Photographing Wildlife with Camera Traps
The 5-day workshop is for newbies and experienced camera trappers, and will cover basic and advanced use of camera traps to photograph wild mammals and birds. Participants may use their own scouting or trail cameras, or use a limited number of camera traps provided by the instructor. This is a hands-on workshop with evening Power Point presentations on the relative merits of "homebrew" versus commercial camera traps, triggering devices, use of flash and infrared light, extended battery use, camera security, and protection from bears and curious wildlife. We’ll discuss the role of sign and visual, scent, and sound attractants in making camera "sets". For those interested in building their own camera traps we will discuss different controller boards and P&S cameras. We will collect cameras set about a month earlier to see the results of different “sets” in the area. Prospective participants are referred to Camera Trap Codgerfor additional information.
Dr. Chris Wemmer
Chris Wemmer is a retired zoologist from the Smithsonian National Zoological Park where he directed the Conservation & Research Center for 30 years. He has used camera traps in the US and in SE Asia as teaching tools, and to survey wildlife and search for endangered species. His blog is about past adventures in the field and recent camera trap surveys in the western US.
- Honorary Fellow, California Academy of Sciences
- Scientist Emeritus, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Plan to arrive at the Sierra Nevada Field Campus on Sunday. Introductions and orientation will take place that evening at 7:30. The class will begin at 7:30 AM on Monday. We will set and check some camera traps daily, targeting different species and using different methods. After an afternoon break, we will return to the field in the late afternoon. Lectures and discussions will take place in the field or in the evening. The class will end at noon on Friday.
Supplies and Other Useful Items
Small notebook and pencil/pen. Bring a camera trap if you have one, together with two memory cards. If not, I will have a few extra camera traps that can be used. You may also want to bring binoculars, telescope, GPS, other camera equipment, lenses and tripod. I will have a laptop for downloading photos, and CDs for making copies.
Warm sleeping bag, foam pad, flashlight, etc. Bring your own tent or use tents with beds provided at the field campus (see brochure).
Be prepared for variable weather. For warm days: shorts, t-shirts and a sweat shirt. For nights and cool days: Long field pants, long-sleeved shirt, sweater or polar fleece, light jacket, gloves. For rainy days: slicker or poncho. Headwear: cap or hat. Footwear: tennis shoes or hiking boots with hiking socks.
Miscellaneous: Day pack, sunscreen, insect repellant, alarm clock, water bottles.
Search the index of Camera Trap Codger for posts on this Field Workshop, specific species of interest, and equipment. The links provide additional information.