Photograph two of Alaska’s largest bruins… grizzly bears and bull moose as well as spend a day at an iceberg filled lake with glacier. This 7 day/7 night Alaska wildlife & landscape photography tour & workshop travels to several unique Alaska locations at the prime of Autumn colors. First, we travel via float plane for a three-day stay at a premier lodge in Lake Clark National Park located on a pristine, grizzly bear-populated lake surrounded by snow-clad mountain peaks. We spend a day at a helicopter, fly-in only remote lake filled with icebergs and glacier. We will spend 1 ½ days traveling daily to a world-class area to photograph bull moose in the fall rut.
This tour is timed for both Alaska’s large coastal brown (grizzly) bears feeding on salmon as well as moose in rut during the height of fall color. 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 photo “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 40+ years as a professional photographer. Jeff is not there to take his own photos, but rather to give you a unique Alaskan experience and to help you take your photography to the next level.
Beginner to advanced photographers (maximum 6 participants). This trip is also suitable for a non-photographer spouse/companion as they will enjoy this unique natural experience and the opportunity to observe bears & moose in their natural environment.
Tuesday September 24 – Tuesday Oct. 1, 2024, 7 days/7 nights
Arrive in Anchorage, Alaska then visit Matanuska Valley, Chugach National Forest, Lake Clark National Park and leave from Anchorage, Alaska
- Alaska Brown 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.
- Bull moose photography during the fall rut.
- Helicopter flight (with doors off weather permitting) over glacier and a half-day at iceberg filled lake with glacier background. (300 lb. weight limit per passenger)
- Potential to photograph the Northern Lights and night-sky in Alaska
- Your guide and instructor is well-respected and regularly published professional photographer with 30+ years’ experience photographing in Alaska
- 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.
Standard Trip: $9,495 per person, based on double occupancy. Includes all 7 nights’ accommodations and meals from arrival day dinner through last day lunch.
* Single Supplement Cost: Single occupancy for all accommodations, except for 3 nights at the lodge in Lake Clark, is additional: $ 795.00. Because of the limited number of cabins and short season for the lodge in Lake Clark, it is necessary that participants share a cabin there. Twin beds. We will pair up likely travelers together for the double occupancy at the lodge in Lake Clark.
Jeff Schultz is one of Alaska's prominent photographers, official photographer of Alaska's Iditarod since 1982. His images have been published worldwide in books, magazines, corporate communications, advertisements and many retail products.
FYI—During this trip sunrise is approximately 8:00 am with sunset approximately 7:45 pm. Losing 5 minutes per day.
Day 1 (Tuesday, September 24) 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 designated hotel as you arrive. At 4:00 pm we meet at our hotel for a pre-workshop classroom instruction on Wildlife and Landscape Photography and orientation of the trip along with dinner.
Day 2 (Wednesday, September 25) Flight to bears and nearly full day of bears.
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 lodge in Lake Clark National Park. Weather permitting, there is opportunity on the flight for aerial photography. Arrive at the lodge in the late morning. After introductions to the staff, bear safety lesson, and an orientation to the lodge grounds and cabin, head out to find and photograph bears. There will be two participants in one, low riding, motorboat with a driver/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. You are not stuck photographing just one bear or set of bears. You can direct the guide to the bear(s) of your choice. 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. Michael will offer a night-sky/Aurora classroom session. Weather permitting, Northern Lights and/or night sky photography is a possibility.
Day 3 & 4 (Thursday & Friday), September 26 & 27) Two full days of bears, bears, bears.
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. Lunch and dinner at the lodge.
Day 5 (Saturday, September 28)
Breakfast at the lodge. Leave on floatplane for Anchorage in morning. Arrive back at Lake Hood Seaplane base approximately 12 noon. (Weather permitting). Check-in to our Anchorage hotel.
4 pm we will drive in van to Chugach National Forest location and our first look for bull moose. From here we will hike to where the moose are. Exact locations will be determined each day. Jeff Schultz hires a moose guide/photographer with over 15 years’ experience photographing the moose in this particular area and knows just how to approach them for the best & safest photographic opportunities.
NOTE—this is a moderate to VERY strenuous hike each day depending on your physical fitness level. We will be hiking on a fairly level (but sill up and down) marked path for up to 2 miles (3.2 K ) one-way. Once we find the particular moose we want to photograph, we then go off-trail in anything from low willow bushes, spongy tundra, mud, and tall grasses for short distances or up to several hundred yards depending on where the moose are located. If you do not hike in a similar environment regularly this may not be for you.
Evening we eat at a local, Alaskan restaurant and the night is spent in our Anchorage hotel.
Day 6 (Sunday September 29) A Day at a glacier, iceberg lake. (300 lb. weight limit per passenger)
Breakfast at the hotel. Pickup at 6:30 am this morning and transport via one-hour drive in van to Matanuska Valley where we meet our helicopters. We take off in helicopters for a 15-minute flight directly over a 16-mile (25km) long glacier and on to an iceberg choked lake shore with a 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 3+ 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.
Day 7 (Monday September 30) Full day of moose and more
Breakfast at the hotel. Pickup at 6:30 am this morning and transport via van for a 20-minute drive in same area of the Chugach National Forest as previous in search of bull moose. In this early morning time the moose are likely to be on the move feeding. Again, we hike to the moose we want to photograph and likely photograph until 11 am or noon depending on when the moose bed down. Lunch will be at a local Anchorage restaurant.
In the late afternoon and evening time will be spent either photographing the local area along Turnagain Arm for landscapes, swans, and/or Dall sheep or back up to the moose area. The evening location will depend on the weather, wildlife activity and the wishes of the group.
This is our final evening as a group, and we will have a final slide show of participant images at dinner time.
Day 8 (Tuesday, October 1)
Breakfast at the hotel. Pickup at 6:30 am this morning and transport via van for a 20-minute drive in same area of the Chugach National Forest as previous in search of bull moose. Again, we hike to the moose we want to photograph and likely photograph until 11 am or noon. Lunch will be at a local Anchorage restaurant, and this concludes the trip.
Feel free to make your departing flight reservations any time after 2:30 pm this afternoon/evening or extend your Alaskan stay.
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 and is available to help you as needed. He is NOT there to photograph his own images; he is there to help you take your photography to the next level. Jeffwill 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
CAMERA GEAR – WHAT SHALL I BRING?
Besides two Canon camera bodies, Jeff brings lenses from 14mm-400mm tripod, polarizer and split-neutral density filters.
ESSENTIAL PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT:
Jeff’s BEST advice is to use two bodies and these three lenses to cover every aspect of this tour: 16-35mm or equivalent, 24-105mm, 100-500mm or equivalent.
At the very least, please bring:
- A DSLR camera with two lenses such as a 24-105mm and a 100-400mm would work.
- Several back up batteries & charger
- Extra media cards for your camera
Ideally, if possible, please also bring:
- Extra camera body
- Lenses ranging from 14mm-500mm
(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.
- Polarizing Filter – Jeff & Michael use and recommend Breakthrough: http://breakthrough.photography?rfsn=1496441.1847a
- Graduated Neutral Density Filters:
Jeff carries a 2 and a 3 stop “soft” and "hard" graduated filters by Breakthrough filters: http://breakthrough.photography?rfsn=1496441.1847a
- Lens shades & cable release
- Nonabrasive, absorbent cloth
- Laptop computer with image editing/processing software – Jeff and Michael use and recommend Photo Mechanic, or Breezebrowser & Lightroom
- Backpack type of carrying case – Jeff and Michael use and recommend Mindshift/Think Tank packs. 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.
See a complete list of the gear Jeff uses at: https://www.schultzphoto.com/jeffs-gear-closet/
In late September, the weather in Alaska will be cool, and likely cold if it is clear, perhaps even with frost overnight. Expect temperatures from 60 F / 15 C to 28 F/ -2 C . Be prepared for sun, wind, rain and even sometimes snow. We therefore recommend the appropriate functional clothing, applying the principle of layers.
- Dress in layers with synthetic type material, not cotton
- Bring sturdy hiking boots and rain/rubber/muck boots.
- Bring rain gear.
- Headlamp with both clear and red lens for night-time vision
- Your own personal, refillable water bottle or bladder
A complete list of necessary clothing will be sent closer to the workshop date. See a complete list of the photography, clothing, computer and outdoor gear Jeff Schultz uses on his Amazon marketplace here: https://www.amazon.com/shop/jeffschultzphoto
Ground Transportation is provided in a deluxe, high-top 13-passenger van.
The price includes
- All aspects of the photography workshop-tour
- Tutorials and feedback sessions
- All 7 nights’ accommodations
- All meals from the first night dinner, through the last day lunch
- Round-trip ground transportation according to the itinerary
- Floatplane flight* to Lake Clark
- Helicopter flight to iceberg lake (300 lb. weight limit per passenger)
Please be aware that your luggage allowance for the float plane is limited to 60 lbs (27 kg) per person (incl. hand luggage). Additional luggage can be stored in Anchorage.
Photography gear is limited to 30 lbs (13 kg) for the helicopter flight.
* 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 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.
- Personal expenses
- Alcoholic Beverages at Anchorage restaurants (beer and wine included in at lodge in Lake Clark)
- Gratuities for Lake Clark lodge guides and staff
- Any visa and/or airport fee
- Travel insurance/cancellation cover
Your safety is ultimately the primary concern.
- Physical Requirements: Good to excellent condition
- Degree of Difficulty: Moderate to difficult.
- NOTE—The moose portion of this trip is a moderate to very strenuous hike each day depending on your physical fitness level. We will be hiking on a fairly level (but still up and down) marked path for up to 2 miles (3.2 K) one-way. 4 miles or more, one way. Once we find the particular moose we want to photograph, we then go off-trail in spongy tundra for a short distance or up to several hundred yards depending on where they are located.
- Weather Conditions: Moderate to extreme. Late September temperatures range from 28° F (-3° 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
Due to the remote nature of this trip, we have special deposit and cancellation policies.
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 pp non-refundable payment is required at time of booking. This deposit payment can be made on-line via credit card or via check or wire. Contact us if you’d like to pay by check or wire.
The balance of the tour price is due March 1, 2024. The balance must be paid via check, Venmo, wire transfer or any method that does not incur a percentage for credit card fees. An invoice for the balance will be sent 45 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 payment, the other payments 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 Michael 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. Michael 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:
BOOK YOUR TRIP NOW
Contact us directly if you have questions about the workshop/tour or if 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 Inc. 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.