Sea stacks, San Josef bay, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Sea stacks, San Josef bay, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Experience a Vancouver Island wilderness adventure like no other.


San Josef Bay, Vancouver Island - 3 Days - 15, 16, 17th June 2019

Participant Limit - 10

$1995 USD

Gavin Hardcastle and I have teamed up for this once in a lifetime exclusive workshop into the far reaches of northern Vancouver Island. Join us as we head into one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline on the west coast of Vancouver Island, San Josef Bay. On this workshop we’ll have opportunities to explore and photograph otherworldly sea stacks, coastal sand patterns, old growth forest along the shoreline and if we’re lucky a chance to spot wolves or bear that frequent the area.

Sea stacks during a particularly “Juicy” sunset.

San Josef Bay lies on the southern section of Cape Scott Provincial Park at the very north western tip of Vancouver Island. The nearest town is the small hamlet of Port Hardy, roughly one hours drive east of Jan Josef bay. This workshop will offer a taste of west coast wilderness, away from traffic, away from the hubbub of everyday city life and off the beaten track.

This workshop is a little different from the norm in that we’ll be camping for two nights on the beach with the beautiful sound of the pacific ocean only 100m from your tent. We supply transportation from Nanaimo to San Josef Bay, the tents and mattresses along with catered food and drink for the whole weekend.

What could be better than sitting by a campfire with good friends, good food and photo opportunities only a stones throw away.

Registration for this exciting workshop opens on Saturday February 16th

To register simply click the register button this will take you to Gavin Hardcastle’s website

Important! Please note, In the event of a cancellation there is no refund. Photography Booking Policy, please read.

San Josef Bay

A brief Itinerary

June 7th, 2019 - Early start from the city of Nanaimo for our drive up to San Josef Bay. Once we get to the bay we’ll have an easy one hours hike to our campsite where all of the tents will be set up, all you have to do is roll out your sleeping bag.

After an early dinner we’ll head out for our first sunset shoot

June 8th - 9th, 2019 - Each day we'll plan to shoot at sunrise and sunset with options to shoot and/or explore throughout the rest of the day. We'll also have opportunities to talk about subjects such as composition, light, colour theory and anything else to do with photography.

June 9th, 2019 - After a morning shoot and breakfast, we make our way back to the trailhead and beyond, back to Nanaimo, with a card full of images and hopefully, fond memories.

What’s Included:

  • Transportation to San Josef Bay from Nanaimo

  • Camping fees and gear for two nights on the beach

  • All meals during your stay including wine, beer, coffee and tea

  • Photography instruction with Adam Gibbs and Gavin Hardcastle

What’s not Included:

  • Transportation to Nanaimo

  • Accommodation before and after the workshop

  • Medical and travel insurance

More Information….

Where is San Josef Bay?

The very far reaches of north western Vancouver Island. San Josef Bay is one small section in the very southern part of Cape Scott Provincial Park

What is the Accommodation Like?

We will be camping. Tents, pillows and matts will be supplied, please bring your own sleeping bag. Please be aware that the toilet is a basic outhouse .

What is the weather like in June?

The weather on the west coast of Vancouver Island is unpredictable at best. Rain, or sunny conditions are all possible on the coast, best to be prepared for all conditions.

Should I be concerned about bear encounters?

Short answer is no. Bear and other wildlife do frequent San Josef Bay but tend to stay clear of most human activity. Bear encounters do happen but nine times out of ten the bear will move on. If you are worried about coming nose to nose with a bear your best approach is to travel in a group and make some noise while hiking the trails. We do not recommend bells as they can be annoying to other clients and lessen the chance of viewing ANY wildlife. Bear spray is sold  in hunting and camping stores. If you do purchase bear spray make sure that you know how to use it. Also keep in mind that bear spray cannot be transported on a plane.

How hard will the hiking be?

There are lots of great photo opportunities for all fitness levels and many great shooting locations are not far from the camp. Typically the distances will be under 3 km for each day. Ideally some level of fitness would be a great asset.

What camera gear should I bring?

The following are some recommendations. Generally we will be focusing primarily on landscape photography but may encounter some wildlife shooting opportunities. Ideally, since we will be hiking throughout the day and carrying our own gear, equipment should be kept to a minimum. Here is a list of what we typically carry in the field.

The register button will take you to Gavin Hardcastle’s website where you can register. 

Camera Equipment:


  • Lightweight tripod w/ballhead

  • Camera backpack

  • DSLR camera body

  • 14-24mm lens

  • 24-120mm lens

  • 70-200mm lens

  • Various ND filters/polarizers/holders for all lenses

  • 2 extra batteries

  • Lens pen/lens cloth

  • lens shade


Other items that you might want to consider. Either worn or put in your pack for the day.


  • Good hiking boots or shoes

  • Long pants

  • Brimmed hat

  • Gloves

  • Warm jacket

  • Rain jacket

  • Headlamp/flashlight

  • Toilet paper

  • Sunglasses


Optional items:


  • Extra camera body

  • Smartwool/long underwear

  • Extra socks

  • Hiking poles

  • Rain pants

  • Sunscreen

  • Wooley hat