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WILDFLOWERS OF THE BRUCE PENINSULA
Photography Workshop led by Ethan Meleg
June 2-4, 2017

Left: Yellow Lady Slipper orchids (there will be thousands in bloom during our workshop) 
Right: Indian Paintbrush with Oxeye Daisy

Click these links or blog posts with results from previous wildflower workshops:
http://ethanmeleg.blogspot.ca/2009/06/wildflower-workshop-successful.html
http://ethanmeleg.blogspot.ca/2010/06/wildflower-workshop-bruce-peninsula.html

 

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION 

The Bruce Peninsula is renowned for its unique plant diversity with 42 wild orchid species, dozens of ferns and a thousand other plant species including the Lakeside Daisy and Dwarf Lake Iris, which are endemic to the region. This workshop is timed to coincide with the peak blooming periods for many species, including thousands of Yellow Lady Slipper orchids. 

While living on the Bruce Peninsula for 14 years, I developed in depth knowledge of the local ecology and photographed wildflowers extensively in the region. I'll be taking you to the best spots, armed with up-to-date information on exactly what is blooming and where. The locations include the very same ones where I've made my best and most published wildflower photos. In addition to the flowers, be prepared for spectacular shoreline scenery in Bruce Peninsula National Park and a high diversity of birds at that time of year. Instructional emphasis will be on expert technique and practical tips for successfully photographing wildflowers. We'll practice wildflower-friendly photo techniques only, to prevent damage to flowers and their habitat.  

Wildflower photography is extremely challenging both technically and artistically. For this reason, they are an excellent subject to develop a foundation of nature photography skills that are transferable to other subjects. This is one of my favourite workshops to lead because of the huge learning curve that participants go through in just one weekend. 

This workshop follows a photographer's schedule, which means being out at the best spots at sunrise and sunset, when the wind is low and conditions are ideal for shooting wildflowers. Be prepared to rise early, rest mid-day and hike moderate distances. Days will end with great meals at restaurants overlooking Georgian Bay. Join quickly to ensure a spot! 

DATES

June 2-4, 2017
The workshop starts with a wine and cheese reception and introductory slide show on Friday evening. Saturday is a full day outside, except for a lunch break and mid-day rest. On Sunday, we'll spend the morning out shooting and enjoy a wrap up lunch before departing.

LOCATION

The workshop is based out of the town of Tobermory at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. We'll photograph at a variety of locations in the area, including some within Bruce Peninsula National Park.

GROUP SIZE

A maximum of 8 participants (plus Ethan) ensures that you receive personalized attention and the highest quality experience.

ACCOMMODATIONS

The Ontario Travel Industry Act does not allow me to include accommodations or transportation in these workshops without being a licensed travel agent. For this reason, participants are required to book/pay for their hotel rooms independently. I have a block of hotel rooms on hold at a quality hotel in Tobermory at a good rate. After registering for the workshop, I'll send you information on how to book one of the rooms.

You are welcome to find other nearby accommodations if you wish, although I encourage participants to all stay at the same place to keep the schedule flowing smoothly and to build group camaraderie.

MEALS INCLUDED

Friday night: wine and cheese during meet & greet presentation.
Saturday: breakfast and lunch (dinner is paid for by participants).
Sunday: breakfast and lunch.

Breakfasts are continental at the motel.
Quality local restaurants offering varied selection are chosen for lunch and dinner. An endless supply of snacks and drinks will be available in the field. 

TRANSPORTATION

Transportation to and from the workshop is the responsibility of participants. The nearest major airport is Toronto, with many car rental options. During the tour, participants are encouraged to carpool the short distances to the photo locations.

PRICE & WHAT'S INCLUDED

$625 CAD per person plus 13% HST (total = $706.25) includes: 

  • two days of personalized workshop instruction with Ethan plus slide show/wine & cheese on Friday night 
  • informal critiques and digital editing tips during the evenings
  • breakfast and lunch on Saturday (June 3) and Sunday (June 4) [dinners are paid for by participants] 
  • entrance fees to parks
  • special workshop gift
  • take-home wildflower photography tips sheet

Participants must book/pay for their own hotel rooms (in accordance with travel industry laws stated above) - see information above under the Accommodations header. Non-photographer spouses are welcome to tag along (they just need to cover their own meal costs).

HOW TO REGISTER

  • Contact me by email (info@ethanmeleg.com) to check availability.

  • A non-refundable deposit of $350 CDN is required to reserve your spot (see payment information below).

  • The balance of payment ($356.25) is due before May 1, 2017. At that point, the full amount is non-refundable.

  • If your balance is not received by May 1, 2017, I'll try to fill your spot. If able to fill it, you'll lose only your deposit.

  • Payment is appreciated by either Interac e-transfer (if you do online banking), personal cheque or using your credit card through PayPal by clicking the following button:

SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT

  • A digital SLR and macro or medium telephoto lens such as a 70-200mm or 100-300mm range (if bringing a medium telephoto lens, consider extension tubes for closer focus).
  • A wide angle lens for landscapes and different perspectives.
  • A sturdy tripod and head. I have a few spares - let me know if you need to borrow one. 
  • Filters: Circular polarizer (optional) helps remove glare from foliage. 
  • A reflector to bounce light on the flowers. I use the 5-in-1 types and will have a couple of spares to share during the workshop. If you don't have a reflector and want to save money, tinfoil is an excellent substitute. 
  • Cable release.

WEATHER & CLOTHING

Weather can be variable on the Bruce Peninsula in June, so bring a range of clothing. Early mornings and evenings may be cool. Pack comfortable hiking gear, sturdy hiking boots, a water/wind proof shell (eg. Gore-Tex), rain pants and fleece. We will photograph rain or shine. Some of the best wildflower photos are taken on dreary days!

Bring a head net, bug spray and full-body clothing in case of black flies or mosquitoes. These species are highly unpredictable from year to year and day to day: there may be some, or there may be very few.

LEVEL OF ACTIVITY

Walking only minimal distances; we will be within a short walk of our vehicles most of the time. 

OTHER INFORMATION

I take all reasonable precautionary measures to ensure a safe experience for participants. I cannot, however, accept liability for physical injury, loss damage or expense resulting from any event whatsoever beyond our control. Each participant is required to sign a waiver acknowledging the risks and absolving Ethan Meleg of all liability. This waiver will be provided at the time of registration. It is highly recommended that all participants carry proper individual travel and health insurance, including coverage for photographic equipment. Participants should be in good health before undertaking a workshop. If you have questions about the physical requirements of a workshop, please contact me for further information.

BRUCE PENINSULA WILDFLOWER INFORMATION

“A Guide to the Orchids of Bruce and Grey Counties" by the Owen Sound Field Naturalist's Club
"A Guide to the Ferns of Bruce and Grey Counties" by the Owen Sound Field Naturalist's Club
Order info at: www.osfn.ca

CONTACT TO RESERVE OR FOR MORE INFO  

info@ethanmeleg.com

 

ITINERARY

Friday, June 2
anytime after 3pm participants check into hotel
7pm wine & cheese reception, plus introductory slide show 
 

Saturday, June 3

5:30am continental breakfast
6am - 11:30am Field Session # 1 
12pm - 3:00pm lunch at restaurant, then rest back at hotel
4pm - 7:30pm Field Session # 2 
8pm dinner at restaurant
 

Sunday, June 4

5:30am continental breakfast
6am -10:30am Field Session # 3
11:00am hotel checkout followed by lunch in Tobermory
1pm (approximately) wrap up and departure
NOTE: Specific wildflower locations are not published to protect the flowers and to allow flexibility in our itinerary to visit the best blooms. An updated itinerary will be provided upon arrival at the workshop.