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!
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.
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.
Every autumn, polar bears concentrate along the shores of the Hudson Bay eagerly anticipating the annual freeze-up which provides them access to their favorite prey, seals. Churchill, Manitoba, on the southern tip of the bay, is one of the first places where the Hudson freezes solid. That’s why Churchill is known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World and the premier place to capture portfolio worthy images of polar bears and other arctic wildlife in their natural habitat. Majestic wildlife, check.
At this time of year, the days are short, but the sun never climbs too high in the sky, so it’s golden hour most of the daylight hours. Great light, check.
We’ve timed this adventure to coincide with the darkest skies of the month. With any luck, we’ll get a shot or two at Aurora Borealis (northern lights) photography. Bonus!
Ken will be right there throughout the expedition to provide tips, critiques, and coaching. Formal instruction, discussions and one-on-one coaching are all parts of the toolkit that Ken uses to help you reach the next milestone on your journey as a photographer.
Practice is just as important as knowledge and you’ll have tons of distraction free time among a small group of like-minded individuals to practice what you’ve learned, refine your skills and sharpen your creative vision.
Forgive yourself if your first Spirit Bear photographs turn out a bit blurry. That’s because it’s almost impossible not to tremble with excitement and awe the first time you witness a Spirit Bear materialize from dark, dense, moss draped old growth. Instantly, you understand why the First Nations peoples of the area refer to this magnificent creature as Moksgm’ol, the Ghost Bear.
Everything about Spirit Bears is special. They are one of the rarest bears on earth, with perhaps 200 to 400 in existence – no one knows for sure. They reside only in the pristine environs of the Great Bear Rainforest of coastal British Columbia, the largest temperate rainforest left on the planet. Neither a polar bear nor an albino, science explains Spirit Bears as the product of rare recessive genes. But to the First Nations peoples of the area they are sacred symbols, Ghost Bears, their unique coloration the result of an ancient bargain made with the creator, Raven, to remind us of an age when the world was covered with ice and snow.
Opportunities to photograph Spirit bears are almost as rare as the animals themselves. Most of the time, they lead solitary lives deep inside inaccessible rainforests. But for a few weeks each autumn, spawning salmon coax them to gather along coastal streams where they feast on Mother Nature’s annual abundance. Access to these areas is under the control of the local First Nations peoples like the Gitga’at. Practically speaking, the only reasonable chance of seeing and photographing Spirit bears in the wild is to join an organized trip sanctioned by a local First Nations group. Our partnership with Gitga’at guide, community leader and “bear-whisperer”, Marven Robinson allows 5 lucky photographers to participate in a wildlife photography opportunity of a lifetime.
Although there are no guarantees, every aspect of this trip including timing, hours in the field, instructional sessions and one-on-one coaching with Ken is designed to maximize the opportunities to bring home portfolio worthy images of Spirit Bears and other wildlife.
Join professional and award-winning wildlife photographer, Dawn Wilson, for a chance of a lifetime to photograph brown bears in their natural coastal habitat in Alaska. We will travel to scenic Lake Clark National Park and Preserve to be in the bear’s world where we will watch and photograph them as they chase salmon, dig for clams in the mud flats, feed on sedge grasses in the meadows, play, and possibly see little cubs.
Additional optional activities and opportunities include fishing, photographing the lush landscape of inactive volcanoes and beaches, and a boat trip to Puffin Island (weather permitting). Here we will have the opportunity to photograph puffins as they fly about bringing sand eels back to their nests, sea otters lounging on the beach, and other shore birds on the island and floating on the water.
Limited to six participants. $4800 NANPA member price.
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!!
All of this week’s Weekly Wow! images can be seen in the slideshow on the NANPA homepage at nanpa.org.
The following Showcase images have been selected to appear on the NANPA home page for the week beginning Monday, August 19, 2019. To view all of the top 250 photographs from NANPA’s 2019 Showcase competition, see the photo gallery on the NANPA website. The period for entering your best shots in this year’s Showcase began August 1st and runs through September 16th. What are you waiting for? Let’s get shooting! Your best shot might be your next one.
Something interesting is happening in the wooded hills of northern Georgia. Thanks to the Black Bear Project, people and bears are learning to peacefully live together and avoid dangerous situations. NANPA member Mary Jo Cox has been involved in this project and gave us the story.
Story and photographs by Jim Clark ©
On the eve of my first trip to Churchill, Manitoba, to photograph polar bears and other arctic wildlife, I’m reminded of my son’s first encounter with a bruin. Carson was only seven, and his reaction to the experience serves as a lesson for all nature photographers. After all, it’s not the age from whence wisdom comes, but instead, it’s the true value of the wisdom that matters. But I digress.
For several summers, Carson and I would take a week-long trip to explore our favorite places in West Virginia. This became a time for father and son to have fun, discover new things, eat pizza nonstop (Don’t tell his mother!), and spend time as best buddies. Oh yeah, we photographed a bit, too.
One June, we visited the usual locations: Canaan Valley and Blackwater Falls state parks, Beartown Natural Area, Falls of Hills Creek, and Cranberry Glades Botanical Area. Carson’s love for nature photography (especially wildlife) had just begun, so he was hoping to find something special to photograph at one of the locations.
While walking on the boardwalk at Cranberry Glades, I showed Carson recent signs of a black bear—scat on the boardwalk, broken alder branches and partially eaten skunk cabbage. Well, that got him excited. So, with camera in hand, he decided we should walk the boardwalk several times that morning to see if we would actually see the bear.