Alan Murphy Bird Photography Workshops


My workshops are designed around sharing and teaching field techniques of bird photography from 50+ years of being a birder and 30+ years as a bird photographer.

From the numerous approaches to photographing each different species of bird, I will show you how to control all the variables to bring the bird into a perfect setting for that particular species and have it all in your viewfinder of your camera.

My many years of an Art background helps in understanding composition, balance and form and I teach how to use all those to create artistic beautifully pleasing images.

I have been teaching for many years and have a passion to share the joy I get from the results of the techniques I use.

The time in the workshop belongs to you and I will work tirelessly to make your experience exceed your expectations.

I spend many hours if not days pre-scouting for the workshop. All workshops that included working with feeders and bait will have been stocked and maintained for weeks prior to the workshop to insure maximum activity.

All my workshops are non smoking.


Preparing equipment for the given shooting situation

Choice of lens.

Correct alignment of flash and better beamer.

Choice of lens support.

Proper camouflage or blind choice.

Accessory and tools for doing set-ups.

Information on how to photograph the target species:

How to setup and use bird feeders.

 How to set up and use water drips.

How to choose the best location to do a setup involving the background and the sunlight direction.

 How to appropriately use recorded bird songs.

How to set up for ambient light Hummingbird photography.

How to shoot birds in flight.

How to photograph birds on water.

How to choose perches with the species in mind.

What NOT to do when choosing perches.

How to get birds to land exactly where you want them to.

How to get birds to pose.

How to anticipate when a bird is going to approach.

How to anticipate and capture action.

What props and items to use when doing setups.

The appropriate way to use blinds/hides and camouflage.

How to identify each possible bird species in the workshop area.

How to choose the right camera and flash settings for a given shooting situation.

How to edit your images and how to know which ones to delete.

How to process your raw files.

How to work in Photoshop and bring out the best in your images.

Slide presentations on bird photography.


I am committed to excellence and want participants to go home with a clear understanding of how to take great bird images. I feel that it is difficult to get large groups of photographers focused on a small bird with everyone having great sun angle and a nice background, so for that reason I keep my workshops to very small groups. It is also important to me that the working relationship we have is an intimate one so that you will have full time personal attention. I shoot along and next to participants so you see what I see in the viewfinder. I can then communicate what is happening in front of us and what to prepare for. This also insures that I apply my own standards of excellence to the same images that your shooting next to me. Although we have a lot of fun on the workshops, with these small focused groups, participants will be generally serious about their Bird photography.


Because we target many species of birds from large to small to get the most out of the workshop you would need a lens with a minimum length of 400 MM, plus tele-extenders. A 500 MM or 600 MM would be preferred. Not required but very helpful  would be a flash and better beamer. To minimize movement we use tripods rather than monopods. A laptop would be required to download, view and edit images during the down time.


Because the workshop is focused on field techniques it would be helpful if you have a good understanding of your camera and understand the basics of exposure.


Within 48 hours of registration for a workshop, you will receive an email confirmation of your reservation and receipt of your deposit.

Closer to the workshop a more detailed email will have more information on the workshop covering what to bring, weather details, meeting times and locations, phone and contact information, directions and transportation and any final payment arrangements.

We will have a get together with our group either the night before the workshop or early the morning of the first day. Here we will have introductions and go over the days workshop plan.

I will have a cooler with ice and water and some soft drinks with us at all times. You are welcome to bring your favorite drink to put in the cooler.

In order to have time to do our set ups and be ready for the first drop of sweet light, we will have early starts each morning. We also try to shoot until the last possible light as well. Our down time is in the middle of the day when the sun is high and the light is harsh. During this time we catch up on sleep, download images, do slide programs, have lunch, edit images or relax.


Each workshop is different so please refer to the details of the workshop that you are interested in.

All workshops do include all ranch and park entrance fees. Any assistant or local guide service fees. The workshop also includes any expenses for days of pre scouting, baiting/feeding and setting up prior to the workshop.


Alcoholic beverages, snacks, laundry service, telephone calls, items of personal nature, travel insurance, airport taxes, visa and passport fees, medical fees, excess baggage charges, activities not included in the workshop.  You are also responsible for flights and fees to get to the workshop destination.


We cannot emphasize enough that workshop participants need to purchase trip cancellation and personal travel insurance.


One unforeseen drawback to outdoor workshops can be inclement weather. In the event of bad weather during a workshop we will spend the time indoors doing slide show presentations, digital workflow and Photoshop lessons, Raw conversion and editing of our images. There is no refunds for inclement weather during a workshop.


Deposits are required to reserve your spot on a workshop. Deposit amounts are specified on each workshop page. Unless otherwise specified, deposits are non-refundable, unless the workshop is cancelled. The remaining balance must be paid 60 days prior to the workshop. Registrants who have not paid their remaining balance or made other arrangements by that date forfeit their spot in the workshop which may be assigned to someone on the waiting list, and also lose their deposit.


The deposit is refundable upon cancellation up to 60 days prior to the workshop. Cancellations made after the 60 days prior to the workshop are not eligible for refunds.

We have the right to cancel any workshop for lack of registrants up to 45 days prior to the workshop date.


Depending on the workshop location, spouses and non-photographer "guests" may accompany you for free but must pay their own expenses. On my type of workshops there is usually not enough room in the blinds for non photographers.


If you have been on one of my workshop before, then take $100 off the price before sending your 50% deposit.



All of the images in this web site are copyrighted original works by Alan Murphy, 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 Alan Murphy.

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