – provides a great situation for a lot of quality photography and feedback throughout the workshop,” he said.
-Tye Chandler, Marketing Associate 


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