Thursday, January 8, 2009

Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival

When Laurilee Thompson launched the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival in 1997 to showcase our unique nature, wildlife and technology, it attracted 211 attendees (Jim and I amongst them). Its reputation and attendance figures have grown exponentially, and this year's 12th annual event is expected to draw several thousand attendees. The five-day schedule (January 21 - 26) is jam- packed with seminars, workshops, field trips, and social events. The Exhibit Center in the "Gymnatorium" at Brevard Community College's Titusville Campus will be loaded with exhibitors specializing in nature and wildlife, birding, photography, optics, and nature-tourism. (Some events are free, some have fees and require pre-registration. Check the Program. Entrance to the Exhibit Center is free.)

There are some high-powered presenters at this event, and over the next few weeks leading up to the Festival, we're going to feature some of our favorites, starting with Joanne Williams. Joanne leads photo tours and safaris to exotic places and has pictures you will simply drool over. When you follow the link to her web site, the first thing you want to do (before you get lost in her photos) is sign up for her newsletter - it is a treat in itself! Joanne, Jim, and Matt are friends, and the first photo is one that Joanne took on one of her adventures with "the boys" during a visit to Brevard County. Joanne calls this photo "My Prince."

Joanne will have a booth in the Exhibitor Center, will be leading two field trips (January 22 and 23), and will present a 2 1/2 hour FREE lecture entitled "From Frame to Frame" in the auditorium on Saturday, January 24, from 2:30 - 5:00. I especially appreciate that Joanne is sponsoring a Charity Drawing during her presentation to benefit the local Florida Wildlife Hospital, which cares for and rehabilitates injured and homeless birds and animals. You can purchase your tickets at her booth for $3 or at the presentation for $5, and she's got some great drawing prizes (search the Program for Florida Wildlife Hospital).

I asked Joanne to talk a little about the focus of her presentation (pun intended), and got this reply.

This year's presentation will be quite different for me, as compared to years past. This year, I've been asked to give a presentation highlighting how exactly I manage to get the shots I do. What my methods are, and how I travel to make the opportunities happen. Leading my photographic tours to various parts of the world helps put me and my clients in shooting range of some of the most unique critters and scenery found anywhere on earth. Also, living in Florida, my own personal playground has made me spoiled with all there is to photograph. There is a lot of effort that goes into putting yourself in a new location with exotic birds or rare animals, but the photographic rewards are vast! I'll be discussing some of the basics of photography and covering what it is that I do to get 'hang-on-the-wall' art, and I’ll attempt to show the audience how they can manage to increase their skills and abilities by following some simple guidelines & techniques. You can find out how to quickly grow your portfolio with 'keepers', whether you're in the rain forests of the Pantanal in Brazil or your very own backyard! A great deal of time & thought has gone into this year's presentation, entitled, "From Frame to Frame: The Journey of an Image", and we'll travel from the first click of the shutter to the final tap of the nail in the gallery wall! We'll also be heading out into the field for a workshop where I'll be able to cover some tricks in a first-hand experience, so be sure to sign up and join us!

Joanne's photo of a leopard in a tree was taken in Kenya at Lake Nakuru, and the charming Dancing Sifka Lemur photo was taken in Madagascar. Click on the photos to enlarge - beautiful!
We look forward to seeing Joanne again, and we're especially eager to hear her "tricks of the trade."


Cactus Jack Splash said...

I love coming here, you have the best photos! I am thinking that I may have to take a road trip just to see Florida in person

Anonymous said...

Ohhh, I have bookmarked your site with relish! So many great links here for me to pour through. :)
Thanks for the link and info on Joanne Williams. I love "big cat" photos, and look forward to seeing her work.

Florida Beach Basics said...

Cactus Jack - bring your DOR when you come :)

Laura - welcome!