Alaska Inside Passage with Juan Pons

Introduction
Alaska is one of the last truly wild places in North America, and aptly considered our modern day “last frontier.” Wildlife and landscapes here are like no place else. Come and spend 8 days (7 nights) on an amazing Alaskan Wildlife and Landscape photographic adventure.

I have scheduled this workshop to coincide with the herring spawning season which is one of the largest spring herring spawning occurrences on the west coast of North America. The huge biomass attracts many species of wildlife comprising a spectacle of many thousands of animals which come to feast on the vulnerable rich fish.

The widely distributed Pacific Herring biomass is an essential resource for the existence of almost all marine wildlife in the Pacific Northwest. The herrings annual spring spawning event is a celebration of this absolutely essential component of Southeast Alaska’s natural environment. Eagles gather by the thousands lining the tress along the shoreline with their majestic white heads. The eagles’ keen eyesight and winter long hunger helps create a more than formidable aerial presence with their continual elegant dives catching herring by the talon full. Seals and Steller sea lions rush through the tremendous schools of herring that ribbon the shallow waters along the shoreline. Humpback whales demonstrate a variety of forage techniques to capture the extremely elusive schools of herring. It is even not uncommon for us to observe the whales fascinating cooperative ‘bubble-net’ feeding behavior up close. And of course, what marine wildlife party in SE Alaska would be complete without an appearance of the oceans top predator the killer whale. The orca’s nomadic travels most definitely include a ‘shopping trip’ to the buffet presented by the herring’s arrival to spawn along beautiful isolated beaches.

During this workshop we will be traveling aboard a privately chartered 84-foot world-class expedition yacht. This luxuriously appointed yacht was designed and constructed from steel with the same rugged integrity of vessels built for Alaska’s renowned commercial fisheries. It offers an ideal balance of public and personal space with ample outdoor areas for play and lounging.

We will have an onboard chef that will be preparing specifically for us the locally caught salmon, crab, halibut, shrimp, caviar and black cod purchased from Southeast Alaska fishermen. Dinner will be served alongside a selection of boutique wines or specialty beers from Alaskan Brewing Company in Juneau.

What sets my photo workshops apart
I believe that in order to truly enjoy your time and get the most out of a photography tour and/or workshop you need to have small groups, and a very high ratio of instructors to participants.

This is a very unique workshop and as with most of my workshops, the group will be very small, limited to 7 participants to ensure everyones comfort and ensure that everyone gets the attention they need making once in a lifetime images.

What you will learn
You will be accompanied by Juan, and Captain Dennis. Juan is an accomplished professional photographer, and photographic educator who has a deep passion for the outdoors, he has been visiting this area of Alaska for over 6 years. Dennis is the captain and owner of our amazing boat. He lives in this part of Alaska and has spent a lifetime in Alaska first as a commercial fisherman and now the owner of an expedition yacht.

We believe that the best way to teach is by demonstrating, and to this end, we will be shooting alongside you, demonstrating our vision, technique and sharing our love and knowledge of wildlife and the landscape. However, our priority is always YOU, and helping you get the best images YOU can get.

The biggest advantage of having small groups is the flexibility they provide for customizing and adjusting both the schedule and agenda to suit the interests of the group while being able to maintain the flexibility required by variable weather. This allows us to cover only those topics that you are all interested in, including:

• How to create asthetically pleasing wildlife and landscape photographs
• Storytelling thru natural history photography
• Best use of equipment
• Panoramic and High Dynamic Range Photography
• Digital Workflow
• Adobe Lightroom basics
• Image presentations and critiques

What to expect
My workshops are pretty intense, and as such you should not expect this to be a leisurely vacation. My goal is to capture the best images we can during our time on the yacht.

Within 2 working days of registering for the workshop you will receive a confirmation email with a request for your deposit. Once I receive your deposit, I will email you a registration confirmation as well as the details you will need to book your airfare. I will then be emailing you periodically with any pertinent information about the workshop, including checklists for clothing and gear to bring.

About 2 to 3 months prior to the workshop, you will then start hearing from me on a more regular basis. At that point I will provide you with detailed rendezvous and contact information and go over more details of the workshop and get you excited and thinking about the images you want to capture during the workshop. At this time you will also receive from me a list of recommended clothing, equipment and even discounts for equipment you may want to acquire for this once on a lifetime trip.

I always available to answer any questions you may have leading up to the workshop, simple call or email me.

About our Yacht
The Northern Song is an 84-foot steel expedition yacht which was designed and constructed with the same rugged integrity as Alaska’s renowned commercial fishery vessels. Safe, functional and comfortable, it offers an ideal balance of public and personal space with ample outdoor areas for play and lounging.

The Northern Song features three beautiful guest staterooms each feature en suite private bathroom and shower, and an additional spacious Master Suite with a queen sized and an en suite private bathroom and shower.

Our yacht features an expansive indoor common areas that are ideal for dining and relaxing. In addition, several covered and open decks provide a perfect platform for wildlife watching and photography.

For more detailed information and pictured of the Northern Song please go here.

What is Included
• Privately chartered Yacht
• Lodging during the workshop
• All meals and snack during the workshop
• Beverages, including beer and wine during the workshop
• All permits, fees & gratuities
• Instruction
• Inspiration
• Camaraderie
• A great time

Whales, Bears and the Best of Southeast Alaska with Wendy Shattil

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. We’ll travel from Sitka to Juneau, Alaska, aboard the historic wooden boat, the M/V Westward, exploring the land and waters for whales, bears and other wildlife as well as landscapes ancient glaciers 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 we’ll see from our comfortable wandering home evokes 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 through compelling imagery.
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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.

Alaska Brown Bears with Daniel J. Cox

Daniel has photographed grizzlies in the wilds of Alaska for well over a decade. His guidance and experience assist in giving guests the opportunity to take their own amazing images. We invite you to join us in this exceptional bear-viewing location where no viewing platforms are used. Peaceful encounters with these magnificent giants of the north—there is nothing more exhilarating than photographing these bears! Beware: this trip can be addictive!!

CONSERVATION: Sockeye Salmon Spawning

Story and Photographs by Andrew Snyder

 

Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) making the jump up a small falls en route to spawning – Katmai, Alaska. © Andrew Snyder

 

Andrew Snyder is a new NANPA board member, a professional biologist and photographer, and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Mississippi.  He recently posted a piece on maptia.com, a website devoted to stories and photography of the natural world, about the annual spawning of sockeye salmon, which return to freshwater rivers from the Pacific Ocean each year to lay their eggs.

When sockeye salmon are born, they spend between one and two years in freshwater lakes or streams.  Then, they migrate to the ocean and spend two or three years there.  Once they’re ready to spawn, they head back to the river where they were born. Continue reading

Winner’s Profile- Mark Kelley

 

 

In springtime, before the salmon start running up the creeks, many bald eagles hang out on the icebergs in Tracy Arm looking for food. © Mark Kelley

 

How many of your images will win? The 2018 NANPA Showcase competition is accepting entries until October 1, 2017 at 11:00 p.m. EDT. The annual competition is a wonderful opportunity for you to submit your best photography and have it evaluated by three notable professional nature photographers- George Lepp, Roy Toft and Darrel Gulin .  You may even have your image published in our annual Expressions publication which features the top 250 images from those entered.  For more details about the 2018 NANPA Showcase competition, check out the website.

Over 3,300 images were submitted last year. One of the key NANPA Showcase 2017 winners is Mark Kelley, a photographer based in Juneau, Alaska.  Mark had nine images featured in the 2017 Expressions, including Best in Show for “Eagle Hell,” Judge’s Choice for “Hiker Inside Glacier Ice Cave,” and First Runner-Up for “Drizzly Bear.”  All of these images were made in Alaska and reflect the photographer’s passion for this beautiful state.

“Eagle Hell” Best of Show winner in the birds category for the 2017 NANPA Showcase Competition. A smudged up bald eagle use a discarded stool as a perch in the Adak dump where it scavenges on caribou hides and carcasses left by hunters. (See hide in lower left corner) © Mark Kelley

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