July 30, 2014, 05:59:15 AM

Author Topic: Photographic holidays  (Read 1460 times)

Synkka

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Photographic holidays
« on: February 13, 2014, 03:40:31 AM »
Hi there,

 I am hoping to get over to canada next year and I want to do some wildlife photography. I am hoping to get some tips on places to visit or companies to use. My current plan is to start in Vancouver visit a few areas like lake Louise then fly over to the east coast and visit some of the east coast.

At the moment I am quite open to different ideas although I would like to see some snow so I don't want to be visiting in midsummer.

Cheers

Synkka

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Photographic holidays
« on: February 13, 2014, 03:40:31 AM »

Logan

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Re: Photographic holidays
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2014, 08:06:42 AM »
If you have time I suggest maybe leaving vancouver and going to vancouver island or if you have less time just driving up to squamish and whistler. I might be biased because I live here but there is not much for wildlife in vancouver! where are you coming from?

A day or two to the west coast (tofino) with a stop at cathedral grove (first growth forest) is a pretty popular destination. For pictures of grey and orca whales and dolphins, whale watching tours out of tofino or victoria are a good bet. Greys and humpbacks are seasonal, you can see orcas all year round i think.

There are some EXCELLENT fly in wildlife lodges (if you have a large budget), i know of this one but there are lots of good ones. not sure if there is a better way to see grizzles on the coast. http://knightinletlodge.ca/

Whistler is also loaded with bears, dont let them charge you for bear tours just walk around until you see three or five.

Moving east, for rocky mountain animals, some kind of guide might help, there is a lot of terrain to cover and your chances of seeing anything from the highway are small.  http://www.canadianmountainholidays.com/ is an excellent outfit, again, a larger budget option.

While you are in the area look into a sight seeing flight over the oilsands, the level of destruction is crazy and you will never see anything like it.

Flying to the east coast might be a good idea like you said, unless you are a wheat photographer!


PS: you can take the gondola up to the glacier in whistler in midsummer, kind of a cool thing to do if you want snow in summer.

Synkka

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Re: Photographic holidays
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2014, 08:33:05 AM »
Hi Logan,

Thanks for the reply.

I will be coming from Australia so Vancouver tends to be the landing point, I would imagine I would spend a few days around the region which includes whistler and Vancouver Island. When I went to whistler I did have a laugh that there were so many Australians there working.

Thanks for the tips about tofino I have also been to Victoria but I didn't get a chance to do any whale watching last time. I did get to see quite a few bald eagles though which was great.

I will have a look into the companies, there are obviously heaps you can find on the internet but it's hard to tell which are any good. Are you aware of anyone who has gone further north to see polar bears or puffin watching in the east seems very popular.

And you are spot on about the drive. Very similar to the drive across Australia every few kilometres there is a tree but that's about as exciting as it gets

Are you referring to shale oil production? I have worked for a few mining/oil companies it's pretty full on.

Thanks for the gondola tip, one thing I don't get used to coming from Australia where it's very flat is how much the altitude changes the temperature and even peak summer it can still be cool when you are in the Rockies.

Cheers

Zeke

Logan

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Re: Photographic holidays
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2014, 08:59:43 AM »
the oil sands (tar sands is what the US calls them) are in northern alberta (fort mcmurray is the hub) and i think its kind of like shale oil but its sand thats saturated with heavy bitumen, and they strip mine it because in some places its very close to the surface, under just a couple feet of muskeg. google some pictures its absolutely nuts. whether you are for or against it the photography opportunities i think are pretty stunning. they do strip mining, lng, fracking, cyclic steam, the works. if it makes oil they will do it in alberta.

for mountains, driving from banff to jasper on the banff-jasper highway (we are bad at naming things) is arguably the most scenic drive in canada, very loaded with tourists in places like the icefields, but there are tons of hiking opportunities if thats something you like. the alpine club of canada would be a good place to look for hiking info/guides.

cant help you with polar bears although i'd like to see them too!

knight inlet and cmh are personal recommendations, i know the people that own the lodge and my aunt and uncle work at cmh (i think for the perks lol) if you want to spend more time in the mountains, i have stayed at an excellent lodge at assinaboine. (http://www.assiniboinelodge.com/) you can hike in or fly in, and its a super good spot to do day hikes from and see mountain goats, grizzlies, other rocky mountain wildlife. I would go later in the summer, larch trees are the landscape photographers wet dream!

in the interior of bc (on the way to the rockies from vancouver) there are lots of small towns and some ghost towns from the gold rush, old mills and industry things, that kind of stuff, and a pretty unique desert geography around vernon, kamloops summerland area. there is also an area in alberta around drumheller that might be interesting, it has unique geography and a huge number of dinosaur finds and fossils.

i would make tofino a priority, although you do have beaches and big waves in australia, its a bit different here ;) not sure what level of hiking or dripping forest you are into, but at the north end of the island (cape scott) there is a park with some pretty excellent vistas and rain coast wildlife. you can also water taxi to the cape but its very expensive and the hike is not technical, just damp. I live in port mcniell, (and grew up on vancouver island) and to be entirely honest unless you really like trees, you cant do much better than tofino. going north in bc is kind of a waste of time (other people would disagree) its just wet trees until you get to the arctic. theres lots to see but theres also an area the size of europe thats just wet trees and rocks. every time our german friends come to visit canada they insist on doing a giant driving tour through prince george and kitimat and the north coast and to us its kind of bonkers to look at roadside trees for days on end. hit tofino and head to the mountains.

sorry for the extended travel guide its 4 in the morning and im up with a sore back. happy to help!

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Re: Photographic holidays
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2014, 04:08:25 PM »
Hi,

When you will be in eastern Canada, I really strongly recommend the Gaspesia peninsula. There are plenty of nice landscapes and lots of easily accessible wildlife. However, you'll need to choose what you want to see because most critters are mostly seasonal and the best chances of sightings are often not in the snow season.

In Gaspesia, you'll want to check for whale watching cruises. In the right time (around September or October if I recall correctly, but you should double check) you can see blue whales, humpbacks, common whales, well about seven sorts of cetaceans. These are great.

There are also many national parks like :
- Parc du Bic: a breeding ground for seals in the spring;
- Parc de la Gaspésie : One of the highest moose and deer density in Canada and very nice hikes. I went there in early June and some trails were still closed for ice and snow, but only in heights;
- Ile Bonaventure, near the roché percé, Is a huge (I really mean HUGE) sea bird colony in the spring.
- Parc Forillon: lots of deers and black bears and some very nice views.

If you choose the north shore of the St-Lawrence river, you can go to Parc de la Jacques-Cartier. It has the southernmost cariboo colony in Québec. But it is surely not a sure sighting.

Attached are pictures from Cap Bon-Ami near Forillon and birds from the Boanventure Island colony.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 04:18:53 PM by IMG_0001 »
What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!

IMG_0001

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Re: Photographic holidays
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2014, 07:59:31 PM »
I saw you were hoping for polar bears and wanted to see snow. I just wanted to say that as far as I know, you need to venture quite a bit in the remotest Northern parts of Canada in the winter if you want to see them. You'll need to go to the Northern Territories, Yukon or Nunavut to see them. And that is in the winter.

Apart from my original suggestion of the Gaspesia peninsula, you may want to have a look at the Saguenay and lac st-jean regions. There are nice nationwawl parks there too and they have an open range zoo in St-Felicien.
 
What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!

Logan

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Re: Photographic holidays
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2014, 12:15:49 PM »
in the winter the bears should be out on the ice, in the summer when the ice breaks up is when they come down to churchhill. (i think).

for grizzles scooping up salmon you want to come in sept-oct during spawning season.

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Re: Photographic holidays
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2014, 12:15:49 PM »

Don Haines

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Re: Photographic holidays
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2014, 12:55:25 PM »
in the winter the bears should be out on the ice, in the summer when the ice breaks up is when they come down to churchhill. (i think).

The Polar Bear tours are from mid October to min November.... In the fall, the bears concentrate while waiting for the ice to form, that's when the tours are offered...

Look up Churchill and Polar Bear tours and Tundra Buggy on the web.... that should get you lots of hits....
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Don Haines

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Re: Photographic holidays
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2014, 01:02:32 PM »
Hi,

When you will be in eastern Canada, I really strongly recommend the Gaspesia peninsula. There are plenty of nice landscapes and lots of easily accessible wildlife. However, you'll need to choose what you want to see because most critters are mostly seasonal and the best chances of sightings are often not in the snow season.

In Gaspesia, you'll want to check for whale watching cruises. In the right time (around September or October if I recall correctly, but you should double check) you can see blue whales, humpbacks, common whales, well about seven sorts of cetaceans. These are great.

There are also many national parks like :
- Parc du Bic: a breeding ground for seals in the spring;
- Parc de la Gaspésie : One of the highest moose and deer density in Canada and very nice hikes. I went there in early June and some trails were still closed for ice and snow, but only in heights;
- Ile Bonaventure, near the roché percé, Is a huge (I really mean HUGE) sea bird colony in the spring.
- Parc Forillon: lots of deers and black bears and some very nice views.

If you choose the north shore of the St-Lawrence river, you can go to Parc de la Jacques-Cartier. It has the southernmost cariboo colony in Québec. But it is surely not a sure sighting.

Attached are pictures from Cap Bon-Ami near Forillon and birds from the Boanventure Island colony.
If you go to Parc de la Jacques-Cartier, take the day hike up to the top of Mount Jacques Cartier... there are Caribou there and they have gotten fairly used to hikers so you can get some nice pictures... Note who is following the tourists down the steps in the second picture :)
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Don Haines

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Re: Photographic holidays
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2014, 01:13:27 PM »
Flying to the east coast might be a good idea like you said, unless you are a wheat photographer!

It is a LONG!!!!! drive.... Lots of interesting stuff to see along the way, but be warned there will be long periods of boredom in between.... A lot of the drive through the Praries will be through wheatfields.... and an lot of the drive from Winnepeg to Quebec Cityu can be summed up as trees and rocks and rocks and trees and trees and rocks (oh look, a lake) and trees and rocks and rocks and trees :)

The Cabot Trail in Cape Breton and Gros Morne in Newfoundland are also particularly scenic with opportunities all over the east coast to go see seabird colonies...
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Don Haines

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Re: Photographic holidays
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2014, 01:15:25 PM »
in the winter the bears should be out on the ice, in the summer when the ice breaks up is when they come down to churchhill. (i think).

The Polar Bear tours are from mid October to min November.... In the fall, the bears concentrate while waiting for the ice to form, that's when the tours are offered...

Look up Churchill and Polar Bear tours and Tundra Buggy on the web.... that should get you lots of hits....
Late September to early October are great times to see the leaves change colour as well....
The best camera is the one in your hands

Synkka

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Re: Photographic holidays
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2014, 09:13:26 PM »
Thankyou everyone for the advice i have been very busy but I will go through everything this weekend :)

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Re: Photographic holidays
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2014, 09:13:26 PM »