While my blog post below focusses on the family element to our recent 2 week trip to Florida, for me it was lovely to escape the crowds for a day and go and experience a type of photography I rarely find time to practice! I first came across Outdoor Photo Workshops 3 years ago during our first Florida family holiday in 2013 and I spent a fantastic day with legendary US wildlife photographer, Jason Hahn at two sites in the state. So it was a no-brainer for me to contact these guys again for this trip!
Unfortunately Jason wasn't well at the time of my holiday but luckily they had another exceptional wildlife photographer on their books by the name of Jim Caldwell, who met me one Friday morning at 6am at the Circle B Nature Reserve near Lakeland in central Florida. The plan was to capture some sunrise shots and milk the light while it was good, and rest during the middle of the day before grabbing some more shots as the sun dipped later in the afternoon.
Jim was kind enough to let me have a play with his ENORMOUS Canon f4 500mm prime lens, which was pin sharp and enabled me to get great shots without the need for cropping in too much. Interestingly we were the first ones there, and the other photographers that showed up later with their equally large kit missed the amazing mist across the lake at first light.
So among the usual suspects of American Alligators, Blue Herons, Great Egrets, White Ibis, Snowy Egrets, Anhingas and Tricolour Herons, we were also lucky to see some rarer critters such as a family of nesting Great Horned Owls (the second largest owl in the Americas), Ospreys, Pileated Woodpecker, Armadillo, a flock of Roseate Spoonbills, and a Northern Cardinal. An amazing day and many thanks to Jim for his help and guidance throughout!