Bill Maynard

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Polar Bear Workshop

Nothing quite compares to the exhilaration one feels from a Ground Level Polar Bear Photography Workshop in the polar bear Capital of the world, Churchhill, Manitoba.   Churchill is home to the largest concentration of polar bears in Canada.  In the fall, bears populate the shores of the Hudson Bay waiting for the ice to from in order to go hunting for seals.  It’s during this time that we will be travelling by 4×4 vans looking for polar bears.

We photograph them from either inside the van or we step out and photograph them on land.  Our local experienced guide will keep both the bears and us safe at all times.  Other animals such as arctic, red and cross fox along with willow/rock ptarmigan and pine marten are very common and we will take every opportunity to photograph them.  You really have to be present to fully appreciate the beauty and power of these magnificent polar bears at ground level, eye to eye!  This is one Polar Bear Tour we know you’re going to love.

Photography Guide: Marc Latremouille
What to Bring

Lens Selection

A long lens (400mm and up), a wide angle and everything in between is what I recommend for this Polar Bear Tour.  Every encounter is different and various focal lengths will ensure you’re ready for any given situation.

Here’s what’s in my camera bag for reference:

  • 600mm F4
  • 100-400mm
  • 70-200mm
  • 16-35
  • 1.4 extender
  • 2 camera bodies
  • Tripod

Clothing and Accessories Recommendation

Most of the time during our polar bear workshop will be spent photographing in wide open fields in a variety of winter conditions.

Temperatures in the months of January and February can vary from -5Cels to -25Cels not including the wind factor. The key to keeping warm is in layering and your choice of clothing.

Head

  • Toque/beanie (windproof if your jacket has no hood)
  • Balaclava (with an opening in the mouth area to prevent camera viewfinder fogging)
  • Neck warmer
  • Sunglasses or Ski goggles (snow acts as a reflector and can easily irritate your eyes)
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm

Upper Body

  • One or two long- sleeve base layers (synthetic or wool is best)
  • A warm hoodie (RAB makes an excellent one: Power Stretch Pro Hoody )
  • A warm winter parka or jacket (preferably with a hood)

Hands

To keep my hands warm in cold weather, I wear a good pair of ski gloves that allows me to operate my camera. And on very cold days, I insert a chemical hand warmer (supplied during the workshop) in each glove for extra warmth. Some will layer their gloves (thinner one to operate the camera and a warmer one to cover the other pair while not shooting) and some will wear mitts with a built-in glove that can be accessed by “flipping” the mitt. My recommendation is to find a system that works for YOU.

A popular photography glove system amongst photographers is the  Heat3 Smart Glove.

Legs

I use a 3-layer system to keep my legs warm. Thick fitted long underwear that transfers moisture away from the skin, quick dry pants and insulated ski pants (with inner thigh venting for heat regulation).

Feet

Thick pair of wool socks and a good pair of winter boots keeps my feet warm while out on the frozen fields. When shopping for boots, don’t be sold solely by “cold ratings” such as “rated for -100Cels”, the cold will eventually penetrate the best boot out there if you’re standing still. The trick is to keep your feet moving on very cold days. Look for a boot that goes mid way from your ankle to your knee, has a thick rubber sole, and a removable inner boot system (dries quickly should they get wet).

 

What’s Included

What’s Included:

  • Your Polar Bear Workshop includes 6 full days of shooting
  • Photographic Field Instructions
  • Ground transportation in Churchill
  • Expert Local Guide and driver
  • 7 nights accommodation in Churchill (single occupancy) with continental breakfasts

Not Included:

  • Airfare to and from Churchill, Manitoba Calm Air takes you to Churchill from Winnipeg.
  • Lunch, Dinner and drinks

 

 

Travel Details

Everyday starts with an early breakfast.  Our guide will pick us up at the hotel daily right after breakfast and then we head out looking for polar bears and photograph any other wildlife we see along the way such as fox, ptarmigan, snowshoe hare, etc.  We break for lunch and head back out for polar bears until sunset.  We will be having dinner at the local restaurants and the evenings are spent downloading your images and getting ready for the following day of shooting.  Marc will also be doing a Photoshop class one or two of the evenings to help you make the most of your Polar Bear Workshop experience.

 

Dates and Cost

Your Polar Bear Tour Adventure Awaits 

October 28th – November 4th, 2020: 1 Spot Available

November 4th – November 11th, 2020: 1 Spot Available

Cost: $6650 CDN. Deposit of $2000.00 required at registration and remaining balance due 90 days prior to workshop start date.

Cancellation Policy

Securing guides and accommodations in Churchill during prime Polar Bear season requires a firm financial commitment.  As such no refunds, including deposits, will be issued unless we can fill your spot.  Travel insurance is highly recommended.

 

Testimonials

``I have been on several photographic safaris with my friend Marc Latremouille. If you choose to sign up for any trip with him all I can say is you are blessed. Marc is professional and no nonsense and your camera skills will definitely be enhanced. But more he is warm, gracious, and not arrogant in his teaching. Book early! Book now. You will not be sorry.``

Kevin Fitzgerald

Camera Novice
``I've traveled multiple times with Marc. That should say it all! If I wasn't completely happy with everything about Marc's trips, I wouldn't continue to repeat. Marc is a great photographer and a great friend. He takes fantastic care of his photographer guests!``

Rick Beldegreen

Get In Touch

Interested in this Polar Bear Tour, giving us feedback or perhaps putting together a private, custom adventure?

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