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NANPA Regional Event--Southern Illinois

April 27-30, 2017

Join Dave Hammond and Richard Day in the Shawnee National Forest and surrounding state parks and natural areas of southern Illinois to photograph spring wildflowers, landscapes, limestone bluffs, waterfalls, wildlife, and more. The Shawnee National Forest totals 286,000 acres where six natural ecological regions meet, resulting in a diversity of plant and animal species and unique geological features. This area of Illinois includes the northernmost tupelo and cypress swamp in the United States.

Southern Illinois is home to more native wildflower species than the Great Smoky Mountains; and we’ll visit prime locations known for spring blooms, such as the Giant City Trillium Trail, the LaRue-Pine Hills area, and the Rocky Bluff Waterfall area.

The Southern Illinois Regional Event will introduce participants to several iconic locations including Camel Rock at Garden of the Gods Recreation Area and Heron Pond, a water tupelo and bald cypress swamp with some of the oldest trees in Illinois.

Photographers Dave Hammond and Richard Day have lived in southern Illinois all of their lives. They grew up hiking and picnicking in these parks as children and have photographed them extensively in their adult years. This Event is timed for peak wildflower bloom, spring bird and reptile migrations, and early spring landscapes in the rocky and swampy regions.

What to Expect-

This tour is designed for anyone interested in improving their photography skills and receiving valuable coaching, as well as professionals interested in capturing images of this unique region of Illinois. Participants will be divided into groups to ensure top shooting locations in the area. This tour is limited to 30 participants (We have additional leaders standing by if needed) to give time with each instructor and to retain flexibility based on weather and the best opportunities.

Just the Facts –

Date: April 27-30 (Check-in Thursday, April 27 @ 6:00 p.m.)

Cost: $395 NANPA member, $595 non-members (Sunday Brunch included)

Location: Southern Illinois Parks & Shawnee National Forest (Marion, IL)

Last date to register: April 17, 2017

Maximum number attendees: 30

Register here

Shaw Photography Series-Shaw Nature Reserve

August 5, 2017  9am to 4pm

Intermediate. Join backyard wildlife specialists Richard and Susan Day and learn how to photograph butterflies and dragonflies. During the morning classroom session Richard will offer tips on creating pleasing photos, explain equipment needed, use of flash, how to approach your subject, where to find butterflies and dragonflies, and show species you’re likely to see during the workshop. There will be morning and afternoon shooting sessions with hands-on instruction and feedback in the field. In late afternoon we’ll return to the classroom where Susan will give a short presentation on plants that attract butterflies. The workshop ends with a final wrap-up with time for questions and answers. Supply list provided at registration. Lunch provided. Equipment needed for workshop: DSLR camera macro or a lens that focuses 4-5’ or less flash tripod or monopod. Designed for adults only.

Registration ends July 30 at 5 p.m.

Class Details:
Please read and print prior to class

Equipment needed for workshop: DSLR camera macro or a lens that focuses 4-5’ or less flash tripod or monopod.
Important Class Information and Map



Individual Backyard Bird Photography at the Daybreak Sanctuary -
Spring and early Summer

Baltimore Oriole at Daybreak Sanctuary

We offer exclusive bird photography opportunities for 1-4 people. We will provide blinds and you can photograph orioles, bluebirds, catbirds, cardinals, indigo buntings, goldfinches, and other backyard birds in our flower gardens or at feeders. We will customize your photo adventure, and we offer day rates with or without photo instruction. Contact us to book your date.

Camera Club Special/Photographers group -
Butterfly & Dragonfly Photography Field Trips at the Daybreak Sanctuary

Butterfly Photographers at Daybreak Sanctuary
Each July and August we offer camera clubs a special photo package where participants have the opportunity to photograph butterflies and dragonflies all day at our Sanctuary. These field trips are timed when the most butterflies and dragonflies fly - approximately 30 species can be photographed in one day. Participants can photograph anywhere on our Sanctuary - butterflies in our extensive gardens and prairie or dragonflies at 2 different wetlands. Richard begins the day with a short overview on how to photograph butterflies, dragonflies, and flowers. He and Susan are available during the day to help and to answer questions on photography, species ID and gardening or habitat questions. Limited to 15 participants. Minimum 8. Now booking dates for 2014 - these popular field trips book early! Contact us for more info and to reserve your date.


Our celebrated back yardDaybreak Imagery offers programs and workshops for conferences, festivals, and events on a variety of topics including:

We also offer photography programs and workshops:

Please contact us for information on these programs for your club, organization, or conference.

For those wanting personalized one-on-one photography or backyard habitat instruction, please contact us. We'll be happy to customize a workshop or shoot to suit your needs with personal photo instruction, use of our photo blinds, and private tours of our sanctuary.