Magic of Alaska - langellphotography

Magic of Alaska Wildlife Tour & Workshop Overview

Bear Extravaganza Extension: Following a Bear

Magic of Alaska Tour: The Eagles

Bear Extravaganza Extension: The Experience

Magic of Alaska Tour: The Bears

Our Private Lodge

Magic of Alaska Photography  Tour:  

Seating Limited and this trip sells out quickly. 
GET NOTIFIED HERE of future openings & events in Alaska

Magic of Alaska Photo Experience is a completely unique, one-of-a-kind photography tour in Alaska.  Nothing else exists like it!  It is a widely diverse, 7-day photography experience that covers land, sea, rivers and lakes --  plus an optional 3-day Bear Extravaganza extension for additional bear-viewing opportunities. 

Typically we will encounter 70-90 species of vertebrates (mammals and birds) and additionally a few varieties of fish, mollusks and sea stars (starfish).  We will also see a wide variety of flowers and plant life, plus stunning terrain ranging from coastal flats, mountains, glaciers, sea stacks, tidal flats, rivers, lakes and more.   

The tour offers optimal wildlife viewing locations!  Whether you are newer to photography, or more advanced, we can accommodate your needs.  We offer tailored instruction for those who request it,, in-the-field on-location.    This is offered  at your speed and level,  but without interfering with wildlife photography opportunities.   

 Whether you're an advanced photographer who simply wants to be at the right places for the best shooting opportunities -- or you're wanting to advance your skills further, our 1:3 instructor-to-participant ratio gives you abundant support as you need to help you meet your photography goals.

June 23-25,  2019:  Bear Extravaganza 3-day Excursion:

• $2695 per person  (seats available) 


July 5-7, 2019:  Bear Extravaganza 3-day Excursion

 $2695 per person (seats available)


The 7-day Magic of Alaska 2019 Tours have  sold out -- but I am working on openings for 2020 -- Sign up here to get notified!  


What is the Bear Extravaganza?  

View an average of 20-40+ bears per day feeding in a stunning mountain-lined valley, walking the beaches, clam-digging and more!  includes all meals, transportation (including round trip sea plane flights to/from lodge) and shared lodging.  Lodging includes 1-night stay in Sterling, AK and 2 nights in a beautiful lodge adjacent to Lake Clark National Park! This is PREMIERE bear country!  You will travel with safety and convenience in mind throughout the 3-day bear photography extravaganza. 4-wheel drive, "lifted" buses will take you to shooting locations throughout the property and Lake Clark National Park.  This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at an exceptional price.  

Read more below in the detailed itinerary about this excursion. 


About the Magic of Alaska Workshop and Tour:

Have you dreamed of photographing wildlife and landscapes in Alaska?

Are you ready for the chance to see and photograph coastal brown bears, black bears, moose, puffins, eagles, Stellar Sea Lions, Dall Porpoise, Humpback and Orca Whales, 50-90+species of wildlife, glaciers, rugged mountains, fjords, and more?

Photography Tour & Instruction:

This is a photography tour with instruction provided if/as you need it!  Lisa Langell plus an additional  photography instructor will be there to support your learning on an as-needed basis.  If you want to shoot on-your-own, we'll be your guides to the best places in the region. Skills taught can include, but are not limited to:

•  Photographing birds-in-flight

•  Using natural light to direct the viewer through the image and illuminate your subjects properly, including the proper use of exposure (ISO, aperture, shutter speed)

•  Post-processing techniques that keep your images looking realistic, but fantastic

•  Subtle details that make the difference in composition, lighting, pose and story-telling to take your imagery to the next level

•  Pre-visualization secrets to better nature photography

  Much more

Lisa has visited Alaska ~43 times to plan the events for this 10th annual workshop and tour. She has studied the region and knows where the best locations are to find the species you want to see. Whether you want to photograph bears, moose, puffins, eagles, and more, you are sure to find something special every day in this magical place! Join me for this unforgettable experience in Alaska's rich, diverse, and bountiful Kenai Peninsula.

Personalized attention and room to move:

An unforgettable experience awaits. I only allow six (6) participants join me and an additional pro photographer on a week-long magical photography experience in Alaska.  That way, you have plenty of personalized attention, instruction, personal space, and we don't scare away the wildlife!  We also have a LOT of fun, laughs, and great memories along the way!

Your comfort and success are paramount:

This tour is rare compared to many others on the market. Avoiding passenger vans,  you are chauffeured via two large SUVs so that each participant has their own window, plenty of room for gear, and physical space to call their own. We also often use private chartered boats and planes for our excursions. This IS a boutique-style workshop and tour. You will not get that kind of experience elsewhere. You will have a ratio of one photography instructor per only three participants! We want to ensure you have maximal support, instruction, and guiding. This IS a personalized experience.

Boutique Lodging: 
A private lodge on the Kenai River--all to ourselves! Imagine being the only guests at a modern lodge booked exclusively for our group (no other guests!). It is situated on the world-famous Kenai River! Imagine home-cooked meals by the owners and breathtaking views from your deck!


Want more?  Add the Bear Extravaganza!

A 3-day trip to view  about 20-40+ bears per day -- bear photography at its best!

Whether you take this tour on its own, or extend your Magic of Alaska tour to include the Bear Extravaganza, you will be amazed at the photographic opportunities this 3-day event presents!  You will be immersed in ample opportunities to photograph about 20-40+ bears a day in some of the most gorgeous landscape and seascape scenery in Alaska!

We'll leave early in the morning to fly by bush plane from Nikiski, AK to a gorgeous, modernized lodge adjacent to Lake Clark National Park.  We will spend two more nights in remote Alaska  at a stunning lodge  that offers abundant  bear and landscape photography opportunities!   If you need transportation from Anchorage, please inquire.  We have options!

A SPECTACULAR RATE & DESIGNED TO MAXIMIZE YOUR VIEWS:  Most "day trips" to Lake Clark for bear viewing typically run about $1600-$3300+/person--and some require a minimum of two people or you have to pay to fill up/charter the plane yourself (ouch!).    Those trips will only give you about 3-6  hours of total bear viewing time and may not coincide with the low tides, an important aspect of bear photography and viewing in many locations.   Langell Photography is offering two nights and at least about 8-12+ hours of bear photography per day, plus shared lodging, delicious home-cooked meals, transportation to/from Anchorage,  guidance and instruction for a very special rate.  

Bear Mountain Lodge is a modern, remote lodge tucked away in one of the most beautiful corners of Alaska; with some of the best coastal brown bear viewing in the world. The lodge & cabins are on some of the only private property on the north side of the bay surrounded by Lake Clark National Park. The lodge is located just south of Mt. Illiamna in Chinitna Bay. Chinitna Bay is known to have world class bear viewing that you get the pleasure of viewing the wildlife in their natural habitat. This is remote -- and is definitely REAL Alaska.

Not only will you photograph bears, you will have ample opportunities to photograph the stunning scenery to/from the lodge as we pass by iconic Mt. Redoubt, the Alaska Range and more.  There are also ample landscape, bird and abstract photography opportunities on this excursion!

The difference between this tour and others:

Unlike many other known well-known bear-viewing locations, here you will have NO lines, NO timed platforms, NO large crowds, and plenty of opportunities for diverse bear viewing scenarios.  

You will be transported to/from the lodge by customized, off-road short buses to the various locations on the property that are excellent for bear-viewing and photography. This helps avoid lengthy hikes, helps you carry gear more easily, and leaves more time for photography!

Expect spectacular views of clam-digging at low tide, sows, cubs, occasional boars and beautiful valleys full of coastal brown bears grazing on the sedge grasses.  On a typical day we see 15-30+ bears.  

Our small group will lodge in a modernized cabin with shared lodging. Tasty meals, snacks and beverages are thoughtfully prepared by the resident chef on-site. Book early!  Seating is very limited on this extension and it's a hit with everyone who has attended.  Participants typically take 1000s of bear images on this trip so bring lots of memory cards!  

We also often see bald eagles, golden-crowned sparrows, savannah sparrows, surf scoters, varied thrushes, American robins, yellow-rumped warblers, glaucous-winged gulls, and more.

Itinerary and Details

*Itinerary is subject to change based upon weather, travel conditions, wildlife patterns or other unanticipated events.

Day 1: Depart for the Kenai Peninsula

• Depart Anchorage, AK at 9:00am (Your guides will pick you up from your hotel of choice prior to 9am and we will meet at Homewood Suites hotel in Anchorage)

Explore Anchorage locations for birds and wildlife, including the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge (Potter's Marsh) for the incredible aerialist--the Arctic Tern. Migrating from Antarctica to Alaska and back, these birds are exquisite to watch and photograph. Sightings of red- necked grebes, horned grebe, mew gulls, bald eagles, Sandhill cranes, lesser Canada geese, greater and lesser yellowlegs, and more are possible.

• Travel down Highway 1 (Seward Highway), one of the nation's top 10 scenic highways. Multiple pull-offs allow for beautiful photography of the mountains, waters, and famous fjord, Turnagain Arm. Sightings of eagles, ravens, moose and more are possible.

• Lunch in Girdwood, Alaska.

• Weather permitting, visit the Alaskan Wildlife Conservation Center to learn about Alaska's wildlife, receive instruction and practice wildlife photography techniques. Those who do not need instruction are welcome to explore the park for other animal, plant and landscape opportunities.

• Explore Portage Glacier (as time allows) to photograph the glacier, plus seek possible Harlequin Ducks and assorted songbirds including the hermit thrush, varied thrush, and other passerines. • Continue toward Sterling, Alaska with stops along the way for photographs of the fjords, vistas and possible birds and mammals.

• Arrive at Marlow's on the Kenai in Sterling, Alaska. Dinner served on-site, buffet style in the outdoor kitchen/grill and bar area (covered). Overlook the Kenai River during dinner, snag photographs, or just relax and enjoy your home-cooked meal. Settle in. Local birding and wildlife scouting in the evening after dinner, weather permitting.

Day 2:  Homer Spit / Katchemak Bay

• Breakfast in your cabins. Sip coffee from your deck as you take in the sights and sounds of the Kenai River. Rise at dawn for the possibility of a beautiful sunrise over the river. Common Loons yodel as they overhead, Bald Eagles course up and down the river, and Common Mergansers drift by while Bonaparte's Gulls fly past the cabins. Violet-green swallows, Stellar’s Jays, Alder Flycatchers and more pepper the property.

• Depart for Homer, AK. An early morning departure should turn up a few moose along the way, ready for photographing them in beautiful morning light. Head down to Homer for a 3-hour boat tour of Katchemak Bay, Halibut Cove and Gull Island to view densely populated nesting grounds for black-legged kittiwake, horned and tufted puffins, common murres, pacific and double crested cormorant, and more. Possible sightings of Aleutian Tern, Pacific Loon, Common Loon, Yellow-Billed Loon (rare), Scoters, and more. We will look for Northern Sea Otter, Bald Eagles, Marbled Murrelet, Pigeon Guillemot, Black Oystercatchers, and more.

• Lunch in Homer, AK (boxed lunch)

• Explore Homer and the famous Homer Spit for photographs of bald eagles, rustic architectural finds including weathered boats and buildings, and comb the beaches for birds and possible starfish in tide pools if the tide is cooperative. We will also explore the region around Homer, AK for birds and mammal sightings.

• Head back toward cabins and stop at two special locations for bald eagle photography.

• Dinner at cabins. Evening wildlife / landscape photography locally.

Day 3: Fly-in Bear Viewing

• Breakfast in your cabins.

• Depart for remote Alaska! We're heading off-road and into the wilderness. Board float planes for a beautiful flight about 60 miles across Cook Inlet to land in a pristine, glacier-fed lake. From here, we will take flat-bottom boats to bear country. Chances are high for viewing coastal brown bears, black bears, cubs, eagles, and more.

• This tour includes approximately 5-6 hours of bear-viewing plus a special glacier-viewing flight over two converging glaciers for some spectacular aerial views and photographs.

• Return to cabins for dinner.

• Evening wildlife / landscape photography locally.

Day 4: Skilak Lake / Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

Skilak Lake tour: Half by boat, half by foot. Explore this incredible freshwater lake with stunning vistas all around. View glaciers in the distance and the chance for Common Loons, Red-Throated Loons, Common Mergansers, possible bear, moose, and more.

• Breakfast in your cabins.

• Lunch at Skilak Lake, picnic-style. Depart Skilak Lake and explore the region by vehicle for wildlife.

• Built-in free photography / relaxation time:  Roam the property and nearby woods to take photographs, or rest, process images, catch up on email, etc. Our experience is that a few hours of “down time” is much-appreciated after several days of solstice-time in Alaska where photographers sacrifice sleep for gorgeous Magic Hours of light.

This mid-day break occurs when the sun is high and light is less-optimal for ideal images. Laundry facilities available. Dinner served at cabins.  Evening photography follows.

Evening wildlife / landscape photography within the region.

Day 5: Seward Glacier, Whale & Wildlife Tour

• Breakfast in your cabins.

• Take an 8-9-hour pelagic (ocean) tour on our privately chartered boat out of Seward, AK and explore the habitat within Resurrection Bay and the Gulf of Alaska.

• We will search for endangered Stellar's sea lions, plus possible views of Dall porpoise, humpback whale, orca whale, harbor seals, northern sea otter, tufted puffins, horned puffins, black-legged kittiwake, rafting common murres, bald eagles, pelagic cormorants, red-faced cormorants, and other pelagic species. Special sightings may include Kittlitz' murrelet, ancient murrelet, parakeet auklet, rhinoceros auklet, white-winged scoter, Pomarine jaeger, and more.

• Lunch served on the boat

• Photograph tidewater glaciers such as Bear Glacier and/or Aialik Glacier, weather depending.

• Return to Seward for local bird and wildlife sightings. Possible sightings include moose, wandering tattler, Stellar's jay, Townsend's warbler, rufous hummingbird, chestnut-backed chickadee, pine grosbeak, pine siskin, common redpoll, thrushes, ravens, and more.

• Head to cabins for dinner.

"Here's Lookin' at You, Kid!" <br />
<br />
These twin moose calves were photographed deep in the woods of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula one evening. <br />
<br />
This image also won Top 250 out of approximately 2500 images submitted into the prestigious North American Nature Photography Association's (NANPA) 2012 Showcase competition.  It was also published in the NANPA Journal, Expressions, containing the top 250 nature photographs by NANPA members for 2012.

Day 6: Wildlife Viewing and Exploration

• Breakfast in your cabins.

• Today may be used to explore new areas not yet visited, or return to some of the locations within the Kenai Peninsula that are of most interest to the group. We will drive and scout for wildlife within the region.

• Lunch picnic-style / box lunch

• Evening activities include dinner at Marlow's and weather-depending (or by group vote), either drive for wildlife viewing or participate in a group event to showcase images from the week, participate in Photoshop tips and tutorials oriented toward wildlife and nature photography, discuss highlights, relive stories, and prepare to return to Anchorage the next morning.


Day 7: Depart for Anchorage

• Breakfast in your cabins.

• Group photographs, goodbyes, and loading up gear for the ride home.

• Head to Anchorage. We will stop at a variety of local spots for bird and wildlife views.

• You will be dropped off at your airport for those with evening departures. You will be taken to your hotel of choice for those opting to extend their stay.

**Note that weather, traffic, unanticipated events, and more may impact the above itinerary. Your guides will be evaluating weather conditions, wildlife reports, group desires and more when determining the day's agenda and events. Most events will continue, rain-or-shine. Be prepared for all kinds of weather. If an event must be canceled, altered, or rescheduled, your guide will inform you and make every reasonable attempt to provide an alternative activity.

Optional Bears and More Bears Extension:  

See registration information for details and dates.  Seating is extremely limited.

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