Shooting Winter

Shooting Winter - Workshop Description


January 24 – March 21, 2015 (no class on weekend of Feb. 21/22)


Frozen vistas blanketed with snow, storms, ice, fog, and freezing rain are a constant visual presence for 4-5 months of the year. For Canadian photographers, the white landscape is a cornerstone of our culture and one of our greatest and most unique stories to tell.  Winter brings into sharp relief aspects of the natural environment hidden during the rest of the year by foliage. Trees, plants, and wildlife and even people are revealed, isolated and elevated for the camera.

Shooting Winter is an introduction to great local places to photograph. All of them can be visited year-round but take on a unique character at this time of the year: the Ottawa River and bays, the Greenbelt trails and wetlands, birding and conservation areas, forests, and some of the capital’s grand urban landscapes.

This is primarily an outdoor shooting course delivered over 8 sessions.

The first session will cover classical and contemporary approaches to landscape and wildlife photography, relevant composition and exposure recommendations, an overview of the locations, and some guidance for protecting yourself and your equipment in cold weather. Final decisions about the weekend scheduling of these shoots will be made during this session.

Six location visits will follow – 3 natural, 1 urban, 1 wildcard (to be selected by the group) and 1 day-trip to Amherst Island near Kingston to look for snowy owls, and to document a disappearing pastoral way of life.

Lighting and atmospheric conditions are critical so there will be some variations in times to take advantage of the best winter has to offer, with lots of notice.

The final session will bring everyone together to review and critique the best work.

Weekly assignments

Participants will be asked to submit 5 images weekly from each shoot for review and critique. These images will be published online for the whole group to be able to view.

There may be some additional assignments during the week to take advantage of lighting and atmospheric conditions not available during the weekend sessions.

Photography skills

  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Continued work on seeing and refining your eye
  • Focus on composition and exposure
  • The manipulation of depth of field with a special emphasis on perfecting deep focus
  • Abstracting the landscape through intentional camera movement and soft focus techniques


Sample images from shooting locations can be found here:

Registration Information

Dates: January 24 – March 14, 2015 (no class on weekend of Feb. 21/22)

Sessions: Saturday afternoons. Start and end times may vary slightly to take advantage of optimal atmospheric and lighting conditions. Times for shooting sessions will be finalized by group consensus during the first session on 24 January.

First session: Saturday 24 January 2015, 1-4pm. Location to be determined.

Cost: $275

Class size: Limited to 7 participants

To register: Contact Susanne at to confirm your participation and to receive payment instructions.