Adventures NW Alaska Fjords Photography Workshop with Bear Viewing – Juneau to Petersburg
- Tracy Arm / Fords Terror Wilderness Area
- Pack Creek Bear Viewing Area
- Baird Glacier Nature Site
- Two Professional instructors
- Small Group of a maximum of 8 students
Our 8-Day Adventures NW Inside Passage Photography Workshop aboard the David B offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take your photography to the next level while exploring the awe-inspiring waters of southeast Alaska as well as a Bear Viewing opportunity at Pack Creek.
In this hands-on workshop, we’ll have an opportunity to make photographs aboard the M/V David B as we explore and photograph from the boat, skiff, and land. We’ll visit the majestic Tracy Arm, the stupendous Dawes Glacier, Endicott Arm, Admiralty Island (Kootznoowoo), and more.
Opportunities to capture memorable images of the stunning scenery and epic wildlife (think: whales, brown and black bears, porpoises, moose, sea lions, otters, mountain goats, eagles, wolves, etc.) will be plentiful as we trace the complicated waterways of the northern Inside Passage. Unlike cruise ships and other big boats, we’ll enjoy an intimate exploration of this world-famous passage, with opportunities to discover not only the epic grandeur but the intricate details as well.
The vast fjord of Tracy Arm is world-famous for its glaciers, icebergs, waterfalls, and wildlife. The massive twin Sawyer Glaciers at its head calve icebergs that are among the biggest in Alaska – and photographically brilliant!
Fords Terror (named for a reversing tidal rapid that we’ll navigate at slack tide in the skiff) is a breathtaking steep-walled canyon-like fjord. Our anchorage is surrounded by sheer cliffs, laced with waterfalls, rising thousands of feet into the sky.
100-mile-long Admiralty Island is called Kootznoowoo by the Tlingit people who live here. Translation: Fortress of the Bears. This name is apt. The island boasts the highest concentration of brown bears in North America (one per square mile!). We’ll have an opportunity to photograph the bears at the Pack Creek Viewing Area, one of the prime bear-watching sites in the world, where we’ll be accompanied by a naturalist. The island’s cathedral-like forests of massive ancient Sitka Spruce offer an extreme—and photographically diverse—contrast to the scoured glacial terrain nearby.
We’ll cruise the length of Endicott Arm to its end at the Dawes Glacier with its wall of ice towering hundreds of feet above the surface of the water. We’ll have a chance to explore on foot after landing the dinghy on a glacial moraine, visiting glittering tide pools and mossy forests. Endicott Arm is a lonely place—cruise ships are generally absent and a deep, abiding silence prevails, broken only by the exhalations of whales and perhaps the music of wolves.
We’ll enjoy the creature comforts of the David B, a beautifully-appointed 65-foot wooden boat built in 1929 and lovingly restored – private staterooms with heads, a shower, fireplace, wood-fired cookstove, and gourmet meals that have become legendary on the Alaska coast. Microbrews and fine wines. This is not industrial tourism.
The boat’s “saloon” is equipped with a ceiling-mounted LCD projector and pull-down screen for evening instruction in utilizing Adobe Lightroom Classic to bring out the best in your pictures. Once the images are optimized, we’ll share and discuss the work in group critiques. Finally, we’ll spend time learning to fine-tune for printing. Everyone will go home with a gallery-quality print – ready for framing – from the workshop.
During the workshop, we’ll have extensive shooting opportunities every day (weather permitting)—from the boat, the skiff, and on land, instruction time aboard the David B, and generous amounts of ‘downtime’ to savor this special place. The trip is limited to eight passengers so individualized instruction is assured.
The David B’s skiff is a marvel of engineering and ideal for photography: roomy, super-stable, and dry. Skiffyasaurus, as it’s known, affords us amazing close-up photo opportunities of the glaciers, waterfalls, and wildlife.
The small size of the group (and the unique amenities of the beautiful boat) combine to deliver a week of awe, wonder, and artistry that you will remember for the rest of your life. If you are passionate about outdoor photography, we hope you’ll join us for this special 8-day photography workshop aboard the David B. Our professional instructors John D’Onofrio and Alan Sanders will guide you through the techniques they use, as well as, give you useful tips to help you make your best photos. You’ll spend time photographing dramatic landscapes and iconic wildlife in the Tracy Arm/Fords Terror Wilderness Area, Pack Creek Bear Viewing Area, and the Baird Glacier Nature Site. This workshop also includes discussions on how to use Adobe Lightroom Classic effectively and insightful critiques of your photographs.
Click here to see our current schedule and rates.
In this hands-on workshop, we’ll have an opportunity to make photographs in a remote wilderness landscape. Then we’ll use Adobe Lightroom Classic to bring out the best in your images. We’ll also discuss the use of Photoshop as well as other plug-ins that can be used in conjunction with Lightroom. Once the images are optimized, we will share and discuss the work as a group. Finally, we’ll spend time learning to print our work. Everyone will go home with at least one print – ready for framing – from the workshop.
What to Bring:
- Camera and lenses (lenses with built-in stabilization will be welcome for shooting from the boat)
- Laptop with Adobe Lightroom Classic installed. Adobe’s Photography Plan, which includes both Lightroom Classic and Photoshop can be purchased here: (www.adobe.com/creativecloud/plans.html.) Familiarizing yourself with Lightroom Classic prior to the workshop will be advantageous.
- Memory Cards and Batteries
- Lens Hoods for shooting in the rain
- TripodBattery Charger
- Cable Release
- Computer Mouse for processing images (laptop touch pads are not sufficiently facile)
Meet Your Instructors:
Alan Sanders has been making photographs since the 70’s and teaching photography since the 80’s. He has taught at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.
As a recovering commercial photographer specializing in advertising and public relations, he now concentrates on fine art photography. His photographs have been in many group- and one-person shows. Alan also has work in the permanent collections of several museums as well as many private collections.
Currently, he teaches photography at Whatcom Community College and is a digital imaging specialist at Quicksilver Photo Lab in Bellingham. To see Al’s work visit his website.
John D’Onofrio’s photography has been exhibited widely in museums and galleries around the United States and utilized by the National Park Service, the National Forest Service, the National Parks Foundation, and Defenders of Wildlife.
His work has been published in numerous calendars, books, and publications including National Geographic Adventure, Trail Runner, Tracks and Trails, and Washington Trails, and featured on the NBC and ABC television networks.
He is co-author of Images of America: Mount Baker (Arcadia Publishing) and loves nothing more than a good adventure.
He lives in Bellingham, WA. where he serves as editor/publisher of Adventures NW magazine. You can also see his work on his website.
To learn more about John and Alan, listen to our Northwest Navigation Podcast where we talk with them about their philosophies, photography, wilderness and being in the moment. Listen here…
Curious to see what it’s like on one of our Photography Workshops? Check out our Zoom Live Event Recording featuring our crew and instructors.
Comments from Previous Workshop Attendees:
“In seven days this workshop can transform your eye, focus your attention to detail, and restore your soul.”
– A. Sheets, Eldorado Springs, CO
“Honestly, it was the best trip of my life..I learned a lot and gained a level of confidence that translated to better pictures. You are very good teachers. I am grateful to you both, for your professionalism, patience, kindness, and your humor!”
– L. Clarke, Sandy, OR.
“The best outcome has been a change in the way I’m seeing. I can’t quantify what I mean but it is very exciting!”
– D. K. Fowler, Australia
” The whole experience was unbelievable…my perspective about photography was blown out of the water!”
– S. Finch, Stanwood, WA.
“An awesome experience…with excellent instructors.”
– M. Rough, Spokane, WA.