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 International Airport (ANC) Anchorage, AK. Please arrive no later than 3 pm. Transfer on a free shuttle to our hotel as you arrive. At 5 pm we meet for a pre-workshop classroom instruction on Wildlife and Landscape Photography and orientation of the trip at our hotel along with dinner.
Day 2 (Saturday September 16)
Breakfast at hotel… Our first stop is a short drive up to the Chugach Mountains above Anchorage where we will do our best to find moose during the fall rut. The fall color here is spectacular. After lunch we drive towards our evening destination along the Glenn Highway stopping often for fall landscapes, potential wildlife and whatever interests us, including views of the Matanuska Glacier surrounded by fall color. We stay at Sheep Mountain Lodge 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 good potential of seeing the Northern Lights —weather permitting.
Day 3 (Sunday September 17)
Day 3 begins with an early-risers (6:30 am for those who want to) photo shoot on the trails of the lodge, followed by 8 am breakfast. Late morning we are off to photograph more fall landscapes along the Glenn Highway, in the Hatcher Pass area and through the history-filled and scenic area of Palmer, Alaska surrounded by 2 mountain ranges. Many photo opportunities are here including sighting moose on the final miles before our next destination at the scenic Knik River Lodge. A picnic lunch will be had along the way at a convenient time. Evening is spent with a classroom critique session. A 3-course Alaskan Dinner served. More potential of seeing and photographing the Northern Lights and night sky.
Day 4 (Monday September 18)
After breakfast we take off in helicopters for a 15 minute flight directly over Knik Glacier and on to the ice-berg choked shores of Inner Lake George with Colony 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 5 hours of Glacier, lake and iceberg landscape and wildflower photography. We have a picnic lunch here and are picked up in the early afternoon. From here we drive to our hotel in Anchorage and dinner. After dinner you are on your own in Anchorage.
Day 5 (Tuesday September 19)
Breakfast at the hotel. Pickup early from hotel 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, in an exclusive 12-guest lodge in Lake Clark National Park. There is much opportunity on the flight for aerial photography and, weather permitting, we will do an extra amount of flying to make aerials of some of the other areas of Lake Clark National Park. Arrive at the lodge in the late morning. After brunch and introductions to the staff and an orientation to the lodge grounds and your cabin, head out to find and photograph bears. There will be two participants in one motor 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. Our guides will find the bears for us. 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. No need to bring anything longer than a 400-500mm lens. And for the most part, you’ll be better off using a 100-400mm zoom on one body and a 24-105mm on another.
The lodge is known for its delicious meals, peaceful atmosphere and attention to detail. 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 if the weather is rainy we’ll take two or three covered pontoon boats 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 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 we leave in floatplanes for Anchorage in morning. Arrive back at Lake Hood Seaplane base approximately 12 noon. Transfer available to the airport.