Winter shooting. Canada in March?

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by tim rudman, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    My wife and I are planning for a milestone year trip next year (40th anniversary + two 65th birthdays!)
    We are looking at many options, - including expanding work on a winter theme that I have been doing for a while.
    We cannot get away this winter (Nov to Feb) as I have too many committments, but can in March 06 - a bit late for winter.
    We have both long wanted to explore Canada - but it's a big place! I imagine that March will be pretty wintery in parts of Canada?
    I am particularly interested in trees as always, but also minimal/barren winter landscape, a more recent ongoing interest of mine.
    We both photograph and a longish Campervan trip is high on our list.
    Any advice will be most gratefully received!
     
  2. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    OOPS!
    Thanks for pointing out - That should read March 07!
    Actually it we could manage late Feb to mid march (07!)
    best wishes
    Tim
     
  3. CraigK

    CraigK Member

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    Tim,

    I am located in the middle of Canada, in Winnipeg, a city whose motto should be "home of the minimal/barren winter landscape". Actually, much of Manitoba and southern Saskatchewan may have the sort of terrain you seek.

    The end of Feb/beginning of March is typically quite cold with lots of snow left.

    Feel free to PM me, I run a photography school and have a number of contacts here that could point you in the direction of barren-ness and perhaps the odd tree or two.
     
  4. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Tim

    You are always welcome here in Toronto for a gathering point. Maybe run a workshop first to offset the costs of the RV camper. I can put you in touch with an RV rental here in Ontario.
    In March the Muskokas and Georgian Bay as well all points 50 miles from Toronto , will give you the type of barren , snow, snow snow, and tree landscape you are looking for. As well lots of small very friendly towns and villages that would welcome a Brit and his Wife in off season. You could get lucky and try some Ice fishing as well.

    I am serious about the workshop idea. Saves us the cost of flying you over if you are already commited to a tour over here.

    Bob
     
  5. CraigK

    CraigK Member

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    Do I see a Winter Workshop Tour 07 shaping up for Tim?

    We may not have as high a Starbucks per acre density as Toronto out here on the Prairies but we do have some very enthusiastic darkroom workers that would love to attend a workshop. And I have just the place to host it!

    Bob is right though, all around Toronto are some very charming small towns and lovely vistas. Unfortunately the only polar bears in that area are at the zoo. At least out here, the small chance that you will actually be eaten by one tends to keep you focussed on getting the shot and getting back to the charming English pub in town for a plate of bangers and mash.
     
  6. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Ok now Craig. the gloves are off.

    Tim was my friend first,
    if he decides to go to Manitoba well Laura and I may just have to try a workshop at your place.
    I will have to put on an extra set of long underwear and wear one backwards to avoid the trap door draft.
     
  7. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Don,t let Eric Rose see this thread, He will be wanting Tim all for himself in Calgary.
    I would have to wear three pairs of underwear then.
     
  8. Timothy

    Timothy Member

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    Hi Tim,

    You are right that most of the large urban areas of Canada, being in the South, will be pretty much done with winter by March. For easily accessable tree-scapes I would recommend Algonquin Park which is a great place to explore with camping in mind and is a two hour drive north from Toronto. There would probably still be some snow in the trees in March. For truly spectacular trees, I would recommend the Queen Charlotte Islands. There are parks there as well that make camping easy for everyone but there is a lot less settlement on those islands, some planning is required. If you consider the Queen Charlotte islands at all, where, incidently you will definitely not see any snow, you can also consider going on to the Yukon. The two most accessable "gateways to the Arctic" are Whitehorse in the Yukon and Churchill in Manitoba. From Whitehorse, there is a very good highway north to Dawson city. The terrain is mountainous becoming more so, the farther North you go. There will be lots of snow - L O T S . From Dawson there is a gravel highway that is the only highway in the world to cross the Arctic Circle. About a three day trip in a campervan from Dawson to Fort MacPherson in the Arctic. There are very affordable daily flights from McPhoo (Fort MacPherson) to Tuktoyaktuk on the Arctic coast. Open vistas with loads of color and drama and lots of snow, will abound all the way north from Whitehorse but in very mountainous country.
    If you go to Churchill, the countryside is mostly very flat. For sure there will be LOTS of snow here in March also. The only way to get to Churchill though, is by train (SLOW train, three days from Winnipeg) or by air from Winnipeg. There are no Highways in or out of Churchill but there is a lot to see and do around town and there are lots of flights to the high Arctic from Churchill. If you do not go to the Yukon, the place to see in the Arctic is Baffin Island. It is geologically younger than the coastal areas around Churchill and that means a profound difference in the look and shape of the rocks and formations. Here is a sample of work by a local Toronto Photographer that is worth checking out.
    For something a lot less ambitous but a lot of fun, I recommend a trip from Winnipeg west to the Cypress Hills. You could easily rent a campervan or something similar in Winnipeg and either go straight West to Cypress Hills (only 18 hour drive if no stops) or divert to the northwest to wander through the Riding Mountain and Turtle Mountain parks. You would not see much snow but a good variety of mixed forests, open prairie, small towns, rugged rolling terrain (they are not really mountains :smile: ) and when you get to Cypress Hills, some truly spectacular vistas and variety.
    Whatever you plan on, let me know. I will be doing a trip of some sort myself at about the same time so maybe we could catch up briefly along the way somewhere.

    Tim R
     
  9. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council

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    Hi Tim,

    As noted already the Queen Charlotte Islands will be wet, and anything within 400 - 500 miles of the Pacific Ocean on the mainland in BC would be a gamble. Nothing is minimal here anyway!

    Murray
     
  10. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Calgary is the best location for all the things you are interested in. Within a 125mi radius you have everything from bald ass prairie, badlands, foothills and the Rocky Mountains. March will more than likely still give you lots of "weather" to deal with.

    As I mentioned at the conference, we have a spare bedroom at your disposal. As well as a full darkroom.
     
  11. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Ok -- who let Rose into this thread.

    Tim - North of Toronto there are hundreds of Snowmobile trails and tours where you and your honey can stop and photograph at your leisure.

    I am pretty sure a shenuqq sp?? will be in Alberta next winter. that would mean 80 degree in March ,

    beat that one Mr Rose, all the way from England and your province is in a heat wave with not snow. Not very friendly of you Albertans I would say.
     
  12. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    You've gotten some good advice.

    Calgary is a great city but the odds of snow are iffy at best. Calgary loses its snow several times a winter due to warm chinook winds. If you want snow, you may get it in Calgary... or you may get good golfing weather. It is hard to know. :smile:

    In March, you are very likely to still have snow on the ground in Saskatchewan (except the southwest, near the Cypress Hills, which is much warmer in winter) and Manitoba, as well as northern Ontario. There are trees in all three provinces but southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan are wide-open prairies with pockets of trees. Northern Ontario, northern Manitoba and northern Saskatchewan are full of dense forests and lakes. It's a completely different place than the prairies.

    I'm in Regina (in southern Saskatchewan) so if you want some more specific advice related to my area, feel free.

    Even in March it can be very cold here. It is not unheard of to have temperatures in the -20s and even, occasionally, the -30s C in March. It can also be well above freezing.
     
  13. tim atherton

    tim atherton Inactive

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  14. tim atherton

    tim atherton Inactive

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  15. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Different Eric, but nice photos none the less.

    It's true in Calgary it can be anywhere from -40 to +20 in March. Actually it can be that way in any month of the year LOL. I've seen snow in all 12 months. Fortunately not in the same year!

    So that's one of the advantages of coming to Calgary. You can relax in maybe some nice temps while in town, and then drive for 1.5 hours to get into some really narly winter stuff in the mountains.

    We took Les McLean out for some winter fun a couple of years ago and I was worried we were going to loose the little fella in some of the snow drifts LOL. There is a really interesting ghost town a couple of hours out of Calgary that has a very unique look to it in the winter. Just screams for Lith treatment IMHO.
     
  16. tim atherton

    tim atherton Inactive

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    sorry - didn't mean you eric...!
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If you like paradoxes, take a look at a map of North America. Note how far south Toronto is compared to where Murray lives (Kitimat, British Columbia). In the winter, Toronto is a lot colder than Kitimat.

    Matt
     
  18. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Matt

    That is just the legendary cold personalities of Ontario creating the chill.
     
  19. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    Thanks everyone for all your replies. I haven't had much chance to get to the computer today (printing), it's now midnight, so I wll digest everthing (+ atlas!) tomorow eveniing when I get back.
    Thanks again
    Tim
    PS I'm obviously going to have to read between the lines Bob, on my underwear requirements!
     
  20. Earl Dunbar

    Earl Dunbar Member

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    Bruce Peninsula!
     
  21. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    This is heresy, being a BC'r, but I think Eric Rose is right. Calgary is a good place to start from. Although the climate is variable, the further north (to Edmonton and beyond) and the higher (west and north to the Rockies, Banff, Jasper National Parks) you go, the more stable and wintery the weather becomes. Most of Alberta is pretty barren, except for the parts that jut up against British Columbia. They have some unique customs in Alberta, especially those involving driving. You may want to learn these beforehand.
     
  22. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    Hi Bob and Craig
    Thanks for the workshop offers. If the trip comes about it could be a feasible proposition :smile: I hadn't planned on a workshop tour though as a week or two teaching would take away too much of the time available - I have lectures booked later in March so I would have a max of 3 weeks all told. It is something that might be rescheduled though.
    We are still at the idea juggling stage and have tried to keep dates reasonably flexible for parts of next year so that we have options to do something memorable, but haven't decided what. I hoped I might revisit some of my winter shooting aspirations at the same time, but maybe March is not really the best month. I know that it is too late for some of my winter haunts in Montana but thought that Canada could be a safer bet - plus being one of our top 'must do' places.
     
  23. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    Thanks Tim. Lots of great info!
    I saw you and your darkroom in B&W Photography this month by the way :smile:
    Tim R
     
  24. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    Very nice work, really liked this. Thanks