The Wilds of Algonquin Photography Adventures
NEW for 2020, I'm offering an exclusive opportunity to a small number of photographers to join me in search of Algonquin Park's wildlife. While most of my workshops offer both landscape & wildlife opportunities, these adventures are dedicated solely to finding and photographing our furry & feathered friends! But feel free to tuck a wide-angle lens in your pocket, as we'll be trekking (and tracking!) through some of the most beautiful landscape Ontario has to offer.
Choose a 2- or 4-day adventure where we'll track wildlife using all the clues Mother Nature provides. No formal teaching, or classroom time, just immersing ourselves in nature with our cameras and a few like-minded souls (maximum of 4 - plus me!).
As the weather cools off and the park gets quieter, wildlife prepares for winter -- in particular, beavers are building their food caches and reinforcing their lodges, and moose are browsing to replenish their energy after a busy mating season. While there are never guarantees of wildlife sightings, we stand a pretty good chance of encountering Algonquin's famous residents, as we explore some trails, as well as hot-spots in the park.
2-day adventure -- Thursday, December 3 & Friday, December 4
2-day adventure -- Saturday, December 5 & Sunday, December 6
4-day adventure -- Thursday, December 3 to Sunday, December 6
Two (or four!) full days of guiding in & around Algonquin Provincial Park
Informal photography help & back of camera critique in the field, as required
Day use vehicle pass
What's not included?
Accommodations -- it is recommended you stay on the west side of Algonquin Park in Oxtongue Lake, Dwight, or Huntsville, as there are more options for both rooms & restaurants at this time of year.
Transportation & Gas -- it is recommended that you carpool with other participants and share gas costs. Parking options at trailheads & roadside can be limited.
Meals & Snacks -- being outside and active in late fall & winter generally consumes more energy; therefore, it's highly recommended that you bring snacks & hydration. There are NO concession facilities open in the park at this time of year. We will be leaving the park and stopping at a cafe where you can purchase lunch, or feel free to pack a brown bag.
Photography gear, appropriate clothing, & anything required for your personal comfort -- weather this time of year can be unpredictable, at best! It is recommended that you dress in layers, including proper cold weather clothes and footwear. Crampons or ice cleats are highly recommended, as the terrain may be icy and slippery. A full list of suggested gear and personal items will be provided after your deposit has been received.
All participants will be required to sign a waiver.
2-day adventure is $350 +HST per person
4-day adventure is $625 +HST per person
A 50% non-refundable payment is due at the time of booking to secure your space in the adventure, with the balance due Sunday, October 4, 2020 (60 days prior). If you are booking within 60 days of the start of the adventure, fees are due in full at the time of booking.
Please be sure you check your schedule prior to booking, as your initial payment of 50% is non-refundable. In the event you pay in full prior to the cancellation deadline (61 days or more prior to the adventure), you will be refunded 50% less transaction fees. Cancellations on or after Sunday, October 4, 2020 are non-refundable.
What can you expect during the workshop?
Long days in the great outdoors!
We will be meeting around 7 a.m. each day
Lunch break for roughly 1-1.5hrs around 12:30 p.m.
Quick comfort breaks throughout the day
Finishing about 5 p.m. each day
A fair amount of driving -- it takes roughly an hour to drive from one side of the park to the other and we will likely drive the full width at least once per day.
Potentially hiking anywhere from 5-10km/day on trails that may be muddy, or snow & ice covered, and include roots, rocks, hills & stairs. While this is designed to be reasonably accessible, cold weather hiking is always more challenging. If you have mobility issues or health concerns that may prevent you from fully enjoying the adventure, we'd suggest contacting Helen to discuss other options. It is every individual's responsibility to know their limitations, pace themselves accordingly, and participate only in what they're comfortable and confident doing
While there is no formal instruction during this adventure, Helen is there to help those who have questions or require individual assistance. She will also offer back-of-camera critique to those interested - and you're bound to pick up some tracking tips & tricks! Helen will discuss ethics in wildlife photography at the outset and expect everyone to respect the park and her inhabitants. There is to be absolutely no feeding of wildlife, as this is prohibited in our parks.
A small group (4 max!) of like-minded people who will probably become fast friends!
A mix of photography skill levels.
Adventure rain, snow, or shine -- warm, or cold!
Please note: I highly recommend bringing a telephoto lens to get the most out of this opportunity. While we may find ourselves reasonably close to some wildlife, part of respecting the wildlife we photograph is keeping a safe distance. The most typical range of focal lengths used are between 200mm and 600mm. If you do not have a telephoto lens and you do not want to rent one, you can still participate and enjoy yourself, but please be mindful that your images will reflect your gear's capabilities, and as such will show more of the landscape (which I, personally, love!). If you are concerned about your gear, please feel free to contact me prior to booking.
There are never guarantees when it comes to wildlife, but here are some of the animals
we might see during our adventures:
American marten (pine marten)
Canada Jay (grey jay)
About Helen E. Grose - Your Guide & Instructor!
Helen is a professional photographer who lives on a farm in Muskoka an hour away from the west gate. She fell in love with Algonquin Park in high school on a canoe trip, and has since experienced some incredible moments with many of the park’s famous residents – moose, foxes, wolves, bears
and beavers. She will take you to some of her favourite places and share tracking tips & techniques that will help increase your chances of finding and photographing wildlife, safely and ethically.
Helen's images have been published around the globe and she's often been described as an animal whisperer. Currently, Helen teaches nature and landscape photography at Georgian College and prides herself on using simple, easy to understand language.
During this adventure, Helen will impress upon you ethics in wildlife photography, as it’s an important part of any authentic encounter. While every effort is made to find wildlife to photograph, there are many factors outside our control and, therefore, no guarantees are made.
About Algonquin Provincial Park
Originally established as "Algonquin National Park of Ontario" in 1893, Algonquin Park is the oldest provincial park in Canada. Due to a movement to create a true national parks system in 1913, its name was changed to what it's known as today, Algonquin Provincial Park. The park covers approximately 7,653 square kilometres of land between northern and southern Ontario. Roughly a 3.5 hour drive north of Toronto, a 3 hour drive west of Ottawa, and a 3 hour drive south-east of Sudbury, Algonquin Park is easily accessible to a large population, making it a favourite playground for outdoor enthusiasts. The mix of coniferous and deciduous forests found within the park's boundaries make it home to a diverse number of flora and fauna. As a result, Algonquin is one of the most well-researched parks in the country. Algonquin Park has a rich history, which includes logging, railway and, of course, the arts as a favourite subject - and place of death - of the famed Tom Thompson.
For information about bookings & the adventure please contact Helen.
*Note: While we will do our best to locate wildlife to photograph, there are many factors outside our control; therefore, no guarantees are made.