13 days of photographing King, Steller’s and Common eiders, Razorbills, Atlantic Puffins, Common and Thick-billed Murres, Shags, Black-legged Kittiwakes, songbirds of the Taiga, northern owls, Aurora borealis, Golden & White-tailed Eagles, cryptic Willow & Rock Ptarmigan, the flamboyant displays of lekking Black Grouse and even the possibility of gyrfalcon or wolverine, all in a beautiful wintry landscape.
This photo workshop combines abundant opportunities to photograph the amazing aurora borealis and time to explore Alaska’s most dramatic mountain range, the Brooks Range. The workshop starts in Fairbanks, Alaska, where we spend a night getting oriented to photographing the aurora borealis. We then drive to the remote community of Wiseman, deep in the heart of the Brooks Range in a valley created by intersecting rivers. Photographic opportunity and instruction will focus on various aspects of landscape photography, tailored to meet specific needs of workshop participants. Daily photo review will also be a part of the routine. Fee includes all meals and lodging, as well as transportation from Fairbanks to Wiseman. For more details on the itinerary, visit our workshop page for this event.
This photo workshop combines technique in photographing the aurora borealis with the opportunity to capture images of polar bears from relatively close distances. After a night of photographing the aurora borealis in Fairbanks, Alaska, we will fly to the remote Inupiat village of Kaktovik within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. There, we will spend a total of 24 hours over four days on boats observing and photographing polar bears that gather in the area as they wait for the winter sea ice to arrive. While in Kaktovik, we will take one night (weather permitting) to go out and photograph the aurora borealis in this farthest corner of the Arctic. All lodging and meals included. For more details on the itinerary, visit the workshop page on our website.
Part II-Techniques for photographing the ice bears of Churchill
Photographing polar bears, I discovered, is not much different from photographing any other wildlife species. You still have to prepare. You still have to understand exposure and how to use different lighting angles. You still must consider the guidelines of composition. You still have to remain patient. And, you still have to know when to act fast to capture that defining moment.
You might have to pinch yourself to realize you are really seeing these majestic creatures in real time. You are photographing the largest land predator in the world located in an isolated arctic environment in the early throes of winter, which can at times be overwhelmingly windy and bitterly cold with lots of snow. So, okay, there are a few differences.
My first experience with the apex predator of the far north: Part I—Planning the Trip
Polar bear in the Canadian Arctic, near Churchill, Manitoba. (c) Jim Clark
Somewhere I read that once you gaze into the eyes of a polar bear, it will change your life. Just a couple weeks ago, I did indeed gaze into the eyes of the foremost apex predator of the far north. In fact, for a week I looked into the eyes of several polar bears during my first-ever trip to Churchill, Manitoba. The experience is something that neither I nor my wife Jamie and son Carson will ever forget. Continue reading →