Adventures NW Glacier Bay Photography Workshop

Our 8-Day Adventures NW Photography Workshop aboard the David B offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take your photography to the next level in one of the most beautiful places in the world: Alaska’s magnificent Glacier Bay.

In this hands-on workshop we’ll have an opportunity to make photographs aboard the M/V David B as we cruise the awe-inspiring waters of Glacier Bay, exploring and photographing from the boat, skiff and land. Opportunities to capture memorable images of the stunning scenery and epic wildlife will be plentiful as we explore the nooks and crannies of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The David B accesses places that are off-limits to the big ships, allowing us the chance to get up close and personal with one of the grandest places on Earth.

Glacier Bay is one of America’s most dynamic National Parks with over three million acres of rugged wilderness with majestic mountains, tidewater glaciers, icebergs, ancient forests, and iconic wildlife (think: whales, brown and black bears, tufted puffins, porpoises, moose, sea lions, otters, mountain goats, eagles, etc.).

We’ll explore both great Arms of the Bay, first visiting Muir Inlet and enjoying some quality time at the mouth of McBride Inlet where icebergs beached at low tide can make for some amazing photography. This ice is a radiant blue that has to be seen to be believed.

Turning up Adams Inlet we’ll pass puffin colonies, sea lion rookeries, and increasingly precipitous cliffs as the mountains grow taller and the vast sheets of ice emanating from the ageless icefields begin to dominate the landscape. We’ll visit massive tidewater glaciers including the Lamplugh and the Grand Pacific, peer into the icy vastness of Johns Hopkins Inlet and enjoy overnight anchorages near both Reid and Margarie Glaciers, where we’ll deploy the skiff for both aquatic and terrestrial photography opportunities that are among the most dramatic in the world.

While in Glacier Bay, 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 cook stove 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 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, instruction time aboard the David B, and generous amounts of ‘down time’ 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.

Sample Itinerary:

Trip Number: 315
Dates: May 20-27, 2018
Boards/Returns: Gustavus
Rates Per Person: $7,000

Day 1 – Gustavus to Bartlett Cove (Glacier Bay Park Headquarters) to Fingers Bay.

Day 2 – Fingers Bay to South Marble Island and Muir Inlet/McBride Inlet

Day 3 – Muir Inlet to Adams Inlet

Day 4 – Adams Inlet to Reid Glacier/Reid Inlet

Day 5 – Reid Inlet to Margarie Glacier/Tarr Inlet

Day 6 – Tarr Inlet to Russell Island

Day 7 –  Russell Island to Geikie Inlet

Day 8 – Geikie Inlet to Gustavus

Class Details from John & Alan:

In this hands-on workshop we’ll have an opportunity to make photographs in beautiful Glacier Bay.  Then we’ll use Adobe Lightroom 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:

  • Digital camera
  • Shooting from the boat will be enhanced by lenses with built-in stabilization (optional)
  • Tripod
  • Laptop with Adobe Lightroom installed and optionally Photoshop as well.  A 30-day trial of both Lightroom and Photoshop can be downloaded from
  • Dry bag for your camera gear as we’ll be going to shore in an open skiff and exploring in kayaks.
  • Lots of Memory Cards
  • Extra Batteries & Battery Charger
  • Mouse – because laptop touchpads just don’t work as well
  • Cable release or remote shutter release

Comments from Previous Workshop Attendees:

” 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.

What to Bring:

  • Camera and lenses (lenses with built-in stabilization will be welcome for shooting from the boat)
  • Laptop with Adobe Lightroom installed. Adobe’s Photography Plan, which includes both Lightroom and Photoshop can be purchased here. ( Familiarizing yourself with Lightroom prior to the workshop will be advantageous.
  • Tripod
  • Extra Memory Cards and Batteries
  • Battery Charger
  • Cable Release
  • Computer Mouse for processing images (laptop touch pads are not sufficiently facile)

Meet Your Instructors:

Alan Sanders

Instructor for photography cruise in Glacier Bay

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.

John D’Onofrio

Photography Cruise in Glacier Bay Instructor

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.