Javelina at the Desert Photo Ranch. Photo by Bruce Taubert.

If you are looking for a new place to photograph Arizona’s desert wildlife, then look no further than the new Desert Photo Retreat!

Ron and Janine Niebrugge recently acquired a 10-acre piece of the beautiful Upper Sonoran desert east of the town of Marana in the Tortolita Mountains (north of Tucson). Although the Niebrugge’s have lived at the property for three years, this is the first year they have opened it up to outside photographers.

According to his online bio: “Ron attended college at Eastern Washington and then went on to get his masters at UCI. After graduating from UCI he stayed on in So Cal where he met his wife, Janine. In 1991 they returned to Alaska and made Seward, Alaska home, where they still reside. In 2002 Ron, along with Janine, decided to follow his passion for photography on a full-time basis, leaving comfortable corporate jobs for the unknown life of a professional photographer. Ron and Janine never looked back.” His striking photography work can be found at http://www.wildnatureimages.com.

Fox at the Desert Photo Ranch. Photo by Bruce Taubert.

At the Desert Photo Retreat, saguaros, ironwood, palo verde, and tons of cactus pack the property. It also features a permanent water source, and the birds are fed abundantly. Thus, it’s a haven for wildlife.

Although Ron seemingly sees all of the desert birds visit his new home, I visited recently to specifically to photograph javelina and gray fox. The birds are easy, the fox predictable, and the javelina reliable. Two blinds on the property put you in the best position for great morning and evening light.

The javelina image is one of several I took on my first visit. These cute but voracious “pigs” are best photographed at the pond blind. The gray fox begin their activities at dusk and are active all night. Flashes and some knowledge of remote photography will help. The fox make several visits to the pond blind during the night. If you can stay up late, you should be successful. Ron’s other blind is set up primarily for desert birds and is incredibly active.

An airstream trailer is available for overnight stays on the property for singles or couples. It’s better than most hotels I stay at. For an additional fee, Ron can guide you for a half- or full-day.

The only downside? The Desert Photo Retreat is only open from October through April.

Give the Desert Photo Retreat a try! You will not regret it.  Learn more at Desert-photo-retreat.com.

~Bruce

Fox at the Desert Photo Ranch. Photo by Bruce Taubert.

One Response to “New Wildlife Photography Location: Desert Photo Retreat”

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