Brown Bears of Alaska
August 27-Sept 3, 2024
Come join me for an unforgettable week photographing the famed Alaskan Brown Bears along the Katmai coast. This week long charter boat based workshop will begin and end in Homer Alaska. Our group of only eight photographers will eat and sleep aboard our private boat, but spend each day ashore in different locations of Katmai National Park photographing bears as they feed on salmon, and sedge grasses. We will see young cubs and their mothers as well as big males as we explore each day. The bears and the sun get up early and stay out late. It isn't uncommon to be shooting bears well after dinner till 10pm or later. Got to love those long Alaskan days!
What is the difference between our boat based bear trip vs more common fly in bear trips... The biggest advantage of a boat based bear trip is that we are on location 24hrs a day. While fly in trips are typically limited to four hours a day on the ground with the bears during harsh mid day sun. We can be out shooting from sunrise to sunset when the light is best and the bears are most active. Another big advantage is that we can shoot in any weather, while planes can be grounded for days due to fog or bad weather. Imagine going all the way to Alaska to photograph bears and being stuck in town due to weather. Cost wise, when you look at the price of a 4hr fly in bear shoot plus food, lodging, and transportation, a boat trip is actually a better value. Not only do you get many more hours of shooting each day it can actually end up costing less per day.
What about lodge based trips... The biggest advantage of being based on a boat is that we can move locations each day depending on conditions and bear activity. This not only helps keep us where the action is (salmon runs do change from year to year), but more importantly gives us chance to shoot in many different locations. Ever wonder why so many bear photos look alike? Most bear photos are shot at one of two popular and crowded locations often with wait lists and time limits. Being able to shoot in many locations during our week will help you create a deeper and more unique body of work.
Ever wonder how the BBC or Planet Earth gets their bear footage? We are going to the same locations and using the same boat and crew that these big productions use. The captain knows where to go and how to get us safely to the best locations on shore. In addition to myself we will also be working with a dedicated bear guide who has many years of experience guiding these film crews throughout Katmai National Park. Not only will he keep us safe, but he knows how to predict bear behaviors and will get us into the best locations working with the light. This is truly a bucket list adventure limited to eight photographers that will change the way you look at bear photos for the rest of your life.
Trip begins and ends in Homer Alaska, participants are responsible for all transportation to/from Homer and any lodging or meals needed before/after the trip. Everything once on board our private boat is included. The total trip cost is $10,000, with a 50% non-refundable deposit due at booking.
Some moderate walking is required for this trip as we will be boarding zodiac boats from our ship and then walking slowly in fishing waders across mud flats and uneven ground for as much as 4 miles a day. Typically we will walk a mile or so to our chosen location and then spend several hours in one location slowly following the bears as they move and feed.
Want to know more of what to expect from a week of boat based bear photography? Check out my Youtube video from my last workshop.
Photographing Brown Bears of Katmai National Park
Highlight video from bear photography workshop in Katmai National Park, Alaska