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The Brown Bears
of Southwestern Alaska

to various bear-viewing destinations


... And we are very excited to be
offering this unique shooting experience!

Aug 23-29, 2019 Alaska Bears

Price: $ 7995

Contact the office @ for details and availability

Limited to 8 Participants per trip!


127 Possible Shooting Locations!

Last year, at NANPA, our friend Art Wolfe introduced us to Jerry Jacques, the owner/operator for an incredible wilderness lodge sandwiched between Katmai National Park, Lake Clark National Park, and Bristol Bay. Some of the top pros in the business, from international destinations, use this lodge, and although the lodge started out catering to fishermen, today over 50% of their business caters to serious wildlife photographers. Art uses this lodge and, after meeting Jerry and Mary getting an exclusive flying tour of the locale and the lodge, she was convinced we should too!.

Unlike our other Brown Bear tour to Geographic Harbor, which is boat-based, we'll be staying at the Bristol Bay Sportfishing Lodge in cabins, with private bathrooms and unlimited hot water. Jerry's operation has grown from a thriving salmon and sport fishing business to one now catering to wildlife photographers. What this lodge offers is truly unique!

bEach day we will FLY to a new location to photograph bears. As you may know, at this time of year a bear's life revolves around salmon, but the salmon run differs in various locations, with some salmon runs arriving late, and others arriving early. By flying to bear-rich locations, we will not have to worry about the salmon runs and the bears -- we'll be getting to them, wherever the two happen to be!.

These flights will also provide us with wonderful views and photo opportunities of aerials, and landscapes, of this great untamed wilderness of the Alaska Peninsula. There are towering mountains and glaciated volcanoes that rise abruptly out of the ocean's edge, beautiful coastlines, and the chance of seeing bears, moose, and other wildlife from the air.

We will be staying at the incredible Bristol Bay Sportfishing and Adventure Lodge, on Lake Iliamna.

Do not expect to lose weight unless you have incredible fortitude! Fresh seafood, great meals, the food is just fantastic.

Our locations will have us ideally situated to observe and photograph large brown bears at close range. At some locations, because we will be flying in, we may be the only photographers present. We'll have the locations to ourselves. The bear shooting can be absolutely incredible.

There is a possibility that we could photograph Pacific Walrus, as this is one of the locations Jerry flies to. The walrus season normally involves the early part of summer, but if Walruses are still about, we may have the option of flying there for the day.

And that's the thing -- because we're flying everywhere, we'll have the option of doing any number of locations, based upon the latest data our guides have. The possibilities are simply incredible.

Our trip dates are designed to coincide with an autumn run of silver salmon, which often draws a number of bears together at the confluence of the river and the tidal flats. In addition, there is another fork in the river slightly upstream where the bears often gather which we will likely visit during the mid-day hours.



The trip is limited to only eight guests (plus Joe and Mary) and we'll be a solo group flying to our shooting locations.

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Trip Itinerary for Trip

bDay 1-2.
Plan on arriving into Anchorage on August 23, the day prior to the start of this trip. This is important, as we all know how airlines and flight delays, or lost luggage, can work! We have included this night's lodging in Anchorage.

The next day, August 24, we'll leave Anchorage at approximately 3PM on a Iliamna Airtaxi airline, arriving at the Illiamna airprot around 4PM, where the Bristol Bay Lodge staff will meet us.

We'll have our orientation, and get fitted out with our waders and boots -- supplied by the lodge, and be assigned our cabins.

Afterwards, a great dinner and plans and briefings for the first day afield! (L, D)

Day 3-6.

Our lodge owns 4 aircraft, and each day our group will board our planes to fly to a different location. The lodge has access to

127 different locations!

Where we go on any particular day will depend upon exactly what we want to photograph, as well as where the best bear activity is taking place, the tide schedule, and the weather. At Katmai the lodge has access to over 50 different spots, and the guides try to avoid the locations where other tourists and photographers go, as these locations are often crowded. They have some 'secret' spots that only their groups go to!

If the weather permits and the Pacific Walruses are present, we'll make a trip to the coast for Walruses. This isn't a guarantee, of course, but is a possibility, depending upon the factors I mentioned earlier. Success rate for getting to Walruses has been 80% (but in 2017 only 60%), so there's a better than 50% chance we'll have luck.

Expect Brown Bears and Brown Bears and Brown Bears! We'll have a variety of backgrounds, individuals, behaviors, and excitement. We'll be in wolf and moose country, too, and there is always the chance that we'll encounter these animals as well. Eagles, ducks (B, L, D)


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Day 7.
We have the morning to fly to our final shooting location. Later in the afternoon, we'll leave to return to Anchorage. You may wish to take a Red-eye flight back to the lower 48 that evening, or stay overnight for a flight the following day. Lodging is not included for this night. (B)

Learn Digital Photography Skills while you're there!

We'll have a digital projector along, so we'll be able to do classroom sessions on digital workflow, image management, and RAW conversions using either Adobe Bridge or Adobe Lightroom. If we have bad weather that shortens our day, we'll fill some of this time with valuable classroom instruction on these and other topics that you might bring up. Unlike our normal course teaching at Hoot Hollow , we won't be conducting an entire DCNPC, but instead will be covering the salient digital aspects of the course. We'll be demonstrating how to maximize the digital potential in your photography by software techniques, including making exposure composites and panorama stitches. We'll show you how to use Layers and Masks effectively, especially for making spot-corrections and adjustments with sharpness or contrast, especially with the Highlight/Shadow adjustment feature.

Whether or not we get to do many classroom sessions will depend upon the weather and our energy! Our days will be filled with photography, and I suspect we'll save teaching times for when, or if, the weather tempts us to stay in or shorten our day.

Additionally, you're invited to bring along a digital portfolio of up to 40 images for group appreciation, review, or critique.

Price includes: All hotels and ground transportation in Anchorage; lunch in Anchorage before flying to Lake Iliamna; all meals at the lodge plus round-trip airfare between Anchorage and Lake Iliamna; gratuities for the lodge staff and non-alcoholic beverages, some alcoholic beverages (as supplies last) at the lodge.

Contact us by e-mail at:

Office Phone: 717 543-6423
Or FAX us at: (717) 543-5342.

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