2023 Alaska Photo Tour

Brown Bears & highlights of Alaska

From breathtaking mountains and ancient glaciers to sprawling tundra and magnificent wildlife, Alaska offers the adventure of a lifetime. Join us for an Alaska Photo Tour where we’ll capture the 49th state’s most photogenic features, from the impressive wildlife, including the Alaskan brown bear, to some of the most spectacular landscapes of “The Last Frontier”.

We are running this tour from July 23rd to July 31st, during the best time of year to photograph the coastal brown bears and Alaskan landscapes.

Alaska photo tour


During this Alaska photo workshop, we will mainly focus on shooting landscapes and wildlife.

In terms of wildlife, Alaska is a paradise during the summer. We will photograph plenty of animals, including mammals, such as the mighty Alaskan brown bear, grizzly bears, moose, and lynx; birds, such as bald eagles and puffins; and sea animals, such as whales, porpoises, otters, etc. Summer is also the best time of year to photograph coastal brown bears catching spawning salmon, one of the most impressive natural sights on earth. On this Alaskan brown bear photo tour, we will photograph the bears in some of the best locations.

In terms of landscapes, everything in Alaska is on a different scale. We will shoot a great variety of landscapes, ranging from seascapes and calving glaciers to lush rainforests, waterfalls, rugged peaks, and some of the highest mountains in the United States. We will also take some scenic flights to the Katmai Peninsula, where we’ll see snow-capped volcanoes like Mt. Redoubt and Iliamna, along with hidden lakes and majestic landscapes, from the air.

The trip will include a visit to different national parks, including Kenai Fjords and Lake Clark.

We will personally help you capture the best possible images during our photography expedition to Alaska. We will show you the best techniques to shoot any type of subject, from aerial landscapes to wildlife in action.

Alaska photography tour


  • Photo tour from July 23rd– July 31st, 2023
  • Reduced group size: 10 participants + 2 instructors
  • Main topics: Highlights of Alaska – Landscapes & Wildlife
  • Main areas: Anchorage, Kenai & Katmai Peninsulas, and Valdez
  • Best time of year to photograph the Alaskan brown bear
  • Accommodation included in private rooms 
  • Transportation included in a comfortable passenger van
  • Brown bear photo tours with aerial photography opportunities
  • Exclusive boat and glacier tours. 



The weather in Alaska is unpredictable year-round, so our Alaska photography workshop itinerary is flexibleand will be adjusted according to the weather conditions so you can make the most of this trip.

Our trip will take place at the best time of year to capture the Alaskan brown bear fishing salmon in the lakes and streams, so a big part of the trip will be focused on shooting this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Days are long in Alaska during the summer, so we will have plenty of light to photograph throughout the day.

DAY 1: Alaska Photo Tour – July 23rd

Our Alaska photo tour begins at the Hyatt House in Anchorage at 16:00 PM. This hotel is well located close to the airport and local restaurants, and it will be our accommodation during our stay in the city. 

There, we’ll organize a meet and greet with the rest of the group and a welcome speech. We’ll also discuss your photography experience and your goals, and get your camera gear ready for the trip. We’ll also provide some general recommendations for capturing the best possible images. 

After this, we will go for a group dinner in a local restaurant that’s close to the hotel before taking a rest in order to recharge our batteries for the tour.


DAY 2: Alaska Photo tour – July 24th 

On the second day of our Alaska photography workshop, we will make our way to Seward in the Kenai Peninsula. This area in Alaska is one of the richest in terms of landscapes and wildlife, and we will explore it in depth over the following four days.

Our first stop on our way south will be Turnagain Arm, a scenic road surrounded by tidal flats where we will make several stops to shoot both landscapes and wildlife. We will try to get a shot of the elusive beluga from the iconic Beluga Point, look for Dall sheep in the steep cliffs across the road, and capture our first view of the snowy Kenai mountains over this waterway.

After a short drive, we will arrive at our next shooting destination in the Girdwood rain forest. This area is full of snowy mountains, glaciers, and lush rainforests, with waterfalls at a lower elevation. Here, we will photograph the Virgin Creek Falls, a series of waterfalls surrounded by lush vegetation like Spanish moss. The next stop will be a short hike to see and photograph the first glacier of the trip, Byron Glacier, before having lunch with a superb view of the majestic Portage Lake

In the late afternoon, we will continue driving towards Seward and make several stops along the way to photograph the Alaskan mountains and valleys surrounded by wildflowers as well as the rivers with the salmon spawning. 

Once in Seward, we will check into our new accommodation and take a short hike to see Exit Glacier. This glacier has been receding at a very fast pace since the start of the century, and it’s very interesting to see the markers and how quickly the landscape is changing.


DAY 3: Alaska Photo tour – July 25th

The third day of our Alaska photo tour will take us to our first national park: Kenai Fjords. This glacial wonderland is full of stunning scenery and wildlife.
We will take a small, private boat tour from Seward to the spectacular Holgate Glacier on Aialik Bay. Along the way, we will have the opportunity to photograph whales, sea lions, seals, sea otters, and other marine wildlife. We will also shoot the rugged coastline of the Kenai Fjords, which has some impressive sea stacks full of birds like bald eagles and puffins.
Once at the glacier, we will take a break to have lunch on the boat by the glacier and listen to the thunder of the ice breaking inside the glacier.
In the evening, we will drive to the town of Kenai and stop along the way to shoot wildlife and landscapes. This area is a prime spot for moose sightings, so we will drive and look for them in the area during the time of the day with the best light, sunset.

DAY 4: Brown bear Alaska photo tour – July 26th

The fourth day will mark the start of our Alaskan brown bear photo tours. We will spend two days taking scenic flights and photographing the mighty coastal bear in its natural habitat.

On our first bear photo tour, we will take a floatplane from Kenai to Crescent Lake in Lake Clark National Park. This remote turquoise lake is located in the middle of the Katmai Peninsula and surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes where the brown bears spend their summer.

We will have very high chances of seeing bears throughout the entire trip, sometimes even before we land, as they play or fish on the beach. Once we land on the lake, we will board a small, private skiff boat and cruise around the lake looking for the brown bears with a bear guide.

From mid-July, the spawning salmon start swimming up the rivers and streams leading towards Crescent Lake, and the bears feast on salmon all day long. This brown bear photo tour will offer us the chance to see bears fishing with their cubs and juveniles learning to fish, playing, and wrestling for food.

After a few hours of photographing the Alaskan bears, if conditions allow for it, we will take a scenic flight back to Kenai and fly over Redoubt Volcano, snowy mountains, glaciers, and other features that will give us great aerial photo opportunities.

DAY 5: Alaska bear photography tour – July 27th 

On the fifth day, we will have our second Alaskan brown bear photo workshop in a different location. We will take a scenic flight from Anchorage to Chinitna Bay on the Katmai Peninsula.

As with the previous day, during the flight, we will see plenty of photogenic landscape views of the historic Cook Inlet, where you will catch a glimpse of some of the most impressive volcanoes and mountains in the Alaskan Range.

Our destination will be Chinitna Bay, an area located at the southern end of Lake Clark National Park where the coastal brown bears live during the summer. Once we land on the beach, we will take a brown bear photo tour with a local guide, with the goal of photographing the bears in different locations. 

During low tide, you can capture the Alaskan bears digging up clams on the beach. Clams are one of the bears’ favorite breakfasts, and even though the numbers vary depending on conditions, this bay is usually crowded with dozens of bears clamming and moving on the beach.

After their breakfast, the bears move back inland to eat the sedge grass. There, we will have the chance to photograph the bears in green valleys surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes like Mt. Iliamna.

As the tide rises, the bears move closer to the streams to look for running salmon. We will find the best spots, sometimes just a few feet away from the bears, and with the safety of the group in mind and our guide’s help, patiently wait for some action when the bears plunge into the water to catch the salmon.

After our Alaska bear photo tour, we will take another scenic flight back to Anchorage.

DAY 6: Alaska photography tour – July 28th

On the sixth day of our Alaska photo workshop, we will drive to Valdez, a remote town founded by the Spanish in the eighteenth century, which is the gateway to some of the most spectacular Alaskan glaciers.

The drive from Anchorage takes about 5 hours, but we will make many photography stops on our way. The first stop will be Matanuska Glacier, where we’ll enjoy the highlight of the day: hiking on the glacier.

Matanuska Glacier is on privately-owned land, so we’ll take an official glacier tour hike where we’ll walk and photograph some photogenic ice formations. We’ll have a lunch break here after the tour, shoot details of the glacier from a distance with our telephoto lenses, and continue our drive towards Valdez.

The road section across Thompson Pass before Valdez is one of the most scenic in Alaska. Here, we will photograph turquoise braided rivers, glaciers, like the Worthington, and plenty of waterfalls around the Keystone Canyon, like Bridal Veil Falls and Horsetail Falls.

Once we are in Valdez and after checking into our hotel, we will take a short drive to the Hatchery, where we will photograph sea lions and look for black bears.

DAY 7: Alaska Photo Tour – July 29th

On this day, we will spend the day doing some of the most exciting activities on our Highlights of Alaska Photo Tour: photographing Columbia Glacier and taking a kayaking trip.

Our tour will depart in a small boat from the port of Valdez, and our destination will be one of the glacier tongues of the renowned Columbia Glacier. On our way, we will shoot beautiful rugged landscapes as well as marine wildlife, such as sea lions, bald eagles, porpoises, sea otters, seals, and possibly whales. As we approach the glacier, you’ll start seeing the first chunks of ice on the water.

Once we land on one of the beaches close to the glacier, the local team will prepare our double kayaks and we will paddle towards the glacier tongue. We will kayak along with a team of local guides, who will take us to an amphitheater surrounded by glaciers and position us in the best spots to photograph the ice with the glaciers in the background.

This will be an experience like no other; you’ll be given all the time you need to compose and photograph the glaciers from the best perspective and feel the thunder of the calving glaciers as giant chunks of ice fall off the glacier walls.

After an initial photoshoot, we will stop at one of the moraine beaches for lunch. Later, we will explore another section of the glaciers from our kayaks. From the kayak, you will also be able to spot some wildlife, such as seals and bald eagles.

Once we finish our Columbia Glacier trip and we recharge our batteries with a delicious dinner, we will drive outside town looking for wildlife like bald eagles, black bears, and moose. 

Note: There will be an option B to take a standard boat tour from Valdez to Prince William Sound if you don’t want to take the kayak tour. 

DAY 8: Alaska Photo Tour – July 30th

On day 8, we’ll make our way back to Anchorage. First, we’ll make many stops in the Keystone Canyon and along Thompson Pass to photograph waterfalls, landscapes, and wildlife with different lighting.

Around noon, we’ll make several photography stops at viewpoints overlooking the imposing Mt. Drum, one of the most majestic views in Alaska where you can see a wild landscape of this volcano and the largest national park in the US (Wrangell-St. Elias) in the background. 

After having lunch in Copper Center, we’ll continue driving and doing different landscape and wildlife stops until Anchorage.

Once we check into our hotel, we’ll do a post-processing session where we’ll edit some of the landscape and wildlife images from the trip. Finally, we’ll have a last group dinner in one of the best restaurants in Anchorage to wrap up the adventure!  

DAY 9: Alaska Photo Tour – July 31st

On the last day of our Alaska photo adventure, we’ll have a final breakfast and conclude the tour by flying out from Anchorage International Airport.

PRICE: $9,600 USD

Deposit: $2,000 USD

A $2,000 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot for this workshop. You can also pay in full at any time. The remaining balance is due on April 23rd, 2023. If the remaining balance is not paid in full by the due date, you will lose your spot.



  • Accommodation in private rooms. (Discount of $1,000 for couples sharing rooms).
  • Transportation in a comfortable passenger van with plenty of space.
  • 9 days of photo guide services from professional photographers Dan Zafra & Ascen Aynat.
  • Travel and instruction in an exclusive group of 10 participants.
  • Kenai Fjords National Park private boat tour
  • Brown bear photo tour in Lake Clark National Park on a riverboat.
  • Brown bear photo tour in Chinitna Bay with local guides.
  • Columbia Glacier fully outfitted kayaking photo tour
  • Matanuska Glacier hiking tour with all equipment included.



  • Meals except breakfast in most of the hotels.
  • Health/travel insurance (We can help you purchase the best travel insurance according to your needs).
  • Personal expenses, tips, and any other service not mentioned in the “INCLUDED” section.

What does the price include in the Alaska photo tour

Danny Felps
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This was my fifth trip to Alaska, and It was awesome. Dan took me to new locations that I had not discovered on my own. This is a comprehensive photo tour!
Carlos Montoya
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This tour met my expectations of visiting and photographing Alaska. Dan is excellent, everything went as planned, and we also enjoyed very good weather. I also received excellent photographic instruction from Dan, who is very approachable and personable.

What will I learn during this Alaska photo workshop?

This workshop is mainly focused on landscape & wildlife photography.

What you learn during the workshop will vary according to your goals and skills. Your instructor is a professional photographer with extensive experience who will help you take your photography to the next level.

During the tour you’ll have the opportunity to learn:

Some of the photography basics you can learn during the workshop are:

  • Getting comfortable shooting different types of landscapes and wildlife in manual mode.
  • Adjusting to the best camera settings in each situation.
  • Familiarizing yourself with the basics of shooting action.
  • Learning the basics of aerial photography from a plane.
  • Enhancing your composition with the best techniques.
  • Designing your own shooting workflow to be more efficient in the field.
  • Basics of drone photography.
  • Creating powerful compositions that tell a story and engage the viewer.
  • Building a connection between your photography and your vision.
  • Becoming a master of light: learn how to enhance it and keep it under control.
  • Advanced landscape techniques like bracketing, focus stacking, or focal length blending.
  • Advanced wildlife settings and shooting techniques
  • Advanced drone photography like aerial panoramas, vertoramas, and bracketing.

Some of the post-processing techniques that you can learn with are:

  • Basics of Lightroom and Photoshop
  • Preparing your images in Lightroom/Adobe Camera Raw.
  • Stitching of panoramas using different software like Lightroom or PTGui Pro.
  • Reducing the noise in your images with Denoise AI.
  • Sharpening your wildlife photos with Sharpen AI.
  • All types of Blendings (exposure, focal length, focus, etc.).
  • Light shaping and Dodge & Burn in your landscape & wildlife images.

Your instructor on this Alaska Photo Tour

Dan Zafra will be the tour leader throughout this Alaska Photo Tour, and he will make sure that you get the best photography results and experience from this tour. He will help you with composition, technique, and post-processing in your landscape, wildlife, & aerial images and use the best methods according to your skills.

He is based in California and has explored the higher latitudes of our planet over the years in places like Iceland, Northern Norway, Kamchatka, and Alaska. He has experience running photo tours in Alaska and he’s very knowledgeable not only about the best locations but also about the best time and lighting to photograph them.

Dan is a renowned travel photographer who enjoys educating other photographers with photo tours, workshops, and tutorials. His online photography courses have helped more than 400 photographers over the last few years. Joining him for this workshop will provide you with a great opportunity to learn how to best capture the highlights of Alaska.

You’ve probably seen Dan in…

Ascen will be the co-leader on this Alaska Photo Tour. She is a real expert on Alaska after taking many trips throughout the region over the last few years. She’s very knowledgeable about the most photogenic locations, the weather patterns, and the best techniques to capture breathtaking images.

Her main passion is wildlife photography, so she’ll provide the best settings and techniques to capture all the action of this tour!  

Ascen loves traveling and helping others with their craft. She’s traveled extensively and led photo tours in other regions like Iceland and the Norwegian Lofoten Islands. 

WHAT TO BRING TO an Alaska Photography tour

A complete list of everything that we recommend for this tour is sent to all participants upon sign-up. Below, you can find a summary of things you might need:

  • A mirrorless or DSLR camera.
  • A sturdy tripod.
  • A wide-angle lens, such as 14-24 mm.
  • A medium zoom lens, such as 24-70 mm.
  • A telephoto lens, ranging from 100 to 600 mm
  • A camera bag to transport all your equipment.
  • Drone (optional)
  • Laptop for post-processing (optional)

*Zoom telephoto lenses are recommended for capturing the best possible images during the Alaskan brown bear photo tours. Some of the best lenses in this range are:

– 70-200 mm (*X 1.4 extender recommended)
– 100-400 mm
– 150-600 mm
– 200-600 mm
– 400 mm f/2.8
– 600 mm f/4

*Some telephoto lenses can be very expensive, so we always recommend the option of renting a lens for the trip. We always rent our camera gear  through Lensrentals.  You can find more information on how Lensrentals works and get a discount here.

What will I learn during this Alaska photo workshop?



We will be visiting areas that are not far from the Arctic Circle, where the weather is very changeable throughout the year, even in the summer.

For this reason, we recommend bringing the following clothing:

  • A system of layers to wear (base layer, fleece, windproof layer, shell).
  • A good pair of breathable boots to keep your feet warm and protect your ankles while walking over rocks and uneven terrain
  • A light hat and gloves in case it gets cold.

If you are traveling from outside the US, you may need a specific travel visa or an electronic travel authorization (“ESTA”) depending on your country of origin. We can help you with this process.



You should book your flight to Anchorage International Airport.

Airline ticket prices will depend on the airport you are flying from. We recommend this article to find the best flights to Anchorage from your current location.


Transportation is included and all the driving will take place on easy, paved roads. We will drive two passenger vans with enough space to travel comfortably with all the luggage. 

Our hotel in Anchorage (Hyatt House) is five minutes away from the airport and offers free airport shuttle. 

What expenses should you consider for this Alaska photo tour


Meals are not included except for breakfast in most of the hotels of the trip. We will visit some local restaurants to taste the delicious Alaskan food.

Anchorage and all the major towns in Alaska have grocery stores where you can buy any food, drinks, or snacks. We also recommend buying some groceries and snacks, since our schedule will completely depend on the tours and shooting conditions. 




Our photo tours are completely centered on photography: finding the best moments to shoot, running dedicated post-processing sessions, and creating an intensive experience that is conducive to learning and taking the best possible images.


This Alaska photo tour is limited to a small group of 10 photographers. This is an important factor for providing the attentive instruction you need during the tour.


This is the only photo tour that you’ll find that focuses on all the main highlights of Alaska, from rainforests, glaciers, waterfalls, and aerial volcanoes, to spectacular wildlife like moose, bald eagles, and the Alaskan brown bear. It also includes visits to 2 national parks and renowned areas like Kenai and Valdez.


We will discuss your goals before the tour so we can create a dedicated instruction plan for you. It doesn’t matter your age or skills; we will design your plan and provide you with materials before, during, and after the workshop, so the learning process is not limited to just the tour.


We have spent years designing national and international photo tours with successful results, helping photographers with different types of photography. Dan’s online courses have also helped more than 400 photographers over the last few years.


Beyond the photography, our photography workshops help build strong bonds that last forever. After our trip, you’ll feel like you have been with a group of friends rather than on a standard tour. We are thankful to have plenty of repeat clients who keep traveling and learning with us.

Frequent Questions about our Alaska Photo Tours

Whether you are experienced or just starting out in photography, you are welcome, and you will progress quickly. Together, we will send you home with a thorough knowledge of many photography areas, from the basics to multiple advanced techniques.

Once you sign up for the workshop, we will discuss your skills and goals for this tour, and I’ll organize a teaching plan so you can make the most of this experience.

Generally, we won’t do any long or strenuous hikes, since most locations are a relatively short walk from the parking lot.

A couple of exceptions are the Matanuska Glacier, where we’ll take a short hike on the ice using crampons, and the Columbia Glacier, where we will have to paddle a short distance in calm waters.

On the second bear tour in Chinitna Bay, we might have to walk up to 1-2 miles on beaches under low-tide and uneven terrain to get closer to the bears.

The tour is packed with Photoshoots and activities, so we do recommend being in good physical shape to enjoy the experience.

There is no age limit. This trip is perfect for anyone over 18 years old who wants to photograph Alaska with us.

This trip is drone-friendly, and you can fly one in multiple spectacular locations.

Dan is an experienced drone pilot, and he can help you out with your aerial photography and footage.

Just bear in mind that you’re not allowed to fly drones in national parks and other places as established by the FAA.

Our Happy Students!

I’ve had the opportunity to work with and help countless photographers over the last few years. Sharing and teaching photography is my passion, and I love doing this both online and in the field.

This was my fifth trip to Alaska (all in self-guided or small groups). It was awesome. Dan took me to new locations that I had not discovered on my own, but more impressive was seeing previously visited places from such a photographer’s perspective. This is a comprehensive photo tour!
Danny Felps
2022 Alaska Photo Tour
This tour met my expectations of visiting and photographing all the natural landmarks and wildlife of Alaska. All the places that we visited were very beautiful, and the multiple tours that we took to lakes, glaciers, and bear viewing were excellent. All the vehicles where we traveled and the hotels were very comfortable. Dan is excellent, everything went as planned, and we also enjoyed very good weather. I also received excellent photographic instruction from Dan, who is very approachable and personable. In the future, I will definitely do another photo tour with Dan.
Carlos Montoya
2022 Alaska Photo Tour
Iceland Photo Tour Reviews Capture the Atlas4
I recently spent 3 weeks with Dan in Iceland. It was a wonderful experience that surpassed my expectations. Dan is an energetic guide who is passionate about what he does. The trip was well organized and Dan made sure we were able to see everything that was planned. Dan worked with everyone on the tour to understand their skill level, and provide his insights on ways to improve their photography. It was a wonderful adventure. I hope I have the opportunity to tour with Capture the Atlas again.
Robert Adams
South & North Iceland Photo Tours
Iceland Photo Tour Reviews Capture the Atlas6
If I had to join a photo tour again, I wouldn’t hesitate to repeat this trip with capturetheatlas! In addition to the organization, the accommodations, the places...you have the feeling of traveling with friends, where we all learn from each other and the guides are very close and familiar creating a small family. We were a group of different ages and levels and none of that prevented the coordination from being excellent. In addition, Dan adapted and made the necessary changes in the schedule if the weather wasn’t the best, and thanks to that we could see and photograph the Northern Lights! Thanks again to Ascen and Dani. Highly recommended!
Beatriz Rodriguez
Iceland Photo Tour
When I started editing my star-tracked photos. I wasn't able to get the most from the raw files. Dan has shown me how to enhance the original details and recover the amazing colors of the night skies. Although these advanced techniques can be quite daunting, Dan makes them really easy to follow.
Jose Luis Cantabrana
1 on 1 Post-Processing Training
We had a fantastic workshop with Dan working on shooting techniques. Dan is a wonderful guide, patient, funny and helpful. I have been waiting to invest in filters to understand what I really needed and Dan let me borrow his to get a feel of what I would need to invest in. We grabbed some fantastic shots.
Heather Andrews
Ricketts Glen Photography Workshop
On my recent photo tour to Iceland, not only was I able to see the Northern Lights, but I also was able to photograph them thanks to Dan's tutelage and patience! I returned home with not only amazing pictures but also renewed enthusiasm for photography. Dan's passion for photography and landscapes is unequivocal.
Rachel Rose
Iceland Photography Tour
If you really want to learn how to improve your photography, I highly recommend Capture the Atlas. l had a private class with Dan, and he was very detailed explaining everything about my camera settings, lenses, and post-processing. His skills are superb and he’s always eager to share all his knowledge.
Aleida Gallangos
Ricketts Glen Photography Workshop

Join the expedition


This tour is governed by these Terms and Conditions.

Alaska is one of those few places on earth where you can find wilderness at its best. This vast territory has been preserved for millennia, and even though it’d take months and years to visit all of its natural wonders, we’ve crafted this tour so you can see all the highlights in just a few days.

This adventure will make you feel like you’re in one of those Nat Geo documentaries where you can see magnificent landscapes and wildlife like brown bears just a few feet away from you in their natural habitat.

Discover the best of Alaska with us – this is a trip of a lifetime!


Alaska Behind the Scenes and Gallery