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Workshops / Workshops / Nunavik Photography Adventure

Join Helen Grose for a bucket-list trip -- a photography adventure in wild and remote Nunavik!

Stay at a remote, fly-in wilderness camp on the Ungava Peninsula in Northern Quebec, and spend the days exploring the tundra, taking in the area's vast beauty. As we search for the region's most famous residents, the mighty muskoxen, we'll photograph everything that catches our eyes -- from burgeoning seasonal colours, and flora details, to ancient tent rings and cairns, to wildlife and northern lights.

Wednesday, September 4 --
Wednesday, September 11, 2024

Watch the video for a taste of this adventure!

2 spaces left!

I'm inviting 5 photographers who are always up for adventure, have open minds, and share a passion for photographing all of Mother Nature's beauty to join me.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 -- September 4 -- Travel Day

We will take a 2h20m flight on Canadian North Airlines from Montreal to the village of Kuujjuaq (formerly known as Fort Chimo) in the Northern Quebec region of Nunavik.

Upon arrival in Kuujjuaq (pron: koo-joo-wak), we’ll collect our luggage and be greeted by our host, who will drive us to the float plane base at Stewart Lake. The 30-minute flight to our camp on the Ungava Peninsula offers breathtaking views over the region. This is your introduction to the unparalleled beauty of the landscape above the treeline!

That afternoon, we'll get settled into our cabins, get acquainted with each other and the camp, enjoy a light meal in the kitchen cabin (depending on arrival time), and then head out for our first wander in the wilderness.

 

That evening, we'll enjoy a delicious dinner and discuss our plan for our first day out in the field. We'll want to get to bed early so we're ready for the next day's adventure. Of course, those interested in capturing the Northern Lights will be watching the forecast and the sky!

Please note: you will be responsible for getting yourself to Montreal.

Days 2-7 -- September 5-10 -- Adventure Days

Our itinerary for the week will be largely determined by the weather, as well as wildlife movement.

Each morning, those interested in photographing the sunrise are welcome to roam around camp and chase the light before we meet for breakfast (typically 7:30 a.m.). There are ample opportunities at camp for morning landscapes that are easily accessible.

After a hearty breakfast, we’ll discuss the day's plan and set a time to leave. We can expect to spend much of the day outside with our cameras. We will hike anywhere from a few kilometers up to 10km per day, with the average likely being around 5km. To explore photo-rich areas farther afield, we will also make use of a boat to ferry us up the lake. 

We will head back to camp late afternoon and may enjoy some free time before dinner (typically 6:30 p.m.). During dinner, we’ll review the Aurora borealis forecast and our chances of watching her dance across the northern skies. Time at camp is always “choose your own adventure”, so you can use this time to prepare for the following day, catch up with friends and family online, review your images, get an early night, or enjoy some social time in the north around a bonfire.

Day 8 -- September 11 -- Travel Day

We will most likely leave camp in the morning. We'll take the incredible float plane journey back to Kuujjuaq, and then be driven to the airport to catch our 5:30 p.m. flight back to Montreal.

Flight times are subject to change due to weather and other charters that may be ahead of ours.

 

Please note that any costs associated with a delay in travel - such as, but not limited to flight cancellations, or substantial delays - are not included in the cost of the tour and are the responsibility of each participant. We highly encourage insurance for both travel and out-of-province medical coverage.

What to Expect

What We'll Photograph

Simply put, everything! While a significant portion of our time will be spent photographing muskoxen or searching for them, we'll be hiking through unique landscapes, relishing in the colours and textures presented by the flora and interesting rock and mineral characteristics of the region. Some days may be dedicated to wildlife, some landscapes, and others a blend of both. While we don't recommend carrying tripods during our daily hikes, we encourage you to hike at your own steady pace and stop to capture hand-held images of the region's beauty along the way.

Other wildlife we may be fortunate to encounter includes willow ptarmigan, peregrine falcons, golden eagles, bald eagles, northern harriers, common loons, common mergansers, black bears, foxes, and wolves. We will also visit eskers, cairns, an ancient tent ring and fox trap, and learn about local history and culture from our guides. The camp is right under the Aurora belt, so there's also a good chance of capturing a show if the skies are clear and the Aurora is active.

Daily Activity

This adventure is suitable for those who are physically active in their day-to-day lives and enjoy hiking and photography. You do not have to be an athlete or even consider yourself physically "fit", but your fitness level should allow you to hike with your full backpack of gear on uneven terrain with elevation. Much of the terrain is wet, spongy bog, but ranges from rocks and sand to thick shrubs (which can be waist high in some areas and are prone to undoing shoelaces!). There’s also a fair degree of elevation.

 

​The shortest, longest & average hiking distances last year were 2km, 8km & 5km respectively, with the corresponding durations being 2.5hrs, 8hrs, & 5.5hrs. The pace is steady, with our lead guide walking ahead to scout, and the rest of us following at our individual paces. As always, we expect everyone to know their own limits and pace themselves accordingly.

You will be responsible for carrying your own gear, personal items, food and drinks each day. We will be led by our guides, who are exceptional trackers with intimate knowledge of the landscape and muskoxen behaviour.

In the event someone doesn't feel up for the hike one day, there will always be the option to stay around camp. I am of the opinion there is always something to photograph! 

Photography Instruction

This is a gathering of like-minded individuals who will share a memorable adventure together. All levels are welcome! There will be no formal instruction during the trip. Helen is more than happy to offer suggestions for settings and composition, provide feedback in the field, help trouble-shoot issues, do back-of-camera reviews, and answer any questions you may have to help you get the most out of this adventure. You are encouraged to ask questions. Everyone has knowledge they can offer, so we will likely enjoy informal discussions of photography-related topics during our meals, too.

Photography Gear

Weight is a consideration for both travel and hiking, so I recommend bringing two lenses – a telephoto or super telephoto lens for wildlife, and a wide-angle lens (ideally with macro i.e. close-focussing capabilities) for landscapes, tundra details, and Northern Lights. To take advantage of the wildlife opportunities, I recommend you have a minimum focal length of 400mm (or effective focal length for those with crop sensor bodies - please ask if you need clarification!). Muskox are large, but the distance we'll be from them will vary significantly. You will need a tripod for the northern lights. A detailed suggested packing list will be provided to those who sign up for this adventure.

Camp/Accommodations

The camp is best described as rustic and work is always in progress to improve it. We consider it a place to eat our meals and rest, with the remainder of our time spent on photography.

The camp is made up of a few sleeping cabins, a kitchen cabin, and four vault toilets (outhouses).

The sleeping cabins contain a combination of double beds and bunk beds, and twin beds. Accommodations are shared and assignment will be determined by the make-up of our group. If you know another guest and would like to share a room with them, please let us know at the time of registering. 

There are outlets to charge your camera gear and electronics in each cabin. A generator provides the power, including lights, but does not run 24-hours. Solar powered lights are also available in the cabins. Cabins are heated by propane or oil. Each cabin also has a special toilet for overnight use only, and a sink with portable water container for washing up.

The kitchen cabin acts as both a common area as well as a meeting space. There are outlets to charge your camera gear and electronics, as well as running water for washing up and showering (available 2x/wk). The camp is connected via Starlink Satellite, which is only available at the kitchen cabin.

Just 2 spaces left!

As with all tours and workshops, guests are required to complete a waiver, indemnity, non-disclosure & non-compete in order to participate.

Excursion Cost

The cost of this trip is $8,238.41 + applicable taxes = $9,422.74

Included in Excursion Cost:

  • 7 nights’ shared accommodations at Wolf Lake Camp

  • All meals while at camp

  • Commercial flights between Montreal and Kuujjuaq

  • Charter flights between Kuujjuaq and Wolf Lake Camp

  • Informal photography instruction

  • Guiding

Not Included in Excursion Cost:

  • Any required travel expenses to/within Montreal (transportation, accommodation, food)

  • Any unforeseen expenses resulting from weather and/or logistical delays associated with remote northern travel

  • Trip/medical insurance, which we strongly advise you to purchase

  • Photography equipment or items of a personal nature

Please note that due to provincial laws and regulations, the tour will be payable to three parties. A full fee schedule will be provided to registered guests along with a comprehensive information package, including a packing list.

A non-refundable deposit of $1,808 ($1,600 +hst) will be due by eTransfer at the time of booking to secure your space in this adventure.

Have more questions? I have an information package for you!

Please note: I am not planning to offer this adventure in 2025, so get in on this opportunity now!

Images from my 2023 adventure

All images are copyright Helen E Grose 2023

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