Loons and More - Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada with Greg Downing & Alan Murphy - June 2017

Loons and More

Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada

Copyright Greg Downing

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to photograph common loons, with chicks, at close range, as well as many other species that nest in the area. With just 8 participants in this intimate small group setting you can expect to 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. A special treat will be photographing the other “bonus” birds in and around the area all the while learning the techniques Alan and Greg use to get the best image out of each opportunity.

Copyright Alan Murphy

With lots of hands on instruction Greg and Alan will work closely with each participant on image capturing and technical instruction specifically targeted to your individual needs throughout the trip. We will also do extensive field scouting before the workshop with the goal of creating as many photographic opportunities as possible.

Our resort sits right on the main lake where the loons nest and raise their young. All meals, lodging and other expenses as well as non-intimidating and casual photographic instruction is included, all you have to do is get yourself there and we will take care of the rest!

Copyright Greg Downing

On the water, we have access to up to 4 pairs of loons and the timing is planned around the hatching and brooding of chicks. On some mornings 6–12 single loons have been photographed, together, right in front of lodge.

Most of the loons are friendly and fairly easy to photograph at close range. Besides the Common Loons on the lakes possible additional subjects include Marsh Wren, Black Tern, Common Yellowthroat, Barrow's Goldeneye with chicks, Red-necked Grebe and other ducks with chicks. In the area and at the lodge feeders you can expect to see and photograph Stellars Jay, Junco, Pine Siskin, Casins Finch, Grey Jay, Hairy, Downy and Three-toed Woodpecker, Mountain & Black-capped Chickadee, Red-naped Sapsucker, Mountain Bluebird, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Rufous & Calliope Hummingbirds and more! There is always a chance we will see a bear or moose in the area as well. A special focus on creating set up shots of these birds will be included!

Copyright Greg Downing

We will have exclusive use of two dedicated boats specifically set up for photography as well as unlimited access to a number of kayaks, canoes and small motor boats. We are at 4,200′ elevation and the city, which is only 20 minutes away, is 1,100′ elevation. This provides a variety of bird species as well as wildflowers for us to photograph! We can usually enjoy great blue sky weather and warm days during time of year.

Because of the high elevation of the lodge everyone should be prepared for possible cool days and nights.

Copyright Alan Murphy


Day 1

Participants should plan to arrive in the late afternoon for a meet and greet dinner and 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 3 ½ days.

Days 2, 3, and 4

For the next 3 solid days you will have countless photographic opportunities alongside Alan and Greg. They have scouted the area and set things up in advance of your arrival.

Typical mornings we will rise early with a light breakfast and coffee before heading out on the lake. We'll pair off into two groups in search on loons and chicks as well as some marsh species such as Virginia Rail, Wilson Snipe and others. In the late mornings we return to the lodge and take a much needed break or photograph birds at the feeder setups, with possible visitors such as Evening Grosbeak, Stellars Jay, Junco, Pine Siskin, Casins Finch, Hairy and Downy Woodpecker, Mountain and Black-capped Chickadee, Yellow-headed Blackbirds and others.

In the afternoons we will typically explore the surrounding areas for more elusive species such as Three-toed Woodpecker or some local nesting birds like the Red-naped Sapsucker, Northern Flicker and more. We'll even get a chance to do some “wading” in shallow ponds in search of waterfowl like Ruddy Duck and Redhead, Red-necked and Horned Grebe or just photograph these birds from the shore should you prefer not to partake in getting into the water with your gear. Bring lightweight breathable chest waders if you want to get eye-level shots of these birds.

Day 5

We are back on the lake for one last morning shoot, then a hearty breakfast or more shooting at the feeders before check out and departing for home. We can still have quite a productive morning with our normal meet time as early as 4:30 AM on sunny days! Plan to depart by noon or arrange for additional nights.

This itinerary is weather permitting and is subject to change based on conditions and wildlife activity.

Workshop Fee Includes

  • 4 nights lodging (double occupancy);
  • all activities and access to full resort amenities (including boats and guide services);
  • all meals and
  • photographic instruction.

Participants should plan to arrive on the first day of the workshop for a late afternoon orientation and slide show and depart on the last day of the workshop. We will have 3 solid days of shooting plus one final morning on the last day before a farewell lunch.

Additional Information

  • 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)

*For multiple workshops please register for each and pay a separate deposit.

If you would like to register for this workshop, please fill out our registration form. A non-refundable deposit (listed above) is required to reserve your spot. Please refer to our workshop information section for our cancellation and refund policies.

Workshop Information
  • Dates: June 6-10, 2017 SOLD OUT
                June 11-15, 2017 (1 openings)
                June 16-20, 2017 SOLD OUT
  • Cost: $4,995
  • Deposit: $1,000
  • Participants: 8

Can’t make these dates? Join Greg and Alan for the 2018 loons photography workshop.

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)
The single supplement fee reflects our actual cost and is subject to availability. If you are a single traveler and we are unable to place you with a roommate, you will be placed in a single room and charged the single supplement fee.

Greg Downing

Greg Downing

Greg has been traveling the world teaching professional and amateur photographers for more than 15 years hosting his instructional workshops and seminars. Instructing photographers of all experience levels Greg has earned a reputation for his gracious and generous teaching style.

Greg’s images are known for their unique style, exacting composition and strict attention to detail. Continue reading »

Alan Murphy

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 began pursuing his vision of how birds should be photographed. Alan has developed a style that is very recognizable with stunning portraits of birds on beautiful perches. Alan turned a full time professional bird photographer a few years ago and is now in demand to speak at festivals, conferences and photography clubs around the nation. Continue reading »

I really enjoyed the workshop and the locations and I definitely want to return on Greg's loon workshop in the future!
Ellen G.
Loons and More - Kamloops, BC
I especially enjoyed the shoots, of course the loons, but also the opportunity to see and photograph birds I don't normally see: Ruddy Duck, Red-Naped Sapsucker, Mountain Bluebird, Stellar Jay, and Evening Grosbeak. Greg and Alan, you do a superb job of teaching—not just getting us to a shooting position, but teaching as we go. Thank you.
Julie J.
Loons and More - Kamloops, BC
I was very happy with this workshop. As a new bird photographer, I am on a steep learning curve but took away many new skills both in the field and at the computer.
Don B.
Loons and More - Kamloops, BC