Photography Field Trip Opportunities

Photography Field Trip Suggestions

We are very lucky that in our area there are a multitude of opportunities and locations for photography field trips.

First on the list are the outings planned by our own club. Last Saturday six of our members participated in the Clark Gardens trip and a good time was had by all. We will be showing a sampling of our shots at the upcoming meeting this Monday, June 23rd.

The next outing on the schedule will be Light Painting on July 20th at 8pm. The location for that trip has not been decided upon as of yet.

Our Field Trip chairman, Tracy Del Favero, has told me that in the future she will be posting our field trips on Facebook, our club web site,, and will send out a reminder via our competition site prior to the trip. We will also remind you at the meeting prior to the trip.

Other than our club trips, there are meetup groups all over the metroplex. To access them, just go to You will see all the different cities and meetup groups listed there and their planned workshops and field trips.

An example that I noticed as I wrote this was “Super moon over Dallas at Margaret Hunt Bridge”. I definitely wish I had taken notice and signed up for that one. There are new events each week.

If you are shy about joining a meetup group by yourself, call one of your Trinity Arts Photo Club buddies, or mention at a meeting and see who you can get to join you.

And lastly, I would encourage you be proactive and plan your own field trip. Last January, on the spur of the moment I gathered a group of ten together to shoot the Fort Worth Stock Show. We really had a good time.


_DSC8990  Blackland Prairie Raptor Center Photo Day May 2013-Edit-3 _DSC9087  Blackland Prairie Raptor Center Photo Day May 2013-Edit _DSC9177  Blackland Prairie Raptor Center Photo Day May 2013-Edit _DSC9262  Blackland Prairie Raptor Center Photo Day May 2013 _DSC9257  Blackland Prairie Raptor Center Photo Day May 2013 _DSC9149  Blackland Prairie Raptor Center Photo Day May 2013 _DSC8832  Blackland Prairie Raptor Center Photo Day May 2013 _DSC8717  Blackland Prairie Raptor Center Photo Day May 2013

On the last Saturday in May, I had the opportunity to take photos at the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center Photo Day.  The Blackland Prairie Raptor Center is dedicated to environmental preservation through public education and the conservation of birds of prey and wildlife in their natural habitat.  Blackland Prairie Raptor Center’s birds of prey have many years of experience introducing children and adults to the world of raptors.  These hawks, owls and falcons are well trained, and with the assistance of BPRC education specialists, show people what makes them an important part of our environment. Unfortunately, these birds cannot go back into the wild due to previous injury, human imprinting or both.  You can see more about the center at

The Photo Day was held at Brockdale Park in Lucas Texas where the center is currently building a new facility.  The park is northeast of Dallas on Lake Lavon.  Other than a few chiggers and other biting insects that were in the park that day, it was an enjoyable experience.   The center had most of its birds available to show at the event and we (the group of photographers at the event) learned many things about each bird as they were brought out for photographs.  I want to thank the center staff and volunteers that gave up their morning and helped out during the event.

The center showed its birds in three areas of the park so that photographers could take images of different birds in different locations with different backgrounds.    The birds were beautiful and majestic, regardless of their size.  We were able to get relatively close to the birds in order to get portrait type photos and also were able to take photos of them in more natural habitat.  It was a challenge to get the eyes sharp and the details in the feathers along with a pleasant background.  Unfortunately, it was a gray sky morning, so the images of the birds when held aloft had an uninteresting background.  But I tried to make the best of it by adding some texture, including feathers of the birds themselves to make the background a little more interesting.

Lantern Lights

After trying two times and being stymied due to unforeseen circumstances, we finally attended the Chinese Lantern Festival at Fair Park in Dallas on the night before it closed.  Thanks to Groupon, five of us made it in for half price.  I was surprised by the mass of humanity waiting in line before the opening and also the number of people inside once the exhibit opened.

We arrived at the opening time of 5:00 so I could capture some images before, during and after sunset.  The lantern exhibit was not lit up when we arrived so we were able to see the various lanterns before and after.  Once the sun went down and the sky took on that dark blue shade, the lanterns were lit.  It was quite a sight.  There were more cameras per square foot (most smart-phone cameras) than I had seen in some time.  There were also a fair number of “more serious” photographers like me that toted around their tripods with their favorite flavor of camera on top.  It was really the only way to capture good images once the sky darkened.

From a dragon created from 10,000 dinner plates and eating utensils, to a lantern that looked like the Statue of Liberty to the various ants, pandas, longhorns and other plants and animals I looked for interesting angles and views to shoot.  There was ample opportunity to capture reflections in the lagoon, but hard to get shots without people somewhere in the image.  I found it to be very creative and interesting and hopefully the photos I included here provide a look inside for those that were not able to attend.

On a Mission

This past weekend, I met a fellow photographer from New York in San Antonio, where he was for a busness trip.  It was time to get back behind the camera after several months of  work getting in the way of my photography habit.  Since we only had a day and a half before he returned to New York, we concentrated on the local missions in San Antonio Missions National Historical Park.  There are five missions, including the Alamo in downtown San Antonio.  The others are all south of the city.  All of the missions were built in the 1700’s.  See for more information.

Initially, we were to arrive one day before the recent cold front arrived and have a nice day of weather for shooting.  However, when we woke up on Friday morning, we were greeted with thick cloudcover and cold temperatures.  It made for a change of plans, focusing on shooting tighter shots and not “landscape” shots which would include the gray sky.  The old mission churches and other buildings have many interesting details when you take a closer look.  The doors and windows are quite interesting to shoot, as are some of the archways at a couple of the locations.

By the end of the day when we made it to Mission Concepcion, our last stop on the Mission Trail, the sky was a little more interesting, although still cloudy, and made for an interesting HDR shot just before sunset.  The next morning we were at the Alamo by 7:00 am when the sky was just beginning to lighten up resulting in another interesting sky shot.  I have included some examples below, including two panorama shots with several photos stitched together like we heard about in the George Lepp session.  Whether you have great weather and can shoot landscape shots or have bad weather and need to focus on the details, I would recommend going on a mission trip to San Antonio.

Free Stuff! No, Really.

OK, let’s see who is reading the blog.

I have the following items available free to the first member(s) of TAPC who sends me an email at . It would probably be courteous if no one person took it all but I’m not going to be a referee. If one person wants it all it’s theirs.

I do ask that no one just take this stuff and then try to SELL it. This is free stuff. Let’s keep it that way.

– Davis and Sanford (Tiffen) with pan/tilt/rotate head and quick release plate.  Metal, 2-section legs. Center column.  Peg and cushion feet. This is a sturdy but kinda heavy tripod that is pretty long when collapsed. If you have a cheap, wobbly tripod this might be better but it’s not one you will backpack with.

– Manfrotto 676B DIGI, 1/4×20 thread mount (typical mount).  No head, just the usual mounting screw.  Look it up on line for more info.

– Slik with tilting head and quick release plate.

It is Friday night, June 29th.  These will go to Goodwill or other charity within a few days.