Alaska Brown Bears, Glaciers and Fall-Colors Photography Workshop and Tour (Sept 15-22, 2017)

$2,975.00$6,450.00

 

Travel via van, helicopter and float plane to several remote Alaska areas that few get to see.  This 7 day/7 night photography workshop & tour travels to several unique Alaska locations including; a pristine, grizzly bear-populated, turquoise-colored lake surrounded by snow-clad mountain peaks with fall colors at their base in Lake Clark National Park.  It also includes a helicopter-access only glacier and driving through color-rich valleys flanked by craggy mountains.  This trip is instructed and guided by Alaska professional photographer, Jeff Schultz, official photographer of the Iditarod,  and is timed for the grizzly bears feeding on salmon during the height of fall color. This trip is planned specifically for photographers by Jeff, who knows the areas extremely well. This is a trip that Jeff says “Is the trip that I’d take my family on to see a broad spectrum of Alaska that is much less visited by many people”.   It will be likely, weather permitting, that the Aurora Borealis appears at night and participants get to see and photograph this.  This is not just a “tour” but a photo workshop. While in the field and in the several classroom instruction sessions, Jeff  will teach you methods he’s learned in his 30+ years as a professional photographer to help you take your landscape and wildlife photography to the next level.

 

WHO

Intermediate* to advanced photographers (maximum 6 participants)  fully booked– no spaces available  Please Contact us to be put on a waiting list.   *We consider an intermediate photographer to be one who knows how to use most of the camera features, including manual settings, and understands basic composition.

WHEN

September 15-22, 2017   7 days/7 nights

WHERE

Anchorage, Matanuska Valley, Lake Clark National Park  ALASKA

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Bear photography from a small boat, enabling photographers to travel to, and with, the bears as they move along the shore or dive for salmon. 2 photographers with guide per boat
  • Bald eagle photography along the lake shore and river in Lake Clark National Park.
  • Helicopter flight to glacier location
  • Potential for moose photos in fall color.
  • Fall color aerial photography from Alaskan bush plane & helicopter
  • Driving through valleys of fall colors with rugged mountain vistas.
  • Potential to photograph the Northern Lights and night-sky in Alaska
  • Your guide and instructor is one of Alaska’s most published and respected professional photographers
  • Classroom instruction and critique sessions
  • Superb food and accommodations
  • Complimentary for your use at the remote lodge in Lake Clark, there is: hot tub, kayaks, fishing gear with guide, internet access, beer and wine.

 

 Cost   fully booked– no spaces available  Please Contact us to be put on a waiting list

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

Less Accommodations Trip (No Anchorage Hotels): $5,950 per person/double occupancy.   For those who live in the Anchorage area or prefer to make your own accommodations for the two nights in Anchorage.  Includes 5 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:  $ 625.00.   Because of the limited amount of cabins and short season the lodge in Lake Clark, it is necessary that participants share a cabin there. We will pair up likely travelers together for the double occupancy at the lodge in Lake Clark.

Slideshow – Click on images and use left or right arrows to scroll

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

Day 1 (Friday September 15) Arrival day.

For those traveling from a far time zone, we suggest perhaps arriving a day or two earlier to acclimatize to the time change.  We are happy to provide hotel options and potential activities.

Arrive on your own to Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC) Anchorage, AK.  Please arrive no later than 3 pm.  Transfer on a free shuttle to our hotel as you arrive.  At 5 pm we meet for a pre-workshop classroom instruction on Wildlife and Landscape Photography and orientation of the trip at our hotel along with dinner.

Day 2  (Saturday September 16)

Breakfast at hotel… Our first stop is a short drive up to the Chugach Mountains above Anchorage where we will do our best to find moose during the fall rut.  The fall color here is spectacular.  After lunch we drive towards our evening destination along the Glenn Highway stopping often for fall landscapes, potential wildlife and whatever interests us, including views of the Matanuska Glacier surrounded by fall color.  We stay at Sheep Mountain Lodge in private, well appointed cabins.  The evening is spent with a second classroom workshop on Northern Lights and Night-Sky photography and slide show.  Evening photography in the area.  There is a good potential of seeing the Northern Lights —weather permitting.

Day 3  (Sunday September 17)

Day 3 begins with an early-risers (6:30 am for those who want to) photo shoot on the trails of the lodge, followed by 8 am breakfast.  Late morning we are off to photograph more fall landscapes along the Glenn Highway, in the Hatcher Pass area and through the history-filled and scenic area of Palmer, Alaska surrounded by 2 mountain ranges. Many photo opportunities are here including sighting moose on the final miles before our next destination at the scenic Knik River Lodge.  A picnic lunch will be had along the way at a convenient time.  Evening is spent with a classroom critique session.  A 3-course Alaskan Dinner served.  More potential of seeing and photographing the Northern Lights and night sky.

Day 4 (Monday September 18)

After breakfast we take off in helicopters for a 15 minute flight directly over Knik Glacier and on to the ice-berg choked shores of Inner Lake George with Colony Glacier and the Chugach mountains as a background. If conditions permit, the doors of the helicopter will be off for the flight in for better aerial images. After landing, the helicopters will depart and we have the area to ourselves for 5 hours of Glacier, lake and iceberg landscape and wildflower photography.  We have a picnic lunch here and are picked up in the early afternoon.   From here we drive to our hotel in Anchorage and dinner.  After dinner you are on your own in Anchorage.

Day 5 (Tuesday September 19)

Breakfast at the hotel.  Pickup early from hotel and transport to air taxi at Lake Hood Seaplane Base.  Fly in a floatplane for a one-hour flight to our home for the next 3 nights, in an exclusive 12-guest lodge in Lake Clark National Park.  There is much opportunity on the flight for aerial photography and, weather permitting, we will do an extra amount of flying to make aerials of some of the other areas of Lake Clark National Park.  Arrive at the lodge in the late morning.  After brunch and introductions to the staff and an orientation to the lodge grounds and your cabin, head out to find and photograph bears. There will be two participants in one motor boat with a guide. The bears here are found in various locations around the 9-mile, glacier-fed lake and at both the inlet and outlet rivers.  Our guides will find the bears for us. The real uniqueness of this location is the SPECTACULAR scenery the bears are in AND the ideal way in which we can both travel in the safety of the small boats with the bears as they move around the area and that we can relocate quickly to find more bears in different locations. We are not stuck photographing just one bear or set of bears.  And these bears are CLOSE to us.  No need to bring anything longer than a 400-500mm lens.  And for the most part, you’ll be better off using a 100-400mm zoom on one body and a 24-105mm on another.

The lodge is known for its delicious meals, peaceful atmosphere and attention to detail.  We’ll have lunch back at the lodge and then head back out to find more bears and landscapes.  Evening dinner at the lodge includes beer and wine.  Perhaps a time to edit images.  Again, Northern Lights and/or night sky photography is a possibility.

Day 6 & 7  (Wednesday & Thursday, September 20 & 21)

Each of the next two days, after a hearty breakfast, we will take to either the small boats with 2 photographers and guide per boat, or if the weather is rainy we’ll take two or three covered pontoon boats to photograph bears in various locations. At any time during the trip, you are welcome to choose another activity, other than photographing bears, of your choice.  You can take a guide and go kayaking, hiking or salmon fishing.  As a group we may do a landscape photography outing or hike at some point. Lunch and dinner at the lodge.  The last two nights we will have a critique session as well as a teaching session on post-processing in Lightroom and workflow.

Day 8 (Friday, September 22)

Breakfast at the lodge we leave in floatplanes for Anchorage in morning. Arrive back at Lake Hood Seaplane base approximately 12 noon.  Transfer available to the airport. 

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 plus a 1.4 teleconverter and flash with off-camera capabilities, tripod, polarizer and split-neutral density filters.

ESSENTIAL PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT:

At the very least, please bring:

  • A DSLR camera with two lenses such as a 24-105mm and a 100-400mm would be ideal.
  • Several back up batteries & charger
  • Extra media cards for your camera
  • 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 fast, wide-angle lens for Northern Lights
  • 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. Ask Jeff for a discount code to purchase these in advance if you like.
  • 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 Kiboko
  • 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

Headlamp

Bring rain gear

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
  • Round trip ground transportation from Anchorage to the Matanuska Valley and back to Anchorage.
  • Helicopter flight* to Colony Glacier
  • Floatplane flight* to lodge in Lake Clark National Park
  • All 7 nights accommodations
  • Beer and Wine at lodge in Lake Clark National Park
  • All meals from the first night dinner, through the last day breakfast.
  • * All flying is done “weather permitting”. Jeff Schultz and lodge vendors are 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. A list of recommended clothing and camera gear as well as weight information will be sent after registration.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Beverages at dinner meals other than Redoubt Mountain Lodge
  • 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 35° 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

Due to the remote nature of this trip we have special deposit and cancellation policies.

Deposit and Cancellation Policy;

Due to the remote nature of this trip we have special deposit and cancellation policies.

A 50% deposit is required at time of booking.  $500 of this deposit is NON-REFUNDABLE. 

The balance of the tour price is due March 1, 2017.  

Cancellation & Refund Policy: 

Excluding the $500 deposit, the subsequent deposits are refundable until March 1st. Refunds for cancellations after March 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, 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: By reserving a Jeff Schultz photography workshop/tour, or private photo tour or class, you are agreeing to a Release of Liability. Click and read the link before completing your booking.

 

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