Northern Lights 300 Sled Dog Race, Winter Landscape & Night-Sky/ Aurora Photography Tour & Workshop January 25-30, 2018 — 5 Days/5 Nights


Experience a rare and epic winter adventure that combines photographing dog teams during a popular sled dog race– the Northern Lights 300 (which  takes place over a portion of the same trail as the Iditarod) with a potential for night-sky and aurora pursuits under the northern sky.  During this workshop/tour, you’ll be guided by one of Alaska’s most published professionals, Jeff Schultz, official photographer of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. After photographing the excitement of the race start, you’ll chase the race via bush plane and land along the trail (weather and conditions permitting) for more dog mushing photo ops before continuing on to the turn-around point at the most prestigious inn 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 dog teams for many hours as they arrive, rest and depart again from the Finger Lake area, which is surrounded by pristine mountain peaks. During dark hours, weather permitting, you’ll have a chance to photograph the night sky and possibly, if they are out, aurora displays. Throughout the workshop, Jeff will provide teaching sessions, photographic support and area expertise to ensure you get your Alaska dream shot.


Intermediate to advanced photographers (Minimum 3, maximum 5)


January 25-30, 2018.


Anchorage, Big Lake, Winterlake Lodge, Anchorage  — Alaska


  • Guided by one of Alaska most published and respected professional photographers
  • Pre-Workshop classroom instruction
  • Photograph a real sled dog race
  • Snowmobile to areas to take photos
  • Bush plane flying and land along trail to take photos on the way to the lodge. (weather and conditions permitting)
  • 5-star cuisine and accommodations at Winterlake Lodge. Read more at:
  • Dog sled rides at the lodge
  • Potential (weather permitting) to photograph the northern lights & night-sky photos
  • Nightly photo classroom sessions including; Night-Sky Photography, Landscapes, Workflow and critique sessions.


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

Standard Trip: 5 days/5 nights  $4495–    Thursday night presentation & Anchorage hotel plus 4 nights at Winterlake Lodge through Tuesday morning the 30th. Single Supplement: $250

SLIDESHOW – Click on images and use left or right arrows to scroll

Thursday January 25th

  • Evening get together and presentation in Anchorage on photographing dog mushing.  Heavy appetizers and beverages including wine 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 26th

  • Breakfast at hotel included
  • Early morning: drive to Big Lake area prior to start of Northern Lights 300 sled dog race.
  • Photograph dogs at the kennel of Iditarod Champion Martin Buser
  • 10 am:  Photograph race start. Various opportunities to shoot at start line and we will travel along trail via snowmobile to several locations
  • Transfer to airstrip for bush plane flight.
  • Photograph teams from the air and land on river or lake along race route to photograph teams (weather & landing conditions permitting).
  • Late Afternoon;  Arrive Winterlake Lodge
  • Early evening.  Appetizer hour and dinner at Lodge —  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 27th

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner at lodge.
  • Early morning and all day long — photographing dog teams arriving and resting and leaving from Winterlake Lodge area via snowmobile, walking and/or snowshoeing.
  • Saturday night – slide show of participants images and critique
  • Saturday night late — Night-Sky star photography and/or Aurora Photography — weather permitting.  If it is cloudy, this will not be an option.  Likewise, even if it is clear, the Aurora may not be strong enough for good photography

Sunday 28th

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner at lodge.
  • Morning and day time—we will use the lodges’ dog team for photographing and provide the opportunity for you to ride on the sled for a unique perspective.
  • Sunday early evening will be additional instruction time on night photography and painting with light.
  • Sunday night — Night-Sky star photography and/or Aurora Photography — weather permitting. If it is cloudy, this will not be an option.  Likewise, even if it is clear, the Aurora may not be strong enough for good photography.

Monday 29th

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner at lodge.
  • Daytime: On your own for a variety of lodge activities and photography of same including; cooking class, dog mushing, snow mobiling, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing.
  • Evening: Slide show of Jeff’s best Alaska images and how he created them. Showing of more participant images and critique.  Workflow and Lightroom image processing demo.  Northern lights photography, night photography, painting with light.

Tuesday 30th

  • Breakfast at lodge.
  • Depart late morning for Anchorage. Arrive Anchorage noon.  End of tour..

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
  • Workflow

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.


*At the very least, please bring:

  • A DSLR or MILC camera with one lens
  • Several back up batteries & chargers
  • Extra media cards for your camera
  • Tripod– A necessity for night-sky photography
  • Camera Release
  • Laptop computer with image editing/processing software – Jeff uses and recommends BreezeBrowser & Lightroom

Ideally, if possible, please also bring:

  • Extra camera body
  • Lenses ranging from 17mm-400mm.
  • A wide angle & wide aperture (2.8 or wider) for Night-Sky Photography
  • (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:
  • 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
  • Lens shades & cable release
  • Non abrasive cloth
  • 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
  • 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.

A complete list of necessary clothing will be sent closer to the workshop date

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


The Winterlake Lodge is an award-winning lodge described as “Rustic Luxury”.  You will have your own  comfortable room in a cabin with robes, drinking water dispenser and a private deck with a view.  The room does NOT have running water in the winter. There is a composting toilet in the bathroom and sink with water dispenser. Showers and flush toilets are available in the main lodge. 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.  Read all about them at:


Luggage weight limit on the plane is 60 lbs.  Please limit yourself to one camera bag, one duffle/soft-luggage clothing bag and one daypack/laptop bag.  Extra luggage can be held in Anchorage for you.


This tour is inclusive of transportation (from Anchorage), all lodging and most all meals. (see itinerary for details)

Not Included:

  • Travel to and from Alaska
  • Personal expenses
  • Photography equipment
  • While not mandatory, gratuities for the lodge kitchen, wait staff and guides is recommended.

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 knee deep snow may be encountered)
  • Agility:  Very Good (for getting into and out of small aircraft, riding on sled of snowmobile and walking on uneven terrain)
  • Weather Conditions: Moderate to extreme.  January 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
  • 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.

Due to the remote nature of this trip we have special deposit and cancellation policies.

Deposit and Cancellation Policy;

50% Payment is required after confirmation of space. $500 of this is NON-REFUNDABLE. The balance is due 90 days in advance of trip.

Cancellation & Refund Policy: 

Refunds for cancellations are not guaranteed.  If we can fill your space, then we will refund the deposits (minus a 10% charge).  We highly recommend all guests to purchase travel insurance. Due to the remoteness, we cannot offer refunds for changes or cancellations due to weather.

AIG Travel Guard
CSA Travel Protection


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. We will e-mail a copy of this for you to sign and return. Click and read the link before completing your booking.

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


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