"Aurora Borealis Photo Tour"
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- Trips are booked one year in advance from tour date.
- One wait list is used, based on time of sign up.
- This ensures you get our mailing notifications of booking dates and available space.
A few spaces remain open on the 2014 Aurora photo tours. If interested, please fill out the form below.
- Length: 8 Days
- Cost: $3900
- Participants: 8 Maximum
- March 14-21, 2014
- March 22-29, 2014
- Destination: Fairbanks - Brooks Range - Fairbanks
- Physical Requirements: Good to excellent condition
- Mental Requirements: A flexible and positive attitude
- Degree of Difficulty: Easy to Difficult
- Degree of Weather Difficulty: Moderate to Extreme
- Agility: Good (traveling on uneven terrain in the dark)
- Activities: Forays of walking/hiking in boots, fully clad in winter gear, on uneven terrain in dark, cold, snowy and possibly icy conditions.
- Photography Skill Level: Beginner to Professional
- Weather Conditions: Potentially extreme cold, snow, wind (-10 to -30 below at night, but a warm cabin or vehicle is always nearby for warm up sessions.)
- Transportation: Vehicle
- Accommodations: Hotel in Fairbanks, rustic, but comfortable cabins in the Brooks Range with shared bath
- Guides: Hugh Rose and Patrick Endres
- Instruction: Group introduction to aurora photography and cold weather presentations. In the field instruction and computer workshop sessions regarding processing aurora photos in Lightroom.
About the Aurora Borealis Photo Tour
This trip is all inclusive, you land in Fairbanks and put your wallet away, save for personal gift items or an excursion option outside of our described itinerary. The tour focuses on photographing the northern lights in Alaska's arctic, however, if cloudy conditions prevent that, we may attempt daytime excursions in search of landscapes and wildlife. Although we can’t guarantee anything, (that is the “g” word and wise guide never uses it) our success rate over 15 years for photographing the aurora has been 90%. We, your guides, are both accomplished professional photographers and long time Alaska residents and veterans of travel in the arctic. We have trekked, photographed and explored Alaska’s arctic for two decades, and collectively have logged over 150,000 miles driving the Dalton highway. Our goal is to safely lead and instruct you in some amazing photography experiences, and share with you the great wonders of the Alaska that we enjoy so much.
Skill sets vary among the participants ranging from beginners to professional photographers. Group size is limited to 8 people and two vehicles are used to offer sufficient space for photography along the way. Successful aurora photography requires both clear skies and solar activity. It is not reliably predictable. For this reason, a flexible and opportunistic attitude is essential. Daily plans unfold as the weather dictates. Late nights photographing under clear skies result in a schedule oriented towards a night shift and consequently less daytime photography. If cloudy skies prevail at night we will be opportunistic to daytime photography of wildlife or landscapes in the vicinity. While an opportunistic approach is best, the goal is to be awake on a clear night and outside from approximately 10pm to 4am. (A warm vehicle or cabin will always be nearby for warm up breaks whenever necessary). Accommodations include a hotel in Fairbanks for the first and last night of the trip, and cozy cabins in the Brooks Range, complete with a hot shower and tasty home cooked meals.
Gear and Equipment
Our experience has led us to recommend some specific gear items for this excursion. The reason for this is largely about performance in very cold weather. You may think your tripod or ballhead has worked just fine in basic winter conditions, but at -25 below, things change a bit. It is not only smooth operation that we favor, but difficulties with gear in cold weather can result in increased susceptibility to cold and frost bite because of fumbling with inadequate and poorly functioning equipment. We will advise you of our recommendations. If you don’t own the items and choose not to purchase them, they can be rented. For the aurora, tall tripods, smooth functioning ballheads, and fast (f/2.8 or faster) wide angle lenses are essential. A focal length of at least 24mm is recommended. A telephoto lens (400-500mm) is recommended should the option for some wildlife photography present itself. Clothing requirements will be described in detail prior to the trip.
Instruction and Teaching
We provide assistance throughout the trip, regarding all aspects of photography. We draw on our knowledge about Alaska, the arctic, photography, and aurora prediction information in order to optimize photo options in all kinds of weather. Most of the learning happens in the field, on the spot, but there will be some daytime lectures discussing aspects of digital file management, RAW processing, and specific aurora related file processing questions.
- day 1: Arrive Fairbanks, welcome dinner and orientation
- day 2: Drive north to the Brooks Range
- day 3-6: Northern lights in the Brooks Range
- day 7: Return drive to Fairbanks and farewell dinner
- day 8: Fly home
Payment, Reservation & Cancellations:
- After space confirmation, a non-refundable $500 deposit per person by credit card secures booking.
- Following two payments must be paid by check.
(Note: checks must be issued in US Dollars. Foreign transaction and/or electronic wire fees may apply)
- 1) Oct 30th, 1st half $1700
- 2) Dec 15th, balance $1700
- send checks to:
2923 Moose Mountain Road
Fairbanks, Alaska 99709
- Cancellations, excluding the $500 deposit are refundable until January 1st. Refunds for cancellations after January 1st are not guaranteed. For this reason, and for medical emergencies, we strongly recommend trip insurance.
If we can fill the space with another booking we will refund the payments (minus small fees for booking changes with our vendors).
- You will be sent a trip confirmation packet a few months before the trip departure date.
Included in the Price:
- Airport transfer in Fairbanks, provided by the hotel.
- All accommodations during the 8 day tour.
- All meals from welcome dinner to departing breakfast.
- All vehicle transportation on the trip.
Not Included in the Price:
- Flights to and from Fairbanks to your home in the lower 48.
- Additional days in Fairbanks before or after the trip.
- Money for personal or souvenir items. (Cash is recommended since credit cards are not universally accepted at all our locations. ATM access is available in Fairbanks prior to departure if necessary).
- Weather related itinerary alterations: Travel in remote regions of Alaska can be unpredictable due to weather. Additional fees may apply if we are required to spend extra nights at hotels.
We are long time Alaskans, working professional photographers and guides, and have extensive experience traveling all over Alaska - specifically the arctic. We live here; we know the place; we know the people; and if you choose to join us, we gladly share our experience and insight about Alaska and the many nuanced details of photographing in this great landscape. We have recently worked together on an Arctic book project and are both featured photographers in "On Arctic Ground: Tracking Time through Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve" Patrick published a comprehensively detailed eBook on How to Photograph the Northern Lights in February 2013.
Hugh Rose : Email - 907.479.8984
Hugh Rose has photographed and lived in northern climates most
of his life with the latter part of it in Alaska.
Compelled by Alaska's natural beauty, he left a 10-year career
in geology to explore and photograph the vast landscapes and
wildlife of the north. Both nature and a camera have intrigued
Hugh since childhood and he continues to explore and interpret
the world's natural beauty through his photographs. As part
of his photography business Hugh sells Fine Alaskan Photographic
prints at art galleries throughout Alaska and from his home
As a photographer Hugh has spent a significant part of his
career photographing in the arctic and feels that this environment
offers some of the most incredible raw beauty in North America.
His photographs have appeared in Sierra Club Calendars, NorthernLight
Calendars, Denali Wilderness Calendars, National Trade Magazines,
Frommer's Travel Guide, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Outdoor Life,
BBC, National Wildlife Federation, and numerous other publications. He was a featured photographer in the acclaimed book "Arctic Wings: Birds of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge".
Patrick Endres: Email - 907.750.4065
After moving to Alaska in 1981 from Wisconsin, Patrick has
traveled extensively throughout the state photographing and
observing the delicate balance of nature in the arctic and sub-arctic
environments. His genuine love and enthusiasm for the natural
world combined with many years of traveling Alaska's interior,
arctic and coastal regions have given him a strong knowledge
of the varied aspects of photographing
in Alaska's ever-changing wilderness surroundings.
Patrick lives in
Fairbanks, Alaska where he works as a professional freelance
photographer. His work has appeared in the Smithsonian Museum
of Natural History, USA Today, Backpacker, Natural History Magazine, National Geographic Adventurer, National Wildlife Magazine, Outside, National
Parks Magazine, Alaska Magazine, Audubon and Sierra Club Calendars and many other books and publications. He was included in the World's Top Landscape Photographers published in 2003, and self publishes two Alaska Calendars.
Aurora borealis photo gallery
Arctic wildlife photo gallery