The photography tour begins in Haines, Alaska, just miles away from the largest concentration of bald eagles in the world. Haines is known as the Adventure Capital of Alaska, and was recently named one of America’s best small towns by Executive Travel Magazine. The friendly, quaint little town also borders 20 million acres of wilderness – a photographer’s paradise.
Guests on the bald eagle photo tour typically come into town from Juneau on the Alaskan Marine Highway ferry – taking in gorgeous views of the inside passage, and encountering scenic photo opportunities such as the historic Eldred Rock lighthouse, an octagonal shaped lighthouse built in the 1906.
As the four-hour ferry-ride ends, you’ll see the picturesque town of Haines and historic Fort Seward off to the left. Fort Seward was the last of a series of military posts established during the gold rush era and was built to showcase the army’s strength in Alaska.
Matt will be there to pick you up when the ferry arrives at the terminal and give you a tour of the town. This will get you familiarized with any services you might need during the week. Then, we’ll head to the hotel to get you checked in, give you a little free time to explore town and get your photography gear ready for the week-long journey.
Later in the evening we will pick everybody up and head to a local restaurant to enjoy some Alaskan cuisine. Photographers will get to know each other and Matt will let everyone in on the action-packed agenda planned for the coming days. We will also discuss bald eagle behavior over dinner. This will help each photographer anticipate the eagle’s actions and achieve superior images throughout the course of the week.
After dinner, guests can go back to the hotel, relax and get ready for an early start the next day.
We will meet before sunrise each day at the hotel to make our plans for photographing. Bald eagles are always our number one priority, and we seize each opportunity to capture stellar images of the captivating birds along the scenic stretch of the Chilkat River.
We take a 20-mile drive to get to the best sites for capturing images of the eagles. The closer we get, the more birds we see. Eyes become wide and jaws drop as the landscape becomes filled with the stately birds. As we near the preserve we will start looking for photo ops, at times getting ten to twenty birds in a single composition.
Throughout the week, the instructors will take advantage of the day’s offerings, always looking for the best opportunities for eagle photography. In addition to mind-blowing numbers of eagles, photographers can expect to view many birds, including common mergansers, trumpeter swans and dippers. We also integrate opportunities for great landscapes and sunrise shots as they present themselves.
After the sun sets beyond the mountains each day, you’ll have time to warm up, eat dinner and review your daily images. Then you’ll join the group to learn a variety of photographic topics and techniques in a daily photo seminar. Matt will explain how manual modes offer the best opportunities for capturing crisp, beautiful images of eagles. He will explain ways to achieve the best composition and proper exposure for the scene, and give tips to get the most out of your camera’s histogram. We also invite photographers to bring their images from the day to the photo seminar and talk about what went right and wrong in a casual, fun atmosphere. The group will also come up with new techniques to try together. Guests will be amazed with the improvement they see after each day in the field.
On the last day of the bald eagle photography workshop, we will take full advantage of opportunities to photograph eagles. We’ll rise early to take our final trip to the eagle preserve and capture the last batch of images as the eagles converge for their winter salmon feast. When the time comes, we will pack up and head to the ferry (schedule varies), reminisce about the adventures we have had over the course of the week and say our goodbyes.
(Tour schedules are subject to change due to changes in weather, ferry schedules or other unforeseen events.)
- Six nights of lodging at a local hotel in the heart of Haines, Alaska. Suites with full kitchen (which is within walking distance to local shops & restaurants) Double occupancy (Single occupancy available)
- Transportation to and from the bald eagle preserve during the workshop
- Sack lunches & snacks while in the field
- Photography classes and workshops on photo editing techniques
- A welcome dinner to meet and greet your fellow photographers and your guides
- A farewell dinner to discuss the highlights of your trip
- Instruction in the field with your photographer guides with a maximum of 3 photographers per guide
- Planning Package including recommendation on the proper camera gear and clothing
- Prior to embarking on your journey, we are happy to provide a free phone consultation with your trip leader, who will give you guidance on what equipment to bring, answer questions about the locale, and give general photography advice to make sure you are ready to capture your dream image.
- We take care of all the trip logistics once guests reach Haines, Alaska, so the only thing you should concentrate on is having a fantastic time and capturing beautiful images majestic Bald Eagles.
- Transportation to/from Haines, Alaska
- Dinners on nights 2-5
- Alcoholic drinks
- Travel/Cancellation/Emergency evacuation insurance
- Personal Items
We recommend you arrange transportation to Juneau, Alaska. From there, you can take a picturesque four-hour ferry ride through Alaska’s beautiful inside passage to Haines on the Alaska Marine Highway for approximately $75 round trip. There are also flight opportunities into Haines and surrounding areas – however they are more inconsistent due to weather.
Please visit our Bald Eagles of Southeast Alaska gallery to see sample images from our preferred locations.
Please take a moment to review our trip reports:
2013 Bald Eagle Photography Workshop Trip Report.
2014 Bald Eagle Photography Workshop Trip Report.
2015 Bald Eagle Photography Workshop Trip Report.
2016 Bald Eagle Photography Workshop Trip Report.
2018 Bald Eagle Photography Workshop Trip Report A.
2018 Bald Eagle Photography Workshop Trip Report B.
Here is a short 1 1/2-minute video to show the wildlife photography opportunities we have in this beautiful location. The video was filmed during the 2012 Bald Eagle Photography Workshop. To play the video with Full Screen, click the button on the bottom right of the player.
You should be in average to good physical health. We will be walking on the river bank and there is the possibility of snow on the ground. There are options near the road for those less mobile to photograph from level ground.
If you are concerned about the physical demands of this trip, please contact us and we would be glad to discuss the typical day and options for your needs.
PHOTOGRAPHY SKILL LEVEL
We welcome all photographers from beginners to professionals.
Typically, you can expect daytime temperatures to range from 20 to 30 degrees during the photo safari, however winter weather in Southeast Alaska’s region is ever-changing and can range from 40 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny to -15 degrees Fahrenheit with rain and wind. We always say, “Prepare for the worse, and hope for the best.” Sunrise is around 8am and sunset is around 4pm during November in Haines.
Matt has been photographing bald eagles in the Alaskan wilderness for the past eleven years, and loves being outside enjoying their daily life. Sharing this beauty with our guests is always a highlight of the year. To read more about Matt, click HERE.
While our primary goal is to maximize field time, we will take advantage of non-optimal photography conditions and the early sunsets to provide photography workshops, discussing the following subjects in detail:
- Techniques for sharp in-flight eagle photos
- Camera settings for auto-focus in different scenarios
- Achieving the best composition
- Proper exposure for the scene
- Focus techniques for that crisp image
- Motion blur to add movement to your images
- Getting the most out of the histogram
- Mastering the modes (When to shoot Manual, Aperture and Shutter Priorities)
- Filters for the digital age. Split ND Filters and Polarizers
- Taking images for HDR (High Dynamic Range)
- Image workup techniques with Photoshop and Lightroom. At each workshop, we demonstrate how to work up attendees’ images from scratch, displaying our nondestructive techniques to produce the highest quality image.
- Advanced Photoshop techniques covering topics such as black and white conversions, printing and graphic art.
- Best Photoshop Plugins to use
- Color Correction
- Layers and Masks (Masks are targeted adjustments)
- Noise reduction and sharpening techniques
- Lightroom and portfolio management
- Photography discussions – Review select images and discuss which images work and why to expand your skills and move to the next level
CAMERA EQUIPMENT TO BRING
- A telephoto lens from 400 to 600mm
- A wide-angle lens from 24-100 for landscapes
- Tripod with Gimbaled or Ball Head
If you need assistance in selecting gear to meet your photography goals just let us know. All guests will receive a detailed planning package to assist in the process prior to the trip.
The magnificent setting provides a spectacular experience for anyone involved in the bald eagle tour. Non-photographers are welcome to join us in the field and join in on all activities with a discount of $250.00.
Read what our fantastic guests are saying out this workshop. Client Comments
We strongly recommend all participants purchase trip insurance purchased from a third-party operator to protect your travel investment against medical emergencies, participant trip cancellations, trip interruption and delay, weather delays, missed connections, baggage loss or delay, emergency evacuation and repatriation or simply ‘Cancel for any reason coverage’.
Because Shetzers Photography must pay fees for reservations and leases of accommodations and transportation needs of the group far in advance of the workshop, all paid tour fees are non-refundable, non-transferable and cannot be applied to a future workshop. Shetzers Photography runs small group workshops and wants to ensure the workshops are not canceled due to participant cancellations thus impacting the participants who do not cancel. All tour cancellations must be submitted in writing and will result in loss of deposit and all fees paid.
Please review our Workshop Terms and Conditions.
WAITING LIST – IF A TRIP IS SOLD OUT
Over the last few years all of our trips have sold out. We start to fill up about a year before the workshop and keep the website updated with the current workshop availability. If a workshop is full\sold out you can add your name to the waitlist. If a spot becomes available we will contact the guests immediately on the waitlist in the order they signed up. We tend to have the most cancellations 90-180 days before a trip starts so being on the waitlist can help you get on a sold out trip. We require no deposit to be on the waitlist.
The cost for the tour is $3,950.00 based on double occupancy. We do offer single accommodations for an additional $500.00 per person.
To reserve a spot on this tour, we require a $1,000.00 deposit per person that is paid by credit card at the time of registration. Full tour payments must be completed 90 days prior to the start of the tour and are paid by check or bank transfer.
Once the final trip payment has been received, the detailed trip planning documents will be sent to each guest to assist in planning for the best photography workshop.
Our workshops are based upon a first come, first serve basis. Workshop availability will be updated on this page.
If you have any additional questions or would like to speak to us, please contact us at 303-888-2710 and we would be happy to answer your questions.