2023 Alaska Bears, Glaciers and Fall Colors Photography Tour and Workshop -- September 15-22, 2023
7 Days and 7 Nights
Exclusive photo tour with Alaska photographer Jeff Schultz
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. It also includes a half-day of moose photography, a helicopter-access only iceberg filled lake with glacier background 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. 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.
“My husband and I are photographic enthusiasts and we recently joined Jeff’s photo workshop to discover Alaska’s bears, glaciers, and fall colors. What a great trip this was! We were only a small group of 6 people, so Jeff was able to dedicate a lot of his time to each participant. He knows so much about the area and about how to take great pictures, and he’s a wonderful teacher. You can immediately feel that he’s really passionate about what he’s doing and shared his passion with the group"
"A perfect trip to learn and love more of photography, independent whichever you're in. A perfect time with perfect people and a great leader with a big heart and outstanding skills for photography and ability to teach."
"Participating in a schultz photography workshop was an extraordinary experience. Not only did I see some great scenery, but I learned a great deal about composition and photography. Jeff is a master of Photography and has the ability to teach others how to visualize and capture the beauty of Alaska. This expedition will take you to the next level."
Intermediate* to advanced photographers (maximum 6 participants) *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.
September 15-22, 2023 7 days/7 nights
Anchorage, Matanuska Valley, Alaska Range, ALASKA
- Bear photography from a small boat, enabling photographers to travel to, and with, the bears at close range 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 at the bear lodge.
- Helicopter flight over glacier and a half-day at iceberg filled lake (Weight Limit of 300 lbs/Person)
- Half day of moose photography in fall color.
- Fall Color mountain landscape photography
- 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
- Daily classroom instruction and critique sessions
- Superb food and accommodations
- Complimentary for your use at the remote bear lodge, there is: hot tub, kayaks, fishing gear with guide, internet access, beer and wine.
Standard Trip: $8,795 per person, based on double occupancy. Includes all 7 nights’ accommodations and meals from arrival day dinner through last day breakfast.
* Single Supplement Cost: Single occupancy for 4 nights’ accommodations, (3 nights at the bear lodge must be shared accommodations) is an additional: $ 795.00.
Because of the limited number of cabins and short season the bear lodge in , it is necessary that participants share a cabin there. We will pair up likely travelers together for the double occupancy in separate beds at the lodge in Lake Clark.
NOTE: There is 300 lb. weight limit per person (including clothing) for the helicopter flight. No weight limit on the airplane portion.
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 Anchorage International Airport (ANC) Anchorage, AK. Please arrive no later than 3 pm. Transfer on a free shuttle to our hotel as you arrive. At 4:00 pm we meet at our hotel for a meet and greet, orientation for the trip and a pre-workshop classroom instruction on wildlife and landscape photography followed by dinner.
Day 2 (Saturday September 16)
Breakfast at hotel… Our first stop is a short drive into the mountains above Anchorage where we will find fall color landscapes and very likely moose during the fall rut. After lunch we drive North towards our evening destination into Talkeetna and Chugach Mountain stopping often for fall landscapes, potential wildlife and whatever interests us, including views of the glaciers surrounded by fall color. We will arrive early evening at our lodge nestled between the Talkeetna and Chugach Mountain ranges 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 potential of seeing the aurora borealis (Northern Lights) —weather & solar activity permitting. Overnight at lodge in Talkeetna Mountains
Day 3 (Sunday September 17)
Day 3 begins with an early-risers (6:00 am for those who want to) sunrise fall colors landscape photo shoot a short drive from the lodge, followed by breakfast. There is also an opportunity (additional cost) to take a short helicopter trip (with doors off) for aerial photography. Noon-ish we are off to photograph more fall landscapes and stream and mountain landscape photos on our way to Palmer, Alaska. A picnic lunch will be had along the way at a convenient time. We stay in a well-appointed bed and breakfast home in the Palmer area this night and we will dine at a local restaurant. In the evening, we will drive to new landscape areas. More potential of seeing and photographing the Northern Lights and night sky. Overnight in Palmer B&B.
Day 4 (Monday September 18)
After an early breakfast at our B&B we drive 20 minutes and take off in helicopters for a 15-minute flight directly over a 16-mile (25 km) glacier and on to the ice-berg choked shores of a glacier formed lake with the snow-capped 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 fall color photography. We have a picnic lunch here and are picked up in the early afternoon. From here we drive back to our hotel in Anchorage and dinner with a photo viewing session of participant’s images. (Weight Limit of 300 lbs/Person)
Day 5 (Tuesday September 19)
Breakfast at the hotel. Pickup at 7:30 am 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, an exclusive, private bear lodge in the Alaska Range. Weather permitting, there is much opportunity on the flight for aerial photography. Arrive at the lodge in the late morning. After introductions to the staff and an orientation to the lodge grounds and cabin, head out to find and photograph bears. There will be two participants in one motor/row 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. 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.
The lodge is known for its delicious meals. 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 take a pontoon boat with our whole group 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 and trout 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. Leave on floatplane for Anchorage in morning. Arrive back at Lake Hood Seaplane base approximately 12 noon. Transfer available to the airport or your hotel.
DUE TO THE UNPREDICTABLY OF ALASKA’S WEATHER, WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT MAKE FLIGHT RESERVATIONS TO LEAVE ALASKA ON THIS AFTERNOON OR NIGHT JUST IN CASE WE GET WEATHERED IN AT THE LODGE. WE CAN MAKE HOTEL RESERVATIONS FOR YOU THIS NIGHT IF YOU SO DESIRE.
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 fast, wide-angle lens for Night-Sky/AuroarNorthern Lights 14-24mm f2.8 or faster is ideal
- 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. 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.
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
- Round trip ground transportation from Anchorage to the Matanuska Valley and back to Anchorage.
- Helicopter flight* to Colony Glacier
- Floatplane flight* to Lake Clark lodge
- All 7 nights accommodations
- Unlimited beer and wine at Lake Clark lodge
- One glass of beer or wine at other dinners
- 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 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
- Recommended Gratuity for your guide/staff at Lake Clark Lodge-- $100-$150 per person
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
Due to the remote nature of this trip we have special deposit and cancellation policies.
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, 2023. 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:
Covid-19 Alaska Travel Information
Click here to read about current travel protocol and restrictions to Alaska
and Jeff Schultz’s mitigation plan
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.