Florida Wildlife and Waterscapes

Bob Gibson Teaches Photo Masters Workshops in Jupiter Florida
“I achieved my goal of capturing and editing a wildlife image that would make a wonderful fine art print”–Photo Masters Workshop participant, Debbie Breen.

Advertising agency president Bob Gibson has a second career: introducing aspiring photographers to the wildlife and waterscapes “hidden in plain view” near his home in Palm Beach County Florida. 

The “Wildlife and Waterscapes” Photo Masters Workshop by Bob Gibson gives nature photographers an opportunity to refine their shooting skills and Lightroom editing technique. Osprey in flight, photographed by student Debbie Breen.

Gibson’s workshop participants range from successful CEO’s to youthful professionals seeking to conquer the technology in their new DSLR or mirrorless camera–all while enjoying an adventure in the wild.

While learning, students photograph Florida’s colorful tropical wildlife such as  Herons, Osprey, Deer and majestic ocean and marsh waterscapes. 

Learning back button auto focus was the skill that Mike Dworetsky needed to improve his wildlife photos.

Avid photographer, Mike Dworetsky, a financial planner with residences in Boston and Palm Beach Gardens had decades of travel photography experience including an African animal safari under his belt before taking one of Gibson’s “Photo Masters Workshops”. 

“I never had so much fun, or learned so much in such a short

period of time!” enthused Dworetsky. 

Dworetsky’s one day workshop began at dawn in Jupiter’s Riverbend Park with a bicycle ride to a 7-acre lake fringed with towering Florida Oaks and Cypress Trees. 

Great photos are often, “hidden in plain site” says Bob Gibson of Photo Masters Workshops. Palm Beach Counties many parks and preserves offer a surprising number of species to photograph. This shot was taken by Mike Dworetsky, during a one-day photo workshop.

“First, we created six-image panoramas as the sunrise light illuminated the waterscapes, said Dworetsky. “We shot with and without filters to allow us to slow down the camera’s shutter speed for a “fine art” look.  We used manual focus and the camera’s “live view” to obtain perfect focus. “

“Next I was taught how to set up my camera’s auto focus to capture tack sharp images of birds feeding and flying. 

Later the same day, we switched gears completely and left the

tropical forests and marshes behind to walk onto the sands of Juno Beach.  I was led by Bob to complete an imaginary editorial assignment to tell the story of the excitement and motion of a day of surfing at Juno Pier. “

The solitary surfer, photographed within in a frame of green mangrove leaves by workshop student Mike Dworetsky, successfully conveys the story of a perfect day at the Juno Beach Fishing Pier.

“I was taught to think about every variety of image I could imagine, from action close-ups to artistic landscape images that blurred the motion of the waves or illustrated the personality and culture of the sport. “

“Think of this as an imaginary editorial assignment to illustrate surfing culture and the feeling of a long awaited day of perfect waves”. Photo by Mike Dworetsky taken during Bob Gibson’s Photo Masters Workshop.

On a different day, almost devoid of sunshine, Debbie Breen, a career CPA and weekend nature photographer found her workshop to be full of fun surprises. 

“A tropical storm was creating high winds , dramatic skies and likely patches of rain. However,

I wanted to “go for it” on an iffy weather day and make up any rain time we lost,” said Breen.  Bob was so easy going about scheduling and the gamble paid off with

many animals to photograph.” We rode bicycles to cover a large area of Jupiter’s Riverbend Park. Bob knew from experience the best photo locations within the park. “

”   A magnificent Great Blue Heron appeared and

Tri-Colored Heron photographed by Debbie Breen.

we moved around this subject to compose him in a frame of 

blossoming wildflowers—making an image that stands out among bird photographs.  It turned out that the diffuse light of an overcast day is best for showcasing saturated colors.

With my 600mm telephoto, I was tempted to take only close-up wildlife images.  Bob taught my to “tell a larger story” by 

finding and including an element of the environment in some of my shots.   

Pileated Woodpecker in nest. Photographed by Debbie Breen during a Photo Masters Workshop in Jupiter, Florida.

A baby white tailed deer fawn stepped out of the dark cypress marsh and began dancing and splashing in the puddles of a small river gulley.  I learned to slightly underexpose my images in order to capture the the fawn’s silky reddish coat patterned with bright white spots and later bring out these details in the post processing program of Adobe Lightroom,” said Breen.

“Mike and Debbie were both experienced photographers who wished to

learn new outdoor photography skills. I teach workshop participants to look for the hero shot said Gibson. “We were fortunate to view a week old fawn defined by the vivid spots on its back. While we watch this amazing creature, it became apparent that nature had intended this coloring to imitate dappled sunlight in the forest.  We waited patiently, until she walked into a beam of sunlight, then Debbie nailed the shot.  

New born Florida White Tailed Deer
A week old White Tailed deer fawn’s pattern of spots mimic the dappled sunlight falling through the trees of a Cypress Marsh. Photograph by Debbie Breen taken during a Photo Masters Workshop in Jupiter, Florida.

“My arms were aching from holding the heavy telephoto lens, said Breen, but I could not stop smiling all day, knowing we had achieved my goal of getting images worthy of a fine art print  and notecard.”   

Every photographer’s goals are unique states Gibson. ” Mike’s a world traveler and wanted to expand his skills that related to shooting exotic places and cultures.  Debbie is a nature photographer and artist with a goal to print and display her best images.  Before each workshop, I correspond with each student to understand their photographic paths and to inspire them to help them realize their vision. “

“You should market yourself as “ photography with a purpose” Mike told Bob at the end of the day. 

Every moment of our workshop had purpose and fulfilled a goal.” 

Bob Gibson, a life-long resident of Palm Beach County teaches one, two and three day private and small group photography workshops.  He is a member of Nikon Professional Services and the Professional Photographers of America.

For more information, email Bob at rjg@rjgibson.com

Bob Gibson teaches nature photography at Photo Masters Workshops
Bob Gibson teaches nature photography at Photo Masters Workshops in Jupiter, Florida.
Bob Gibson is a member of Nikon Professional Services and Professional Photographers of America