Arizona Photo Traps and More

Workshop Dates: July, 2019

Fee: $2500, does not include meals or lodging

Deposit: $750

From: Green Valley, Arizona

Leaders: Dano Grayson, Matthew Studebaker

Target Group Size: 4 photographers

As the sun sets in the desert, some of the Arizona's most interesting animals begin to wake. Ringtail cats stretch and climb from hollow trees. Deer begin to graze. Javalina take their piglets for a walk. Bats drop from their roost and animate the sky. But how does a photographer even dream of finding these animals, let alone photograph one? That's what this workshop strives to teach you. We will have real hands on experience with remote triggers, photo traps, 

Travel considerations: Fly to Salt Lake City

This trip contingent on snow cover!! - Most years the Salt Lake City area has snow cover. This forces the raptors closer to the roads, makes the owls hunt during the day, and makes the raptors more likely to come to food we provide. If for some reason there appears to be no snow pack and instead warm weather, we WILL cancel the trip. We will try to make the final call about two weeks out, and give a full refund in that unlikely event. Only sign up for this trip if you are able to get a flight refund or are willing to book the flight at the last minute. Again, we don't expect this to be necessary, but we want the trip to be highly productive for every participant, and don't want to take your time and money if we don't think Utah can deliver top results. 

Equipment: I recommend bringing a digital SLR with matching lens. On this photo tour, you will want a camera with a high frame rate and fast focusing ability. Although sometimes the birds come close enough for something as short as a 300mm, most of the time they feel more comfortable when photographers use something in the 500mm range. We don't recommend this trip to new photographers, or people who aren't very comfortable with flight photography. This is a photo tour for the "advanced" photographer. 

The following gallery contains images by the leaders John Crawley and Matthew Studebaker in the areas we will contduct the trip, along with a few shots by participants in 2018:

Likely Species on the trip. Species in bold will be the easiest/most common -

  • Ringtail
  • White-nosed Coati
  • White-tailed Deer (Coues subspecies)
  • Black Bear
  • Coyote
  • Javalina
  • Snakes
  • Gila Monster
  • Bats


Photographic Objectives:
This trip will have a heavy emphasis on raptors in flight, but many perched shots will be possible as well. We will feed the raptors mice to entice them closer and anyone on this trip must be 100% comfortable with using mice. Our goal is that each participant will walk away with several high quality images each day, and that by the end of the trip each participant will have excellent images of 6 - 8 species of raptors. 

About the trip leader Dano Grayson:
John Crawley graduated with a degree in Zoology with an emphasis in raptor biology. He did research for the DNR and NFS on Osprey and helped take care of endangered raptors at BYU as they transitioned to the Peregrine Fund. He has lived in the Provo, UT area for most of his life so he knows the raptors and land intimately.