Canadian Nature Photographer Newsletter

November 1, 2016


Dear Friends and new subscribers - I redesigned this newsletter to be wider and I hope easier to read. The main purpose of this newsletter is to let you know what is new on my web site, upcoming workshops, special offers and events. As well as photography for the past 20 years I also built web sites and taught web design at SAIT on a contract basis, but I am now going to concentrate full time on photography and Photoshop (hopefully I won't starve though I do expect to lose some weight). I will teach photography and photoshop privately as you can see from the many new workshops I will be offering in the new year. I also hope to present more photography resources on the web site in the coming year.

I am also planning to publish a new book in the new year - "The Art of Canadian Nature Photography" which features some of the most spectacular places to photograph in Canada and includes a section on Composition and Visual Elements of Design. I will be selling both a hard copy and e-book version in the new year.

In October I posted an article about the Lake O'hara workshop with Brian Merry. The weather was ever changing and I ended up doing a lot macrophotography. The second article is by Reinhard Thomas - this is his 3rd article for the Canadian Nature photographer and shows some interesting images of the prairies. The third article is one I posted from my week long visit to Ontario in October. Fall colours were just starting when I arrived and I managed to get a few nice shots in Oxtongue River Provincial Park and Muskoka. I provide some tips on how to get better colours in your autumn photography. The last article is by Jack Farley who is 13 years of age and lives in Toronto. Check out this promising young photographer's photos. I am always looking for new photographer-writers to present their work if interested see my submissions guidelines. Your photos will be seen by at least 30,000 visitors each month.

Click on the thumbnails or links to visit web site and see these new photo articles

Larches at Lake O'hara by Dr. Robert Berdan ©  

Photographing in Autumn at Lake O'hara by Dr. Robert Berdan
On September 17 and 18, 2017 I assisted Brian Merry on a Photography workshop at Lake O'hara. We brought a cook, two parks mountain guides and stayed at the Elizabeth Parker hut - read more.

Gas station Reinhard Thomas ©  

Photographing in the Western Prairies by Reinhard Thomas
Our prairies make up the northern regions of the North American Great Plains and the soil beneath is one of the most fertile in Canada. Visitors and photographers frequent touristic and historic sites - read more

Fall colours on the Oxtongue River by Robert Berdan ©  

Photographing Autumn Colours in Georgian Bay & Muskoka by Dr. Robert Berdan
There are several challenges when photographing fall colours 1) you need to be in the right place a the right time for the best colours and 2) the light needs to be good - read more.

Deer by Jack Farley ©  

Photographing Wildlife in Ontario by Jack Farley.
When I was 10 years old I got my first camera, it was an Olympus OM-10 with an assortment of lenses (mostly macro). It had been my dad’s since he was a teenager, he had recently switched to a compact point and shoot - read more.


2017 Photography Workshops

Upcoming Workshops for 2017 - Consider a Gift Certificate for Christmas for your Favourite Photographer - See my workshop page. Mention that you get my newsletter and receive $50 OFF the Photoshop workshop.

In winter, when it's dark and cold outside it is a great time to select and edit your best shots. The price of Photoshop and Lightroom is now about $12\month. You get both programs for this price and you can download the software on two computers - even if one is a Mac and the other a PC. While some folks prefer Lightroom because it is easier, I believe if you are serious about photography you would be wise to learn Photoshop. It's not as hard as you think and a short course will get you up to speed quickly. You don't have to know how to do everything in Photoshop, but all photographers will benefit from knowing how to colour correct their images, adjust levels, burn, dodge, remove spots, add text and a copyright symbol. All of this and more can be learned in a one day hands on workshop which I offer in my studio on both PC and Mac. Gift certificates can be purchased on my web site - the certificates never expire and they are good towards any workshop (except Arctic Adventure) and can be used for a private session. To receive $50 discount for the Photoshop workshop contact me first by phone or email me so I can give you instructions on how to get the discount.




Novice Photographer Workshop - Christmas Special $199 - Saturday January 21, 2016 10:00 am to 4 pm. Learn how to use your new Camera.

This workshop includes 2 hours in the studio going over camera equipment followed by 3 hours in the field and then 1 hour back in the studio to critique your images. This workshop is for beginners or anyone that just purchased a new camera. Participants should bring their camera, camera manual and any other camera gear they own and be prepared to go outside to shoot for several hours. You will be provided with a set of notes. The course is designed for single lens reflex type cameras, though you can bring a compact camera if you like (no phone cameras). I will also cover composition basics and seeing. We will photograph outdoors somewhere close like Bowness Park or Big Hill Springs Provincial Park. My studio is located in Calgary, NW in Silver Springs.




Adobe Photoshop Workshop ($50 off for subscribers of this newsletter - mention discount when you contact me ) Saturday Feb 25, 2017 - max of 4 - $299

We will be working with Photoshop for a full day. You will receive a DVD with step by step movies, a 100 page book with Photoshop recipes. I will walk you through setting up Photoshop, a basic work flow which includes resizing images, adjusting levels, colour correction, removing spots, red eye correction, dodging and burning, content aware fill and several other techniques. You will have several hours to work on your own images so bring some of your favourite images as .jpg or RAW files. Lunch will be provided (turkey croissants and pop, or bottled water). If you can't make the workshop you can always hire me for a private session in my studio I will be available most of the winter.



NEW - Photo-restoration workshop - 4 hours Saturday Feb 11, 1-5 pm max 4 Learn how to fix your old photos. $199

Do you own some old images you would like to fix or repair. In this workshop I will show you how to scan your images (from prints, slides or negatives) and repair them in Photoshop. I will also show you how to tint your images and hand colour black and white photos. We will be working in Adobe Photoshop - No previous knowledge of Photoshop is required. You will receive 2 hours instruction and have 2 hours with assistance to fix up your old images. Participants should bring some old photos with them that they would like to digitally repair.



Winter Workshop - Saturday, January 28th $299

Saturday, January 28th from 7:00 am to 5 pm. We will be travelling to Banff and then to lake Louise to photograph some winter scenery and the winter festival. We will shoot the sunrise at 8:30 am, then travel down Highway 1 A to shoot some landscapes, wildlife and Morant's curve before heading to the Lake Louise winter festival. I will be able to provide transportation for 3 people, additional folks up to 6 will be transported via car pooling or I will arrange for another photo-instructor to join us and provide transportation. If folks are interested we can arrange for a follow up session and critique of your images.




NEW - Winter Prairie and Snowy Owl Workshop - Saturday Feb 25, 2017 max of 3 - 7:00 am to 6:00 pm $299

On this workshop we will head out in search for snowy owls and winter prairie landscapes. I will provide transportation in my Jeep. In general I usually have to drive about 100 km per snowy owl, so we will cover the country side east and south of Calgary. We will stop for lunch. Participants should have a telephoto lens (70-200 mm or larger), a tripod or monopod is recommended. In the event we do not encounter a snowy owl, I will make an second trip on Sunday or the following weekend at no additional charge. I usually spot at least one snowy owl on most outings - but no one can guarantee widlife. We also photograph Mule Deer, foxes, and other wild birds we encounter.


NEW - Winter Photography in the Badlands Saturday March 4, 2017 - max 3 $299

This will be a day long trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park in order to photograph the badlands in winter. Mule Deer are common in the park and we are unlikely to encounter any other people. We will leave early morning and arrive back in Calgary after dinner time. I will provide transportation in my Jeep. Our focus will be landscape and wildlife photography. If there is time we may search further south for some Pronghorn antelope. In the event the highway is closed I will arrange for another weekend.




NEW - Spring Aurora Workshop in Yellowknife in March - Cost and Dates TBA in December

This workshop will involve flying to Yellowknife (Cost about $600), staying in a hotel for several days (included). We will photograph the Aurora in the evening and participate in some winter festival activities during the day. Yellowknife is one of the best places in the world to photograph the Aurora. In Spring the skies are largely clear making for excellent conditions to see and photograph the Aurora and the aurora is most active around the Spring and Fall equinoxes. .We will be transported by Van from hotel to various locations around Yellowknife and along the Ingraham Trail in conjunction with Backyard Tours in Yellowknife.



Spring Wildflowers - Saturday June 10, 2017 $299

Early June is the best time for wildflowers in Rockies. We will photograph calypso orchids, lady;s slippers and other flowers. On this workshop we will travel to Rocky Mountain Parks to places where I know there is an abundance of wildflowers. There will also be opportunities to photograph landscapes and wildlife we encounter. I can provide transportation for three, otherwise we will car pool or I will hire and additional instructor to provide transportation and instruction. See article on photographing wild flowers in the Rockies. All participants will be provided with an e-book on macrophotography. There will be an optional 2 hour class in my studio before the workshop to cover macrophotography equipment and techniques and a follow up session where participants will show 6-10 of their best photos from the workshop for critique.



Arctic Adventure Workshop 2017 - August 31 to September 7, 2017 min 4 - max 10. $5,579.00

Our annual arctic adventure tour starts in Yellowknife, with accommodations provided for two nights in Yellowknife, we will touring the city, take a boat tour and in the evenings we will be photographing the Aurora Borealis. We will then fly 350 km north to the heart of the tundra to stay at Peterson's Point Lake Lodge for 7 days in photograph the tundra in spectacular autumn colours, migrating caribou,wildlife and in the evening the aurora Borealis. See my article from 2015. Guides are provided to accommodate all fitness level, we will do some hiking, boating and even some fishing if interested. The caribou sometimes come by the cabins. There are also opportunities for macrophotography with a wide variety of lichens on the tundra. Accommodations are in comfortable cabins around Point Lake include a shower and sauna. All meals are provided at the lodge including the flight from Yellowknife to and from the lodge. For more information contact me or visit Petersons Point Lake lodge web site .


Interested in some other type of Photography related Workshop? I can teach you Spherical Imaging or How to create a Photography Book in Blurb? Night time photography requires clear sky/ we can photograph the milky way and Aurora if present or do some light painting. If you or a group are interested in an outing please contact me. Sorry - I don't offer wedding,or baby photography sessions - I am an outdoor nature photographer :-)


My digital studio is equipped with slide and flatbed scanners, Mac and several PCs running Photoshop, a LCD projector with surround sound system. I have been teaching Photoshop for over 20 years at SAIT, Red Deer College and privately. I have been taking photographs since since 1972 and was one of the first to adopt digital technology and a web site in Calgary. I own both Nikon and Canon photography equipment and also have specialized equipment for macro and photo-micrography - see my portfolio. With me, you will enjoy a small group size, some of the best computer equipment in Calgary and one-on-one instruction and assistance. I also provide detailed notes (100 pages) and tutorials files for Photoshop.

I am happy to accommodate any level of photographer from beginner to professional.

Want to learn Spherical imaging, photo-micrography or Night Photography? - contact me for a private session. I am available for $299 per day (approx 7-8 hours), 12 hour day sunrise to sunset ($499). I can provide transportation at no additional cost to you or your small group. Extra persons receive a discount, $50 per person with no camera, $150 per person if they bring a camera.


Robert Berdan

Calgary, AB
403 247-2457