Combining the Art of Photography and Adventure Travel


Photo Tour Trekkers Weekend Photo Retreat - September 29 to October 1, 2023

Kincardine ... boasting a strong Scottish hertiage, beautiful sunsets and situated along the shores of Lake Huronm welcome to our weekend of photography.

Photo Tour Trekkers - Weekend Photo Retreat 2023 - We are pleased to invite you join us in Kincardine for a weekend of photography, workshops and fun. Our event will be held along the harbour which will serve up many photo opportunities including beautiful lake Huron sunsets.

Our event begins Friday with a 3:00 p.m. check-in followed our weekend kick off outdoor photo workshop by the harbour. We will work on creating images using unique angles, reflections, filters and focal lengths. Don't forget your cell phone as we will also sharing some cell phone photography techniques. This will also be a great opportunity to meet your fellow photographers attending our event. 

Friday evening welcome event, you will have opportunity for the first preview of our photo contest images (more about the contest when you read on). This evening we will be presenting "A Journey of Images." A series of slide shows created and presented by Bill Hall who is one of our weekend workshop instructors, his slide shows are colourful, entertaining and guaranteed to inspire. Bill's workshops during the retreat will be showing photographers how to create slide shows. 

Friday evening continues as our photographers are invited to attend our Point Clark painting with light photo shoot. The lighthouse and other static objects at the point set the perfect backdrop for this night workshop. (If weather does not work in our favour we will hold this event on the following evening)

Saturday morning sunrise photo shoot followed the first of our weekend workshops, each session is 90 minutes, attendees will be able to experience all the workshops over the weekend, we have additional information about our workshops below. Mid-day we will break for group lunch which is included with your registration fee followed by our afternoon workshop sessions. 

During our lunch break, our photo instructor Leif Petersen will conduct print demonstrations.

Saturday evening, we will gather for our Saturday evening group session and presentation. This evening the photographers will also be able to sit in and experience and listen to our juried judging of the images submitted in our Retreat Photo Contest. Don't forget to submit your three images, there is no charge to enter and a chance to experience a live juried judging of yours and your fellow photographers images. This is guaranteed to be a fun evening. 

After our evening event, weather permitting we will travel down to the harbour and have a night photography session including some fun pinwheel photography using lights and steel wool. There's a perfect location on the pier that allows for great photo opportunities and reflections.

Sunday morning, some free time for sunrise photos at the harbour followed by our morning series of workshop sessions. Once again mid-day we will meet for a group lunch and for those who did not have a chance to particiapate in our printing demonstration, Leif will be on had to do another session.

Sunday afternoon our final afternoon workshop sessions.

At 3:00 p.m. we will meet for our group wrap up session and presentation of contest winners.


Photo Retreat Photography Contest

Three interesting categories enter one or them all: Nature, Structures and Self Promotion. Each registrant may enter 3 images. One in each category or any combination of categories totalling three images. First prize in each category is $100, Second prize in each category is $75 travel gift certificate from Photo Tour trekkers, and Third prize is $50 in each category. Best in Show wins the grand prize of a tour with Photo Tour Trekkers to the Newfoundland in June of 2024. Every guest attending the retreat is invited to submit 3 images into our contest. Saturday evening will be our juried judging of the submitted images during our evening session. All the entries will displayed throughout the photo retreat venues and winners announced at the wrap up group session. Please visit the photo contest page to enter the contest.

The cost for the weekend event is $249.00 plus tax.

We are proud to be partnering with Inn at the Harbour, check-in and start your weekend all our venues are at the hotel and within one block walking distance.

The cost for accommodations for the two nights Friday and Saturday at The Inn at the Harbour including breakfast is $380.00 plus tax based on double occupancy (twin or queen beds) a third guest in the room can be added for an additional $50.00 plus tax. To qualify for this special rate, we encourage guests to register with the Inn at the Harbour by September 10th, 2023. Additional Inn at the Harbour information at the bottom of this webpage.

** Please note you can request accommodations at the Inn during the registration process, they will contact you directly to finalize and review hotel booking and cancelation polices. 

Our Photo Retreat Weekend is limited to 50 guests

Please register below.

We look forward to seeing you on the 29th of September.



Photo Retreat Weekend Registration



Schedule of Events

Friday September 29th, 2023

Hotel Check-in 3:00 p.m. / Retreat registered guests check-in

4:00 p.m. Kick off Outdoor Photo Workshop - Creating images using unique angles, reflections, filters and focal lengths.

5:30 p.m. Dinner at your leisure

7:00 p.m. First group session - Photo contest image reviews, event welcome and opening remarks.

7:30 p.m. Presentation "A Journey of Images" by photographer and photo retreat instructor Bill Hall

8:45 p.m. Night photography photo shoot - Painting with Light - Point Clark Light House

Saturday September 30th, 2023

 7:00 a.m. Sunrise photo shoot actual sunrise time 7:22 a.m.

10:00 a.m. Workshop sessions

11:30 a.m. 1/2 free time before group lunch

12:15 p.m. Group lunch / announcements before afternoon group session

12:15 p.m. Print demonstrations - by photographer and retreat instructor Leif Petersen

 1:30 p.m. Workshop sessions

 4:00 p.m. Free time / trail photography / dinner at your leisure

 7:00 p.m. Evening group session - Photo contest images, general session and presentation. 

 7:30 p.m. After this evenings presentation, we welcome you to take part in our live juried judging of our photo contest images.

 8:45 p.m. Night photo shoot at the harbour.

Sunday October 1st, 2023

 7:00 a.m. Free time for a sunrise photo shoot -  actual sunrise time 7:24 a.m.

10:00 a.m. Workshop sessions

11:30 a.m. 1/2 free time before group lunch

12:15 p.m. Group lunch / announcements before afternoon group session

12:15 p.m. Print demonstrations - by photographer and retreat instructor Leif Petersen

 1:30 p.m. Workshop sessions

 3:00 p.m. Final group session, contest winners presentation of photo contest prizes 

 3:30 p.m. Closing remarks,

 3:45 p.m. End of final group session. Thank you for attending,



Photo Retreat Weekend Registration




We are pleased to offer four workshops during the photo retreat weekend. Each registered guest will have opportunity during the weekend at attend each of the workshops offered in our program. Photography Workshops are a great way to pick up new skills and to fine-tune those we already have. They're also a great way to step out of our comfort zones and try something new.

Sharing Your Images Like a Pro "It's Showtime ... Slideshows in a Digital World" - Presented by Bill Hall - So… you’re home from two-week travel vacation. You’ve loaded your images (3241 images to be precise) on to your computer and yes… you have some stunning shots. How are you going to share the wonderful time you had with family and friends or your camera club? This session will focus on creating Audio/Visual (AV) sequences (i.e. slideshows).  Whether you’re sharing travel photos, a family event or creating a fun (or serious) story, a well-produced AV sequence enhances your presentation and will leave the audience wanting to see more of your work.

For those who enjoy competitions, this opens up a whole new world to enter local, national and international AV competitions. During our session we will talk about the process of putting together an AV sequence, both simple and more complex. There will be examples of shows produced with different software including live demonstration and lots of time for questions. By the end of the session, you will be able to go home and produce a sequence where the music and images are harmonized, plus have the framework for producing more complex synchronized shows.

Topics will include:

  • The Planning process:
    • The 5 W’s (Why, What, Who, When, Where)
    • Storyboarding
    • Determining length
    • Audio – narration and/or music
  • Putting it all Together:
    • Organizing resources
    • Selecting and sizing Images/video
    • Audio Sources – music & sound effects
    • Adding narration
    • Use of transitions and effects
    • Assessing the presentation
  • Software/Apps
    • An overview of the more common software products for producing AV sequences highlighting their benefits and limitations.


Infulence, Adaptation and Personal Vision: Pathways to Creative Freedom - Presented by Stephen GilliganThe expression of personal vision in intriguing and relatable ways should be a priority for any photographer. At times, regardless of experience, a photographer can feel uninspired and struggle to come up with new ideas for their work. This can be due to a lack of exposure to new experiences, not exploring different techniques, or not being open to trying new things.

In this session, we will explore the influence of pioneering and contemporary photographers. Whether they offer grand ideas or simple concepts, small changes in thought and method can substantially impact our work.

We will discuss influence and adaptation, addressing questions such as: How do we find the influences that will stimulate new creative thought? Can we re-purpose the concepts, style and ideas of past photographers in the creation of new work that is distinctly our own? Are there any ethical boundaries that must be observed? Can the use of multiple influences and alternative technologies (old and new) take us down a path of new discovery and personal vision?

Join us for an informative and interactive session to explore these ideas.


Working with Adobe Lightroom and Digital Workflow - Presented by Leif Petersen - Adobe Lightroom is an industry standard when it comes to uploading, storing, saving, editing and printing your digital images. Plus, plus, plus. During our session we will take a serious look at digital workflow, how to save and store your digital files and quick editing technigues. The goal for participants is to come away from this session with an overall concept of what happens to your image when you import it, the importance of understaning your Library file (the Key to Lightroom) and editing techniques. 

We ask attendees to bring your laptop computer as there will be time for hands on questions. If you can't bring a computer that's ok, as you will still come away from this session with a better understanding of the process. 


10  Exercises to Look at the World in a Creative Way - Presented by James Cowie - Like the world’s tidal waters, photographic creativity can flow and then disappear again. Sometimes creativity can use a jump-start, using methods to get the photographer to start looking at the world in a creative or different way in order to jumpstart, refine, or improve your photography.

There are many ideas on how to get yourself to push through an artistic block or just to inspire you to further expand your boundaries. Not all of them involve the camera. During this session we will try a mix of assignments or exercises for the intrepid photographer. These are xercises that 1) involve using your camera, 2) are less assignment-based, and 3) are fun!

We will spend time looking at each of these exercies, then using our camera get creative. I'm excited to share this workshop with our photographer guests and can't wait to see the results as we will wrap the session sharing a few of the groups images. 

Make sure to bring your digital camera, mid range lens, anywhere from 24mm to 120mm whatever you are comfortable with for a walk around lens, a formatted memory card and an open mind. 



Our workshop presenters:



Stephen Gilligan: Stephen followed his degree in Life Sciences from McMaster University with studies in commercial photography at Sheridan College, Oakville. He is a former professor in the School of Media, Art and Design at Durham College Oshawa, and current professor at Georgian College, Barrie. He is an active member and a past President of the Toronto Focal Forum. His work has been featured in exhibits throughout the Greater Toronto Area and Simcoe County.

Stephen has retained his passion for the photographic process throughout the tremendous technology developments that have influenced his methodology. Using both analogue and digital techniques, he selects the best path to arrive at his point of intention. And, sometimes, the available technology dictates his route and motive for exploration.

Stephen shares his passion for the photographic arts by leading workshops that appeal to photographers with a variety of interests and skills.

Bill Hall: Kitchener photographer Bill Hall has been pursuing his interest in photography for over 50 years. With diversified photographic interests, he relates best to travel photography because it includes so many styles and genres. Bill loves to share his adventures with others both through his photography and as a Photo Tour Trekkers host.

Bill first started producing audio-visual shows in the early 1990’s using two medium-format film projectors and audio cassettes. He has been producing digital shows since 2004. Bill’s award-winning shows cover a variety of subjects including travelogues, special events, documentary, and projects done just for fun. Bill spent several years developing and teaching technical training courses in the aviation industry and has transferred this experience to his photography by offering workshops and seminars on various photographic subjects.

Bill has been active in several camera clubs over the years. He belongs to three AV special interest groups, including two in the United Kingdom. Bill is a District Representative for the Canadian Association for Photographic Art (CAPA) and a CAPA certified judge.

Leif Petersen: Leif is originally from northern Norway’s fabulous Lofoten Islands. He moved to Canada with his family in 1951 and had his first trip back to Norway 34 years later. Since then, he has returned to Norway 19 times, most often to Lofoten, and has led several photo tours to the islands over the past 7 years. His latest Norway tour as a Photo Tour Trekkers photography host photographer, he will be returning just two days before our retreat.

Leif has been involved in photography for over 30 years and his skills have been recognized in regional and national competitions and publications. He joined the Oshawa Camera Club in 2008, spent several seasons on the Executive Committee, including 2 terms as the President. He is the President of the Toronto Focal Forum, a group of avid photographers who print and evaluate their images. He enjoys his role as an ambassador for Panasonic Canada, which involves evaluating their equipment and promoting their technology. He is an Ontario Council of Camera Clubs (O3C) accredited judge and the newly elected council president.

James Cowie: James is a third generation photographer with a passion for sharing the art of capturing images through adventure travel. As Director of Photo Tour Trekkers he enjoys exploring unique destinations around the globe with his photographer guests, guests enjoy wonderful photographic opportunities and interesting ways to learn more about photography. James has 40 years of experience in the photo industry, and coupled with his 19 years of travel skills, each guest will enjoy an enriching experience while expanding upon their photographic knowledge, skills and the art of observation. James also serves on the Advisory Board for the photography program at Lambton College, in Sarnia, Ontario. 

James is well versed in Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom and many other photo management programs, and works with both MAC and PC computers. His number one belief is to have fun with your camera. The more comfortable and relaxed you are when out on an adventure, the better your powers of observation, resulting in more exciting images. With James' knowledge of the regions visited, along with his sense of humour, and his skills as a professional photographer, you will find yourself seeing what is out there in a different light. 


Inn at the Harbour - Our hotel partners for our weekend event.


In at the Harbour website Link and additional hotel information

Inn at the Harbour is Kincardine's pre-eminent destination to explore Lake Huron's magnificent waterfront and your hub for all that Kincardine has to offer!

Located on Harbour Street across from the Kincardine Marina, our hotel is just a few steps from the beach, Kincardine's main street and just 18 kms from The Bruce Power site. Our fully equipped suites offer the latest in amenities and all have a verandah with a view of Lake Huron's spectacular sunsets and the Kincardine Harbour. In the past few years we first completed an 11-room addition to the original hotel through the conversion of an adjacent Century building and then tore down the original hotel and rebuilt a brand new hotel. The Inn at the Harbour now has a total of 30 spectacular suites to make your lakeside getaway the most comfortable and enjoyable you’ve ever had. 



Photo Retreat Weekend Registration