Sublime Photography in the Pacific Northwest

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

Vancouver Island - A Photographers Paradise


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.

  • 6 Nights and 7 Days Clayoquot Sound
  • Includes All Local Lodging and Transportation
  • Group Image Critiques
  • Expert Professional Photographer Guides
  • Max Attendees: 8

Arrive July 21, 2019 by 12:00 PM

Depart July 27, 2019 after 12:00 PM

July 21, 2019 – 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

July 22, 2019 – 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

July 23, 2019 – 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

July 24-25, 2019 – Days 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

July 26, 2019 – 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!

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

July 27, 2019 – 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.

Your tuition includes an abundance of attention from two professional workshop leaders who are full-time photographers. Also included are local accommodation, transportation, ferry crossings, most meals, park fees, and boat excursions.

The tuition does not cover items of a personal nature, alcohol, laundry, travelers insurance, additional nights lodging, VISA fees and anything not outlined as included.

The single supplement is $450USD, and single rooms are NOT available in Ucluelet.

We will share our bird photography knowledge with you so that you will leave a better photographer than when you arrived. You will learn about planning, gear, and photography techniques.

While in the field we will discuss camera settings, holding your camera correctly and what settings to consider using to maximize the number of shots that you believe to be “keepers.” We will also discuss bird habits to watch for to increase your success.

The tour size is limited to six photographers so you can count on minimal interruption from too many tripods and with a 3 to 1 client instructor ratio you can get a ton of one on one attention and education.

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.

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.

Hiking shoes!

Physical Exertion

Easy peasy!

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.

Visa Requirements
Not required for stays under 180 days.

Vaccination Recommendations

Arrival and Departure Airport
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is the destination airport in Vancouver, British Columbia. We will meet you at the airport after you have cleared customs and immigration and re-claimed your baggage. There is quite a long walk at this airport and we will be waiting for you at the end of the “gauntlet” of people watching for arriving passengers. Look to the right towards the small food court for Kevin and or me.

Arriving Early?
You should arrive in Vancouver before 12:00 PM (Noon) on January 6, 2019. If you are coming from far away and arriving before noon is not a good option, please book a room at the Holiday Inn. There is a free shuttle that operates 24 hours a day and is 15 to 30 minutes away from the airport. The overnight stay at the Holiday Inn is not included in the workshop price.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Riverport Richmond
10688 No. 6 Road
Richmond, British Columbia V6W 1E7

We will plan to drop you off at the Vancouver International Airport around 1:00 PM. This should be adequate time for departures after 3:00 PM.

Lodging & Transportation
All of the transportation and hotels are included during the workshop, so no worries, just get your self in and out of Vancouver and we have done the rest!

Trip Insurance
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 traveling to Canada from another country, please check with your embassy to check the travel requirements for your country.

Complete the “Reserve Your Space” form on the right of this page. On a mobile device it may be at the end, but it’s a big green box, you can’t miss it.

I will get an email which will provide me with your request including the payment details. I will confirm space availability and then send you an invoice from your preferred payment method for the deposit. Once I receive the deposit your space is confirmed.

When I receive payment I will follow up with another confirmation email and receipt.

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 cannot stress more strongly how crucial it is to purchase travel insurance. There is never a way to predict what is going to happen when you are booking trips months and years into the future. While you may have good coverage for your health, you probably don’t have any coverage if your trip is canceled or you get sick or a zillion other issues. Buying travel insurance gives you a security blanket that is comforting, not that expensive and protects you from any unforeseen circumstances. It is highly advised that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance covering cancellation or curtailment, as well as medical expenses, emergency travel, personal accident, personal baggage and money loss. I know a lot of credit cards offer travel insurance, but their coverage is not nearly as extensive as the travel insurance from Travel Guard, and credit card insurance may not be experienced in assisting quickly if you are in remote locations.

I chose to work with Travel Guard because of their sterling reputation, and they are excellent in promptly assisting you in an emergency and/or swiftly paying refunds. This is the same exact insurance I purchase for every trip I take whether it is personal or professional travel. I generally buy the Travel Guard Plus Plan, but of course, pick the level of coverage that suits you best.

One last thing purchasing your policy within 12 days of your initial deposit opens several valuable additional coverages. You can add your flight details at a later date, and they will be included on your policy.

Click the link and discover what Travel Guard can do you for you. You Will Be Amazed!

The insurance company is a separate company and not affiliated with Wildlife Workshops and or Thompson Travel LLC. The coverage information above can change and is subject to AIG/Travel Guard policy/ restrictions/ and coverages that are in effect at that time the insurance is purchased.

Registration Details

Workshop Fees
This 6-day workshop is $4995 (Single Occupancy) $4495 (Double Occupancy).

If you are a solo traveler, I will do everything I can to assist you in finding a suitable person to share your lodging. If we cannot find a person for you to share accommodations, the single supplement is $200.

A single room is not available at all locations.

The deposit for this workshop is $500USD. 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 May 15, 2019 (60 days prior).

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