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Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to practice your nature photography skills! With the public areas (Doeskin Ranch, Warbler Vista, and the Shin Oak Observation Deck) being open sunrise to sunset, 365 days a year, your opportunity to capture the beauty of the natural world is at your fingertips. Whether you like to take vast landscape shots or macro flower photos, you’ll find something new through your lens each time you visit. Check out our events page to find out when we are hosting our next nature photography workshop.

tips for nature photography

    • Be patient. Be quiet. Spend several minutes in one spot at a time to observe what’s around you. Before long, wildlife will be easier to spot.  
    • Look for patterns, shapes, shadows, reflections that can add interest to the shot.
    • No fancy equipment needed. If you don’t own a camera, use your smartphone to capture photos. They get better every year.
    • Use your camera to tell a story. Remember, photographers can make a huge impact in conservation efforts. Just check out the USFWS, Audubon and National Goegraphic websites.
    • It's true what they say: "A picture is worth a thousand words." Use photos to capture your memories of a wonderful day with nature.
    • Share your wonderful photos with us on social media by using #FriendsofBalcones and #BalconesCanyonlandsNWR. Or share it with us directly by sending it to, and let us use it in our public outreach material (we always give credit). 


How about trying your hand at wildflower photography? Here are some quick tips to get you started courtesy of Claire Hassler/USFWS.

  • Get low – position your phone or camera in line with the flower instead of above it for a unique angle.
  • Look for layers – find wildflowers growing in patches together to add more color to your background.
  • Zoom in – flowers look so cool up close! See how much detail you can get in your shot.
  • Rise early – light for photos is best as the sun is rising or setting. Think of the fun of capturing dew glistening on the petal of a wildflower. Trails are open as long as there is daylight, and you could be the first one out there! 
  • Look for bugs – photographing bees, butterflies, or even spiders on flowers adds interest and action.

About Us

The Friends of Balcones Canyonlands NWR is a 501(c)(3) organization whose primary purpose is to support the mission of the Refuge in restoring and protecting the habitat. The Friends are committed to building a diverse, vibrant community that appreciates, supports, and connects with nature in a meaningful way.

Become a Member

Join the Friends in protecting the wildlife and habitat, and supporting the mission of the Refuge. Start by taking a hike or  attending an event, by watching the seasons change through what’s blooming, or by just watching a hawk soar, or even just sitting still and listening to the songbirds sing. You can have a positive impact. Come find your refuge at the Refuge and join the fun!

Find Us

Mailing Address:

PO Box 4678

Lago Vista, TX 78645

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