Alaska Aurora Borealis Photo Workshop

Feb 10-17, 2024 - Sold out

Feb 29-Mar 7, 2024 - Sold Out

Experience Alaska's winter beauty as the mysterious Northern Lights dance across the skies and golden light illuminates the snowy landscapes.  Our journey will take us far above the Arctic Circle in chase of the aurora borealis, stunning scenery, dramatic mountains, and arctic wildlife. And there's more - you will gaze in awe at a stunning ice cave and spend a day with dog mushers!  With a max group size of 6 participants and 2 instructors, you'll get plenty of individual attention and room to spread out in the vehicles.


  • Includes all Lodging & Transportation

Max Group Size

  • 3 Students per Instructor
  • Max 6 Students


  • Nickolas Warner
  • Ryan McGinty (Feb Only)
  • David Swindler (Mar Only)
Alaska Aurora Borealis Photo Workshop Northern Lights Winter


  • Journey well above the Arctic Circle where we'll be directly under the auroral band for best Northern Lights viewing!  Workshop dates are timed for dark skies with little to no moon interference.
  • Experience the dramatic snow-covered landscapes of North Central Alaska. Low sun angles throughout the day will produce rich colors and warm light.
  • Gaze in awe inside a spectacular ice cave, shimmering with the most amazing ice crystals!
  • Small group of 6 students with 2 instructors will ensure plenty of individual attention and comfort.
  • Pro-photographers will get you to the best spots for aurora. Both in-field instruction and digitial darkroom training will be provided.
  • Workshop includes all transportation and lodging along with a dog-mushing experience!
Alaska Aurora Borealis Photo Workshop Nickolas


The itinerary may be subject to change due to the unpredictability of Arctic weather. We will make every effort to optimize our shooting conditions no matter what the weather throws at us.  Please see the March Dates section below for itinerary modifications on the 2nd group.

  • Day 1: Meet at 6PM in Fairbanks, Alaska for a mandatory introductory session and meet and greet. If aurora activity looks promising, we'll head out for a quick shoot after dark.
  • Day 2: We are up early this morning for our ice cave adventure! Equipped with snow shoes and helmets, we hike to the foot of the glacier and gaze in awe at the incredible ice formations inside.  We spend several hours photographing before making our way back to the vehicle.  After dinner and a short rest break, we take advantage of clear skies and head out to capture the amazing Aurora Borealis!
  • Day 3:  After breakfast, we head out for a day of fun and adventure with the dog mushers!  We'll see some beautiful scenery and have a blast playing with the puppies! Depending on conditions, we may be able to check out the World Ice Art Championships, where we'll wander amongst the stunning sculptures and watch the artists at work.  We head out again in the evening to photograph the Northern Lights.
  • Day 4: The Aurora put on quite a show the night before and so we catch up on some much needed sleep this morning.  After breakfast, we begin our journey into the far north, taking lots of photos along the way and stopping for wildlife sightings.  After checking in to our hotel, we shoot sunset and aurora at a place well known for frost-covered trees!
  • Day 5: We hit the road and journey well north of the Arctic Circle. After lunch, we photograph a number of spectacular mountains and rugged landscapes. After a warm dinner, we venture out for Aurora photography at some of our favorite locations.
  • Day 6:  Today we explore many areas to the North and experience the mighty Brooks Range!  We even find some great wildlife shooting opportunities with the caribou!  A fresh coat of snow makes the landscape sparkle and come alive in the beautiful low-angle light. The forecast looks promising, so after dinner we chase the Northern Lights.
Alaska Aurora Borealis Photo Workshop Northern Lights
Alaska Aurora Borealis Photo Workshop Northern Lights Winter

Itinerary, cont.

  • Day 7: It's time to start heading south again.  After a quick breakfast, we hit the road hoping for a spectacular sunrise along the way. We stay one more night at the place known for frost-covered trees. We shoot sunset at scenic area overlook and then cross our fingers for good aurora activity on our final night.
  • Day 8:  This is our last day together.  After a sunrise shoot, we enjoy breakfast before making our way back to Fairbanks.  The workshop will conclude by 1:00PM, allowing you the option of either staying one more night in Fairbanks or catching a late evening flight back home.


  • Plan to arrive in Fairbanks no later than 5PM on the first day.
  • Mild to moderate hiking is required to reach some locations. For the ice cave day, the hiking could be more strenuous (max of 2-3 miles).  We will have snowshoes for all participants for the ice cave day.
  • Winter weather is unpredictable in Alaska and temperatures can be very cold.  We will email you a list of personal items and recommended clothing after you sign up for the trip.
  • Lodging in the arctic is very expensive and in short supply.  When we are outside of Fairbanks, two hotel nights will not have en-suite bathrooms.  There will be shared mens/women's restrooms with showers in the hallway.  All other nights will have private en-suite bathrooms.
  • Food is not included in the workshop fee.  We will be stopping for meals at either stores or restaurants during our journey.
  • There is no need for you to rent a car.  The hotel will provide free shuttle service to/from the Fairbanks International Airport.  Once you are with us, we will provide all transportation for the workshop.
  • Due to the high costs of operating in the Arctic, we are unable to offer the 10% Loyalty Program Discount on this workshop.
  • We highly recommend Travel Insurance to cover any non-refundable fees or medical coverage during the workshop.
Ice Cave Alaska Photo Workshop
Alaska Aurora Workshop Kevin

March Dates

The Feb 29-Mar 7 dates have a slightly modified itinerary.  We will spend one less night in Fairbanks and include one night up in Prudhoe Bay, the northernmost part of our journey.  Staying in Prudhoe Bay will allow us to look for musk oxen and caribou!  During winter, the musk oxen are in rut and heated battles may be observed!  There are no guarantees we will see them as it will be weather and conditions dependent.

Crossing the North Slope is all weather dependent.  If a snowstorm or blizzard is moving through, we will not be able to go up to Prudhoe Bay for safety reasons.

Our dog mushing experience in Feb is done with an actual Iditarod competitor. Since the Iditarod will be happening during our March dates, we will NOT do the dog mushing experience on that workshop. But we will be plenty busy looking for Arctic wildlife and Northern Lights!

Note that the ice cave excursion takes a full day.  If we do the ice cave on the 2nd day of the workshop, we will not be able to shoot the aurora borealis on the first night. This is a decision we'll make as a group depending on weather and conditions.

Musk Oxen Arctic Wildlife and Landscapes Photo Workshop
Alaska Aurora Borealis Photo Workshop Arctic Caribou
Alaska Aurora Borealis Photo Workshop Northern Lights Winter

Pricing - 8 Days



Trip Includes:

  • 7 Nights Double Occupancy Lodging. Single Occupancy is available for an additional fee.
  • Photography guiding and instruction throughout the trip.
  • Post-processing and image critique sessions.
  • Dog Mushing Experience (Feb Dates Only)
  • All Ground Transportation in Winter-Equipped Vehicles
  • Gear Rental for the Ice Cave
  • World Ice Championship Tickets (conditions permitting)


Trip Does NOT Include:

  • Flights to/from Alaska.
  • Meals, beverages, and snacks.
  • Alcohol
  • Instructor Gratuities


A 50% deposit is required to secure your spot.  The remaining balance will be charged 90 days prior to the workshop.  Due to the high costs of operating in the Arctic in Winter, we are unable to offer the 10% Loyalty Program Discount on this workshop.

Recommended Camera Gear

  • Sturdy tripod and ballhead
  • Digital SLR or Mirrorless Camera Body.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Microspikes are recommended for walking on slick surfaces.
  • Warm, waterproof winter boots.
  • Sunglasses
  • Thermos for hot beverages
Alaska Ice Cave Photo Workshop Winter
Alaska Aurora Borealis Photo Workshop Nickolas
Nickolas Warner Alaska

Nickolas Warner

Photography Instructor

Nickolas Warner is an award-winning photographer with recognition by the Epson Pano Awards, International Landscape Photographer of the Year, and Outdoor Photographer. He has 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.

Artist's Statement: "The more one travels, the more one sees how small our world is. Landscape photography is often an idyllic vision of nature that stretches the truth. While most of my photos are taken in the wilderness, the reality is that modernity and progress has shrunk the wild into small islands of untouched land, flanked on all sides by development and exploitation. Before becoming a full-time photographer, I pursued a career in sustainability. While I've since changed directions, I still have a strong sense of urgency to protect nature and keep the wild wild. I hope my photos can inspire others to explore and let our world be untamed."

See Nickolas' portfolio: Nickolas Warner Photography


Ryan McGinty Profile Photo Olympics

Ryan McGinty

Photography Instructor

Ryan McGinty is a seasoned landscape photographer living in the Palouse area of southeastern Washington.  His first-hand experience in this unique agricultural area makes him the perfect instructor to lead people to out-of-the-way places for those once-in-a-lifetime rainbows, sunsets and sunrises in the beautiful rolling hills. He loves chasing the light and diligently checks weather apps to get the latest sun and rain predictions, cloud formations, wind and temperatures for the best locations and light.

His interest in photography started at an early age and continued in college with graduate work at Brooks Institute of Photography.  His experience in portrait, wedding, film, and medium and large format photography give him an extraordinary background for his award-winning landscape photography.

His passion for the Palouse is only exceeded by his passion for photography and his desire to show people his favorite places.  He takes a legitimate interest in his clients and strives hard to ensure they get the best shots. His photographs have been published in books, calendars and travel guides.

David Swindler Photographer

David Swindler

Founder - Photography Instructor

David Swindler is an award-winning landscape and wildlife photographer. Among others, he has been recognized by the International Photography Awards, Siena International Photo Awards, Sony World Photography Awards, International Landscape Photographer of the Year, and National Geographic. He received a degree in chemical engineering and worked in the semiconductor industry specializing in optics and photolithography. In 2014, he left his day job to follow his true passion. He has traveled to some of the most remote regions of the world and has extensive experience photographing a wide variety of subjects and conditions. As the founder of Action Photo Tours, he finds great satisfaction in helping others learn photography, especially in the wild desert environment near his home in Kanab, UT. David is an expert in night photography and loves to get out and shoot the starry night skies.

Gallery    Awards and Media Coverage

Having guided photo tours for years, David is very familiar with many different types of cameras.  He is a master with light and composition. But most importantly, his dedication to his clients is what really sets him apart! But don't take our word for it - read what others are saying: Trip Advisor.