These animals are massive!
The vast mountains outside of Anchorage, Alaska are the home of some of the largest moose on the planet, and you need more monster moose images in your portfolio. Join me in September to photograph these incredible animals during the rut, the moose's most active time of the year. In addition to the moose rut, this trip is timed for what should be the peak of fall foliage color, with the tundra lighting up in reds and yellows with beautiful spruce and evergreen trees adding contrast.
The plan is to stay in an ideally-located (quick access to the hot spots) house in Anchorage, AK. With each participant having a private room, this home will be the base for our adventure and provide space to gather for image review.
Plan on hanging out with a small group that shares your passion for photography in a spectacularly scenic location.
Note that, with 10-12 miles of walking (relatively low elevation gain) over an entire day being normal, this workshop requires good physical fitness.
The plan is to meet at the home on Sunday evening. We'll head out photographing early Monday, wrapping up after a morning shoot on Friday.
Hopefully, you, along with 2 others. Large group workshops are substantially more profitable from a business perspective, but serious wildlife photography is very challenging in large groups. A small group means better photo opportunities and more personal attention. It also means that we can travel together in a single SUV.
The cost for this IPT is $3,490, including lodging with a 50% deposit locking in your spot (balance is due 180 days before the IPT). Email me at Bryan@Carnathan.com to sign up or ask questions!
What are We Photographing?
Our primary photo subject will be moose. The moose are wild and unpredictable, but the anchorage area is an extremely reliable location to photograph these animals. I have had up to 16 moose around me at the same time. As an important bonus, the scenery available for backgrounds here is excellent.
While the implied definitions of these terms vary, I see "workshops" typically laid out with a planned schedule and "tours" typically designed to put you in front of subjects at the right time. I'm calling this trip a "tour" because the primary goal is for you to get great images, and we will be opportunistic in that regard, making a firm schedule challenging to implement. That said, we will spend a lot of time together. I will teach (including as we are actively photographing), answer questions (please bring many), critique images, assist in editing, etc. throughout our time together. Thus, the educational element will also be a priority. Therefore, I will call this an "Instructional Photo Tour."
In the field, we will photograph side-by-side. You taking great images home will be a primary goal, but capturing those images yourself is important, and I can best describe what you should do if I am doing it myself at the same time. This aspect also provides the participant opportunity to observe how to photograph wildlife. Your constant feedback and questions during the IPT are essential, enabling me to give you the best experience possible.
An "expedition" is another type of immersive photography experience, and this event involves multiple daily mini-expeditions. Certain is that we will have an adventure.
Photographic Skill Requirements
Photographers at all skill levels are welcome on this IPT. Beginners will quickly learn the basics, moving up to the next levels of competency. Experts should expect to be challenged.
This event will be strenuous, with 10-12 miles hiked over an entire day being normal. While the elevation gain should be relatively low, the footing can be slippery or otherwise challenging.
What is Included
Lodging with a private bedroom is included. Transportation during this experience along with everything described in the Tour/Workshop/Adventure/Expedition section above is included. By not including the items listed below in the fee, individuals are able to choose their level of spending.
What is Not Included
Transportation to/from the rental house. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is conveniently located. I'm happy to attempt connection with other participants for sharing a ride to/from the airport (and I may be able to make pickups).
Food and drinks are not included. For expediency, breakfast will be on your own at the house. Typically, we will come back to the house after the morning shoot before heading out for second breakfast or early lunch. We'll pick a restaurant for the evening meal.
Our best opportunities will be found early and late in the day. We will target these times. As mentioned, we will typically come back to the house after the morning shoot, grab a meal, load, review, and backup images, perhaps take a nap, and head back out in the afternoon.
Travel insurance is strongly recommended. Planning a workshop is very time consuming with associated, often non-refundable costs. If a cancellation notice is received greater than 1 year before the workshop start date, a full refund of any payments made minus a $195 administrative fee will be provided. If a cancellation notice is received within less than 1 year of the workshop, no refund of payments made will be provided. Regardless of the cancellation notice received date, any otherwise filled workshop openings that are re-filled will result in payment refunded in full minus a $195 administrative fee.
Let's Do This! Sign Up Now!
Email me at Bryan@Carnathan.com to sign up or ask questions!
Camera Gear Needed
Aside from a great attitude and a strong interest in learning wildlife photography, you are going to need some gear. While most cameras with a telephoto lens will work fine for this event, mid-upper-grade gear is optimal.
When photographing bull moose in rut, I am not as concerned about a fast frame rate as with some other subjects. There will be times when a fast frame rate is beneficial, but rut posturing often occurs at slower speeds, and I usually opt for higher resolution cameras. A DSLR camera or a late-model MILC (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera) should be in your bag.
A telephoto lens or lenses will be needed with a full-frame focal length equivalent reaching to 300-400mm (200-250mm on an APS-C) suggested. Wildlife activity is greatest early and late, so wide apertures are often an advantage, and the wide aperture's ability to blur the background can be useful. Any telephoto lens can work, but there may be times when an f/4 or wider aperture is preferred.
My favorite lens for this location and subject is the Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM Lens. Similar lenses, including 100-400mm, 150-600mm, and 200-600mm options are great choices. I plan to take a pair of high-resolution cameras, most likely Canon EOS R5 models. I'll bring a couple of landscape lenses and accessories, including a Black Rapid shoulder strap to carry the big lens.
There is always a chance the northern lights will be active. Bring a wide-aperture, wide-angle lens to photograph it with — just in case.
I sometimes shoot handheld and sometimes use a monopod while photographing wildlife in this location. Neither option is not as stable as a tripod, and both options require more effort to use, but tripods are slower to set up and adjust.
A backpack to carry your camera gear, extra clothes, snacks, water bottle, etc., will be needed. The MindShift Gear BackLight 18L will likely be my choice.
Bring adequate memory card capacity, enough batteries to last at least a day, and enough chargers to restore that capability overnight. A laptop is highly recommended, enabling review of your images throughout the time we have together. Bring an external hard drive for an additional level of backup. Bring a flashlight, preferably a headlight. Binoculars are useful for locating the moose. Yes, there are grizzlies in the area, so pick up a canister of bear spray upon arrival.
Consider what failure of any piece of gear means for your experience, and consider bringing a backup for items identified as critical.
As always, feel free to ask us for gear advice.
Weather / Clothing
The weather in Anchorage in late September is typically cool and sometimes even cold (mostly mornings and late evenings). Dressing in layers is optimal. Waterproof boots are essential and waterproof clothing is strongly recommended, including rain covers for camera gear while in the field.
Plan for walking in woods and in tall meadow grass that can be wet at times.
I will be authorized to conduct services in Alaska state parks.
Sign Up or Ask Questions!
Contact me at Bryan@Carnathan.com.