Ramrod Ranch (Bird Blind Photography Workshops)
BIRD BLIND PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS: Fall“2018” Season Schedule: Fall Focus: Sparrows and the Raptors That Hunt Them …with instructor Bruce Finocchio.
Come and visit the Ramrod Ranch and have birds enchant your senses. Fall is a time of great activity, with migrants and resident birds coming to drink to my small life-giving ponds. Water is scarce at this time of year and attracts many species of birds. The Ramrod Ranch is really a magical place to experience all that Nature can offer.
Setting: The Ramrod Ranch is located in Southern Monterey County, just over the divide that separates the Carmel Valley from the Arroyo Seco drainage in the Sierra De Salinas Mountain Range. It’s quiet, peaceful and away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. It’s about a 2 to 3-hour drive from most of the Bay Area.
The address is 41485 East Carmel Valley Road, Greenfield, CA 93927 in case you would like to find it on Google Maps. I know have a sign on the East Carmel Valley Road at the first entrance gate. Yes, it’s about a mile back up on a plateau before the mountain range rises.
Each day session includes six to seven hours of bird blind photography, sitting in a photo blind photographing birds and other wildlife that come to water and perch on specially designed perches, and are also attracted by strategically placed bird feeders. After lunch, there will be a review period to go over the morning’s shooting results. This workshop is designed for bird photographers and at minimum a 300 mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. Flash is highly encouraged and fill flash techniques will be covered.
A detailed course booklet will be provided after registering for the workshop. This will include lodging options, equipment to bring, directions, and other pertinent information.
Each session is also limited to five photographers for personal instruction, so please sign up at the link below to register and confirm your spot. (All sessions from 2009 to 2016 sold out!)
2018 Fall Dates:
Saturday, September 29, 2018
Sunday, September 30, 2018
Saturday, October 6, 2018
Sunday, October 7, 2018
Cost: One Day Session =$250.00, Two Day or Weekend Session = $465.00
Space is limited, so book your spot now.
Ramrod Ranch Species List:
Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or 650-339-2555.
“I had the wonderful opportunity to shoot pictures of birds at the Rookery in Santa Rosa with Bruce. Aside from Bruce being astute with a camera, he has a sixth sense too, in that he seems to know what a bird or animal is going to do BEFORE they do it. Having this ability allowed us all to take jaw-dropping photos! Though the rookery is nestled in a busy neighborhood, the connection to nature was evident not only in the photo’s we took but in the relaxing and grounded time we had together.” – Deb Breton
“Thanks for all your help! I really appreciate your willingness to help new photography students. The Ranch is a very special place that was wonderful to visit.” – Linda Rutherford
“Bruce, your photography continues to fill my soul! You capture the heart of nature.” – Nancy Wold
Over sixty-six years ago, my dad wanted a place of his own to go deer hunting. Thus, the ramrod ranch was born. A son’s duty is to follow his father footsteps in learning about guns and hunting—a rite of passage into adulthood. Somewhere along the way, around eighteen years of age, I started to break from my father’s path. I saw death up close and personal with the dark, black, shining eye of a black-tail deer buck gone dull and gray with death by my own hand. This is the moment that changed my life; setting me on the path of cherishing life, rejecting the killing that comes with hunting.
Now no hunting is allowed. My friends and I have developed the property for nature photography; especially for bird photography by building a couple of permanent ponds on the property. If you feed birds, they will come, so we place perches and feeders around our little ponds–arranging the perches to obtain the best and cleanest backgrounds. From mid-April on the rains stop and the country dries out, during the hot summer months our little ponds provide life-sustaining and precious water for all the bird species around. In addition to food, water is a prime attraction for birds. How they do like to bath and clean their feathers!
There are two ponds; each attracts its species, a few species only using one pond. Most species found at both ponds. Two different habitats; one pond is closer to the brush-covered hillsides, the other in the more open oak grasslands near the cabin. We use photo blinds and place them next to the ponds, so with the right photographic equipment you can get frame filled images. It is just marvelous to watch birds in their natural habitat, going about their lives, acting completely natural. To hear a group of California quail calling around your blind is music to the senses. Sometimes a few mammals will surprise us and come to drink too. Chipmunks are my favorite, as they bustle and scamper about, they always make me happy. I have never seen a sad chipmunk.
I love this place! It is in my heart—it is where I grew up and learned to love the natural world. It’s where I make “nature images that sing to your heart”. Come to our bird photography workshop and I will share it with you.
Wildlife and Nature photographer
*All images taken at the Ramrod Ranch
Please Note: Due to the unpredictability of wildlife, no particular image or species is guaranteed. Weather, seasonal conditions, food availability, all affect the abundance of wildlife in a particular season or area. The Ramrod Ranch is no different in this respect.