Alaska Photography Workshops: 4-Day Coastal Glacier Landscapes

Michael DeYoung

WHEN: July 24 - 27, 2017

WHERE: Girdwood & Whittier, AK
Meet at 2PM at the Girdwood Chapel, 100 Timberline Drive, Girdwood, Alaska 99587

FEE: $1,195 (deposit $300)



Intermediate and Advanced photographers

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Alaska Photography Workshops - Glaciers, icebergs, and wildflowers in Prince William Sound and Spencer Glacier


  • Unique mountain glacier landscapes
  • Pristine national park quality views without the crowds
  • Privately chartered boat tour to photograph marine wildlife, icebergs, glaciers and BIG mountains
  • Travel off highway on the Alaska Railroad
  • Guided hike to a beautiful glacier and mountain lake setting
  • Motivational presentations on Alaska landscape photography
  • Picturesque ski resort setting
  • Many high quality roadside landscape locations
  • Fantastic short hike to sweeping glacier views
  • 16-17 hour long days with plenty of photo opportunities even in cloudy weather
  • Expert photography guidance by long time pro and successful Alaska photographer


Immerse yourself in a unique coastal mountain and glacier carved landscape, not found anywhere else in the western U.S., where big mountain views rise precipitously from sea level bathed in 17-hours of daylight. In this adventurous landscape intensive workshop, we take you to remote but accessible glacier locations, returning each night to the comforts of town. Designed to maximize on-location time, our landscape quests will focus on water, mountains, reflections, wildflowers, rainforest, icebergs and glaciers.

In addition to capitalizing on road accessible photo opportunities, the itinerary includes two days of guided, uniquely Alaskan, all day tours off the highway by boat and rail, where we get up close and personal with glaciers and icebergs. (Please read special considerations and physical requirements below.)

Girdwood, at the base of Alyeska Resort, considered to be one of the most picturesque ski areas in North America, will serve as our base. The town with its quaint, laid-back mountain town vibe is only 42 miles from Anchorage International Airport down the Seward Highway - a National Scenic Highway and Byway.

We start with a 4 hour afternoon presentation on photographing Alaska followed by an evening and sunset shoot in the local area. Our second and third day are all day remote tours described above and featured in our offerings as stand alone 1-day tours. Our fourth day will be spent (weather permitting) on a short but incredibly scenic hike to Portage Glacier and Lake with its sweeping glacier views. Other options include nearby waterfalls, lush rainforest boardwalks and/or wildflower meadows. In the afternoon, we wrap up our action packed 4 days (remember, the days are longer than down south at this latitude) with a group edit, critique and Lightroom demonstration in Girdwood.


INSTRUCTIONAL BASED WORKSHOP: Intensive and comprehensive workshops include organized classroom presentations, constructive image critique, and post processing tips and demonstrations in Lightroom. Field time is designed to be at inspirational locations matching the best subject matter to the best lighting, practicing our art, building upon what we’ve learned in class. On location, the workshop leader provides creative expertise for that location and subject matter assisting with light and technique to help participants capture the best possible images. In addition to camera gear, laptop computers are required for participants to benefit from constructive critique sessions. Whenever possible, workshop schedules have some flexibility to adjust to unforeseen changes in conditions and weather.


  • DSLR body or mirrorless with interchangeable lenses
  • Suggested lenses in 35mm full frame equivalent:

          - Wide angle prime or zoom with at least 24mm wide. 20mm-16mm
             (not fisheye) recommended
          - Normal prime or zoom such as a 24-70mm
          - Short telephoto prime or zoom such as a 70-200mm
          - Telephoto prime or zoom such as a 80-400mm, 100-400mm, or 400mm with image stabilization

  • Tripod preferably with ball head and quick release system
  • Media card(s)
  • Extra battery
  • Laptop computer with image editing software (Lightroom suggested)
  • The capability to import, view, edit, and export images made during the workshop
  • Portable bus powered hard drives are recommended for image storage


  • Round trip fare on Alaska Railroad from Girdwood to Spencer Glacier Whistle Stop
  • Group transportation via van to Spencer Lake
  • Outfitted and guided sea kayak approach to Spencer Glacier
  • Outfitted and guided hike on Spencer Glacier
  • Box lunch, water and snacks on boat
  • Private boat charter with Lazy Otter Charters on landing craft specially designed for beach landing and ease of loading and unloading.
  • An Alaskan style boxed lunch provided by Lazy Otter
  • Photo guidance, suggestions and tips


  • Whittier tunnel fee ($13)
  • Transportation to and from the meeting locations
  • Lodging & Meals (other than lunch on boat)
  • Tips & Gratuities

Participants should be comfortable getting in and out of a stable tandem sea kayak, paddling 2 miles, and hiking up to 3 miles on a glacier with crampons (provided) for the 'Spencer Glacier Adventure' day.

Participants who disembark on planned beach landings during the 'Glaciers, Icebergs, and Wildlflowers in Prince William Sound' day will climb down 6' ladder from the boat and walk on rocky beaches that may be slippery in spots.

Must be between 13-70 years of age, minimum of 90 lbs, maximum of 250 lbs, and no taller than 6' 7"


WEATHER: While many of us want warm sunny conditions with direct light for our photography day, that unfortunately is the exception. Any place on earth (Prince William Sound is no exception) where coastal glaciers exist have predominantly cloudy and wet climates. That is why the glaciers are there. Please do not get discouraged that great images are not possible in cloudy conditions. Our tour is timed to take place during peak summer wildflower displays with maximum color, predominantly dwarf fireweed a.k.a. river beauty. The colors of the flowers, lush green mountain sides and the blue glacial ice are more saturated in cloudy weather. With careful and creative techniques which you will learn, it is still possible to get colorful and beautiful landscape images in cloudy and even light rain. Remember, often times, bad weather can equate to great photos.

SPENCER GLACIER: Glaciers are dynamic and ever changing. Spencer Lake usually has lots of icebergs that calve from the glacier, many grounded in shallow water and safe to approach and photograph. Ascending Path has been finding approachable ice caves and tubes on the glacier. The prolific river beauty (dwarf fireweed) are usually in bloom in late July. Traveling across the lake by tandem kayak allows unique photo ops from the low angle of the kayak. However, depending on where photogenic ice caves may be found on the glacier, we may hike around the lake to reach these unique and photogenic glacial features.

CAMERA PROTECTION: The sea kayak approach to Spencer Glacier is only a mile but there are photo opportunities along the way. We recommend placing your camera in a soft dry bag and placed between your legs under the spray skirt. This will help keep your camera and lens dry and allow for quick access. We do not recommend hard cases as they are heavy and impractical for hike to photography.


You will receive a Confirmation notice of your registration once you complete the process. Additional information - including lodging suggestions, meeting location, and more detailed itinerary - will be delivered to you within 30 days of workshop start date.

Photography Mentor, Coach, and Photo Workshop Instructor Michael DeYoung
© Makayla Crist

A former Air Force meteorologist, Alaska photography authority and guide, Michael DeYoung, specializes in landscape, tourism, and adventure sports imagery. DeYoung’s Alaskan image photo credits are numerous and widespread across a broad spectrum of magazines, calendars, catalogs, brochures, and websites.

It all started in 1988 when he arrived to the Great Land as a newlywed and a young Air Force weather forecaster. He began cutting his teeth as a photographer in 1992 when he separated from active duty and has not slowed down since. He remained with the military part-time until 2001, serving in the Alaska Air National Guard as a photographer for Public Affairs. The early days were lean and full of hard lessons, spending most of his time photographing landscapes and wildlife and visiting several of Alaska’s well known wildlife photography locations.

DeYoung served as president for 2 years for the Alaska Society of Outdoor and Nature Photographers. Since then, he taught several workshops for the club, on his own ranging from landscape intensives to the use of flash for outdoor photographers in Alaska and Zion National Park, Utah as well as working with Rocky Mountain School of Photography and Santa Fe Photographic Workshops.

Michael and Lauri, his wife, business partner and adventure companion, have travelled statewide, weaving photography with extended wilderness journeys and even just day hikes. In addition to having hiked many of the trails in Chugach State Park, they have done extensive self supported long distance river trips in the Brooks Range, as well as the Canadian Arctic in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

In addition to shooting assignments for clients in the outdoor industry, they have shot many campaigns for clients promoting Alaska tourism state-wide. Denali national park is one of their favorite and most thoroughly worked places. They photographed Denali National Park under a professional photographer’s permit for 20 years and produced many of the images that appear at the Eielson Visitor Center.

Though the DeYoung’s reside in northern New Mexico where more sun and less oxygen feed their winter skiing addiction, they continue to return to Alaska for photography, workshops, backcountry adventures, and seeing their friends and clients.

You can leave Alaska but Alaska never leaves you!


DAY 1:
2:00 PM Meet in Girdwood at 2pm for introductions and motivational presentation on Alaska landscape photography.
7:00 PM After a dinner break, we go on our first warm up shoot. Location will be determined by weather, the tide schedule and where the best wildflowers might be.

DAY 3:
6:30 am to 7:pm: full day private boat tour in Prince William Sound. (Full details at Glaciers, Icebergs, and Wildflowers Up Close in Prince William Sound)

DAY 2:
7:45 am to 9:00 pm: Full day glacier and iceberg tour with Ascending Path and Alaska Railroad to Spencer Glacier. (Full details at Spencer Glacier Adventure.)

DAY 4:
5:30 AM Sunrise and morning shoot in Portage Valley.
11:00 AM Lunch break
1:00 PM Lightroom tips, group edit and critique
4:00 PM Wrap up.

Elevate your creativity and technique with concentrated instruction and individual attention.


Alaska Photo Workshops - Coastal Glacier Landscapes