SNOWY OWLS IN THE HIGH NORTH


IN COOPERATION WITH STARLING TOURS

No other owl species seems more magical than the captivating snowy owl. Very rare in most parts of the northern hemisphere, this beautiful bird is easy to spot in the open and accessible plains of Ontario and Quebec. Are you ready for some action photography in an amazing setting? A once-in-a-lifetime experience for any dedicated bird photographer!

Book now with Starling Tours

 

TOUR DATES

17 – 23 January 2021

 

Group Size

5 people (min/max)

 

Condition

Easy, comfortable, cold!

 

Book Before

1st of November 2020

Schedule

17/01: Flight to Montreal and transfer to our bed & breakfast.

18 – 22/01: Snowy owl photography with a session in the morning and one in the evening. Lunch break in a local lunchbar and dinner in a restaurant.

23/01: Transfer to the airport of Montreal and flight back home.


Great Conditions

Canadian snowy owls have become quite popular amongst birdwatchers and photographers. In recent years, the public spots have become very crowded. Yves collaborates with a snowy owl expert who provides exclusive access to some of the best areas. There will be nobody but our group and the owls on stage.
We stay at a very cosy accommodation nearby, so we never lose time by traveling far. Getting up early each morning is key, so we can be ready before sunrise to photograph throughout the morning. We visit a warm place for lunch and go out again in the late afternoon, shooting until all the colors of twilight have faded in the evening sky.
Because we travel in a very small group, we remain very flexible and ready to  find the best conditions for photography, at any given moment.


Arctic atmosphere

We photograph the owls in style. Dressed warmly in our down parkas, hats, gloves and big snow boots, we spend hours close to the owls, as they give us a show we will never forget.

The landscape and winter conditions are amazing. In one week we can expect all kinds of weather: sun, mist, blizzards. The snowy owls don’t mind, and all of these conditions are great for photography. White on white subjects are very appealing, and we use all our skills to bring out the beautiful cool tones in the pictures. Whatever the weather, we go out every day. It is the extremes of the landscape and climate that makes for the most impressive pictures.


Magnificent birds, creative perspectives

Our target species is, of course, the snowy owl. After a long journey to the south, these birds visit the Canadian winter to hunt for voles and rodents in the open fields. Every owl has its unique features and can be photographed in different ways. Some can be approached within just a few meters, making those long lenses too big.

We visit various winter landscapes and photograph the owls in as many different situations as possible. Most commonly seen are the speckled younger and female birds, but adult male birds in their pure white plumage also make an appearance. In recent years, we also photographed several other species including great grey owls, northern hawk owl and boreal owl.


Autofocus and exposure controls

Nothing is more exciting than viewing a snowy owl in the finder as it jumps up from the snow and goes for its hunt, flying straight into your camera. What are the tricks to photographing fast action? Which AF- and other setting create the sharpest images? Every photographer, regardless of which type of camera they use, can count on plenty of instructions. The exposure of white subjects on sunny, white backgrounds is very challenging for any camera. We will discuss this extensively.

Before we go out into the cold, you learn how to protect your gear, how to handle long lenses and when to use your tripod. All is focussed on getting those stunning shots!


Accommodation and transport

After flying to Montreal, a bus drives us to our basecamp. Our cosy bed & breakfast is located about an hour and a half from the airport and close to the snowy owls.

We might travel a larger distance if this guarantees better photographing conditions. Because we travel in a small group, we can move fast and adapt to circumstances.


Climate, clothing and gear

Very warm clothes are essential on this trip, as we will immerse ourselves in sub-zero temperatures for many hours. I will explain all about how to dress warm, and what kinds of clothes to bring. Expect various temperatures, from -5°C to -25°C, wind-chill factor not included! We never walk very far, but the challenging factors are the deep snow and the cold, long hours. The appropriate clothing should enable you to withstand the cold.

Everybody is welcome to join, whether you’re a starter or an expert.

We will photograph fast-moving birds, so bring fast cameras with lenses varying from 200mm to 600mm. Distances to the owls will vary a lot, from just a few meters to birds in the landscape. Lens covers will protect your gear against cold and snow.

We shoot loads of pictures every day, so bring lots of battery power and good memory cards. We advise you to bring a laptop, fast card readers and big memory disks. You will be amazed by the number of pictures we take on each session. Don’t expect to have enough time to download during the lunch break.


My favorite environment

During this week, I will guide you and help you at any time to learn as much as possible about the snowy owl. You will discover how to make the most stunning shots and how to prepare for the cold. I’ve been travelling to Canada for years to photograph this beautiful bird. The icy temperatures and Arctic birds are a true passion of mine. The expert I work with is a real snowy owl-whisperer. He helps me guide trips for dedicated photographers every year. A truly unique experience!


SPOT LOCATION


 

INCLUDED

Professional guidance, booking fees, all local transport, all meals, all overnight stays, non-alcoholic drinks, guarantee fund.

 

NOT INCLUDED

Flight(s) to Montreal, alcoholic beverages, cancellation insurance, travel insurance, purchases of personal nature, gratuities.

 

TESTIMONIALS


These people joined me on my last photo tour, a trip we will never forget! My gratitude goes out to them for their trust.
  • I certainly recommend a trip with Yves. He’s not only an excellent photographer but also an excellent tour guide. He’s very social, speaks a lot of languages and is very pragmatic and hands-on. He takes care of his people during the entire trip.
    Carl Verstraelen, Belgium
  • I undertook no less than 16 (!) photo trips with this guy, starting in 2012. Why? All I can say is that I have a lot of beautiful images. Yves provides all the right photo opportunities and my skills have increased considerably. Everything I expect from a trip as a photographer is there. Just see for yourself and book a trip, you won’t regret it!
    Julien Herremans, Belgium
  • Yves knows a lot about Svalbard! He is very helpful, has expertise of photography and equipment, loves a good joke and is a very kind person.
    Alex Boel, Belgium
  • I met Yves in Norway. His humor and optimism was infectious! He gives the best of himself and brings out the best in you as a photographer. Travelers get lots of space to do their thing!
    Regi Popelier, Belgium
  • Yves has lots of patience with his group and plenty of knowledge about wildlife and landscape photography.
    Wim De Baets, Belgium
  • We join Yves every year since we first met him! Hiss social skills, his knowledge of the environment he explores, his possibility to adapt to changing situations and the fact that he will never put his team in danger: trips with Yves are smooth and hassle-free!
    Bert Van Der Krieken & Kristien Van Acker, Belgium
  • We always delight in traveling with Yves. He does his best to satisfy the travelers every single time and is very responsible for the group. The trips are always perfect!
    Pascale Carrette & Bas Talpe, Belgium

Looking for more information? Would you like to to join me on this tour?

GET IN TOUCH

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE


Japan

Breathtaking winter photography
03 – 19 February 2020

Discover

Svalbard

A photo expedition in early summer
10 – 18 June 2020

Discover

Bulgaria

Autumn photography in the Balkan mountains
31 October – 08 November 2020

Discover