landscape, nature, photography, workshop

The Great BIG Bend Giveaway

How would you like to join me on my new Big Bend Workshop in April…. FOR FREE??

Well, you could be the lucky one to win The Great BIG Bend Giveaway, and receive free tuition for our April 24-27, 2014 workshop!

Simply fill out the short form below.  A random drawing will be held and the winner announced on February 15.

You are also welcome to simply email us directly at to enter yourself, or to confirm your entry… we would love to hear from you, so drop us a line!


So hurry and sign up… and don’t forget to SHARE with all your photo-phile friends!!  Oh yeah, P.S… once you’ve signed up, if you share on Facebook, your name gets entered again!  Twice the chance to WIN!! :)


What’s Included if you win – Four days/ three nights packed with photography, instruction, and adventure in Big Bend National Park, plus more!

  • Pre-workshop Personal Skype Session – Before all of our destination workshops, you can benefit from a personal Q&A Skype session at your convenience with Andrew, to ask any questions you might have about your upcoming trip.  This is immensely helpful to gat to know your instructor, and to making sure you feel prepared for the great adventure ahead!
  • Welcome Packet – You will receive your personalized welcome packet 2-6 weeks before the workshop with maps, helpful local info, nature facts, FAQ’s, technical photography information on what we will be discussing, a comprehensive list of what to bring, and more.
  • Park Related Fees – We believe in and support our National Parks system, so we are proud Commercial Use Authorization Permit holders with Big Bend National Park!  This provides us good standing with the Park and the rangers, and it helps to fund fantastic conservation projects that would not be possible without special use educators and their students!  So a portion of your tuition goes right back to help protect the park you love!
  • Numerous Guided Hikes – We will embark on at least one hike per day through the intensely beautiful landscape of the Chihuahuan Desert and the Chisos Mountains.  We will explore the myriad flora and fauna of both ecosystems, shooting anything and everything in nature, discussing a wide range of photographic tips and techniques.
  • Night Photography – You’ll get very used to your siestas on this trip, as we will spend the first hour or two before sunrise and after sundown navigating the exciting night sky with our cameras.  We will discuss and execute several techniques including night landscapes, star trails, painting with light, and more!
  • 3 Nights Camping, water, and snacks – Other lodging is available at the expense of the student.  But If camping is your thing, then you will enjoy all three nights of group camping in the park with Andrew, giving you extra time to talk about photography!  All you need is to bring your own camping gear!  Regardless of if you choose to camp or stay at a nearby hotel, plenty of bottled water and snacks throughout the day will be provided.

Transportation to and from Big Bend National Park, lodging (other than group camping), meals, and anything else not listed above is the responsibility of the student.  If winner opts out of the April 24-27, 2014 trip, winner forfeits his or her prize, unless otherwise agreed upon by Slaton.

If you are interested in learning more about photography, taking your art to a new level please check out my new workshop dates:Big Bend Photographic Tour/ Workshops 2014More Destination Photo Tours/ Workshops 2014If you are interested in licensing any of the images/ video from this post, please visit my stock agency:Tandem Stills + Motion // andrew r. slaton

If you are interested in purchasing prints from this post, please check my prints for sale, or email me directly for a custom request:

andrew r. slaton // photographer // prints

For assignment work requests, please email me:

Thanks for visiting!

all images and content (except otherwise attributed) © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2014
film, film making, music, photography, random thought

white rock lake

i shot a new film recently.  and though i am still learning adobe after effects and final cut pro, i can’t help but edit and put these things together to share with all of you.  so i am still just using elementary software, and i feel very limited by it.  but i hope everyone enjoys none-the-less.

white rock lake is a small, man-made slough in the heart of the dallas metroplex.  it is to dallas, what central park is to new york… though not quite as pretty.  but maybe just as dangerous after dark.  

white rock is home to many thousands of migratory birds, and during winter, giant flocks of egrets and pelicans call this area home.  

for best results, watch the film in “hd”…


** so, i also have much to learn in regard to compression and video output.  as a consequence, the film can be choppy at times.  please forgive me, and as soon  as i figure out how to fix it, i will.  thanks so much for visiting…

This video doesn’t exist
photography, random thought

primal depression

i have always loved zoos.  some of my earliest and fondest memories include family trips to the famous ft. worth zoo, where i would gaze at the magnificent creatures before me.  i believe that these early visits actually cultivated my great love for animals.

however, i went to the zoo just the other day, and had quite a different experience altogether.  now, don’t get me wrong here – i am by no means a supporter of PETA, nor do i hold animals in higher esteem than humans.  i simply saw the zoo, for the first time, in a very depressing light.  i’m beginning to rethink my ideas about human/ animal interaction. 

to further explore this concept, i’m starting a series on “caged animal” portraits.


i’m not trying to contribute to some “great” cause or anything, i’m just trying to see something from a different perspective than before, and i believe this is worth pondering.  i hope the photographs speak for themselves. 

thankfully, in all the tragedy that is our world, there remains beauty and humor as well.  i hope that some will find all three in a few of these images…

the primates exhibit an obvious parallel to our own mental malaise.  but what really got me was the bald eagle.  i’ve been lucky enough to have first-hand experience with wild balds when i lived in wyoming, and they are some of the most freewheeling and majestic creatures i have ever seen.


this animal, whose wingspan is longer than i am tall, was in a netted enclosure approximately 10’x10’x20′. talk about a caged bird… but it certainly could have been worse.


another factor that i guarantee contributed to all the long faces, was the temperature.  i was drenched in sweat the entire time as i walked the wide paths inside this enormous facility.  it had to have been over 100 degrees fahrenheit on the concrete, so it’s a given that the animals (many with gratuitous amounts of fur, hair, or feathers) were overheating, and desperately trying to keep cool.

please let me know what you think about all of this.  what has been your experience at various zoos around the world?  america’s zoos would be some of the best and most humane in the world, i imagine.  and i know that one justification people have for the continuation of traditional zoos is to create an awareness and love for animals in humans, which is the precise effect zoos had on me.  are we justified because of this?


i overheard a woman guiding a tour that day ask a group of children where they think zoos get their animals.  

“from the wild,” the children all answered.  

she kindly corrected them.  apparently, american zoos now almost exclusively acquire their animals from captivity.  they encourage captive breeding so that they are not pooling from the wild, therefore in theory, caging animals that are “used” to being caged.


i don’t know what the answers are.  and frankly, i feel very strong that there are much more important issues going on today with our own species.  however, these questions will eventually need answers.  as we move forward in our own evolution, have we surpassed our need for these exotic attractions?  are there simply better ways of studying and learning about our animal neighbors?  


all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2008