Autumn in the Canadian Rockies

I’m inviting you to visit one of the most beautiful places for a landscape photographer in North America, the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Our photo tour will go at a leisure pace through two National Parks in the area, Jasper and Banff.
We’ll spend ten days in the relatively small territory of the Banff and Jasper national parks. This tour will be an unhurried adventure without long drives. The autumn in the Rockies is a wonderful time, with golden trees below and fresh snow sparkling on the mountaintops. The parks are very comfortable for tourists: we’ll live in hotel rooms, dine in restaurants, have time to share our experiences, hold master classes and workshops in shooting and photo processing.
Since it’s my first visit to Canada I’ll get there two weeks before the group to search for the best vantage points and adjust our route if needed. In these two weeks, I’m also planning backpacking treks in the Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park and near Lake O’Hara as well a horseback ride in the Tonquin Valley. Workshop participants with mountaineering or hillwalking experience are welcome to join me in this additional adventure.

Monday, 5th October
Our workshops commences on Monday. We’re meeting in Calgary at 11am. I can pick you up at the airport or at a hotel in the city center if you’ve arrived the day before. We’re having lunch together, then drive to the Banff National Park, check in and drive to our first sunset session: shoot the reflection of Mt. Rundle in the Vermillion lakes.

6th October
We’re dedicating the whole day to the innumerable beauties of Banff: the Vermillion Lakes, a picturesque road to the Minnewanka lake just north of Banff, and the gorgeous Two Jack lake. Overnight in Banff.

7th October
Another chance to see a colorful sunrise at the Vermillion lakes or shoot the autumn mists at Two Jack. Lakes at sunrise are a photographer’s paradise: there are much more chances to see a perfectly still water, like a giant mirror. Overnight in Banff.

8th October
Today we’re driving from Banff to Jasper on the famous Icefields road. It’s a literally scenic route, with stops at turquoise lakes and rapid rivers. We’ll get back to these places later, after returning to Banff; but for now, our goal is to reach Jasper and check into our stay for the next three nights.

9th and 10th October
Like Banff, Jasper has many gorgeous lakes. We’ll shoot at the Pyramid Lake, drive along the Saskatchewan river, reach the Maligne Lake. One evening we’ll have a shooting session at the Medicine Lake.

11th through 14th October
On 11th October, we return to the Banff National Park and check in to a lodge at the Lake Louise for the next 4 nights. These days will be spent discovering the gems like Moraine Lake, Peyto Lake, Bow Lake, Herbert Lake and the Castle Mountain, not to mention the Yoho National Park and many, many other beautiful places.

15th October
Our adventure comes to an end. Drop-off at the Calgary airport at 1pm.


Total price: 2850 USD per person twin share
Single supplement:
750 USD
Maximum Number of Participants: 7

Included in the price:

  • Double-room lodging in hotels and lodges. If you prefer not to share your room, single-room lodging is possible for US $750 extra.
  • SUV rental, all transfers, fuel
  • Breakfasts
  • Park admissions and fees
  • Master classes and tips in photography

Not included in the price:

  • Air travel to and from Calgary
  • Medical insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Visas for those who need them (you can check if you need one at the following site:
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks

What to bring

– DSLR camera with tripod and remote shutter release
– A wide angle lens. For example, Nikkor 14-24 or Canon 17-40.
– A middle-zoom lens such as a 24-70 mm
– A telephoto zoom lens, such as a 70-200 mm. Be sure to have additional tripod mount to this lens.

– Waterproof and windproof jacket (consider the average temperature -5 – +10 C at nights and 0 – +15 C during the daytime)
– Waterproof pants
– Warm jacket and thermal pants
– Wellingtons or fishing boots
– Casual clothes for dinners and lunches and photography workshops


To make a reservation, you’ll have to pay the US $800 advance deposit to secure your spot. The advance deposit is non-refundable.

You’ll need to pay for the workshop in full before 15st September 2015. If you cancel your reservation later than 15th September, the cancellation fee will amount to 100% of the tour price. On the other hand, in case we cancel the workshop ourselves, we’ll return all your money. If you were refused the Canadian visa or fallen ill and I’m able to find another participant to fill your place, you’ll get the deposit back.

I’m free to contact for all issues, including bookings, photo equipment, clothing and so on. Please feel free to drop me an e-mail at or reach me on my Skype login: satorifoto. I’ll gladly consult you in all issues regarding the workshop or answer any questions.

If you want to participate in the workshop, please write me an email at or fill in the form below. I’ll send you the booking and payment options in my answering email.

Photo equipment for the workshop

I bring with me (and recommend the participants to do so) a set of lenses:

  • 14-mm wide angle
  • 24-70-mm midrange
  • 70-200-mm telephoto

You may bring your 300mm or 400mm lenses if you want to, there’s a lot of wildlife in the parks. We may encounter grizzlies, elk, foxes, not to mention birds.

In addition to the lenses, you’ll need a camera (I bring two: D810 and D800), a tripod and a remote, filters: a polarizer and neutral filters (ND), graduated filters (LEE or Cokin) if you have them.

A photo backpack to carry all this (don’t check it into the baggage!)

I recommend you to bring your laptop too so you can start processing your photos during the tour. I’m bringing mine so we can and will hold photo processing master classes. Of course I can help you with processing advice in any time during the workshop.

Also, you’ll need several memory cards. It’s optimal to bring several 16Gb or 32Gb ones. I take about 160 Gbytes of memory cards (SD). Compact Flash cards are more reliable, though.


Weather in the Rockies at autumn is unpredictable: there may be rain but snow is almost a certainty. So bring your winter gear and plenty of warm clothing. Despite driving in a SUV at day and living in a warm and comfortable lodge at night, being warm and dry is important: we’ll shoot a lot in any weather.

How difficult is the workshop physically?

Not at all. We’ll drive to all shooting locations, no long hiking required. I’ll send the participants the list of clothing, recommended equipment and additional info about our route. But be prepared to shoot all the time, in any weather and in any time of day J


If you need a Canadian visa then it would be better to apply to it as soon as possible, through the website I’ll send you the hotel bookings if you need them for the visa application, and of course I can always consult you in this matter.

Please keep in mind that you don’t need to provide airline tickets to obtain the Canadian visa.

The photos on this page are courtesy of Vladimir Kushnarev, my travel partner.

Tour leaders

Daniel Kordan

Daniel was born in Moscow area. In his childhood he graduated the art school. After that, he is studied in Moscow institute of Physics and Technology and became an optics physicist. During the study he gain experience not only in physics, but also in mountain climbing and hiking, guiding tourist groups in winter and in summer in Russian mountains. Right after graduation he became a guide of photo-workshops and chief editor of “Continent expedition” magazine. This magazine is about travel and adventures all over the world. He has got several awards in photography: Golden Turtle’ 13 Nature nomination winner, National Geographic Russia contest 2013 and 2014 finalist, Best of Russia’13 and ’14 winner, best photographer’13 finalist and others. He is spending most of his time in Norway, Lofoten islands and in Tuscany at villa Gaia, guiding groups of photographers.