2017 Workshops, Trips & Private Sessions

Updated December 28, 2016

Photography Workshops

Workshops are offered year round, if a workshop is not scheduled please contact me for a private session - the cost is the same. If you have a gift certificate please contact me to arrange a date you would like to go out. I offer training on how to use your camera, landscape photography, macrophotography, wildflowers, wildlife photography, panoramic and night photography. I can provide transportation in my 4 door jeep to almost anywhere around Calgary. If you don't have camera equipment - I can provide you with a basic SLR camera and several lenses to use. I also have additional tripods you can borrow. I use both Nikon and Canon camera gear - and if you like you can try some of my cameras. Workshops participants between the ages of 13 -17 are welcome with parents consent. Individual photographers may bring along up to two additional guests if they are not using or bringing a camera for an additional $50 each. If they also wish to bring their cameras they can join for $150 extra each. Please see my pricing below. This special price is for private sessions only.

Canadian Parks Pass is free for 2017 to celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday - however you need to order them online ahead of time - which you can do here: Free Canada Parks Pass. This will save you about $130.00


Banff Photography Summit presented by Brian Merry - January 13-15th in Banff National Park

Banff is a tiny little mountain town of 8600 permanent residents and has been my home since 1996.  Banff is where the Canadian Parks system all started over 130 years ago and has since to receive over 4,000,000 visitors a year.


Juniper Hotel & Bistro,
1 Juniper Way,
Banff, AB T1L 1E1

Some of the many topics covered during the workshop include:

How to achieve personal comfort in the field so you can relax and focus on feeling the landscape and being creative
Review basic editing workflow for individual images - by Robert Berdan
Review the creative photographic process from: pre-visualization special in camera & considerations before tripping the shutter, Download and storage/backup considerations
The editing workflow including pre-capture, capture, software workflow and storage back-up for life
Explain what emotional communication is and what it can do for you once you embrace the process…
Panel Discussion nature photography ethics. How far would you go to “get the shot” – How far is too far?
Introduce advanced capture/editing techniques including Motion Blur, Digital Infrared photography
Editing the RGB image to simulate a traditional Infrared photograph
Night photography practical session.

Some of the presenters at the 2017 ILPA Summit include:
Mike Grandmaison - Keynote - Arguably the most prolific landscape photographer and author in Canada
Roy Ramsay - Publisher and editor-in-chief at Outdoor Photography Canada magazine
Larry Hildermann - Pansonic imaging proffessional photographer
Dr Robert Berdan - Professional Nature photography educator and workshop/tour host/leader
Steve Dotto - Professional social media educator and host of the popular Youtube TV show Dotto Tech
Brian Merry - ILPA founder, president and professional landscape photographer

To register contact Brian Merry


Call toll free at 1-855-763-1114.

Tickets from $35 to $375 - Click here for more information or to register online:


Upcoming Workshops for 2017 - Consider a Gift Certificate for Christmas for your Favourite Photographer

In winter, when it's dark and cold outside it is a great time to select and edit your best shots. The price of Photoshop and Lightroom is now about $12\month. You get both programs for this price and you can download the software on two computers - even if one is a Mac and the other a PC. While some folks prefer Lightroom because it is easier, I believe if you are serious about photography you would be wise to learn Photoshop. It's not as hard as you think and a short course will get you up to speed quickly. You don't have to know how to do everything in Photoshop, but all photographers will benefit from knowing how to colour correct their images, adjust levels, burn, dodge, remove spots, add text and a copyright symbol. All of this and more can be learned in a one day hands on workshop which I offer in my studio on both PC and Mac. Gift certificates can be purchased on my web site - the certificates never expire and they are good towards any workshop (except Arctic Adventure) and can be used for a private session. To receive $50 discount for the Photoshop workshop contact me first by phone or email me so I can give you instructions on how to get the discount.



Novice Photographer Workshop - Christmas Special $199 - Saturday January 21, 2017 10:00 am to 4 pm. Learn how to use your new Camera.

This workshop includes 2 hours in the studio going over camera equipment followed by 3 hours in the field and then 1 hour back in the studio to critique your images. This workshop is for beginners or anyone that just purchased a new camera. Participants should bring their camera, camera manual and any other camera gear they own and be prepared to go outside to shoot for several hours. You will be provided with a set of notes. The course is designed for single lens reflex type cameras, though you can bring a compact camera if you like (no phone cameras). I will also cover composition basics and seeing. We will photograph outdoors somewhere close like Bowness Park or Big Hill Springs Provincial Park. My studio is located in Calgary, NW in Silver Springs.



Adobe Photoshop Workshop ($50 off for subscribers of this newsletter - mention discount when you contact me ) Saturday Feb 18, 2017 - max of 4 - $299

We will be working with Photoshop for a full day. You will receive a DVD with step by step movies, a 100 page book with Photoshop recipes. I will walk you through setting up Photoshop, a basic work flow which includes resizing images, adjusting levels, colour correction, removing spots, red eye correction, dodging and burning, content aware fill and several other techniques. You will have several hours to work on your own images so bring some of your favourite images as .jpg or RAW files. Lunch will be provided (turkey croissants and pop, or bottled water). If you can't make the workshop you can always hire me for a private session in my studio I will be available most of the winter.


NEW - Photo-restoration workshop - 4 hours Saturday Feb 11, 1-5 pm max 4 Learn how to fix your old photos. $199

Do you own some old images you would like to fix or repair. In this workshop I will show you how to scan your images (from prints, slides or negatives) and repair them in Photoshop. I will also show you how to tint your images and hand colour black and white photos. We will be working in Adobe Photoshop - No previous knowledge of Photoshop is required. You will receive 2 hours instruction and have 2 hours with assistance to fix up your old images. Participants should bring some old photos with them that they would like to digitally repair.


Winter Workshop - Saturday, January 28th $299

Saturday, January 28th from 7:00 am to 5 pm. We will be travelling to Banff and then to lake Louise to photograph some winter scenery and the winter festival. We will shoot the sunrise at 8:30 am, then travel down Highway 1 A to shoot some landscapes, wildlife and Morant's curve before heading to the Lake Louise winter festival. I will be able to provide transportation for 3 people, additional folks up to 6 will be transported via car pooling or I will arrange for another photo-instructor to join us and provide transportation. If folks are interested we can arrange for a follow up session and critique of your images.



NEW - Winter Prairie and Snowy Owl Workshop - Saturday Feb 25, 2017 max of 3 - 7:00 am to 6:00 pm $299

On this workshop we will head out in search for snowy owls and winter prairie landscapes. I will provide transportation in my Jeep. In general I usually have to drive about 100 km per snowy owl, so we will cover the country side east and south of Calgary. We will stop for lunch. Participants should have a telephoto lens (70-200 mm or larger), a tripod or monopod is recommended. In the event we do not encounter a snowy owl, I will make an second trip on Sunday or the following weekend at no additional charge. I usually spot at least one snowy owl on most outings - but no one can guarantee widlife. We also photograph Mule Deer, foxes, and other wild birds we encounter.


NEW - Winter Photography in the Badlands Saturday March 4, 2017 - max 3 $299

This will be a day long trip to Dinosaur Provincial Park in order to photograph the badlands in winter. Mule Deer are common in the park and we are unlikely to encounter any other people. We will leave early morning and arrive back in Calgary after dinner time. I will provide transportation in my Jeep. Our focus will be landscape and wildlife photography. If there is time we may search further south for some Pronghorn antelope. In the event the highway is closed I will arrange for another weekend.



Spring Wildflowers - Saturday June 10, 2017 $299

Early June is the best time for wildflowers in Rockies. We will photograph calypso orchids, lady;s slippers and other flowers. On this workshop we will travel to Rocky Mountain Parks to places where I know there is an abundance of wildflowers. There will also be opportunities to photograph landscapes and wildlife we encounter. I can provide transportation for three, otherwise we will car pool or I will hire and additional instructor to provide transportation and instruction. See article on photographing wild flowers in the Rockies. All participants will be provided with an e-book on macrophotography. There will be an optional 2 hour class in my studio before the workshop to cover macrophotography equipment and techniques and a follow up session where participants will show 6-10 of their best photos from the workshop for critique.


Arctic Photography Adventure - August 31 to Sept 7, 2017      Cost $5,579.00 - max of 10

Your adventure begins in Yellowknife, NT and includes a flight further north to Point Lake Lodge on the Tundra. Transportation to Yellowknife is not included, but we will pick you up at the air port and provide hotel accommodation in Yellowknife. We will be photographing the Aurora borealis, waterfalls, tundra, caribou and other wildlife. The tour includes a boat tour of Yellowknife bay and a fish fry (weather permitting). We may also hike a scenic trail to Cameron falls to photograph grouse, mushrooms and autumn colours. We will spend two nights photographing the Aurora in Yellowknife, including one night at Aurora village. We will then fly about 350 km north onto the tundra to Peterson's point lake lodge which offers gourmet food and comfortable cabin accommodations, shower, and heated rooms. We will be searching for caribou to photograph and other wildlife on foot and from 16 foot power boats. The tundra will be red and yellow and their will be opportunities to catch amazing sunsets and sunrises from the beach in front of the cabins. See the aurora and caribou gallery for images from previous workshops and read some of my previous articles. Contact me if you have any questions.

Download poster as a PDF - 12.5 MB

To register for this workshop please contact Margaret Peterson in Yellowknife at : http://www.petersonspointlake.com/contactus.html or call 867-920-4654. Also visit the Peterson's Point lake lodge web site for more pictures and information. View Roberts online Book - "Hangin with the Caribou".


PHOTOGRAPHY AND PHOTOSHOP TRAINING COSTS - by the hour, 8 hr package or 15 hour package

1)$65\hr to cover any aspect of outdoor photography or Adobe Photoshop in my studio.

2) $299 + GST\ person package includes transportation from my studio in Calgary Northwest to any where within about 2 hours drive of Calgary for total of 8 hours (if you want to bring friends I offer a discounts for up to 2 additional people with camera gear ($150 extra per person). Note that driving time e.g. 1 hour to drive to and from mountain parks is included as part of the 8 hours if you need to be picked up in Banff for instance - leaving about 6 hours to photograph in the field. When there are extra photographers I add an additional hour per person for free. Additional time can also be alloted at no additional charge if you book several days at one time. Beyond this additional hours in the field can be purchased for $65\hr.

3) $499 + GST includes up to 15 hours of training. In the summer this might include from sunrise (5 am) to sunset (9 pm) or you could purchase 5 - 3 hour sessions and space them out over several weeks.

Have a group of 4 or more? Contact me to discuss group pricing etc. For seminars, workshops and photography services. I will gladly travel to anywhere in Canada if my transportation costs are reimbursed.

Photoshop I - inquire about private training when convienent to you.

This is suitable for anyone that has never used Photoshop, it includes introduction to the interface, calibrating your monitor, Basic work flow for .jpg and RAW files, colour correction, burning, dodging, Photoshop fixes, red-eye, clone tool, converting to Black and White, Sepia, repairing images, adding neutral density grad filters, extracting images, content aware fill, creating panoramas and more. Knowledge of how to use a computer is required.

Cost is $299 + GST\person. Limited to max of 4 per class.


Photoshop II - inquire about private training when convienent to you.

This workshop covers how to use curves, adjustment layers, blending modes, edge effects, masks and alpha channels to replace skies, how to create photo-montages, hand coloring, painting, actions, batch processing, creating a slide shows, contact sheets and more. Before taking this workshop it is recommended that students have had several year previous experience or have taken the Photoshop I workshop or similar training.

Cost is $299 + GST\person. Limited to max of 5 per class.

Science & Art Multimedia studio owned by Robert Berdan

"Geeks paradise" Robert's digital studio is ideal for training small groups and includes both PC and Mac computers, LCD projector with big screen, color printers, private bathroom, fridge, darkroom, and digital music recording studio. All computers have at least 8 GB RAM and large monitors and high speed Internet access (60 MB\sec).


Gift Certificates

You can purchase a gift certificate for $299 + GST. The gift certificate can be used toward any of my workshops or a private training session for 7-8 hours a time that is convenient for the individual. The gift certificate ides not pertain to the Arctic Adventure workshop. These gift certificates do not expire. I can email the gift certificate to you or the person you specify - I will follow up on your order shortly after you purchase a certificate. To register for a workshop or private session the individual need only contact me to set up a suitable time or register for a particular workshop.

A Gift Certificate will be sent or emailed to you or the individual - it can be applied to any workshop or private training session and does not expire.

Purchase a Gift Certificate - be sure to specify the name of the person you would like this to be for.

Name of recipient

If a specific workshop is not currently being offered you can still hire Robert privately or use a gift certificate towards any of these training sessions. If your gift certificate indicates $249 - you can still use it to take any of workshop for $299 with no additional fee. If you have a large group and would like to hire me for a day trip please contact me with your request and dates you have in mind to discuss pricing.

Photographying oldman's whiskers in wildlflower workshop by Robert Berdan

Participants get down to photograph "Old mans whiskers" in this Wildflower Photography workshop.

Workshop Policies

1. Individuals 13-17 years of age require parents consent - a parent may come along during a private training session of a minor for $50 if they are not taking photographs.

2. All participants are required to sign a waiver understanding risks of being outdoors and it includes release of liability - View or download my waiver as a PDF

3. Refunds: Due to the limited number of positions available in my workshops I do not offer refunds. If you can not make a workshop, you may transfer to one of our other workshops, or arrange for a private session, or offer your position to someone else. If a workshop is cancelled due to severe weather (i.e. roads are closed) or other unforeseen factor I will arrange an alternate date. If participants can not make the alternate date I will offer a private training session (note that in the past 20 years I have never had to cancel a workshop). If you are coming to Calgary I also require payment at least one week in advance to guarantee the specific date.

4. For groups greater then 10 individuals I will often employ an additional photographer to assist me. Travel for groups of more then 3 is usually by car pooling.

5. Participants can bring any kind of camera, though it is recommended that participants have a digital SLR, a tripod is recommended. I can loan out a few tripods. I can also provide one digital camera and several lenses if required.

Please note I can't guarantee wildlife, but I can guarantee wildflowers at specific times of the year and I can guarantee beautiful scenery. Weather is not usually a factor unless it results in road closures or it becomes dangerous to drive. I have never canceled an outing because of weather and won't do so unless travel on the road becomes dangerous (e.g. winter storm). Participants should dress in layers and be prepared for "Mountain weather".



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Authors Biography & Contact Information

Portrait of Robert BerdanDr. Robert Berdan is a biologist and professional nature photographer living in Calgary, AB specializing in nature, wildlife and science photography. Robert offers photo guiding and private instruction in all aspects of nature photography and Adobe Photoshop training. Robert has a Ph.D. in biology.

Email at: rberdan@scienceandart.org
Web site: www.canadiannaturephotographer.com
Phone: (403) 247-2457 MST 9am -7 pm

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