Magdalen Islands Photo Workshops
Discover the Magdalen Islands with local photographer Nigel Quinn
Landscape photo workshop highlights
We visit all my favorite locations, some are off the beaten path
Learn all the best techniques to get the most out of your gear
We only photograph at the best times of the day to maximize our golden hour shots (no sleeping in for you - naps encouraged though) My opinion is that photographing after 10am, except for certain subjects, makes for rubbish photos.
Combine photo theory, composition concepts, field practice and critical feedback, all in the same day. I know no better way to quickly progress in your technique. You will be able to apply your newly sharpened eye to future vacations. Send me a postcard if you discover more beautiful beaches than here.
I will share my tips for protecting your gear in a maritime setting as well as post-production workflow
A great opportunity to meet other passionate photographers and have some fun
We will also have many chances to sample the great french cuisine we are renowned for (ok, "they" as in the Madelinots, I get lost in a kitchen)
Landscape photography workshop in the Magdalen Islands – 2018
With your guide Nigel Quinn, a local photographer that has intimate knowledge of the most breathtaking locations and privileged access to certain areas that are on privately owned land.
August 19-26 2018
September 9-16 2018
Cost: 1995CAD$+taxes. Includes the workshop, 7 nights at the Auberge Madeli or Château Madelinot, breakfasts and group transportation on the Islands.
A 500$ deposit is required to reserve your spot. Price is for double occupancy. Special pricing for couples and photo clubs.
We shall only be a small group of 6 with a guide that does not actively photograph during the week. This will give you the opportunity to receive more feedback in the field instead of padding my portfolio. I will take a small number of photos to demonstrate proper technique, for capture and also post-production as well as explain the thought process when deciding on composition.
We still have a spot for you - No payment information required yet
If the workshop is not fully booked?
I realize how important these trips are and often how hard it is to reserve a spot for a different destination. I will still give the workshop, even to a single person. So no surprise vacation changes for you.
If I'm a beginner photographer, will I feel lost?
We go over some theory in the field all together and then split up to shoot what inspires us. I will then give individual feedback to each participant based on their level. We also do image reviews in the afternoon to breakdown how a photo was taken and minor adjustments to make them even better. I have a diploma somewhere saying I'm a college professor, so I have a basic grasp of teaching.
To my deposit if I need to change plans?
I can refund the deposit up to 3 months prior to the workshop date. Otherwise, it is non-refundable.
If it rains for several days.
We have a spare weather day in the week, but if we do get rain, I can refund 200$ per lost day for the inconvenience. Generally, in summer we do not get much rainfall and if it is light showers, we work around them. The best light comes in the transition from good to bad weather.
If I have no idea how to get to your hidden paradise island?
Send me a message with your departing location and I will happily go over the different travel options. You can contact me directly from the button below.
If I'm allergic to lobster?
I feel for you, but we also have great options with scallops, mussels, seal, poutine and cheeses as well as other local traditional french dishes. Oh and a micro brewery that has one of the top rated scotch ales in the world. Bon appétit!
The islands are a playground for landscape photography. With breathtaking views on both the east and west side, easy access, open horizons and sculpted colorful capes; coming to photograph here is pure bliss. You will be able to make the most of sand, sun and sea and capture their visual essence.
We will be photographing at the tips of each day, barring a few exceptions, as to make the most of the beautiful light here. Taking shots at noon just to have memories is pointless in my opinion. We will have five days of shooting together, with an additional floating day to limit the impact of a rainy day. And also so you will have a day to experience the islands without a camera stuck to your nose.
Expect to be shooting from 5:30 till 8:30 and 6:00 to 10:00 in the evening with probably one night session also for star photography. Afternoons will be for photo theory and feedback on your photography. We will also shoot on a beach in the afternoon, as it is great light for that subject.
Curious about creating photos on the Islands?
We have a floating day in our week, to have the flexibility to deal with bad weather. We will also adapt to lighting conditions to get the most out of our locations. So on a foggy day, we may change to visit a place with a lot of black and white potential.
Day 1 - Aug. 19th or Sep. 9th
As most people will be arriving by ferry in the evening, you are invited to come have a beer at our renowned micro-brewery, l’Abri de la Tempête in the evening to get to know each other and discuss the coming week. We may take a few sunset photos at the Corfu beach, which is 2 minutes away.
Day 2 - Aug. 20th or Sep. 10th
We will begin our workshop by photographing the sunrise at the Dune du Sud. With its impressive contrast between wind sculpted red sandstone capes and its golden sand, it is a hallmark of the beauty of the Islands. A personal favorite and as a bonus, in the morning it is deserted (in the afternoon it is a very popular beach).
Theoretical session in the afternoon at the hotel on photo technique specific to landscape photography.
Sunset session at the Borgot lighthouse. Another popular location, but I will show you various perspectives that are not often used.
Click on images for a larger view
No stealing them now! Come create your own =)
Day 3 - Aug. 21st or Sep. 11th
We will visit l’échouerie in Pointe-Basse for sunrise. It is a magnificent area with a variety of rich textures and shapes(turquoise water, capes of various rock types, elegant hills)
Afternoon session on post-production.
We will visit la Grave in the evening. We will try to go a bit earlier, as I want you to have time to explore and plan shots before the golden hour.
Day 4 - Aug. 22nd or Sep. 12th
Sunrise at l’échouerie or the beach in Gros-Cap, depending on conditions. It is a location with smaller capes, but with a unique morphology. If we are lucky, the fossil forest will be clear on the beach.
Afternoon session of beach photography with sharp light. At the Corfu or Pointe-aux-Loups beach.
We will wrap up our day at la Belle-Anse. It is a popular location, but it is always impressive. I also have access on private land to some jaw-dropping perspectives.
Day 5 - Aug. 23rd or Sep 13th
We will take the ferry to Entry Island in the morning. This is my native island, so I may take a few photos myself, just because it is the most wonderful place in les Iles. We will hike behind the Big Hill and savour the simplicity and therapeutic effect of this tiny island. You will be able to capture the contrast between rolling green hills and the rich blues of the sea. Don’t forget to plan for a picnic and a nap with a view of lagoons. We will decide on a sunset location on our return, depending on lighting conditions and energy levels.
Day 6 - Aug 24th or Sep 14th
We will have a bit of a drive this morning. We will visit Old Harry to capture its beauty in morning light, not necessary to catch the sunrise. Then we continue to Grande-Entrée and have fun at the fishing wharf and l’île Boudreau.
Evening session at la Côte to then wrap up with a beverage of your choice at either l’Abri de la Tempête or the Café de la Grave. Cameras off.
Day 7 - Aug 25th or Sep. 15th
Don’t forget we have a floating day for weather. It can be a free day or an optional shooting one.
Day 8 - Aug 26th or Sep. 16th
The week comes to a close, departure day.
- July: around 20°C/68°F
- August: around 20°C/68°F
- September: around 14°C/57°F
- in July: 5:30AM
- in August: 5:56AM
- in September: 6:37AM
- in July: 8:57PM
- in August: 8:30PM
- in September: 7:30PM
Physical demands: This workshop is rated as a 4 on a scale of 1-10. We generally have easy access to our locations and we can pace ourselves, but it does require sometimes walking 30 minutes or less over uneven ground or sand. We will also be spending a day on Entry Island which we will hike, it is like a miniature Scottish Highlands. There will be numerous times to rest and the group can split. I consider the physical requirements quite reasonable but if you are unsure, contact me directly.
Technical knowledge in photography: This workshop is adapted to people of varying ability, from amateurs with a passion for the outdoors to semi-pros that want to tighten up their skills and interpret the Islands in their own eye. It is highly recommended to understand the basics of exposure, the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO as well as the visual effect of each variable. For example, the difference in depth of field between F4 and F16. You also must be comfortable enough with your camera to change certain functions, white balance for example. You may participate and learn in the workshop in any case, but you may have to concentrate more on camera operation instead of the best way of capturing the breathtaking vista in front of you. If you are unsure of your technical abilities, contact me and we can go over a few details.
Transportation: Each participant is responsible for transportation to the Islands. I can offer advice and options for getting here. In French we say: les Iles c’est beau mais c’est loin. Happily it is more beautiful than far. Once here, we will be going to our various locations together in a 7 passenger Ford Flex. You may also have your own vehicle.
Lodging: In partnership with Hotels Accent, you will have the choice of staying at the Chateau Madelinot or the Auberge Madeli. In both cases, we will be situated in the heart of the island of Cap-aux-Meules, close to all services. It is an ideal central staging area to go to our locations without losing any precious light.
Meals: A continental breakfast is included at the hotel and I will also have a number of snacks. As for lunch and dinner we will have a number of delicious options each day but are not included in the price of the package. I dislike the lack of variety in group meal situations and want to go beyond the meat or fish choice. And when taking photos, time becomes a strange concept and I don’t want to have to respect a set time for meals.
RECOMMENDED CAMERA EQUIPMENT
A dslr is highly recommended with lenses covering the focal lengths from 17mm to 200mm.
A solid tripod, if it has a hook underneath, all the better as we have some windy days here.
A filter system with graduated and solid neutral density filters is good to have, it makes it much easier to deal with varied lighting conditions and lower contrast between the ground and the sky. You will also be able to do longer exposures, with moving water, it is a nice option to have. You can use the Cokin P system or the pricier Lee system. It is not an absolutely necessary accessory, but is quite handy. Contact me for more information on systems as there is an intimidating number of choices in filters and holders. I do highly recommend having a good polariser for your lens though.
A shutter release, inexpensive cable to trip the shutter of your camera without having to touch it while on a tripod. I also generally have a Hoodman loupe with me in the field, that way I can look at the lcd screen on my camera without any reflections from the ambient light.
A bag containing all your equipment. A laptop with Lightroom and/or Photoshop if you wish to work on post production technique during the afternoon sessions. A windbreaker and a few pairs of comfortable shoes, you may get a bit wet from time to time. Wetsuit booties can also do the trick. And bring an appetite for fresh lobster and shorts for a kayak/sailboat/horseback adventure in your free time.
POSSIBLE ADDITIONS DEPENDING ON CONDITIONS
We may do a night session to capture stars if the conditions are good and we have the energy. There is one technical restraint though, you need a camera with a 24mm or wider F2.8 or less lens and a camera body that goes to ISO 2000 or more.
Environmental portrait session
The workshop concentrates on landscape photography, but I am also a portrait photographer. The arts council recognizes me as a professional artist for my work in portraiture. I also was among the winners in Photo District News 2014 Faces competition; it was a great honor as some of the most talented young portrait photographers were recognized by editors from Time, Vanity Fair, Wired and Fast Company in that competition.If we have time and there is an interest for it, I can demonstrate with a model how to capture a portrait in a natural environment.