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Winter Photography Workshop--Night Sky/Aurora Photography and Dog Sledding Adventure
March 3-7, 2024 

Join Award-Winning Upper Peninsula Photographer, Shawn Malone, and Nature’s Kennel Sled Dog Adventures Owner, Tasha Stielstra, for a photo excursion like no other! 

Tour is limited to 12 participants.   Call 906-748-0513 to make a reservation.  

This is a winter experience like no other!  Our all inclusive photography package includes lodging at Chamberlin’s Old Forest Inn, a half-day dog sledding adventure at Nature’s Kennel (where you learn to drive your own dog team!), snowshoeing at Tahquamenon Falls State Park, a guided trip to the ice formations near Pictured Rocks, and personalized photography instruction throughout your entire trip.


Your photography instructor is Shawn Malone, an award winning visual artist, photographer, and owner of Lake Superior Photo in Marquette, Michigan.  Shawn will help you develop your photography skills in many different environments as you experience the fast moving action of sled dogs, the serene nature of Tahquamenon Falls, and the majestic frozen waterfalls and ice caves in the Pictures Rocks area of Munising, MI.  Shawn is famous for her amazing aurora photos and she will share some of her secrets to night sky photography. This workshop is suitable for beginners as well as advanced and intermediate photographers.  However, because there are so many makes and models of cameras, participants should have a basic understanding of their particular camera and how to adjust their manual controls, including ISO, aperture and shutter speed.  There will be instruction that covers the understanding of the "whens" and "whys" of these adjustment parameters.  


The dog sledding portion of the trip will include the opportunity to photograph sled dogs and also the opportunity to drive your own dog team.  You will receive all the instruction necessary to take over the runners and experience the peacefulness and serenity of winter as you glide over the trails.  If you prefer, you may choose to ride in a sled that is driven by a guide instead of driving your own team.  Please let Tasha know your preference for riding or driving when making your reservation.  After the dog sledding trip, we will head to Tahquamenon Falls State Park for an early dinner at the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery.  Shawn will go over tips for photographing the Upper Falls, the largest waterfall in the Midwest.  If you have not seen this waterfall in the winter, you are in for a treat!  We will spend a couple of hours at the falls before heading back to Pine Bluff Resort for a relaxing evening with hopes of clear skies for night time photography.  The following day, we will explore the Pictured Rocks area of Munising.  The hiking for this day is mildly strenuous and includes visits to several area waterfalls where you will need to carry your camera gear.  We provide ice cleats for hiking into the waterfalls.  We will have lunch in Munising and return to Pine Bluff Resort for dinner and night sky photography. 


Trip Details:

What is included: Four nights of lodging at Pine Bluff Resort near Curtis. Pine Bluff Resort is nestled high on a bluff overlooking Big Manistique Lake in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  The cabins will be shard spaces, with large private bedrooms and shared/private bathrooms, full kitches, and living areas. There is a large heated indoor pool and hotub available for use.  You will have full breakfasts, lunches and dinners provided as noted in the itinerary.  Transportation is on your own to each location.  However, we will help to make carpooling arrangements for our trips to Nature’s Kennel, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, and Munising. 


Cost:  $1980 per person. All gratuities and meals included.


Trip Itinerary:


Sunday March 3

2 PM-Check in at Pine Bluff Resort, Cabin assignments will be emailed to you ahead of check in.

3 PM-Get to know your camera and photography seminar.  Shawn Malone will introduce you to Lake Superior Photography and her background with photography in the Upper Peninsula.  She will also discuss several topics that will be covered throughout the week.  Bring your camera and your questions.  Topics covered will include:

  • composing the shots--steps for getting great shots

  • what is aperture, speed, and ISO

  • using your camera--metering for the correct exposure

  • motion and photography, adjusting shutter for sharp motion photos

  • understanding depth of field, histograms and white balance

  • dark sky night photography

  • maximizing your chances of photographing the Aurora Borealis

  • how to capture startrail photos

  • tools for capturing the Milky Way

  • effective use of light painting in night sky photos

  • pre planning and preparation of your night sky photos for creative compositions

  • a basic understanding of post production techniques and software 


6 PM-Dinner and Dog Sledding Program on resort property. Following dinner, Tasha will introduce you to Nature’s Kennel Sled Dog Adventures.  You’ll be treated to an awe-inspiring slide show of winter in the UP including the Tahquamenon Falls, ice caves, and dog sledding. 

Monday March 4

7:30 am - Breakfast at Pine Bluff Resort


8:30 am - Departure for Nature’s Kennel


9-11 am - Dog Sledding Photography at Nature’s Kennel.

Shawn will guide you though the best techniques to use for photographing winter action photos.  You will have the opportunity to photograph a sled dog team and dogs.  There will be snacks and drinks before we head out on the trail for some hands-on dog sledding.


11 am-2 pm Dog Sledding at Nature’s Kennel

You will have the opportunity to drive your own team or take a ride in the dog sled.  The trip includes a 10 mile dog sled adventure through the Upper Peninsula wilderness.


4 pm - Dinner at Tahquamenon Falls State Park


5 pm - Photography at Tahquamenon Falls State Park.

Shawn will cover the basics of photographing this majestic waterfall.  We will take a short hike to the waterfall and stop at many of the access points along the trail.


7 pm - Return to Pine Bluff Resort for relaxing and enjoying evening snacks around the fireplace. 


9 pm - Night sky photography (depending on the visibility). 

Tuesday March 5

7:30 am - Breakfast at Pine Bluff Resort


8-9 am - Photo techniques with Shawn


9:30 am - Departure to Munising/Lake Superior

1 pm--Lunch at Driftwood Deli, Munising


Afternoon - Explore a few sights in Munising including Munising Falls and Wagner Falls for more winter photo opportunities.


6 pm - Return to Pine Bluff Resort


6:30 pm - Dinner at Pine Bluff Resort


9 pm - Night sky photography (depending on the visibility).


Wednesday March 6

9 am - Breakfast and a day to spend editing and working on any additional photo techniques with Shawn.  Per requests from past participants, we have added this day so we have a full day dedicated to classroom time (along with a few ideas for some additional photo shoots and more night sky 

opportunities).  If time allows, we will make a special trip to Benny the Beardfisher, a giant troll that is worth the short hike to photograph. 

Thursday March 7

9 am - Breakfast and departure on your own.

Required Camera Gear:

-DSLR camera with wide angle and telephoto capabilities

-telephoto lens for zooming in on subjects (optional)

-cable release (especially necessary for night photography)

-headlamp (especially necessary for night photography)


-laptop with photo editing software (necessary if you would like to contribute to the photo review session)

**Please feel free to contact Shawn if you have any questions about camera gear.

Suggested Winter Gear:

Fleece gloves, warm mittens, neck warmer or scarf (something to cover your neck/face), winter boots (provided through Nature’s Kennel if needed), snowpants/windpants, winter jacket, handwarmers (these work great to keep batteries warm as well as your hands and feet for dog sledding!), and YakTrax or similar “snow grippers” to slip on over your boots for walking on ice/slippery trail.  Snowshoes are provided for our hike at Tahquamenon Falls but you may bring your own if you’d like. 


Payment:  A 50% deposit is required at the time of reservation.  The balance of the trip is due on February 27 when you come for your adventure.  Payment may be made via all major credit cards or personal check.  


Cancellation policy: In the unlikely event that the trip is canceled due to weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances with Lake Superior Photo/Shawn Malone or Nature’s Kennel/Tasha Stielstra, you will receive your full deposit back.  If participant(s) request a cancellation, the deposit will be refunded if request is made before February 9th.


Reservations:  To make your reservation, please contact Tasha Stielstra of Nature’s Kennel at 906-748-0513 or info@natureskennel.comPlease note this trip is limited to 10 participants.  This trip has filled to capacity in the past, and if this is the case, there will be a waiting list.


Contact information: 

Lake Superior Photo, Shawn Malone, 906-228-FOTO,

Nature’s Kennel Sled Dog Adventures, Tasha Stielstra, 906-748-0513

Pine Bluff Resort,

Tahquamenon Falls State Park,


Meet your Instructors:

Shawn Malone is a visual artist out of Marquette, Michigan in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  Malone's work has been seen across the Midwest juried art show circuit for years, having won numerous awards.Malone's night sky photography and time-lapse videography have been seen on major network TV and media sources such as National Geographic, Smithsonian, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, WGN, NPR, Discovery, Telegraph UK, Daily Mail UK and many other local and regional sources. Malone's time-lapse videography has also been featured on NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News and America's Got Talent.  She has been awarded by Smithsonian in Motion, and Vimeo Staff Picks. In downtown Marquette, Malone runs Lake Superior Photo, an art gallery of her nationally recognized  landscape photography from the Upper Peninsula and Lake Superior region.  Malone's photography workshops are also very popular and are offered on a regular basis out of the gallery.  An online gallery of Malone's work can be found at  and on Facebook at


Tasha Stielstra and her husband, Ed, own Nature’s Kennel Adventures in McMillan, Michigan.  Ed is a very accomplished musher, having completed the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race eight times and competing in numerous mid-distance races throughout the US and Canada. Tasha has also run in mid-distance races throughout the Midwest and Europe.  Nature’s Kennel is home to 200 Alaskan Huskies and is the largest sled dog kennel in Michigan.  In addition to managing the kennel, Tasha leads and develops trips for active travelers. 

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