Experience a one-of-a-kind opportunity to travel to, photograph in and stay 4 days and 3 nights high up in the heart of the Alaska Range, surrounded by glaciers in the newly built luxurious Sheldon Chalet on the Ruth Glacier at the base of Denali (aka Mt. McKinley). Photographic opportunities abound amongst towering granite spires, snow-capped mountains, surrounding glaciers, ice falls and the potential of night-sky and northern lights, and of course a one-of-a-kind view of Denali. The opportunities for Aurora and night-sky photography are perfect here.
After a short drive from Anchorage, this epic adventure begins in the historic village of Talkeetna, Alaska. From here, we fly in a helicopter up the Great Gorge of the Ruth Glacier, where the bottom of the glacier to the top of the granite mountains is at a height exceeding that of the Grand Canyon ! This spectacular opportunity for aerial images from a helicopter has not been available before. We land within steps of our home for the next 4 days and 3 nights at the Sheldon Chalet--- an engineering marvel with all the comforts of home, at the 6,000 foot level in the Alaska Range.
The 360 degree view is nothing short of spectacular at this 5-acre slice of rock where the original 1966 Don Sheldon mountain house sits a few hundred yards away. The Sheldon Chalet is luxury living and 5-star cuisine in this two-story, 5 bedroom, 2-bath lodge surrounded by granite and ice. A chef and housekeeper will take care of all your personal needs. Daily we can venture out onto the glacier via snowshoes with our experienced glacier guides to photograph other areas of the Don Sheldon Amphitheater.
This photo tour is perfect for the non-photographer spouse to enjoy the comfortable accommodations, great food and a view that is astonishing. During this photo workshop-tour, your instructor is one of Alaska’s most published professional photographers, Jeff Schultz, official photographer of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. No matter what your photographic skill level is, Jeff will offer instruction that and will meet or exceed your expectations and allow you to take your photography to the next level.
Beginner-Plus to advanced photographers (maximum 6—Minimum 4 people to make the adventure possible)
March 23-27, 2018
Sheldon Chalet in the Don Sheldon Amphitheater in the Alaska Range
- Photography workshop classroom instruction & critiques to take your photography to the next level
- Aerial images from helicopter
- Snowshoe into the Great Gorge for more photo opportunities.
- Potential to photograph the northern lights & star photos as well as stunning mountain landscapes
- Glacier travel guided by expert Mountain and Glacier Guides from St. Elias Alpine Guides. providing safety for all
- Luxury living in king-size beds with unparrelled views surrounded by mountains and glaciers
- Hearty, fresh, gourmet meals
- Full bathrooms and showers available
- Instructed by one of Alaska’s most published and respected professional photographers
$8250 per person double occupancy
$7,800 non-photographing spouse
$1,900 single supplement
Cost is inclusive of all meals, transportation, transfers, guides, instructor and luxury lodging.
- Arrive in Anchorage on your own before 3:30 pm.
- Meet the group at 5 pm for photo workshop discussion on night-sky, aurora and landscape photography and go over our adventure plans
- Dinner for all at 7 pm
- Overnight in Anchorage hotel.
- Breakfast at hotel in Anchorage
- 9:00 am pickup at your Anchorage, Alaska hotel and transport to Talkeetna in a comfortable van.
- If conditions are favorable, will stop in route for other photography
- Lunch in Talkeetna
- Time to enjoy the quaint village of Talkeetna
- 1:30 check in to airport for weigh-in.
- 2:00 Depart Talkeetna in helicopter (Weather permitting)
- 3:00 pm arrive Sheldon Chalet and settle in with orientation of location.
- Early evening photography workshop presentation by Jeff
- Once at the Chalet, each day’s & evening’s activities will be dictated by the photographic opportunities, the weather and our group.
DAY THREE AND FOUR:
- Photography done early in the morning, late evening and at night when the stars and northern lights are out.
- Each day’s & evening’s activities will be dictated by the photographic opportunities, the weather and our group. It may involve snowshoeing or hanging in and around the Chalet. Our experienced mountain and glacier guides from St. Elias Alpine guides are available to take those from the group who would like to go via snowshoes into other parts of the amphitheater, into a crevasse or the like to get better vantage points. One does not need to do these adventures if not comfortable.
- Jeff will have workshop instruction time and image review at appropriate times throughout the day and evening. Jeff is also on hand during shooting times to answer questions and help with all your photo needs.
- Additional helicopter time is available at an additional charter rate for those wishing to do additional aerial photography and/or visit other locations.
- Breakfast at the Chalet.
- 10 am helicopter pickup and fly back out through the Great Gorge to Talkeetna
- Drive back to Anchorage to catch your flight home or to your hotel.
At each of the workshop classroom sessions, Jeff will discuss his methods for shooting stellar winter landscape and night-sky (aurora, stars and star trails) images as is appropriate for the group and answer any questions you have. During each day’s 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:
- Night-Sky photography for stars, moon and northern lights.
- 10 Tips to making better images no matter where you are
- Composition: Do’s, Don’ts, and New Ideas
- What makes a compelling image
- Using various types of filters
- Processing (editing) techniques for image enhancement
- 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 16mm-400mm flash with off-camera capabilities, tripods, polarizer and split-neutral density filters.
ESSENTIAL PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT:
- DSLR or MILC camera with one fast (f2.8 or faster) wide angle lens
- Several backup batteries and charger
- Extra media cards
- Cable release (ideally with built-in timer) – A necessity for night-sky photography
As this is a very specific type of photo tour with the Aurora, this is the recommended gear I would bring:
- 2 full-frame camera bodies (at least 3 batteries per camera body)
- 14mm f2.8 lens
- 16-35 mm f 2.8 lens
- 24-70 mm or 24 – 105 mm f 2.8 lens
- 700-200 mm or 100 -400 mm
- (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 www.stewartsphoto.com
- Two tripods --- yes two.
- Two cable releases (ideally with built-in timer)
- Lens cloths
- Backpack type carrying case (Jeff recommends Mindshift)
This additional gear is worthwhile bringing, but not absolutely necessary.
- 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)
- Flash and off-camera cord or wireless trigger
- Lens hood
- Laptop computer with image editing/processing software such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.
- Any other easily transported photography gear you like to use
Proper winter gear is necessary.
- Dress in layers with synthetic type material, not cotton
- Headlamp (ideally with a red lens or red cellophane to put over the light)
- Cold-weather boots
- A complete list will be provided prior to the workshop.
All glacier travel gear including snowshoes, harness, ropes, carabineer’s etc. is provided at no charge.
Round-trip van transportation from your hotel in Anchorage to Talkeetna and back is included. Round-trip air transportation from Talkeetna to the Sheldon Chalet is included.
Note that all transportation, especially the air transportation is weather dependent. It is possible that the arrival day and/or departure day into and out of the Sheldon Chalet, may be postponed by a few hours or even as much as a few days if bad weather persists. We will make arrangements to provide accommodations and food for these contingencies. You will want to make your departing travel dates flexible in case we incur a weather delay.
In Anchorage we will be staying at the LakeFront Hotel, (A millennium hotel) a 10 minute ride from Anchorage International Airport.
The Sheldon Chalet is a one-of-a-kind building in a one-of-a-kind location. Extreme Engineering combined with Extreme Luxury. There is nothing like this in the world. Anchored deep into the granite, iron and titanium of the rock, the Sheldon Chalet is not only a luxury destination—with running water, electricity, generous heat, and world-class food—but it is an engineering marvel.
The view is spectacular from each of the 5 bedrooms, each with a King size bed (or two single beds) and plush linens. Each bedroom has sound-proofing construction and has an individual thermostat to make your climate needs perfect. There are 3 bathrooms, 2 with shower. A professional chef cooks each of your 3 meals per day. A housekeeper is there to attend to your needs.
The generously sized, clean common area is on the main level again with a spectacular view from each window. Eat family style at a common dining table and enjoy appetizers at the bar. A reading area and sofa allow you to relax in comfort and style.
We will eat well-prepared, fresh-food gourmet meals by the full-time chef of the Sheldon Chalet.
The price includes:
- All aspects of the photography workshop/tour
- Round trip ground transportation from Anchorage to Talkeetna and back to Anchorage.
- Helicopter flight* to/from the Sheldon Chalet (Additional helicopter time is available on a charter basis for more photography and locations.)
- All 4 nights accommodations
- All meals from the first night dinner, through the last day lunch.
- * 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 Anchorage, Alaska.
- Any personal gear. You must bring your own photography gear, clothing, toiletries and outerwear. There are weight restrictions on gear for the flight. A list of recommended clothing and camera gear as well as weight information will be sent after registration.
- Personal expenses.
- Gratuities for guides and pilots.
Your safety is ultimately our primary concern. We use some of the best Alaska pilots and each carries the necessary full insurance as required. Likewise St. Elias Alpine Guides carry complete insurance and are qualified and licensed for Alaska backcountry living.
- Physical Requirements: Average to excellent condition
- Degree of Difficulty: Easy to difficult – depending if you decide to snow shoe or not.
- Agility: Good (for getting into and out of small aircraft, and traveling on uneven terrain)
- Weather Conditions: Moderate to extreme. March temperatures range from 30° F (-1° C) to MINUS -20° F (-29° C). May experience snow, wind or sun.
- Mental Requirements: A flexible and positive attitude
- Photographic Skill Level: Beginner-Plus to Professional
- Clients are required to inform us of health problems, allergies and physical limitation at booking due to the extreme remote location. All clients must sign a liability release waiver prior to the trip.
* Please note that the purchase of Trip Cancellation and Trip Insurance (which includes evacuation insurance ) is highly recommended for this adventure.
A 50% deposit is required at time of booking. $1500 of this deposit is NON-REFUNDABLE.
The balance of the tour price is due 45 days prior to the trip, February 6, 2018.
Cancellation & Refund Policy:
Excluding the $1500 deposit, the subsequent deposits are refundable until February 6, 2018. Refunds for cancellations after February 6th 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
Should weather prevent you from flying to the Sheldon Chalet on your original departure date, you will be accommodated in beautiful downtown Talkeetna at the historic Belle's Cabin until air travel resumes. During this time we will photograph other opportunities nearby. Refunds are not given due to weather delays. Should more than 50% of your trip be interrupted by weather, we will roll your reservation to a future available date.
BOOK YOUR TRIP NOW
Contact us directly now to check availability and book. Once confirmed the deposit can then be paid by check or wire transfer.
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. We will then 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.