Canadian Nature Photographer Newsletter 2018

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March 6, 2018

Dear Friends - new subscribers welcome, those interested in free online Photoshop tutorials can get access to them here: - password for Photoshop I is rdc1 and for Photoshop II is rdc2.

In February we received the most snow fall I have ever seen in Calgary, about 40 cm. At my bird feeder we get a variety of birds and several Mallards visit daily. Below you can see a pair of mallards that landed in the snow below our bird feeder - only their heads could be seen.

Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) under my bird feeder.(500 mm F4) taken from my back door

This year I had a tremendous response to my snowy owl outings and so far everyone was able to get some nice photos. I had two gentlemen come from Sweden to photograph the snowy owls - I call them the Lucky Swedes because not only did we see a record number of snowy owls, but they photographed them eating a grouse and captured many close up photos. We also visited Drummheller to visit the Royal Tyrrell museum to see some dinosaurs and photograph Hoodos. We spent two days in Kananaskis, the first day we saw no animals, but on the 2nd day we photographed 5 moose, some elk and three wild wolves! Wolves in Kananaskis are extremely rare to see let alone photograph. On the way home we photographed several short eared owls west of the city. I am hoping some of the snowy owl participants will share some of their beautiful images from their trip to Calgary in the near future on this web site.

Short eared Owl Asio flammeus (300 mm F4) photographed West of Calgary.

Last month I gave some tips on finding snowy owls, it helps to have several people to scan the landscape as these critters are perfectly camouflaged against the snow covered background. Males are almost totally white females have dark horizontal barring (see below). They are one of the most beautiful owls.

Female Snowy (Bubo scandiacus) sitting on a fence (70-200 mm F2.8 Lens) My clients were able to get much better closeup photos.

I will be offering a Spring wildflower and macro-photography workshop and shorebirds workshop in June, I also offer private Photoshop training all year long in my studio. I will be teaming up with Professional Wildlife Photographer Brian Merry to offer a weekend photography workshop the end of May. Details to follow. I also will be visiting the Kimberly Camera club May 12 to lead a wildflower photography workshop. Contact the club for details.

Telephoto Lenses for Sale

I have sold several photographic items and lenses in order to raise money for the purchase of new Microscope. I still have a Nikon 300 mm F2.8 lens and a 500 mm F4 Telephoto lens for sale on Kijji - Calgary. I am only selling one of these lenses and will keep one depending on which sells. They are both fantastic wildlife lenses in mint condition. If interested please see my Kijji ads or contact me. I am willing to negotiate a slightly lower price for readers of this newsletter. I need to sell one to help pay for my new Zeiss Microscope - see my article on my Home microscopy labortory.

New Macro & Photomicrography Workshop under development

By the summer I hope to offer a new workshop on Macrophotography and Photomicrography. This workshop will be limited to three folks will include 2 days on a weekend. The workshop will include some time in the field photographing and collecting specimens. We also spend a day or more in my home microscopy lab taking pictures with macro lenses, stereo microscopes and light microscopes - each participant will have their own stereo and light microscope to take pictures. If you might be interested please email me and I will then notify you when the course is ready. Our focus will be on taking pictures 1X or greater participants will receive notes, and will take photomicrographs home with them on a USB. This course is for anyone interested in learning more about high magnification closeup photography, I will also show you where you can purchase some economical scopes.

Plant stomata (pores in a leaf used for gas exchange) polarized light microscopy - 150X

New Articles posted

This month I posted three new articles. The first article is on the wolves of Calanda by Peter Dettling. Peter is a wildlife photographer from Canmore, Alberta and good friend. He has produced a video series of wild wolves in Switzerland.. The second article is on Bryophyte Ecology by Dr. Janice Glime. Bryophytes are primitive plants including the mosses and liverworts. Dr. Glime has spent most of her life studying these plants and has produced several volumes which are used in university courses and her book chapters are all available as PDFs for free download. I am interested in the mosses as they are home to water-bears and other microorganisms. The third article is by Kamal Varma who shares his beautiful photos from Africa. Kamal has made several trips to Africa and this is his 5th article for the Canadian Nature Photographer.

All of you are invited to submit articles to the Canadian Nature Photographer if interested please see my submission guidelines.

Click on the thumbnails or links to read the Latest Photography Articles or visit the home page.

Peter A. Dettling wolf ©  

Once Around the Sun with the Calanda Wolves by Peter A. Dettling In 2012 an extraordinary event took place when six wolf pups were born in a hidden den located high on a mountain overlooking Chur. The birth of these wild wolves at the Calanda was the first in Switzerland in over 150 years - read more .


Bryophyte Ecology by Dr Janice Glime I have always liked miniature things.  When I was three, I wanted an electric train for Christmas.  I must have been careless and only asked for a train, because I got a wooden train.   I was more interested in insects than dogs or cats.  But my interest in mosses began when I took a botany course in college - read more.



Photography on the Masai Mara Reserve by Kamal Varma The Masai Mara is a wildlife photographer’s paradise.  Whether it’s the big cats (lions, leopards, cheetah’s) or the seemingly endless number of other animals, the Mara is unrivalled when it comes to the sheer number of animals to photograph - read more.




To register or view workshops in 2018 or Purchase a Gift Certificate

Robert's E-book The Art of Canadian Nature Photography - 250 pages

Book Cover Jacket

Ebook now available for $19.95 CDN

To learn more about my book or purchase it Click on the Button
Purchasing an e-Book helps supports this web site so I can deliver more Photography articles.

You can download a free chapter in PDF format - Download FREE Sample Book Chapter PDF. The book is filled with 250 pages of images and text that described some of the most beautiful places to photograph in Canada, includes maps, discussion of the Visual Elements of Design, Composition and How to photograph the Aurora.

Spring is on it way and the first wildflowers will be out soon. The first flower to appear in Calgary is the Prairie Crocus - it can appear along the Bow river from Mid March to Mid April depending on the weather. These beautiful flowers are found along the hillsides next to the Bow river. The nice thing about wild flowers is that they don't run away!

Prairie crocus (Pulsatilla) along the Bow river. These flowers create their own heat via an exothermic chemical reaction to melt snow around them.


Arctic Photo Adventure 2018 - Still a few spots left

Arctic Photography Adventure - August 29-Sept 5 (few spots still available), 2nd Workshop Sept 03 to Sept 10th.  Cost $5,997.00 Held in Yellowknife and includes air fare from Yellowknife to Lodge 350 Km further North on the tundra

Your adventure begins in Yellowknife, NT and includes a flight further north to Point Lake Lodge on the Tundra. Transportation to Yellowknife is not included, but we will pick you up at the air port and provide hotel accommodation in Yellowknife. We will be photographing the Aurora Borealis, waterfalls, tundra, caribou and other wildlife. The tour includes a boat tour of Yellowknife bay and a fish fry (weather permitting). We may also hike a scenic trail to Cameron falls to photograph grouse, mushrooms and autumn colours. We will spend two nights photographing the Aurora in Yellowknife, including one night at Aurora village. We will then fly about 350 km north onto the tundra to Peterson's point lake lodge which includes gourmet food and comfortable cabin accommodations, shower, and heated rooms. We will be searching for caribou to photograph and other wildlife on foot and from 16 foot power boats. The tundra will be red and yellow and their will be opportunities to catch amazing sunsets and sunrises from the beach in front of the cabins. See the aurora and caribou gallery for images from previous workshops and read some of my previous articles. Contact me if you have any questions.

Download poster as a PDF

Photography Adventure Itinerary In Yellowknife - PDF

In 2018 we will be offering two workshops Cost $5997 + GST. Dates 1st workshop August 29-Sept 05, 2nd Workshop will be from Sept 03 to Sept 10th.

To register for this workshop please contact Margaret Peterson in Yellowknife at : or call 867-920-4654. 
Also visit the Peterson's Point lake lodge web site for more pictures and information.

 Spring is only 2 weeks away and we will have many new photo opportunities. We are fortunate in Canada to have distinct seasons each offers unique photo opportunities. Contact me if you would like to join me on a workshop, or for a private training session.

Robert Berdan

Calgary, AB
403 247-2457