Arctic Reindeer Migration 2020

bucket list photo tours Canada

Quite often, as photographers we look to push our own boundaries. We want to capture that shot that is once of a lifetime, that no one else has in their portfolio. We will even go great distances to attain these images. If you are a photographer who loves to immerse yourself in culture and wildlife, we have found an amazing Canadian Bucket list adventure for you. 

Venture with us North! Our remote photographic playground, is above the Arctic Circle, with vast expanses of barren tundra that sprawls out before your eyes, with a mix of boreal forest thrown in. It is here at the top of the world, we will journey together across ice roads in this barren wonderland, to experience some unique opportunities. At a small Inuit village, we will be able to photograph and converse with some wise Inuit elders. We will even have the chance construct our very own authentic igloo in the wilderness, and then spend the night within it, as the northern lights dance above our heads. And last, but definitely not least, imagine hearing the pounding of hooves over ice, as our cameras focus in on a herd of over three thousand reindeer, that sprawl along the open tundra.

If I still have your attention, let’s get into some specifics about this once and a lifetime photography workshop!


Dates: March 29, 2020 - April 3, 2020

Included: Price includes lodging in Dawson City first night, Flight from Dawson to NWT and departing flight from NWT to Dawson, if you wish to depart from Yellowknife there is a extra $300 CAD fee.  

Items not covered: Alcohol, items of personal nature, trip insurance, tips to guides or instructor.

Price: $11700 CAD or $8900 USD please check USD conversion at time of booking off CAD price. 

Deposit: $3000 CAD at time of booking.


Itinerary:

Day 1: We will all arrive in Dawson City, Yukon as our meeting place. If the sky is clear we will be going out to photograph the aurora in one of my favourite areas in Northern Yukon. 

Day 2: There is no better way to start your day by flying to our location, over some of the most pristine untouched landscape in Canada. Here we will arrive as a group and start our day departing from one of the last large towns available to the northern communities. Our journey today will take us to a small hamlet that is only accessible by road in the winter months. If you guessed it we will be driving on some of the famous ice roads most people have only watched on tv. Here we will set up some natural backgrounds and darkroom single light photo opportunities to photograph some of the elders while they captivate us with their stories deeply immersing us in their culture. The approximate population of this area is 600 people with ratios of 32% north American Indian and 60% Inuit. In the evening, we will depart and head back to town to get a nice meal and settle in at our hotel for the night. If the sky is clear we will also have the opportunity to photograph the northern lights, but lets not stay up to late as there is a long day ahead of us tomorrow. 

Day 3: Today we will wake up and start our day with a breakfast at the hotel, once we are finished we will start our journey north. Our location is the edge of the Beaufort sea or Artic Ocean in Tuktoyaktuk. Here we will load up and go for a snowmobile drive around town to get you adjusted to your sled. If you feel comfortable, we will then proceed out on our journey to visit the Arctic Reindeer herd of approximately 3000 strong. If you don’t feel like snowmobiling  we have a heated tracked vehicle that will be driven by a local guide. It is your choice! You can relax in the comforts of northern luxury while we cruise through the arctic landscape or make it an adventure of a lifetime while you drive your own sled.😜  The tracked vehicle will take our luggage and camera gear so it will be safe on our commute. Once we are out with the reindeer in the open wilderness of NWT we will have a heated tent to warm up in as well a bathroom on location. Once we get our gear ready it is time to set up our first shoot!

Are you ready to sit in a blind or travel beside the herd by snowmobile as we have 3000 reindeer run past us, straight at us, run through the trees bounding in the snow. Picture it, deep foggy breaths, hooves pounding the ground, snow flying, the sound of 3000 reindeer grunting as they run. Today will be a short visit of about 3 hours to get us comfortable for tomorrows big shoot. Tonight, its all about traveling the land like many have back in the day. We will help build igloos while being taught by the locals the techniques of what makes a good igloo structure. Bedding will be made in each igloo so you are not sleeping directly on the ground. A special candle will be lit to provide heat keeping the temperature just above 0c. After we are all set up we will have a nice fire going while dinner is being made for us. As the sun sets this will be a night we will remember, sleeping in an igloo in arctic as many done before us. Think of our foreground image being a candle lit igloo glowing from the inside out. An image most will never forget or have the chance to ever photograph. If we are lucky this could be complimented with the northern lights dancing in the sky above us. Fingers crossed the elements allow such an image to be taken. Each hut will have power provided so we can plug in our batteries for charging or use any electronic devices. One big let down I want to tell you now, there is no wifi available in the igloos. I know, how we will ever survive not staying connected with social media and the outside world. Its now off to bed as we have a big day again tomorrow. 

***(Warming tent, bathroom , hydro, warm beverages and snack provided while out with reindeer.)

***(Valid drivers license required for snowmobile operation)  

Day 4: Rise and shine its time to get up and enjoy the fresh morning arctic air!  Our local guide will cook us some breakfast as we relax and enjoy the views. After breakfast we will hop back on our sleds and its off to spend the day with the reindeer. This herd is managed by a local to make sure no predators attack the herd or any wonder off on its own. Chances are we will be in a new location this morning as the herd will need to be moved so it can find fresh vegetation to eat under the snow and off the trees. Again we will have a heated portable washroom with us, warming tent with beverages and snacks. We will set up again for some desired images of the herd. We will have the option to talk to the herders about some of the issues they run into everyday or any other questions we would like to ask. We have designated about 6 hours to get the shots we desire before heading back to Tuk to enjoy an embraced warm shower and grab a nice meal at the local hotel. If you still have some life left in you after dinner and the aurora is blazing you bet I will be going outside to take some images. Most of the places you will ever photograph the aurora you always shoot towards the north. Because of our location we will likely be shooting in a southward direction. 

***(Warming tent, bathroom , hydro, warm beverages and snack provided while out with reindeer.) 

Day 5: Breakfast at the hotel and we are off to start our day. Today we will venture out to see a wonder of the world, the pingos. With the increase of the earths temperature we talk about the glaciers and ice melting across the world. Pingos will fall in the same category one day as these mountains or hills are upheavals from ice and permafrost. Once it gets to warm the base will melt and these tops will fall back into the lake or pond created underneath them. It is possible for some that we will be able to speak of a time when we walked among some of these interesting wonders of todays world. Today is all about learning how the earth provides for the people of the north, we will be visiting a ice hose. Many people have heard of such locations but never been to see one for them selves. Here we will drop blow the surface into a freezer that constantly maintains a temperature below freezing, this allows locals to store meat 365 days a year without the need for hydro. If you have not had the feeling yet on this trip you will by now understand just how different living in the North can be different then our cozy homes elsewhere in the world. One last quick tour around the village for pictures of the small buildings, sled dogs and intimate landscapes of the village. Its off back down the ice road highway to our last stop for the day, if time allows we can have the choice of throwing on some snow shoes and walking amongst the snow covered trees or we can relax and enjoy the afternoon wondering along the village, stopping at some gift shops to bring home a memory that we can cherish with the pictures we have taken. Tonight we will have a nice meal at the hotel and get some well deserved rest, if the sky allows you know the drill, grab that camera and lets go hunting for aurora! 

Day 6: Today we will grab some breakfast at the hotel and start our journey home, from here we will depart south for our flight home. For flights we have the option to fly to Dawson City or to Yellowknife to connect to our home destinations. 


Northwest Territories Reindeer Migration

CAMERA GEAR TO BRING:

  • For landscapes and northern lights you will want a fast wide angle lens f1.4 to f3.5. 

  • For wildlife you can use a 24-70, 70-200, 100-500 range, it all depends on how you want to shoot the wildlife.

  • Tripod, extra batteries and spare cards are recommended.  

TEMPERATURE: The average temperature this time of year can range from 0 to -20C or 32 to -4F for some you may think this is cold but for people who life in cold weather climates you will find this very easy to deal with as it will be a dry cold. 

WINTER CLOTHES: You may be thinking wow I don't have anything to keep me that warm in those temps in my closet. Don't worry one bit, we will be provided full outfits from head to toe to keep us nice and warm for this trip. You will be responsible to keep good care of the outfits provided and return them at the end of the workshop. If you have cold weather gear that you would like to bring you are most welcome to please bring it along. Personally, if you a person who does not fair well in the cold, but would love to do a trip like this buy yourself some nice base layers, long johns, under shirts and a nice set of gloves that allow you to still control your camera. 

 

Ready to join us on this Photography Bucket List Adventure, click the button below!