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Loon and Bird Photography Workshop by Boat

Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada

Greg Downing
Alan Murphy
Photography Workshop with Greg Downing and Alan Murphy
8 people maximum
5 days
Create adorable portraits of common loons interacting with their chicks at our unique bird photography workshop on the lake in British Columbia, Canada.

Trip Highlights

  • Learn the techniques Greg and Alan use to capture captivating images of birds as they go about courtship, feeding, nesting, and brooding their chicks.
  • Photograph loons and chicks at close range by boat along with many other nesting bird species.
  • In a small group setting Greg and Alan will personally work with you on image capture and technical instruction targeted to your individual needs.
  • The timing of this photography workshop is planned around the hatching and brooding of loon chicks.
  • Enjoy 3 solid days of shooting plus one final morning on the lake on Day 5.

Dates

Main Trip, 8 people maximum

  • June 7–11, 2020 (1 opening)
  • June 12–16, 2020 (SOLD OUT)
  • June 17–21, 2020 (2 openings)
  • June 7–11, 2021 (5 openings)
  • June 12–16, 2021 (SOLD OUT)
  • June 17–21, 2021 (5 openings)

Cost Per Person (USD)

Price from $4,995
Full details

Want to talk first?

Call 1-888-667-0559 or 410-239-8025, Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM Eastern Time. You can also send an email to editors@naturescapes.net.

Common loon with chicks © Greg Downing

In an intimate, small group setting with only 8 participants, you will learn the techniques Greg and Alan use to capture captivating images of these birds as they go about courtship, feeding, nesting, and brooding their chicks. We're equipped with two boats specially set up for loon photography, with seriously stable platforms and the ability to lay on your belly and get just above the water level. You’ll have the opportunity to photograph loons at close range along with many other bird species that nest in the area. We have timed the workshop to coincide with the average dates of loons nesting and hatching their chicks on the lake so that we have the best chance at photographing loons as they feed and care for their young.

With lots of hands-on instruction and working closely with each participant, Greg and Alan will personally work with you on image capture and technical instruction targeted to your individual needs throughout the trip. They will also do extensive field scouting prior to the loon and bird photography workshop with the goal of creating as many photographic opportunities as possible when everyone arrives.

The resort we will be staying sits right on the lake where loons nest and raise their young. All meals, lodging, and other expenses are included as well as non-intimidating and casual photographic instruction. All you have to do is get yourself there and we will take care of the rest! It's easy to find from Vancouver or Kamloops. Some folks have driven from Seattle, California and beyond. Participants do need to rent a car for the duration of the stay.

Loon bird photography workshop on the lake, Canada © Greg Downing

“Being out on the lake early in the morning was a very special experience. Seeing and hearing the loons was magical! The loons were great of course, but Greg and Alan also found us other species of birds to photograph in different habitats. The group dynamic was just fine and everyone got on well together. Greg and Alan were great guides—friendly and knowledgeable, and made you feel that they were interested in you and your photography. I had high expectations of this trip and can honestly say that my expectations were exceeded.”

Dawn O.

Premier Location for a Loon and Bird Photography Workshop

While on the lake we will have access to up to 4 pairs of loons. The timing of this loon and bird photography workshop is planned around the hatching and brooding of chicks. Most of the loons are friendly and fairly easy to photograph at close range. On some mornings, 6–12 single loons have been photographed together right in front of lodge!

Create Photos of Other Bird Species

Other possible bird subjects that you may get to see and photograph include great gray owl, marsh wren, yellow-headed blackbird, common yellowthroat, Audubon’s warbler, Townsend’s warbler, horned and red-necked grebe, ruddy duck, Steller’s jay, dark-eyed junco, golden-crowned and ruby-crowned kinglet, pine siskin, Cassin’s finch, hairy and downy woodpecker, mountain and black-capped chickadee, red-breasted nuthatch, Swainson’s thrush, red-naped sapsucker, mountain bluebird, yellow-headed blackbird, northern flicker, western tanager, and more.

A special focus on creating set-up shots of these birds will be included as part of Greg and Alan’s instruction. There is always a chance we will see a bear or moose in the area, too.

Swainson's thrush © Alan Murphy

Dedicated Boats Ready for Photography

During this bird photography workshop we will have exclusive use of two dedicated boats specifically set up for loon and bird photography as well as unlimited access to a number of kayaks, canoes, and small motor boats.

We will be at 4,200′ elevation and the city, which is only 20 minutes away, is at 1,100′ elevation. This provides a variety of bird species and wildflowers for us to photograph. Because of the high elevation at the lodge, everyone should be prepared for possible cool days and nights. Historically we have enjoyed great weather with blue skies and warm days during this time of year.

Ruddy duck © Greg Downing

Itinerary

This itinerary is subject to change based on weather conditions and wildlife activity. Participants should plan to arrive on the first day of the workshop for a late afternoon orientation and slideshow and depart on the last day of the workshop after our morning shoot. We will enjoy 3 solid days of shooting plus one additional final morning on the lake on the last day.

Day 1

Participants should plan to arrive in the late afternoon for a meet-and-greet dinner with everyone and an orientation.

After dinner, Greg and Alan will present an introductory slideshow sharing images from past trips to the area and discuss the schedule for the next 3½ days.

Common loon feeds chick © Greg Downing

Day 2, 3, and 4

For 3 - 1/2 days you will have countless photographic opportunities alongside Alan and Greg; 4 mornings with the loons and 3 afternoon outings. They will have already thoroughly scouted the area and set things up in advance of your arrival so you’ll be able to get started immediately.

Mornings

On typical mornings we rise early for a light breakfast and coffee before heading out on the lake. We will pair off into two groups in search of loons and chicks as well as some marsh species such as Virginia rail and Wilson’s snipe among others.

Late in the morning we will return to the lodge and take a much needed break or photograph birds at feeder set-ups, with possible visitors such as evening grosbeak, Steller’s jay, junco, pine siskin, Cassin’s finch, hairy and downy woodpecker, mountain and black-capped chickadee, and yellow-headed blackbird.

Afternoons

In the afternoon we will explore the surrounding areas for more elusive species such as three-toed woodpecker or local nesting birds like the red-naped sapsucker and northern flicker. We will even get a chance to do some wading in shallow ponds in search of waterfowl like ruddy duck and redhead, and red-necked and horned grebe. You may also opt to photograph these birds from the shore should you prefer not to get into the water with your gear. If you want to get eye-level shots of these birds, be sure to bring lightweight, breathable chest waders.

Audubon's warbler © Greg Downing

Day 5

On our final day we will head back on the lake for one last morning shoot, followed by another hearty breakfast before checking out and departing for home. We will have quite a productive morning with our normal meet time as early as 4:30 AM on sunny days. Plan to depart by noon this day or arrange to stay additional nights.

Great gray owl portrait © Greg Downing

Includes

  • 4 nights lodging (double occupancy).
  • All activities and access to full resort amenities (including boats and guide services).
  • All meals.
  • Photographic instruction from Greg and Alan.

Does Not Include

  • Airfare
  • Car rental.
  • Alcoholic drinks.
  • Incidentals.

Rates

  • Any 2 consecutive workshops get an extra night lodging (total 9 nights); extra day is on your own relaxing or shooting independently, depending on your preference.
  • Single Supplement: $400 (for each workshop with limited availability).
  • Non-photographer partner including all meals: $600 (for each workshop with limited availability).
  • To sign up for multiple workshops please register for each and pay a separate deposit.

Dates and Cost

Dates

Main Trip, 8 people maximum

  • June 7–11, 2020 (1 opening)
  • June 12–16, 2020 (SOLD OUT)
  • June 17–21, 2020 (2 openings)
  • June 7–11, 2021 (5 openings)
  • June 12–16, 2021 (SOLD OUT)
  • June 17–21, 2021 (5 openings)

Cost Per Person (USD)

  • Trip: $4,995 (2020); $5,595 (2021)
  • Deposit: $1,000
  • Single Supplement: $400

Trip Details

Dates

Main Trip, 8 people maximum

  • June 7–11, 2020 (1 opening)
  • June 12–16, 2020 (SOLD OUT)
  • June 17–21, 2020 (2 openings)
  • June 7–11, 2021 (5 openings)
  • June 12–16, 2021 (SOLD OUT)
  • June 17–21, 2021 (5 openings)

Cost Per Person (USD)

  • Trip: $4,995 (2020); $5,595 (2021)
  • Deposit: $1,000
  • Single Supplement: $400

Single Supplements

Single supplement fees reflect our actual cost and are subject to availability. If you're a single traveler and we're unable to place you with a roommate, we will need to place you in a single room and charge a single supplement.

Travel Ratings

Moderate Activity
Intermediate Photographers
Based on Land, Lake
Non-Photographers: Yes, Limited, $600 per workshop (no boat access)

Map

Leaders and Guides

Greg Downing

Greg has been traveling the world teaching professional and amateur photographers for more than 15 years hosting his instructional workshops and...Continue reading

Alan Murphy

Alan Murphy, an award winning photographer, grew up in England and is an avid birder. Upon immigrating to the States Alan picked up a camera and...Continue reading

Photo Gallery

Wilson
White-crowned sparrow © Alan Murphy
Swainson
Northern flicker in flight © Alan Murphy
Great gray owl wingspan © Alan Murphy
Great gray owl perched © Alan Murphy
Great gray owl on branch © Alan Murphy
Golden-crowned kinglet © Alan Murphy
Western tanager © Greg Downing
Townsen
Northern flicker perched © Greg Downing
Northern flicker on branch © Greg Downing
Mountain chickadee on branch © Greg Downing
Marsh wren nest © Greg Downing
Great gray owl portrait © Greg Downing
Great gray owl perched on stump © Greg Downing
Great gray owl perched on bush © Greg Downing
Great gray owl on branch © Greg Downing
Great gray owl in grass © Greg Downing
Great gray owl flight © Greg Downing
Great gray owl chicks © Greg Downing
Great gray owl chick © Greg Downing
Dark-eyed junco © Greg Downing
Common loon with chick and egg © Greg Downing
Common loon chicks © Greg Downing
Audubon
Yellow-headed blackbird © Alan Murphy
Western wood pewee © Alan Murphy
Steller
Ruddy duck © Greg Downing
Redhead © Alan Murphy
Redhead duck © Greg Downing
Red-necked grebe © Alan Murphy
Pine siskin © Alan Murphy
Northern flicker © Greg Downing
Mountain chickadee © Alan Murphy
Mountain bluebird © Alan Murphy
Marsh wren © Alan Murphy
Marsh wren singing © Greg Downing
Loon with chick closeup © Greg Downing
Loon portrait © Greg Downing
Loon with outstretched wings © Greg Downing
Loon with chicks portrait © Greg Downing
Loon in flight on Canada lake © Greg Downing
Loon in grass, Canada © Greg Downing
Loon and bird photography workshop lake in Canada © Greg Downing
Loon baby chick © Greg Downing
Loon and baby chick on the lake © Greg Downing
Junco © Greg Downing
Hairy woodpecker © Alan Murphy
Gray jay © Alan Murphy
Downy woodpecker © Alan Murphy
Common yellowthroat © Alan Murphy
Common loon with chicks © Greg Downing
Common loon stretching wings © Greg Downing
Common loon intimate portrait © Greg Downing
Common loon feeds chick © Greg Downing
Common loon closeup portrait © Greg Downing
Cassin
Canada lake sunrise © Greg Downing
Calliope hummingbird © Alan Murphy
Barrow

Registration

To register for this trip fill out and submit your registration form. A non-refundable deposit (above) is required to reserve your spot. See the About Our Trips page for cancellation/refund policies and other important information.

Want to talk first?

Call 1-888-667-0559 or 410-239-8025, Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM–4:30 PM Eastern Time. You can also send an email to editors@naturescapes.net.

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