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Like much of the world, the status of our 2021 photo tours is currently in a holding pattern of waiting to see how the situation with COVID-19 pandemic evolves.  Ultimately, the health and safety of our tour participants is of utmost importance, and we will not be running photo tours until we are comfortable that we are able to do them safely.


Owing to COVID-19 travel restrictions and area closures we have re-scheduled our first 6 photo tours of 2021 to the same or similar dates in 2022. The list of our currently re-scheduled photo tours includes The Pacific Rim Explorer, both Spring in the Southern Great Bear Rainforest photo tours, and all three Khutzeymateen Grizzlies photo tours.


We are currently hopeful that our remaining 5 photo tours (beginning with our August Marine Mammals photo tour and concluding with our October Queen Charlotte Strait photo tour) in 2021 will take place as scheduled. We will provide updates on the status of all these photo tours as time progresses and we have clearer information pertaining to their viability.


On a POSITIVE NOTE, when it is much closer to their commencement dates we may find that it will be possible to run some of the 11 photo tours (or even possibly some new photo tours). The catch is that we may not know we can run the photo tours until shortly before (such as 3-4 weeks before) the trip is scheduled. We fully realize this makes it tough for many to plan for – or participate – in the trips. However, it may also mean that we will end up with openings on photo tours that are traditionally very tough to find a spot on (e.g., virtually any of our Khutzeymateen or Great Bear Rainforest photo tours).


If YOU would like to be on a NOTIFICATION LIST to possibly participate in on one or more of these “scheduled at the last moment” photo tours just contact me at [email protected].


I am hoping that we all get to travel soon. If you have questions, feel free to contact me [email protected].

Over the last couple of weeks I have purchased a bunch of new Canon camera gear, probably the most I have every purchased in such a short period of time.


I picked up my R5 a couple of weeks ago, and have only had a couple of chances to go out and shoot with it, not enough time to start my review on it.  I will say that the animal eye AF is incredibly good (and really surprising).  It was able to detect the eye of a number of animal test subjects, from deer to little Pika, so it seems like size doesn’t matter.  I am looking forward to putting the camera through the paces and really get a feeling for it. If only there were photo tours!


This week I picked up an R6, and had one chance to go out and use it again with deer and Pika, and it seems like the autofocus is almost as good, or possible even as good of that of the R5.  I am curious how the ISO performance between the two bodies will differ.


And finally I just picked up a RF 70-200 f/2.8L IS lens the other day.  I was surprised that Canon went with the extending zoom on this lens.  It is nice for travelling, or putting in a pack, but I am curious if it will have moisture or dust issues. I am also looking forward to comparing it to the EF 70-200 to see how the performance of the two lenses varies.


Now I am just hoping to find some good test subjects over the coming weeks to really get to start using this new gear.  If you have any specific questions on any of the gear, feel free to email me [email protected].


  • 20 fps electronic
  • 12 fps mechanical
  • IBIS
  • Advanced animal detection
  • Dual card slot (one CF Express)
  • 8k full frame video

Canon has released more details on its latest mirrorless camera the EOS R5.


This version of camera is a higher specced version of the EOS R, which was Canon’s first step into the full-frame mirrorless cameras.  With the EOS R as a wildlife photographer I found that it had a few gaps, so I found it never was able to replace my DSLRs.


The EOS R5 is more closely matched to the 5D Mark IV based on the specs that have been announced, with a few new and improved features compared to both the 5D Mark IV and the EOS R.


The two specs that I am the most excited about are the in body stabilization (IBIS) and the advanced wildlife subject tracking.


The IBIS will work with lenses that already have optical stabilization, so will have improved image stabilization while shooting hand-held.  I can see the benefits of this while shooting from the zodiac at Stellar Sea Lion rock haul outs, which often requires shooting in very rough water.  More image stabilization for hand-held shooting will be quite beneficial, and the Nikon shooters I know that already have it in their mirrorless camera bodies, they really like the feature, so I am excited to use it for myself…finally!


The advanced animal subject tracking is also quite an interesting new camera feature, but will be dependent on how well it is executed and how well it works.  If it works as advertised where it can stay on the face and eyes of animal subjects, it could be very useful for my wildlife photography, especially if action breaks out suddenly and you lose a few seconds changing your AF point location.  But again, it will depend on how well it has been executed.


The EOS R5 will shoot up to 20 frames per second while shooting in electronic shutter, and 12 frames per second in mechanical shutter.  I imagine that I will most often be using mechanical shutter, given my type of shooting, but even with 12 frames per second it is more than capable of capturing wildlife action.  I am going to guess that in order to get these frame rate it will require using the CF Express card slot, and may not be capable with the SD card.



Another small improvement over the EOS R is the addition of an extra card slot, with one of the card slots being CF Express.  So shooters will now have less buffering (from the faster card), and will also have the added benefit of an extra card slot to either make a backup in the field, or to have overflow in case you get too excited and fill a card.


The final big feature of the EOS R5 is the ability to shoot 8k video full frame (no crop).  I am not really big on video and mostly shoot it for the purposes of a quick documentary clip, and not high level production, but a lot of Canon users have been asking for this feature, so this will appeal to some users.


I am looking forward to getting my hands on this new camera and putting it to the test, and hopefully I will be able to take it on a photo tour or two this season.  If you have any questions, or things you want me to test when I get my hands on one, feel free to contact me,  [email protected].

Breathtaking Breach

Our 2021 Photo Tours are now live with some really great trips down to just one remaining spot.  A summary of all photo tours with pricing and availability can be found on my Photo Tours webpage. We are offering our very popular trips from prior years along with two new photo tours, the Khutzeymateen Explorer, and Autumn in the Queen Charlotte Strait. More information is available by clicking on the links.


And if you just cannot wait until 2021 to join us, we have two spots remaining in 2020.


Spring in the Southern Great Bear rainforest, where we explore the Great Bear Rainforest at a different time of year, hoping to capture bears as they emerge from hibernation and start feeding on sedge grasses, and Humpback Whales as they make their way north, and if we are lucky,  coastal Gray Wolves.  More information about this trip can be found here.


We also have one space available on our exciting Marine Mammals photo tour in August.  On this tour we use the sailboat and cover the northern tip of Vancouver Island between the mainland, hoping to capture Humpback Whales, Orcas, Steller Sea Lions, Sea Otters and more. This is one of the most exciting trips we offer (in my opinion), with each day offering something different and unique. More information about this trip can be found here.


Contact me for more information about any of our exciting photo tours [email protected].



I picked up my new Canon 1DX Mark III a couple weeks ago, and actually have not had too much time to get out shooting with it just yet. But the small amount of time I have spent with it, I do have a few first impressions of it that I thought I would share until I have more time to spend with it.  The following are a few of those first impressions, and what I still plan to come when it comes to testing and shooting the 1DX Mark III.


AF Points

The marketing materials had me really excited, it stated that the 1DX Mark III was coming equipped with 191 AF Points (155 cross-type points) with all of them being f/8. My thoughts were “Finally, more coverage of the frame”, making it a little easier to frame shots when you want the subject further down in either the left, or right, corner, when trying to capture an animal with a landscape behind it.  Well I got excited for nothing, while there are more than 130 more AF points, they are covering not much more of the frame (maybe no more of the frame).


What that means is that there are a ton of really tiny AF points that can help increase the precision of your autofocus, assuming it falls within the array of points available (and not out in no mans land where there are no AF Points).  With the AF points being so small, it makes me wonder if there is really any use not for the Spot AF point, because it is just such a tiny little focusing point.  I guess I will get an answer to this once I get more time with the camera, and test the Autofocus a little more carefully.


There has also been a revision to the “Cases” where you can set the parameters for the responsiveness of the autofocus.  The changes that I have noted (but not had a chance to test yet) are that there are now only 4 cases (as opposed to 6).  Canon has added an auto case which is supposed to adapt to how the subject moves.  And finally they have removed the parameter for AF Point Auto Switch, which I am not that bothered by, because I didn’t find that it was overly useful anyway.


Auto ISO

There were no notable changes with the Auto ISO, more specifically, Canon is still only offering full stops for shutter speeds when setting the Auto ISO, which definitely does bum me out a little bit, because having 1/3 stops would be way more useable.


New Button

The new AF On button with smart controller allows you to scroll the autofocus point without the need to press another button first.  It’s a pretty slick button, however I do find that it is pretty sensitive, so I think it will take some getting used to in order to work with it quickly.  I also wonder how it will respond when shooting in the rain, and if my fingers are wet.  With the amount of time that I spend on the coast of British Columbia, I am guessing I will get to put it to the test.


Other Notes

I have noticed in the little bit of time that I have spent with the camera, it seems to be a bit quieter especially when shooting large bursts, it sounds like the mirror is less “slappy”.  Coupled with this is that the mirror blackout does not seem to be as long as it is with the predecessor the 1DX Mark II.


What’s Next?

Next on the agenda for me is to spend some more time actually shooting the camera.  In addition, I hope to spend more time testing the ISO performance, and comparing it to the 1DX Mark II, and also testing the Autofocus and how it compares to the 1DX Mark II.


If you have any questions about my thoughts on the 1DX Mark III, feel free to contact me at [email protected].



Big Boy

If you are looking for a spring time getaway, we still have one space available on our 2020 Spring in the Great Bear Rainforest.  The dates of the trip are May 29 – June 6, 2020.


This trip explores the Great Bear Rainforest at a different time of year than when people typically visit it, as Black Bears and Grizzly Bears emerge from their dens and start feeding on sedge grasses in the estuaries.  This is also a great opportunity to grab photos of Humpback Whales as they make their way back from the south, and if we are lucky, see Coastal Gray Wolves.


More information on this great photo tour is available here or you can contact me [email protected] for more information.

Today is a big day for this Canon user.


My Canon 1DX Mark III has arrived.  I am so excited to get out and try it, and compare it to the 1DX Mark II.  Ergonomically it feels pretty similar to the 1DX Mark II, but we will see how it stacks up compared to the 1DX Mark II, especially for my focus, wildlife photography.


Also, last night Canon has released a statement that it is working on a new mirrorless, the EOS R5.  I am very much looking forward to trying a new mirrorless camera.  I feel like the EOS R really didn’t meet my needs, especially as an owner of the 5D Mark IV, so I am looking forward to Canon’s next attempt at the mirrorless cameras, and hopefully this fills a void in my current camera line up.


The EOS R5 is advertised as having 20 frames per second, and 8K video, but the rest of the details are pretty vague.  Based on the photos that are floating around online, the camera looks much more ergonomic, and more similar to the 5D Mark IV.   There are lots of rumors out there, so I guess we will just need to wait and see what the actual specs are when the “real announcement” is made.  Canon also mentioned that they are working on a 200-500, and 24-105 lens for the RF mount, so it looks like they are really trying to catch up in the mirrorless game.


Feel free to contact me if you have any questions on my new 1DX Mark III, or if there is anything you specifically want me to test out for you.  My email is [email protected].

Me & My Mini Me

At this time every year we get prepared to start offering our photo tours for the next year.  In the next couple weeks we will be contacting those that put themselves on the priority booking list for 2021, and they will get the first right a refusal for those trips.  If you still want to get added to the priority booking list, contact me for more information.


While our photo tour offerings for 2021 will be pretty similar to 2020, there is at least one exciting new trip, and a few changes to some of the existing trips.


The go-live date for those not on a priority booking list will be available on my photo tours page around the middle of February.


Can’t wait until 2021?  Well we do still have a couple openings in 2020, including Spring in the Great Bear Rainforest, and Marine Mammals, visit my photo tours page for more details. Questions? Contact me at [email protected].

Canon 1DX Mark III:

  • 20.1 megapixels
  • DIGIC X processor
  • 191 total autofocus points (all f8)
  • 155 cross-type AF points
  • Head, face, eye detection
  • 16 frames per second (viewfinder)
  • 20 frames per second (live view)
  • 1000 image buffer (raw)
  • 400,000 pixel RGB Sensor
  • 5.5K and 4K Raw Video
  • Dual CFExpress card slot
  • Weight: 1440g (with battery)
  • $8,999 CAD ($6,499 USD)

Finally, the official announcement for the Canon 1DX Mark III is out!  You can view it on Canon Canada’s website here. This comes almost 4 years after the announcement of the 1DX Mark II (which was announced on February 1, 2016).   And since the teaser by Canon at the end of last year, I have been anxiously awaiting it.


Resolution & Processor

The Canon 1DX Mark III comes with 20.1 megapixels, which is the same number of megapixels as its predecessor.  Some people are a little disappointed that there have been no change in the number of megapixels, and while 24ish would have been nice, I am not overly disappointed that there is no change, I find 20 to be a nice sweet spot.


The camera comes with a DIGIC X image processor, and the autofocus system comes with a dedicated DIGIC 8 processor that will help to improve the autofocus speed and accuracy.   The image processor is advertised to have better ISO performance and dynamic range.  The ISO range has increased to a maximum of 102400, expandable up to 819200, but those are just numbers.  The question will be what the useable ISO for the camera will be, and whether it will be improved over the 1DX Mark II.



The biggest improvement in the camera is the advertised autofocus.  The 1DX Mark III comes with 191 total autofocus points, all of which are f/8, and there are 155 cross-type autofocus points.  With a dedicated DIGIC 8 processor, it is expected (and advertised) that autofocus will be better than the predecessor. This compares to to the 61 autofocus points (41 cross-type) of the 1DX Mark II.

In addition to the increased number of autofocus points, the camera also comes with advanced autofocus with head, face, and eye detection to help improve autofocus of subjects.  I will be curious to see how it works with wildlife subjects, or if it works at all.


The 1DX Mark III comes with an improved RBG sensor, going from 360,000 pixels in the 1DX Mark II to 400,000, this should help improve the AF performance and metering.



The 1DX Mark III is built for speed, with an increase in the frames per second, going from 14 to 16 (through the viewfinder), and from 16 to 20 (live view).  What is more impressive is that the camera has a buffer of approximately 1000 images, which is outstanding…and finally I will no longer be cringing while the Nikons are still going and my camera is buffered out.


Weight & Build & Other

Overall there is a slight weight savings over the predecessor of approximately 90 grams (with battery) with the 1DX Mark III weighing 1440 grams versus 1530 grams, but the overall dimensions of the camera remain unchanged.


The camera is equipped with dual CF Express slots.  FINALLY, Canon has produced a camera with two slots, which both take the same memory card.  However, I am a little disappointed that I invested in CFast cards and read for the 1DX Mark II that cannot be used with the 1DX Mark III.


The battery will be the same that is used for the 1DX Mark II, so at least anyone running both cameras will not need two different chargers and batteries.


As for video, I am not going to dive into the details, as video is just something I do for fun (and mostly with a GoPro or iPhone), but the 1DX Mark III does come with 5.5k raw video at 60 frames per second, as well as 4K at 60 frames per second.


The 1DX Mark III doesn’t come cheap, it is price at $8,999CAD  ($6,499 USD), so I really hope that the AF performance is as good as advertised, because the price tag is steep.


I am looking forward to getting my hands on one but who knows when that will be.  I am still debating what I will use as a second body, and whether I keep my 5D Mark IV, or my 1DX Mark II.


If you have questions, feel free to contact me [email protected].

Well 2019 is in the rear view mirror and I am already looking forward to the opportunities of 2020. But I decided I should take a few minutes to reflect on 2019 and share some of my favourite moments.


Let Me See!

My 2019 tour season started with me visiting the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, and there was certainly no shortage of Grizzly Bears to photograph during the nine days.  This included mothers with cubs, and some bears enjoying the estuary on their own.  While we were provided with many great photo opportunities, I think one of the top moments was when a mother and cub both stood up to look over a little hill in order to check out a bear that was on the other side.  It was certainly a jaw dropping moment.  Also a moment that was truly amazing, is seeing one of the oldest bears in the estuary, who was presumed to be dead making his way at a decent pace up the inlet. While you could definitely see that he was aged, at over 30 years old, it was pretty amazing.  If you are interested in seeing all the photos from my Khutzeymateen trips, those can be found in my Khutzeymateen portfolio, or you can read about my blog post here.


From the Khuzeymateen I headed to a new area, Gwaii Haanas, a National Park Reserve and Marine Conservation Area.  While we explored the area we had the opportunity to photograph a number of sea and shore birds, and even a few mammals such as Sitka Deer and Black Bears.   It was a great to get a chance to explore a new part of the coast of British Columbia, you can read the blog post here.


Crab Dinner

I started August with one of my favourite trips, Marine Mammals, where we explore the coast off the north and west part of Vancouver Island looking for Orcas, Humpback Whales, Steller Sea Lions, Sea Otters and more.  In 2019 we were treated to all our targeted species, with the Sea Otters stealing the show (but not to be outdone by a Humpback Whale which breached for us on our last day).  We had the opportunity to photograph Sea Otters eating a number of things that they brought up from the ocean floor, including urchins, clams, and even crabs, like the one captured in the Sea Otter image to the left.  More photos from my previous Marine Mammals trips can be found in the Marine Mammals portfolio, and the blog post from 2019 can be found here.



My official tours of 2019 ended with me leading two trips in the Great Bear Rainforest, while they only had one week in between them, they both had different highlights.  We had the opportunity on both trips to photograph Grizzly Bears, Black Bears and Bald Eagles which all gather to eat the salmon in the rivers and streams.  We also had the opportunity on to witness some bubble feeding by a lone Humpback Whale. I think the ultimate moment of 2019, watching transient Killer Whales attacking and killing a large male Steller Sea Lion, I don’t think I will ever get an opportunity quite like this again. My photos from the Great Bear Rainforest trips can be found in my portfolio, and you can read more about my first trip and second trip in the links.


Elk Expanse

And I ended 2019 with a quick trip to Yellowstone National Park.  While I always hope to get a chance to see wolves, this year I wasn’t so lucky.  I did however get a couple of opportunities to photograph River Otters while they fished and rolled around in the snow, and some beautiful male Elk posed in front of the Yellowstone landscapes.


In 2020, most of our trips are sold out, however there are still a few spaces available, and our 2021 trip dates will be released soon, so if you would like to join us on one of these tours, contact me for more details [email protected].