Natural Art: The Photography of Brad Hill


The Pacific Rim Herring Spawn Instructional Photo Tour and Workshop 2023



About the only thing unchanged from the 2019 precursor to this trip is that it still takes place in and around Barkley Sound, which is located within Canada's spectacular Pacific Rim National Park on the west coast of Vancouver Island. In 2023 we'll be utilizing both the beautiful Outer Shores Lodge and the Passing Cloud schooner as our twin basecamps from which we'll venture out from on daily adventures into Barkley Sound and the famous Broken Group of islands. We're also running this photo tour and workshop two weeks earlier than in 2019 to hit the peak of the annual herring spawn, which acts as a magnet drawing in large numbers of feasting Grey Whales, Killer Whales, Humpbacks, sea lions, and many other species of marine mammals and birds. Between the abundant wildlife and spectacular scenery this trip is an absolute MUST DO on any nature photographer's bucket list! There's no better way for a wildlife photographer to start their photography season than feasting on the photo ops and inspirational mentoring you'll be offered up on this trip!

More About The Pacific Herring Spawn? The early spring herring spawn on the west side of Vancouver Island is one of nature's most stunning spectacles. Some compare it to the great migration in the Serengeti - both are huge and spectacular migrations of biomass! Check out this YouTube video to get a bit of the flavour of the herring spawn:

YouTube: Herring Spawn! Serengeti of the Sea

More About Outer Shores Lodge? Outer Shores Lodge is nestled at the edge of a rocky outcrop on the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, in the remote historic fishing community of Bamfield and traditional territory of the Huu-ay-aht First Nation. It's located in an unbelievable spot in Barkley Sound, directly fronting Canada's exposed west coast but only a minute's walk to a protected harbour to safely launch our daily excursions. This remarkable five-acre oceanfront lodge consists of the main lodge with six unique spacious bedrooms, four with private ensuite bathrooms, and features a luxurious great room with massive stone fireplace, spacious dining room, a spectacular kitchen with secondary dining area, library, and workshop space. Additional on-site amenities currently include a beach-side fire pit, outdoor hot tub, indoor steam shower, plus an abundance of private forests, gardens, and shorelines to find peace, solitude, and space for relaxation and contemplation. Find out more about the Outer Shores Lodge here on our photo tour partner's website...

Instructional Photo Tour and Workshop? Yep! Not only does this photo tour offer online professional wildlife and nature photography before the trip, but because Outer Shores Lodge has a modern resource centre and meeting room, we'll be able to have daily instructional sessions and/or discussions on many wildlife photography topics, including image post-processing.

This photo tour begins and ends in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.

What's Included? This is an all-inclusive trip (once you arrive in Nanaimo, BC on Day 1) that includes pre-trip online wildlife photography instruction that is catered to the conditions and subject matter you'll encounter on the photo tour, one night of accommodation and meals in Port Alberni while en route to the lodge, van and/or boat transport to and from Outer Shores Lodge, 7 days of accommodation and fantastic cuisine at Outer Shores Lodge, certified wildlife and photography guides, and daily excursions into the photographic gem known as Pacific Rim National Park during the spring herring spawn! During the trip we will have exclusive use of Outer Shores Lodge and all amenities, the Passing Cloud (a classic 71-foot schooner), and two inflatable skiffs.

Sample Photos? The majority of the images in my very popular "Marine Mammals" photo gallery were captured in the waters surrounding Vancouver Island, including in Barkley Sound. Feel free to check them out to see what the Pacific Rim Herring Spawn photo tour has to offer for a keen photographer!


PHOTO TOUR TYPE: Instructional Photo Tour & Workshop (go here for a description of the types of our photo tours).


DURATION: 8 NIGHTS/9 DAYS (including arrival and departure days) with 7 nights/8 days at Outer Shores Lodge.

DATES: March 10-18, 2023, including arrival and departure days. March 11-18, 2023 at Outer Shores Lodge.



COST: $6999 CAD plus 5% GST. Currency converter available here.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THIS TRIP: This photo tour requires a moderate level of physical fitness and good mobility for at least some of the outings. We will be walking/hiking on trails or beaches a number of times on this trip and we will be shooting images from the deck of a boat, from within a Zodiac, and on shore. To maximize your enjoyment of this trip you should be able to perform the following tasks:

Be able to hike up to 2-3 km (up to 2 miles) on uneven, slanted and potentially slippery terrain and/or over some obstacles that could be up to a meter or slightly more high (e.g., large fallen logs) - all while carrying your own camera gear.
Be able to easily move between the main boat and the Zodiac. This involves climbing up or down a a short vertical ladder and/or stepping from a stable boat to a less stable inflatable boat.
Be able to easily move from the Zodiac and a beach and/or rocky shoreline. This involves being able to climb over an obstacle (the side of the Zodiac!) approximately 1 meter high to or from a surface that may be unstable or slippery. This requires some balance and mobility.
Be able to shoot your camera from within a Zodiac. This ultimately involves multiple tasks that are dependent on a degree of mobility and flexibility. The specific tasks including shooting your camera while sitting on the pontoon of the Zodiac or, at times, while sitting on the floor of the Zodiac. In some cases you may find that the most convenient way to shoot will be while kneeling (on your knees) on the bottom of the Zodiac. Note that tripods can NOT be used within the Zodiac and while it is theoretically possible to use a monopod in the Zodiac, few photographers find it practical. This means you must be able to hand-hold the camera/lens combinations you choose to bring on this trip.

Note that on some occasions it WILL be possible to stand in the Zodiac when shooting, but you will be shooting while sitting or kneeling far more frequently. A degree of flexibility and/or suppleness can make your time in the Zodiac far more productive and enjoyable!

REGISTRATION: Contact me at to reserve your spot!

MORE INFORMATION? Just download this brochure (PDF; 2.2 MB) - or contact me now at for more information and details about this spectacular photo tour.