Cordova, Alaska with Diana McPherson

About this trip

Discover the natural wonders and photogenic beauty of the “Last Frontier” – Alaska! Perhaps no place fills the senses more than Cordova, Alaska’s hidden treasure. Cordova is a small, coastal town surrounded by glacier-carved mountains and nestled at the head of Orca Inlet in Eastern Prince William Sound. The area provides endless photographic opportunities with its wildlife, rich wetlands, lush forests, and countless waterways. Explore the natural grandeur not only with wildlife photography, but also hiking, kayaking, boating, and flightseeing. Each day you’ll enjoy hearty meals – home-cooked with local ingredients and plenty of fresh seafood – and stay in a cozy ecolodge.

Highlights

~Seek out wildlife along the Copper River Delta as you take a canoe ride down the Alaganik Slough.
~Fly to explore Egg Island, a barrier island hosting a variety of bird species.
~Take a boat trip to the panoramic Orca Inlet to see the world’s largest population of sea otters.
~Hike through three complete ecosystems on the Heney Ridge Trail, where birds and wildlife can be spotted.
~Kayak the tranquil waters of Orca Inlet, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and home to eagles, sea otters, and seals.
~Participate in a discussion on global warming before heading to the Sheridan Glacier for an ice trekking excursion.

Alaska’s Bubble-Net Feeding Humpback Whales with Dan Evans

Want to photograph one of nature’s greatest events? Bubble-Net Feeding Humpback will be our principal muse during this concentrated 3-day workshop. This is the absolute best time and Sitka Alaska is the world-renowned place to capture frame worthy images of this remarkable behavior.
Imagine the beautiful compositions you will create when up to 20 whales explode through the water with their mouths agape, throat grooves bulging with herring and seawater flushing through their baleen plates. Then, hundreds of Gulls and Bald Eagles come in, screaming and picking off the scraps, seemingly right out of the whales open mouths. There will be plenty of opportunities as this behavior is on display as often as 150+ times per day during these dates.
It’s with good reasoning, the BBC chose to film the bubble-net feeding content for the Netflix program, “Our Planet” Episode 4 here in Sitka. While they filmed in 2018, 52 humpback whales were identified in a 2 square mile area feasting on the bounty of calorie-rich herring as they returned to these pristine feeding grounds. During this immersive workshop, we will spend 24 hours on the waters of Sitka Sound. You will see why Conde Nast Travel magazine named Sitka, “the most beautiful town in Alaska.”
We limit attendance to a maximum of 6 photographers so we can give our guests personalized attention and every opportunity to be in the exact position you want to be in when the action is happening.

FREQUENTLY SEEN
Humpback whales / Bald Eagles / Sea Otters / Harbor Seals / Harbor Porpoise / Stellar sea lions / Pelagic and Double Crested Cormorants / Common Murres / Buffleheads / Long Tailed Ducks / Surf Scoters / Harlequin Ducks / Greater Scaups / Common Mergansers / Common Loons / Black Oyster Catchers/ Pigeon Guillemots / Marbled Murrelets / Glaucous-winged, Mew, and Herring Gulls / Rhinoceros Auklets

OCCASIONALLY SEEN
Transient Orcas / Minke Whales / Gray Whales / Coastal Brown Bears / Sitka Black-tailed Deer / Pacific Octopus / Tufted Puffin / Common Golden Eyes / Barrow’s Golden Eyes / Pacific Loons / Mink / Martens / River Otters / Belted Kingfisher / Great Blue Herons / Harbor porpoise / California sea lion

HIGHLIGHTS
❖ Witness one of nature’s greatest events as humpback whales feast on the bounty of Herring alongside hundreds of Sealions, Bald Eagles and Gulls. They will gorge on the bounty of herring, along with hundreds of sea lions, bald eagles, and gulls.

❖ Our photography professionals are also accomplished naturalists, so they can explain the wildlife behaviors as you witness them and give you in the moment tips to help you capture your best photos. Our team has an excess of 80 years of Alaskan residency.

❖ Ride in comfort aboard our very stable and heated 43’ custom built catamaran that features 360-degree viewing, complete walk around deck and spacious restroom. Our research quality hydrophone allows you enjoy the sometimes-funny whale communication and alert us as to when the whales will be lunging out of the water so you can have your cameras at the ready.

❖ Sitka lies along the coastal edge of Baranof Island in the Tongass National Forest in with its myriad of forested Islands and rugged coastline, is what whale biologists call the humpback whales’ “first service station,” as they return ravenous from their mating and calving time in Hawaii.

❖ This is truly a photographer’s paradise! No other town in the 49th state has Sitka’s charisma.

❖ Feel good knowing you are joining a globally recognized true eco-tour company. We are one of only 5 companies worldwide that are certified by the World Cetacean Alliance as a responsible whale watching company.

Enjoy a 10% Lodging discount at select exclusive Sitka properties

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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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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Backing Up

View from atop Hunt’s Mesa in Monument Valley Tribal Park of the Navajo Nation, AZ. © Jerry Ginsberg

Story and photographs by Jerry Ginsberg

 

To apply some advice that I received several years ago, one hard drive will annoy ya….two are a paranoia. The hard truth is that only three things in life are certain: death, taxes and hard drive failures. They all have finite life spans. No matter how sophisticated your drives may be, given enough use over enough time, they will fail.  Not if, but when.

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Humpback Whales in Southeast Alaska

Story and photography by Neil McDermott

Humpback Whale. © Neil McDermott

     The only place on earth you can observe Humpback whales working as a team bubble net feeding, is here in the pristine, nutrient rich waters of Southeast Alaska. This most impressive act of cooperative feeding was on display from early October to Mid-November in the Eastern Channel and up towards Silver Bay in front of the aptly named whale Park here in Sitka, Alaska.

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Glacier Bay National Park

Story and photography by Jerry Ginsberg

 

Mammoth Johns Hopkins Glacier, calling card of Glacier Bay National Park,
meets the bay’s waters in tranquil Hopkins Inlet. © Jerry Ginsberg

 

For a place that is not reachable by any road, Glacier Bay National Park, tucked away in the southeastern corner of Alaska, can boast a great deal of popularity. This 5,000 square mile park, as large as any in the contiguous 48 states, gets its name from the long and narrow bay and the rivers of snow and ice that creep along its edges at a glacially slow pace. (Was that a pun? Ouch!)

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Lake Clark National Park

Story and Photography by Jerry Ginsberg

 

Glacial rivers of ice move slowly between the protruding summits of the Chigmit Mountains. © Jerry Ginsberg

 

Alaska is often called “the last frontier” for good reason. The overwhelming majority of our 49th state is still pristine and wild. When traipsing around this wonderful wilderness, I am constantly reminded of the American pioneers of yesteryear such as John Colter and Jedediah Smith, so open is this vast state.  It is truly in a class all by itself. Perhaps the prime feature shared by all eight national parks of Alaska (only California has more) is this singularly pristine wildness. These wonderful parks are vast tracts of pure, untamed and untrammeled Nature. Towering volcanoes, sparkling glaciers, crystalline lakes and mega fauna in the wild seem to be everywhere.

A century and a half after being acquired by Secretary of State William Seward from Russia’s Czar Alexander II, “Alyeska” remains remote, sparsely populated and largely roadless. Throughout this immense state, if you want to get around beyond the point where the few roads end, you will likely be using a raft or canoe to navigate the many river drainages or the ever-popular and ubiquitous bush planes for just about everything else.

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