Bears, Whales, Birds and Landscapes

Bears, Whales, Forests, Birds, Sunrise and Sunset on the coast of British Columbia.

The wild and rugged west coast of Vancouver Island is a nature photographers dream come true. Old Growth Forests, rocky shores, windswept beaches, and abundant birds and wildlife. Join us, and you’ll step into the land of the “Group of Seven” painters where you will photograph the essence of the Pacific Northwest. Our destination, Tofino, British Columbia.

On your workshop, you will be exploring the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve by land and by sea, with Jeff Wendorff and Kevin Pepper, two full-time photographers and long-time photography instructors. This region typifies the majesty of the Pacific Northwest, boasting unparalleled natural beauty accentuated by a tapestry of vibrant communities.

The stunning vistas have long inspired artists and artisans such as the famed and fabulous, “Group of Seven.” Add to that a climate that summons outdoor enthusiasts from all corners of the Earth, and it is clear that Vancouver Island will catch your eye and assuredly fill your memory cards with many beautiful images.

Orca Breaching Near Tofino as the sunsets during Bears, Whales, Birds, Landscapes photography tour in British Columbia
Orca Breaching Near Tofino

Wildlife Workshops You Will Be Amazed Logo

Bears, Whales, Birds, and Landscapes in BC Highlights

  • 6 Nights and 7 Days Clayoquot Sound
  • Includes All Local Lodging and Transportation
  • Group Image Critiques
  • Expert Professional Photographer Guides
  • Max Attendees: 8
  • Cost: $4995 (Single Occupancy) $4495 (Double Occupancy)

Bears, Whales, Birds, and Landscapes Details

Workshop Arrivals and Departures

July 14-20, 2019

Please schedule your arrival at Vancouver International Airport (YVR), so you can be picked up before noon on day one of the workshops. Plan your departure after 4 pm on the last day.

Bears, Whales, Birds, and Landscapes Daily Schedule

Day 1
You will be picked up at the Vancouver Airport or your hotel and taken to Vancouver Ferry Terminal where we will board our ferry and head over to Vancouver Island. We will pick you up at 12 pm.

Once we arrive on the Island, we will head to the Botanical Gardens just outside of Victoria and photograph arguably the best botanical gardens in North America.

Overnight in Victoria

Day 2
Today we drive one hour north to take two separate Orca Whale and Humpback Whale tours. When we arrive in Cowichan Bay, you will have the opportunity to wander the seaside town and take photos around the harbor.

In the afternoon we will have our first Orca and Humpback boat tour to focus on the Southern Resident Orca Whales, Transient Orca Whales, Humpback Whales, Grey Whales and Minke Whales. You will also encounter Sea Lions, Bald Eagles, Harbour Seals, Dall’s and Harbour Porpoise as well as a myriad of marine birds on your whale watching eco tour.

After dinner, we will head out our second Whale Watching tours to focus on the Southern Resident Orca Whales, Transient Orca Whales, Humpback Whales, Grey Whales and Minke Whales. You will also encounter Sea Lions, Bald Eagles, Harbour Seals, Dall’s and Harbour Porpoise as well as a myriad of marine birds on your whale watching eco tour. Breaching Orcas and whales are relatively common, but getting the shot requires skill and a good deal of good fortune. We can help you with one, but you’ll be on your own for the other!

Overnight in Nanaimo

Day 3
Today we head west to Tofino and Ucluelet. We depart in the morning, taking roads that wind through the interior of the island.

On the way, we will stop at Cathedral Grove. Cathedral Grove, located in MacMillan Provincial Park, is one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas fir trees on Vancouver Island. Here visitors can stroll through a network of trails under the shadow of towering ancient Douglas-fir trees, majestic pillars untouched by the modern world – some more than 800 years old.

We will arrive in Ucluelet in the afternoon and check into our cabins for the next few nights.

After we arrive at our lodgings, we will walk part of the Wild Pacific Trail. This smooth, family-friendly trail traces the edge of reefs where shipwrecks, whales, and vistas abound. Vancouver Island’s dramatic beauty will enthrall you, and the park’s helpful interpretive signs will enrich your visit to Ucluelet’s famed 9km trail network. You are going to fall in love with the beauty of the region; it’s a paradise for photographers.

Tonight we will visit one of the secluded beaches or inlets for a sunset photo session.

Overnight in Ucluelet

A black bear hunts crab at low tide near Tofino during the Bears, Whales, Birds, Landscapes photo tour in British Columbia
Crab hunting Black Bear

Day 4 – 5

During the next two days, we will typically go out at low tide and photograph Black Bears. Resident bears come down to the beaches at low tide to forage for such beach delicacies as rock crab, starfish, and kelp. They are an absolute pleasure to watch from the boat and thanks to their poor eyesight they are usually unaware of our presence. If our camera clicks don’t give us away, we will get very close to the bears.

When the light is terrible, we will spend some time back at the cottages and have a group photo editing session.

In the evening we will walk part of the Wild Pacific Trail and photograph the area beaches between Tofino and Ucluelet. You will be photographing crashing waves, surfers riding the curls and endless beaches as the sun sets before you. This area has limitless potential, and we will spend a lot of time exploring and photographing natures majesty.

Overnight in Ucluelet

Day 6

We will leave our cottages after one final morning photo shoot and breakfast. We will head towards Nanaimo to take the ferry back to the mainland.

Once we are back on the mainland, we will head over to one of our favorite locations for bird photography. There are about 500 recorded species of birds on the island, fingers crossed for something cool!

Common Birds

Pacific Loon
Red-throated Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Common Goldeneye
Wood Duck
Sandhill Crane
Hooded Merganser
Herons and Egrets
Northern Pintail
Belted Kingfisher
Short-eared Owl
Barn Owl
Barred Owl
Bufflehead
Snow Geese
Mute Swans
Rough-legged Hawk
Canvasback
Golden Eagle
Peregrine Falcon
Virginia Rail
Common Snipe
Great Horned Owl

At night we will visit downtown Vancouver where we will have a sunset photo shoot at English Bay and then go photograph the city by night along the shorelines.

Overnight Richmond BC

Day 7
Depending on the weather we will do another bird photography session or sunrise over Mount Baker and the Fraser Valley.

Today you will be dropped off at the airport in Vancouver around 12 pm for your flights home. If you decide to hang out for a bit longer or you have a morning flight, we will drop you at an airport hotel.

Sun kissed waves roll Ucluelet Beach at Sunset during the Bearss, Whales, Birds, and Landscapes photography workshop in British Columbia
Ucluelet Beach at Sunset

Inclusions Bears, Whales, Birds, and Landscapes

Included in Your Photo Tour

  • All accommodation in two bedroom cabins in Ucluelet
  • Hotels when not in Tofino/Ucluelet area
  • Two Ferry Crossings
  • Meals while in Tofino/Ucluelet area
  • All National & Provincial Park entrance fees
  • 16 to 18 hours of wildlife viewing on boats
  • Local Transportation

Not Included in Your Photo Tour

  • Flights to British Columbia
  • Meals when not in Tofino/Ucluelet area
  • Items of personal nature, alcohol, laundry, travelers insurance, extra nights if needed, VISA fees if applicable.
  • Travel insurance. Remember, your deposit is not refundable.
  • Single Supplement Fee: $450USD (There are no single rooms in Ucluelet)

Equipment and Gear

Photography

You’ll need to bring a full complement of equipment. From a wide-angle (16-35mm), mid-zoom (70-200mm) and something with some reach (400mm).

Accessories will be crucial with a circular polarizer, cable release, ballhead and tripod are essential. A variable and or neutral density filter may be useful as well.

Weather

The average temperature in Tofino, BC in July is mild at 57.56 °F (14.2 °C). Afternoons can be somewhat warm with average high temperatures reaching 64.9 °F (18.3 °C). Overnight temperatures are quite mild with an average low of 50.2 °F  (10.1 °C).

July offers up the driest weather of the year with an average of 82.6 mm (3.3 in) of rainfall. So we should be OK on the rain forecasts The chances of getting wet on the boat are very high. Bring something that is wind and water resistant.

Clothing

Hiking shoes!

Physical Exertion

The walk out to the Gannet Colony will be about 1.5 miles (2.5 Km). It is flat for 99%  of the way and then we walk down a dirt trail. It is not overly difficult and we will not be sprinting, so I think 99.999%  can make the roundtrip hike. The puffins rookery also requires a short walk, a little over .5 miles (1 KM). This one is also flat, but we walk along a narrow path by a steep cliff. You won’t fall of the cliff if you trip, but if you have vertigo let us know…

A humpback whale breaches in site of the shore during the Bears, Whales, Birds and Landscapes photography workshop
Breaching Humpback Whale

Ready to Join the Bears, Whales, Birds and Landscapes Photo Tour?

Vancouver Island is picture postcard photogenic. Come with us to photograph this exceptional location; we promise you will leave a better photographer, make some images that you love, have some good times and of course, You Will Be Amazed!

So don’t delay register today, click the workshops registration link and you’re on your way!

I’ve been dreaming of this trip, sign me up!

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