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

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!

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.

Nome Alaska Birds and Wildlife with Ken Archer

Join professional photographer Ken Archer to photograph the breeding birds of Nome, Alaska and the Seward Peninsula. The dates of this workshop are planned to take full advantage of the unique variety of bird life that migrate, live and nest and in the area during this beautiful time of year. We should find the arctic tundra blooming with a variety of wildflowers making for the high possibility for colorful and unique compositions. The main focus of this trip will be the incredible bird life, including a wide variety of shorebirds, passerines, raptors, jaegers and waterfowl. Rarities we will be especially looking for include the Bluethroat, Yellow Wagtail, Northern Wheatear, Bristled-thighed Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit and Aleutian Tern among others. A good variety of mammals also live here. There is a good probability we will see and photograph Musk Oxen, Red Fx, Moose, Reindeer and Arctic Ground Squirrels. Wolves, Lynx and Grizzly Bears also live here but are less visible. And the arctic landscape is irresistible to photograph, especially early and late in the day.

Glacier Bay Alaska with Wendy Shattil

Glacier Bay – Unlike the cruise ships, we spend days rather than hours exploring what John Muir called “the grandest place on earth”. No other location has the diversity of wildlife and dramatic scenery so easily seen from our decks and from land. Spring brings black and brown bears out of hibernation; whales return to Alaskan waters, migrating birds begin to nest, moose and wolves may be seen in the valleys, and of course we’ll see the glaciers themselves, up close and personal. Walk among beached blue icebergs of countless shapes and textures. Glaciers are great subjects where patience is often rewarded with dramatic calving events – the ice cracks and house-sized chunks crash into the ocean. Icebergs beached at low tide invite photos only limited by your imagination. Birds and mammals we encounter in the unspoiled wilderness are likely to be seen by us alone.

Benefit from Wendy Shattil’s 30+ years of field experience as a professional wildlife and conservation photographer. The remote wilderness we’ll explore from our comfortable wandering home evokes a quiet solitude and reminds us of our place in nature.

Whatever the skill level, you’ll learn tips, techniques and strategies to create memorable images. In the comfort of Westward’s salon we’ll project our images and review the day’s experiences in a friendly group setting. Sea kayaks and a zodiac add to the opportunities for up close and personal encounters with nature. 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.

Built in 1924 and thoughtfully restored to comfortably accommodate eight passengers in four staterooms with private bathrooms, the historic wooden boat, Westward, features a wood paneled salon, mahogany trim and multiple viewing areas. Meals and snacks are sumptuous and delicious, prepared with fresh, natural ingredients, many locally sourced.

Captain Bill Bailey and his crew of gourmet chef, Tracie Triolo and an accomplished naturalist, genuinely care about the quality of their guests’ experience on this unique small ship cruise.

Eagles of Homer, Alaska with Lewis Kemper

Every year thousands of eagles winter in and around Homer, Alaska. During this tour we are going to spend 4 days concentrating on photographing eagles in their nature habitat. The tour is limited to just 5 participants, so there is plenty of time for one to one help. There will be images of eagles flying, fishing, fighting and more. And all at close range, where lenses from 70-200 and 100-400 will be all you need. When on shore with the birds you can be as close as 4-8 feet away and a wide angle may be more appropriate.

We will be going out in a boat on five excursions with a wonderful guide/captain that I have known for years. We will have ample opportunity to work on our flight images. I will teach you how to photograph on manual and what settings you need to take razor sharp eagle images. I will be talking about shutter speeds, aperture, metering patterns, and ISO settings. Be prepared to take lots of pictures! Bring lots of memory cards as you will be taking between 2000-3000 images a day, downloading at night and doing it again the next day!

Beside just eagles, we will also have the chance of seeing, otters, seals, sea lions, other seabirds, and beautiful scenery. To take full advantage of being in one of the most scenic areas of the world, I have scheduled an extra day of sightseeing, where will go out in a van and tour the area surrounding Homer. We will visit Old Ninilchik Village and its very scenic Old Russian Church with great views of views of Mount Illiamna and Mount Redoubt, weather permitting. While on the van excursion we will also be on the lookout for moose and other wildlife.

Weekly Wow! Week of September 16, 2019

All of this week’s Weekly Wow! images can be seen in the slideshow on the NANPA homepage at nanpa.org.

Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: "Red Pine Tree Trunks in Snow Storm, Near Reno, Nevada" © Susan Dykstra.

Showcase 2019 Top 100 winner: “Red Pine Tree Trunks in Snow Storm, Near Reno, Nevada” © Susan Dykstra.

The following Showcase images have been selected to appear on the NANPA home page for the week beginning Monday, September 16, 2019.  To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2019 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website.  Tonight is the deadline for entering your best shots in this year’s Showcase.  What are you waiting for?  Let’s get shooting!  Your best shot might be your next one.

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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!!

How to Chase and Shoot the Aurora

Aurora borealis over Turnagain Arm in Chugach National Forest, Alaska, in mid-March.

Aurora borealis over Turnagain Arm in Chugach National Forest, Alaska, in mid-March.

From the Editor:  Award-winning landscape and nature photographer Carl Johnson has been living in Alaska for almost 20 years and is an expert on shooting auroras.  On Friday, August 17th, at 2 PM EDT, he will present a NANPA Webinar, “Chasing & Photographing the Aurora Borealis. This webinar covers the science behind the aurora, the tools available to predict and plan for it (including websites and apps that provide real-time and forecasting information), tips on when and where to photograph it, and what gear and techniques to use. For more information or to sign up, click here.

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Above the Arctic Circle

One of the most stunning sights in Gates of the Arctic, the sharply serrated Arrigetch Peaks shown here in the warmth of late evening light. © Jerry Ginsberg

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