The haunting and seductive call of the loon beckons you upon your arrival in Northern Ontario for this bird photography workshop featuring the Common Loons and their adorable hitchhiking babies!
Canadian Province, Ontario, is home to the highest nesting population of Common Loons in the world. The crystal clear northern lakes provide the bounty of fish that attracts the loons in droves to these shores. The lakes are lined with Black Spruce and giant White Pines providing a picture-perfect backdrop as we photograph the enigmatic loon with their chicks.
The reason we are here is that it literally one of the best places in the world to see and photograph loons. We are here at this particular time of the year because it is when the loon babies are hatching. One of several unique features of the Common Loon is that the newborn chicks are often seen riding on the backs of mom and dad. It is hurt your eyes level of cute!
Our boat has been purpose-built specifically to be the perfect vessel for photographing loons.
The boat features comfortable swivel seats that can be lowered to enable photographers perfect eye-level photography opportunities. You’ll see the sparkle in the proud parent’s eys with this vantage point that is just over a foot off of the water.
The boat bottom is flat for stability with an outboard motor to reach our photography location. Then we switch to a silent electric motor to get us into range to photograph the loons.
For over 20 years, Michael has monitored 11 pairs of nesting loons on 9 different lakes. This has made it possible to offer photographers a 90% loon chick success rate.
Michael is a professional photographer, certified boat Captain, and he was born and raised in the region we will be photographing. His intimate regional knowledge will not only put us on the birds but will also guide us to different bodies of water with the right light, right subjects, and the right time!
Potentially we may also photograph mammals such as Moose, Black Bear, Beaver, and Muskrat. Birds abound in the marshes and bird species such as herons, egrets, kingfishers, ducks, and bitterns may be in your camera viewfinder as well.
Loon Photography Workshop Highlights
- Eye-level Photography
- Common Loons and Chicks
- Multiple Photo Locations
- 3, yes, THREE clients!
- 5 Nights – 6 Days
Arrive Toronto July 18, 2020
Depart Toronto, July 23, 2020
July 18, 2020 – Day 1
Plan to arrive by 2 PM. We will drive together to our hotel in Huntsville, Ontario.
July 19-22, 2020 – Day 2-5
The itinerary will be basically the same each day. Our local guide will pick us up at the hotel, and we will head out before sunrise to one of several hotspots for the loons. We will try to vary the locations for variety, but it really depends on the birds’ cooperation levels.
We will photograph until the light stops cooperating, or our shutter finger is broken. We can take a break for some lunch and possible head out to do some additional bird photography in Algonquin Park.
By mid-afternoon, it will be time to go and find the loons, and we will photograph until the light is gone.
On days that we don’t go and photograph between loon sessions, we will have a joint download and review session at the hotel.
July 23, 2020 – Day 6
Plan to depart at 12 PM. There will not be any photography today.
What is Included?
- 8 Boat Based Photo Sessions
- Transportation to Photography Sites from Hotel
- Arrival Dinner
- Local professional guide and Boat Captain
- Professional Bird Photography Instruction
- Image reviews and one on one photography help
What is Not Included?
- Your flight and any other travel costs to Toronto Person International Airport and back home again after the tour
- Travel from Toronto to Huntsville, Ontario and Back
We will share our photography knowledge with you so that you will leave a better photographer than when you arrived. You will learn about planning shots, reading the light and making the correct camera adjustments. We will share our post processing work flow and help you create a workflow that is best suited to your needs.
Our goal is to not merely setup your camera for you, but to give you the knowledge so that you can get the same results at home as when you were with us.
The tour size is limited to 3 photographers so you can count on minimal interruption from too many tripods and with a 2 instructors you can get a ton of one on one attention and education.
What Should I Bring?
- You’ll need at least one camera, ideally two to give you a backup
- For the loons you will want a long lens something with at least 400mm on the long end. The sigma 150-600mm would be very nice.
- There will be some beautiful scenery as well, so perhaps a wide angle.
It’s almost impossible to list everything that you’ll need, you will be sent some recommendations and then this will be covered again before your trip on a one on one phone discussion we will have with you.
At any point feel free to reach out to either of us and we’ll talk you off of the ledge!
US Citizens Traveling To Canada*
Valid at time of entry. If you are transiting Canada en route to Europe, your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen area.
Blank Passport Pages
One page required.
Not required for stays under 180 days.
Arrival and Departure Airport
Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is the destination airport in Toronto, Ontario.
You should arrive in Toronto about 12:00 PM on July 18, 2020. If you are coming from far away and it is not feasible to arrive before noon let me know I will help you book you an extra night.
The recommended Hotel is the Holiday Inn Express. It is about $150 per night. The quality rolls off pretty quickly. I have stayed at the nearby Rodeway Inn, it is about $20 a night less and it does show…
Holiday Inn Express & Suites : Huntsville – Muskoka
100 Howland Drive, Huntsville, Ontario P1H 2P9
We will plan to drop you off at the Toronto International Airport around 12:00 PM. This should be adequate time for departures after 3:00 PM.
I always use trip insurance for my travels. It’s so much easier and with so many more benefits when you compare it with your insurance. I’ve found the costs to be reasonable given the benefits. I use Travel Guard when I travel and even though; I’ve not had a claim they were helpful and easy to deal with on the phone.
*Information for US citizens travel to Canada was obtained from the US Department of State and was valid as of December 2017. If you are going to Canada from another country, please check with your embassy to check the travel requirements for your country.
Click the Green Button at the Bottom the page and that will take you to my payment processor and you can choose your favorite method of payment. In the White Box you can enter the number of places that you would like to book.
About 30 days before departure, you will get a welcome kit with the nuts and bolts of what to expect. Of course, feel free to email me or call me and we can talk about it as much as you like!
There is a 2.5% convenience fee to pay your balance by credit cards. There are no fees with any of the listed payment methods for your deposit. Be sure to read the Terms and Conditions and or the FAQ to fully understand about deposits, cancellations and other important, but boring stuff.
I’ve been very passively advising my clients to purchase travel insurance for a while, but lately it seems like there have been multiple people having travel issues. Some have lost their deposits and sometimes even the cost of the entire trip!
Based on my client’s experience, I cannot stress more strongly how crucial it is to purchase travel insurance. Like I said before, and here it comes again, there is never a way to predict what is going to happen when you are booking trips months and years into the future.
You can read more about my thoughts about the importance of travel insurance in this blog post.
Or you can go get a free quote and book your vital travel insurance.
The tuition for the Loon Photography Workshop is $2995 USD per person.
The deposit for this workshop is $750 USD. The deposit can be paid by PayPal, Credit Card, Wire Transfer or Check. Actually, if you have another way you would like to pay, I am open to new ideas when it comes to collecting money!
The balance of the workshop tuition will be due April 19, 2020 (90 days prior).
Ready to Go?
This is a special workshop and one that will be highly productive with plenty of opportunities to create some magical images. It’s a small group only 3 people so you will get plenty of attention from yours truly and our guide and boat Captain is also a pro photographer, you’ll be in great hands. Don’t delay though, it only take 3 to fill this workshop!
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