If you’ve ever been to a cottage on a lake during the summer months you are no doubt familiar with the call of the loon. And if you are an experienced loon guide who grew up in Algonquin Park like Michael Bertelsen you know what every call means and whether it originated from a male or a female. Fortunately for wildlife photographers you have an opportunity to join Michael on a loon tour/loon workshop in the heart of Algonquin Park for a few days to learn more about this magnificent bird and capture some truly spectacular loon images of your own.
What You Need To Know About Mike?
While most people know that Michael is an expert loon guide and instructor they often fail to recognize that he is also an accomplished wildlife photographer which means he spends a good deal of time while out on his loon tours/loon workshops teaching people how to get better loon images. Of course if you’re an experienced photographer you can politely ask him to shut his pie hole and focus on shooting, not that I ever would as it is a long swim back to the dock.:)) I first joined Michael on one of his moose/loon photography tours by boat in July 2010 and I must say I was very impressed. As it turned out I had a family emergency come up on my first tour date and Michael graciously allowed me to reschedule. Trust me when I tell you not all tour guides are this accommodating so I have to applaud Michael for his integrity and how he conducts his business. I also very quickly came to realize after a few hours on the lake with Michael that he sure knows his way around Algonquin Park and where the loons are going to be so you can count on him to get you in front of the loons and their chicks.
A Boat Built Specifically For Loon Tours/Loon Workshops
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a little envious when I first saw Michael’s loon tour boat. This thing is tripped up specifically for loon photography and really does set him apart from other loon tour guides. As you can see from the picture each photographer has their own spot so there is no one sitting beside you on the typical bench seating blocking your view which is a very thoughtful design indeed.
Realizing a lot of wildlife photographers want to be as low to the water as possible he took the design one step further in 2012 and made it so that two of the four comfortable swivel seats are drop down to allow extreme low angle photography; just a mere 14 inches from lens to the surface of the water which is key to getting quality eye level loon images. And for those of you who expect a few of the comforts of home the boat has a flat floor and a removable top for protection from the rain. As one would expect the boat is equipped with an outboard motor that will get you to the loons quickly while the best light is upon you. Once the loons have been located Michael will use an electric trolling motor to silently get you in close without disturbing the birds for what is sure to be one of your most memorable wildlife photography experiences of your life.
Will You See Loon Chicks?
Michael monitors 11 pairs of nesting loons on 9 different lakes. This has made it possible for him to offer photographers a 90% loon chick success rate since 1997. That’s a pretty attractive track record.
The two (2) day workshop includes two morning and two evening shoots. The three (3) day workshop offers three mornings and three evening shoots. You will be on the water for the early morning light and breakfast will be served on board the boat. By mid-morning the light get too harsh to get quality images so you will return to base. Many photographers venture off to try shooting spruce grouse, moose, herons, beaver, grey jays, etc. so it is easy to fill the day before you all meet later in the afternoon for the evening light and more loon photography.
Private Loon Photography Workshops
If the scheduled tours or dates do not work for you, book your own private trip where you can pull together your own group of photographers up to four participants which is the maximum capacity for the boat. For private pricing & availability please contact Michael directly by telephone at (705) 789-3126 or by email at email@example.com.
Schedule 2,4 or 6 Day Loon Tours $290.00 per day * Maximum 4 Photographers *
- 2 Day Loons & Chicks Date: June 29-30, 2017 (2 Spots Left)
- 2 Day Loons & Chicks Date: July 01-02, 2017 (1 Spots Left)
- 2 Day Loons & Chicks Date: July 03-04, 2017 Full
- 2 Day Loons & Chicks Date: July 12-13 2017 Full
- 2 Day Loons & Chicks Date: July 14-15 2017 (4 Spots Left)
If you need accommodations, Michael will would be happy to recommend something for you.
- Personalized instruction, due to very small groups
- Breakfast served on board (granola bar, yogurt, fruit juice & water)
- Bottled water always on hand.
Deposit & Registration for Loon Tours/Loon Workshops
A nonrefundable 50% deposit plus 13% HST is required to reserve your spot.
Please contact Michael directly if you have any other questions, to check availability and to request a booking. He can be reached by telephone at (705) 789-3126 or through his website at Algonquin Park Photography Tours which by the way has a fantastic gallery of wildlife photography that Michael has captured over the years.