Time for another newsletter from Escape to Nature Photography Workshops & Photography by Vinny Colucci. 

As we go through spring and into summer I hope all your photographic adventures are great. 

The last few months have been very busy. From Florida Wetlands to Sun & Fun Fly-in airshow, we have been on the move. Along the way we got to test a few new pieces of camera gear. We will talk about the Kirk Photo Monopod head and the Sirui Monopod.


In February, we had a full house with our Florida Wetlands Workshop. We visited Orlando Wetlands Park, Viera Wetlands Park, and Merritt Island National Wildlife Reserve. We also shot sunrise at Cocoa Beach Pier.

We located many subjects to photograph and got to teach new techniques on birds in flight. Even our sunrise at Cocoa Beach Pier went well, including doing some slow shutter speed photography with wave motion. Note: The Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo 

helped control polarization as well as adding up to 8 stops of ND. The results below show for themselves what you can do with this all-in-one filter.

Go to www.singh-ray.com to get yours. For a limited time use vinny10 for 10% off your filter order.





Here are a few images from the rest of the event:








The first week in April we found ourselves at the Sun & Fun Airshow in Lakeland, Florida. Being a Private/Instrument pilot, I love photographing airshows. Having media credentials helped get us into locations that the general public can't typically get to.









I shot my Nikon D5 with 200-500 f/5.6 and D850 with 24-70 f/2.8 or 70-200 f/2.8. 

Annette shot her 200-500 on a Nikon D4 and a 28-300 on a D500. All the equipment worked perfectly. 

All our equipment was carried in our Think Tank Street Walker Pros. We'll talk on some backpacks a little further down in the newsletter. I also got to test the Sirui P-424SR Monopod and the Kirk Photo Monopod head. I want to say I typically don't like monopod setups. This combo has changed my mind and I will incorporate this into some shooting situations. Its a great lightweight setup.



The Kirk Monopod head is smooth and precise. More importantly, it is very stable and robust and can easily handle a lens up to 600mm. Below, I am showing my D5 with 200-500 mounted. It handled this with no problem. I also shot with a Nikon 200-400 with D5 mounted. Again, very smooth and easy to handle.





The Kirk Photo Monopod head is an outstanding piece of equipment. I want to thank Jeff Kirk for getting one to me. This USA made product has outstanding construction as well as engineering. All Kirk products, including their amazing ballheads, are made right here in the USA.


I mounted the Monopod head on the Sirui P-424SR monopod. This is no typical monopod. The unit is very well constructed and designed. It is a monopod with the addition of feet to help in its stability. There are several adjustments for smooth horizontal control as well as the ability to use its mini ball at the foot hub for additional movement and positioning.







The feet helps keep the monopod upright when you're mounting and unmounting your camera. Note, do not walk away from your monopod with gear mounted. It is not a tripod and not intended to act as one. I found tracking planes in flight easy with this combination. This is also a great combination whenever you are shooting in a "no tripods allowed" zone. Many times they still allow monopod setups.


You can get the Kirk Monopod head directly from Kirk Enterpises. www.kirkphoto.com.

Let them know I sent you.


The Sirui Monopod can be purchased from Hunts Photo. Alan Samiljan handles all my workshop participants. Give him a call on all your photographic needs.

Alan Samiljan

Hunt's Photo & Video

100 Main St.

Melrose, MA 02176

(781) 462-2383 


Here is a link for special pricing from Hunts Photo on the P-424SR:


15% off Sirui P-424SR Carbon Fiber Photo/Video Monopod (Weight: 3.1 lb Max Load: 26.5 lb.) 


The end of April we handled 7 classes for the St. Augustine Birding & Foto Fest.

This is one great event. I have taught at this event for over 10 years. It has been one of my favorites. I want to thank Gary Farber and Hunts Photo fror sponsoring me at the event, as well as Erin Masters and Britney Jones for inviting me back for another wonderful year.Teaching at the Alligator Farm Rookery is always a highlight at this event. But climbing 219 steps (Not bad for almost 63), for two days in a row for the sunrise on top of the St Augustine Lighthouse, has become a favorite. After sunrise we got to photograph the spiral staircase down. This took the wide angle or fish eye lens to complete the job. Loaning out my Nikon 16mm fish eye helped the Nikon folks. This year Canon loaned me their 16mm fisheye to loan to the Canon participants. Thank you Canon for the loan; It was a real treat for the Canon shooters. I may be a Nikon Shooter but have become good friends with the Canon folks at these events. Really nice people and always eager to help.









I have been asked about my backpacks again. I primarily use three camera backpacks.

My main pack is the Mindshift MP-3 bag. This holds almost everything and still fits in small overheads, even commuter jets and propped planes. I have never had to put a camera bag into the belly of the plane.

I also carry the smaller Mindshift MP-7 when taking short trips. This small bag carries a small setup. I use this when I am headed for a Key-Note or speaking presentation. I may not be intending on doing a lot of  photography but I don't want to leave home camera empty handed.

My third bag is my Think Tank Streetwalker Pro V-2. This is used for mostly Airshow media work or when I am hiking trails for waterfalls.


Below is a special ad from Hunts Photo which shows each bag and what I carry in them. There is also special pricing for my workshop participants. You won't find a better deal on these bags.




Here are some Hunts Photo links for some great prices on these backpacks.


20% off MindShift Gear Moose Peterson MP-3 V2.0 Backpack

20% off MindShift Gear Moose Peterson MP-7 V2.0 Backpack

20% off Think Tank Photo StreetWalker V2.0



 Next week we have a full class in our Springtime Waterfalls Workshop. We will also be teaching our breakout Birds of Prey sessions at the Grandfather mountain Photography Weekend. This is the first weekend after Memorial Day. Go to: www.grandfather.com for more information. Please watch for our 2019 schedule for next years events.


I visited the habitat area at Grandfather Mountain last week and grabbed a few images. What a fun place to visit. Grandfather is only a few hours from home. If I need a get away, Grandfather is it. It my home away from home, not too far and there is always something to shoot.





We had a few dropouts for our February 2019 Triple D workshop in Montana. If you have an interest, take a look at the link below and join us for big cats in the Snow of Montana.


                             Triple D  Winter Workshop Workshop 


                             Remember, only two openings available. 





I have been shooting the Nikon D5, D850, D500 and D7500 for some time now. I will be writing about these amazing cameras in the near future. Photographers are invited to contact me anytime on menu settings to help optimize these cameras. Contact me at [email protected] to setup a phone appointment. I will be also be setting up a Nikon D5, D500, D850,and D7500 class in Asheboro NC this fall. The date will be finalized with the hotel next week. We will have a 1/2 day seminar followed by a 1/2 day session shooting in North Carolina Zoo. The event will be $120.00 which includes entry to the Zoo.


Well, thats it for this issue. Hope you all have a great week. Next issue we will look at the Mindshift Backlight 32L. 


Thank you all new subscribers to our newsletter. As promised, a new subscriber winner

was picked for a new camera backpack.

The Winner of the Mindshift Backlight 26L is : Steven Van Meter. Steven will be contacted shortly and will receive his new backpack. Thank you all again.


                                              Happy Shooting