Mountains & Glaciers of Southcentral Alaska Photo Tour
Fully immerse yourself in an ultimate northern landscape photographic adventure exploring Southcentral Alaska’s shrinking glaciers up close along with its rugged, coastal mountains and abundant waters.
WHEN: July 27 – August 2, 2019
WHERE: Starts & Ends in Anchorage, AK
FEE: $5,985 (deposit $1,500)
GROUP LIMIT: 5 Maximum
WHO: Advanced beginner and above
FITNESS LEVEL: Moderate – ♦ Difficult *
Designed to maximize adventure and photographic engagement with the northern mountain landscape, this will be far from your average Alaska photo tour. In addition to exploring on our own, our carefully chosen guided excursions take us to big wilderness landscapes along with up close and personal access to glaciers and icebergs all surprisingly close to modern amenities. Our shoots are from a participant’s point of view, not from the outside looking in.
✓ Small group, stimulating and relaxed environment.
✓ Led by one of Alaska’s most experienced commercial photographers and workshop leaders.
✓ Active and participatory itinerary designed to maximize time on location at off the beaten path locations.
✓ 7-nights of accommodations in smaller, quainter lodges, inns or B&B’s.
✓ All transportation provided during tour to and from Anchorage
✓ Unique and majestic coastal mountain landscapes – different from any other Continental US mountain location.
✓ Guided and outfitted glacier hike.
✓ Guided and outfitted kayak tour on lake with icebergs.
✓ Outfitted overnight camp in remote glacier and lake via helicopter fly in and out.
✓ Private boat charter to marine waters with tidewater glaciers, big mountains and wildlife.
Join a small group of dedicated, like-minded photographers who want to embrace a more active, light and mobile, and minimalist approach to photography in a welcoming and invigorating environment designed to maximize engagement with the landscape. Led by travel and adventure photography team, Michael and Lauri DeYoung, one of Alaska’s most commercially successful outdoor photographers, this Alaska backcountry adventure photo tour we do more than sight see, shooting from the outside looking in. We shoot from a participants point of view, exploring more off the beaten path locations. Carry less, shoot more!
What makes coastal Alaska different from other mountain landscape locations is the abundance of water and reflections, steep, lush alpine peaks that rise from sea level, and a marine environment – not to mention glaciers. We will explore calving tidewater glaciers (those that terminate in ocean water) as well as land-locked glaciers that terminate in lakes. Our glacier locations are backdropped by steep mountains with verdant greenery and splashes of color from summer wildflowers.
Teaming up with expert local Alaska guides and outfitters for an extra margin of safety and comfort, we gain unparalleled access to unique, off the road locations. Special emphasis will be on capturing imagery of our shrinking glaciers from a variety of perspectives, including panoramic views to touching icebergs to walking on a glacier and discovering glacier features.
This ultimate Alaska glacier and northern landscape adventure photo tour includes landscape and marine wildlife opportunities in Southcentral Alaska, Prince William Sound, the Kenai Peninsula, and Kenai Fjords National Park. We capitalize on mountains, lakes, rivers, reflections, fjords, glaciers, rainforests, waterfalls, tundra, and wildflowers – all within reach of modern amenities.
Timed to coincide with peak fireweed and other wildflower blooms, the tour consists of three flex days working the best of roadside available landscapes that include hiking to cool locations from road accessible trailheads. Four days, including an overnight wilderness camp, will be spent at off the highway locations, including a full-day boat tours and two full-day active tours that involve hiking and paddling in protected glacier lakes often choked with icebergs and hemmed in with stunning mountain scenery in verdant green landscapes.
Travel will be by large passenger van, private chartered boat, railroad, helicopter, stable touring kayaks and by boots-on-the-trail to seek out off the roadside locations for more unique and meaningful landscapes apart from what is available from the roadside.
Itinerary subject to change based upon weather and outfitter availability.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN ANCHORAGE
Plan to arrive in Anchorage no later than 3PM on July 27, 2019. Our group meets at 4PM for introductions and 2-3 hour orientation about the details of our adventure. (A free shuttle service from the airport is available by the hotel.) Afterwards, we will break for dinner and go out for an evening shoot in the group’s executive van.
Alaska is 4 hours earlier than the East Coast. To help you adjust to the difference in time zones, you may wish to arrive a day or two earlier to acclimate. We will be happy to assist you with booking additional lodging in Anchorage.
DAY 2: FLEX DAY – TRAVEL TO SEWARD
We depart Anchorage after breakfast and photograph along the scenic Seward Highway to Seward, a scenic port city in Southcentral Alaska, where we will spend the next several days. Seward is the gateway town to Kenai Fjords National Park, home of many glaciers which flow from the Harding Icefield into coastal fjords. After checking into our quiet, family-owned, rustic Alaskan inn, we will explore the local surroundings for sunset photography after an early dinner in town.
DAY 3: EXIT GLACIER & HARDING ICEFIELD – KENAI FJORDS NATIONAL PARK
Today we explore Exit Glacier and hike up to various spots on the Harding Icefield trail for different picturesque views of the glacier and mountain landscape. Up top, the view of Harding Icefield is expansive. It’s a visually intoxicating scene with verdant green tundra and mountainsides in stark contrast with a sea of blue and white glacial ice. We return to Seward around 6pm in time for a relaxing dinner and another sunset shoot.
DAY 4: BEAR GLACIER LAKE WILDERNESS CAMP
After checking out of our accommodations, we will photograph morning light in the area. Later in the day, we fly to our wilderness camp located at Bear Glacier Lake via helicopter. From camp, landscape photo opportunities abound. We will travel the lake using sea kayaks provided by the outfitter to photograph icebergs and big mountain landscapes. Since we are overnighting here, we hope take capture the legendary Alaska sunset and sunrise on the landscape.
The wilderness camp comes complete with Weatherport tents with wood floors, cots, inflatable camp mattresses, sleeping bags (3 beds per room), and are heated for warmth. Please note: There is no option for single occupancy. Dinner and breakfast will be provided.
DAY 5: FLEX DAY – TRAVEL TO GIRDWOOD
After a sunrise shoot and breakfast at the wilderness camp, we fly back to Seward and depart for the small ski resort town of Girdwood, again taking the opportunity to photograph the scenery along the way. Once we settle in to our Girdwood accommodations, we head out into the local area exploring more landscapes and a possible hike. Sunset will find us photographing wildflower landscapes along nearby Turnagain Arm, a scenic waterway influenced by high tidal changes (second in the world).
DAY 6: SPENCER GLACIER KAYAKING & GLACIER HIKE
We meet our Ascending Path guides around 7:30AM at the Girdwood Railroad Depot where we will travel to the remote Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop via a very scenic ride on the Alaska Railroad. Our guides will drive us a short distance to the shores of Spencer Lake where we will spend time photographing the landscape that is usually dominated by wildflowers and icebergs with Spencer glacier and surrounding Chugach Mountains as our backdrop.
Next, we safely kayak across Spencer Lake amidst icebergs, paddle to the shore near the glacier, put on crampons, and explore the glacier landscapes up close with a professional glacier and kayak guide. See and photograph crevasses and other interesting glacier features.
We return via kayak to Ascending Path’s base camp in time for the 8:15pm train returning to Girdwood around 9PM. Plan for a late dinner or bringing dinner with us. Lunch will be provided by Ascending Path.
DAY 7: ALL DAY BOAT CHARTER IN PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND
We leave Girdwood at 6AM in the group’s van to the town of Whittier where we will board our privately chartered boat to go to Harriman Fjord, one of the most spectacular places in Prince William Sound, for a 10-hour boat and land tour. Here we will find 5 tidewater glaciers, icebergs, spectacular waterfalls, wildflowers and massive peaks of the Chugach Mountains thrusting 8,000 feet above the water.
There are two planned beach landings where we stand a good chance of taking close-up photos of icebergs with glaciers and mountains in the background. Along the way and once in Harriman Fjord, there will be ample opportunities to capture glaciers and mountain views as well as the possibility to photograph sea otters, birds, harbor seals, and other marine wildlife.
We return to Whittier approximately at 6:30PM and have dinner at a local Whittier restaurant. Lunch will be provided by Lazy Otter Charters.
DAY 8: FLEX MORNING & AFTERNOON BACK TO ANCHORAGE
After a late start, our group will have a final edit & critique session returning to Anchorage by 4PM for participants to either catch their return flight home or to the hotel they’ve reserved for their extended stay.
The official group meeting location will be at 4:00PM at the Lakeshore Inn & Suites (3009 Lakeshore Dr, Anchorage, AK 99517). Alaska is 4 hours earlier than Eastern Standard Time and 1 hour earlier than Pacific Standard Time so you may want to consider arriving a day or two before to allow yourself time to adjust. If you need help in making additional lodging arrangements, we’d be happy to help.
The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) is a large, visitor-friendly airport with many flights a day. Some of the major airlines that service to Anchorage include:
- Alaska Airlines
- American Airlines
- Sun Country Airlines
There is a shuttle service from the airport to the first night’s accommodations (at Lakeshore Inn & Suites) that you can arrange for pickup through the telephone information board in the baggage claim areas.
Lakeshore Inn & Suites is less than 3 miles away (as the roads go) to Ted Stevens International Airport.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: A reasonably fit photographer capable of hiking on uneven, muddy, or rocky trails, who can get in and out of sea kayaks and trek on safe, low angle, glacier ice with mountaineering crampons (under an expert guide.) Participants may have to carry a camera body, tripod, 1-2 lenses, filters, and other gear in a backpack for up to a 5 mile round trip hike.
WEATHER: While many of us want warm sunny conditions with direct light for our photography day, that unfortunately is the exception. Any place on earth (Prince William Sound is no exception) where coastal glaciers exist have predominantly cloudy and wet climates. That is why the glaciers are there. Please do not get discouraged that great images are not possible in cloudy conditions. Our tour is timed to take place during peak summer wildflower displays with maximum color, predominantly dwarf fireweed a.k.a. river beauty. The colors of the flowers, lush green mountain sides and the blue glacial ice are more saturated in cloudy weather. With careful and creative techniques which you will learn, it is still possible to get colorful and beautiful landscape images in cloudy and even light rain. Remember, often times, bad weather can equate to great photos. Participants may be in remote locations with no shelter or restroom facilities for up to 6 hours.
A more detailed list of gear to consider will be provided to registered participants.
RECOMMENDED CAMERA GEAR
- At least on camera body (second camera body highly recommended)
- Wide angle lens (24mm or wider)
- Medium telephoto lens such as 70-200mm
- 300mm lens for wildlife
- Macro lens or extension tubes (100 macro or 25mm extension tube for a regular 100-200 range)
- Good, sturdy tripod and ball head (arca-swiss style clamp, camera body plates, and lens plates recommended)
- Filters: Circular polarizer, ND (6 stop), and graduated ND (soft or hard step, 2 and/or 3 stop)
- Extra memory cards
- Extra batteries for camera and flash
- Speedlite with wireless capability (optional)
- Rain protection for camera (plastic bags or umbrella)
- Daypack capable of carrying camera gear, extra clothes, snacks, water, and tripod. (We recommend a pack designed for hiking and not necessarily a photo pack.
- OPTIONAL: Waterproof camera cases and/or soft dry bags. (Recommended Hard Cases: Pelican and Otter Box; Dry Bags: Watershed or Sagebrush Dry Bags.)**
** Outfitters might have a limited supply of dry bags for kayak activities.
- Comfortable, sturdy hiking shoes with good ankle support
- Water shoes (or an extra pair of shoes that can get wet and muddy) or knee-high waterproof boots
- Small pad for kneeling on wet ground
- Rain pants/rain jacket with hood
- Mosquito head net or the Original Bug Shirt (Do NOT use DEET—it can be caustic to cameras)
- Insulating jacket
- Warm hat and gloves
- Sunglasses, Sunscreen, Hat
- Non-cotton layers – base and insulating
PAYMENT TERMS: A minimum deposit is due at registration to reserve your space. Required deposit amount is $1,500. Final payments are due 60 days prior to tour start date.
When a participant cancels a reserved spot in a regularly scheduled (i.e., non-custom) photo tour, it takes time and effort to fill the vacancy. Please be sure to check your personal schedule well ahead of the dates of the trip to make sure there are no conflicts. If you discover that you will not be able to attend we would very much appreciate knowing this as soon as possible.
The following fee schedule applies:
- If your cancellation is received more than 60 days prior to the beginning of a tour, we will refund your registration fee less a 5% (up to $50) cancellation fee. Any fees paid up to this point can be applied to another scheduled tour or converted to a private photo tour or private photography instruction session.
- If your cancellation is received less than 60 days prior to the beginning of a tour, we will retain the entire balance paid to date unless you are able to locate someone who will fill your position.
No refund of any fees will be made for cancellations after the tour begins.
In the event that a tour must be cancelled due to inadequate enrollment, all registration fees received by us will be refunded in full or, if you prefer, your registration fees paid up to this point can be applied to another scheduled tour or converted to a private photo tour or private photography instruction session.
We are not responsible for reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets or lodging arrangements you made in the event of a tour cancellation. Please do not make any travel arrangements until you have received notification that the tour has met its minimal participant requirement which will be known at least 60 days prior to the start date OR consider the purchase of trip insurance.
We highly suggest TravelGuard® or similar travel insurance policies to assist you in case of last minute plan changes and emergencies.
Mountains & Glaciers of Southcentral Alaska Photo Tour
DeYoung Photo Workshops, LLC