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Bears and wolves in Finland

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Join Roger Brendhagen and Floris Smeets on this wildlife photography workshop at one of the most iconic places for photographing bears and wolves in Finland, the baited hides of Lassi and Sami Rautiainen. For many years this location attracts lots of bears, wolves and wolverines. A wolf pack has established in the area, which means that there is a chance for getting the young puppies in front of the lens as well. Roger and Floris each have their own style of photography and will teach you how to improve your photography skills. 

Photographing from the hides. 

Every evening we leave at 17:00 to the hides. From the accommodation it is a 10 minute drive. Depending on which hides we will use, we need to walk 20 to 200 meter to get to the hides. Most hides are for 2 to 5 persons. There will be some single person hides for those who wish to use those. In the hides every photographer has at least 2 photo holes available. You need to bring your own tripod heads, which can be screwed into place in front of the photo holes.

 

When arriving in the hides, we directly set up our gear. The animals can arrive at any moment. The animals don't mind the sound of the shutter or the movement of the lenses. But sudden sounds or people talking can scare them away, so we have to keep quiet the entire time we are at the hides. We can leave the hides again at 08:00 in the morning. This means that we spend the nights in the hides. The hides are equipped with bunk beds and mattrases. But we need to bring our own sleeping bags. 

There are 5 locations with hides. The distance to the animals will vary between the different locations. Depending on the location, the bait is put out between 80 and 2 meter from the hides. We advise you to bring a wide range of lenses to cover the different distances. We will stay 5 nights in the hides and switch location from day to day. 

The workshop

During the week Roger and Floris will help you to get your photography to the next level. They each have their own styles and will be able to give you different kind input. They can assist you during and after the photo sessions. There will be some photo editing sessions at the accommodation to show you how to get the maximum out of your images. Roger is Nikon ambassador and Floris is Sony ambassador. Both they will bring extra lenses and camera bodies, which can be borrowed for free.  

Itinerary

 

  • ​Day 1. Flight to Kajaani or Kuopio airport. At the airport we will be picked up by bus which will take us to our accommodation for the week. The drive takes about 3 hours and we will arrive in the evening. A warm meal will be waiting for us. 

  • Day 2. At 09:00 breakfast will be ready. After the breakfast Roger and Floris will give you an introduction for the week and will discus how to photograph from the hides. Afterwards we pack our gear for the first night in the hide. At 16:00 dinner is served. At 17:00 we leave to the hides. 

  • Day 3 - 6. At 08:00 we leave the hides and travel back to the accommodation. At 09:00 breakfast is served. After breakfast there is the chance to back up images, charge batteries, enjoy the Finnish wood sauna or catch some sleep. Through the week, Roger and Floris will give each a presentation and there will be the possibility to discus your images and get help and tips for photo editing. ​​At 16:00 dinner is served. At 17:00 we leave to the hides. 

  • Day 7. We leave the hides either in the middle of the night or in the early morning and pack our bags. Breakfast is served at 7:00. At 08:00 we will be driven back to the airport and fly home again. 

 

Please contact us for inquiries for other dates and other questions.

Or fill in the booking form below.

2021:  30 July - 5 August

7 days, 5 nights in the hides

Kuhmo, Finland

20 persons (6 spots remaining)

Shared double bedrooms

14.950,- NOK

Kajaani or Kuopio (will be announced)

Price includes

  • Accommodation: Shared double bedrooms.

  • Breakfast, lunch and diners.

  • Transport to and from the hides. 

  • 5 nights in the photo hides.

  • Photo presentations from the tour leaders

  • The possibility to borrow Sony and Nikon gear

Single rooms: Limited available 

Price does not include

  • Flights to and from Kaiasni or Kuopio airport

  • Transfer by bus from the airport to the accommodation. This is a 3 hour ride and costs 190 euro which has to be paid after arrival.

  • Alcoholic beverages and snacks

  • Insurances. You are responsible for your own traveling and cancellation insurances. 

Photo equipment

The animals will appear on various distances from the hides. On a full frame body a 400mm, 500mm or 600mm will be good as main lens. On some locations the animals can come very close to the hides. A zoom lens such as a 70-200mm or 100-400mm would be perfect for those situations. You might even be able to use a 24-70mm.  

 

Additionally you should bring:

  • Tripod heads (no tripods needed)

  • Plenty of memory cards 

  • Plenty of batteries

  • Battery charger

  • Camera bag

  • External harddisk for backing up the images

  • Eventual a laptop for editing and making back ups. 

Clothing

The temperature in this period can vary from 10 to 25 degrees Celsius. During the nights the temperature can drop to just a few degrees above zero. Bring a warm sweater for the mornings. To get to the hides, we need to walk between 20 and 200 meter. Some places can be boggy, so rubber boots will come in handy.  

We will sleep in the hides. So please bring a sleeping bag.

Gallery

All images by Floris Smeets

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