One of the most interesting and photographically rewarding trips we offer at Backcountry Journeys is our signature Bald Eagles of Alaska Photography Tour & Workshop. If you’ve ever wanted to head out and photograph Bald Eagles by the hundreds in their native environment this trip is for you.
We’ve designed this expedition to coincide with the highest concentration of Eagles and often the clearest weather during the Alaskan spring. Our location is stunning Kachemak Bay, near Homer, Alaska which is about the most beautiful location in the world with towering peaks, glaciers and massive forests of spruce and fir. The Eagles congregate on islands around the bay and so are generally only accessible by boat.
We charter a private skiff (which keeps the cost down per person) to take us out for about 3-4 hours in the morning and 3-4 hours in the evenings to take advantage of optimal lighting. The boat has a warm, heated cabin and can land on any beach if we happen to see other wildlife or if we just want to get out and have lunch in a scenic spot! Often we leave this trip with thousands of print quality Eagles images as well as Sea Otters, Harbor Seals, Puffins, Moose and maybe even a bear or two.
You’ll want a good tele-photo lens. Although prime lenses such as a 500mm or 600mm fixed focal length will have better overall quality – we actually recommend a good tele-photo zoom for this trip. Unless you have HUGE arms and can handle a giant prime lens all day long in a moving boat, the best lenses will be the following OR similar to the following:
If you want to bring a big prime you will get some excellent images BUT I would also recommend a smaller zoom (such as the above) on a separate camera body. There is plenty of room on the boat to move around and manage your gear. Part of the reason for this is that often times the Eagles are so close and diving / flying around the boat that you will want focal lengths in the ranges of 100mm to 200mm because they are TOO CLOSE!
We also make sure you stay warm, dry and are well-fed during this Alaska Expedition so….
We stay at two excellent Alaskan Lodges to take advantage of the abundant scenery!
The first is the excellent Land’s End Resort in Homer, Alaska. The Land’s End dominates the end of the “Homer Spit” which juts out into the bay and has a commanding view of the mountains across the channel. The rooms are nice, they have a fantastic restaurant (think King Crab with Alaskan Microbrews or locally caught Salmon) and it’s right on the beach. Often after dinner we head out for some landscape photography after we’re done photographing Eagles for the day.
The second property is across Kachemak Bay in the quaint Alaskan fishing village of Seldovia. Seldovia is not accessible by car and in nestled up against one of the prettiest mountain backdrops I’ve ever seen. The Boardwalk Hotel is usually only open during the summer months but they open especially for our groups to photograph Eagles. The beautiful waterfront hotel is situated right in Seldovia’s small boat harbor and they cater all of our meals at their excellent restaurant and even open the bar for our groups when they come in off the water for the day – this is a true Alaskan Lodge Experience in and of itself!
All meals, ground transportation, boat charter and lodging are included in the price of this trip as is expert photographic instruction and local knowledge. If you want to photograph wild Bald Eagles in Alaska this is about the best way you can do it!
All you have to do is get to Homer, Alaska and we take care of the logistics from there. Flights arrive daily into Homer from Anchorage or you can choose to drive from Anchorage down the beautiful Kenai Peninsula (about 5 hours).
The price of this trip for 2018 is $4295 which includes four full days of Bald Eagles Photography on a chartered boat.
Due to the costs of chartering the boat the price will be increasing to $4595 for 2019. So if you want to join us and save a little money, pack those bags and join is this March out on Kachemak Bay!
Also keep in mind that if you’ve joined any Backcountry Journeys trip in the past you can take 10% off your trip price if you are a member of the Backcountry Journeys Tribe – not a member? Shoot me an email at email@example.com and ask how to become one.
I hope to see you up in Alaska this spring! Until then.
Russ Nordstrand is a professional landscape and wildlife photographer specializing in photography as fine artwork. His Fine Art Prints are hanging in homes, offices and private collections across the U.S and Canada and in many other countries throughout the world. Russ leads on average about 20 Photography Tours & Workshops each year to incredible destinations such as Yellowstone, Alaska, Glacier, Yosemite, Utah, Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains and more. He also frequently writes articles on this blog on various photographic techniques, the art of composition, environmental concerns, photography and travel news as well as documenting recent adventures. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Russ has lived in the greater Rocky Mountain West since 1999 and currently resides in beautiful Flagstaff, Arizona.