Canada: Grizzly Bears
Bella Coola, British Columbia
September 30 - October 6, 2014
* Maximum 7 participants *
By nature and wildlife photographer: Oliver Klink
The Bella Coola Valley is a gem of natural beauty within the Central Coast of British Columbia. The Valley boasts a temperate climate that encompasses the Coast Mountains, crystalline rivers and inland regions.
The region has an alluring history with the First Nations Nuxalk people (pronounced Nu-hawk) dating back to 10,000 years, and incredible wildlife and scenery.
In the fall, during the salmon run, the Valley attracts one of the largest concentrations of grizzly bears. They all gather along the McKenzie river for their last feeding of the season before their hibernation. The bears are big and wear their nice furry coat. Black bears, eagles and various birds also congregate to feed on spawning salmon.
We'll photograph the bears from our daily private river drift boat trips, from a platform reserved for the guests at our lodge and from other vantage points along the river. The leisurely pace and quiet non-motorized boat trips offer a relaxed and peaceful way for viewing wildlife up close and personal.
The surrounding is breathtaking with old growth forests, pristine rivers, and stunning peaks. We'll also have the opportunity to visit one of the ancient First Nations site with petroglyphs and the local town of Bella Coola.
Our accommodation is first class. The owner, nicknamed the "Swede", has built a stunning lodge, which has one main building and multiple private chalets. There is a large living room and dining room with river rock fireplace; a sports bar with billiards table, games and satellite TV; a retail shop; and a guest media room with computer access and fax/telephone service. In addition there is WiFi access throughout the lodge, chalets and cabins. There is also a 1,200 sq/ft spa building with yoga stretching room, weights, massage rooms, showers and a 12 person covered out door hot tub overlooking the lawn and the coast range beyond.
This region is still unknown to most wildlife photographers. Be one of the few to experience unique views, great sceneries, and photograph wildlife in their natural habitat.
Hope to see you in Bella Coola in September.
- Traveling to Bella Coola (QBC), British Columbia (BC)
- There are daily flights from Vancouver, BC on Pacific Coastal Airline. We do recommend booking your flight early as they have limited availability
- September 30
- Transfer from Bella Coola (QBC) airport to Lodge
- Bear orientation
- First Photoshoot
- October 1-5
- Grizzly bear viewing and photography
- Daily river float to photograph the grizzly bears from water level
- Daily guided walks to photograph grizzly bears and local wildlife from various vantage points along the river
- Visit to local heritage sites, including one of the most northern locations for First Nation petroglyphs
- October 6
- Final bear viewing before transfer to the airport
- Flight to Vancouver
Scheduled activities and locations visited are dependent on weather conditions and marine tides.
- Clothing: (temperature ranges from low 50's to high 70's)
- Comfortable layered Clothes with waterproof outer shell
- Waterproof knee height boots (getting in/out of zodiac)
- Sturdy hiking shoes
- Hat, sunglasses, and sun screen
- Rain gear/windbreaker
- Knee pads and/or insulation pad (for low angle shooting)
- Camera Equipment:
- DSLR with extra batteries and memory cards
- Lens for grand landscape: 16–100mm
- Lens for wildlife habitat: 24-200mm
- Lens for wildlife portraiture: 400mm (or longest lens you can handhold)
- Lens for macro: 100mm
- Other Equipment (Optional):
- Photography Review Equipment (Recommended):
- Laptop (with power cord), memory card downloader
- Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop CS + bridge, Photoshop Element, Aperture
- External Hard drive (for backup copies)
“I have had a chance to view some of my photos, I must tell you I had a ball. I met some very nice people on this trip, they all made me feel at home. Oliver, you put together a very good photography class.” Leslie
“Gosh I had such a great time with you folks on the workshop. I learned so much in such a short time and am excited to try my hand a bit more at wildlife and landscape photography. More than anything, it is the combination of your personalities that really brings everything together.” Cookie
"Oliver is an expert photographers, tour guide and instructor. He finds your areas of weakness and explains fixes in easy to understand terms, never overloading your abilities or level of understanding. He is enthusiastic and energetic. You can't go wrong with the workshops. He is tops!!!” Jean
“Just wanted to say thank you again for the detailed and thorough instruction. The daily picture review was very valuable. Experiencing Haines in the Spring is exceptional. I will remember forever the raw beauty of nature” Edeane
“Your enthusiasm for our craft is contagious, and your willingness to share your knowledge in a personal manner was appreciated by all. Thank you again very much for a great experience. What a fantastic workshop” Patricia
“The workshop was superb from start to finish. Logistically: all details were perfect. My expectations for the workshop were exceeded. I was hoping to capture awesome images of eagles, bears, birds, landscapes, and I received so much more. Your input has allowed me to understand the depth of creativity and communication our images can impart. You helped me to see the image in a whole new perspective. Your insights on image capture, post processing and technical details were spot on. I came to the workshop hoping to shoot with a capable guide and logistician, and left with a new friend and photographic mentor. The trip was fun and created a supportive environment for me to express my creative tendencies. This workshop was by far the best I have attended.” Jim
"Top notch amenities. So many opportunities to photograph bears and puffins under outstanding leadership." Marsha & Robert, San Francisco
"My best days of photographing ever! The nightly slideshow is not to be missed." Patrick, Seattle
"Your group is always so amazing. You create an atmosphere where participants jell so well together. The nightly educational show is a pleasure to watch. Hope to see you again next year!" Staff at the Lodge
"The workshop got me some great images. I also learned so much about making books, post processing images, gallery exhibition, etc. All this invaluable information hard to find on paper. Thank you!" Mary-Anne
"Thank you for a perfect workshop. My images got much recognition at my camera club. Your incredible stories added to the complete experience." Surish
"I fully enjoyed the experience and the company of the other participants. The small group gave us this perfect opportunity to be one with nature and the wildlife. Thank you." Tom L.
"Your motivation is addicting. I couldn't wait to learn the new daily tips. The nightly photo reviews were invaluable not just listening to mine, but also from the ones from other participants." Michella
"This was the perfect place to take my wife to enjoy wildlife. The comfort of the lodge, food, slideshow, and memorable stories made this trip worth every penny. looking for the next Alaska workshop." Suzanne & Larry
"Had a great day and learned a lot, even as a beginner. I enjoyed the great variety of subjects we photographed and the expert advices I received." Martha
"While Oliver is clearly expert in the technical components of photography, where he flourishes is his approach to teaching it as an art form. From that very first workshop I took from him, a new paradigm emerged. My approach to photography was forever and favorably altered." Al
"Fantastic. Liked the hands-on emphasis and time for practice. Liked the variety of topics and the easy access to Oliver Klink. The review of the images did put a nice conclusion to the day." Bob & Monica
"Wonderful day. Great folks. What can I say more. I got useful tips, met like minded photographers (who I already have future dates set up to shoot with), got some images that I will cherish and print. WOW." Mike
"If I have to describe Oliver in one word, I'd use "outstanding"; not only as a teacher, but also as a photographer and a person. Without a doubt, I can say that Oliver has inspired me to keep pursuing my passion as a photographer." Mark
"Thanks for such a well organized event with such a knowledgeable and enthusiastic teacher. The day far exceeded my expectations. Revamping my skills photographing various subjects was phenomenal and FUN." Betsy
"The trip was just fabulous, peaceful experience early in the morning without any crowd, tons of tips, great instruction. Thanks, thanks, thanks .." Bernadette
"Oliver is a talented photographer but as a teacher he possesses a real gift. There are those teachers in our lives that have an impact on us because they open our eyes and make us want to do better, I will always remember my kindergarden teacher and also Oliver Klink" Cathy
- Workshop cost: $5,900
- Maximum 7 people
- Lodging included (double accommodation)
- Meals included
- Transportation from Bella Coola
- Park entrance fees included
- Instruction in the field and during photo reviews
- Private daily river floating trip included
- Travel recommendations:
- Plan on arriving in Bella Coola (QBC) on September 30. Convenient connection through Vancouver (Canada) Pacific Coastal Airline
- Book returning flight on October 6
- Accomodation description:
- Our lodge is a classic Canadian wilderness resort set on 60 acres of private land within British Columbia's largest protected provincial park. The surrounding environment is stunning. Rising above the valley floor are the majestic Coast Mountains, to the west is the largest fjord system in the Americas, and to the east the high Chilcotin Plateau. It is a bio-diverse and spectacular wilderness, home to the totemic wildlife of the Great Bear Rainforest.
- The lodge includes first class amenities. There is a large living room and dining room with river rock fireplace; a sports bar with billiards table, games and satellite TV; a retail shop; and a guest media room with computer access and fax/telephone service. In addition there is WiFi access throughout the lodge, chalets and cabins. There is no cell reception at the lodge. Come nightfall, guests retreat to their own private chalets and cabins. In addition to the main lodge and chalets there is also a 1,200 sq/ft spa building with yoga stretching room, weights and exer-cyclesa, massage rooms, showers and a 12 person covered out door hot tub overlooking the lawn and the coast range beyond.
- We serve an international style cuisine, with a West Coast twist. All meals incorporate locally grown, fresh organic produce, and herbs from the kitchen garden add fresh daily accents to each plate served. Seafood is also supplied locally and is caught wild in the waters off Bella Coola.
- To be on a waiting list, or for additional information, email Oliver Klink or call 408-910-6701.
- Travel to Bella Coola (QBC)
- Travel Insurance
- Tips to guides