One of the best things about being an Alaska photo tour guide is that it puts you in touch with so many interesting people. This past summer, I had the honor of chasing light in Anchorage with a full-time world traveler, intrepid spirit and all around cool person, Sherry Ott. It was fun showcasing the best that the Anchorage area has to offer, and she in turn did a wonderful job of relating the experience in words and photos.
By Sherry on Nov 18, 2016 06:00 am
“The goal tonight is to get to the right places at the right times and come away learning something new,” Jody said as I squinted into the glaring sun and out across the expanse of mud flats called the Turnagain Arm in Anchorage.
The one thing that everyone packs on a trip to Alaska is a camera. After all, around every corner there tend to be jaw-dropping landscapes; rushing clouds, rocky mountains, brilliant forests, blue glaciers, extraordinary wildlife, and if you are fortunate – the aurora. However, before you get on that glacier, bear tour, flightseeing or cruise, make sure you know how to get great Alaska photographs and how to best use your camera so as to not waste the opportunity. I spent one night with Alaska Photo Treks and was able to fully acquaint myself with my camera. I was pushed to try some new techniques, and I learned some of the best landscape/sunset photography areas around Anchorage.
I often search for photography tours and workshops in places where I’ll be for a few days. It’s great learning for me and keeps up my skills. I always run into the same problem; I can normally find photo workshops, but they are for a week at a time, and very costly. I’m just looking for a simple day experience to show me some hidden gems that I wouldn’t find on my own, and refresh my skills while meeting a local photographer who knows the area. I don’t have the time or money for a big week-long photo workshop. Strangely, few places offer simple day workshops and I wish more did. I have found a few in Kauai and on the Big Island, but it’s something I wish there was more of.
I heard of Alaska Photo Treks via social media at first. They share stunning images on their Instagram account and that is what first grabbed me. From there I found their website and saw they offered a simple night twilight tour around Anchorage. Perfect!
Professional photographer Jody Overstreet, our photography guide for the night, picked me up and we chatted about my photography experience as we filled the van with other photo enthusiasts looking to make the most of the time in Anchorage. Jody used to work at Visit Anchorage, she loved photography in high school, but then it had taken a back seat in adulthood – life happens. However, at Visit Anchorage she rediscovered her love of photography while creating the newsletter where she had to source photos. Like many, after years of working in a traditional 9 to 5 job, Jody decided to take a risk and leave the office behind and focus on her love of photography. She teamed up with Dan Baily, a local professional photographer and they started the business as traditional workshops. However, they found that offering a night tour was a great way to let people know what they could do first and then build off of that. After being in business now for 3 years, they’ve built out their customer tours but still keep this twilight tour, which I was on for the night.
“Golden hour turns into Golden 3 hours at this latitude,” Jody said. I hadn’t really considered that before – but the sun was already low and we still had a couple of hours until sunset – perfect for a photographer!