Prairie Dancer Photography Workshop

with Noppadol Paothong

A Five-Day Grassland Grouse Photography Workshop

(March 28 - April 1, 2020) 

Overview

Join world-renown prairie grouse photographer Noppadol Paothong for a special opportunity to photograph prairie-chickens and sharp-tailed grouse at the peak of mating seasons on the majestic Sandhill prairie of Nebraska.

During this five-day workshop Noppadol, will assist photographers in the field to ensure memorable photographs. In addition, informative presentations on grouse behavior, image editing/processing tips, and critiques will round out the valuable knowledge you will gain from this workshop experience. By the end of this workshop, you will understand and appreciate Noppadol’s passion for grassland grouse and the importance they play in the prairie ecosystem.

About the Workshop 

The impressive and at times bizarre courtship dance of prairie-chickens, and sharp-tailed grouse are one of the most amazing wildlife displays in North America. Usually shy and elusive for most of the year, in springtime, these dawn dancers try to outdo each other to impress potential mates.

In this workshop you will spend four mornings with the award-winning conservationist photographer, Noppadol Paothong to photograph two species of prairie grouse; greater prairie-chicken, and sharp-tailed grouse during the peak of mating season. Noppadol’s knowledge of these species is unparalleled with over two decades of observing and photographing these extraordinary birds resulting in two award-winning large-format coffee table books (Save the Last Dance and Sage Grouse, Icon of the West).

Enrollment: 

Limited to five participants. This unique workshop is expected to fill quickly. Contact us as soon as possible.
 

Workshop Fee: $2,500

* This workshop is for advanced photographers with a good working knowledge of their camera. Contact nop@npnaturephotography.com if you have any questions to make sure this is the right workshop for you.

This workshop includes: 

  • Noppadol Paothong, your workshop leader and onsite guide
  • Presentations, photo instruction and technique/skill sessions
  • Four mornings photo-shooting of prairie-chicken and sharp-tailed grouse in a photo blind
  • Two afternoon/evening photo-shooting of the Sandhills prairie and other bird species 
  • A guided tour on the Sandhill prairie exploring and photo-shooting the bio-diversity and the landscape of the Sandhills  
  • Five days and four nights lodging at Switzer Ranch/Calamus Outfitters (single or double room with private shower/bathroom)
  • Four dinners and breakfasts prepared by Switzer Ranch staff, known for their great meals (Inform us if you have dietary restrictions.)
  • Transportation to the leks

Physical requirement: Ability to carry your photo equipment on a moderate hike of approximately 300 yards.

Equipment requirement: A digital camera (DSLR preferred), telephoto lens, wide-angle lens, mid-range zoom lens (suggested). A laptop with image processing software is required. We prefer and recommend Adobe Lightroom Classic.

Location 

Switzer Ranch/Calamus Outfitters

Address: 83720 Valley View Ave, Burwell, NE 68823

Directions:

  • By air: Lincoln Airport (190 miles): Omaha Eppley Airfield (210 miles): Denver International Airport (379 miles). Rental cars to drive to workshop headquarters available at the airport.
  • By car: From Lincoln head west on I-80. Take exit 318 from I-80 W. Follow US-281 North, then take Hwy 11 North and NE-96 W for about 15.6 miles. The Switzer Ranch and Calamus Outfitters, workshop headquarters, will be on your right.

Testimonials

I would recommend this workshop without reservation to anyone interested in nature photography. 

I came away not just having improved my nature photography skills, but also with a new appreciation of the subjects we shot thanks to Noppadol’s passion for these special birds. 

Noppadol individualizes the workshop to match each person’s specific needs.  Anyone at any level of photography will get a lot out of the workshop and enjoy working with Noppadol.

Steve Furcich

Workshop Participant

Nop, I so enjoyed the workshop.  I felt the length of the workshop was just right.

Morning shooting was perfect. Class time was very helpful because of the number of participates you were able to help each with there needs.  So I found that to be most helpful.

Your information and photos were most informative and helpful.

Thank you once again for the wonderful workshop, I felt this was one of the best workshops I have been to.

Your help, concern and willingness to assist in anyway is exceptional.

Dee Wilson

Workshop Participant

The Nebraska prairie came alive, long before the sun climbed over the horizon.

Nop piqued our curiosity with his discussion the night before, about what we would witness with the grouse and prairie chickens.

He did not underestimate the action of courtship or the beauty of this special moments.

On the first day of our workshop, it became apparent I was in the presence of a man who has mastered the skills of photography and had the ability to help others in their quest for fine images.

Nop knows the birds and their habits so well he can prepare the photographer for those once in a lifetime image.

His enthusiasm for the environment comes through in all that he does. His workshop is not a set back and relax, it is one of excitement, learning, dramatic failure then a heartfelt success.

You may come home with the image you are proud of and then you may find your standards have been raised and you need to go afield, and keep trying. This is called learning. Thanks Nop, for a great experience.

Thomas Rollins

Workshop Participant