The tour begins over dinner in Anchorage, Alaska. Here, you will enjoy a gourmet meal while we get to know each other and discuss the exciting plans for the coming week. Matt will also let participants know what to expect when photographing the bears and throughout the photography workshop.
(Note: Participants attending the second workshop will be picked up and transported from Anchorage, Alaska by a colleague and will be met by Matt Shetzer in Lake Clark National Park.)
In the morning, the group will be whisked away via a chartered flight to the breathtaking Lake Clark National Park, in the remote Alaskan backcountry. Passengers will be immersed in the beauty of Alaska as we fly towards the heart of bear country and pass three mountain ranges which include the peaks of Mt. Redoubt, Mt. Iliamna and Mt. Augustine. Their snow-topped peaks and steaming volcanoes, along with lush rain-forests, vast tundra and sun-kissed coastlines provide powerful scenic aerial photography opportunities.
After flying for a little over an hour, the aircraft will land on the beach, and passengers will be greeted by our hosts at the premier lodge at Silver Salmon Creek. We will then be transported by ATV, along with our luggage, to the beautiful, upscale lodge. Once settled, we get right into the action, heading out with our bear guide for our first day of photographing the brown bears in their natural habitat.
We will spend the next four days devoted to capturing images of these beautiful creatures in the Alaska wild, enjoying great meals and discussing different photography techniques to improve the quality of our images. In addition to capturing pictures of bears we might see bald eagles, shorebirds, songbirds, fox, porcupines and harbor seals.
Guests who take part in the wildlife photography workshop will enjoy the adventure of being in the wild without sacrificing the comforts of home. The lodge features warm, cozy rooms, and you can enjoy hot showers each day. Most cell phones work at the lodge and internet connectivity is available for guests.
During the Grizzly Bear Photography Workshop, there will be an optional excursion for anyone interested in visiting Bird Island by boat to capture images of the Horned Puffin, Tufted Puffin, Common Murre and Kittiwake.This is one of the best places in the world to photograph these adorable birds. The puffin, nicknamed “Clown of the Sea” is a seabird with lots of character, a colorful beak, bright orange legs and webbed feet.
Once arriving at the island, we will pull the boat up to the land and let all photographers off to view these great bird’s close-up. Puffin photography can be very challenging, but guests who take part in the puffin photography tour land on the beach can photograph the puffins in the rocks, on their burrows, and in-flight from the shores – not from a moving boat. This excursion is weather dependent as we need a calm day for the trip.
We will head out again this morning for another action-packed digital photography session. Then we’ll head back to the lodge for breakfast and say goodbye to our hosts and thank them for spoiling us.
Once the wheels are up on our chartered flight, we will enjoy the spectacular scenery one last time as we conclude the photo tour on our flight back to Anchorage.
There are many nature photography opportunities for anyone who wants to explore the Anchorage area before or after the tour. We are happy to provide tips and insights if you are looking to extend your vacation on this a trip of a lifetime. Options include whale watching, viewing the bore tide on the way to a glacier boat tour in Whittier, fishing in scenic Seward or Homer, or taking the train and exploring Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America, in Denali National Park.
(Tour schedules are subject to change due to changes in weather or other unforeseen events.)
The cost of the Grizzly Bear Photography Workshop includes all the following amenities:
- 7 days/ 6 nights Grizzly Bear Photo Workshop with 6 days and 5 nights of lodging at a premier lodge in Lake Clark National Park, Alaska and 1 night accommodation in Anchorage, Alaska on arrival. Double occupancy (Single occupancy available)
- First night’s welcome dinner in Anchorage, Alaska
- Charter flight from Anchorage to Lake Clark (65 lbs. luggage per person)
- Lake Clark National Park Bear guide
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner and while at the lodge
- Lake Clark National Park fees
- Transportation for the trip
- Instruction in the field with your photographer guide
- Photography classes and workshops on photo editing techniques
- 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 Anchorage, so the only thing you have to concentrate on is having a fantastic time and capturing beautiful images of grizzly bears
- Transportation to/from Anchorage
- Alcoholic drinks
- Tips for bear lodge staff
- Optional Excursion
- Any additional costs associated with weather delays. If weathered in at the lodge a $110 per additional day is paid directly to the lodge plus meals.
- Guests will be asked to pay for additional lodging in Anchorage due to weather delays outside of our control.
- Travel/Cancellation/Emergency evacuation insurance
- Personal Items
PREVIOUS TRIPS REPORTS
Visit our Grizzly Bears of Alaska gallery to see sample images of Alaskan bear photography, many of which were captured on previous Grizzly Bear Photography Workshops.
Please take a moment to review our trip reports:
2013 Grizzly Bear Photography Workshop
2014 Grizzly Bear Photography Workshop
2015 Grizzly Bear Photography Workshops
2016 Grizzly Bear Photography Workshop – July
2016 Grizzly Bear Photography Workshop – August
2017 Grizzly Bear Photography Workshop – July
2018 Grizzly Bear Photography Workshop – July
Here is a short 5-minute video to show the wildlife photography opportunities we have in this beautiful location. The video was filmed during the 2013 Grizzly Bear Photography Workshop.
To play the video with Full Screen, click the button on the bottom right of the player.
You should be in good physical health. While we will rely on the ATV-drawn carts to cover the miles, we will be walking with the bears quite a bit, and on uneven terrain through the sedge fields and tidal flats while carrying out photography gear. You must be able to carry your gear while photographing the bears. We are not able to leave equipment in the ATV carts as the bears like to play with the bags and gear.
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
Our Grizzly Bear Photography Workshop is open to all photographers, from beginners to professionals.
Summer weather in Alaska’s Lake Clark region is ever-changing and can be anything from 80 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny to 50 degrees Fahrenheit with rain and wind. Typically, you can expect daytime temperatures to range from 60 to 70 degrees during the photo safari. We always say, “Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.”
Matt Shetzer – Matt has been photographing grizzly bears in the Alaskan wilderness for the last 12 years, and loves being outside enjoying their daily life. Leading the Grizzly Bear Photography Workshop and 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 maximum field time, we will take advantage of non-optimal photography conditions to provide photo workshops, discussing the following subjects in detail:
- Achieving the best composition
- Proper exposure for the scene
- Motion blur to add movement to your images
- Focus techniques for that crisp image
- 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.
- Best 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 200 to 500mm
- A wide-angle lens from 24-100 for landscapes
- Tripod with Gimbaled or Ball Head
- 400 +mm for the Puffin photography tour
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 grizzly bear 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 about our Grizzly Bear Photography 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 $6,395.00 USD. The lodge has limited single room availability. If you would like to guarantee a private room for one person, the lodges fee is an additional $1,250.00 USD. Otherwise, guests of the same gender might be roomed together based on availability.
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 by March 1st of the year of the trip, 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.
The well-equipped rooms at the lodge will vary in size, bed number and configuration. Single occupancy space is very limited, please inquiry when booking your trip.
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.