Snowy Owl Photography in Canada

Snowy Owl takes flight from an old fence - Snowy Owl Photography Workshop

Snowy Owls are one of the most photogenic birds in the world!

Overview Snowy Owl Photography Workshop

Every winter the Snowy Owls push down from the Arctic in search of food. We will be waiting; camera ready to photograph one of the most photogenic birds in the world, the Snowy Owl!

We will spend six days and five nights in Northern Ontario where we will be photographing the Snowy Owls.

During the Snowy Owl photography workshop, we will be working with a local guide and Snowy Owl expert. With his expertise, we will be able to get within a comfortable range for photography with lenses from 200mm to 500mm.

Our local guide has also received permission from many local farmers to have sole access to photograph the owls on their property. Without this access, we would be forced to film from the roadside and amongst other photographers and birders. This private access to several different farms means that we can go where the owls and the light are the best for morning and again for our afternoon sessions.

This workshop is designed to give you great opportunities to photograph the owls on properties not accessible to the general public. We will take you to the locations away from the local birders and photographers that line the side of the roads, looking from afar, and

We will assist you with exposure, compensation, metering, focus tracking and more. During our workshop, we also cover editing after the day’s photography and discuss owl behavior to watch out for a while shooting.

You should know that conditions on this workshop can run the gamut from blue sky and sunshine to blowing snow, howling winds, and whiteout snow conditions. But, it is still awesome! I will make sure you are prepared with clothing advice and of course camera settings to get some great shots.

As a photography workshop, there is a significant teaching component on this trip. I’ll ensure that you understand the camera settings and techniques that you’ll need to succeed. We’ll talk about successful compositions and image processing to get you the photos that you’ve dreamed of making.

I’ve tried to make this workshop as comfortable as possible for those of you that are not familiar with winter driving. All you have to do is show up at the Toronto Airport, and you’ll catch a pre-paid shuttle. Your hotel, your breakfast, and your local transportation are all included. If you’d like to arrange for a private room, just let me know.

Our group will never be more than six so that we can get close to the owls without causing too much disturbance. A small group also means you will have as much or as little personal attention as you prefer.

Snowy Owl Workshop Highlights

  • Small Group – 6 clients
  • Local Guides
  • 5 nights and 6 days
  • Local Transportation and Accommodations Included

Arrive January 27, 2019 by 4PM

Depart February 1, 2019 after 2PM

January 27, 2019 – Day 1

Arrive at our hotel in Barrie, Ontario in time for a meeting at 6PM. We’ll get to know each other and spend some time going through the daily routine, check out your gear and get you ready to photograph Snowy Owls.

January 28-31, 2019 – Days 2 to 5

After an early breakfast (included) we will leave the hotel early in the morning and go in search of the owls. We’ll photograph throughout the morning and then go and grab lunch. We’ll spend some time reviewing the morning session so we can correct any issues that we discover. We will photograph most of the afternoon before heading back to the hotel.

Once back at the hotel we will meet to download and review your images and discuss the photography sessions. There will be planned presentations, but we’ll be focusing on your particular needs as much as possible.

February 1, 2019 – Day 6

After breakfast we will meet to do one last classroom session going over images and re-enforcing the lessons from the workshop. We will leave in time for you to arrive at Toronto International Airport by noon.

Included in the Workshop
  • Shared accommodation
  • Some meals as indicated
  • Airport pick up and drop off
  • Local Transportation
Not Included in the Workshop
  • Items of personal nature
  • Airfare
  • Travelers Insurance
  • Anything not listed as included
  • Guide Gratuity

We will share our bird photography knowledge with you so that you will leave a better bird photographer than when you arrived. You will learn about planning shots, 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 you can get a ton of one on one attention and education.

It can be quite cold, snowy and windy, so bring the appropriate number of layers to keep you happy and warm. The average temperature in February is 28F (-3c). You’ll need a hat, everyone forgets to bring a hat, please bring a warm hat!

Snowy Owls hunt on the wing and so a long lens to track them as they fly silently in search of vols is perfect. When they wheel in towards our cameras with outspread wings, a shorter lens will be your best bet. You’ll have an advantage in this workshop if you carry two camera bodies. Leave your long telephoto (such as a 500mm) lens mounted on a sturdy tripod (gimbal mount recommended). Then have a short telephoto (such as a 70-200mm) lens on the second body to be used handheld. If your kit includes just one camera body, an 80-400mm (Nikon) lens or 100-400mm (Canon) lens is advised.

Your batteries will discharge at nearly twice the normal rate at these temperatures, so bring plenty of batteries. My experience is that the camera never gets an accurate battery reading in winter. Be sure to top off ALL of your batteries EVERY night.

You will take more images than you might expect so be sure you’re loaded up with memory cards.

It’s nearly impossible to list all of the gear that you will need for the workshop, so if just get in touch with me and we’ll talk it out.

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

Pearson International Airport (YYZ) in Toronto is the destination airport. Depending on your arrival time, I will either pick you up or arrange for your transportation to Barrie. It is about a 90 minute drive. If you prefer to have a car that is fine, but that cost is not included nor will it be needed for transportation to workshop locations.

Lodging & Transportation

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

If you are coming in early or staying late me know and I’ll help you with accommodations. The cost for extra nights accommodation is not included.

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 Sept, 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.

Registration Details

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 November 28, 2018 (60 days prior).

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