Wildlife and Nature of Vancouver Island

We explore the ecosystem of the Clayoquot Sound in Tofino, Nanaimo, Vancouver by land and by sea.

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. You Will Be Amazed!

Wildlife and Nature of Vancouver Island 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: $4495 (Double Occupancy)

SOLD OUT – If you would like to be on a standby list, send me an email and if space becomes available, I will see if you are still able to join the workshop.

Orcas at Play - Image Courtesy our Capt. Simon Pidcock

Orcas at Play – Image Courtesy our Capt. Simon Pidcock

Wildlife and Nature of Vancouver Island Details

Workshop Arrivals and Departures

August 11, 2018, to August 17, 2018

Please schedule your arrivals so you can be picked up before noon on day one of the workshops. Plan your departure on the last on any flight departing after 4 pm on the last day.

Flights should be scheduled into Nanaimo Airport and scheduled out of Nanaimo or Victoria Airport.

Curling Waves - Tofino - Wildlife and Nature of Vancouver Island Photo Workshop

Curling Waves – Tofino

Wildlife and Nature of Vancouver Island Workshop 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 and Humpback Whale tours. When we arrive in Cowichan Bay, you will have the opportunity to wander the seaside town. You will have time to stroll the harbor photographing the boats, docks, and bay as well as the charming village.

In the afternoon, we will have our fist 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 for our second whale watching tour tracking the local and transient whales and orcas. Be sure to watch for rare birds gliding alongside the boat as we search for the largest creatures on the planet.

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. You will photograph as you 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 easy, 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. A perfect destination for photographers

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

Stay in two or three bedroom cabins in Ucluelet (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included)

Cathedral Grove - Old Growth Forest

Cathedral Grove – Old Growth Forest

Day 4 – 5
Today at low tide we will go and photograph the black bears. Resident bears come down to the beaches at low tide to forage for such beach delicacies as rock crab, starfish and even a bit of 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 we keep quiet and a respectable distance upwind.

We will once again 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 crashing surf and endless beaches long into the night as the sun sets before you. This trail is another perfect destination for photographers

During high sun we will spend some time back at our accommodation location and spend some time going through our images.

Tonight we will once again visit one of the secluded beaches for a sunset photo session.

Stay in two bedroom cabins in Ucluelet (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included)

Day 6
We will leave our lodge after one final morning photo shoot and breakfast. We will head towards Nanaimo to take the ferry back to the mainland. When we arrive in Nanaimo, we will board the ferry for the mainland that leaves at midday.

Female Wood Duck

Female Wood Duck

Once we land in Nanaimo, head for a reserve for some bird photography. There are about 500 recorded species of birds on the island, fingers crossed for something cool!

Common Birds
Red-tailed Hawk
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.

Stay near the Vancouver airport

Day 7
We can do one last shoot at the birds, or sunrise over Mount Baker and the Fraser Valley and end at 9 am.

Today you will be dropped off at the airport in Vancouver, or local area hotel after 12 pm for your flights home.

Included in Your Vancouver Island Workshop
  • 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 Vancouver Island Workshop
  • 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 (applicable only in hotels in Victoria, Nanaimo, and Vancouver)
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 being essential. A variable and or neutral density filter may be useful as well.

Weather
The month of August is essentially constant daily high temperatures, with daily highs around 65°F throughout the month, exceeding 73°F or dropping below 59°F only one day in ten.

Chances of rain are good, and the chances of getting wet on the boat are very high. Bring something that is wind and water resistant.

Hiking shoes!

Fingers Crossed! Breaching Humpback Whale

Ready to Join the Baby Wildlife Photography Workshop?

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

 

People are Talking About Wildlife Workshops

It is hard to describe the thrill of a mountain lion tearing through the brush and jumping into the water about 30 feet from you. This has been the best photography workshop I have attended. I look forward to returning to Kalispell in the winter next year.

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