TORONTO & CANADIAN SHIELD (Aug. 3-7, 2020) - spencerwynn


One of the Explore & Discover Photography Workshop series from Spencer Wynn


From the light streaks of traffic downtown at the Flat Iron Building to the smells of food and languages spoken on the streets, Toronto is a vibrant and exciting place to be and photograph.

Toronto is known as the City of Neighbourhoods. We will spend time getting to know some of these on foot and take in stunning sunrise and sunsets. We will also have a session with a professional model to create beautiful urban street portraits. As you walk the streets you will hear languages spoken from around the world and see smiling faces from near and far representing all nationalities – Toronto is like that, it is a melting pot of nationalities which makes it such an exciting and accepting city.

We will have sunrise and sunset sessions in locations that will test you, delight you and leave you wanting to return! We will sample amazing food from Asia to the Middle East to Africa and South America. Once we have had enough of the busy streets of Toronto, we head north to areas of grandeur and breathless beauty on the Canadian Shield – an area of rock billions of years old which define the Canadian landscape.

The area of the Canadian Shield, a few hours north of Toronto is a rugged and inspiring land of lakes, rivers and waterfalls. We will spend time exploring this region on land and on the water with a boat cruise. Sunset and sunrise sessions in this area will leave you speechless. There is simply nothing more beautiful than northern Ontario.

At a maximum of 6 participants, there will be constant opportunities for one-on-one instruction and flexibility.


LOCATIONS: Toronto and Northern Ontario

DATES:  August 3 –  7th, 2020

GROUP LEADER: Spencer Wynn

GENRE: Landscape, Street photography, Portraiture and Urban

GROUP SIZE: 7 maximum

ACTIVITY LEVEL: Light to moderate

PRICE: $1495 USD


A deposit of $500 USD is required to hold your space in the Toronto & Canadian Shield photography workshop. The remaining balance will be due on or before June 8th, 2020. 

There is considerable interest in this workshop, secure your spot by registering early! This will be a very full five days with many experiences in both Toronto and the beautiful area north of Toronto in the Canadian Shield – and area of the country known for iconic rock landscapes – the oldest rock formations in the world.

Late afternoon overlooking Georgian Bay with the classic Canadian Shield rock and wind-swept pines.


Spencer, in addition to being a superb photographer, knows how to teach. He is generous with his knowledge and infinitely patient. He not only teaches the technical aspects of photography but also the art of photography. He taught me how to “see” in a unique way that I never would have considered. 

One of the things I most appreciate about Spencer is his willingness to share everything he knows and to explain it in a manner that  makes sense. 

Add to that the fact that he lives in Toronto! There’s so much to see and do in Toronto and Spencer will take you to the most beautiful and unique areas of this wonderful city.  I highly recommend any workshop offered by Spencer. You won’t be disappointed, and you’ll come back with practical knowledge that you can apply instantly. 

– Ann Miller (Ohio, USA)

Spencer is a brilliant (and patient) teacher! The workshop was structured so that each lesson amplifies the previous one. It worked! After a few hours I was taking the best landscape photographs of my life. 

– John Ferri (Toronto)


DAY 1 –  We will meet at 10:00 am at a fun restaurant in downtown Toronto with beautiful architecture to photograph after. Today we explore an area known as Graffiti Alley and also have a model shoot in the area. We visit an historic neighbourhood well known for its beautiful buildings and fascinating history. After dinner we have our first sunset session overlooking the city.

DAY 2 – We begin the day with a sunrise session before enjoying a unique spot for breakfast. This morning we chase shadows and reflections in and around the towers of the financial district. After lunch and a break, we explore the area around the CN Tower, once the tallest structure in the world. This will give you incredible views of the city and Lake Ontario. We end the day going out to the islands on a ferry boat for a sunset session with Toronto sparkling in the distance.

DAY 3 – No sunrise today, rather we get an early start and drive three hours north to the Georgian Bay area of Ontario with outcrops of the Canadian Shield that will amaze you and give you opportunities to explore and be creative. This is a rugged landscape of forests and crystal clear water. Its a great idea to bring a bathing suit! We will spend the day exploring and end with a special sunset location.

Tonight we will have the first of our two astro photography sessions which I usually conduct at about 1:00 am.

DAY 4 – Still up north, we travel to another area of the Canadian Shield to explore rivers and waterfalls. The beauty of this area is legendary and the subject of paintings from the Group of Seven painters in the early 1900s. We enjoy a 2 hour cruise through beautiful islands. We have a second astro photography session this night at Canada's first Dark Sky Preserve. This is an epic location!

DAY 5 – We shoot the sunrise at one of my favourite sunrise locations before returning to Toronto in time to depart for the return trip home.



•  This is a physically easy/moderate week of activity. There will be uneven ground in some locations and some periods of walking inclines. It is recommended that participants wear sturdy shoes. 

•  There will be early mornings and late evenings to take advantage of sunrise and sunset sessions. These are optional and not required. Pick and choose your sessions with which you will be most comfortable.

•  There will also be one or two opportunities for astro photography to capture the night sky, filled with stars if night sky conditions are favourable.

•  There will be some down-time so that you may explore and rest during the week should you wish to.


•  One-on-one and group instruction from Spencer Wynn

•  A professional model for our Toronto street portrait session

•  Two boat cruise in northern Ontario

•  Local transportation in and around Toronto and northern Ontario

•  Astro photography sessions in beautiful locations

•  Post-processing instruction and best practices 


•  Your travel to Toronto and departure to your home

•  Accommodations

•  Meals, drinks and tips

•  Trip / health insurance

​•  Tourist visas for those who require them


•  The weather will be warm in Ontario during the daytime hours. It does begin to cool off at night. It is a good idea to pack light breathable layers for night photography. The sun can be intense during the day so pack a hat with a brim.

•  It goes without saying that you need to bring your camera(s)! Any DSLR or mirrorless camera will be best. You should have a solid working knowledge of your camera and know how to use your camera in manual mode.

•  Lenses are personal choices and are subject to what you own and your style of shooting. Personally, I travel with minimal gear: A few wide lenses with large apertures for low light and astro photography. The lighter you travel, the more you focus on what you are shooting!

•  A compact and sturdy tripod is recommended, especially when we shoot in low light. 

•  Extra memory cards and storage, laptop, batteries and chargers are to be carefully planned. You will need a power adapter for North America should you be coming from a country with different power plug configurations.


Payment:  Payments are to be made by e-transfer or PayPal to: Receipts will be issued for all payments made.

Deposit: A $500 USD, non-refundable deposit is required at time of booking.

Final Payment: Final payment is due in full by June 8, 2020. Note: If final payment is not made by the due date, the deposit is forfeited and your spot will be available to another interested participant. If unforeseen circumstances arise, participants are welcome to transfer/sell their space to another interested participant. In such cases, new participants are responsible for handling payments on time.

Participants:  3 minimum, 7 maximum. 3 participants are required for this workshop to proceed. If the minimum number is not reached by June 8, 2020 the workshop may be cancelled and deposits will be refunded in full to registered participants. See our cancellation policy below for more details. ​

Accommodations:  In Toronto, we will be using City Hall as a pick-up and drop-off location, so it is best to find accommodation close by. In northern Ontario we will be staying at local motels. I will make all reservations at the northern accommodations.

Cancellation Policy: Spencer Wynn reserves the right to cancel a workshop at anytime due to illness, low enrolment, or any other reason beyond his control. If a workshop is cancelled, 100% of your enrolment fees will be refunded.

Travel Visas / Passports:  It is the participant's responsibility to ensure they have a valid travel visa and or passport (if applicable/required) for the duration of the workshop.

Passports:  Passports must be valid for more than 6 months beyond the workshop date.

Release of Liability: By registering for the Toronto & Canadian Shield photography workshop, you are agreeing to the above conditions in full and release Spencer Wynn, and all other entities involved with this workshop (including, but not limited to, other instructors, guides, students, etc) from any and all liability.

Use of Images: By registering for the Toronto & Canadian Shield photography workshop, you agree, in full, to not use any photograph obtained during this workshop in a manner that violates any applicable laws (including, but not limited to: municipal laws, provincial laws, and federal laws). 

In Closing: Photography workshops may involve walking over uneven ground, standing in place for extended periods of time and spending significant amounts of time outdoors. By registering for this workshop you confirm that you understand this and that is appropriate to your physical abilities. At all times you agree to be personally responsible for your own safety and well being.


A visual journalist for over 30 years, Spencer has developed a keen sense of storytelling through compelling visual narratives. It is on the streets that Spencer feels most alive as well as up north with the rugged landscape shooting the beauty of Canada during the day and at night.

From street photography to stunning long exposure landscapes, Spencer loves to share his knowledge and watch as others discover the art of seeing – all over again!

Spencer has restricted the number of participants to a minimum in order to maximize personal instruction, learning and experimenting.

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