March Northern Lights Photo Tour
March 14-21, 2018 (exact dates to be announced)
- Length: 8 Days
- Cost: $3900
- Participants: Group size TBA
- Dates: TBA
- March, 2017 (Booking begins April 1, 2016)
- Destination: Fairbanks – Brooks Range – Fairbanks
- Physical Requirements: Good to excellent condition
- Mental Requirements: A flexible and positive attitude
- Degree of Difficulty: Easy to Difficult
- Degree of Weather Difficulty: Moderate to Extreme
- Agility: Good (traveling on uneven terrain in the dark)
- Activities: Forays of walking/hiking in boots, fully clad in winter gear, on uneven terrain in dark, cold, snowy and possibly icy conditions.
- Photography Skill Level: Beginner to Professional
- Weather Conditions: Potentially extreme cold, snow, wind (-10 to -30 below at night, but a warm cabin or vehicle is always nearby for warm up sessions.)
- Guides: Hugh Rose
- Transportation: Vehicle
- Accommodations: Hotel in Fairbanks, rustic, but comfortable cabins in the Brooks Range with shared bath
- Instruction: Group introduction to aurora photography and cold weather presentations. In the field instruction and computer workshop sessions regarding processing aurora photos in Lightroom.
About the Northern Lights Photo Tour
This trip is all inclusive, you land in Fairbanks and put your wallet away, save for personal gift items or an excursion option outside of our described itinerary. The tour focuses on photographing the northern lights in Alaska’s Arctic, however, if cloudy conditions obscure the aurora, we will attempt daytime excursions in search of landscapes and wildlife. Although we can’t guarantee anything, we have had a 90% success rate for aurora photography over 15 years. We are both accomplished professional photographers, guides, long time Alaska residents, and veterans of Arctic travel. We have trekked, photographed and explored Alaska’s Arctic for two decades, and collectively have logged over 150,000 miles driving the Dalton Highway. Our goal is to safely lead and instruct you in some amazing photography experiences, and share with you the great wonders of the Alaska that we enjoy so much.
Skill sets vary among the participants ranging from beginners to professional photographers. Successful aurora photography requires both clear skies and solar activity. It is not reliably predictable. For this reason, a flexible and opportunistic attitude is essential. Daily plans unfold as the weather dictates. Late nights photographing under clear skies result in a schedule oriented towards a night shift and consequently less daytime photography. If cloudy skies prevail at night we will be opportunistic to daytime photography of wildlife or landscapes in the vicinity. While an opportunistic approach is best, the goal is to be awake on a clear night and outside from approximately 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. (A warm vehicle or cabin will always be nearby for warm-up breaks whenever necessary). Accommodations include a hotel in Fairbanks for the first and last night of the trip, and cozy cabins in the Brooks Range, complete with a hot shower and tasty home cooked meals.
Gear and Equipment
Our experience has led us to recommend some specific gear items for this excursion. The reason for this is largely about performance in very cold weather. You may think your tripod or ballhead has worked just fine in basic winter conditions, but at -25 below, things change a bit. It is not only smooth operation that we favor, but difficulties with gear in cold weather can result in increased susceptibility to cold and frost bite because of fumbling with inadequate and poorly functioning equipment. We will advise you of our recommendations. If you don’t own the items and choose not to purchase them, they can be rented. For the aurora, tall tripods, smooth functioning ballheads, and fast (f/2.8 or faster) wide angle lenses are essential. A focal length of at least 24mm is recommended. A telephoto lens (400-500mm) is recommended should the option for some wildlife photography present itself. Clothing requirements will be described in detail prior to the trip.
Instruction and Teaching
We provide assistance throughout the trip, regarding all aspects of photography. We draw on our knowledge about Alaska, the arctic, photography, and aurora prediction information in order to optimize photo options in all kinds of weather. Most of the learning happens in the field, on the spot, but there will be some daytime lectures discussing aspects of digital file management, RAW processing, and specific aurora related file processing questions.
day 1: Arrive Fairbanks, welcome dinner and orientation
day 2: Drive north to the Brooks Range
day 3-6: Northern lights in the Brooks Range
day 7: Return drive to Fairbanks and farewell dinner
day 8: Fly home
Payment, Reservation & Cancellations:
After space confirmation, a non-refundable $500 deposit per person by credit card secures booking.
Following two payments must be paid by check. (Note: checks must be issued in US Dollars. Foreign transaction and/or electronic wire fees may apply)
1) Oct 30th, 1st half $1700
2) Dec 15th, balance $1700
send checks to:
620 Yak Road
Fairbanks, Alaska 99709
Cancellations, excluding the $500 deposit are refundable until January 1st. Refunds for cancellations after January 1st are not guaranteed. For this reason, and for medical emergencies, we strongly recommend trip insurance. If we can fill the space with another booking we will refund the payments (minus small fees for booking changes with our vendors).
AIG Travel Guard
CSA Travel Protection
You will be sent a trip confirmation packet a few months before the trip departure date.
Included in the Price:
Airport transfer in Fairbanks, provided by the hotel.
All accommodations during the 8 day tour.
All meals from welcome dinner to departing breakfast.
All vehicle transportation on the trip.
Not Included in the Price:
Flights to and from Fairbanks to your home in the lower 48.
Additional days in Fairbanks before or after the trip.
Money for personal or souvenir items. (Cash is recommended since credit cards are not universally accepted at all our locations. ATM access is available in Fairbanks prior to departure if necessary).
Weather related itinerary alterations: Travel in remote regions of Alaska can be unpredictable due to weather. Additional fees may apply if we are required to spend extra nights at hotels.