Tutka Bay Treasures Alaska Photography Workshop with Carl Johnson 2017-05-03T23:14:18+00:00

Tutka Bay Treasures Alaska Photography Workshop with Carl Johnson | May 26-30, 2017

Explore a target rich maritime environment with a spectacular blend of scenery, venue, award-winning cuisine, high caliber instruction, diversity of subject matter and ample opportunity to relax and enjoy yourself during this upscale Alaska photography workshop.

As Alaska photography workshops go, this one stands in a class by itself! Base camp is Tutka Bay Lodge, situated at the entrance to a pristine, seven-mile long fjord at the southern end of Kachemak Bay. It is accessible only by air or water taxi, departing from the port town of Homer, Alaska. The renowned lodge is owned and operated by Kirsten and Carl Dixon. Kirsten is one of Alaska's most high profile and celebrated chefs. The pristine environment provides expansive views of coastal scenery, craggy cliffs and sea stacks, temperate rainforest and tidal pools, and offers photographic opportunities ranging from landscape to macro.

Day One

Rendezvous with Carl Johnson at Mako's Water Taxi on the Homer Spit for a scenic, 20-minute cruise to Tutka Bay Lodge. Photographic opportunities abound along the way, including coastal landscapes, and potential seabird and marine mammal sightings. The lodge hosts will welcome the group at dockside and provide a brief orientation. Afterward, you'll check into a cabin with views overlooking Grace Ridge and Tutka Fjord, and then gather in the main room at 1:00pm for an introductory taste of Kirsten's gourmet lodge fare, emphasizing seafoods sourced from Kachemak Bay.

Following lunch, there will be a gear orientation and an initial classroom session. Later in the afternoon, the lodge offers cooking classes with the chefs, a wine tasting in the main lodge bar area, and then dinner at 7:00pm. With the midnight sun setting after 11pm, there will be plenty of time to explore the evening light with our cameras.

Day Two, Three & Four

The sun rises early this time of year! We'll make the most of it with 5:00am wake up calls to capture dawn and first light. After a few hours of shooting, there will be break time for optional lodge activities, which may include a gentle yoga class on deck with views of Tutka Bay. Breakfast is served at 8:00am daily.

One of the lowest tides of the year in Tutka Bay will occur during our visit. At this time, we will explore tidal pools with a macro lens, focusing on abstract composition techniques. Breakfast will follow. In the afternoon, there will be opportunity to explore the nearby rainforest and boat to nearby locations for views of craggy coastlines dotted with glaciers and waterfalls. One more classroom session will be scheduled at our leisure.

All this activity will make a massage, soak in the hot tub on deck, or lounge in the wood fired sauna a welcome respite. Be sure to take advantage of these luxuries during your stay!

Day four will follow the same morning routine before breakfast. Afterward, we'll transfer back to Homer via water taxi, and explore the Homer Spit upon arrival. Following lunch and lodging check-in, time will be set aside to review images shot during the workshop and select favorites for an open portfolio review. After dinner, we'll head out for evening landscape photography on the Spit, including the small boat harbor and Bishop's Beach.

Day Five

During an early drive back to Anchorage, we'll stop in the village of Ninilchik to photograph the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord Chapel, a beautiful Russian Orthodox Church on a bluff overlooking Cook Inlet with a view of Mt. Iliamna in the distance, and then enjoy a parting breakfast in the town of Soldotna. Afterward, you will be on your own to return to Anchorage or enjoy exploring the Kenai Peninsula further.

Whenever possible we endeavor to follow our itineraries as written. However, trips will occasionally deviate from the written itinerary due to weather conditions, group preference, specific safety considerations, or unforeseeable circumstances (collectively what some have called “The Alaska Factor.”) Therefore, we suggest that you approach any Alaska trip with an open mind and an adventurous spirit.

Recommended Photography Gear

  • Camera with manual settings
  • Wide angle lens
  • Zoom lens
  • Macro lens
  • Charged batteries and charger
  • Multiple memory cards
  • Sturdy Tripod
  • Remote shutter release

Photography equipment rental available at Stewart's Photo Shop


This is a moderate activity that involves walking short distances on uneven terrain. Weather conditions may range from rain, wind, and sun, and temperatures from 45°F (7°C) to 70°F (21°C).


  • Comfortable walking or hiking shoes with good traction
  • Short and long sleeve shirts
  • Fleece jacket
  • Water/windproof outer shell
Tutka Bay Treasures Alaska Photography Workshop with Carl Johnson

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