Vancouver Is. black bear headThe Pacific Rim National Park workshop is fast approaching and we have just a few spots left before it is full. This is one of my all time favorite workshop locations because there is so much to photograph and it is all spectacular. It is, after all, held within a world biosphere reserve! Don’t miss this one- it is great!

The western edge of Vancouver Island is a wild crenellated coastline of deep bays, rocky headlands, broad tidal flats and small harbor towns decorated with ancient forests, clear waters and wide, inviting beaches. About midway on the coast, where the Pacific dips inland to form the Clayoquot Sound, a long finger of land reaches up and tickles both waters. At the south end of this peninsula is the charming fishing village of Ucluelet, at the north end, the more hip surfing town of Tofino. In between lies the Pacific Rim National Park and, surrounding it all, the Clayoquot Sound World Biosphere Reserve.

The workshop will be based in Tofino on the north end of the Long Beach unit of the Park. Aptly named, Long Beach is 22 kilometers of gorgeous white sand fringed by beautiful stands of old-growth Sitka Spruce and dotted with rocky spires encrusted with giant purple sea stars and vivid green anemones. Off shore, sea lions and gray whales loll in the Pacific surf, while on the Sound side, black bears prowl the shore- line at low tide plucking crabs from beneath the kelp and boulders.

This was my quote when I went back to explore the area for the workshop: “Having spent 25 years photographing the Oregon and Washington coast I was awed by the abundance of nature and the variety of subjects to photograph in the area. I fell in love with the place and can’t wait to go back.” With that kind of endorsement you should just stop and reading now and send in your deposit!

There are so many favorite places to photograph on this workshop it’s hard to name them all. Highlights of the week will include visits to Chesterman and Combers beaches. These pristine shores are approached by winding trails through beautiful forests that open up onto long sandy strands with sea stacks just offshore. We are also certain to visit Cox Bay early in the morning mist in order to photo- graph its many anemone filled tide pools, only to return to catch the surfers riding the waves at sunset.

During the workshop we will travel by water taxi to Mears Island. Mears Island was at the center of many conservation-versus-logging conflicts and is renowned world wide for its trail through an old-growth forest of several thousand year old giant red cedars. We will also take you to a grove of magnificent old-growth Sitka Spruce that line the twisting boardwalks of the Rainforest Loop Trail.

Wait, have we mentioned photographing black bears from a small boat as they hunt crabs on the shore? We probably should have started here, as this private, chartered excursion may very well turn out to be your personal highlight of the workshop. The boat will be ours alone, and the captain is well versed in getting us the best angle on the local ursine population. The bears are so close that the splash of each footfall and the emphatic crunch of each bite are easily heard.

If you are interested contact my co-leader, Brenda Berry- She will give you all the details. Please join us, I promise you won’t regret it.