2020 Whooping Cranes of Aransas NWR
Rockport TX

Session 1 - February 19-23, 2020 - SOLD OUT
Session 2 - February 23-27, 2020 - SOLD OUT


The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1940 by then president Franklin Roosevelt. It is an 114,000 acre protected area situated on the San Antonio Bay along the Gulf Coast of Texas. The refuge serves as a breeding ground for many migratory birds and other wildlife. Bird life includes waterfowl, egrets, herons, roseate spoonbills, pelicans, and the endangered whooping cranes.

The Whooping Cranes are North America’s largest bird at nearly 5 feet tall and a wingspan of about 7.5 feet. The Aransas whoopers have recovered from just 18 birds left in the wild in the 1940’s to around 430 birds today. If you include the other wild flocks in North America and the captive whoopers there is only a total of about 800 cranes left in existence today.

We will photograph from Capt. Kevin Sims wonderful boat the "Jack Flash". Capt. Kevin has been leading nature photographers in the Aransas Bay for over a decade. He will position his boat at a perfect and safe location so we will have a great view point from any of the two decks on the boat. We will travel to the refuge in the early morning before sunrise. Boat charters usually last 4-5 hours giving us plenty of opportunities to find and photograph the whoopers.

We will also photograph from a private blind on private property next to the refuge. This will give us the opportunity to get really close to the cranes and capture fantastic portraits and also capture images of the bird’s behavior.

This fun and educational workshop will not only cover techniques in the field but will also cover the tools and procedures I use to process my images. The afternoons will be spent in a classroom environment covering many topics that will include:

  • Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop Workflows for Nature Photographers

  • Compositional Guidelines for Nature Photographers

  • Importance of Histograms and Exposing Correctly

  • Adobe Photoshop Plug-Ins

Cost of Workshop - $1450.00
Session 1 - Feb. 19 - 23, 2020 - SOLD OUT
Session 2 - Feb. 23-27, 2020 - SOLD OUT

- Cost of Boat Charter for the three morning shoots at Aransas NWR.
- Access to photo blind on private property.
- All photographic instruction and guidance on the field.
- Over 6 total hours of classroom instruction.
- Drinking water while photographing.
- All applicable taxes.

Does not include:
- Transportation to and from Rockport/Fulton TX.
- Hotel Accomodations.
- Meals.
- Gratuities for boat captain.

Deposit can be paid via PAYPAL (plus 3% fees) by clicking here:

Session 1 - Feb 19-23, 2020 - SOLD OUT
Session 2 - Feb 23-27, 2020 - SOLD OUT

or by mailing a U.S. Check or Money Order Payable to:
Hector D. Astorga
2510 Dove Avenue
Mission, TX 78574


Deposits & Cancellation Policy:

  • A $600 deposit is required at the time of enrollment with full payment due by November 15, 2019.

  • Deposit and tuition fees are non-refundable. We highly recommend the purchase of trip insurance. www.insuremytrip.com

  • If the photo workshop is full and someone from the waiting list can take your spot, your tuition is fully refundable minus a 15% cancellation fee.

  • We are not responsible for cancellations due to medical or other reasons.

  • Should cancellation be required due to severe weather, an alternate date will be scheduled at no additional charges.

  • No fees will be refunded if you withdraw after the photo workshop begins.

  • We are not responsible for any fees associated with non-refundable air travel, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance.