Osprey Heaven Workshops 2016
Lake Blue Cypress (Vero Beach), Florida

Flight School Photography returns to Lake Blue Cypress for the seventh  year and will be featuring two, five day workshops in spring, 2016.  The workshops will be conducted by expert bird photographer Jim Neiger, who knows the lake and surrounding area like no-one else. Jim has spent the past several years perfecting his unique techniques for photographing birds in flight using large telephoto lenses, hand held.  The focus of these workshops will be learning Jimís hand held, long lens techniques for photographing birds in flight and in other action.  The workshops will be held in some of the most beautiful, wild, and unspoiled wilderness areas of central Florida.


Osprey Landing with Fish -  Lake Blue Cypress
Image copyright 
© 2014:  Jim Neiger/Flight School Photography

Sample Image Gallery


Each workshop will include a four hour classroom session, welcome dinner, four morning photography sessions, and three afternoon photography sessions. Each photography session will be of three to four hours in duration.  Five of the photography sessions will be conducted via a specially configured pontoon boat that has been customized for photography from the water (weather permitting).  The remaining photography sessions will be land based sessions in the field.  The workshops will be limited to five participants so that everyone may photograph in comfort and receive personalized instruction.


The photography sessions by boat will be held on the unspoiled and unparalleled Lake Blue Cypress.  This spectacularly beautiful lake is virtually free of civilization and man made elements.  The lake is surrounded by ancient cypress swamp and marshy wetlands.  Here, the gorgeous cypress trees grow from the lake bottom, surrounded on all sides by water.  Osprey nest by the hundreds in these trees, and participants will be able to photograph them as the fly to and fro, dive for fish, gather nesting materials, and feed their young chicks.  Some of the nests are actually at or below eye level when standing in the boat.  The only distraction in this pristine, wilderness environment is the constant cries of the Osprey as they frolic in the air and defend their nests from other birds.  Lake Blue Cypress is also a landscape photographers dream.  The horizons contain nothing of manís influence and only the beauty of the real Florida wilderness. Perches and backgrounds are spectacular beyond belief.  March and April are the best months to be at Lake Blue Cypress.  Many of the birds are actively nesting and rearing their young during this time.  Wildflowers cover the stumps and trees like blankets of radiant color.  The skies glow with spectacular, multi-hued sunrises and sunsets.  Hundreds of different species of birds are possible including the typical Florida waders and water fowl.  Large Alligators are commonly seen sunning themselves on top of the fallen trees and stumps amidst the colorful wildflowers.  The biggest problem for a photographer here is deciding which subject to photograph.  Even the weather cooperates this time of year.  It is the dry season and clear, sunny days are the most common weather condition.



Osprey Landing with Fish for Baby
Image copyright 
© 2014:  Jim Neiger/Flight School Photography

Sample Image Gallery


The photography sessions on land will be held in remote areas of southern Osceola County.  Here, participants are likely to have opportunities to photograph birds that are endangered and rarely seen.  Possible species include: Whooping Cranes, Swallow-tailed Kites, Great Horned Owls, Barred Owls, and Red Shoulder Hawks, among others.  Sandhill Cranes, a common bird in Central Florida, are tame enough to approach as closely as you like.  Participants will also learn how to safely use bird song recordings to attract birds.  Jim has developed his own, innovative techniques for using recordings to attract birds, in such a way, that amazing photographic opportunities are common when they would be almost impossible otherwise.  This includes special techniques that encourage birds to fly and land in desired ways, which provide spectacular opportunities for flight images and images on perches chosen for their beauty.


Barred Owl Evening Flight
Image copyright 
© 2014:  Jim Neiger/Flight School Photography

Sample Image Gallery


Jim is known for his consistent production of amazing flight images and images of the most desirable subjects.  His imagination and dedication have resulted in new techniques, which can only be learned from Jim.  Jimís Flight School Photography Workshops are a must for any serious nature photographer.   

Workshop Dates:

Workshop LBC-1:  April 17-21, 2016

Workshop LBC-2:  April 24-28, 2016

Workshop Itinerary:

Day 1 (afternoon/evening ):  Morning arrival in Vero Beach, which is the base location for the workshops.  There will be a four hour classroom session from 2:00pm to 6:00pm in the hotel meeting room.  This will be followed by a welcome dinner with the group.  The classroom instruction will focus on using hand held techniques for photographing birds in flight to prepare participants for the subsequent photography sessions. 


Days 2:  Morning photography session via boat on Lake Blue Cypress.  Mid-day siesta and lunch break on your own.  Afternoon/evening photography session on Lake Blue Cypress.  Late dinner on your own.


Day 3:  Morning photography session via boat on Lake Blue Cypress.  Mid-day siesta and lunch break.   Afternoon/evening photography session on Lake Blue Cypress.  Late dinner on your own.


Day 4:  Mini caravan to land locations for morning photography session.  Mid-day siesta and lunch break.  Afternoon/evening photography session.  Dinner on your own.


Day 5 (morning):  Morning photography session via boat on Lake Blue Cypress. 


Please note: The itinerary may be re-arranged to take advantage of the best weather conditions for photography sessions by boat.

Workshop Cost and payment:

The cost of each workshop is $1750 per person.  Each workshop includes a four hour formal classroom instruction session, a welcome dinner, 4 morning photography sessions, and 3 afternoon photography sessions.  The photography sessions include personalized instruction in the field.  Each participant will receive a copy of Jim's e-book "Flight Plan - How to Photograph Birds in Flight" when they sign up for the workshop.  Discounted lodging is available, but is not included in the workshop fee.  A $875 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve a spot in a workshop. The remaining $875 is due 30 days before the start date of the workshop.  If you are unable to attend the workshop, after paying the balance, the balance payment will be refunded ONLY if your spot can be filled, on short notice, from the waiting list.  All workshop payments must be made by check or money order.  Credit cards are not accepted.

Participant Requirements:

Participants should have working knowledge of how to create a properly exposed image, a telephoto lens of 400mm or more (300mm with a teleconverter is acceptable), and be physically capable of holding their camera and lens up to their eye in shooting position for at least 20 seconds.  Participants must also have a vehicle to travel to and from the photography locations.

Lodging and Logistics:

Workshop participants who require lodging during the workshop should stay at the hotel in Vero Beach where the classroom sessions will be conducted.  Participants arriving via air arrive at the Orlando International Airport, which is the closest major airport to Vero Beach.  Rental vehicles are available at the airport.  Flight School Photography will assist participants with arranging the sharing of vehicles and/or lodging if desired.  Detailed information will be provided when you sign up for the workshop or upon request. Lodging, transportation, and meals (except for welcome dinner) are not included.


Contact Information:
Flight School Photography, Inc.
Jim Neiger
550 Basin Drive
Kissimmee, FL 34744-4804

Cell phone: (407) 247-5200
Website: www.flightschoolphotography.com
Email: jimn@cfl.rr.com


Jim will be happy to provide you with any additional information you may need.

All of the images in this web site are copyrighted, original works by Jim Neiger, and they are protected by the United States and international copyright law. Use of any content from this site, for any purpose, is strictly forbidden without express, written permission from Jim Neiger.