Arctic Wildlife and Landscapes

Aug 29 - Sept 4, 2023

This 6-day adventure will take you deep into the remote Arctic environment where we'll photograph wildlife, fall colors, Northern Lights, and stunning mountain landscapes!  You'll get to spend time with musk oxen and see caribou as they make their way over mountain passes. We'll travel through the mighty Brooks Range with endless mountain peaks! The trip is limited to 8 participants and 2 instructors and is rated Moderate for physical intensity. The workshop fee includes all transportation, hotels, and photo guiding. Save 10% by joining our Loyalty Program!

Tuition

  • $ 4500 All-Inclusive
  • 50% Deposit

Max Group Size

  • 4 Students per Instructor
  • Max 8 Students

Instructor(s)

  • Nickolas Warner 
  • Kevin McNeal
Images from the Dalton Highway north of Fairbanks in the state of Alaska during fall season

Highlights

  • Venture high above the Arctic Circle on this 6-day adventure to experience the incredible wildlife and landscapes of the far north.
  • Wildlife may include musk oxen, fox, caribou, dall sheep, moose, and more!
  • Immerse yourself in the grandeur of the mighty Brooks Range surrounded by endless mountain peaks.
  • We'll cover lots of ground and have many different photo ops planned.
  • This workshop can be paired with our Alaska Fall Photo Workshop and includes lodging and all transportation.
  • With only 8 participants and 2 instructors, we'll ensure everyone gets individual attention and quick access to their gear for wildlife shooting!
Musk Oxen

Itinerary

Due to the unpredictability of weather in the high arctic, the itinerary below is subject to change.  We optimize your time to give the best possible photography experience.

  • Day 1 (Aug 29): Meet at 7PM for our orientation session at La Quinta in Fairbanks, AK.  We'll cover detailed logistics and shooting techniques.
  • Day 2 (Aug 30):  Depart after breakfast from Fairbanks, AK to begin our long journey to the north. We photograph the fall colors and rivers along the way, stopping whenever we have good wildlife sightings! We break for lunch at the Arctic Circle and do some short hikes to nice viewpoints. At sunset we photograph blazing tundra colors along an impressive river and then check into our hotel for the night. With cloudy conditions overnight, we do some post-processing training at the hotel.
  • Day 3 (Aug 31):  After an early breakfast we set out to capture first light on the mountainous landscape before continuing up and over the mighty Brooks Range where we stop to photograph red fox and caribou!  As we descend the North Slope, the landscape gradually flattens and we find several herds of musk oxen bathed in warm evening light. We check in for the night at our hotel near the Arctic Ocean.
  • Day 4 (Sept 1):  We are up early for the return journey through the North Slope, stopping for wildlife and landscape photos all along the way!  We check into our lodging well north of the Arctic Circle which will be our base for the next 2 nights.
  • Day 5 (Sept 2):  Today is our open day and we may revisit some of our favorite wildlife and landscape spots depending on where the best conditions are. With a herd of caribou migrating over the pass, we spend additional time up in the Brooks Range.  With clear conditions overnight, we venture out after dinner and watch for the aurora borealis.
  • Day 6 (Sept 3):  Today we decide to sleep in since we were out late the night before.  We load up the vehicles after breakfast and enjoy many more photo ops on our way back to Fairbanks. We eat dinner as a group at one of our favorite restaurants in town and reminisce on the wonderful experiences we shared together.  Lodging is included for the night of Sept 3rd at La Quinta
  • Day 7 (Sept 4): Transfer to Alaska Fall Workshop or return home.
Alaska Fall - Nickolas Warner

What to Expect

Alaska experts Nickolas Warner & Kevin McNeal have spent a lot of time photographing the Arctic and know how to get you the best shots! Due to the far northern latitude, the weather can be highly variable. We can have warmer temps and beautiful fall colors, or cold temps with an early snow blanketing the landscape.  No matter what happens, we'll ensure you get the best shots! Temperatures can range from 5°F to as high as 50°F.

Trip is rated Moderate for physical difficulty since we will be doing some short hikes from the vehicles over rough terrain.  We won't be doing any more than 1-2 miles per day. You should be comfortable carrying your own photo gear.

We expect to encounter lots of wildlife during our journey. We've been able to photograph musk oxen and caribou every year we've been there.  Other species such as moose, red foxes, lynx, grizzly bear, dall sheep, otters, swans, snowy owls, ptarmigan, and more can occasionally be seen. Having 2 camera bodies will really help as you won't have to keep changing lenses for landscape shots vs wildlife shots.

With a small group of 8 participants, we'll have plenty of room to spread out along with quick access to our gear.  This is really important since we need to respond quickly when we spot wildlife.

If skies are clear in the evening, we'll be watching for the Northern Lights.  If we see them, we'll be out photographing!  Being this far north, we can often see the aurora even with low Kp activity.

After you register, we'll be emailing you detailed information on how to book your flights along with checklists for clothing and gear to bring.  We will continue to stay in touch as we get closer to ensure you are setup for success!

Logistics

This trip can be paired with our Alaska Fall Photo Workshop Sept 4-10.  We will be departing at 8AM from La Quinta in Fairbanks on Aug 30th.  Six nights of double occupancy lodging is included in the base price.  Single rooms are available at additional cost. This trip will be venturing into some very remote parts of the high arctic.  We will have satellite communication devices in the event of an emergency since there is little to no cell signal. There is always a chance that extreme weather will make it unsafe to drive. If that were to happen, our itinerary could be delayed or modified.  Situations like this are beyond our control and this is why we highly recommend Travel Insurance. We have partnered with Squaremouth, a website that allows you to compare policies from multiple providers to choose the best one for you. For meals, we will be stopping at restaurants and dining areas whenever possible.  You will be able to stock up on snacks before we leave Fairbanks. Food is not included in the workshop fee.

Images from the Dalton Highway north of Fairbanks in the state of Alaska during fall season
Images from the Dalton Highway north of Fairbanks in the state of Alaska during fall season
Alaska Fall - Nickolas Warner

Pricing

$4500/person + Tax

Save 10% by Joining our Loyalty Program

Trip Includes:

  • 6 nights double-occupancy lodging.
  • Single supplement is $800.
  • All ground transportation.
  • In-Field photography instruction
  • Post-processing and image critique

 

Trip Does NOT Include:

  • Transportation to/from your home to Fairbanks, AK.
  • Meals, snacks, and beverages.
  • Hotel charges if we must spend an additional night in the Arctic due to inclement weather.  He highly recommend Trip Insurance!

When you complete the checkout process, you will be given the option to either pay the full amount or put down a 50% deposit.  If you pay the deposit, the remaining amount will be charged 90 days prior to departure.  See the full Terms and Conditions.

We are an authorized permittee of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge and the Alaska BLM.

Recommended Camera Gear

  • Sturdy tripod and ballhead
  • Digital SLR or Mirrorless Camera Body. Two camera bodies will help reduce the number of lens changes.
  • Fast wide angle lens in the 14-35mm range. We recommend a lens that is f/2.8 or faster for night photography.
  • Mid-range zoom lens in the range of 24-100mm.
  • Telephoto lenses will come in handy for landscape compression and wildlife encounters. We recommend a lens in the 100-200mm range for landscapes. A 100-400mm lens is ideal for both landscapes/wildlife. You may want something longer than 400mm for wildlife.
  • Circular polarizer filters and 3-stop ND filters for your lenses.  If you like shooting with grads, bring them along.  Very dark ND's can be useful for creating long exposures.
  • Extra batteries, memory cards, and cleaning supplies.
  • Remote cord for your camera.
  • Cover for your camera/lens to protect against high winds and precipitation.
  • Camera backpack you can use while hiking.
  • Drone camera for aerial photography (optional).
  • Laptop if you wish to backup your photos or follow along during the post-processing instruction.

Personal Gear List

  • Lots of warm clothes!  We will email you a recommended list with many more details.
  • Warm, waterproof boots.
  • Sunglasses
  • Thermos for hot beverages
Nickolas Warner Alaska

Nickolas Warner

Photography Instructor

Nickolas is a photographer and tour guide with a particular interest in extreme and unusual locations.  His travels have taken him to some fascinating locations, but the American Southwest is his favorite place to photograph.

Nickolas spent the past decade guiding in Alaska, where he provided instruction on photographing the aurora borealis, and shared his knowledge of the far north’s rugged terrain and resilient wildlife.

When not guiding, Nickolas enjoys long distance hiking and extended backpacking trips through remote wilderness areas.

Nickolas's portfolio can be found at Nickolas Warner Photography

Instagram

 

Kevin McNeal

Kevin McNeal

Photography Instructor

Kevin McNeal is a Washington-State photographer who is passionate about photographing grand landscapes that reflect the most unique places on earth. Capturing moments of magic light and transferring this to print is the ultimate goal. His images hold a combination of perseverance, patience, and dedication to capture landscapes in fresh ways. The stories of how these images are rendered come across in the feelings the images convey. He has traveled all over North America, shooting diverse landscapes and finding remote places with the hope that we can convey to the public that this earth is worth caring for. His award winning images can be seen in galleries and showings across the United States.  He was recently invited to the Art Wolfe Art Gallery for the Environmental Photography Invitational. Kevin was the grand winner of the Landscape category for the Natures Best Magazine and was selected for the Smithsonian National Museum of History in Washington D.C..  He is a regular contributor to publications like Outdoor Photographer.

Artist’s Statement

“I believe that the Earth shares secrets with us that only can be discovered by trying to understand our position on this planet. We are never fully intimate with the planet but are given brief moments that make our souls want more. These glimpses of nature’s power are fleeting and never the same twice. I also believe it is important to share with those who want it. The treasures that await us given the patience that is out there. What I try to do is bring some of that magic to my images to share with the rest of the world. Each of my images tells a story that everyone can relate to in some way whether it is success, fear, or challenging oneself to overcome obstacles

Kevin's portfolio can be found at www.kevinmcnealphotography.com.