Natural Art: The Photography of Brad Hill

 

Photo Tours with Brad Hill of Natural Art Images

Grizzly Bear photo tours. Humpback and Killer Whale photo tours. Great Bear Rainforest photo tours. Khutzeymateen photo tours. Owl photo tours. Spirit Bear photo tours. In other words, photo tours featuring the absolute best wildlife subjects the Canadian wilderness can offer.

If you're a keen nature or wildlife photographer and you're looking for that "ultimate" photo tour, you've definitely come to the right place! I offer a small number of photo tours each year to absolutely amazing and remote destinations with absolutely amazing subject matter. I keep my trips small in size (normally with 6 or fewer participants) so each participant receives ample attention and unobstructed shooting angles and photo opportunities. I currently offer three distinct types of Photo Tours:

1. Instructional Photo Tours: These photo tours combine a full day of professional photography instruction with multiple days filled with fantastic photo opportunities of dramatic subjects, including wild Grizzlies, Spirit Bears, Orcas, Humpbacks and more! Besides the classroom-style instruction provided at the beginning of the tour, participants will receive instruction in the field and, on some tours, evening seminars. My instructional photo tours are targeted at all serious nature photographers - from keen novices through to seasoned professionals.

2. "Photo Op" Photo Tours: My "Photo Op" tours are similar to my instructional photo tours but offer a reduced instructional component (the full day of pre-trip classroom-style instruction is omitted). They offer access to amazing photographic opportunities in a small, intimate group of like-minded individuals and with experienced guides and a dedicated photographic guide (that would be ME!). During Photo Op photo tours photographic coaching on issues related to both image capture and image processing is available upon request. My Photo Op tours are designed more for the intermediate-to-advanced (and professional) photographer not wishing formal instruction. These tours are very popular with those who have previously attended one or more of my Instructional Photo Tours.

3. "Exploratory Photo Adventures": New for the 2013 season! These guided adventures do not include any formal photography instruction. During these tours we visit the same general wildlife photography "hotspots" (such as the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia) that we do on my other tours, but instead of focusing on the "tried and true" locations we strike out to explore rarely visited inlets, bays, streams, and forests. It's best to think of these trips as "higher risk" (in terms of "bagging" a single specific species) but "higher potential reward" (in terms of getting shots of species in locations and settings not commonly photographed). In short, these trips should appeal to the adventurous types who really like to "get out there". Those considering these trips should be physically mobile, able to carry their own photography gear over rough terrain (such as slippery rocks or through thick forests), and be comfortable with the thought of working outside in weather that could be...uhhhh...different than what you'd normally think of as beach weather! ;-)

See immediately below for my 2014 photo tours, or jump down to my 2015 photo tours by clicking here...

2014 Calendar of Photo Tours

1. The Owls of Manitoba - March 2014

ALL NEW FOR THE 2014 SEASON!

OVERVIEW: Southeastern Manitoba has become one of the premier locations on the continent for viewing northern boreal forest owls. Great Gray, Northern Hawk-owl, Great Horned, and Snowy Owls are regularly encountered during most winters. And, not uncommonly, Barred, Eastern Screech-owls, Northern Saw-whet, and Short-eared Owls can be added to the list. While numbers of each species fluctuate from year to year, in late winter many of these species are beginning courtship and their conspicuousness increases. In 2014 award-winning professional wildlife photographer Brad Hill will be teaming up with local naturalist Rudolf Koes to offer a March tour dedicated to capturing memorable images of a number of species of boreal owls. Our focus will be on finding and exploiting high-quality photographic opportunities of owls, with Great Grays topping our list of target species. Our goal will be to capture naturally-occurring behaviours and scenes and, to minimize potential harm to our subjects, no form of baiting will be used.

An optional day of professional-level photography instruction by Brad Hill covering essential image-capture skills, techniques, tips, and tricks is being offered at the beginning of the trip. Photographers of all levels are welcomed on this tour.

THE CRITICAL DETAILS:

• PHOTO TOUR TYPE: Instructional AND Non-instructional ("Photo Op") options.
• DURATION: 7 days (including arrival and departure days) for instructional option; 6 days for non-instructional option. 4 full days in the field with both options.
• DATES: March 3-9, 2014 for instructional option; March 4-9, 2014 for non-instructional option.
• NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: Limited to 10.
• CURRENT NUMBER OF AVAILABLE SPOTS: 1.
• COST: $2395 Canadian plus 5% GST for instructional option; $1895 Canadian plus 5% GST for non-instructional option. Currency converter available here.
• WHAT'S INCLUDED: Accommodation, guiding, vehicular needs/transportation once in Winnipeg, MB, breakfasts and lunches.
• ABOUT THE WEATHER: Weather conditions are likely to be cold, with the possibility of snow or rain. It is best to dress in clothes that are appropriate for subzero Celsius (32 degree Fahrenheit) weather, although in recent years we have encountered above freezing temperatures for some or all of the tour. Walking will be limited to short walks on mostly level ground along roads; for a lot of the time we will be inside or near a heated vehicle. Strong, waterproof footwear is advised and head gear to keep you warm is essential.
• WHAT TO EXPECT: An emphasis on photography and capitalizing on quality photo ops rather than maximizing the number of bird species seen. Easy to moderate walking. Cold winter weather. Good quality accommodation. And OWLS!

REGISTRATION: Contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca to reserve your spot!

MORE INFORMATION? Contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca for more information.

2. Grizzlies of the Khutzeymateen - Spring 2014

About the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Sanctuary: Canada's only grizzly bear sanctuary is located at the tip of a long, remote and pristine inlet on the northern coast of British Columbia. The sanctuary (and entire estuary) is closed to the public - only two licensed guides are allowed to lead very small groups into this majestic, globally unique ecosystem. The inlet is home to about 50 resident grizzlies, with many more passing through during the year. This remote piece of wilderness is set within one of the planet's few remaining completely intact temperate rainforests and offers a stunning, verdant backdrop to observe and photograph wild grizzlies as they interact with one another as they have for millennia. The bears themselves grant visitors with a very rare privilege: they allow humans fully and completely into their rich and behaviourally diverse daily lives. Be one of under 200 people - and far, far fewer photographers - annually gifted with the intimate experience of sharing the lives of the Grizzlies of the Khutzeymateen.

In spring of 2014 I am offering three different versions of this popular trip:

Photo Tour #1. Grizzlies of the Khutzeymateen Instructional Photo Tour.

OVERVIEW: This exceptionally popular photo tour combines a full day of professional photography instruction with 5 days of fabulous grizzly bear viewing and photography in the world-famous Khutzeymateen Grizzly Sanctuary. Following our day of photography instruction in Prince Rupert, BC, we will travel to the Khutzeymateen via float plane. We'll then stay aboard the beautiful Ocean Light II - a comfortable 71' ocean ketch (sailboat). We will be assisted by two professional bear guides during our 5 days of working intensely with the spectacular Grizzlies of the Khutzeymateen (in the most magical setting imaginable)! This trip is simply an extraordinary experience and provides unsurpassed photographic opportunities!

This is an all-inclusive trip (once one arrives in Prince Rupert, BC) that includes 2 nights of accommodation in Prince Rupert, all meals in Prince Rupert, a full day of photo instruction in Prince Rupert prior to the trip, float plane transport to and from the Khutzeymateen, and 5 full days in the Khutzeymateen photographing majestic grizzly bears.

PHOTO TOUR TYPE: Instructional Photo Tour (see top of page for description of my Instructional Photo Tours).
DATES: May 23 to May 30, 2014.
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: Limited to 6.
CURRENT NUMBER OF AVAILABLE SPOTS: 0. While this photo tour is currently sold out for 2014, cancellations can occur. Please contact me (seminars@naturalart.ca) if you would like to be placed on the waiting list for this trip. Currently there is no one on the waiting list. And, this will be offered again in 2015 - please contact me (seminars@naturalart.ca) if you would like information about the 2015 edition of this tour.
COST: $4999 Canadian plus applicable taxes. Currency converter available here.

REGISTRATION: Contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca to reserve your spot!

MORE INFORMATION? Just download this brochure (PDF; 2.4 MB) or contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca for more information and details about this unique photo tour.

Photo Tour #2. Grizzlies of the Khutzeymateen - 5-Day Photo Adventure

OVERVIEW: This "photo-op" style photo tour runs concurrently with the Instructional Photo Tour (described immediately above) - it offers a reduced instructional component (no full day of instruction before the trip) but with 5 full days spent photographing the Grizzlies of the Khutzeymateen. It is geared toward photographers who primarily want access to the area and the bears in a non-crowded environment (all the photo tours are limited to 6 individuals to ensure everyone has good shooting angles) and who may not have the time for the longer instructional photo tour.

Note that accommodation and meals in Prince Rupert (one night) are NOT included in the price of this tour. As with the full instructional photo tour, float plane transport into (and out of) the Khutzeymateen and all food and accommodation once there ARE included in the price. Note that all participants will receive detailed information and extensive photographic "tips and tricks" about the idiosyncrasies of shooting bears in the Khutzeymateen prior to the trip (to ensure that the quality of their shooting time is maximized).

PHOTO TOUR TYPE: Photo Op Tour (see top of page for description of my Photo Op Tours).
DATES: May 24 to May 30, 2014.
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: Limited to 6.
CURRENT NUMBER OF AVAILABLE SPOTS: 0. While this photo tour is currently sold out for 2014, cancellations can occur. Please contact me (seminars@naturalart.ca) if you would like to be placed on the waiting list for this trip. Currently there is no one on the waiting list. And, this tour will be offered again in 2015 - please contact me (seminars@naturalart.ca) if you would like information about the 2015 edition of this tour.
COST: $4499 Canadian plus applicable taxes. Currency converter available here.

REGISTRATION: Contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca to reserve your spot!

MORE INFORMATION? Just download this brochure (PDF; 2.1 MB) or contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca for more information and details about this unique photo tour.

Photo Tour #3. Grizzlies of the Khutzeymateen - 4-Day Photo Adventure

OVERVIEW: This "photo-op" style photo tour offers a reduced instructional component (no full day of instruction before the trip) and 4 full days spent photographing the Grizzlies of the Khutzeymateen. It is geared toward photographers who primarily want access to the area and the bears in a non-crowded environment (all the photo tours are limited to 6 individuals to ensure everyone has good shooting angles) and who may not have the time for the longer instructional photo tour.

Note that accommodation and meals in Prince Rupert (one night) are NOT included in the price of this tour. As with the full instructional photo tour, float plane transport into (and out of) the Khutzeymateen and all food and accommodation once there ARE included in the price. Note that all participants will receive detailed information and extensive photographic "tips and tricks" about the idiosyncrasies of shooting bears in the Khutzeymateen prior to the trip (to ensure that the quality of their shooting time is maximized).

PHOTO TOUR TYPE: Photo Op Tour (see top of page for description of my Photo Op Tours).
DATES: May 29 to June 3, 2014.
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: Limited to 6.
CURRENT NUMBER OF AVAILABLE SPOTS: 0. While this photo tour is currently sold out for 2014, cancellations can occur. Please contact me (seminars@naturalart.ca) if you would like to be placed on the waiting list for this trip. Currently there is no one on the waiting list. And, this tour will be offered again in 2015 - please contact me (seminars@naturalart.ca) if you would like information about the 2015 edition of this tour.
COST: $3599 Canadian plus applicable taxes. Currency converter available here.

REGISTRATION: Contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca to reserve your spot!

MORE INFORMATION? Just download this brochure (PDF; 2.0 MB) or contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca for more information and details about this unique photo tour.

3. The Wildlife of Canada's High Arctic - June/July 2014.

ALL NEW FOR THE 2014 SEASON!

OVERVIEW:

In mid-summer Canada's HIgh Arctic region provides a rare mix of elements that combine to provide a superb and unique photographic experience sure to appeal to any nature photographer. This tour mixes never-ending, strikingly-clear light with unsurpassed opportunities to photograph many avian and mammalian subjects in settings that are only rarely - if ever - encountered in more southerly latitudes.

We'll spend time in two locations during this trip. First, we'll visit the Cambridge Bay area on Victoria Island. This large arctic island is home to many species of birds and provides opportunities to photograph a large number of avian species - on land, water and while in flight. We'll also spend time on the northern edge of Nunavut's mainland exploring some major rivers in the Kugluktuk region. These rivers and their basins are home to abundant wildlife and we'll have the chance of encountering and photographing some of the large mammals of the High Arctic - such as caribou, wolves, brown bears, arctic foxes, and possibly even wolverines.

Our full list of potential subjects during this tour is varied and includes several species of shorebirds in rarely-seen breeding plumage, such as the regal American Golden-Plover; both Common and King Eiders; Snowy Owls; striking Sabine's and Glaucous Gulls; Arctic Terns; Cackling and Greater White-Fronted Geese; Long-tailed Jaegers; Snow Buntings; Lapland Longspurs; Long-tailed Ducks and more. Muskox, Arctic Foxes, Gray Wolves, Brown Bears and other mammals are found in the regions we'll be visiting. The tundra itself is covered in wildflowers at this time of year and we'll be presented with expansive landscapes just waiting to be photographed!

Lead by award-winning photographer Brad Hill (AKA Your's Truly!), this tour will focus on finding and exploiting the high-quality photographic opportunities presented on the tundra of the Canadian Arctic - the fauna, the flora, and the very land itself.

An optional day of professional-level photography instruction by Brad Hill covering essential image-capture skills, techniques, tips, and tricks is offered at the beginning of the trip. We'll touch on a wide array of topics - from capturing compelling landscape images through to the nuances of getting that jaw-dropping flight shot!

Photographers of all levels are welcomed on this tour, but it is assumed that participants will be coming equipped with digital SLR cameras.

THE CRITICAL DETAILS:

PHOTO TOUR TYPE: Instructional AND Non-instructional ("Photo Op") options.
DURATION: 10 days (including arrival and departure days) for instructional option; 9 days for non-instructional option.
DATES: June 28 - July 7, 2014 for instructional option; June 29 - July 7, 2014 for non-instructional option.
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: Limited to 10.
CURRENT NUMBER OF AVAILABLE SPOTS: 8.
COST: $6695 Canadian plus 5% GST for instructional option; $6195 Canadian plus 5% GST for non-instructional option. Single supplement of $575 CAD. Currency converter available here.
WHAT'S INCLUDED: Flights from Edmonton AB (trip start point) to Cambridge Bay (Nunavut), Cambridge Bay to Kugluktuk, and Kugluktuk back to Edmonton; accommodation, guiding, all vehicular needs/transportation once the tour begins (including our jet boat tours), breakfasts and lunches.
ABOUT THE WEATHER: Weather conditions can be extremely variable - expect overnight lows close to freezing and daytime highs that can reach 25C (80° f). It is best to dress in layers with differing weights of insulating layers (e.g., fleece and/or merino wool) with a wind and waterproof (or water-resistant) outer protective layer. Water-resistant or waterproof lightweight hiking boots recommended.
WHAT TO EXPECT: An emphasis on photography and capitalizing on quality photo ops rather than maximizing the absolute number of wildlife species seen. Professional-quality photography instruction (for those opting in to the instructional component). Extremely long (24-hour) daylight hours, and very long early morning and evening "golden light" periods. Easy to moderate (and perhaps slightly beyond) walking and/or hiking conditions (while carrying your camera gear). Good quality accommodation. One guide with 3-5 participants; two guides with 6-10 participants. And an experience in Canada's High Arctic that you'll never forget!

REGISTRATION: Contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca to reserve your spot!

MORE INFORMATION? Contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca for more information.

4. Humpbacks, Orcas, Sea Lions and More: Aquatic Mammals of the Central Pacific Coast - August 2014

In the summer of 2014 I am repeating my popular photo tour featuring the aquatic mammals found in the nutrient-rich waters in Johnstone Strait off the northern tip of Vancouver Island. The trip will be offered in two versions: As either an instructional photo tour or as a photo op photo tour tour (scroll to top of page for a description of these two types of photo tours).

About Johnstone's Strait: The northern tip of Vancouver Island - and Johnstone's Strait - is a biologically diverse and species-rich wildlife area. During the summer months it is home to a wide variety of marine mammals as the Pacific Ocean delivers nutrients to the numerous channels and inlets of the region. Killer Whales (Orcas), sea lions, dolphins, porpoises, and sea otters converge here to feed on the Pacific salmon that are returning to their natal rivers. Humpback Whales and coastal seabirds feed the small fish and plankton drawn in by the nutrients stirred up by the strong tidal currents. The region offers unparalleled opportunities to photograph a diverse array of unique wildlife in a setting of tremendous beauty.

TRIP OVERVIEW: This photo tour offers 7 days of fabulous aquatic mammal viewing and photography in the Johnstone Strait region of northern Vancouver Island aboard the beautiful Ocean Light II - a comfortable 71' ocean ketch (sailboat). We will be assisted by a professional whale and aquatic mammal guide during our 7 days of cruising the picturesque waters off the northern tip of Vancouver Island. In past years this trip has provided superb opportunities to photograph Humpback Whales, Killer Whales (or Orcas), Gray Whales, Steller Sea Lions, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Sea Otters, Harbor Seals, and more. And, it is an area which produces opportunities to capture those stunning (and usually rarely encountered) "animalscapes". A sampling of the type of images that can be captured on this trip can be found in my "Other Mammals" photo gallery. The instructional version of this trip adds a full day of wildlife photography instruction at the beginning of the trip.

TRIP DETAILS:

PHOTO TOUR TYPE: Both Instructional Photo Tour and Photo Op Photo Tour options (see top of page for description of my Photo Op Photo Tours).
DATES: August 7 to 16, 2014 (Instructional version); August 8 to 16, 2014 (Photo Op version).
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: Limited to 6.
CURRENT NUMBER OF AVAILABLE SPOTS: 3.
COST: $4199 Canadian plus 5% GST for Instructional version; $3699 plus 5% GST for Photo Op version. Currency converter available here.

REGISTRATION: Contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca to reserve your spot!

MORE INFORMATION? Just download this brochure (PDF; 3.1 MB) or contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca for more information and details about this unique photo tour.

5. Into the Great Bear Rainforest - Autumn 2014

In August of 2011 National Geographic Magazine referred to British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest as "The Wildest Place in North America". They were right.

In the autumn of 2014 I am offering 2 "Into the Great Bear Rainforest" Photo Tours. The first tour is a full Instructional Photo Tour while the second is a "Photo Op" Photo Tour (see top of page for description of photo tour types).

About the Great Bear Rainforest: Imagine long, sinewy inlets and fjords cutting through pristine rainforest and bissecting massive peaks. Imagine that the inlets, estuaries, and forests are chock-full of wildlife, including salmon, humpback whales, harbor seals, sea lions, dozens and dozens of species of birds, grizzly bears, black bears, coastal wolves, and, of course, the rare white Spirit Bear. Imagine touring through this globally-unique ecosystem in a beautiful 71" sailboat where, no matter the weather, you are always warm, always dry, and always comfortable! And imagine sharing this tour with a very small number of other like-minded photographers who, like you, love nothing more than creating memorable images of locales that only very, very few have ever visited. And now you've conjured up exactly what you get on my "Into the Great Bear Rainforest" Photo Tours!

Important Note: These trips are about exploring, seeing, and photographing all the riches of the Great Bear Rainforest. They are not dedicated solely to photographing Spirit Bears. While our track record on finding (and photographing) Spirit Bears is excellent (it's hard to beat a 100% track record - touch wood!), we cannot guarantee that participants will return with Spirit Bear photos. But we can guarantee that we will do our absolute best to ensure they will see - and photograph - as much of the biological diversity of the Great Bear Rainforest as possible!

Photo Tour #1. Into the Great Bear Rainforest Instructional Photo Tour.

OVERVIEW: Back again for the 2014 season! This photo tour combines several sessions of professional digital wildlife photography instruction with 7 days of exploring the Great Bear Rainforest and photographing its inhabitants, including Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, Humpback Whales, Spirit Bears, and a whole lot more! Following our day of photography instruction in Prince Rupert, BC, we will travel through the Great Bear Rainforest aboard the beautiful Ocean Light II - a comfortable 71' ocean ketch (sailboat). We will be assisted by professional bear guides during our 7 days of intensely working our way through the Great Bear Rainforest! This trip is simply an extraordinary adventure and provides unsurpassed photographic opportunities!

There will be a number of instructional sessions on this photo tour. On the day before we board the Ocean Light II we will have a full day session covering both the technical and creative aspects of wildlife image capture. Once aboard the Ocean Light II we will have a number of sessions (typically 3) covering various topics and techniques in post-processing.

This is an all-inclusive trip (once one arrives in Prince Rupert, BC) that includes 2 nights of accommodation in Prince Rupert, all meals, a full day of photo instruction in Prince Rupert prior to the trip, a float plane transport to the Ocean Light II (our floating and mobile base camp!), and 7 full days aboard the Ocean Light II in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia, Canada. Please note that this is a point-to-point trip beginning in Prince Rupert, BC and ending in Bella Bella, BC.

PHOTO TOUR TYPE: Instructional Photo Tour (see top of page for description of my Instructional Photo Tours).
DURATION: 9 DAYS (Two days in Prince Rupert, seven days aboard the Ocean Light II in the Great Bear Rainforest).
DATES: September 29 to October 8, 2014.
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: Limited to 6.
CURRENT NUMBER OF AVAILABLE SPOTS: 2.
COST: $5499 Canadian plus applicable taxes. Currency converter available here.

MORE INFORMATION? Just download this this PDF Brochure (1.3 MB) or contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca for more information and details about this unique instructional photo tour.

Photo Tour #2: The Great Bear Rainforest Photo Op Photo Tour

OVERVIEW: This photo tour covers the same terrain as the instructional photo tour but with a few key differences: it moves in the opposite direction (from Bella Bella to Prince Rupert) and there is no formal photography instruction on this tour. We will spend 7 days exploring the Great Bear Rainforest and photographing its inhabitants, including Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, Humpback Whales, Spirit Bears, and a whole lot more! We'll will travel through the Great Bear Rainforest aboard the beautiful Ocean Light II - a comfortable 71' ocean ketch (sailboat). We will be assisted by highly capable professional bear guides as we work our way through the spectacular Great Bear Rainforest! This trip is simply an extraordinary adventure and provides unsurpassed photographic opportunities!

This is a point-to-point trip beginning in Bella Bella, BC and ending in Prince Rupert, BC. Note that accommodation and meals in Bella Bella (minimum of one night) are NOT included in the price of this tour. Float plane transport out of the Great Bear Rainforest (from Hartley Bay BC to Prince Rupert, BC) and all food and accommodation once during the trip ARE included in the price. Note that all participants will receive detailed information and extensive photographic "tips and tricks" about the idiosyncrasies of shooting bears and other subjects in the Great Bear Rainforest prior to the trip (to ensure that the quality of their shooting time is maximized).

PHOTO TOUR TYPE: Photo Op Photo Tour (see top of page for description of my Photo Op Photo Tours).
DURATION: 7 DAYS (Seven full days aboard the Ocean Light II in the Great Bear Rainforest).
DATES: October 8 to 15, 2014.
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: Limited to 6.
CURRENT NUMBER OF AVAILABLE SPOTS: 0. While this photo tour is currently sold out for 2014, cancellations can occur. Please contact me (seminars@naturalart.ca) if you would like to be placed on the waiting list for this trip. Currently there is no one on the waiting list.
COST: $4999 Canadian plus applicable taxes. Currency converter available here.

REGISTRATION: Contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca to reserve your spot!

MORE INFORMATION? Just download this this PDF Brochure (1.1 MB) or contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca for more information and details about this fantastic photo op photo tour.

2015 Calendar of Photo Tours

Please note that while all the information below is accurate, additional photo tours may be added to the following 2015 Photo Tour calendar.

1. Grizzlies of the Khutzeymateen - Spring 2015

Grizzlies of the Khutzeymateen

About the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Sanctuary: Canada's only grizzly bear sanctuary is located at the tip of a long, remote and pristine inlet on the northern coast of British Columbia. The sanctuary (and entire estuary) is closed to the public - only two licensed guides are allowed to lead very small groups into this majestic, globally unique ecosystem. The inlet is home to about 50 resident grizzlies, with many more passing through during the year. This remote piece of wilderness is set within one of the planet's few remaining completely intact temperate rainforests and offers a stunning, verdant backdrop to observe and photograph wild grizzlies as they interact with one another as they have for millennia. The bears themselves grant visitors with a very rare privilege: they allow humans fully and completely into their rich and behaviourally diverse daily lives. Be one of under 200 people - and far, far fewer photographers - annually gifted with the intimate experience of sharing the lives of the Grizzlies of the Khutzeymateen.

In spring of 2015 I am offering two different versions of this popular trip:

Photo Tour #1. Grizzlies of the Khutzeymateen Instructional Photo Tour.

OVERVIEW: Back again for 2015! This one is the Khutzeymateen "full meal deal"! This exceptionally popular photo tour combines a full day of professional photography instruction with 5 days of fabulous grizzly bear viewing and photography in the world-famous Khutzeymateen Grizzly Sanctuary. Following our day of photography instruction in Prince Rupert, BC, we will travel to the Khutzeymateen via float plane. We'll then stay aboard the beautiful Ocean Light II - a comfortable 71' ocean ketch (sailboat). We will be assisted by two professional bear guides during our 5 days of working intensely with the spectacular Grizzlies of the Khutzeymateen (in the most magical setting imaginable)! This trip is simply an extraordinary experience and provides unsurpassed photographic opportunities!

This is an all-inclusive trip (once one arrives in Prince Rupert, BC) that includes 2 nights of accommodation in Prince Rupert, all meals in Prince Rupert, a full day of photo instruction in Prince Rupert prior to the trip, float plane transport to and from the Khutzeymateen, and 5 full days in the Khutzeymateen photographing majestic grizzly bears.

PHOTO TOUR TYPE: Instructional Photo Tour (see top of page for description of my Instructional Photo Tours).
DATES: May 23 to May 30, 2015.
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: Limited to 6.
CURRENT NUMBER OF AVAILABLE SPOTS: 5.
COST: $5099 Canadian plus applicable taxes. Currency converter available here.

REGISTRATION: Contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca to reserve your spot!

MORE INFORMATION? Contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca for more information and details about this unique photo tour. Brochure available in November of 2014.

Photo Tour #2. Grizzlies of the Khutzeymateen - Just the Photo Op, Please!

OVERVIEW: The slightly lighter version of the "full meal deal"! This "photo-op" style photo tour offers a reduced instructional component (no full day of instruction before the trip) but with 4 full days spent photographing the Grizzlies of the Khutzeymateen. It is geared toward photographers who primarily want access to the area and the bears in a non-crowded environment (all the photo tours are limited to 6 individuals to ensure everyone has good shooting angles) and who may not have the time for the longer instructional photo tour.

Note that accommodation and meals in Prince Rupert (one night) are NOT included in the price of this tour. As with the full instructional photo tour, float plane transport into (and out of) the Khutzeymateen and all food and accommodation once there ARE included in the price. Note that all participants will receive detailed information and extensive photographic "tips and tricks" about the idiosyncrasies of shooting bears in the Khutzeymateen prior to the trip (to ensure that the quality of their shooting time is maximized).

PHOTO TOUR TYPE: Photo Op Tour (see top of page for description of my Photo Op Tours).
DATES: May 29 to June 3, 2015.
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: Limited to 6.
CURRENT NUMBER OF AVAILABLE SPOTS: 4.
COST: $3799 Canadian plus applicable taxes. Currency converter available here.

REGISTRATION: Contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca to reserve your spot!

MORE INFORMATION? Contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca for more information and details about this amazing photo tour. Brochure available in November of 2014.

2. Humpbacks, Orcas, Sea Lions and More: Aquatic Mammals of the Central Pacific Coast - August 2015

Humpbacks, Orcas, Sea Lions & More!

In the summer of 2015 I am repeating my popular photo tour featuring wonderful photo ops of the aquatic mammals found in the nutrient-rich waters in Johnstone Strait off the northern tip of Vancouver Island. The trip will be offered in two versions: As either an instructional photo tour or as a photo op photo tour tour (scroll to top of page for a description of these two types of photo tours).

About Johnstone's Strait: The northern tip of Vancouver Island - and Johnstone's Strait - is a biologically diverse and species-rich wildlife area. During the summer months it is home to a wide variety of marine mammals as the Pacific Ocean delivers nutrients to the numerous channels and inlets of the region. Killer Whales (Orcas), sea lions, dolphins, porpoises, and sea otters converge here to feed on the Pacific salmon that are returning to their natal rivers. Humpback Whales and coastal seabirds feed the small fish and plankton drawn in by the nutrients stirred up by the strong tidal currents. The region offers unparalleled opportunities to photograph a diverse array of unique wildlife in a setting of tremendous beauty.

TRIP OVERVIEW: This photo tour offers 7 days of fabulous aquatic mammal viewing and photography in the Johnstone Strait region of northern Vancouver Island aboard the beautiful Ocean Light II - a comfortable 71' ocean ketch (sailboat). We will be assisted by a professional whale and aquatic mammal guide during our 7 days of cruising the picturesque waters off the northern tip of Vancouver Island. In past years this trip has provided superb opportunities to photograph Humpback Whales, Killer Whales (or Orcas), Gray Whales, Steller Sea Lions, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Sea Otters, Harbor Seals, and more. And, it is an area which produces opportunities to capture those stunning (and usually rarely encountered) "animalscapes". A sampling of the type of images that can be captured on this trip can be found in my "Other Mammals" photo gallery. The instructional version of this trip adds a full day of wildlife photography instruction at the beginning of the trip.

TRIP DETAILS:

PHOTO TOUR TYPE: Both Instructional Photo Tour and Photo Op Photo Tour options (see top of page for description of my Photo Op Photo Tours).
DATES: August 6 to 15, 2015 (Instructional version); August 7 to 15, 2015 (Photo Op version).
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: Limited to 6.
CURRENT NUMBER OF AVAILABLE SPOTS: 6.
COST: $4199 Canadian plus 5% GST for Instructional version; $3699 plus 5% GST for Photo Op version. Currency converter available here.

REGISTRATION: Contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca to reserve your spot!

MORE INFORMATION? Contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca for more information and details about this amazing photo tour. Brochure available in November of 2014.

3. Into the Great Bear Rainforest - Autumn 2015

Into the Great Bear Rainforest

In August of 2011 National Geographic Magazine referred to British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest as "The Wildest Place in North America". They were right.

In the autumn of 2015 I am offering 2 "Into the Great Bear Rainforest" Photo Tours. The first tour is a full Instructional Photo Tour. The second is an Exploratory Photo Adventure (see top of page for description of photo tour types).

About the Great Bear Rainforest: Imagine long, sinewy inlets and fjords cutting through pristine rainforest and bissecting massive peaks. Imagine that the inlets, estuaries, and forests are chock-full of wildlife, including salmon, humpback whales, harbor seals, sea lions, dozens and dozens of species of birds, grizzly bears, black bears, coastal wolves, and, of course, the rare white Spirit Bear. Imagine touring through this globally-unique ecosystem in a beautiful 71" sailboat where, no matter the weather, you are always warm, always dry, and always comfortable! And imagine sharing this tour with a very small number of other like-minded photographers who, like you, love nothing more than creating memorable images of locales that only very, very few have ever visited. And now you've conjured up exactly what you get on my "Into the Great Bear Rainforest" Photo Tours!

Important Note: These trips are about exploring, seeing, and photographing all the riches of the Great Bear Rainforest. They are not dedicated solely to photographing the rare white Spirit Bear. While our track record on finding (and photographing) Spirit Bears is excellent (it's hard to beat a 100% track record - touch wood!), we cannot guarantee that participants will return with Spirit Bear photos. But we can guarantee that we will do our absolute best to ensure they will see - and photograph - as much of the biological diversity of the Great Bear Rainforest as possible!

Photo Tour #1. Into the Great Bear Rainforest Instructional Photo Tour.

OVERVIEW: Back again for the 2015 season! This one is best thought of as the Great Bear "full meal deal" photo tour. It combines a full day of professional photography instruction with 7 days of exploring the Great Bear Rainforest and photographing its inhabitants, including Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, Humpback Whales, Spirit Bears, and a whole lot more! Following our day of photography instruction in Prince Rupert, BC, we will travel through the Great Bear Rainforest aboard the beautiful Ocean Light II - a comfortable 71' ocean ketch (sailboat). We will be assisted by professional bear guides during our 7 days of intensely working our way through the Great Bear Rainforest! This trip is simply an extraordinary adventure and provides unsurpassed photographic opportunities!

This is an all-inclusive trip (once one arrives in Prince Rupert, BC) that includes 2 nights of accommodation in Prince Rupert, all meals, a full day of photo instruction in Prince Rupert prior to the trip, a float plane transport to the Ocean Light II (our floating and mobile base camp!), and 7 full days aboard the Ocean Light II in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia, Canada. Please note that this is a point-to-point trip beginning in Prince Rupert, BC and ending in Bella Bella, BC.

PHOTO TOUR TYPE: Instructional Photo Tour (see top of page for description of my Instructional Photo Tours).
DURATION: 9 DAYS (Two days in Prince Rupert, seven days aboard the Ocean Light II in the Great Bear Rainforest).
DATES: September 30 to October 9, 2015.
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: Limited to 6.
CURRENT NUMBER OF AVAILABLE SPOTS: 3.
COST: $5699 Canadian plus applicable taxes. Currency converter available here.

MORE INFORMATION? Contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca for more information and details about this amazing photo tour. Brochure available in November of 2014.

Photo Tour #2: Into the Great Bear Rainforest Exploratory Photo Adventure

OVERVIEW: This is the one for those who like to really get out there and push the boundaries! On this trip we'll explore rarely visited areas of the Great Bear Rainforest in search of wildlife in new locations and stunning "new" land- and seascapes. On this tour we will hike up creeks and rivers, bushwhack through thick rainforest, and bust our butts looking for those special, unique shots that others aren't willing to put in the effort to find. We will be avoiding the "tried and true" locations in lieu of searching for the NEW and more exciting locations. The best way to think of this trip is that the probability of capturing images of any specific subjects (e.g., Spirit Bears) is lower than on the Instructional Photo Tour, but the potential reward of finding these species in new and unseen (and unphotographed) backdrops is higher (so...higher risk, higher reward). While this trip will require more physical exertion and potential discomfort than other photo tours, each night we will be returning to the dry, warm, and comfortable 71' Ocean Light II sailboat (so we'll be roughing it only by 2015 standards, not historic standards!). Those considering this trip should be in good physical condition, positive-minded, and be able to to carry their gear over uneven and slippery terrain without assistance. And, this trip will likely be enjoyed more by those who have previously visited the Great Bear Rainforest and are now looking to "dig a little deeper" into it.

This is a point-to-point trip beginning in Bella Bella, BC and ending in Prince Rupert, BC. Note that accommodation and meals in Bella Bella (minimum of one night) are NOT included in the price of this tour. Float plane transport out of the Great Bear Rainforest (from Hartley Bay BC to Prince Rupert, BC) and all food and accommodation once during the trip ARE included in the price.

PHOTO TOUR TYPE: Exploratory Photo Adventure (see top of page for description of my Exploratory Photo Adventures).
DURATION: 9 DAYS (With eight full days aboard the Ocean Light II in the Great Bear Rainforest).
DATES: October 8 to 17, 2015.
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: Limited to 6.
CURRENT NUMBER OF AVAILABLE SPOTS: 4.
COST: $5199 Canadian plus applicable taxes. Currency converter available here.

REGISTRATION: Contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca to reserve your spot!

MORE INFORMATION? Contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca for more information and details about this amazing photo tour. Brochure available in November of 2014.

What Previous Photo Tour Participants Have Said...

Here's a small sampling of what previous attendees of my Photo Tours have thought of their experiences:

"The Spirit Bear trip (Instructional) was an experience that is very difficult to put into words. Magnificent, superb, breath taking, astonishing, are mere words that barely come close to what you actually feel while on this trip. The days are packed full with wonderful opportunities for photography, with a tremendous amount of information, and all the while having a whole lotta fun! The entire trip is extremely well organized, while flexible when needed. The hospitality is top notch and the photography is some of the best you will ever have the opportunity to shoot.
With having such a small group, you get a strong sense of personal one-on-one service, there is always someone able to answer questions whether it be about cameras or what kind of tree that is. Brad and his team make this trip an experience that one will not soon forget. This was my first trip and I've already booked my second; and I expect there will be a third and fourth and more! Thank you Brad for giving me the memory of a lifetime!" Goldie A., November 2011

"Beautiful locations, amazing wildlife photo opportunities, topflight photo instruction, fun loving people. I learned a lot, witnessed wildlife behavior in an unspoiled natural environment, and was well taken care of around the clock. I came away with new photo skills to apply to my passion for wildlife photography, experiences that I will remember for a lifetime, an even deeper appreciation for protecting the remaining unspoiled areas, some images that I think are pretty cool, and a boat load of new friends." Patrick M., November 2011

"Participating in one of Brad's photo tours has so many positives, it's difficult to succinctly name them all. From having the opportunity to experience the beauty of Canada's west coast ecology to benefiting from Brad's many talents, your tour fee is more than rewarded. During a photo tour, Brad goes out of his way to answer questions from guests, including, but not limited to, appropriate camera settings, photographic advice, photo software applications and local biology. I have been on two of his photo tours and I have learned and experienced so much about photography and wildlife that I have signed-up for a third photo tour." Clint B., November 2011

"Fabulous experience. Well organized and Brad is always on top of things. The Ocean Light II is very comfortable and we were well fed. I would recommend this trip to anyone. Brad is a very accomplished photographer and knows his field. Very knowledgeable about about camera gear, etc." David F., November 2011

"The trip to the Khutz has made my 2010 unforgettable. It was an unbelievable learning experience and a once in a lifetime adventure at the same time. I will forever be moved having been so close to such a magnificent natural world. I simply cannot thank you enough." Brian B., December 2010

"In the fall of 2009 I participated in one of Brad Hill's photo instructional tours to the Great Bear Rainforest. What an experience! The combination of best in class instruction combined with a world class adventure is something I will never forget. More importantly, something I'm already signed up to repeat." Ray R., October 2009

"The grizzly bear workshop in the Khutzeymateen was the experience of a lifetime, and the bears were incredible. Brad's class in wildlife photography was worth the price of the trip in itself!" Durwood E., June 2008

"It's been several years since my photo tour to the Khutzeymateen with Brad Hill. I'm still editing and processing (reprocessing even) the photos I took, reliving the experience, and enjoying it all over again. Unforgettable!" Matt D., March 2010

"Photographing Grizzlies with Brad Hill in Canada's Khutzeymateen Bear Preserve was an amazing and life-altering experience. Brad is extremely generous sharing his wealth of knowledge. It is impossible not to feel infused with his photographic wisdom and respect for the region's bears and other wildlife. Tom, Jenn and Sarah quickly make you feel safe and at home in the Ocean Light II, their beautiful sailing ship. For any photographer who really wants an intense Grizzly experience let Brad be your spirit guide." Peter G., June 2009

"A fantastic trip to see the bears and the very scenic Khutzeymateen. The Ocean Light II and crew were superb, as was Brad Hill's advice on the photography which was invaluable to all." Malcolm B., June 2009

"My wife and I had the pleasure of attending one of Brad's photo tours in the Khutzeymateen Valley. The first full day of our trip consisted of an informal yet very well structured seminar where Brad brought a wealth of personal experience to the classroom covering aspects of digital nature photography ranging from the artistic to the more technical. I walked away from that seminar with concepts and techniques that I have used on every photographic outing since then...
We then traveled to the Khutzeymateen Valley via float plane where we witnessed grizzly bears roaming free and unmolested against the backdrop of pristine rain forest and snow covered mountains. The bears would often allow our Zodiac to approach close enough for encounters yielding some very dramatic and intimate images. I will always consider this one of the most amazing experiences of my life." David S., June 2008