This trip will take you on a two-week tour of some of the most spectacular 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 the diverse wildlife. You will spend three nights in the world-famous Katmai National Park, photographing bears as well as 4 nights deep inside Denali National Park where a view of Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley) is outside your cabin door (weather permitting). You’ll have two opportunities for an optional flight-seeing trip to view Denali from the air. During a full-day boat trip, enjoy photographing eagles 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.
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 and the possibility to observe bears in their natural environment.
June 10 – 23, 2018 14 days / 13 nights Arrive to Fairbanks, Alaska / Depart from Anchorage, Alaska
Fairbanks – Denali National Park – Talkeenta -- Girdwood – Prince William Sound – Kodiak – Katmai NP - Anchorage
- Superb food and accommodations
- THE very best view of Denali, (Mt. Mckinley) that can be had from within Denali National Park
- Wildlife naturalist on Denali Park outings
- Alaska during early summer with beautiful wild flowers and exuberant green trees
- Four days in the heart of the Denali National Park, far from the hustle and bustle at the park’s entrance.
- The impressive nature and wildlife of the Denali Park tundra: bears, moose, caribou, Dall sheep and many more.
- 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
- 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
- Two optional flight-seeing tours to Denali
- 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
Standard Trip: $13,950 per person, based on double occupancy.
* Single Supplement Cost: $875 (without Camp Denali & Katmai Lodge)
* Single rooms: Because of the limited number of cabins and short season at Camp Denali and at Katmai Wilderness Lodge, it is necessary for participants to share a cabin (twin beds)
During this trip sunrise is approximately 4:20 am with sunset approximately 11:40 pm
DAY 1: Arrival in Fairbanks
Individual arrival in Fairbanks. Later in the afternoon, you will meet with the other travellers, your photo tour guide Jeff Schultz as well as another guide from Amazing Views. Jeff will present an introduction to wildlife and landscape photography and will provide you with detailed information regarding the upcoming photography tour. We then go for dinner together. Considering possible jet lag, we STRONGLY recommend arriving one-two days earlier.
We will be happy to help you with hotel bookings in Fairbanks and make suggestions for local sightseeing opportunites.
DAY 2: From Fairbanks to the Denali National Park
After breakfast, our van drives us 2 hours towards Denali National Park.
The 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 6-hour, 90-mile drive by bus from our lodge to 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, caribous, 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 eat dinner, picnic style, enroute.
The next 4 nights will be spent exclusively at the oldest lodge in the middle of the Denali National Park, far from the hustle and bustle of the park entrance, Camp Denali. At the lodge are eighteen cozy cabins which are carefully situated along a ridgeline to capture superlative mountain views that other visitors to the park cannot get. Delicious meals and fresh baked-goods are featured in the dining room.
Also available nearby the lodge is an air-taxi service which can take you on an optional flight-seeing trip of Denali—weather permitting.
We have the opportunity to make exceptional images of Denali, the Alaska Range and the tundra landscape right from the surrounding lodge areas. The daily itinerary will be determined by the weather and natural season. Canoeing, fishing and biking are also available as independent activities making this destination a great place for a non-participating spouse. Evening programs focus on various aspects of Denali's natural and cultural history.
During appropriate weather conditions, you can enjoy a direct view of North America´s highest mountain, Mount Denali. The peaceful location in the midst of nature, is balm for the heart and soul.
Essential information about our accommodations in Denali National Park
Note: Camp Denali lodge is not for everyone. It is not a luxurious resort. It does not have internet connection, cell service, T.V. 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 have 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.
A visit to Denali Park by the general public is highly regulated by the National Park Service. Only the first 14 miles of the 90-mile park route can be accessed by private means of transport. Subsequently, only shuttle buses are available, with fixed routes and stops. 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, which is what we get to do by staying at Camp Denali.
DAY 3 - 5: Denali National Park
During the 4 nights and 3 full days of your tour of the Denali National Park, you will have ample opportunity for landscape- and wildlife photography. Daily the lodge bus will take our group to interesting sites, at which we can discover beautiful photo compositions. 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. We will also be out early for the best wildlife viewing.
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 6: From Denali National Park to Talkeetna
After the eventful days in the heart of the Denali National Park, the lodge bus transports us very early the final day back to the park entrance. This allows us another opportunity for a bit of wildlife photography. We then take our private van southward to the town of Talkeetna. Talkeetna is famous for its view across the Alaska Range and is where climbers start their journey to ascend Denali. The remaining afternoon and evening are at leisure.
Depending on your preferences, you can either take additional photographs, take an optional flight-seeing trip, attend a lecture on landscape photography held by Jeff, or simply enjoy the evening. This evening meal is on your own.
DAY 7: Leisurely trip to Girdwood
Depending on the weather conditions, you will have the opportunity to enjoy an optional flight over the magnificent mountain scenery in the early hours of this morning from Talkeetna. We then head towards our next destination, Girdwood. This day´s schedule will be dictated depending on the weather conditions. One option would be to drive across the picturesque Hatcher Pass. There will be a number of stops for landscape photography on the trip along Turnagain Arm to Girdwood, as well as after dinner.
DAY 8: Discover Prince William Sound
We start our drive to Whittier 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 return to idyllic Girdwood for an overnight stay and more evening landscape photography of the mountains and hanging glaciers nearby Girdwood.
DAY 9: 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 trip 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 10: From Kodiak to the Katmai National Park
Today, we will experience another great highlight of this photography tour. A seaplane will take us to our 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 11 - 12: 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 13 Return to Anchorage
In the morning, we resume our search for bears, before our return flight to Kodiak by seaplane. Later in the afternoon, we fly onwards to Anchorage.
Day 14 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.
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:
- 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
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 Lake Clark National Park
- All 13 nights accommodations
- Except for one dinner in Talkeetna, 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: Intermediate to advanced
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.
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.