Saskatchewan wildlife and Northern lights
“Taking a photography workshop with Chris Pepper means that you have not only expert instruction, but a personalized experience that yields great results. Chris looks forward to supporting you through learning new techniques and improving practice. I plan to continue learning by taking his workshops in the future. Thanks for a great experience Chris.”
— Laurie M
Join Chris Pepper for our annual workshop in Canada's north to track a bison herd. If more than six people attend this workshop, Kevin K Pepper (K1) will also be joining Chris
Workshop: September 17 to September 22, 2016
Cost: $3600CADincluding taxes ($2650USD - please check currency conversion at time of booking for accurate USD rate)
Deposit: $750 Canadian
Included... airport pick up and drop off, transportation, Meals as detailed in the itinerary, entrance fees, guides, photography guidance
Not Included... anything not listed as included, trip insurance, alcohol, laundry, items of personal nature, loonies for shower, airport pick up or drop off out of designated times.
Why travel to Saskatchewan with us to our location? How many people say they have been to the east or west coast of Canada? Most people never say they have been to Saskatchewan (SK), well here are some great reasons why we think this trip is for you!
Over the past years we have visited SK and learned the lay of the land fist hand from expert wildlife guides who have been living in the area their whole life. The Boreal forest offers a home to many different animals that can be frequently sighted such as, bison, moose, mule deer, white tailed deer, black bear, red fox, grey wolf, caribou, cougars, Canadian lynx and much more. Are area is also home to many different raptors such as burrowing owl, great grey owl, great horned owl, barred owl and snowy owl during the migration season. Not only does the beautiful lush vegetation in the forest offer a picture perfect backdrop it also has us far enough north to invite the northern lights into our landscapes.
We will be traveling through Prince Albert National park for 3 days via horse back. Short trail rides to our locations will minimize ride time on our experienced trail horses. One of our guides will be carting a wagon to carry our camera gear in and out of the park, along with anybody who does not feel comfortable riding. Once you are in the park you will be captivated by huge white birch forests. Behind these forests offer long meadows that have big ponds and lakes that are sure to offer great reflections when photographing the Northern lights. We are lucky enough that the average viewing of the lights in our location is every 1 in 3 nights. Another upside to our location is fall will be due to arrive as we are further north. The sea of color along the ridges of the river creates stunning opportunities to bring home images that will make your friends wish fall was currently in their area.
You will be picked up by our van from Saskatoon airport at no later than 11am, we will start our tour north to Prince Albert. Here you also have the chance to do some shopping if you forgot any items of personal nature. For all my Canadian friends this will be our last stop for Tim Hortons so if you need your last fix for the week this is the place to do so. Afterwards we will keep driving North West until we reach our destination at Ness Creek. Once we arrive we will be shown our accommodations, afterwards we will all be welcomed to sit down for a nice meal in the kitchen or common room. The property of Ness Creek was created for the arts programs of many different styles. Blacksmith, music, art, photography and much more. Yearly festivals are help on these grounds such as retreats from all woman, troubled kids, school workshops, powwows from Native Indians, music festivals such as electronica, bluegrass and the every famous Ness Creek festival of over 4000 people for a weekend of nonstop music. Sustainable living has been created to a degree that most vegetables eaten are grown in the permaculture garden cared for by our friends at Ness Creek. You will also find the chicken coupe that will offer you fresh daily eggs for our morning breakfasts. I invite you to take a walk around the grounds or relax from your travels from the day. For dinner we will be going down to the lake to catch a possible sunset and after enjoying a nice fresh pan fried fish dinner. (Meal substitutions are available) after our outing at the lake we will return back to our cabins and retire for the evening unless the Northern Lights are present.
Time to wake up and smell the fresh eggs cooking in the kitchen! Welcome to day two, after we eat our breakfasts and clean ourselves up it’s off to Prince Albert National park. On our journey we will have our cameras ready as wildlife frequents the area along the fields. Last year we had daily deer sightings everyday along with viewings of a cute little red fox. Our short half hour drive will park us right at our hitching posts. Here we will meet our guides and cook for the next two nights. Our lead guide has been featured on the TV show Man tracker not once but twice. He is very experienced in tracking wildlife throughout the park. Our second guide is an experience long rider. One day over a discussion of beers he decided that he would break a new horse in a 500 mile journey to Alberta and back on a dare. These guys are full of character and are the real deal cowboys of SK.
Our journey will take us along the trails inside the park through lush birch forests as far as the eye can see. We will be stopping to take some pictures along these trails being assisted off and on the horses if needed. One of our stops will be along a long meadow, here we will have a small lunch while we wait for Deer and Bison to cross before our eyes. After our lunch stop we will continue to our first camp for our stay in the park. Or lodging will be in authentic tipis that are used by our guide and guests yearly. Being located in the park not only gives us ultimate viewing pleasures for wildlife, but also eliminates any city lights for our night photography shoots of the Northern lights.
After dinner we will see how our sky looks for the evening and plan our night shoot accordingly.
Horses will be brought up after breakfast and pack horses will be packed for the trail. We will ride down to Amyot lake. Along the wet lands we will be looking for wildlife stopping for a drink before moving on for their day. Bison and Black bears frequent this area quite often, if we are quite enough sightings will be possible. Our guides are experienced to assist us in keeping a safe distance from the wildlife. Depending on weather we will be moving to a new camp at a different location or using last night’s camp again for convenience. After some golden hour photos as the sun paints the fall colours, we watch the skies for the aurora by the camp fire with skies of minimal light pollution. Again a nice fire cooked meal will be provided by our guides.
Today we will start our day with a good meal, clean ourselves up and saddle up partner because we are starting to head back. While enjoying our final trail ride you will start to feel like riding a horse is starting to feel like second nature. Just when you think you missed your calling to be a cowboy/cowgirl we will unload the horses and brush them down one last time before saying goodbye. You are driven back to Ness Creek while watching for wildlife along the way. Once back at your cabin you will have time for a well needed shower and a nice lunch. Afterwards you will have some free time to charge your batteries and upload your pictures. This time can also be taken for a short rest or a wonder around the huge property of Ness Creek.
In the afternoon we will be meeting up with another local guide by the name of John. John has been studying the owls and taking their photos in the area and will take us to a few spots around the property, or possibly to a nearby lake. Frequent sightings and daily sounds of the Great Horned Owl and Barred Owl can be heard all day and night at Ness Creek. During our time with John he will help educate us about the habitats and hunting behaviors he whiteness daily. All while trying to help us with our photo opportunities.
After we will have dinner at Ness Creek followed by a possible night shoot if weather and conditions favor.
Rise and shine it’s our last full day together. Today we will start our day with a breakfast from the kitchen and then it’s off to photograph some people. People you say?? Yes it’s our cowboy and cowgirl shoot today, also we have hired a local Native Indian. We will start our day in prime light along the shores of our local lake. Here we will photograph the riders on their horses coming straight at us in the water. This action packed morning will not only be full of laughs but some super great photo opportunities. After we will spend some time photographing Laurel who is a certified riding coach jump some objects out in the fields. After we will stop for a quick lunch on the farm and get back at it. In the afternoon it’s all about portraits and close ups, using our natural light and possibly some flash work we will position our friends in a ranch style setting. Using props such as an unloaded long gun or a hog tie rope will help our images look as natural as the settings they are used in. If a sunset permits we will have our riders up on a hill and we will work on some classic cowboy cowgirl silhouettes with a nice yellow orange background.
Dinner will either be on the ranch or back at Ness Creek depending on time at our current location.
We will be spending our last night at Ness Creek, depending on sky conditions northern lights photos may be possible.
Today we will start off with our last breakfast together and get all cleaned up for our journey back to the airport. If you have enjoyed the location and people as much as I did my first time you’re going to be sad its home time. Airport drop off will be between 12-1
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