NEWFOUNDLAND PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERIENCE 2018
THE VIKING TRAIL
Yes, once more VG Photography Tours went back to ‘The Rock.’ But this time to the west coast to explore the iconic Viking Trail. The sold out tour started June 16 in Deer Lake with a meet and greet dinner and, two weeks later, after some 1,500 km, ended there with a farewell supper.
In between...well, the sights that we saw (and photographed);
We started with two days of photography along the Humber Arm, Bottle Cove, and an on the water tour through Humber Arm to Woods Island in the Bay of Islands. One of the many great memories I have of this tour is the amazing lunch provided for us by the crew from Crystal Waters Boat Tours (www.crystalwatersboattours.com).
Days four through seven had us exploring Gros Morn National Park from our base in Rocky Harbour. Of course the Tablelands Trail is a ‘must do’, so in the pouring rain our group bravely set out on this easy 4 km walk. (We did revisit the trail on the return trip...in much nicer walking weather!) We also had some great photo opportunities, over the next three days, on the Southeast Brook Falls Trail, Lobster Cove Head, Berry Head Pond, the Coastal Trail and of course Western Brook Pond.
TIP: Check out Norris Point for sunsets; along Whale Cove Rd, shooting out over the waters of Wild Cove.
From there it was onward to the northern end of the Viking Trail; St. Anthony. A bit of a drive, but photo stops at Arches Provincial Park and Port au Choix, also the lunch stop, helped break up the 350 km trip. Our two days of photography here included a foggy morning shoot around the harbour at Saint Lunaire-Griquet on the way to L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site. Then, Cape Onion and Raleigh, where a fox kindly posed for us while 12 fanatical photographers made several thousand photos! We also spent one morning on the water with Northland Discovery Boat Tours (www.discovernorthland.com) hearing a bit about the history of the area and getting up close and personal with several icebergs.
The return trip down the Viking Trail was broken up with a two night stay in the Port aux Choix area. The Torrent River Salmon Interpretive Centre, the Port aux Choix National Historic Site and the Point Riche Lighthouse saw several hundred (thousand?) photos made by the group. We also made another stop at Arches Provincial Park in much nicer weather thus getting quite the different take on this site.
All along the way Barry was there to help with composition and camera settings, as well as to explain hyper focal distance, tips and tricks for macro photography, scenic and landscape, panning and more.
Special mention, and thank you, should be made to the amazing people of St Anthony and area who went out of their way when one of our group needed help trying to locate a misplaced item. Also to the folks at the Deer Lake Motel for their help with some follow up, and last but not least, to Ron, who not only took on the task of driving for us, but who “had a hunch” and ultimately tracked down the misplaced item.
Check out the Gallery page for photos from this amazing tour!
Check out the ‘Where We’re Going’ page for our upcoming photo tour.
NEWFOUNDLAND PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERIENCE, 2017
Another VG Photography tour is in the books! We were honored to accompany a group of eight photographers exploring St. John’s and area, the Bonavista Peninsula and Twillingate and area.
The first two days of the tour saw us explore and photograph in the St. John’s area; starting with the Canada Day/Memorial Day fireworks on July 1st, then visits to a foggy Signal Hill the next morning and, after lunch, Cape Spear, North America’s most easterly point.
The next morning we loaded up the vehicles and moved our base to the Bishop White Manor in Trinity, on the Bonavista Peninsula. For four days we ventured out to photograph in several areas on the peninsula including Fort (Admiral’s) Point, Old and New Bonaventure, the Puffin Colony at Elliston, Cape Bonavista Lighthouse, Keels, Tickle Cove, and Open Hall and, for some, the Skerwink Trail. An evening was also spent enjoying the dinner theatre presentation at the Rising Tide Theatre, Trinity.
Twice we suited up at Sea of Whales Adventures for ‘on the water’ tours out of Trinity. As usual, Captain Kris did his utmost to find us whales, icebergs and sea bird colonies, then, when possible, positioned the zodiac to give us the best light for our shots.
Day seven of our tour found us moving on to the Harbour Lights Inn in Twillingate. Over the next two days a full schedule found us visiting and photographing the Long Point Lighthouse, Mutfords Cove, sunset at Back Harbour, Top of Twillingate Trail, Kettle Cove, French Beach/French Head and Dildo Run Provincial Park. We were also ‘on the water’ with Twillingate Adventure Tours for a morning of iceberg photography.
On day ten we started to make our way back to St. John’s. We chose to take the long way and traveled along the coast via highways NL330 and 320 to take in the scenery. A stop was made at Newton and the Barbour Living Heritage Village. Our overnight stop was at Charlottetown in the heart of Terra Nova National Park. The next morning we made a couple stops in the park, including the Visitor Centre and Sandy Pond before returning to the Hometel in St. John’s where we said our goodbyes before everyone made their way home the next day, or continued touring on their own.
For 2018 we are going back to Newfoundland, but for a change of pace we will be exploring the Viking Trail along the west coast of the island. The finishing touches are now being made to the itinerary. Contact us to be added to the I Wanna Go list.
YUKON GOLD! 2016
"There are strange things done..." but those we won't mention! Suffice to say that we tolerated cold, rain, snow, wind and finally enjoyed some warmth and sunshine! And through it all we made many thousands of images of a small part of this beautiful Territory.
After getting off to a rocky start - our flight was cancelled and some scrambling ensued to make the replacement flight, we arrived in Whitehorse on schedule. The vehicles were waiting for us and the tour was underway!
For the next eight days we visited and photographed the south west corner of the Yukon Territory and even visited the farthest north west corner of British Columbia. Highlights included the Carcross Desert, wildlife, including beavers, trumpeter swans, a young moose, Dall sheep and numerous birds. We also had beautiful reflections on Sulphur Lake, Kluane Lake (at the mouth of the A'ay Chu - Slim's River), and AMAZING fall colors along the Alaska Highway, the Haines Highway and the White Pass Highway. And finally, on the last two nights, Aurora Borealis!
Some of our group sprung for a flying tour over the mountains and glaciers. All agreed this was a must add for next time we go.
NEWFOUNDLAND PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERIENCE, 2015
By all accounts, we chose perhaps the best 10 days of summer weather they had on The Rock the whole season. Although not hot, it stayed mostly dry for us. Here, in a nutshell, is what we saw and did:
Because of a very early arrival in St John’s we had a bit of a wait to check in to our accommodation at the Hometel on Signal Hill. We made the most of the time with a walking tour of old St John’s, taking in several of the historic buildings and streets.
The next two days were spent photographing at Signal Hill, Cape Spear and Ferryland, where we enjoyed a picnic lunch at the Ferryland Lighthouse. One of many highlights of the two days was photographing the Canada (Memorial) Day fireworks over Quidi Vidi Lake.
On our fourth day we moved our base to the historic Bishop White Manor in Trinity. What followed was a very full six days of photography on the Bonavista Peninsula, including;
Three ‘on the water’ tours with Sea of Whales Adventures.
The Skerwink Trail, Trinity and the Fort Lighthouse.
The town of Bonavista, the Cape Bonavista Lighthouse, Old Downtown, Bonavista harbor and Dungeon Provincial Park.
Tickle Cove, Keels and the Black Head Bay area.
Old & New Bonaventure and the Random Passage set.
The Puffin nesting colony at Elliston.
We ended our stay in Trinity with an evening at the Rising Tide Theatre where we were royally entertained with music, stand-up comedy and comedy sketches.
And finally, as we made our way back to St. John’s on day eleven, a stop to photograph the Northern Gannets nesting at Cape St. Mary’s
Undoubtedly, this was a very dedicated group of photographers. Some were ‘out and about’ as early as 5 AM, with the last of the night shooters getting in after midnight! Thank you to all for making this such a memorable tour!
We are going to 'take a break' from Newfoundland for 2016, but we certainly do want to visit there again. If a photo tour of one of Canada's friendliest provinces is on your bucket list, let us know.
PHOTOGRAPHING THE AURORA BOREALIS, 2014
In October of 2014, eight participants with two leaders enjoyed four days photographing the unique terrain and landscape around Yellowknife NT. Visits to several sites along the Ingraham Trail resulted in some very fine photographs. All the while, we awaited a break in the cloud cover hoping to view and photograph the splendor of the Aurora Borealis.
Unfortunately, the clouds only broke up somewhat during the day, and then socked in again by the evening and overnight. Our disappointment was somewhat alleviated by the sighting of wild wolves on one of our outings, a fox on another, and, finally, a spectacular display of the Aurora on the flight home. Thank you to the flight attendant on our Air Canada flight for dousing all the lights in the cabin. Photography through the windows of an airplane is not quite so spectacular, but we all have a few photos that will help jog our memory of the event.
NEWFOUNDLAND PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERIENCE, 2014
Perhaps one of the most photogenic provinces in Canada, and undoubtedly with the friendliest people in the world, Newfoundland is well worth a visit.
In late June, twelve of us spent ten days photographing in and around St John’s, and on the Bonavista Peninsula. We started with a couple of days on Signal Hill and Cape Spear, then moved on to the Bonavista Peninsula.
From our base in the Historic Bishop White Manor in Trinity, we made three trips on the water with Sea of Whales Adventures spotting whales, icebergs and sea birds. Many hundreds (thousands?) more photos were made in and around Trinity, Bonavista, Tickle Cove, Old and New Bonaventure, along the Fox Island Trail and at the Puffin Colony near Elliston. I think it's safe to say that we all had an AMAZING time!
WEST COAST PHOTO ADVENTURE
We launched our photography tours in September 2013 with the “West Coast Photo Adventure” to the Campbell River BC area. A collaborative effort with SAIT Polytechnic and under the guidance of professional photography instructor Barry Giles, whales, grizzly bears and of course scenic and landscape photography were on the agenda.
Aboriginal Journeys (http://www.aboriginaljourneys.com/) knows where to find the whales. We spent the better part of one day photographing several different transient groups of Orcas, totaling some two dozen individuals.
A second voyage with Aboriginal Journeys took us to the Orford River in Bute Inlet for an encounter with grizzly bears feeding on the salmon run. A bonus was the encounter with a pod of several hundred Pacific White-Sided Dolphins. On our return to Campbell River, Nick ‘took the long way’ so we had another opportunity to photograph the Orcas.
The scenic and landscape photo opportunities included a hike on Quadra Island, a visit to Elk Falls Provincial Park and an evening of low-light photography of the Tyee fishing competition.
The camaraderie among the group of enthusiastic photographers, and with an estimated total of some 50,000 + photos made, the tour was deemed a great success!
Although we have not yet been back, it is certainly on the 'to do again' list. If you might be interested in joining us, please let us know!