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Workshops / Workshops / The Wilds of Algonquin
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Saturday, November 30 - Sunday, December 1, 2024

Join a small group of photographers for an exclusive opportunity to search for Algonquin Park's wild faces to photograph! 

 

As the weather cools off and a hush falls over Algonquin Park, wildlife busily prepares for winter. Beavers are building their food caches, moose are browsing to replenish their energy after the rut, river otters fish from the ice, American pine martens venture closer to the campgrounds, and the winter birds start to return. As we explore some trails, wildlife hot-spots, and cruise the Hwy 60 corridor, we stand a good chance of encountering some of Algonquins famous residents.

 

While most of my workshops include a plan for both landscape & wildlife opportunities, this adventure is dedicated to finding and photographing our furry & feathered friends! But please 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.

During this adventure, we'll track wildlife using all the clues Mother Nature provides. No formal teaching in classroom time, just immersing ourselves in nature with our cameras and a few like-minded souls.

wolf tracks

What's included in the adventure?

  • Two full days of guiding in & around Algonquin Provincial Park

  • Informal photography help & back of camera critique in the field, as required

  • Wildlife tracking tips & tricks

  • The opportunity to explore the park in the safety of a small group with an experienced local guide

  • A mid-morning tailgate coffee / tea / hot chocolate prepared by Helen

What's not included in the adventure?

  • Accommodations

  • Transportation & Gas (carpooling is recommended)

  • Ontario Parks daily vehicle permit

  • Meals & Snacks -- there are no concession facilities open in the park and limited options nearby at this time of year, so pack a lunch is recommended. However, bring a reusable mug for tailgate time.

  • Photography gear, appropriate clothing, & anything required for your personal comfort -- weather this time of year can be unpredictable at best! 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, non-disclosure & non-compete form.

Cost:

2-day adventure is $725 +HST per person

Payment Policy:

A 50% non-refundable payment is due at the time of booking to secure your space in the adventure, with the balance due Monday, September 30, 2024. If you are booking within 60 days of the start of the adventure, fees are due in full at the time of booking.

Cancellation Policy:

Please be sure to check your schedule prior to booking, as all payments are non-refundable and may not be transferred to other workshops. In the event you need to cancel after your payment has been made, you may sell your ticket to another photographer.

What can you expect during the workshop?

  • Long days in the great outdoors!

    • Meet around 6:45 - 7:15 a.m. at Algonquin Park’s West Gate each day

    • Lunch break for roughly 1-1.5hrs around noon

    • Quick comfort breaks throughout the day

    • Finish around 4:30 - 5 p.m. each day

  • There are never any guarantees in wildlife photography. Tracking wildlife is a substantial part of it. We read the clues Mother Nature leaves, make decisions based on our knowledge of the landscape and wildlife behaviour, and employ patience and persistence - sometimes visiting the same spots multiple times, or waiting.

  • We will do a fair amount of driving -- it takes roughly an hour to drive from the park’s west gate to the east gate, and we will likely do this at least once per day. We will also be driving between trails and hot spots, as well as stopping for roadside opportunities as they arise.

  • We'll hike anywhere from 5-12km/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, please contact me 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, I am there to help those who have questions or require individual assistance. I will also offer back-of-camera critique to those interested - and you're bound to pick up some tracking tips & tricks! I 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.

  • A small group 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. Please note there may also be an opportunity to rent a Canon EF 100-400mm lens from me.

There are never guarantees when it comes to wildlife, but here are some of the animals
we have seen during our Algonquin Park photography adventures:

Algonquin wolf

American marten (pine marten)

Bald Eagle

Beaver

Blue Jay

Canada Jay (grey jay)

Mink

Moose

Muskrat

Pine / evening grosbeak

Raven

Red Fox

Red Squirrel

River Otter

Ruffed / spruce grouse

White-Tailed Deer

White-winged / red crossbill

Wild Turkey

Need some ideas for accommodations for this workshop? Here's a list with some links: 

https://www.helengrose.ca/accommodations

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About Helen E. Grose - Your Guide & Instructor!
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Helen is a professional photographer who lives in the heart of Muskoka an hour away from Algonquin Park's west gate. She fell in love with Algonquin in high school on a canoe trip, and now is thrilled to call it both her office and her playground. No two days in Algonquin are ever the same, which is what keeps her coming back

for more! 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 taught 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.

We regret that we cannot be held responsible for Mother Nature's mood. We'll simply do our best with whatever weather she presents us!

I really enjoyed the 2 day wildlife adventure in Algonquin. Your skills & knowledge in tracking wildlife was certainly a valuable educational component. I also appreciated your attention to safety on the highway and on the trails. You are very patient, knowledgeable, organized and very easy to get along with.

S.T.

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