Newfoundland: Birds, Whales, Icebergs, and Lighthouses
Newfoundland is an astonishingly wild and beautiful island in the North Atlantic, which provides the landscape and wildlife photographer an incredible range of targets: birds, whales, icebergs, lighthouses, and hidden coves. A nature photographers dream, there are millions of shorebirds and several species of whales—including the largest population of humpback whales in the world—to keep your camera clicking. We hope to see and photograph all of this wildlife, but of course, nature is nature and we can’t predict our sightings. And Newfoundland’s Iceberg Alley is a fantastic place to photograph the beautiful ancient ice as it floats by.
This is where you will photograph the first sunrise in North America. A place where Vikings landed over 1,000 years ago. This place is home to the oldest settlement and the oldest city in North America but is the youngest province of Canada. A vast land, with a relatively small population, Newfoundland and Labrador have some of the friendliest people you'll ever meet. Here, you will immerse yourself in solitude one day, and embrace a vibrant culture at the cutting edge of the contemporary western world the next. This is a land of rich history and natural wonders: stunning coastlines, breaching whales, icebergs, the largest puffin colony in North America and some of the most incredible seascapes you'll ever see.
We invite you to join us on this exciting expedition on the eastern coast of Newfoundland for seven days as we photograph the natural wonders of the 16th largest island (150K square miles) in the world. During these seven days, we will photograph Newfoundland’s spectacular coastlines, lighthouses, icebergs, whales, puffins, and so much more.
June 14–21, 2020
Itinerary and General Information
June 14, 2020: Arrive in St. John's, Newfoundland, and meet everyone at the hotel for a group dinner, get to know each other, and to discuss the itinerary for the workshop.
June 15, 2020: This morning we’ll be up early for a sunrise photo shoot at Cape Spear Lighthouse, the oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland and Labrador, it offers a glimpse into the lives of 19th-century lighthouse keepers and their families. The stark-white lighthouse pierces a sky swirling with seabirds, atop a craggy headland. It overlooks a vast expanse of indigo ocean, where glittering processions of icebergs glide by, humpback whales breach, and pods of porpoises send misty spouts into the Atlantic air. We’ll spend the afternoon photographing the highlights of St. John’s, including the brightly colored facades of the buildings on Jelly Bean Row, the vista from atop Signal Hill (a National Historic Site, and the place where the first transatlantic wireless transmission was received), and the battery, with its cliff-hugging homes. Sunset will be from the rugged coastline of Pouch Cove.
June 16, 2020: Today we’ll be on the move, based on the reports we receive about conditions, which are continually changing. We’ll have people reporting to us along the coast, to let us know where we can best capture the icebergs, eagles, and other wildlife, as we make our way through locations such as Holyrood, Bay Roberts, Heart’s Content, Dildo, and finally ending our day photographing sunset at Cavendish, where the fishing shacks provide a beautiful subject for the setting sun to light.
June 17, 2020: After a morning image review and critique, it will be time to move on from St. John’s, as we head to our hotel in Bonavista Bay, our base for the next three nights. Our drive will include stops to photograph the bays, coves, and tickles along the way. Again, we’ll use our network of locals to guide us to the action, whether it be icebergs, eagles, or whales.
June 18, 2020: Today is about icebergs, puffins, bald eagles, and awe-inspiring humpback whales, as we head out on a private boat tour early in the morning. Whale watching is one of the most exciting activities you may ever experience—but beware—you may get ‘hooked’ for life! You will be amazed by these “gentle giants” as we watch them feed, play, and migrate around the Bonavista Peninsula. We are dedicated to showing you the best whales that our area has to offer including fin, humpback, sperm, minke, and pilot whales and (although rare) orcas too. You may see dolphins, porpoises, eagles, and pelagic sea birds including puffins and northern gannets. In the afternoon we will head to Elliston to photograph one of the closest land views of Atlantic puffins—the only species of puffin that lives in the North Atlantic Ocean. Elliston has approximately 300 nesting pairs at Elliston Point and about 1,200 pairs on North and South Bird Islands. We’ll end the day with sunset at Bonavista Lighthouse, which was built in 1843 and is one of the few in the world where you can still climb the stone tower and see the same seal-oil-fueled catoptric light apparatus from the 1800s. Experience a light keeper’s day in 1870—a 24/7 job of polishing glass, filling oil lamps, recording weather patterns, and watching the waves from one of the most rugged points in Newfoundland.
June 19, 2020: We’ll start the day with another image review and critique session, and then head out to “Iceberg Alley”, a vast corridor of ocean that runs from Greenland and is a popular path for these frozen leviathans. Again, we’ll be using our network of insiders to lead us to the areas with the highest concentration of icebergs and wildlife. We also may head north to Twillingate, one of the stops along “Iceberg Alley." Imagine yourself seated on a patch of long grass, looking out over the pristine waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Fishing boats bounce softly over the waves as the light from the setting sun reflects off the side of a 10,000-year-old iceberg. This is just a tiny piece of the beauty you will experience here. Twillingate embodies everything Newfoundland and Labrador are famous for the stunningly rugged coastline, picturesque streets, and lush countryside roads. In the waters off the coast, look for whales, dolphins, harp seals, seabirds, and icebergs so close to shore you feel like you can reach out and touch them.
June 20, 2020: Today we check out and start our trip back to St. John’s. Again, we’ll stop for lunch and photography along the way, making the most of local conditions, arriving in St. John’s at around 4:00 PM, with time to checkin and enjoy a nice, final dinner, before heading out for a sunset shoot at a location TBD.
June 21, 2020: We’ll have an optional sunrise shoot this morning, location will be based on conditions. Flights home can be scheduled this day, any time after 12:00 PM.
What to Bring and How to Prepare for Your Workshop
Please see our How To Prepare For Your Workshop page now for guidelines on workshop prep, gear, and packing. Approximately 90 days before your workshop, you will be sent a PDF with more specific instructions.
Double occupancy lodging (single available, just ask)
All meals during the workshop
Transportation, including guide tips, during the workshop
Photographic guiding and instruction from two pros
Image reviews and post-processing instruction
Fun, inspiration and a great time!
What’s Not Included?
Travel to and from St. John’s, NL, Canada (YYT). Medical evacuation, travel medical, and trip cancellation insurance (optional). Items of a personal nature. Alcoholic beverages. Anything not specifically listed as included
With its rich variety of wildlife and landscapes, this workshop is a photographer’s dream. Click the “Sign Me Up!” button and we'll see you in Newfoundland!