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Photography in a Winter Wonderland:

Michigan's Upper Peninsula in Winter

February 2 - 8, 2020

Why join the Northern Michigan In Winter Workshop? Northern Michigan is home to a number of unique and fascinating species, many of which can be quite tame. Participants will be led to historically reliable properties to photograph Snowy and possibly other owls. We will also photograph feeder birds common to the Northern Boreal Forest (but decidedly rare elsewhere) at private residences where we will have control over lighting, background and perches. ​You will learn a variety of both on and off camera flash techniques - both Canon and Nikon systems will be accommodated.


The leader will work extremely hard to get you into the right position to make the best images possible. Some of the species we encounter will be quite tame while others may require some extra work. We will work with a combination of natural and artificial light sources to take your images to the next level. Prior to the trip you will learn how to best dress for sometimes extreme cold weather. During the workshop you will learn how to use the light and wind angles to your advantage for large flying birds as well as the perching feeder birds. Participants will learn techniques to successfully capture action images of birds in flight.


Species diversity is low but quality is high! Likely species on the Northern Michigan Winter workshop include:


Snowy Owl

Northern Hawk-owl

Pine Grosbeak

Evening Grosbeak

Gray Jay

Common Redpoll

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Common Raven

Bald Eagle​


Additional species we may encounter include Spruce, Sharp-tailed and Ruffed Grouse, Glaucous Gull, Boreal and Black-capped Chickadee, Hoary Redpoll, Pine Siskin, Northern Shrike, Rough-legged Hawk, Snow Bunting and more.

Equipment:  Bring your longest telephoto lens and matching teleconverters for this workshop. A 400mm lens will be enough length for the feeder opportunities (especailly if you are using one of the crop sensor camera bodies). A 500mm or greater will offer additional options for frame filling images on some of the other subjects but a hand held 400mm lens may be just the ticket for some of the in flight shooting. A shorter lens may come in handy for beautiful scenic images of snow covered terrain but we will be (mostly) focusing on birds. Do bring your tripod. Hand holding is a viable option with the fast shutter speeds available with today's strong performing high ISO cameras but holding the lens constantly will lead to cold hands. Warm boots, waterproof pants and several layers of clothing will go a long way toward keeping you comfortable. A shorter lens may come in handy for beautiful scenic images of snow covered terrain but we will be (mostly) focusing on birds.

Physical Activity Requirements:  This is a not an overly strenuous workshop. Dealing with cold weather will be the greatest challenge and though deep snow may be encountered, it can mostly be avoided. Full winter gear suggestions will be provided.   Nights are long in the north this time of year so we will likely only have a short lunch break in order to take full advantage of the daylight.


Do communicate any specific techniques you would like to learn. No species can be guaranteed but we will do our best to locate the target species through local contacts and private land owners who have granted access to their lands. Every effort will be made to insure  each participant comes away with many memorable images.​

Tour Details

Price: $1,950 per person, double occupancy
Single supplement - $250
Included: Lodging, meals, In-country transportation, park entrance fees
Not Included: Passport and Visa Fees, airfare, alcoholic beverages, personal items, tips
From: Detroit, Michigan
Participant Limit: 4
Activity Level: Moderate
Download 2020 Full Itinerary
Deposit: $500 per person is required to hold your spot on this tour (with your registration form)

Balance: Due by November 2, 2018

Download 2020 Registration Form

To book your space on the tour, please contact us at info@sabrewingnaturetours.com.

Tour Leader
Brian Zwiebel