Snowy owls are one of those birds that captures our imaginations and this snowy owl tour & photography workshop will do all that and more. You’ll have an opportunity to get up close and personal with these magnificent owls. You’ll be photographing in a variety of winter conditions. It is not uncommon to be out in blizzard like conditions, heavy and light snow, cloudy, foggy or sunny days. This variety of weather, landscape and lighting conditions, in addition to the depth of knowledge provided by your guide will provide you with the opportunity to create a diverse, creative and professional portfolio of this species.
Snowy Owl Tour & Photography Workshop
WHAT TO BRING
Which lenses should I bring? My answer, “Bring a long lens, a wide angle, and everything in between!” Every snowy owl tour is different; some snowy owls are more tolerant (i.e., let us get closer), while others less. Having a variety of focal lengths will ensure you’re ready for any given situation.
I carry a variety of lenses in the field for different photographic purposes. I like creating environmental images showing the owl and the landscape, as much as I enjoy creating frame-filling images for strong visual impact. Your guide will help you create a diversified and complete snowy owl portfolio.
If I were limited to ONE lens, I would choose a 300 F2.8. This lens in combination with an extender would cover 90% of my photographic needs with Snowy Owls.
Here’s what’s in my bag for reference:
- 500mm F4
- 1.4 Extender
- 2 camera bodies
- Lens covers (practical for wet snow and the occasional light rain)
- Tripod (I use mine for static shots, and shoot action handheld)
- *Flash ( I never saw real benefits of using flash on snowy owls)
Clothing and Accessories Recommendation
Our time will be spent photographing in open wide 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.
- Tuque/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)
- Lip balm
- 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)
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.
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).
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).
- Five days of shooting
- Photographic field instruction
- Guiding service
- Transportation between the airport and the hotel.
Our Snowy Owl Tour & Photography Workshops are held Mondays to Fridays in the months of January and February. Workshops are held on private land to which your guide has EXCLUSIVE ACCESS.
A typical day in the field starts at first light, we break for lunch and photograph until last light. Snowy owls will be our main subjects however on occasion other owls such as Great Grey owls, Northern Hawk owls, Boreal owls and other northern species present themselves that we simply cannot refuse.
You’ll be photographing in a variety of winter conditions. It is not uncommon to be out in blizzard like conditions, heavy and light snow, cloudy, foggy or sunny days. This variety of weather, landscape and lighting conditions will provide you with the opportunity to create a diverse, creative and professional portfolio.
We keep our Snowy Owl Tours & Workshops to a maximum of 5-6 participants.
Dates and Cost
Cost: $3295 Cdn
2024 Snowy Owl Workshop Dates and Availability:
- JANUARY 8th – 12th : SOLD OUT
- JANUARY 15th – 19th: SOLD OUT
- JANUARY 22nd – 26th: SOLD OUT
- JANUARY 29TH – FEBRUARY 2nd: SOLD OUT
- FEBRUARY 5th – 9th : 2 SPOTS OPEN
- FEBRUARY 12th -16th: SOLD OUT
- FEBRUARY 19TH -23rd : 6 SPOTS OPEN
- FEBRUARY 26th – MARCH 2nd: 6 SPOTS OPEN
*Daily rates are pro-rated from weekly rate, contact us for availability.
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