The calm waters of southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage teem with captivating wildlife and breathtaking scenery. At this time of year humpback whales congregate in large numbers and may indulge in impressive bubble-net feeding, breaching, tail lobbing and other dramatic behaviors. Aboard the classic wooden boat, the M/V Westward, you will have a front row seat for sea lion haul-outs, bald eagles and an ancient glacier with giant icebergs calving off its face. We’ll search for brown bears catching salmon, walk through lush and serene rainforests, explore the diversity of creatures in tide pools and skiff or kayak through the gentle waters, drifting quietly past hanging gardens and waterfalls.
Benefit from Wendy Shattil’s 30+ years of field experience as a professional wildlife and conservation photographer. The remote wilderness adventures we’ll encounter from our comfortable wandering home invite a tranquility of the soul. Expect to be stimulated by the quiet solitude and reminded of our place in nature. We’ll do our best to capture these feelings and experiences with our eyes and our cameras and learn the power of our own storytelling ability through compelling imagery.
Whatever your skill level, you will learn tips, techniques and strategies to create memorable images. In the comfort of the Westward’s salon we’ll project our images and review the day’s experiences in a friendly group setting. Rather than snapping pictures and hurrying to find the next encounter, we’ll take time to savor each moment. Every scene is constantly changing, each animal is an individual and every behavior has a purpose.
Join us as we make our desert swing into two photographer playgrounds that have extreme opportunities to capture some of the most unique landscapes in the world. Arches National Park, nestled just 5 miles north of Moab, is the largest collection of sandstone arches in the world. 65 million years in the making, these sandstone formations have risen and eroded to create alien like landscapes throughout the park. With over 2000 arches and breathtaking rock formations, photographers can spend weeks attempting to capture the essence of this park through their lens. Having navigated this park several times, we have established an agenda that will help our photographers capture all the beauty this park has to offer. Canyonlands National Park, 30 miles southwest of Moab, offers some of the best landscapes to capture canyon mazes and sandstone pillars. From Island in the Sky to the Needles area, we will spend 2 days exploring and photographing this unbelievable landscape. This trip will also include night photography, capturing the Milky Way against the amazing foregrounds. Not only are your group leaders experts in photographing and navigating these magnificent landmarks; they pride themselves on maintaining and respecting the natural environment of all parks they visit.
This workshop is all inclusive, All ground transportation, lodging, meals, park fees, and the little things are included in the pricing.
On this winter trip we’ll be exploring the south side of this photogenic island in a large van. I’m partnering with Strabo Tours to seek the best winter light. Iceland in winter is cold, yes, but not as cold as you’d think, with the Gulf Stream keeping coastal temperatures around freezing. Expect beautiful beached icebergs, lots of waterfalls, and with luck, the aurora borealis and ice caves. We’ll be based at an Icelandic horse ranch for a couple of days to marvel at these photogenic creatures and also detour to the Blue Lagoon for a soak in the hot waters. The people of Iceland are kind, friendly folks and that will be a highlight of the trip. We stay in comfortable, warm hotels and you will eat well. Prior to the trip we’ll go over gear needs carefully.
Text by Gordon Illg. Photography by Cathy and Gordon Illg.
.NANPA recently posted a blog, “The 6 Myths That Frustrate Aspiring Photographers” by Tom Horton that offered advice to new nature photographers. The post reiterated advice I’ve heard from established pros many times over the decades, and every point he made was valid. Following his guidelines will almost certainly help neophytes augment their craft and become more noticed. But there are other issues that were not considered, quite possibly because there’s just not enough room in a blog.
Mesa Arch frames Washer Woman Arch, Arches National Park, Utah. You can’t blame people for wanting to photograph icons like Mesa Arch. Canon EOS 40D, 28-135mm @ 30mm, f14, 1/15 sec, ISO 800, -2/3. ©Cathy & Gordon Illg