Matthew Studebaker's Northern Ohio Song Birds Photo Tour
When I first became interested in bird photography in 2006 the one photographer that grabbed my attention was Matthew Studebaker from Art Morris. Matthew was from Cleveland so with the two of us living in the same area, I had become an instant fan and follower of his.
But, I had never photographed with him. The timing just wasn't there for me to attend one of his photo tours, until now.
I signed up for his May 7 to 10 Northern Ohio Song Birds Photo Tour. It had the advantage of being in my backyard, while still feeling like a vacation. The drive was a simple 40 minutes one way to the groups meeting place.
I was lucky enough to ride with Matthew to his favorite spots all four days. Watching him first hand on how he could pick out a single bird singing, just by driving down the road with the window open blew me away. If he heard something, he'd pull over, try his bird call and if the bird responded, we'd all get out and setup. Sure enough, that bird would appear.
I've been on Art's IPT's, with James Shadle on his boat and other places by myself. And on all of those I had a great time. But the norm was you'd pretty much be in the same spot for the morning and a second spot in the evening. Matthews? I lost count on how many different spots we stopped at. It was freaking unbelievable! I never, ever had so much fun!
The man also went out of his way to make the best perches available and to make sure everybody was happy. He'd even carry gear if he had to, including mine cause my fat butt was out of shape :) There were times he'd disappear for what seemed like 5 or 10 minutes just to find that perch.
How were the bird images? Just look at my Ohio images, pretty much from -3 to -5. I have never had so many keepers from one outing than this.
Would I recommend Matthew Studebaker for any of his upcoming tours? Does a bear shit in the woods?
Doug West - www.thebirdphotographer.com
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