"Ghosts of the North"
2 Day Snowy Owl Photography Expedition
Location: Near Waterloo, Ontario / Duration: 2 afternoons + 1 morning / Dates: TBD Winter 2023
Location: Near Waterloo, Ontario Duration: 2 afternoons + 1 morning Dates: TBD Winter 2023
Photograph incredible wild snowy owls in prime habitat
Unique private property access- go where others can't!
3 'golden hour' shoots
Comfortable, small group setting
Full Moon Extravaganza - 2 evenings of "full moon" background opportunities!
Professional photography instruction, as desired
Welcome to "Ghosts of the North" - a 2 day guided snowy owl expedition in Southern Ontario. This is a friendly and welcoming experience open to all levels of photography - I'm excited to meet you and photograph owls together!
Immersed in prime owl habitat, we'll spend a couple days together searching for and photographing these majestic birds of prey! We'll travel in separate vehicles along concession roads as we search, taking photos from the roadside and on private land which I have unique access permission to. The dates of this tour coincide with full moon backgrounds, so we'll be striving to incorporate that into the moments we capture. This is an exciting opportunity to really dive deep into serious wildlife photography and focus on capturing incredible images together!
You will have both myself and photographer Alexander Briere scouting for owls and providing professional wildlife photography advice (as desired). In some cases, we'll split up; while one of us stays with you and an owl, the other will head off in search of the next one!
Small groups - we're taking on only 3 clients to avoid a crowded setting. We will travel in separate vehicles but follow one another as we cruise down concession roads together. We'll meet early afternoon on Saturday, January 11th at the disclosed location. Our first owl-shoot will happen that afternoon and conclude at dusk. The group splits ways at this point - but we'll be back at it again at the crack of dawn! The morning shoot will last until about 11am. We'll then head into town for lunch, discuss our progress so far, while Alex and I continue to provide you with some tips and tricks. Note this portion is optional. We'll be back on location early-mid afternoon for one last excursion together. At this point, we say our farewells and head our separate ways.
Clients are encouraged to bring patience as well as their sense of adventure! Very warm clothing intended for long periods of time outside is a must. We do recommend DSLR/mirrorless cameras with telephoto lens capabilities greater than 200mm in focal length at the minimum. Using a digital point and shoot camera? No problem as long as it has decent zoom! Please bring your own snacks and beverages. We *strongly* recommend having winter tires on your vehicle as road conditions can be unpredictable during the winter.
While on tour, it is critical that we do not overly stress the owls by approaching too closely or purposely flushing them from their positions in order to obtain "flight shots". Owls pick their locations based on where they foresee having hunting success. Approaching them closely causes them to lose focus altogether as they are distracted by humans, or relocate to less desirable hunting sites. There will be no owl baiting whatsoever.
COVID 19 Safety:
In order to maintain social distancing, we will travel together but in separate vehicles.
The tour will operate regardless of weather conditions (with exceptions being made for extremely severe weather). Cancellations non refundable within 3 weeks of tour start date. Tour will operate if a minimum of 2 of the 3 bookings are made (with a 100% refund provided otherwise). Regional accommodations/meals not included.
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- - - reviews from previous guiding - - -
Wow! What an incredible, one-of-a kind experience. If you're looking for something new and fun to do in the winter, I would highly recommend this!! Chris was spectacular at communicating and we could tell he takes a lot of care in his work, even arriving early to do some scouting so that we were not disappointed. He also spoke of the ethical way to observe owls without baiting our getting too close, so we could tell he cares a great deal for the wildlife. Chris supplied binoculars for each of us, and communicated throughout the drive as we followed along in our own vehicle, which added a nice touch of convenience and comfort. The outing itself was marvellous! Not only did we see an incredible amount of beautiful snowy owls, but even saw a pair of Bald Eagles, which I imagine was only due to Chris's experience with the area and keen eye for spotting. 100% recommended!
-Lauren, Jan 2021
A fun hunt for snowy owls. We were pleased to spot and observe some! Would not have been able to find them on our own.
-Jane, March 2021
This was an awesome experience! We saw at least a half a dozen snowy owls [during 1 afternoon]! Chris was very knowledgeable and respectful of the area and adhered to the rules of social distancing. He was very prepared with sanitized binoculars and walk-in talked to communicate while in our cars. We got some fantastic pictures. Would highly recommend Chris if you have an interest in snowies. He gave us a discounted rate for a group even though there were just 2 of us.
-Sue, Feb 2021
Chris was a great host and had a remarkable ability to spot snowy owls in spots that would be very challenging on your own. We saw a few different owls in this [single] outing and part of the fun was the driving around and patience required before sighting one. Some of the owls were on nearby telephone poles which allowed for a great viewing with the provided binoculars. Chris was also gracious enough to take some pictures on our behalf since we didn’t have our own camera with a telephoto lens. Overall, a really fun experience.
-Tameez, March 2021