Alaska Brown Bears, Glaciers and Fall Colors Photography Workshop Tour 2017-04-20T14:05:28+00:00

Alaska Brown Bears, Glacier and Fall Colors Photography Workshop Tour

Take your camera to remote regions of Alaska that few ever see – and bring home a trove prize photographs. The 7 day/7 night Alaska Brown Bears, Glacier and Fall Colors Photography Workshop Tour travels by van, helicopter and floatplane to jaw-dropping locations, such as a pristine turquoise lake nestled among snow-capped mountains and trimmed with fall colors, with a healthy population of Alaska brown bear fattening on the last of the summer bounty. This one-of-a-kind workshop tour includes a helicopter lift to a remote glacier, and a road trip through craggy, sugar-coated mountain peaks and valleys flush with fall color. The entire trip is instructed and guided by Alaska professional photographer, Jeff Schultz, official photographer of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Jeff draws on 30+ years of Alaska photography experience to bring you the very best the Great Land has to offer. No detail is overlooked, including timing, which is planned to coincide with coastal brown bears’ last push to amass calories before their long sleep. It’s an excursion designed specifically for photographers, but which Jeff also says, “Is a trip I’d take my family on to see a broad spectrum of Alaska that is much less visited by many people.” There is a good chance, weather permitting, the aurora borealis will make an appearance during week. Jeff will provide instruction during several classroom sessions and offer in-the-field support for photographing the wide variety of subjects, including auroras, landscapes and wildlife. His mission is to ensure you take your photography to the next level… and bring home your Alaska dream shot.

Who

Intermediate to advanced photographers [maximum 6 participants]. Intermediate defined as a photographer who knows how to use most of the camera features, including manual settings, and understands basic composition.

When

September 15-22, 2018 

Where

Anchorage, Alaska, Matanuska Valley, Lake Clark National Park

Highlights

  • Bear photography by small boat, enabling photographers to travel within close range of the bears while they roam along the shore and dive for salmon [2 photographers and 1 guide per boat]
  • Bald eagle photography along lake shore and river in Lake Clark National Park
  • Helicopter flight over a glacier and a half-day at an iceberg filled lake
  • Potential for moose photos in the autumn setting
  • Fall colors landscape photography
  • Aerial photography from Alaska bush plane & helicopter
  • Road trip through autumnal valleys surrounded by rugged mountain peaks
  • Potential to photograph auroras and the northern night sky
  • Guiding and instruction provided by one of Alaska’s most published and respected professional photographers
  • Daily classroom instruction and critique sessions
  • Superb food and accommodations
  • Amenities at the remote Lake Clark Lodge includes hot tub, kayaks, fishing gear [and guide] internet access, beer and wine

What Will I Learn?

At each of the workshop classroom sessions, Jeff will discuss his methods for shooting stellar wildlife and landscape images as is appropriate for the group.  During each of the outings, he will also talk through his methods for making the best image at the current location with the subject at hand. Some of the topics he will discuss include:

  • 10-tips to making better images no matter where you are
  • Composition do’s, don’ts, and new ideas
  • What makes an image compelling
  • Use of various types of filters
  • Combining shutter speeds and f-stops… and the effects of each
  • Equipment: what you really need, what would be nice, and what you don’t need at all

Camera Gear – What shall I bring?

Besides shooting with two Canon camera bodies, Jeff brings lenses from 14mm-400mm and flash with off-camera capabilities, tripod, polarizer and split-neutral density filters. 

ESSENTIAL PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT:

At the very least, please bring:

  • A DSLR or MLIC camera with one lens
  • Several back up batteries & chargers
  • Extra media cards for your camera

Ideally, if possible, please also bring:

  • Extra camera body
  • Lenses ranging from 17mm-400mm [If you’d like to rent equipment while you are visiting Alaska, we recommend our friends at Stewart’s Photo Shop in downtown Anchorage]
  • Tripod – A necessity for night-sky photography
  • A fast, wide-angle lens for night-sky/aurora photography [14-24mm f2.8 or faster is ideal]
  • A long telephoto [400-500mm is ideal]
  • A macro lens or extension tubes
  • Polarizing filter [Jeff uses and recommends Singh-Ray]
  • Graduated neutral density filters [Jeff carries 2 and 3 stop “soft” and “hard” Galen Rowell graduated filters by Singh-Ray, ask Jeff for a discount count if you plan to purchase these]
  • Flash and off-camera cord
  • Lens shades & cable release
  • Non abrasive cloth
  • Laptop computer with image editing/processing software [Jeff uses and recommends BreezeBrowser and Adobe Lightroom]
  • Backpack type of carrying case [Jeff uses and recommends Kiboko]
  • Any other easily transported photography gear you like to use

Clothing

A complete list will be provided prior to the workshop.

  • Layers with synthetic type material [not cotton]
  • Sturdy hiking boots and rain boots
  • Rain gear
  • Headlamp with red lens for night vision

Transportation, Lodging and Meals [what’s inluded, what’s not]

Included:

  • Round-trip ground transportation in a 12-passenger luxury van from Anchorage to the Matanuska Valley
  • Helicopter flight* to Colony Glacier
  • Floatplane flight* to Lake Clark Lodge
  • 7-nights accommodations
  • Unlimited beer and wine at Lake Clark Lodge
  • One beer or wine at other dinners
  • All meals from the first night dinner to the last day breakfast

* All flying is done “weather permitting.” Jeff Schultz and the lodge vendor is not responsible for flights that are cancelled due to weather and/or weather delays.

What’s not Included:

  • Round-trip travel from your home to Anchorage, Alaska
  • Personal gear, including photography equipment, toiletries and outerwear.
  • Personal expenses
  • Additional beverages at dinner meals [other than Redoubt Mountain Lodge]
  • Gratuities for guides and pilots

Safety, Confidence and Being Prepared

Your safety is our primary concern. We work with some of the best Alaska pilots and guides, and each is well trained, experienced and insured. 

  • Physical Requirements: better than average to excellent condition
  • Degree of Difficulty: moderate to difficult
  • Agility: Good to excellent [ability to climb steps into small float plane, up and downhill hiking and traveling on uneven, rocky terrain and spongy tundra]
  • Weather Conditions: moderate to extreme, mid -late September temperatures range from 40° F [4° C] to 60° F [15° C] with potential for rain, wind or sun
  • Mental Requirements: a flexible and positive attitude
  • Activities: boating, hiking and photographing on uneven tundra and terrain, day and night
  • Photographic Skill Level:  intermediate to professional
  • Clients are required to inform us of health problems, allergies and physical limitation at time of booking due to the extreme remote location and physical activities involved and all clients must sign a liability release waiver prior to the trip

Cost

Standard Trip: $6,450 per person, based on double occupancy. Includes all 7-nights’ accommodations and meals from arrival day dinner through last day breakfast.

Single Supplement Cost: Single occupancy for all accommodations [except for 3 nights at the lodge in Lake Clark*] is an additional $625.

*Because of the limited amount of cabins and short season the lodge in Lake Clark, it is necessary that participants share a cabin at this lodge. For those who wish to have their own cabin, the single supplement cost is an additional $2450. Please e-mail Jeff directly if you would like to choose this option, as there is very limited availability. Considerations will be made for the best pairings of travelers for the double occupancy at the lodge in Lake Clark.

alaska_brown_bears

Itinerary

FYI—During this trip, sunrise is approximately 7:30 am, sunset 8:15 pm

Fri Sep 15

Plan to arrive at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport no later than 3 pm. For those traveling from further time zones, we suggest arriving a day or two in advance to acclimate to the difference. Pre workshop hotel options and activity suggestions are available on request. Complimentary shuttle from airport to hotel is provided on arrival. There is a 5 pm meet and greet in the hotel lobby, followed by a welcome dinner and pre-workshop classroom instruction on wildlife and landscape photography, along with trip orientation.

Sat Sep 16

Breakfast at hotel… and then a short drive to the Chugach Mountains, bordering Anchorage to the east, where you will find fall color landscapes and perhaps moose during the rut. Following lunch and into evening, the group will travel along the Glenn Highway, stopping often for fall landscapes, potential wildlife sightings and anything of interest, including views of Matanuska Glacier surrounded by autumn color. Accommodations will be at a cozy lodge nestled between the Talkeetna and Chugach Mountain ranges, in private, well appointed cabins. There will be an evening classroom workshop and slide show on northern lights and night sky photography, followed by practice in the field, with a good chance to see auroras, weather permitting.

Sun Sep 17

The day begins with an early-risers [6:30 am] optional photo shoot along the trails of the lodge, followed by 8 am breakfast. An excursion to photograph more fall landscapes will take place later in the morning, from scenic locations along the Glenn Highway to Hatcher Pass, for landscape photography with mountain streams surrounded by craggy peaks. In addition to varied scenic photo ops along the way, there is potential for moose sightings on the final miles before reaching the next accomodations, a scenic lodge in the Knik River Valley. Picnic lunch will be enjoyed along the way at a convenient stop. There will be an evening classroom critique session, a 3-course Alaska-style dinner, and more potential for seeing and photographing auroras and the northern night sky.

Mon Sep 18

Following breakfast, the group will take-off in helicopters for a 15 minute flight directly over Knik Glacier to land on the ice-berg choked shores of Inner Lake George, with Colony Glacier and the Chugach mountains forming a backdrop. Conditions permitting, the doors of the helicopter will be off for the flight, allowing for the best possible aerial photography. The helicopter will depart after drop-off, so the group will have 5 hours to photograph this beautiful and remote landscape in solitude. A picnic lunch is provided. Upon return to the lodge, the group will transport to Anchorage accommodations for check-in and dinner. Following dinner, you are on your own in Anchorage.

Tue Sep 19

Pickup at 7:30 am, following breakfast at the hotel, and transfer to air taxi at Lake Hood Seaplane Base. One hour flight by floatplane to accommodations for the next 3- nights… an exclusive, private lodge in Lake Clark National Park. There may be much opportunity for aerial photography on the way in. Late morning lodge arrival followed by staff introductions and an orientation. Afterward, the group will head out to find and photograph Alaska brown bears; 2 participants and 1 guide per motorboat. There may be bears hanging out at various locations around the 9-mile, glacier-fed lake and at both the inlet and outlet rivers. The guides will find the bears. Spectacular scenery surrounding the bears and travel by small boat, allowing safe viewing and and ability to relocate quickly, combine to make this tour exceptional. Bears can come quite close. You will return to the lodge for lunch, then go back to the field for more bear and landscape photography. Evening dinner at the lodge includes beer and wine, followed by time to do a little photo editing. Again, northern lights and night sky photography is a possibility.

Wed & Thu Sep 20 & 21

Following a hearty breakfast, you will either take to small boat again, or the group will go by pontoon boat to photograph bears in various locations. You are free to choose another activity at any time during this period, including kayaking with a guide, hiking, or salmon and trout fishing. There may also be a group landscape photography outing or hike at some point. Lunch and dinner at the lodge. There will be a critique session as well as a instruction on post-processing in Adobe Lightroom and workflow each of these nights.

Fri Sep 22

Breakfast at the lodge followed by floatplane return to Anchorage. Approximately 12pm arrival at Lake Hood Floatplane Base. Hotel transfers available.

Important Booking Information & What’s Next

Due to the remote nature of this trip there is a special deposit and cancellation policy for this trip, please read carefully.

Deposit and Cancellation Policy

A 50% deposit is required at time of booking [$500 of this deposit is NON-REFUNDABLE]. The balance of the tour price is due April 1, 2018.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Excluding the $500 deposit, subsequent deposits are refundable until April 1st. Refunds for cancellations after April 1st are not guaranteed. If we can fill the space with another booking we will refund the payments [minus 15% for re-booking charges with our vendors]. For this reason, as well as other unforeseen trip disruptions, trip insurance is strongly encouraged. We suggest one of these two options:

AIG Travel Guard

CSA Travel Protection

Reserve your place by clicking the “Book Now” button below. Jeff will contact you with payment and confirmation information. Read Booking Policies and Liability Waivers.

After booking what’s next?   

  • After the deposit payment is received, Jeff will send detailed information on the first day’s itinerary so that you can plan your arrival day and time.

Several months before the workshop, Jeff will e-mail you the following:

  • A list of any other essential personal gear & any specialized photography gear I feel will enhance your experience.
  • Supplemental information on the itinerary.

If at any time, you have any questions about the workshop, please e-mail Jeff Schultz directly at Jeff@SchultzPhoto.com.

Book now!