menu
Photograph the beautiful
brown bears in Finnish winter.

Winter Bears of Finland

 

In conjunction with Natures Images, join us in winter along one of Europes most desolate and wild areas, along the Finnish and Russian border. Where, within this Taiga forests, lives the Brown Bear. This is a location that is more associated with the summer months but by going earlier in the season, the potential is there to capture this beautiful predator in a winter environment. Photos courtesy of Natures Images.

DETAILS

At this time of year the bears have just come out of hibernation and make their way to this special feeding site, amongst the old growth of the Taiga forest. In their thick winter coats, the bears look striking alongside the cold winter environment. With the additional opportunity to photograph Red Squirrel and a number of forest bird species in the snow near our accommodation, this is a great opportunity to experience the boreal forest as it begins to wake from the long winter months.

 

Group size
This photography workshop holds a maximum group size of 8.

 

Fitness level
There is no walking to the hides as we will be on snow mobiles with trailers. Long hours are spent in the suitably equipped hides though, as we will be there from 4.30 pm in the afternoon until 6.30 am the following morning.

 

Accomodation
Our guest house is very comfortable for the remote location, set amongst the forest and is based on twin rooms with en-suite bathrooms.

At this time of year the bears have just come out of hibernation and make their way to this special feeding site, amongst the old growth of the Taiga forest. In their thick winter coats, the bears look striking alongside the cold winter environment. With the additional opportunity to photograph Red Squirrel and a number of forest bird species in the snow near our accommodation, this is a great opportunity to experience the boreal forest as it begins to wake from the long winter months.

 

Group size
This photography workshop holds a maximum group size of 8.

 

Fitness level
There is no walking to the hides as we will be on snow mobiles with trailers. Long hours are spent in the suitably equipped hides though, as we will be there from 4.30 pm in the afternoon until 6.30 am the following morning.

 

Accomodation
Our guest house is very comfortable for the remote location, set amongst the forest and is based on twin rooms with en-suite bathrooms.

GUIDE

Richard Peters is a Nikon Ambassador with a style that often favours dramatic light and contrast. He offers a relaxed, down-to-earth approach to his guiding and has won multiple international awards including twice in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year. He is also one of the only British photographers to have recieved the accolade of European Wildlife Photographer of the Year, alongside being a judge for both that and other international photography competitions.

 

TESTIMONIALS

N Kingston

As a fan of Richard Peters’ work I was delighted when my wife booked a 6 hour one-to-one workshop for my birthday. I have enjoyed taking wildlife photographs for a long time, gradually improving but realised I was taking the same old photographs. It was time for a new approach, good advice and a fresh pair of eyes. Upon arrival to our workshop, Richard bought me a coffee and we sat down to a short portfolio review. Richard looked at how I had composed, cropped and processed my images using Lightroom and suggested options and alternatives. It was a fantastic eye opener to have professional opinion and critique and Richard shared his technical skills and passion for photography, along with some methods of using light creatively. This Lightroom overview helped me learn some great shortcuts, which have since made a big improvement to my workflow. A run through of important camera settings, lots of questions from me and lots of great answers from Richard and we set off with our cameras to put the theory into practice. We soon spotted a very co-operative heron in some great light, I snapped away listening to Richards tips and it was great to see my shot then the next shot with Richards suggestions incorporated (you could really see the difference). The afternoon ended with an amazing sunset and, taking Richards advice, I waited until the sun had dropped low enough to experiment with backlighting. The 6 hours flew by and it was a fantastic day, with advice and encouragement from Richard throughout, and some great shots on the camera. Richard’s knowledge, and ability to pass it on in easy to understand ways, made this a valuable experience for me to push my photograph forward and help turn the same old photos into something new. Thank you!

K Bangs

As a relative newcomer to the world of photography, I booked a one-to-one with Richard with only 4 months experience of using a DSLR camera.

My aim was to improve my overall understanding of the different settings, including manual, with an overall objective to improve my wildlife photography (off the auto setting!) prior to my impending holiday to Africa. One of the specific issues I had been finding tricky was focusing on moving subjects, Richard soon put me on the right track and resolved this.

Richard also provided me with lots of well explained advice around different camera settings and image composition, which we put into practice throughout the day. I opted for the image review at the start of the session, I found this particularly useful as it helped highlight any areas that needed development during the session and also increased my confidence through the constructive feedback. Overall the workshop was really beneficial in terms of improving my knowledge and understanding, but it was also a really enjoyable day.

I would highly recommend a one-to-one to anyone wishing to develop their skills.

T Gehlot

Having seen Richard’s incredible work I was naturally a little intimidated when I initially booked my one-to-one with him. However he immediately made me feel at ease with his humour and friendly nature and our workshop had a great flow and was well thought out.

What I loved the most is that it was informative yet open and relaxed. Richard is a humble and passionate photographer who was very willing to share his tips and tricks and as a result of only a few hours together, I now have a much better understanding of where I am as a photographer and the areas I need to concentrate on to improve my photographic skills.

I wasn't sure going in how much benefit I would get from my workshop but it exceeded my expectations, everything was explained with great clarity and it inspired me to be more creative and confident.

Richard's knowledge and demeanour left me eager to push my photography further and once I’ve hit my next set of challenges, I’ll look forward to booking in again to learn more! Richard, thank you for such a wonderful experience.

ITINERARY

Day 1: We travel to Kajaani airport in Finland where we will be met by our Finnish host for the 2-3 hour transfer to our base for the trip, Martinselkosen. We’ll arrive too late for any hide-based photography for the bears this evening so we’ll discuss our activities for the next few days over a very welcome dinner.

 

Day 2: Breakfast is served at 8.00 am, after which we have the morning to photograph the local wildlife in the grounds of our accommodation. This includes species such as red squirrels, bullfinches and redpolls. After dinner at 2.30pm we get ready for the short journey to the bear hides, where we have exclusive use of 5, 2 man hides set in a swamp of a forest clearing. Transfer to the hides will be via snowmobiles with trailers and once there, we will spend the night. At this time of year, we have enough light to photograph until around 8.30pm, after which we can sleep for around 7 or 8 hours (basic beds are provided in the hides), until the light starts to improve around 5.00am. We then leave the hides at 6.30 am and head back to our accommodation to have breakfast.

 

Day 3-5: After breakfast, you have a choice either to relax in your room or take a walk in the surrounding area. Each day of the trip follows the same pattern of Day 2 and after dinner we will be transferring back to the hides.

 

Days 6: After our final night in the hide we’ll have time to shower and breakfast before returning to Kajaani airport for our flights home.

PRICE & DATES

Finnish Bears Special, £1695

15th - 20th April 2023

A deposit of of £425 is required at the time of booking.

Book your space now via the Natures Images booking form .

  • Airport transfers in Finland
  • All accomodation in Finland
  • All meals
  • International Flights
  • Sundry items
  • Alcohol

More workshops available: see the full range

More workshops available: see the full range

Partners