Stuart Forster heads into the wilderness to photograph portraits and shoot people photography in northern Manitoba, Canada.
Northern Manitoba, in central Canada, is renowned for the enchanting beauty of its subarctic wilderness. It’s an outstanding location to photograph boreal forest and tundra landscapes, and wildlife during the caribou migration. This post, though, is about people photography in northern Manitoba, because I also enjoyed photographing the people working at Gangler’s North Seal Wilderness Adventures.
The lodge was established in the 1990s. Over the intervening years, the remote property has won renown among anglers, who visit to fish in lakes dotting the five million-acre concession operated by Ken Gangler and his team of employees.
Fly in fly out fishing
Gangler’s Fly In Fly Out fishing is rated among the best in the world. Pilots such as Colin operate float planes to transport anglers to and from the lakes surrounding the lodge and its outposts. To do that, Colin flies a de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver.
Every day, before the place takes off, a dockhand prepares the aircraft. Packing equipment and getting the fuel line ready.
First Nations fishing guides
Guides with intimate knowledge of the region help anglers locate fish and cook the shore lunches prepared with non-trophy catches.
I had the pleasure of spending time in a boat with Alex. Outside of the summer season, Alex lives in a community a short flight from the lodge.
Raymond, another of the guides with whom I fished, has been trapping in the region around Egenolf Lake since 1964. He recalled how he bought a transistor radio to listen to the first Liston-Ali fight during his first winter in the area.
Singadore is nicknamed Snoop Dogg. He joined a group of us on an excursion to Manitoba’s border with Nunuvut, at 60°N.
Wilderness adventures in Canada’s subarctic
Over the coming seasons Ken is keen to move his business towards the outdoor adventure sector. Activities offered at the lodge include fat biking on eskers (ridges of sand deposited during the last ice age), kayaking and canoeing.
John drove me on one of the eskers in an all-terrain vehicle. We saw moose and wolf tracks in the sandy earth, as well as berry-rich bear scats while seeking out locations to view and photograph the sunset.
Dr Brian Kotak is the Managing Director of the Manitoba Wildlife Federation and is developing a programme of hikes, in conjunction with John, that will enable visitors to the lodge to gain an overview of the region’s flora and fauna.
The hikes are also a good opportunity to view archaeological sites, many of which date from the era, approximately 1,000 to 2,500 years ago, known as the Taltheili Shale Tradition. We saw tent rings on eskers and discovered arrow- and spearheads.
People photography in northern Manitoba
After a day of outdoor activities, it was good to come back to the lodge for snacks and, if we wanted it, a cold, refreshing beer.
The team of servers working at the lodge were personable and talked passionately about their summer in the remoteness of northern Manitoba.
Ben, the chef at Gangler’s North Seal River Lodge, is a keen guitarist when he’s not busy in the kitchen. That was something I seized upon for a photo opportunity.
The Northern Lights in Manitoba
It was worth staying awake after dinner to socialise in chairs ranged around the firepit then watch the Northern Lights flickering in the sky of northern Manitoba.
The lights tend to be visible most nights from the beginning of August, explained Ken as we sat by the campfire.
People, they say, make a place and the people shown and mentioned in this post all helped make my visit to northern Manitoba and Gangler’s North Seal Wilderness Adventures memorable.
See the Gangler’s North Seal Wilderness Adventures website for information about the lodge and activities offered there.