Winter Photography Workshop--Night Sky/Aurora Photography and Dog Sledding Adventure
February 26th-29th, 2020 (Wednesday through Saturday)
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!
This is a winter experience like no other! Our 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 caves in Munising, and personalized photography instruction throughout your entire trip. You 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’s claim to fame is 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. There is also a fair amount of moderately strenuous hiking involved in order to get to some of the remote locations, so come prepared to exert some energy.
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 Chamberlin’s Old Forest Inn for a relaxing evening with hopes of clear skies for night time photography. On Thursday we will explore the Pictured Rocks area of Munising. Our itinerary for this day will depend on ice conditions, but we will explore either the Eben Ice Caves or Grand Island and the Pictured Rocks. The hiking for this day is mildly strenuous and includes visits to several area waterfalls where you will need to carry your camera gear. Yak Trax or similar winter trax for boots are highly recommended. We will do our best to select hikes that are scenic, safe, and within the capabilities of the group. We will have lunch in Munising and return to Chamberlin’s for dinner and night sky photography.
Wednesday, February 26th
1 PM-Check in at Chamberlin’s Ole Forest Inn
2 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 at Chamberlin’s Ole Forest Inn. Following dinner, Tasha will introduce you to Nature’s Kennel Sled Dog Adventures and Racing Team. You’ll be treated to an awe-inspiring slide show of winter in the UP including the Tahquamenon Falls, ice caves, and dog sledding.
Thursday, February 27th
7:30 am - Breakfast at Chamberlin’s Ole Forest Inn
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 Chamberlin’s Old Forest Inn for relaxing and enjoying evening snacks around the fireplace.
9 pm - Night sky photography (depending on the visibility).
Friday, February 28th
7:30 am - Breakfast at Chamberlin’s Ole Forest Inn
8-9 am - Photo techniques with Shawn
9:30 am - Departure to Munising/Eben Ice Caves
We will take a 45 minute hike (one way) to the beautiful Eben Ice Caves for excellent ice photography.
1 pm--Lunch at Falling Waters Café, Munising
Afternoon - Explore a few sights in Munising including Munising Falls and Wagner Falls for more winter photo opportunities.
6 pm - Return to Chamberlin’s Old Forest Inn
6:30 pm - Dinner at Chamberlin’s Old Forest Inn with trip slide show and wrap up.
9 pm - Night sky photography (depending on the visibility).
Saturday, February 29th
9 am - Breakfast and departure on your own at Chamberlin’s Old Forest Inn.
What is included: Three nights of lodging at Chamberlin’s Old Forest Inn in Curtis. Chamberlin’s is nestled high on a bluff overlooking Big Manistique Lake in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. This incredible lakeside country inn offers charming accommodations and casual fine dining. Rich in history, this gracious 7500 square ft., 19th century-style lakeside dwelling was built by a railroad company to serve as a passenger hotel near the Curtis train station. More than one hundred years later the inn continues to embrace travelers with warmth, comfortable lodging and stunning views. 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: $1400 per person for double occupancy, $1540 per person for single occupancy. All gratuities and meals included.
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 3 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 1st.
Reservations: To make your reservation, please contact Tasha Stielstra of Nature’s Kennel at 906-748-0513 or email@example.com. Please 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.
Lake Superior Photo, Shawn Malone, 906-228-FOTO,
Nature’s Kennel Sled Dog Adventures, Tasha Stielstra, 906-748-0513
Chamberlin’s Ole Forest Inn, 906-586-6000,
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 and Iditarod Racing team 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. The Stielstras are known for their outstanding dog care and dedication to their kennel.