2017Tour Dates: May 13-20
Cost $2295 / Deposit: $500 (4 spots left)
Limited to 6-7 participants • Leaves from Bozeman Montana
Spring in the world’s first and perhaps finest national park is a time of excitement. New life may be found everywhere in Yellowstone National Park. Bison, elk, and moose calves and antelope and deer fawns are proudly displayed by their mothers in lush green meadows filled with wildflowers. The grizzly and black bears are very visible this time of year and will be our primary objective. Over the past 4-5 years we average 8-10 bears a day during the tour. During the 2015 tour we had 64 bear sightings and at least 31 different bears. Not every sighting leads to a quality photo opportunity but many do. This combined with a variety of nesting bird, beautiful waterfalls, moody thermal features and rugged canyons will afford us hours of endless photo opportunities during this exciting tour.
No where else in North America can you witness, with such consistency, wolves and grizzly bear roaming free in their native habitats. During the time of this tour the wonderful carnivores will be following age old instincts and hunting elk calves. Having spent many years photographing within the park and now living just outside the east gate we spend a tremendous amount of time in Yellowstone and know the prime locations to witness this behavior. In addition to the incredible wildlife, Yellowstone is famous for its geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and canyons which offer unlimited potential for scenic photography and we’ll be sure to visit them during this tour. Make sure you sign up early for this extremely popular adventure.
Day 1 May 13 or 20 ‐ Arrive in Bozeman, Montana. Tour participants will be picked up at the airport at 1pm. We will then drive to the north entrance of Yellowstone and arriving in Gardiner, Montana in late afternoon. That evening we’ll meet for a welcome dinner and discussion of our upcoming photo adventure.
Days 2-7 May 14-19 or 21-26: We spend the next 6 days exploring the park. Our daily locations within the park will vary in accordance to animal activity and weather conditions. We will meet early to drive into the park before sunrise to take advantage of the prime lighting conditions and animal activity. The days are very long this time of year so we may head back to our rooms to take a midday break while the light is harsh. We’ll head out again in the late afternoon for the evening shoot and will not return to the motel each evening until after sundown. As we work our way into Yellowstone each day we will search hard for the very best photographic situations and spend time thoroughly working each subject we find. Our goal is for you to take home the best photographs that conditions will allow.
Day 8, May 20 or 27: We’ll go out this morning for one last shoot in the park. We return to our rooms by 10am time to check out and drive back to Bozeman. You may schedule your departure for home anytime after arrival in Bozeman which will be at approximately 12:00 pm.
WHAT TO BRING:
Equipment: We recommend a minimum of 400mm telephoto lens for this tour in addition to a variety of wide angle lenses or zooms and a mid range zoom lens. Digital shooters will want to bring along an adequate number of of flash cards and a means to download images when cards get full. We always suggest you bring along 2 camera bodies if possible in case of equipment failure. A tripod and a good ballhead or gimbal head is strongly encouraged.
Clothing: Clothing should be comfortable and adequately cover a full range of weather conditions and temperatures. Expect everything from warm and sunny temperatures into the 70’s to very cool and rainy; possibly snow especially in some of the higher elevations we will be working. In the mornings temperatures will likely be in the 30’s so we recommend layering clothing and even a light pair of gloves would be advised. A sturdy yet light weight, comfortable and maybe waterproof hiking boot is suggested.
Tour Prices Include:
- Transportation from and to Bozeman at the start and end of the trip via group shuttle
- Welcome dinner and snacks/water throughout tour
- Photo Instruction and image critiques (if desired) by D. Robert
- Guides and Drivers
- Taxes on all services
Tour Prices DO NOT Include:
- Airfare to/from Bozeman, MT
- Park Entrance Fee (bring you national parks pass)
- Transportation to the park from Bozeman if you miss the shuttle
- Gratuity for Guides and Drivers
- Meals, except for welcome dinner on first night
- Alcoholic beverages
Franzfoto Tours comply with current Yellowstone National Park regulations. Franzfoto is an authorized Yellowstone National Park Photo Tour permit holder.
About your Tour Leader
D. Robert Franz have been full time professional wildlife photographer for the past twenty five years. With formal training and university degrees in wildlife management, geology and earth science, Robert has an extensive knowledge of the natural world. His nature and wildlife photography has been extensively published (over ten thousand published images including hundreds of front covers) worldwide with images featured in, Audubon Magazine, National Wildlife, Sierra Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, Defenders Magazine, National Geographic, Das Tier Magazine, Sports Afield, Field and Stream, and many more. Their photographic prints have hung in the Smithsonian and the United States Congress. They are also accomplished assignment photographers specializing in nature and environmental issues. Clients have included Adolph Coors, Wildlife Conservation Society, Field and Stream Magazine, The Trust for Public Lands, Via Magazine, Greater Yellowstone Coalition and others. Their photography is represented by a number of the worlds leading stock photo agencies such as Corbis, Getty Images, Alamy, Windigo Images, Okapia and Index Stock Imagery.
Robert has won many awards for his nature photography over the years. In 1989 Robert won the Colorado Outdoors Magazine Nature Photography Contest. In 1993 he won the Wyoming Wildlife Magazines Nature Photography Contest. Also in 1993 Robert and Lorri won an award for a published calendar image from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History. In 2001 and 2004 Robert had winning images the prestigious Nature’s Best photography contest. In 2003 Robert won Image of the Year for Nature Photographers.net. In 2006, 2008 and again in 2010 Robert finished 2nd in the Images for Conservation Pro Tour of Nature Photography contest held in different locations in Texas. This is the world’s most challenging nature photo contest. In 2007 Digital Photography Magazine proclaimed Robert as one the worlds best wildlife photographers.
Robert has been leading photo tours since 1989 and now conducts high energy nature & wildlife photo tours through Franzfoto Instructional Tours. In the past Robert lead tours for Wildlife Images Photo Tours, Voyagers, Natural Habitat Adventures & Close Up Expeditions. Robert, Lorri and their Great Dane Shelby live in the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem near Cody Wyoming.
A few images from previous tours
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
GROUP MINIMUM: Occasionally, we are able to run a tour below our group minimum which is usually 4. In such instances it may be necessary to apply a small group supplement fee in which case you would be contacted regarding such a situation but you would not be obligated to accept the new terms.
RESERVATIONS: Your $500 deposit is required to secure your place on any tour, with the balance due 60 days prior to the departure date. Deposits are fully refundable if cancellation is received at least 120 days prior to the departure date. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will mail you our acknowledgment and tour reservation form. Details of hotels, flight arrival recommendations, and other trip tips will be mailed when the tour is full.
MEALS: Some meals and refreshments are included depending on the trip details, but not alcoholic beverages.
ADMISSIONS: Access to public buildings and national parks etc. is not included in the land price.
CANCELLATION P0LICY: Due to the high number of cancellations we’ve received in the past several years a new refund policy has been implemented.
- Cancellations more than 120 days ahead of the tour are refunded 50%.
- Cancellations between 60-120 days ahead of the tour will only be refunded if the spot can be filled minus $150 handling charge.
- Cancellations less than 60 days ahead of the tour are non-refundable.
Franzfoto Tours strongly suggest that tour participants invest in trip cancellation insurance.
CANCELED EXPEDITIONS: In the event of insufficient tour sign‐ups, Franzfoto Tours reserves the right to cancel any given tour. In that event 100% of moneys received will be returned. However, Franzfoto Tours is not responsible for expenses incurred by its customers.
LUGGAGE: Franzfoto Tours requests that tour participants limit their luggage to the equivalent of one suitcase, one flight bag, one camera bag, and tripod. We do not wish to be dictatorial in this matter, but asks that group members bear in mind space and comfort in our vehicles. All personal luggage is the responsibility of the owner.
SMOKERS: Smoking is not permitted at meals or in vehicles. It may be permitted at photo stops where local ordinances permit, photography and photographers are not affected.
RESPONSIBILITY: Franzfoto Tours and its agents act only as agents for the passenger in all matters relating to travel arrangements, and as such, do not assume responsibility for injury, accident, damage, loss, delay or irregularity which may occur via defect of transportation or any other cause. Franzfoto Tours reserves the right to substitute hotels, and other previously outlined arrangements as necessary, to either improve or equal the travel experience. Franzfoto Tours reserves the right to pass on to tour members any additional and unplanned expenditure incurred during a tour, via events beyond Franzfoto Tours control. The right is reserved to accept or decline any person as a member of any tour. Payment of tour fees by trip participants constitutes their acceptance of all conditions contained herein.
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