"There are strange tales told under the midnight sun ..."
***NOTE: I am currently putting together some group tours to take place in the Yukon in 2018 and beyond. Join my mailing list to be notified when new trips are announced. In the meantime, I am available for private tours as described below.
The Yukon is the Place You Want to Be!
Imagine a place larger than California but with a population of just 37,000 people. Imagine a wilderness land with the highest peaks in Canada, endless rivers, crashing glaciers, frequent displays of aurora borealis, and incredible displays of both summertime flowers and summertime "autumn" colors. Throw in a little midnight sun, thousands of grizzly bears, and a few old coots still prospecting for gold and you get an idea of what the Yukon is all about.
This is your chance to join me on a private tour into one of the most remarkable places on earth.
The Magic of the North
We often think of the Yukon for its romantic Klondike gold rush history starting in 1896. In fact, Robert Service, pictured here on the step of his Dawson cabin, found his poetic voice in the Yukon and was never the same. He wrote:
“It’s the great, big, broad land ’way up yonder,
It’s the forests where silence has lease;
It’s the beauty that thrills me with wonder,
It’s the stillness that fills me with peace.”
― Robert W. Service, The Spell of the Yukon
But the fact is, the Yukon is much more than the small encroachments of Europeans in the last century and a bit. The native populations of course were living off the land for thousands of years before the prospectors ever arrived. But beyond the story of human adventures, as romantic as they are, is the story of the landscape itself.
Forget about the billions of dollars of gold (in today's dollars) that was removed by hand in a single season from just the Eldorado and Bonanza claims on the Klondike River, for landscape photographers, the Yukon is pure gold to this day. Known as "the Patagonia of North America", the Yukon offers empty mountain ranges with easy hiking and spectacular vertical relief. Add to that the aurora above and the carpets of colorful verge beneath and you have a place of endless photographic opportunities just waiting to be explored!
Ready to check out some new terrain?
Cost and Length
A typical tour will last for at least ten days, with a minimum of a full week. We would normally start in Whitehorse, which has an international airport with direct flights from Germany and elsewhere. From there, the cost will depend on the length of the trip,and where you want to photograph. One of the best options is to shoot anywhere from mid-August to late September in the Ogilvie Mountains in the central Yukon.
A huge part of being able to successfully realize your photographic vision is perfecting the creative and technical sides of photography. It is my goal on every tour to help you learn and improve techniques that will make a difference to the quality of your output. Modules that we will address include:
- learning to "see" more creatively
- shot planning / sampling other creative arts
- ways to brainstorm possibilities and explore options
- approaches to composition
- lens / filter selection
- how to plan, capture, and process panorama shots
- best practices for focus stacking and focal length blending
- temporal blending and twilight blends
- night / star / moon / aurora photography
In addition to field instruction, we will also look for opportunities to practice with Lightroom and Photoshop. I will take you through my entire workflow from RAW processing to final published image. I like to take a very pragmatic hands-on approach to make sure you get a chance to thoroughly learn the essentials that you can apply to your own photo processing.
As an added bonus, after the tour is over I will ask you to send me two unprocessed RAW image files that you captured during the trip. I will then meet with you online and process the images, showing you all the steps in my complete workflow. Depending on the images you provide, this could include focus stacking, panoramic stitching, RAW processing, advanced Photoshop processing, color management, and final sharpening. I will record these editing sessions as video files and make these available to you to download, so you can practice these techniques on your own.
Because this is a private tour, we can tailor the physical activity level to your abilities. Whether you want to undertake a massive hike into the backcountry or just stay close to the car or helicopter, I've got you covered. We will not be doing any arduous mountain climbing but we normally do light daily hiking with occasional elevation gains and somewhat steep sections.
Trips include all transportation, including helicopters where needed. To lighten the budget, it is also possible to reach some of the best spots for photography by foot, if you are good with 20 km hiking days with a heavy pack.
You will need a camera, lenses, tripod and some hiking gear. I will provide a full list of recommended gear once you book or upon request. Mountain weather changes rapidly and we will be hiking around streams, rivers, and lakes, so it is important to have proper clothing and footwear.
Permits and Safety
I am a certified member of the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides, which means that I have been rigorously trained and tested to lead clients on extended wilderness expeditions. I have a current 80-hour Wilderness First Responder certificate and extensive training in wilderness navigation and emergency response. I also hold permits needed for the various parks we will visit. Add to this a lifetime of camping and wilderness travel experience and I am well qualified to lead clients in search of epic mountain landscapes.
Note that all participants will be required to sign a standard liability waiver at the start of the tour. I will send you a copy of this upon booking.
Book Today to Reserve your Place
A 50% reservation fee holds your spot. Normally, the balance plus GST (a 5% local tax) is due on the first day of the tour, but for longer tours in the Yukon, I will require full payment one week before the start of the tour.
A full refund will be made for cancellations more than 90 days before the tour start date.
For cancellations 90 days to 7 days before the tour start time, your deposit will not be refunded but will instead be held on account for you to use for a future tour with me.
Cancellations made less than 7 days before the tour start time will result in forfeiture of your reservation fee.
Get In Touch with this email Form or Call 604-360-0311