Once again Jack Graham and I led a fantastic photography workshop to Alaska to photograph the grizzly bears in their natural habitat in Katmai National Park. We have done this for several years now and each year has been special and memorable to every one of our attendees. It is a bucket list item for many and this trip typically doesn’t disappoint.
This is the final installment of the trip recap. Read from the beginning HERE or the previous part HERE
Because we had a 1pm flight back to Anchorage, there is not enough time to do a photo excursion during the morning, having to eat, pack our bags, etc. Plus everyone was so tired from the amazing week we had, folks were good with having more of a down morning.
Jack and I decided to spend a couple hours as a group with Jack and I demonstrating our workflow, from digitial asset management, to processing in Lightroom, Luminar, NIK, and Photoshop. Besides demonstrating how to do something, we spent considerable time explaining how to determine “what” you want to do and to create a “visual inventory” of what you want to do to the image, why you might want to make certain edits, then demonstrating how to do them.
Afterwards, we finished packing, said our goodbyes to the amazing lodge staff and piled in to the vehicles for the short ride to the airport. Because our group filled the Pilates PC-12 aircraft, once we were there and weighed in, we could leave early, so we boarded for a sunny but bumpy flight to Anchorage. Thankfully we had clear skies to enjoy the views flying over the glaciers and snow-capped mountains, one last view of the rugged Alaskan landscape.
After an adventurous landing in Anchorage, we all headed to the main terminal from the air taxi service. Since we were all on different flights leaving at different times, we hung as a group at each persons gate in order of departure, not wanting to say our final goodbyes. Eventually everyone had boarded their airplanes, but me, having to wait until 1245am to catch my flight to Portland. After an overnight flight to Portland Oregon, I landed safely and made my way home and immediately crawled in to bed to catch a few hours of sleep before the realities of being back home really hit.
I am overjoyed to say that we had another incredible photography workshop in Alaska, providing amazing experiences to each of the clients as well as enabling them to capture some once in a lifetime kinds of images. By working with the right outfitter, we are able to get on the bears and work to get the best angles for the photographs we want to create.
Yes it is work to get to Anchorage from all over the world and yes the days are long and can involve some moderate activity levels to get in to the bears habitat, but once there, all of that work is forgotten as everyone is captivated by the magic of the moment.
We enjoyed fantastic food for every meal and even the float plane rides are exciting in their own way. All of that is icing on the cake for up close and personal encounters with Alaskan brown bears in their natural habitat.
This is truly a bucket list experience! If you’ve ever wanted to photograph the bears in the wild, this is THE workshop to come on.
I am a full time photography workshop leader and creative educator based in the Pacific Northwest. I lead group workshops and individual sessions with the goal to elevate each persons creative vision and technical skills to create compelling compositions. Please visit my website to see my workshops and other offerings. www.johnpedersenphoto.com