Alaska Dog Mushing, Winter Landscape and Night-Sky Photography Tour & Workshop with Alaskan Photographer Jeff Schultz

February 7-12, 2019  5 days/5 nights

Experience a rare and epic winter adventure that combines photographing dog teams and winter landscapes with night-sky and aurora pursuits under the northern sky. During this photo tour/workshop, you’ll be guided by one of Alaska’s most published professionals, Jeff Schultz, official photographer of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. After a half-day of photographing the excitement of photographing 3 dog teams in the forest around Iditarod Champion Martin Buser’s kennel & training area, we’ll photograph winter landscapes and night-skies in the beautiful Matanuska-Susitna Valley. The following day we’ll take a 45-minute ski-plane flight over glaciers and next to snow-covered mountains for aerial photos. We land on a frozen lake at the most prestigious lodge on the Iditarod Trail, the award-winning Winterlake Lodge. Nestled in the foothills of the Alaska Range, the lodge provides unparalleled hospitality and cuisine in one of the most stunning locations on earth, and will be your accommodations for the remainder of the trip. There will be opportunity to photograph the lodge dog team surrounded by pristine mountain peaks. You will also have the opportunity to mush the dogs yourself as well as get up-close shots of the lead dogs as you pace in front of them lying in a sled pulled by a snowmobile. During dark hours, weather permitting, you’ll have a chance to photograph the night sky and possibly aurora displays. Throughout the workshop, Jeff will provide teaching sessions, photographic support and area expertise to ensure you get your Alaska dream shot.

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Who

Intermediate to advanced photographers (maximum 5, minimum of 3 to make the trip go)

When

February 7-12

Where

Anchorage, Big Lake, Winterlake Lodge, Anchorage --- Alaska

Highlights

  • Guided by one of Alaska’s most published and respected professional photographers
  • Pre-Workshop classroom instruction
  • Photograph several sled dog teams in various locations
  • Snowmobile to areas to take photos
  • 5-star cuisine and accommodations at Winterlake Lodge. Read more at: www.withinthewild.com
  • Dog sled rides at the lodge
  • Potential to photograph the northern lights & night-sky photos
  • On-location instruction

Cost

Cost is inclusive of all meals, transportation, transfers, guides, and lodging from Anchorage.

5 days/5 nights $4985 per person double or single occupancy. Includes Thursday night presentation & Anchorage hotel plus 1 night in Palmer, Alaska and 3 nights at Winterlake Lodge through Tuesday afternoon.

NOTE: During this trip the sunrise is 9:04 am and sunset is 5:24 pm gaining 5+ minutes each day.

  • Thursday February 7th. Evening get together and presentation in Anchorage on photographing dog mushing.  Heavy appetizers and beverages including wine & beer served.  Begins at 4:00 pm, ends at 8:30 pm.
  • Thursday night at an Anchorage hotel for those from out of town. On your own for locals.
  • Friday 8th:
    • Breakfast at hotel included
    • Early morning: 40 mile drive to Big Lake, Alaska to Martin Buser’s kennel.
    • Photograph dogs at the kennel of Iditarod Champion Martin Buser
    • Late morning photograph 3 dog teams on a varied terrain course. Travel by snowmachine to 7-8 various locations to photograph the teams with different backgrounds and trail.
    • Back at Buser Kennel for late lunch
    • Afternoon—travel to photograph landscapes
    • Check in to local lodge
    • Early evening. -- Evening presentation on photographing the night sky and the northern lights
    • Late evening/early morning: potential northern lights and/or star photography --- weather permitting
  • Saturday 9th:
    • Breakfast at lodge.
    • Early morning winter landscape photography.
    • Early afternoon – scenic 45 minute flight to Winterlake Lodge
    • Evening – appetizers and gourmet dinner at Winterlake Lodge.
    • Evening will be additional instruction time on night photography and painting with light
    • Saturday night late -- Northern lights and/or star photography --- weather permitting
  • Sunday 10th & Monday the 11th
    • Breakfast, lunch and dinner at lodge.
    • Morning and day time—we will use the lodges’ dog team as models for photographing and provide the opportunity for you to ride in the sled for a unique perspective as well as mush the team yourself if you so choose. Also there is a variety of lodge activities and photography of same including, snow mobiling, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing.
    • Late night and early morning is potential for night-sky and/or northern lights photography; weather and conditions permitting.
    • Sunday early evening will be additional instruction time on night photography and painting with light and/or time for editing & processing your images and/or Lightroom image processing demonstration as the group wishes.
    • Monday night we will have a slide show of the participant’s images.
  • Tuesday the 12th
    • Breakfast and lunch at lodge.
    • Variety of lodge activities.
    • Depart early afternoon for Anchorage.

At each of the workshop classroom sessions, Jeff will discuss his methods for shooting stellar dog mushing, winter landscape and night-sky 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:

  • 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 shooting with 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 or mirrorless camera with one lens
  • Several back up batteries & chargers
  • Extra media cards for your camera
  • Tripod
  • Remote (cable) release

 

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/
  • Tripod – A necessity for night-sky photography
  • Polarizing Filter - Jeff uses and recommends Breakthrough Photography
  • Graduated Neutral Density Filters: Jeff carries a 2 and a 3 stop “soft” and "hard" filters by Breakthrough Photography.
  • Flash and off-camera cord
  • Lens shades & cable release
  • Non abrasive 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 by using this link: http://www.mindshiftgear.com?rfsn=507780.a01562
  • Any other easily transported photography gear you like to use
  • A complete list of camera gear will be sent prior to the workshop.
  • dress in layers with synthetic type material, not cotton
  • cold weather winter gear is mandatory
  • 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.

Ground Transportation is provided in a 12-passenger van.

Our Anchorage hotel is 4-star and located on Lake Hood, near the airport.

The Winterlake Lodge is an award-winning lodge described as “Rustic Luxury”.  You will have your own  comfortable guest cabin with a small living or sitting room, dresser, desk with chairs, rocking chairs, luggage rack, couch, robes, drinking water dispenser and a private deck with a view.  The lodge provides daily housekeeping service. The beds are fitted with high-quality linens, down duvet covers, and oversized pillows. They use L’Occitane amenities in the bathrooms. There is a hot tub on the deck and a sauna (bring your suit). The meals are prepared by trained chefs and a select curated “menus of the day” are paired with wines from favorite vineyards.  Because it is winter time, there is no running water in your cabin. Showers are had in the main lodge. Read all about them at:  www.withinthewild.com

 

The price includes

  • All aspects of the photography tour/workshop
  • Tutorials and feedback sessions
  • All 5 nights accommodations
  • All meals from the first night dinner, through the last day lunch
  • Round-trip ground transportation according to the itinerary
  • Ski-plane flight* to Winterlake Lodge

Please be aware that your luggage allowance for the ski plane is limited to 60 lbs (27 kg) per person (incl. hand luggage). Additional luggage can be stored in Anchorage.

* All flying is done “weather permitting”. In Alaska, the weather can be changeable. This means that in bad weather, certain activities and/or transfers (e.g. bush plane, helicopter) may be delayed, or unable to take place at all. In these cases, we will adjust the adventure to do what we can for the weather we have. Jeff Schultz Photography and our lodge vendor & air-taxi 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.
  • Personal expenses
  • Alcoholic Beverages at Anchorage restaurants (beer and wine included in at Winterlake lodge)
  • Gratuities for Winterlake lodge for guides and staff – (expected gratuity is $150-$200 per person depending on service)
  • Any visa and/or airport fee
  • Travel insurance

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 the lodge carries complete insurance and are qualified for Alaska backcountry living.

  • Physical Requirements: Better than average to excellent condition
  • Degree of Difficulty:  Moderate to difficult (walking in snow is quite exhausting if not in shape)
  • Agility:  Very Good (for getting into and out of small aircraft, and traveling on uneven terrain)
  • Weather Conditions: Moderate to extreme.  February temperatures range from 30° F (-1° C) to MINUS  -20° F (-29° C).  May experience snow, wind or sun.  I like to tell people; if you can stand in one place for an hour and not be cold, then you have the right gear.
  • Mental Requirements: A flexible and positive attitude is a must. It’s winter in Alaska and likely things won’t run exactly according to plans.
  • Photographic Skill Level:  Intermediate to Professional
  • Clients are required to inform us of health problems, allergies and physical limitation at booking due to the extreme remote location and physical activities involved.  All clients must sign a liability release waiver prior to the trip.

Important Booking Information & What’s Next

Deposit, Payment Schedule & Cancellation Policy

Due to Alaska’s short season as well as the high demand for, and limited number of places on this Alaskan photo tour, the following payment conditions apply:

A $1000 non-refundable deposit is required at time of booking.

The balance of the tour price is due March 1, 2019. An invoice for the balance will be sent 30 days prior to that time. Payments can be made prior to this date as well.

Cancellation & Refund Policy:

All cancellation requests must be received in writing. Excluding the $1000 non-refundable portion of the deposit, the deposits are refundable ONLY if we can fill your space(s) with another booking. We typically have a waiting list for these trips, but cannot guarantee one will be available should you choose or need to cancel.

Except for the $1000 non-refundable deposit, 80% of any deposits forfeited can be applied to a future Jeff Schultz Photography photo tour.

We are sorry but there will be no refunds for delays or cancellations because of weather, flights, or other unforeseen reasons before arriving, during or after the photo tour. We highly recommend arriving in Anchorage 1-2 full days before the trip. Jeff Schultz Photography Inc. is not responsible for additional costs which may be incurred by such delays.

We have the right to cancel this photo tour for lack of registrants up to 60 days prior to the photo tour date. In the case that we cancel the photo tour, 100% of your deposit and payments will be returned. However, Jeff Schultz Photography Inc. does not assume responsibility for any other costs incurred by our client because of our cancellation of the trip.

We are sorry, but due to our short season here in Alaska, we are unable to make exceptions, for any reason, to our cancellation policy including medical or family emergencies.

For these reasons, and for medical emergencies, we strongly recommend trip insurance.
Here are a few options for insurance. Review the companies and choose the best policy for your needs:

Reserve your place by clicking the “Book Now” button and entering your information on the next page. We’ll contact you with payment and confirmation information. Read Booking Policies and Liability Waivers.

After booking What’s Next?

After the deposit payment is received, Jeff will send detailed information on the first day’s itinerary so that you can plan your arrival day and time.

Several months before the workshop, Jeff will e-mail you the following:

  • a list of any other essential personal gear & any specialized photography gear he feels will enhance your experience.
  • more detailed information on the itinerary, if any.

If at any time, you have any questions whatsoever, about the workshop, please e-mail Jeff Schultz directly at:  Jeff@SchultzPhoto.com

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