Beauty on the Texas Bayou Photography Workshop
If you’re looking for unspoiled beauty, full of color, and endless photographic possibilities, join us for our newest adventure into the swamplands of Caddo Lake in beautiful Texas!
We will explore the largest bald cypress forests on the planet, by guided pontoon boat, and onshore over the course of 3-days. Glassy reflections, morning mist, fall color, and otherworldly beauty are all on the list of things to photograph as we travel each day, winding our way through the shrouded cypress maze toward the Louisiana border. Caddo Lake is truly is one of the most unique and wonderful photography destinations in the United States.
Orientation - We will meet in the lobby of our recommended hotel in Marshall Texas, a short drive from the swamp that will be our shooting location for the weekend. Here we will get to know one another, go over all the logistics for our time together, and double-check that we all have the right gear. Orientation is also a great time for discussions about the possibility of carpooling with others.
Day 1 - We'll spend our first morning together on the water, getting acquainted with the area and our boat guides, and collecting our first images of this magical place. Our pontoon guides live and work on this beautiful lake, so we are in good hands! After a few hours of enjoying the beauty of the lake, we will head back to the hotel for a short break before heading into the historical town of Jefferson, Texas, one of the oldest towns in the state. Here we'll enjoy lunch and wander the streets in search of some old-fashioned street photography!
Our evening will be spent in the Caddo Lake State Park boardwalk area where we have options to set up our tripods and work on some long exposures of this wonderful section of the lake.
Day 2 - This morning we'll head back out onto the lake and explore more of the twists and turns of this majestic forest on the water, navigating the coves and channels of the lake while working on our composition. We'll make the most of whatever mother nature gives us! Our drivers will be anxious to share their knowledge of the history and other interesting facts about the flora and fauna on the lake.
In the afternoon we will meet for some post-processing and image review to start to really make the most of the images that have been captured thus far!
In the evening we'll head over to Louisiana to try our luck at photographing some silhouettes of trees at sunset. It's going to be a great time!
Day 3 - This will be our last morning on the lake, and as always we’ll be searching for fall color, misty trees, and reflections. The lake has an abundance of birdlife, and we will try our best on all mornings to get some images of the feathered residents of this area. Egrets, Ibis, Herons, Eagles, and Osprey all call this lake home.
Our workshop will conclude after our morning session on the lake. Those staying another night can return to the hotel to rest, while those departing can make their way back to the airport to begin their journey home.
Home-base Location: Marshall, Texas
While lodging is not included in the workshop fee, the Aperture Academy does its best to set up a discounted block of rooms for enrolled students in our recommended hotel or location for all our workshops.
Please check with us before booking your lodging reservations. Upon sign-up, you will be emailed any current information on recommended lodging for this workshop.
Traveling: Students and instructor(s) will drive individually during the course of the workshop unless you've made arrangements to carpool with others.
International airports near Marshall, TX
174 miles: Dallas, TX Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
205 miles: Houston, TX George Bush Intercontinental Airport
Domestic airports near Marshall, TX
31 miles: Longview, TX East Texas Regional Airport
35 miles: Shreveport, LA Shreveport Regional Airport
68 miles: Tyler, TX Tyler Pounds Regional Airport
79 miles: Texarkana, AR Texarkana Regional Airport
Local airports near Marshall, TX
5 miles: Marshall, TX (ASL / KASL) Harrison County Airport
42 miles: Shreveport, LA (DTN / KDTN) Shreveport Downtown Airport
47 miles: Bossier City, LA (BAD / KBAD) Barksdale Air Force Base
Equipment To Bring (No filters are needed for this workshop)
DSLR or Mirrorless Camera
Bring your DSLR camera and at least one spare battery. Don't forget plenty of memory cards! We will be shooting high-speed continuous shooting more than on a tripod, so you will burn through memory cards much faster.
When we are on land you will be using a variety of lenses including wide-angle lenses from 16mm or wider all the way up to 200 or 400mm. While we are on the water, you will most likely find yourself shooting around 200mm to tighten up compositions and single out areas with nice color, or reflections. Think about the shooting for this kind of workshop as you would for photographing wildlife. It’s like a safari, only for trees. High shutter speeds, higher ISO, rapid-fire frames. We also highly recommend a polarizing filter while we are on the water.
Don't forget your tripod! If you are in the market for a tripod and need some direction, your instructor Brian has written the article "All about tripods".
Bring your laptop with current versions of Lightroom Classic and Photoshop for processing on day 2.
Need Gear? Visit BorrowLenses for a special package designed specifically for Aperture Academy students for this workshop.
What kind of boats will we be on?
The type of boat we will travel in may vary. Most trips will be on a patio-style boat. These boats allow for a lot of stability and space for our group. Depending on availability there are also flat bottomed fishing boats that provide plenty of stability for groups as well. The thing I'm sure you’re most concerned about is that you don’t have to paddle yourself around in a kayak! If that’s something you want to try during your stay though, let us know and we can help make it happen!
What about alligators?
Caddo Lake does have alligators. However, we are visiting during the winter, when temperatures are often in the 30s, and low 40s during the morning and evening and this puts alligators into a state of “brumation” where they become lethargic and almost completely dormant. There is a VERY low likelihood that you will even see one. Also, you will be completely safe in hard-shelled, larger boats. All the guides we spoke with have never seen one!
How is the weather this time of year?
The weather can and will be chilly in the morning and evening. Bring layers! During the day it can be pleasant in the 70s.
How are meals handled?
We will take breaks throughout the day for participants to get food. Marshall, Texas is a decent-sized town and has several options for places to eat.
Is the itinerary set?
Yes and no. We will be on the water once a day in our boat for 2-3 hours, and while we've reserved all our boat trips, the availability might change due to the weather. Thankfully we always have a plan B, C, and D. We've spent a lot of time scouting this area and are prepared to change things up if needed.
How much hiking is involved?
The hiking is about 1⁄2 mile or less each day. The locations we shoot from foot have very well-maintained areas and are easily accessible.
The workshop fee is $1,795. Due to the exclusivity of this trip, and the limited number of seats available, refunds are as follows:
- 100% refundable: 150 days (five months) or greater
- No refund within 150 days or less of the start date
- Seats are transferrable
What is/isn't included?
The workshop/tour price includes:
- Professional photography instruction
- Post-processing session
The workshop/tour price DOES NOT include:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Instructor gratuities
- Travel insurance