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Northern California Coastal Wildlife and Landscapes Regional Event (June 13-16, 2023)

June 13, 2023 - June 16, 2023

Leader | Travel and lodging | What to expect | General Information




Event Overview

Tuesday, June 13, 2023 at 5 p.m. to Friday, June 16, 2023 at noon.

The focus of this event will be on wildlife and landscape photography on the spectacular Northern California Coast near the picturesque town of Bodega Bay, a still sleepy fishing village made famous by Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” which was filmed there. The bay is filled with sea life and easily accessible. There is an oceanfront beach, rock jetties and tidal mudflats, all which provide excellent photo opportunities for wildlife and landscapes.

$675 NANPA Members/$875 Non-members

Last Date to Register:  June 2, 2023

Maximum Number of Participants: 10

Waves crash ashore on a sandy beach in Northern California Coast ©John Ehrenfeld Photography

©John Ehrenfeld Photography


John Ehrenfeld

John Ehrenfeld headshot

John was a film producer, in Los Angeles for two decades. After settling in Napa County in Northern California, he has been totally dedicated to nature and wildlife photography. John is currently working on his first book, “Silently Into The Wild”. John is a NANPA regional events leader and NANPA Awards Committee member. Published by Audubon, Wild Lens & Wild Hope Magazines, Ojai Raptor Center, Central Valley Birds, International Bird Rescue. Keynote Speaker 2022 Winter Bird Festival, 2021 Napa Photographers Association, 2022 Nevada County Photography Club, 2022 NANPA Webinar presenter. His prints are for sale through his web site, and he conducts private and group wildlife photo tours and teaches photography.

Travel and lodging

The base for this event will be at:

Fairfield Inn & Suites Sebastopol Santa Rosa
1101 Gravenstein Hwy South
Sebastopol, CA 95472

Check in time: 4 pm
Check out time: Noon

NANPA is holding a block of rooms for the event participants:

  • King rooms (6 available) $161 + taxes/fees per night
  • Queen / Queen rooms (5 available) $173 + taxes/fees per night

The rate includes a hot breakfast, free wireless internet. There is easy walking to local restaurants.

For hotel reservations, call the general reservation line 1-888-236-2427 or the hotel directly at 707-829-6677 and ask for a room in the North America Photography room block. This rate is valid for 3 nights: check in June 13, check out June 16, extending your stay will be at the prevailing rate for the additional days. To secure a room at the NANPA rate, reservations must be made before the June 2, 2023 cutoff date.

Airports and Ground Transportation

Transportation to and from the hotel to the event locations is not included and is the attendees’ responsibility. Note that the event hotel is about a 13-mile drive from some of the photography locations. 

  • Sonoma County Airport (STS) (18 miles from Bodega Bay) Airlines that fly here include American, United, Alaska and Avelo.   
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO) ~ 1.5 hr drive
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK) ~ 1.5 hr drive
  • Sacramento International Airport (SMF) ~ 2 hr drive

Transportation to and from the airport and during the event is not included and is the attendees’ responsibility.

Car Rental:  A normal passenger car will be appropriate, all roads and parking will be on paved or slightly graveled areas. No 4×4 or other special vehicle needs required.

Event Transportation

Transportation to and from the hotel to the event locations is not included and is the attendees’ responsibility. Note that the event hotel is about a 13-mile drive from some of the photography locations. 

RIDE SHARING:  We will be starting each day from the hotel. Ridesharing is encouraged to reduce the size of our vehicle presence and improve the traveling/following experience. You are welcome to either drive or ride with someone. This is also a great way to meet people and make new friends during the event!

Note that NANPA does not have insurance for carpooling arrangements and assumes no liability for them. Carpooling, ride sharing or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among the participants. Participants assume the risks associated with this travel.


All meals except Friday brunch are on your own. The group brunch location for Friday will be announced at the meet and greet.

Peregrine falcon about to land on a cliff. © John Ehrenfeld Photography

© John Ehrenfeld Photography

What to expect

Tuesday, June 13, 2023 at 5 pm to Friday, June 16, 2023 at noon.

Registration and Meet & Greet
Tuesday, June 13, 2023 at 5 pm in the hotel board room
Fairfield Inn & Suites Sebastopol Santa Rosa
1101 Gravenstein Hwy South
Sebastopol, CA 95472

A highlight will be a peregrine falcon pair and their offspring nesting and flying on and alongside a rocky cliff covered with springtime wildflowers overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This rare opportunity will allow you to photograph flight shots, take-offs and landings, hunting and mid-air food exchanges. The scenery in the area is breathtaking with towering rock formations and cliffs and will be conducive to numerous landscape photo opportunities. There are also numerous other birds flying and nesting nearby including Gulls, Black Oystercatchers, Pelicans, Common Murres and many others. There is a shooting area a safe distance away and ample parking. The Russian River showcases Bald Eagles, Seals, Ospreys and other sea birds. The constant tidal exchange provides large numbers of fish for hungry wildlife and the Pacific Coast scenery is spectacular.

Photography Locations

Some locations that we will photograph include numerous ocean cliff-side vistas, Bodega Head, Campbells Cove, Hole-In-The-Head, Bodega Bay flats, Doran Park, Bodega Bay Jetties, the Russian River and the small town of Jenner.

Your leader will have visited the areas prior to the event and the field trip locations will be based on what’s most photogenic at the time, weather conditions, etc.  These will be announced on Tuesday afternoon during the Registration/Orientation.

Photo of a common loon swimming in water. © John Ehrenfeld Photography

© John Ehrenfeld Photography

General Information

We will be based in the Bodega Bay area during this regional event. Please keep in mind that this NANPA Regional Event is designed to be a photo tour, not a photo workshop. In other words, there are no formal instruction sessions planned, there are no assignments, you will not be receiving any handouts or the like. That being said, your leader John has experience teaching photography and is available to answer questions and give you guidance. If you need help, please advocate for yourself and speak up and ask for help – John is happy to help. Be aware that many of your fellow participants may also be accomplished photographers in their own right and may be able to help you too.  Part of the regional event experience is the camaraderie that comes from sharing experiences and lessons learned among participants.

This tour is open for 10 participants to give each plenty of time with the leader and to retain flexibility based on weather and the best opportunities.

This event is designed for all levels of photographers – amateur, intermediate, advanced and professional – interested in improving their photography skills or looking for location guidance to capture images of this part of the Northern California Coast.  If you are new to photography, be sure to ask John for help. He will be available to answer questions, explain techniques and in general help you improve your photographic skills.  If you already have plenty of photography experience, he will ensure that you’re in the best locations at the best times for those perfect shots. 

Health and fitness

Any walking will be minimal, no more than a hundred yards or so and manageable for anyone in decent shape.


Weather – High 61° – Low 49°. Can be chilly and windy at times. Dress in layers, bring a warm coat, hat, scarf and gloves.


  • We’ll be using everything from wide-angle lenses to telephoto to macro, so bring what you have and like to use. You’ll be OK if you can at least cover a 24mm to 200mm range (full frame equivalent).
  • For landscapes, you’ll want a polarizing filter, and a 3-stop or 6-stop ND for waterfalls is optional.
  • A good tripod and a remote trigger will also be very helpful.
  • Rain cover for camera
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Laptop or tablet to review your images and (optional) a portable hard drive to backup images
VIew of Northern California Coast from behind dunes. © John Ehrenfeld Photography

© John Ehrenfeld Photography

Regional Event Cancellation and No Refund Policy:  

NANPA will not offer any refunds for registrations for this event regardless of when the cancellation is made or the reason for the cancellation. NANPA reserves the right to cancel any event or activity due to insufficient registration or any unforeseen circumstances. NANPA will offer refunds if NANPA has to cancel the event. It also has the right to substitute presenters if those originally scheduled cannot attend. Registrants may purchase event insurance as part of the registration process through NANPA’s partner, Allianz. More information on this option will be shown during the checkout process for the event registration.

NOTE:  If you do not purchase event insurance at the time that you pay for your registration, you will NOT be able to go back and purchase it with Allianz later.

If you choose to purchase travel insurance separately, you can do so with your own insurance carrier, or NANPA members can receive a special travel insurance rate through USI Affinity/Travel Insurance Services.

COVID-19 Policy

NANPA is committed to the health and safety of all participants and leaders at any of our events. We have taken steps to reduce the inherent risks surrounding any public location where people are present. We ask that you familiarize yourself with our COVID-19 health and safety precautions and requirements prior to your trip. Masks are discretionary unless required by a particular venue, location, or governmental authority. 

According to the CDC, “COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States are effective at protecting people from getting seriously ill, being hospitalized, and dying. As with other diseases, you are protected best from COVID-19 when you stay up to date with the recommended vaccines, including recommended boosters. Updated COVID-19 boosters can both help restore protection that has decreased since previous vaccination, and provide broader protection against newer variants. The updated, or bivalent boosters, target the most recent Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, that are more contagious and more resistant than earlier strains of Omicron. You are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines if you have completed a COVID-19 vaccine primary series and received the most recent booster dose recommended for you by CDC.” To find out if you are eligible for a booster, use the CDC recommendations tool

You should evaluate your own risks when determining whether to participate. By attending this event and signing the NANPA Regional Events Liability Release you acknowledge and agree that you assume the inherent risks associated with your attendance.

Most importantly: If you have been feeling sick or have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 10 days, PLEASE STAY HOME. If you have been exposed to someone, especially someone in your household, who has tested positive within the last 5 days, PLEASE STAY HOME. 

NANPA follows the CDC rules and the rules of the state in which an event is held.  Those rules currently are:

NANPA will let you know if anything changes prior to the event. We thank you in advance for your adherence and support as we work together to keep everyone safe. 


Thank You to NANPA’s 2022 Regional Events Sponsor


USA States/Territories
Type of event
On Location
Cost range
$675 - $875


Fairfield Inn & Suites Sebastopol Santa Rosa
1101 Gravenstein Hwy South
Sebastapol, CA 95472 United States
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