The Brilliant Colors of Butchart Gardens – Session 1


The Brilliant Colors of Butchart Gardens – Session 1

August 14-18, 2022

Location: Victoria, B.C. (Canada)
Early-bird Payment in Full (before August 13, 2022): $1,500
Late Payment in Full (after August 13th): $2,000
Group Size: 12
Register for Session 2 here or Join Wait List.

See Image Gallery and Workshop Details below.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  After your purchase, please download your workshop Registration Packet. This includes several materials, including a Workshop Registration Form that must be completed in a timely manner. You will find this download link on the “Thank You” page, as well as in your order confirmation email (which may land in your Spam folder).

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Image Gallery

Workshop Details

Join Charles for three unforgettable days of arresting beauty in North America’s most dazzling botanical wonder, Butchart Gardens.  As one of the world’s premier floral show gardens, Butchart features 55 acres of awe-inspiring splendor — including a classical Italian Garden, a Japanese Garden, a Rose Garden, a Mediterranean garden, and the dramatic Sunken Garden.

We’ll gain special private entry into the Garden each morning, before other visitors arrive! Treat your lenses to a dazzling display of over 900 varieties of flourishing plants at the peak of summer color. Imagine a Rose Garden with fragrant roses growing over archways and trained along fences, a dramatic Sunken Garden with large expanses of eye-popping annuals and numerous flowering trees, and a Japanese Garden with peaceful streams, ponds and bridges.

You’ll also have the opportunity to hone your macro skills with a palette of blooming flowers, such as Dahlias, Delphiniums, Tuberous Begonias, Fuchsia, Cone Flowers, Roses, Water Lilies, Calla Lilies, Phlox and Peonies.

This workshop includes classroom lectures, stimulating assignments, and supportive image evaluations. Field instruction emphasizes creative macro, impressionistic, multiple-exposure, and artistic smartphone floral photography.

Throughout the week, you’ll receive lots of 1-on-1 personalized instruction from Charles both in the field and classroom, and there will be plenty of lectures and supportive group image evaluations.

All skill levels and camera formats welcome, including smartphone cameras. Students should also have basic proficiency in post-capture image editing software, such as Lightroom, Photoshop or Snapseed.


Five days of photography instruction in both the classroom and in the field, including field demos, classroom lectures, stimulating assignments, and supportive group image evaluations.


Airfare, airport transfers, transportation, lodging, meals, Butchart Gardens 12-Month Pass ($72.00 CAN + tax), optional trip insurance, COVID-19 testing prior to arrival or departure (or during the workshop), and other incidentals such as laundry, phone calls, tips & gratuities, etc.


A block of hotel rooms has been reserved in Sidney, British Columbia at a discounted rate of $199 CAN/night + tax (approximately $156 US/night, plus tax).


Daily flights are available into Victoria International Airport (YYJ), a 10-minute drive from the Best Western Plus hotel.  You can also reach Sidney, B.C. via ferry from Anacortes, WA (just north of Seattle), or via ferry from Tsawwassen, B.C. to Swartz Bay, B.C.  In this case, you would need to fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).  Keep in mind, you’ll need to make ferry reservations far in advance, because boats get booked quickly during summer months.  Please note: WA State Ferries may not be running the Anacortes to Sidney ferry in 2022 due to crew and vessel scheduling issues. (It is their only vessel that can do this run, and it sometimes gets reassigned to other routes.)

Because ground transportation is not included in this workshop, you may wish to rent a car.


• Sunday, August 14

Meet & Greet starting at 7 pm.  Lecture and inspirational slide show.  Camera equipment overview.

• Monday, August 15

Early morning entry into Butchart Gardens.  Photograph all morning.  Field demos.  Lots of 1-on-1 instruction.  Lunch in the Gardens.  Afternoon lectures.

• Tuesday, August 16

Early morning entry into Butchart Gardens.  Photograph all morning.  Field demos.  Lots of 1-on-1 instruction.  Afternoon lecture.  Afternoon/evening shoot at Butchart Gardens.

• Wednesday, August 17

Early morning entry into Butchart Gardens.  Photograph all morning.  Field demos.  Lots of 1-on-1 instruction.  Lunch in the Gardens.  Supervised lab time.  Optional evening shoot in downtown Victoria.

• Thursday, August 18

9 am to 12 noon.  Supportive group image evaluations.  Workshop concludes at 12 noon.


All skill levels and camera formats welcome, including smartphone cameras. Students should also have a basic understanding of exposure and proficiency in post-capture image editing software, such as Lightroom, Photoshop or Snapseed.


No strenuous activity will be involved during the workshop.


All workshop withdrawal requests must be in writing and received either by US mail or e-mail and acknowledged by Charles Needle Photography. There are NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS POLICY, even for medical or family emergencies. Unless otherwise noted, based on cancellation date, the following apply:

• Greater than 91 days before the workshop start date: refund, minus a $200 administrative fee.

• Within 90 days of the start of the program: no refund.

Regardless of when you cancel, if you or we are able to fill your space, we will provide a refund of any payments made minus a $200 processing fee.

We encourage you to purchase refundable airline tickets and trip cancellation insurance. We strongly recommend trip insurance to protect you in the event of an unexpected situation that prevents you from attending the workshop. We recommend Travelguard or Travelex Insurance Services.

We reserve the right to cancel any workshop if the minimum student enrollment is not met, or due to any COVID-19 or other health concerns. In the event we cancel a workshop, you’ll be notified as soon as possible and be given the option to receive a full refund or apply your payment toward any future workshop within one calendar year from the date of cancellation.  

We are not, however, liable for expenses incurred such as airfare or accommodations, and for this reason we also recommend the purchase of trip insurance. The financial liability of Charles Needle Photography shall be limited to the amount paid to Charles Needle Photography for the tour/workshop only and shall not be extended to cover any other associated travel costs incurred (e.g. non-refundable air tickets, visa fees if applicable, clothing, equipment, miscellaneous transportation costs, lodging costs, medical expenses, travel insurance premiums, etc.).  For this reason, we highly recommend trip cancellation insurance.


My workshops are an intimate experience; we share classroom space, carpooling, group meals, and I like to be up-close and personal in the field to give you the best learning experience.

Above all else, my primary goal is to ensure everyone feels safe to relax and have a fun time. None of us want the threat of COVID lingering in the back of our minds while trying to be creative and have a good time. Based on this, along with current CDC guidelines, proof of vaccine, with the last dose at least 14 days before the workshop, is required to attend all my workshops.

As you know, this is an ever-evolving situation, and I will follow current CDC and local health department regulations and inform you before the workshop. For the health and safety of everyone, masks and face coverings may be required at certain times during the workshop.  In addition, periodic COVID testing during the workshop might need to occur.  Myself and my workshop assistants are fully vaccinated for your safety as well. Thank you for your understanding during these unprecedented times, I want my workshops to be a fun, safe experience for everyone!

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