Photographing Birds at The Raptor Trust

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The Raptor Trust in Millington, NJ is a non-profit organization and one of the premier wild bird rehabilitation centers in the United States. The Trust includes a hospital with state-of-the-art medical facilities, quality exterior housing for several hundred birds, and an education building. A stalwart advocate for birds of prey for three decades, it is now recognized as a national leader in the fields of raptor conservation and avian rehabilitation.

Meet up with Michael Downey at The Raptor Trust for an exciting day of photographing some of the Trust's permament bird residents! The day will begin with a brief photography seminar with Michael. You'll then have a chance to photograph three different birds, which may include owls, hawks, and falcons. Indoors, there will be a station set up with a backdrop and continuous lighting. Outdoors, there will be two shooting stations with perches: one against a large pine tree, and one with an open field as the backdrop.

*Limited to 10 attendees.
*Meetup is at the Raptor Trust Visitor Parking area (1452 White Bridge Road, Millington, NJ 07946).

*IMPORTANT: Please be aware that this workshop is weather dependent for the safety of the birds. If there is rain or too much wind in the forecast, we will need to postpone the workshop. Please keep an eye on this listing and your email.

Available Dates

There are currently no upcoming classes.

What is a raptor? Any of various birds of prey, including hawks, eagles, falcons and owls, distinguished by strong hooked beaks and taloned feet. They're important to nature's intricate system of checks and balances. They help maintain stability in the living world, and it is important to preserve them for their biological significance alone. Furthermore, they are beautiful and intriguing creatures, the epitome of wildness and freedom; their very existence adds quality to our lives.

Meet some of the permanent residents at the Raptor Trust!

Vilma is a barred owl and has been a permanent resident for ten years. She was about a year old when she was hit by a car and found by the side of the road. Vilma’s impact injury was a compound fracture of the left wing. Because of the injury, she has no sustainable flight and has a chronic blood feather problem. Vilma is a stunning owl and is known for her beak snapping during programs.

Winky is an eastern screech owl. He arrived at The Raptor Trust, as an adult, in 2006. Winky suffered an impact injury to his left eye. His eye was so badly damaged that the Trust's avian vet surgically removed it. Because Winky is a one eyed owl, he had problems hunting for food and he was determined non-releasable. Winky is a small, handsome owl. His feather pattern is a work of art. Winky likes to stay very still and quiet during programs.

Unique University® is the highly acclaimed education component of Unique Photo®, NJ’s only camera and video superstore. There is over 2000 sq. ft. of learning space, including our start-of-the art, 1000 sq. ft. main presentation hall. Unique University’s mission is to help our visitors “Create Better Pictures” by providing photography education for beginners to pros. With events daily, it is the place where photography groups such as local camera clubs, ASMP, PPA and others meet. We have a full curriculum of classes and seminars from world famous speakers such as Art Wolfe, Rick Sammon, Michael Yamashita, Tyler Stableford, Lindsay Adler, and Will Crockett. We offer photography experiences to such places as the Prudential Center for Seton Hall Men's Basketball, Meadowlands Horse Racetrack, Lakota Wolf Preserve, NJ Jackals Baseball, Rutgers Football, Botanical Gardens, Festival of Ballooning, and much more. Our technical classes include such topics as basic D-SLR photography, lighting techniques, Adobe Photoshop, Elements, and Lightroom, macro photography, composition, editing and printing, wedding photography, HDR photography, working with speedlights, how to use social media, digital organization, one-on-one instruction, and much more. 


Where are classes held? 
Unless stated otherwise, classes are held in the Unique University classroom within the Unique Photo SuperStore (123 US Highway 46 West, Fairfield, NJ 07004). 

What should I bring to class? 
You're encouraged to bring your camera and a notebook and pen to most classes. Some classes will require additional equipment, so please check the class descriptions. 

Will lunch or refreshments be included? 
Lunch and refreshments are not provided for any classes under 6 hours unless noted. 

How do I register for a class? 
You can register online, in-store at the concierge, or by phone at either 973-377-6454 or 973-377-2007. Please note that you will need to provide payment information. 

Can I register at the door? 
For most classes, you're free to register at the concierge desk prior to the start of the class. Please note that there are some classes that offer "Early Bird Special" rates and others that have limited seating, so it would be in your best interest to register prior to the dates of such classes. 

I wanted to register for ______ class, but it is now sold out. Is there a waiting list? 
Please contact us at 973-377-6454 or with the following information: your name, phone number, email address, and the class name and date. 

My question has not been addressed here. Is there someone I can contact? 
Please contact us at 973-377-6454 or with any additional inquiries.

Unique University Class Cancellation Policy
- Classes costing less than $99 may be canceled up to 48 hours in advance for a full refund. For classes costing $100 or more, advanced notice of seven days before the class is necessary for a full refund.
- Requests for cancellation made after these deadlines will be awarded store credit in the amount paid for registration towards a future Unique University seminar or workshop.
- Cancellations made within 24 hours of the beginning of a class will not be honored and no refund or credit will be given.
- Cancellations of any class utilizing models will be subject to a cancellation fee of 50% of the purchased price (up to $100).
** Attention American Express cardholders: If you cancel a registration for a class costing $100 or more, there will be a 3% cancellation fee deducted from your refund or store credit.

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