2018 Into the Wild - Alaska - 15-day/14-night photo tour - August 4-18, 2018

Exclusive photo tour with Alaska photographer Jeff Schultz

Over the course of two full weeks, this tour takes you to see selected Alaskan highlights. Impressive mountain scenery, vast glaciers, cascading waterfalls, and idyllic valleys await. In addition to photographing Alaska’s impressive landscapes, you will also capture a diverse range of wildlife: bears, moose, eagles, whales, caribou and more.

You will spend two days and nights in the world-famous Katmai National Park, photographing Alaska’s grizzly bears as well as 4 days and nights deep inside Denali National Park where a view of Denali is outside your cabin door (weather permitting). You’ll have two opportunities for an optional flight-seeing trip to view and photograph Denali from the air. During a full-day boat trip, enjoy photographing eagles, sea-otters and glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park. Also included is a helicopter flight to a remote, ice berg filled lake with glacier background and many other off-the-beaten path photogenic locations.

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/instructor will also be on hand for more personal instruction.

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. Jeff is not there to make his own photographs…he is there to teach you techniques for making great landscape and wildlife photos, 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 9 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 of the unparalleled beauty and tranquility of Alaska as well as the ability to observe bears and other wildlife in their natural environment.

When

August 4 - 18, 2018 15 days / 14 nights from / to Anchorage

Where

Anchorage – Lake Clark NP – Kenai Peninsula – Matanuska Valley – Talkeetna – Denali NP – Anchorage

Highlights

  • Superb food and accommodations
  • Brown bears in the remote natural paradise of Lake Clark National Park
  • Four days in the heart of the Denali National Park, far from the hustle and bustle at the park’s entrance. Enjoy a unique experience in a small, remote lodge with unparalleled views.
  • The impressive nature and wildlife of the Denali Park Alaska tundra: bears, moose, caribou, Dall sheep and many more. And with a bit of luck, by mid-August the tundra will show a first glimpse of autumn color.
  • Wildlife naturalist on Denali Park outings
  • Exclusive boat tour (for our group only) in the Kenai Fjords National Park with great photo opportunities: vast glaciers, picturesque mountain landscapes, bald eagles, whales, orcas, otters, seals, sea lions, puffins and many more
  • Exclusive helicopter flight and landing at remote glacier-fed lake
  • Optional bush plane flights for spectacular aerial shots
  • Typical, rustic Alaskan lodges - some of which are very remote, and thus close to photographic highlights
  • Personal support and assistance from renowned Alaskan professional photographer: Jeff Schultz (Jeff will be supported by another photographic guide). Throughout the whole trip, we will be offering short, hands-on tutorials on relevant photographic topics.

Cost

Standard Trip: $13,550 per person, based on double occupancy.

Single Supplement Cost: $1,300 (Not Including Camp Denali & Katmai Park Lodge*)

*Single rooms: Because of the limited number of cabins and short season at Camp Denali and at Katmai Park 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 6:00 am with sunset approximately 10:00 pm

DAY 1: Arrival in Anchorage

Independent travel to Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC) in Anchorage. You should arrive in Anchorage no later than 3 pm on August 4, 2018. From the airport, the hotel’s free shuttle service will deliver you to your accommodation with the minimum of fuss.

Later in the afternoon, you will meet the other tour participants, your photography guide, Jeff Schultz, and a further guide from Amazing Views. Jeff will give you an introduction to wildlife and landscape photography and the details on your upcoming trip. Then we all head off for dinner together.

For those travelling from afar, we HIGHLY suggest arriving a day or two early in order to help you get over the jetlag. We will be happy to help you with hotel bookings in Anchorage and other things to see and do.

DAY 2: Onward journey to Lake Clark National Park

After breakfast, we take a quick shuttle to the Lake Hood seaplane base near the hotel. This is the busiest take-off and landing point for seaplanes in the world. A typical Alaskan bush plane takes us directly to our lodge in Lake Clark National Park.

After a flight of just under an hour, we land on the sandy beach next to the lodge where we will spend the next two nights. Each guest cabin and lodge room is unique, modern, spacious and very comfortable with a combination of queen and twin beds, full baths, sitting areas, individual heat sources, and electricity. The fully furnished cabins have one, two or three bedrooms and all have private decks with views of the tidal flats and Cook Inlet.

Upon arrival, we will head to look for bears, accompanied by two highly trained guides who are responsible for your safety as well as Jeff Schultz and another photography instructor. To allow us to move through the area rapidly, transport from one location to the next will make use of ATVs/quad bikes.

With any luck, we’ll capture our first images of the impressive bears. After a break for dinner, we will set out to look for bears again, taking the time to observe them and take photos as long as the light permits.

DAY 3: Lake Clark National Park

We spend the whole day in the Lake Clark National Park, following bear tracks, and with plenty of time to observe and take photos. In this region, it is common to see bears digging up mussels on the beach or catching salmon in the rivers and streams that flow to the sea. We will return to the lodge for lunch and breaks.

DAY 4: From Lake Clark to Seward

After breakfast, we have more time for bear watching and photography. Around noon, we are picked up by bush plane for the return journey to Anchorage.

Our own private minibus then takes us south on the scenic Seward Highway with many stops along the way for photography. We travel along Turnagain Arm and through parts of the Kenai Peninsula, to the seaside town of Seward.

You then have the afternoon free to do whatever you wish including the opportunity for a participant slide show and critique. We'll meet again late afternoon/early evening for some photography in the area and / or some classroom and critique sessions with Jeff.

DAY 5: Seward and Kenai Fjords National Park

Today we will experience Alaska from another perspective. We will explore the world of the Kenai Fjords National Park from a boat chartered exclusively for our group. We have a very high chance of capturing a variety of marine wildlife and several species of bird on camera: whales, orcas, otters, seals, sea lions, puffins, fish eagles and many more to make the experience even more impressive, the backdrop includes glaciers leading to the sea, rugged mountain peaks and forests. We spend a second night in Seward.

DAY 6: Matanuska Valley

After breakfast, we leave Seward and head along the Seward and Glenn Highway into the Matanuska Valley stopping for photography opportunities as we go. This idyllic valley is famous for its impressive Matanuska glacier. Evening photography in the area.

DAY 7 & 8: Knik River area

Today we'll head to the scenic Knik River area. During our stay at Knik River you'll experience another highlight of the itinerary: a helicopter flight over a glacier landing on the shores of a stunning glacial lake filled with icebergs.

The lake, the icebergs, the glacier and the mountain range in the background offer truly unique scenery. This will enable you to get the best birds’ eye view pictures. After landing, the helicopter flies off and you will spend time with Jeff and our second guide, photographing the glacier, lake, icebergs, wildflowers and much more. Towards the evening, the helicopter will return to pick us up.

We spend 2 nights in a beautiful lodge on the banks of the Knik River, where we have a 3-course Alaskan dinner and where you can while away the evening reviewing the day’s adventures.

DAY 9: Hatcher Pass & Talkeetna

After breakfast, we leave the Knik River area and head over the beautifully scenic Hatcher Pass and Talkeetna Mountains to Talkeetna again stopping for many photo opportunities along the way.

After arriving at the hotel, you are free to do whatever you wish. You will have the option of taking a scenic flight seeing trip over Denali National Park (weather permitting).

DAY 10: From Talkeetna to Denali National Park

Before breakfast, early birds can capture images of the beautiful scenery in the dawn light. After breakfast, we drive along the idyllic Parks Highway in the direction of Denali National Park. The scenery is amazing, and offers great photo opportunities. We arrive in Denali Park in the late morning with time to visit the Denali Park visitor center for you to see displays about the park.

Denali National Park is one of the absolute highlights of North America and provides the ideal conditions for landscape and wildlife photography. Shortly after noon, we start on a 7-hour drive by bus deep into the center of the national park. The countryside along the route is incredibly beautiful and with some luck, you will see wildlife, such as bears, moose, caribou, dall sheep and much more. We will stop at particularly beautiful viewpoints to give you the opportunity to capture the panorama on your camera. We will stop for a picnic style dinner along a river on the way in.

The next 4 nights will be spent exclusively in a small, remote lodge in the middle of the Denali National Park, far from the hustle and bustle of the park entrance. Enjoy a unique experience within the center of Denali National Park in the Kantishna gold mining district. During appropriate weather conditions, you can enjoy a direct view of North America´s highest mountain, Denali from your cabin. The peaceful location in the midst of nature, is balm for the heart and soul.

The visit to the park is highly regulated by the National Park Service. Only the first 14 miles of the 90-mile park route can be accessed by private vehicles. Only official park vehicles, buses, equipment and other special transports are allowed beyond Mile 14. Subsequently, only shuttle buses are available, with fixed routes and stops to explore Denali National Park. Most visitors must leave the park in the evening. This implies that only a few will have the opportunity to take photographs during the best lighting conditions and at the best time of the day in the park.

During this tour, you will stay overnight at one of the few lodges at the heart of the national park. Its idyllic location offers a direct view of Mount Denali. With the lodge's own minibus, we have the possibility to explore the park individually and to photograph at the heart of the national park. This is a unique experience you’ll never forget. Each night while in Denali you have the opportunity to take an optional flight-seeing tour to view Denali from a local air taxi.

Essential information about our accommodations in Denali National Park
Note: This lodge is not for everyone. It is not a luxurious resort. It does not have internet connection, cell service, T.V. (no other Denali lodges do either) or even unlimited electricity. Instead, creative handwork, attention to detail, and careful stewardship of the land create a simple elegance that does not detract from the wildlands you come to explore. Long-standing family ownership is committed to preserving and refining these fundamental elements. The experience of staying at Camp Denali is a unique blend of camaraderie among fellow adventurers and staff in a wilderness setting without parallel. Your private cabin may be up to a 5-minute walk to the main lodge where the dining room, shared modern shower facility and library are located. Each cabin has a short path to a private, meticulously maintained outhouse, and sink basin. Drinking water comes from a spigot just outside your door and may be heated on your cabin’s propane hotplate.

DAY 11 - 13: Denali National Park

During the 3 full days of your tour of the Denali National Park, you will have ample opportunity for landscape- and wildlife photography. The lodge bus will take our group exclusively to interesting sites, at which we can discover beautiful landscapes and wildlife. Various short hikes will be arranged, during which you will be able to access the best spots. On one morning, we will drive to Wonder Lake before sunrise and with a bit of luck, we will get a chance to photograph Denali, which is reflected in the lake.

Due to the reduced size of the group and the accompaniment by two photo tour guides, there will be sufficient time to meet the individual needs and wishes of all participants. Our photo tour guide Jeff is available for individual coaching. As during the entire tour, we will also offer brief, practice-oriented tutorials on relevant photography topics.

DAY 14: From Denali National Park to Talkeetna

After three eventful days in the heart of the Denali National Park, our minibus returns us to the park’s entrance around noon. At this point our private tour van takes us back to Talkeetna. You then have the late afternoon free to do whatever you wish including the opportunity for a participant slide show and critique or an optional flightseeing trip to view Denali and the Alaska Range from the air. In the evening we meet for our last dinner on this fantastic photo tour. We overnight at the Talkeetna Alaska Lodge.

DAY 15: Back to Anchorage

Today is the end of our fascinating Photo Alaska trip. After enjoying breakfast together in Talkeetna, we take a leisurely trip in our minibus back to Anchorage in time for your late-afternoon flight or follow-up itinerary.

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 15-passenger luxury van.

The price includes:

  • All aspects of the photography workshop-tour
  • Tutorials and feedback sessions
  • All 14 nights accommodations
  • All meals from the first night dinner, through the last day breakfast, except dinner on Day 9 in Talkeetna
  • Round-trip ground transportation according to the itinerary
  • Bush plane flight* to Lake Clark
  • Helicopter flight* to Glacier
  • One-day boat excursion in Kenai Fjords National Park (private boat)
  • Activities at Camp Denali (4 nights)
  • Activities & bear viewing at Lake Clark Lodge (2 nights)

* All flying is done “weather permitting”. Jeff Schultz Photography, Amazing Views 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 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 (maximum of 50 lbs / 22 kg per person)
  • Personal expenses
  • Beverages
  • Dinner in Talkeetna on Day 9
  • Gratuities for guides and pilots (recommended)
  • Optional transfers and excursions
  • Any visa and/or airport fee
  • Travel insurance/cancellation cover

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: Intermediate 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 March 1, 2018. 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:

Terms & Conditions

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.

The Terms and Conditions of Amazing Views Photo & Adventure Tours apply, as well as all other conditions which are listed in the descriptions for the respective trips.

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.

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