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Worldwide Photography Tours since 1980

Caddo Lake and Big Cypress Bayou

Texas in Autumn

Straddling the borders of Texas and Louisiana, Caddo Lake and the Big Cypress Bayou comprise an extensive 26,800-acre maze of channels, meandering bayous, sloughs, and cypress thickets.  This misty primordial swampland adds a new wild and haunting dimension to “fall color” photography.  Here, in the Deep South, majestic bald cypress trees reflected in tranquil dark tannin-rich waters are transformed with color in autumn, with an exuberant explosion of fiery burnt orange, red, gold and russet.

P3A4375

Thick ghostly drapes of Spanish moss hang from every branch as fog drifts amidst gnarled and buttressed cypress trunks.  Abstract shapes of cypress knees protrude above mirrored water as herons and egrets use them from which to hunt amidst the giant trees.

We are out in the predawn hours making our way to locales of graphic intensity.  We visit the most stunning groups of trees and cypress corridors prior to the golden hour, hoping to photograph tree reflections and ethereal mist before sunrise.  Then we continue as dappled golden light filters through the canopy above.  In the afternoon we return to these backwaters in our flat-bottomed jon boats, hopeful for beautiful colors of the sky and tree silhouettes at sunset.

To the Lake 1

In October 1993, Caddo Lake was designated a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention—an international treaty which seeks to conserve wetlands throughout the world.  The area protects a wealth of wildlife and is an important migratory stopover for birds prior to their continuing journey southward on the Central Flyway, as well as for those that overwinter here.  The wetland boasts one of the most diverse plant communities in Texas, rivaling almost any in the country.  Beneath the surface of the black water, prehistoric American paddlefish swim.  The species, which is 50 million years older than the dinosaurs, and now the only surviving paddlefish species on Earth, was restocked into Caddo Lake in 2020.

Join us as we venture into the world of the bald cypress as we set out to capture a collection of moody and strikingly beautiful images of these venerable trees of southern swamps.  This trip provides extraordinary landscape photography, great fall color and a dash of wildlife photography to top it off.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: (Oct 27, 2024)
Plan to arrive at the Shreveport, Louisiana Airport by 11 AM where the group assembles for a short drive to our accommodations in Marshall, Texas. It is recommended that participants with tight airline schedules arrive in Shreveport a day earlier and stay at a nearby airport hotel and take the hotel airport shuttle to our airport meeting place to be announced. Following orientation at our hotel, we grab our gear and head out for our first afternoon photo session. (D)

Days 2–4
These next three days feature two boat trips each day with four photographers and a photo leader in both of our boats. We are up and out before sunrise—with breakfast snacks onboard our boats—to be in position at those iconic photo locations known to our local boatmen. Early morning is the best time to find mirror-smooth water and ethereal mist before the sun rises and the breeze follows. We remain on the water photographing through golden hour and later as the light and weather dictates. Then we head to a restaurant for a late breakfast.
 
Middays are flexible allowing us to visit Caddo Lake State Park on one day and photograph close-up cypress swamp details, from a fishing pier and using tripods, that are not easily attainable from our boats. Potentially, we may be able to attract a closeup barred owl or two. We also have time for optional image reviews and critiques of your new images following a day or two of shooting.

In these afternoons we are out on the water again to get in position for areas of strong fall color, golden hour, and hopefully to silhouette these graphic trees against a fiery sunset. (BLD)

Day 5 (Oct 31)
We experience our final sunrise photo shoot from our boats this morning. After breakfast, we collect our luggage and return to Shreveport by noon. (B)

 

 Van Os Photo Safaris is an Authorized Permittee of Caddo Lake State Park

Tour Details

Oct 27 2024 – Oct 31 2024
Please Join Our Waitlist!
Join Waitlist
Fee: $5,895 from Shreveport, Louisiana
Deposit: $1,500
Limit: 8 participants
Activity Level: Easy

Tour Highlights

  • Create graphic imagery of iconic fall-colored cypress trees at this premier Texas location and refine your landscape photographic skills
  • A new “fall color” photo destination with a totally different ambience than northern deciduous forests
  • Four photographers and one photo leader in both of our boats
  • Knowledgeable and experienced local boatmen guide us to prime backwater areas with peak timing for photography
  • Trip fee includes all meals, lodging, state park entrance fees, boat and ground transportation, photo guides and instruction

Tour Details

Oct 27 2024 – Oct 31 2024
Please Join Our Waitlist!
Join Waitlist
Fee: $5,895 from Shreveport, Louisiana
Deposit: $1,500
Limit: 8 participants
Activity Level: Easy

Straddling the borders of Texas and Louisiana, Caddo Lake and the Big Cypress Bayou comprise an extensive 26,800-acre maze of channels, meandering bayous, sloughs, and cypress thickets.  This misty primordial swampland adds a new wild and haunting dimension to “fall color” photography.  Here, in the Deep South, majestic bald cypress trees reflected in tranquil dark tannin-rich waters are transformed with color in autumn, with an exuberant explosion of fiery burnt orange, red, gold and russet.

P3A4375

Thick ghostly drapes of Spanish moss hang from every branch as fog drifts amidst gnarled and buttressed cypress trunks.  Abstract shapes of cypress knees protrude above mirrored water as herons and egrets use them from which to hunt amidst the giant trees.

We are out in the predawn hours making our way to locales of graphic intensity.  We visit the most stunning groups of trees and cypress corridors prior to the golden hour, hoping to photograph tree reflections and ethereal mist before sunrise.  Then we continue as dappled golden light filters through the canopy above.  In the afternoon we return to these backwaters in our flat-bottomed jon boats, hopeful for beautiful colors of the sky and tree silhouettes at sunset.

To the Lake 1

In October 1993, Caddo Lake was designated a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention—an international treaty which seeks to conserve wetlands throughout the world.  The area protects a wealth of wildlife and is an important migratory stopover for birds prior to their continuing journey southward on the Central Flyway, as well as for those that overwinter here.  The wetland boasts one of the most diverse plant communities in Texas, rivaling almost any in the country.  Beneath the surface of the black water, prehistoric American paddlefish swim.  The species, which is 50 million years older than the dinosaurs, and now the only surviving paddlefish species on Earth, was restocked into Caddo Lake in 2020.

Join us as we venture into the world of the bald cypress as we set out to capture a collection of moody and strikingly beautiful images of these venerable trees of southern swamps.  This trip provides extraordinary landscape photography, great fall color and a dash of wildlife photography to top it off.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: (Oct 27, 2024)
Plan to arrive at the Shreveport, Louisiana Airport by 11 AM where the group assembles for a short drive to our accommodations in Marshall, Texas. It is recommended that participants with tight airline schedules arrive in Shreveport a day earlier and stay at a nearby airport hotel and take the hotel airport shuttle to our airport meeting place to be announced. Following orientation at our hotel, we grab our gear and head out for our first afternoon photo session. (D)

Days 2–4
These next three days feature two boat trips each day with four photographers and a photo leader in both of our boats. We are up and out before sunrise—with breakfast snacks onboard our boats—to be in position at those iconic photo locations known to our local boatmen. Early morning is the best time to find mirror-smooth water and ethereal mist before the sun rises and the breeze follows. We remain on the water photographing through golden hour and later as the light and weather dictates. Then we head to a restaurant for a late breakfast.
 
Middays are flexible allowing us to visit Caddo Lake State Park on one day and photograph close-up cypress swamp details, from a fishing pier and using tripods, that are not easily attainable from our boats. Potentially, we may be able to attract a closeup barred owl or two. We also have time for optional image reviews and critiques of your new images following a day or two of shooting.

In these afternoons we are out on the water again to get in position for areas of strong fall color, golden hour, and hopefully to silhouette these graphic trees against a fiery sunset. (BLD)

Day 5 (Oct 31)
We experience our final sunrise photo shoot from our boats this morning. After breakfast, we collect our luggage and return to Shreveport by noon. (B)

 

 Van Os Photo Safaris is an Authorized Permittee of Caddo Lake State Park

Tour Highlights

  • Create graphic imagery of iconic fall-colored cypress trees at this premier Texas location and refine your landscape photographic skills
  • A new “fall color” photo destination with a totally different ambience than northern deciduous forests
  • Four photographers and one photo leader in both of our boats
  • Knowledgeable and experienced local boatmen guide us to prime backwater areas with peak timing for photography
  • Trip fee includes all meals, lodging, state park entrance fees, boat and ground transportation, photo guides and instruction