Wilderness Photography Expeditions arranges custom trips for groups of adventure photographers with a particular interest. Tom and his staff have taken groups or individuals to photograph areas like Costa Rica, Alaska, the desert Southwest, the prairie of South Dakota, Antarctica and Africa. Please call and talk with him about destinations that interest you. He prefers wild places, but is considering a bicycle trip between the chocolate shops in Belgium.
An adventurous traveler himself, Tom likes to work one-on-one with clients to explore some particular area of photographic study. Tom Murphy’s trips are arranged to find and take advantage of the best photographic opportunities. His groups are up for the best light at sunrise and they stay out for sunsets.
Tom’s trips use the best local accommodations and quality food is a high priority. Wildlife migrations, seasonal color and vegetation, birth cycles, weather patterns, and a sensitive approach to animals determines the itinerary for his custom trips. Wild land and wildlife are Tom’s primary photographic interests and the search for exceptionally good photographs drives his own personal work and the location and timing of his tours.
IItineraries are planned to concentrate on either wildlife or landscapes. While the group is watching for a wildlife opportunity, they can easily be distracted by a beautiful landscape and vice versa. There is always an important element of serendipity in natural history photography because there is little control over the light, setting, or subject. Nature photographers need an open creative mind to see the infinite array of beauty that is revealed on the land every day. The reward for paying attention and being patient is to witness the source of all beauty in the world; a clean, free and wild earth.
He will give you a great deal of individual attention, his groups are small (rarely more than 8), and Tom is a skilled and patient teacher. He believes that people learn best by doing, so most of the instruction is in the field. His goal is to help you improve your photography skills and get you to the best locations at the right time to make exceptional photographs.
What is required on Wilderness trips
Physical Conditioning: All our trips are possible for any reasonably fit person. However, we do recommend some pre-conditioning in the form of walking, hiking, or bicycling. Vigorous daily walking is one of the best preparations you can make, but in order to condition your body well, you will need to do this over a period of time. Pre-conditioning of this sort will enhance your enjoyment and well-being during your wilderness expedition. However, no trip will be beyond the normal abilities of an average healthy person.
Proper Clothing: Mountain early mornings and evenings can be chilly any time of the year. Please bring warm, comfortable clothing, including hooded, windproof and waterproof jackets, well broken-in footwear, a hat and gloves and ample dry clothing. Layers work best in our climate in all seasons. The temperature can vary significantly in any single day. We will advise you of all appropriate gear for trips to wet or warm locations too.
Photographic Equipment: We recommend that you bring a spare camera body. You will want lenses ranging from 17mm to 200mm for landscape and macro work. Bring long telephotos (from 300mm-600mm) if our primary goal is wildlife and birds. You will need a sturdy tripod. If you are considering purchasing photographic equipment, we would be happy to advise you. Please bring plenty of batteries and chargers and a lap top computer, or storage device of some kind. Flash Cards with 1-4 gigabytes of space are recommended when shooting in high resolution or raw format.
Group Size: Usually limited to 8 members.
Smoking: Expedition members are asked to refrain from smoking in or near vehicles, on the trails, and other times when we are in close proximity to each other.
Reservations: Reservations are made by completing the trip reservation form. Please return it to us along with your deposit. Confirmation will be forwarded to you immediately. Final payment is due upon invoice 45 days prior to departure. We reserve the right to regard your reservations as cancelled if we do not receive payment as scheduled, and we must have a deposit to confirm a reservation. If space is available, reservations can be accepted up to 10 days prior to departure. If you find that you can make a trip at the last moment, please contact us; we will do our best to accommodate this situation. We do urge you to book early to avoid disappointment.
Cancellations and Refunds: If it becomes necessary to cancel your trip, we must be notified in writing. All monies will be refunded less the following cancellation fees:
- More than 45 days before departure: $100
- Less than 45 days before departure: $300
- Less than 30 days before departure: No Refund
Trip cancellation insurance is available through your travel agency. No refunds will be given for unused hotel rooms, transport, meals, expedition arrangements or other services once the trip has commenced operation.
Cancelled Trips: We endeavor to operate all scheduled expeditions as listed. However, trips occasionally fail to reach the minimum number of participants for economical operation. In such a case, Wilderness Photography Expeditions reserves the right to cancel a trip entirely or offer an alternative. If an expedition must be completely cancelled, a full refund is promptly given.
Photographic Feedback: We encourage members of these expeditions to bring their own photography to share with us, if they wish. There will be some opportunities for feedback from peers and the professional input of an internationally respected wildlife photographer.
Yellowstone Custom Trips
The Yellowstone ecosystem has been a destination for serious photographers since 1871, when W.H. Jackson first visited the area with the Hayden survey party. This unique and beautiful land was preserved in part as Yellowstone National Park by Congress in 1872. It was the first National Park in the world. Yellowstone is still mostly a wild place. One has only to go a few hundred yards from the roads to experience land that is at once alive and changing. On this nearly two and a quarter million acres there is abundant wildlife. You will likely see bison, elk, wolves, big horn sheep, and many of the species of animals that were here when Columbus discovered himself in America over 500 years ago. The big predators thrive in the park; grizzly and black bear, wolves, coyotes, eagles, and hawks are all here in balance.
The spirit of the mountains which attracted the first visitors to the park, and the rare geologic features such as geysers, hot springs, fumeroles, and boiling mud, offer to the photographer a vast backdrop for the study of photography. The silence of a snowy field in winter, or the thunder of a waterfall, encourage the photographer to look into the beauty of this place in a new way. No one leaves the Yellowstone region without feeling that they have touched the original character of the earth, and they are richer for it.
Yellowstone is Tom’s backyard and he knows it very well. If you want to work with and learn from Tom one-on-one or with a group of like minded friends, please consider a custom trip with him.