Winter Wildlife Photography

Lions, Tigers and Bears in the snow...OH MY!

I’ve spent many winters at the ranch with clients and it is a magical time. The animals are at their finest with thick winter coats and with a snowy environment as a setting it is quite dramatic. The animals love to romp in the snow! You’ll come back from this one with amazing shots from a winter wonderland in Montana.

Come to the Flathead Valley in Montana and photograph some amazing animals in beautiful mountain settings. I’ll be there beside you coaching you on how to photograph the action and things to look for during each session. I’ll also help you setup your camera for the best results and give you valuable tips and tricks to get the best compositions. When we are not out photographing we’ll spend time in a classroom discussing various aspects of wildlife photography, image processing and more. We will do several image critiques to help you get the most out of each photo session on the workshop.

Winter Wildlife Workshop Highlights

  • Winter wonderland with amazing animals
  • 8 Species of Wildlife
  • Classroom: Image Critiques, Digital Workflow and more
  • Personal Attention from Instructor
  • Optional Western Horse Roundup and Birds of Prey Sessions
  • Kalispell, MT
  • Tuition – $1395 and up
Bobcat in a blizzard - winter wildlife photography workshop

Bobcat in a blizzard

We will be up and photographing as the weather and light dictate. After our days planned photography is complete we will return to the Holiday Inn for classroom work. We’ll review the days photos and I’ll give you some advice on ways to improve. We’ll work on principles of composition and digital workflow. The class will be small so there is plenty of opportunity for me to help each of you with your individual needs.

Red Foxes exerting dominance play fighting in the snow - Wildlife Photography Workshops

Red Foxes play fight in the snow – Winter Wildlife Photography Workshop

Winter Wildlife Workshops Details

Workshop Dates 2018

Session 1 – Arrive January 11, 2018, by 6 PM – Depart January 16, 2018

Session 2 – Arrive January 16, 2018, by 6 PM – Depart January 21, 2018

Workshop Dates 2019

Session 1 – Arrive January 10, 2019, by 6 PM – Depart January 17, 2019

Session 2 – Arrive January 15, 2019, by 6 PM – Depart January 20, 2019

Daily Schedule

Day 1

6:00PM ~ Holiday Inn Express

Arrive in time for an informal get together at the hotel. We’ll have some time to meet each other and we’ll go over what you can expect for the next few days including just how early you’ll be getting up each day!

Days 2-4
These will be our primary workshop days. Plan to rise early in the morning so that we can be at our locations with the best light! The light will dictate our days activities and we’ll shoot as long as we can with good light. We’ll return to base in the middle of the day. You’ll have time to forage for lunch, download your images, re-charge your batteries and then meet for that days classroom activities. This is the format we’ll follow all 3 days.

Day 5
In the off chance that we have to cancel a session or even a day due to weather or other unforeseen problems, we’ll use this day to make up those missed sessions. In addition, if you would like to add additional photo sessions while you are here, we’ll do some of that work on this day as well.

Day 6

This is your best departure day, well unless of course you are doing the optional Birds of Prey or Horse Roundup.

A young cougar ready to spring in to action during winter wildlife photography workshop

Go ahead make my day! Young Cougar Winter Wildlife Photography Workshop

Included/Not Included in the Workshop

The fee includes 3 days of photography instruction with classroom session critiquing your images and “how to” help on photographing wildlife. We will also allocate a few hours to help you with your digital workflow and really most any topics that you’d like covered. I try to tailor the classes to your specific needs.

We’ll be photographing 8 species during our 3 days. During this workshop we can expect to photograph multiple species in a variety of different snowy (hopefully) locations. While the specific species cannot be confirmed until our arrival we almost always see mountain lion, bobcat, coyote, fox, and wolf.

Transportation to the workshop and during the workshop are not included. Your local accommodations, meals and staff gratuities are also not included.

Tundra Wolf at forest edge - Winter Wildlife Photography Workshop

Tundra Wolf at forest edge – Winter Wildlife Photography Workshop

Equipment and Gear

It’s going to be cold, so dress in layers. We will never be out in the cold for long periods of time and some locations will have a warming shelter to take the edge off.

This is not a high physical exertion workshop, but you should be able to walk up a hill and if we have a lot of snow this can be difficult. If you are not able to walk 200 yards with your gear, please contact me so we can make sure this is the workshop for you.

Batteries drain much faster in the cold. At 0 degrees you get half the battery life you would get at 80 degrees.

You should bring lots of energy and a lot of memory cards! You are going to photograph a lot more than you imagine. On my last trip one gentleman shot 2500 images during the first morning session! We may photograph as many as 3 sessions with minimal breaks in between for downloads. You need to have enough cards or a portable download device to keep up with the action.

You will not need long glass, a 300mm (full frame) is enough for the majority of the photography. A zoom lens like the Nikon 80-400 or the Canon 100-400 are perfect. A tripod can be used and is sometimes recommended. I always suggest that if you normally shoot with a tripod, then do that her too. If you don’t then you will be better off doing what is comfortable for your style of shooting.

We’ll normally shoot regardless of the weather and showers are certainly possible, so you should be prepared for that. Also, bring mosquito repellent, you’ll likely need that. Just testing, you won’t need mosquito repellent!

Pine Marten peering out of the woods - Winter Wildlife Workshop

A Pine Marten is a popular option – Winter Wildlife Workshop

Optional Workshop Extensions

There are two excellent extensions for this workshop. A Western Horse Roundup and a Birds of Prey Session. You can read more about on the Optional Workshop Extensions page.

Ready for a Winter Wildlife Photo Adventure?

I’ve photographed the animals at the ranch that my portfolio includes the grandparents of some of these animals and I have seen every one of them grow up. There isn’t anybody outside of the staff at the ranch that knows these animals better than me. That is a huge benefit for you to join me on this workshop.

I’ve said this before but it bears (pun intended) repeating that when it’s all said and done, You Will Be Amazed!

 

People are Talking About Winter Wildlife Workshops

Thank you so much for a great workshop! You are very talented and it’s been a pleasure learning on your winter wildlife workshop.
Sandra J. - January 2017

Information

Find More  

Directory

Find More  

Articles

Find More  

Gear Advice – Winter Photography

Winter photography is like the agony and the ecstasy. The photography is awesome, but being cold is not my favorite temperature. It is actually easy to get warm enough clothes to be out in the element, the trick is how to photograph while dressed up like the Michelin Man?

Continue reading  
X