2018 Alaska Bears & More - 8-day/7-night photo tour - June 16-23, 2018

Exclusive photo tour with Alaska photographer Jeff Schultz

This trip will take you on a week-long tour of some of the most spectacular and diverse regions of Alaska. You will experience imposing mountain scenery, giant glaciers, and idyllic valleys. Additionally, to photographing the impressive Alaskan landscapes, you will also have ample opportunity to photograph Alaska’s mighty grizzly bear. You will spend three nights in the world-famous Katmai National Park, photographing bears as well as a day in the archipelago community of Kodiak Island and a full-day boat trip photographing bald eagles, seals, sealions and glaciers in Prince William Sound.

This exclusive photo tour combines many of the top features of Alaska. We take you to unique locations, far from the tourist crowds. Your lead photo guide, professional photographer Jeff Schultz, has lived in Alaska for over 38 years and has been the official photographer of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race since 1982. A second photo guide will also be on hand.

Partners who are not engaged in photography, will also enjoy this unique natural experience of the unparalleled beauty and tranquilly of Alaska as well as the ability to observe bears and other wildlife in their natural environment.

While in the field and in the several classroom instruction sessions, Jeff will teach you methods he’s learned in his 35+ years as a professional photographer to help you take your landscape and wildlife photography to the next level. Jeff is not there to make his own photographs…he is there to ensure you get to make your Alaskan dream shots and to take your photography to the next level.

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Who

Beginning to advanced photographers (maximum 10 participants). This Alaskan photo tour is perfect for both beginners, intermediate and advanced photographers. Due to the group’s reduced size and the support provided by two photography instructors, the individual needs of each participant will be given proper attention.

Spouses who are not engaged in photography will also enjoy this unique natural experience and the possibility to observe bears in their natural environment.

When

June 16 – 23, 2018 8 days / 7 nights Arrive to Anchorage, Alaska / Depart from Anchorage, Alaska

Where

Anchorage -- Girdwood – Prince William Sound – Kodiak – Katmai National Park

Highlights

  • Superb food and accommodations
  • Alaska during early summer with beautiful wild flowers and exuberant green trees
  • Exclusive boat tour (for our group only) in Prince William Sound with great photo opportunities: vast glaciers, picturesque mountain landscapes and the potential of; bald eagles, whales, orcas, otters, seals, sea lions, puffins and many more
  • Visit the idyllic community of Kodiak, Alaska
  • Brown bears, in the world-famous Katmai National Park with fantastic beautiful coastal landscapes, during the ideal season for bear watching! The renowned Lodge is booked exclusively for our photography tour group.
  • Typical, rustic Alaskan lodges - some of which are very remote, and thus close to photographic highlights
  • Your guide main and instructor is one of Alaska’s most published and respected professional photographers.
  • Second photography instructor for more personalized attention
  • Daily classroom and on-location instruction and nightly critique sessions

Cost

Standard Trip: $8,850.00 per person, based on double occupancy.
* Single Supplement Cost: $650 (without Katmai Lodge)

* Single rooms: Because of the limited number of cabins and short season at Katmai Wilderness Lodge, it is necessary for participants to share a cabin (twin beds)

Attention: This trip is being offered through my Swiss-based partner photo tour operator, Amazing Views Photo and Adventure Tours (www.amazingviews.ch)  By reserving a spot on this photography workshop, you agree to the booking and cancellation policies as listed and the Release of Liability specified by Amazing Views.

During this trip sunrise is approximately 4:20 am with sunset approximately 11:40 pm

DAY 1: Arrival in Anchorage

Considering possible jet lag, we STRONGLY recommend arriving one-two days earlier.
We will be happy to help you with hotel bookings in Anchorage and make suggestions for local sightseeing & photo opportunities.

We will meet you in Anchorage at 2 pm and will have a meet and greet get together before we travel in our private 15-passenger van down the scenic Seward Highway along the Turnagain Arm waterway. Wildflowers and wildlife are expected. This evening we will stay in the quaint village of Girdwood, Alaska.

DAY 2:

We start our short drive to Whittier, Alaska early in the morning. This is where we board the boat which is exclusively chartered for our group. We will spend the entire day in Prince William Sound. With some luck, we will get an opportunity to observe whales, sea otters, sea lions and sea birds. The landscape and the giant glaciers will fascinate you and will be quite close. We will get out a of the boat in the inter-tidal zone to photograph beached icebergs. We will return to idyllic Girdwood for an overnight stay and more evening landscape photography of the mountains and hanging glaciers nearby Girdwood.

DAY 3: Flight to Kodiak

Today we may start the day early with a sunrise landscape photography session, depending on the weather. We will then take a short 40-minute drive back to the Anchorage airport for our flight to Kodiak, Alaska´s largest island. We will spend the afternoon in the surroundings of the small town of Kodiak. From 1792 to 1804, Kodiak was the capital of the former Russian colony. Nowadays, however, Kodiak is a busy fishing town. The Russian Orthodox Church and the Baranof Museum are reminiscent of the Russian period.

DAY 4: From Kodiak to the Katmai National Park

Today, we will experience another great highlight of this photography tour. An Alaskan float plane will take us on a 1-hour flight to our remote lodge in Katmai National Park. The lodge is located on the coast near Kukak Bay and is close to the famous Hallo Bay. This is where we will spend three days and nights photographing the famous Alaskan coastal grizzly bears and other wildlife, such as eagles, fox and much more.

Day 5 & 6: Katmai

The lodge is booked exclusively for our group! This means that we can plan the daily schedule entirely according to our preferences. After breakfast, we will take a boat to observe bears and other wildlife along the coast and in the coves. Depending on the weather conditions, we will arrange for a picnic during the tour.

In the evening, depending on your preferences, you can either schedule a discussion of your photographs, or you can simply enjoy the lodge´s facilities.

June is an excellent season for bear watching in this region. Following the long winter sleep on the banks of the Katmai coast, the bears gather to feed on the protein-rich mussels. Additionally, they also appreciate the fresh green grass, which, by the way, provides a great backdrop for photographs. The wild flowers should also begin to blossom, from mid-June onwards.

Day 7  Return to Anchorage

In the morning, we resume our search for bears, before our afternoon return flight to Kodiak by seaplane. Later in the afternoon, we fly onwards to Anchorage and overnight in an Anchorage hotel. We will plan to have a final critique session this evening.

Day 8 End of the Photography Tour

After breakfast, your photography tour will be concluded. You can either take your return flight home or begin your individual supplementary program.

Our two June photo tours: Alaska Denali and Bears of Alaska can easily be combined to create a unique, one-of-a-kind 14-day Alaskan experience. These trips together allow for an un-matched photo experience of Alaska. See more about Alaska Denali here.

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 days’ outings, Jeff will also talk through his methods for making the best image at the current location with the subject at hand. He is NOT there to photograph his own images; he is there to help you take your photography to the next level. Jeff will also cover the following:

  • 10 Tips to making better images no matter where you are
  • Composition: Do’s, Don’ts, and New Ideas
  • What makes a compelling image
  • Use of various types of filters
  • Combining shutter speeds and f-stops… and the effects of each
  • Equipment: What You Really Need, Would Like, & Don’t Need at All

Besides 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:

  1. A DSLR camera with two lenses such as a 24-105mm and a 100-400mm would be ideal.
  2. Several back up batteries & charger
  3. Extra media cards for your camera
  4. Tripod

 

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. Visit them online at: http://stewartsphoto.com/rentals/
  • 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 a 2 and a 3 stop “soft” and "hard" Galen Rowell graduated filters by Singh-Ray. Get a 10% discount on your purchase of any Singh-Ray filters using this discount code: Schultz10 at this address: http://www.singh-ray.com/

  • Flash and off-camera cord
  • Lens shades & cable release
  • Non abrasive, absorbent cloth
  • Laptop computer with image editing/processing software - Jeff uses and recommends BreezeBrowser & Lightroom
  • Backpack type of carrying case - Jeff uses and recommends Mindshift. Get free shipping and free gear using this link: http://www.mindshiftgear.com?rfsn=507780.a01562
  • Any other easily transported photography gear you like to use
  • Dress in layers with synthetic type material, not cotton
  • Bring sturdy hiking boots and rain boots.
  • Bring rain gear.
  • headlamp with red lens for night-time vision

A complete list of necessary clothing will be sent closer to the workshop date.

Ground Transportation is provided in a 12-passenger luxury van.

The price includes:

  • All aspects of the photography workshop/tour
  • All ground transportation
  • Air flight to Kodiak
  • Bush plane flight to Lake Clark National Park
  • All 7 nights accommodations
  • All meals from the first night dinner, through the last day breakfast.
  • * All flying is done “weather permitting”. Jeff Schultz and our lodge vendor is not responsible for flights that are cancelled due to weather and/or weather delays

What’s not Included:

  • Air transportation from your home to and from Fairbanks, or Anchorage, Alaska.
  • Any personal gear. You must bring your own photography gear, clothing, toiletries and outerwear. There are weight restrictions on gear for the flights. A list of recommended clothing and camera gear as well as weight information will be sent after registration.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Beverages at dinner meals
  • Gratuities for guides and pilots.

Your safety is ultimately the primary concern.

Physical Requirements: Good to excellent condition

  • Degree of Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
  • Weather Conditions: Moderate to extreme. Mid -late September temperatures range from 40° F (4° C) to 60° F (15° C). May experience rain, wind or sun
  • 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)
  • Mental Requirements: A flexible and positive attitude is essential
  • Activities: boating, hiking to photographic opportunities on uneven tundra and terrain
  • Photographic Skill Level: Beginning to advanced

Deposits:
A 50% deposit is required at time of booking.  $500 of this deposit is NON-REFUNDABLE for any reason. 

The balance of the tour price is due 5 months prior to the workshop/tour date. An invoice for the balance will be sent at that time. 

Cancellation & Refund Policy: 
Excluding the $500  non-refundable portion of the deposit, the deposits are refundable up until 120 days before the tour. Refunds for cancellations less than 120 days before the trip are not guaranteed. Only if we can fill the space with another booking  will we refund the payments (minus the $500 non-refundable portion and an additional 15% charge for re-booking with our vendors).  For this reason, and for medical emergencies, we strongly recommend trip insurance.  

We suggest one of these two options for insurance:
AIG Travel Guard
CSA Travel Protection

BOOK YOUR TRIP NOW

Contact us directly if you have questions about the workshop/tour or would like to book directly.

After booking What’s Next? Upon booking we will contact you to confirm your space and see if you have any specific questions we can answer at that time. Then, several months before the workshop, we will e-mail you a list of other essential personal gear, any specialized photography gear we feel will enhance your experience, and more detailed information on where and when to meet for the first day. We will also ask for emergency contact information and medical information.

Attention: This trip is being offered through my Swiss-based partner tour operator, Amazing Views Photo and Adventure Tours (www.amazingviews.ch)  By reserving a spot on this photography workshop, you agree to the booking and cancellation policies as listed and the Release of Liability specified by Amazing Views.

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