Magic of Alaska - langellphotography

Magic of Alaska: Overview

Bear Extravaganza Extension:

Magic of Alaska: The Eagles

Bear Extravaganza Extension:

Magic of Alaska: The Bears

See samples of the June 2019 tour

Our Private Lodge

Alaska Photography Tours

Space is limited to 6 participants per tour.  These tours sell out quickly. 

GET NOTIFIED HERE of future openings & events in Alaska

Lisa Langell's Alaskan photography experiences are completely unique, one-of-a-kind photography tours in Alaska.  Nothing else exists like them!  You will participate in widely diverse, multi-day photography experiences that cover land, sea, rivers and lakes in and around the Kenai Peninsula.  There is also an optional 3-day/3-night  Bear Extravaganza extension available where you can view and photograph about 20-40 bears per day in Lake Clark National Park 

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 supportive instruction for those who request it, on-location.    This is offered by request, at your speed and level,  but without restrictive teaching schedules like typical workshops.  


June 5-10, 2020:  Alaska: Birds & Mammals of the Kenai Peninsula - A signature tour

(Scroll to bottom of web page for itinerary)

Lead by Lisa Langell & David Akoubian

This is a slightly shorter version of our full Magic of Alaska Experience with a heavier emphasis on bird photography.  6 days, 6 nights. It includes everything in the Magic of Alaska tour except one extra day of activities ( the half-day bear fly-out to Lake Clark , the flight seeing over Double Glacier, and additional wildlife photography in-the-field along the Kenai Peninsula that is standard in the Magic of Alaska Signature Tour).  Those who wish to photograph bears may choose the Bear Extravaganza extension to Lake Clark for 3 days. 

You will join pro nature photographers Lisa Langell & David Akoubian for this exciting tour!  If you love photographing birds and nature, this is the tour for you! 

• $5895 per person/private room (Limit 6 participants) - (FOUR OPENINGS AVAILABLE--1 SHARED ROOM for 2, 2 private rooms)
•  Bear Extravaganza extension available (June 10-13) (2 available).

June 10-13, 2020:  Bear Extravaganza Extension

Lead by Lisa Langell

•  $2695 per person

3 days, 3 nights, including charter airfare round-trip to Lake Clark National Park.  This tour is available as an add-on for the Alaska: Birds & Mammals of the Kenai Peninsula

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.


June 14-21, 2020:  Magic of Alaska Signature Tour

Lead by Lisa Langell & Guest Pro Instructor

$6895  per person (Limit 6 participants)
•  Bear Extravaganza extension available  (June 10-13) (SOLD OUT)

(Scroll to bottom of web page for itinerary)

7 days, 7 nights.   Read about the Magic of Alaska Signature Tour below.


June 24-30, 2020:  Magic of Alaska Signature Tour

Lead by Lisa Langell & Guest Pro Instructor

•  $6895  per person (Limit 6 participants) - SOLD OUT

(Scroll to bottom of web page for itinerary)

7 days, 6 nights.   Read about the Magic of Alaska Signature Tour below.


Highlights of our Itinerary

•  Seward:  A full-day tour of the Gulf of Alaska in our private boat 

Spend 8 hours at sea in the stunning Gulf of Alaska, near Seward, AK.  We will travel about 100+ miles at sea in our 43-foot private boat exclusively for our group!  We'll search for and photograph horned and tufted puffins, Stellar's sea lions, Northern Pacific otter, Dall porpoise, orca (a.k.a. killer whales), humpback whales, harbor seals, massive rookeries of common murre, black-legged kittiwake, and more. 

"Sailing Above the Surface"<br />
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A Tufted Puffin streaks across the ocean in Homer, Alaska one sunny afternoon!  There are two types of puffins in Alaska:  Tufted and Horned.  Their bills grow large and bright orange during breeding season, but return to a much smaller size and subdued hue when breeding season is through.  They mostly come ashore only to nest and breed.  Otherwise, they spend their lives at sea!<br />
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©2012 Langell Photography, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.

• Homer: Private boat tour, eagle nests, winery and wildlife viewing

Spend several hours in Katchemak Bay in search of horned and tufted puffins, common murres, black-legged kittiwake, Harlequin ducks, marbled murrelets, bald eagles, other sea birds, plus harbor seals, northern sea otter nurseries, stunning seascapes, and more. We will then spend time by land photographing weathered boats, beachscapes, and inland wildlife. We will also photograph two active bald eagle nests and then stop at a local winery for tastings. On our travels to and from Homer, we will also seek wildlife photography opportunities by land -- especially moose and newly born calves that appear this time of year.

"Fancy Footwork"<br />
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These two Bald Eagles (one mature, one immature) are playing in the wind currents along a bluff near Deep Creek in Alaska.  Bald Eagles do not get their iconic white head and tail feathers until they are 3-5 years of age. <br />
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©2012 Langell Photography, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.

• Eagle viewing: View 40-400+ eagles soaring and feeding

A highlight of the tour is stopping by several areas that host a high density of eagles. You will view them flying, actively interacting, feeding, and more. These experiences provide opportunities for infinite eagle photography along and near the coast of the Cook Inlet.

• Bear Photography half-day sea plane/boat tour + glacier flight seeing

We will leave early by sea plane to fly across the Cook Inlet and land in pristine glacial-fed waters where we will transfer into small boats and cruise the shores for black and coastal brown bears. This is a highlight of the tour! There are also opportunities for landscape photography by boat, eagle photography, and more. Additionally, we will take flight over Double Glacier to capture abstracts of the ice patterns.

*This event NOT  available with Alaska: Birds & Mammals of the Kenai Peninsula tour

• Skilak Lake Boat Tour via private boat

This is a Magic of Alaska exclusive! We are lucky to take part in a boat tour in our private boat where we will cruise in and around the massive Skilak Lake, a lake fed by both glacial melt water and underground springs. We will photograph landscapes by boat, plus seek black bear along the shores and nearby mountains. During the tour, the shores also offer opportunities to photograph local rocks, rare "green" driftwood and other findings that make for great abstract photography. Birds here often include peregrine falcon, ravens, common mergansers, lesser and greater scaup, common loons, and eagles. We may also see moose--and if we are lucky, a harbor seal or two that has traveled up the Kenai river in search of food.

• Kenai River private boat tour

Another Magic of Alaska exclusive! We will take a boat, right from our lodge, and cruise up and down the Kenai and Moose rivers in search of eagles, eagle nests, Bonaparte's gulls, red-necked grebes, trumpeter swans, belted kingfishers, common mergansers, common loons, moose, and other birds and wildlife. This stunning river is robin's egg blue and is one of the most famous rivers in the world. This private tour is a special treat.

"Here's Lookin' at You, Kid!" <br />
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These twin moose calves were photographed deep in the woods of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula one evening. <br />
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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.

• Land-based scouting for wildlife, birds, landscape & flora

We will take numerous excursions through back roads in Alaska in search of moose, caribou, porcupine, arctic hare, a variety of birds (e.g., sandhill cranes, eagles, a variety of ducks, shorebirds, rufous hummingbirds, Stellar's jays, gray jays, woodpeckers, boreal chickadees, wildflowers, landscape opportunities, and more.

• Show-and-share photo reviews, post-processing tips

During planned rest breaks, we will also offer show-and-share sessions where participants can show several images to the group. If desired, the photographer, group and/or leaders may offer thoughts, feedback and suggested techniques to achieve excellent results.

• Home-cooked meals by local Alaskans

Alaskan food is fresh, delicious, and includes local items from the land and waters. We will honor your dietary restrictions and yet will prepare delicious meals that may include local fishes, vegetables, and recipes passed down by Alaskan families. Ever had rose-hip syrup over vanilla ice cream? Or fiddle head fern steamed with butter? What about local salmon and halibut? Spruce tips? We'll provide traditional and delicious fare while also offering local treats for you to try.

• Comfortable Transportation

We provide your transportation in vehicles like large SUV's and/or mini-vans so that each person has a door, a window and plenty of room for their gear. No one is stuck in a middle seat or challenging bus seating. Your comfort is our priority and with two professional photographers escorting the group of 6 in two vehicles, there is always space and comfort for each participant.

Frequently asked questions:

Physical Fitness:

This tour is physically easy.  You must be able to walk about 1/10th of a mile at any time on relatively flat terrain.  You must also be able to get in and out of boats (assistance provided).  You will also be expected to carry your own gear, baggage, etc.  There are stairs (about 5) at the cabin and there are also ramps to walk up/down (that can sometimes be steep, depending on tides) to board our boats in Homer and Seward.  Showers are walk-in style.  Please contact us if you have questions.

What's included / not included?

Your excursion includes all land-based travel from the start of Day 1 until the end of the event(s) for which you have registered.  It also includes any charter/bush airfare, meals, lodging, scheduled excursions, etc. for all listed dates.  (See specific tour for details).  It does not include airfare to/from your departure city and Alaska.  It does not include additional lodging or meals before or after the scheduled start through end dates and times.  (For example, if you fly into Alaska a day or two early, or stay afterward, lodging and meals are on-your-own for those extra days.) 

Dietary Restrictions:

We make every reasonable attempt to accommodate your dietary restrictions.  Our food is home-cooked and we typically are able to accommodate most vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and allergy-sensitive diets.  At registration, you will be asked to list any dietary restrictions.  If we have any potential difficulties meeting your needs, we will contact you in advance to discuss solutions.

What is the group culture?

You are in good, kind-hearted, learning-oriented hands! This tour  features a culture of warm, supportive instruction and guiding provided in a fair, humble, non-condescending atmosphere. Lisa Langell and her guides  both place strong importance upon maintaining an atmosphere of respect, positivity, fairness, kindness, and humility, regardless of your skills, knowledge or background--and we expect our participants to do the same.

Alaska is a special place and everyone deserves to have a positive experience here. We encourage participants to leave ego at the door, "let your hair down," and be open to joining and facilitating a non-threatening environment for learning, collaboration, kindness, support, and fun.

Is there wi-fi?

Wi-fi is typically available at the lodge unless weather or other conditions prevent satellite reception.  Data / cell service is intermittent, but often available on most of our daily excursions.

Are non-registered spouses, friends, etc. allowed? 

Due to our very limited seating in vehicles, lodging limitations, plus the daily paid excursions we reserve for our participants, it is unfortunately not possible to accommodate non-registered spouses, friends, etc. unless he/she registers for the event.  We have found that spouses (or friends) who are not "photographers," but have chosen to attend the event have enjoyed the excursions immensely -- even if they simply have a mobile phone or point-and-shoot camera. 

What skills do I need to participate?

We welcome a wide array of photography skills and abilities.  We will help you grow from your personal starting point.  That said, we strongly recommend that you have a good base knowledge of manual settings and have spent time learning your camera and gear.  We are happy to help you learn these things; however, we do not want you to be so new to manual settings and your gear that you miss out on prime opportunities for photography when they unexpectedly arise.

What are the differences between the "Alaska:  Birds & Mammals of the Kenai Peninsula" and "Magic of Alaska Signature" tours?

The Magic of Alaska Signature Tour is 7 days/6 nights and includes the itinerary listed above.

The Alaska:  Birds & Mammals of the Kenai Peninsula tour is a day shorter than the Magic of Alaska.  It is 6 days / 6 nights and includes the itinerary listed above, with the exception of the Bear Half-Day and Glacier Flight Viewing tours.  

Both tours have the option of the Bear Extravaganza extension to maximize your bear viewing and photography.

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