• June 23-25, 2017
Camp on the shore of a glacier lake in Alaska, paddle around the icebergs, photograph landscapes under the midnight sun and shoot aerial photos of massive glaciers from an open-door helicopter.
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The key to great photography is great light, and in the summertime in Alaska, this means staying up late. REALLY late. During this special three-day outdoor photography workshop, you'll have the unique opportunity to camp outside in the heart of the Chugach Mountains and photograph glacier landscapes under the midnight sun. You'll also have the chance to shoot aerial photos of the massive Knik Glacier from the helicopter that will fly us out to our camping spot by Lake George and the Colony Glacier. Also, you'll have the chance to kayak around the lake and see the icebergs up close.
During the middle of June, right around Solstice in Alaska, the sun doesn't set until around 11:15 PM, which means that options for shooting in dramatic light extends until around midnight, with the other side of Magic Hour beginning to show itself just a few hours later. You'll be out there in the best light, and I'll be out there right alongside you, giving you tips, pointers, teaching you compositional techniques for capturing these amazing otherworldly landscapes of ice with your camera.
Starting with a Friday evening photo presentation designed to prepare you for the subject matter and conditions we'll encounter during the next two days. You'll spend the night in a rustic cabin perched on the hillside above the wide open Knik River valley.
Then, on Saturday, we'll all fly out to our location and spend the entire day and evening in the company of massive icebergs that have calved off from the terminus of Colony Glacier. In addition to being able to photograph these incredible icebergs from a relatively close vantage point, you'll have the chance to see them and then surrounding mountain landscape in the best possible light of the day.
If you're gonna take a workshop, go with this guy. Can't beat the location, either. 🙂
This is a great opportunity to spend time with Dan and pick his brain.
We'll camp in a beautiful setting on a remote hillside in the wilderness, right across from Colony Glacier and listen to it boom and all day and all night long as it sheds giant chunks of ice from its immense face.
Our camping guide service will provide all of the necessary camping gear and meals, as well as a selection of sea kayaks which you can use to explore the ice up close. The kayaks are very stable and they have a comfortable seat and a large cockpit, so they're easy to paddle. This could easily be one of your highlights of the trip!
I know this area intimately, because I fly out out here in my Cessna bush plane on a regular basis. I've been out here during magic hour, and in the middle of the night when the quality of the light is blue and yet there's still enough light to continue shooting. There's a reason this is one of my favorite areas in Alaska. My goal with this workshop is to let you experience this amazing area in the same way and help you create the same kinds of images I capture during my own glacier adventures.
You'll also have the chance to try out the exact Fujifilm X Series camera setups that I use. I'll bring out a selection of X Series bodies and lenses for you to demo, and of course, I'll be there to give you firsthand instruction.
I ran this workshop last year and we all had a wonderful time. The weather during late June is usually quite favorable and the late evening light is simply magical, if you've never experienced it before. Everything about the trip exceeded my hopes and expectations, and so I'm excited to offer it again this year. I really hope you can join me! Don't wait, though. These are small group workshops and they fill up pretty quickly.
- Group Size: Max of 6 People
- June 23-25, 2017
- Arrival and Departure: Anchorage, Alaska
- Price: $1,895 USD
A deposit of $1000.00 (or payment in full of the trip price is less than $1000) per person is required to reserve a spot on this trip. The remaining balance is due 60 days prior to the start of the trip. Reservations made within 60 days of the trip starting date require payment in full. If the participant cancels a reservation earlier than 60 days prior to the starting date, the deposit will be refunded, minus a $100.00 cancellation fee. If the participant cancels within 59-31 days of the starting date, 50% of the trip balance will be refunded. If cancellation is made within 30 days of the trip starting date, there will be no refund of any costs.
- Camp one night out in a remote wilderness setting on the shores of a glacier lake in Alaska.
- Exclusive and intensive, three-day learning opportunity in a beautiful setting.
- 24-hour outdoor field session, and before and after group presentations and personal image reviews.
- Lots of time for informal, on-on-one interaction with me.
- Paddle in kayaks and a raft around the icebergs
- Shoot glacier aerials from a helicopter
- Stay one night in a rustic cabin at a remote Alaska lodge.
- FUJIFILM X Series cameras and lenses for you to try out.
- WHAT WiLL I Learn?
- What Should I expect?
- What Should I bring?
Friday: We'll meet up in Anchorage on Friday afternoon and make the one-hour drive out to the Knik River Lodge. After checking into your cabin, you'll have a couple hours to enjoy the views and wander around the area on the hillside above the massive Knik River gravel bar. Then we'll enjoy a fabulous meal made with local ingredients by the lodge's excellent cook staff and finish the evening with a pre-workshop presentation designed to get you ready for the weekend's activities.
Saturday: After breakfast, we'll pack our gear, gather for a helicopter safety briefing and then head out. Going in two groups, we'll lift off and fly up the Knik River and over the toe of the Knik Glacier. Our pilot will do a few circles and fly-overs of some of the spectacular ice formations so you can shoot aerials from our seat right by the open door. I guarantee, the view will be stunning and the photo opportunities unmatched. You might even spot some dall sheep up on the hillsides above the glacier.
After a few aerial passes, we'll fly out to our campsite on a small hillside above Lake George, which is where we'll spend the next 24 hours. Our pilot will drop us off and leave us to our own solitude and our backcountry guide will help us set up our tents and get our campsite up and running. We'll be right across the lake from the Colony Glacier, which spills down from an array of impressive high peaks. The glacier will be our constant companion, because we'll hear it crack and calve continuously from across the lake throughout the afternoon and evening.
After we unpack our gear, we'll be free to spend the rest of the afternoon wandering around the shores of the glacier lake, hiking, photographing the icebergs and the surrounding landscapes of the Chugach Mountains. We'll also spend a few hours kayaking around the icebergs on the lake and explore these amazing ice formations from a relatively close vantage point. The kayaks are very easy to paddle and they're quite stable. We'll also have the use of a raft, as well if you prefer that type of watercraft.
After a break for dinner, a home cooked meal over the campfire, we'll head out for some more photography, either on the lake or on land- the days and evenings are long enough to do both. Depending on the weather, the light will start to get really good by 9 or 10PM, and continue to improve as it bathes the surrounding landscapes with dramatic light until the 11:45 sunset.
It won't get dark, though. You might choose to stay up and hang out around the campfire and enjoy views of the dim night sky or photograph under the light of the endless blue hour before retiring to your sleeping bag well after midnight.
Sunday: The sun will come up early. Very early. After breakfast, we'll have a little bit of time to explore the area and do some more photography before we need to pack up. Our pilot will return in late morning and take us back to the lodge, giving us even more opportunities to shoot aerials over different parts of the glacier as we enjoy a magnificent flight back to the lodge.
Once on the ground we'll head to our presentation room where you'll be able to download your photos and choose a few selects to show on the big screen for our sharing/critique session and final review. We'll finish up by eating lunch together and then wait for our van to take us back to Anchorage. We'll be back in town by 5:00PM at the latest.
During our Friday night presentation and our long night out in the landscape, Dan will discuss methods for shooting dramatic, eye catching landscape and adventure images, as well as exploring whatever styles of photography interest you, such as environmental portraits or flash. In the field, he will talk you through methods for making the best image at our location, based on the current light, weather conditions and subject matter we have on hand. (The glacier and iceberg landscape changes from year to year.) Some of the topics included in work-sessions include:
- Tips towards making better images regardless of subject matter or location
- Composition: Seeing creativity and effectively arranging your subject matter
- What makes for a truly compelling image
- How to be proficient with ex
- How to make the most of the gear you already have
- How to carry your gear in the outdoors
- How to pull together light, subject and background into single dramatic frame
Dan is there to help you take your photography to the next level and his focus is teaching you how to see, compose and grab powerful photos quickly, and how to efficiently manage your gear. Essentially, you'll learn firsthand the techniques an methods he covers in his boo, Outdoor Action and Adventure Photography. His goal is to help you take your image making to the next level.
Your safety is my primary concern. To insure this, please review the following carefully and inform us in advance of any limitations and/or restrictions:
Physical Requirements: Moderate to excellent condition. Although we won't be doing strenuous hikes or climbing, we'll spend most of our outside time on uneven rocky ground and we could take some long walks up and down the shores of the lake. A general level of fitness and good footwear are all that's needed to enjoy this workshop. And although it's won't require strenuous paddling, if you choose to kayak on the lake, you'll need to be comfortable in watercraft on flat water.
Weather: Summer temperatures can range from 40° F to 70° F, with a chance of rain or showers and cool mountain winds.
Mental Requirements: A flexible and positive attitude is essential
About the Knik River Lodge
Awarded with the coveted Trip Advisor Award of Excellence in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, Knik River Lodge offers a unique balance between true Alaska adventures and the amenities you expect in a luxury hotel. We invite you to share our magical part of Alaska in summer and winter!
Each of the beautiful wilderness cabins features a large deck, private bathroom, luxurious bedding with hypo-allergenic down duvets, soft sheets and first class amenities.
The Raven's Perch restaurant has one of the best views anywhere in Alaska, often with the added bonus of wildlife viewing. The food is all made fresh, using local, organic ingredients when possible and their chef takes great pride in offering some of the best food in Alaska.
Enjoy a beverage on our large deck or choose a table inside and delight your palette. Our main courses include Alaska classics like grilled fresh salmon and pan seared rock fish; and our own classics like such as our Beef Wellington, slow braised lamb shank and our Black Angus beef from our friends at Fulton Meats. Choose from a selection of housemade desserts, like Hazelnut Torte or Orange Cognac Creme Brulee to complement your meal. No meat? No problem! Several creative vegetarian choices are also available.
DSLR or Mirrorless camera with at least one lens
Several backup batteries and charger
Extra media cards
Extra clothing, outwear and personal gear (see below.)
Optional but recommended:
Extra camera body
Waterproof point and shoot camera or a waterproof camera housing for use in the kayaks. Or ziploc bags and duct tape.
Lenses ranging from 14mm-400mm (If you’d like to rent equipment while you are visiting Alaska, we recommend our friends at Stewart’s Photo Shop in downtown Anchorage. Visit them online at Stewart's Photo Shop. We'll also have a limited number of Fujifilm X-T1, X-T2 and X-T10 camera bodies and X Series lenses for you to demo.
Specialized lens, such as a tilt-shift lens or a Lensbaby
Graduated neutral density filters (Dan recommends Galen Rowell graduated filters by Singh-Ray)
Flash and off-camera sync cord or wireless triggers
Backpack type carrying case (Dan recommends Lowepro and F-Stop packs)
Any other easily transported photography gear you like to use
Binoculars or a spotting scope
July can bring a variety of weather in and around the Chugach Mountains. Although it can be relatively warm this time of year (50s-70s), evening and nighttime temperatures can be cooler out by the glaciers. Be prepared for spells of cool, rainy weather or quick afternoon showers. Also, is mosquito season in Alaska, and while they're usually not as bad out by the glaciers, you never know... Consider lightweight long pants/tights and bug spray.
Dress in layers with synthetic type material, not cotton
Light fleece or wool insulating layer, and a lightweight wind/rain layer.
Lightweight gloves and hat
Hiking or trail running shoes
Headlamp or a small light source. It will get dim at night, but we won't have anything close to pitch black.
A complete list of necessary clothing and equipment will be sent closer to the workshop date.
The price is inclusive of:
Round-trip transportation from Anchorage to the Knik River Lodge
Round-trip helicopter transport from the Knik River Lodge to our Lake George camping spot
Meals at the Knik River Lodge on Friday night and Saturday morning, as well as all meals at our camping spot Saturday and Sunday morning.
All camping amenities, including tents, sleeping bags and pads, cookware, utensils and anything that's not considered "personal gear."
All instruction, pre-workshop materials and access to post-workshop image sharing pages and discussion board.
Demos on select Fujifilm X Series cameras and lenses.
Transportation to Anchorage.
Accommodations before or after the workshop. (We can recommend a variety of good lodging options)
Extra food and snacks aside.
Alcohol costs during our Friday night dinner.
- All group gear for camping: Expedition quality tents, sleeping bags and pads, and all cooking gear and eating utensils.
- Group guide, safety kit and medical kit.
- Transportation to and from the Knik River Lodge
- FUJIFILM X Series loaner gear and demos
- All meals through Friday night to Sunday afternoon
- Small group setting with lots of personal one-on-one time and instruction with me.
- Spectacular scenery and a wilderness setting
- The promise of amazing learning opportunites
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
- Round trip transportation to Anchorage, Alaska
- Personal camera gear
- Guide and pilot gratuities
- Alcoholic beverages
- Personal gear and clothing
- Any guarantees of perfectly clear weather
Testimonials From Dan's Past Photography Workshop Participants
Dan Bailey puts together a terrific experience -- hanging out of the helicopter (no doors), camping in the wilderness, kayaking among icebergs and insightful coaching on camera technique and photo composition. Couldn't be better, and the weather was perfect!"
I Hope You Can Join Us!
Whether your interest lies with landscape, nature photography or adventure, my Midnight Sun Alaska Photography Workshops promise an unmatched photography experiences and the opportunity to learn to learn from me in a truly amazing setting.
As I said above, this workshop is limited to only 6 participants, so don't wait too long to decide! It filled up pretty quickly last year and we had an amazing time out there. I really hope you can join us! Please email me if you have any questions.
To reserve your spot, click the button below to send your deposit and reserve your spot on this trip.