Winter shooting. Canada in March?
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!
Thanks for pointing out - That should read March 07!
Actually it we could manage late Feb to mid march (07!)
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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 ) 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 N. Roscoe
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!
Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.
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.