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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Wildlife Talk 
Thread started 14 Jul 2013 (Sunday) 17:20
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Equipment for a trip to Alaska

 
Grizz1
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Apr 01, 2014 22:45 |  #16

skeeterbug, I took a land tour/cruise. We landed in Fairbanks at 11pm and began touring on the Chena River the next day. The next traveling was by train from Fairbanks to Healy, then spent the next day in Denali. We soon bailed from our tour bus and caught a green shuttle bus which was more to our liking. Went to Wonder lake at mile 85 in denali came out that evening which made a good 13 hour day traveling in the park. Next move was by motor coach to Seward, a 10 hour road trip. Boarded a ship at Seward crossed the Gulf of Alaska the first 24 hours and went straight to Glacier Bay NP, went to Haines, Ketchikan , Juneau and ended in Vancouver. We spent several hours in each port except Vancouver. Went on 3 excursions that were very good, lot of Brown bear in Haines on one of our tours.

This was our second trip to Alaska and though we tried to see and do many different things it is so vast and beautiful I felt the need to go back as soon as we can. We were in Fairbanks on 9/4 and returned to our home on 9/16. The fall colors were beautiful, snow was starting to fall in Denali and we had rain about 40% of the time, temps were 30 to 50 degrees F, The previous trip we took there began on 7/4 and the temps were 40 to 75 degrees F had we only had some rain late at night.

I have talked to many people about traveling to Alaska, some say they want to go but are unsure if they will like it for whatever reasons. I have enjoyed every moment we have been there and will go back first chance I get but I have never let cool temps, rain or snow stop me before. We made friends with a family in Fairbanks and stay in touch almost on a daily basis and we have shared our weather conditions each time. So far they have only had about 7 days in Fairbanks that were worse than here in North Mo this winter.

When you go take a long lens and a wide lens at least, my travel methods limited my use of a tripod to near zero which was a shame as the landscapes are endless. Used a monopod with the Sigma 150-500 hours each day.
If you have any more questions feel free to ask and enjoy planning your trip to Alaska. Don't just think about it, DO IT.


Steve
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travln1
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Apr 06, 2014 10:43 as a reply to  @ post 16801813 |  #17

What a wealth of information! I have an Alaskan cruise coming up in June, with my main interest being a whale watching cruise on a small boat (6 passenger). I'm thinking a 7d, with the 100-400mm. Looks like I chose well. :D This is my 3rd trip to Alaska, and the first with decent camera equipment! Taking along a Sony RX10 for quick, impromptu shots around the ship (since it's easy to carry, compared to a dslr), but I want something much more accurate for the wildlife shots.

I will continue to watch this thread!

Grizz1 wrote in post #16803180 (external link)
I have talked to many people about traveling to Alaska, some say they want to go but are unsure if they will like it for whatever reasons. I have enjoyed every moment we have been there and will go back first chance I get but I have never let cool temps, rain or snow stop me before.

I have to agree. Alaska is single-handedly my favorite place to visit. I could go back forever and a day! We had the opportunity to go anywhere this summer and again, I chose Alaska. It is breathtaking! And while it may rain one second, ten minutes later, it can be perfectly sunny, so don't let the weather stop you!


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Scott ­ M
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Apr 08, 2014 11:35 |  #18

We have scheduled an Alaska trip for this summer, too. It will be our 2nd visit there, but the first time was 15 years ago. It will be a land/cruise combo, with one night in Anchorage, 3 nights at Denali, two nights at Copper River for the land portion, and then a week cruising from Anchorage to Vancouver. I have booked a smaller photography friendly whale watching cruise in Juneau as one of our excursions (my wife and I love whale watching).

For equipment, I am planning on taking a 5D3, 7D, 17-40L, 24-105L, 100-400L and 40mm f/2.8 pancake, plus a 270EXII Speedlite for use on the cruise ship. I'll also have various CPL, ND and grad ND filters, plus a tripod. This will all fit (barely) in my Lowepro Flipside 400AW backpack. The only item I am not sure about is whether the 17-40L will be necessary, or if the 24-105L will be wide enough to leave the UWA at home.


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Grizz1
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Apr 08, 2014 16:18 |  #19

Scott, I can hardly wait to see the photos taken on your trip, the equipment you have will serve you well. If you can find room for the 17-40 I bet you will use it. A few times I could have used something wider than my 18-135 but I have never shot with a 5D3 either.
Whale watching in Juneau is awesome, be ready for Otter, Seals and Eagles too.


Steve
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Lyle ­ Krannichfeld
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Sep 08, 2014 18:24 as a reply to  @ post 16801813 |  #20

Old thread, but wanted to correct some misinformation I noticed.

In Denali, you CAN and are encouraged to get off the buses. You cant do so nearby wildlife, but they'll drop you near enough. You are free to get on and off any green bus as you see fit, so you can get off the bus, hike, shoot, etc and then get back on a bus at your leisure. I do suggest bringing a copy of the schedule with you, as it changes occasionally and you don't want to miss the last bus out.

For Denali, if you are looking for landscapes, I'd recommend a 70-200 as an ideal lens. You'll want more length than you'd expect. If you want to shoot wildlife, bring as long as you have (or want to deal with).

Lastly, if you are a professional photographer you can get your name in a road lottery to be able to drive in the park for one week. They give out 5 passes per week.


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grdwyer
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Sep 09, 2014 20:10 as a reply to  @ Lyle Krannichfeld's post |  #21

Thanks to all for posting your advice. Our trip was FANTASTIC. I would recommend this trip to everyone. The equipment worked out well. I took a 500mm, my rebel xti. I love most of the shots that I took on our trip. Believe me, I can not express my gratitude enough for all of the advice you have posted to my question. I con only hope one day to possess enough knowledge to help others in their photography quests. Thanks again, George


Rebel xti, 70-300 mm.

  
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grdwyer
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Sep 09, 2014 20:24 |  #22

One other thing, Katmai National Park was the highlight of my trip, ( my wife also enjoyed Katmai, but not quite as much as me) I can not wait to go back. I think we are going to spend a couple of night at the park. Yes is is rather costly, but, you only live once right. If you get a chance, do not miss Katmai National Park.

The 500 mm super telephoto at times was a little to much. Next time, I will take two or more cameras to allow me to switch on the fly. Also, a mono pod would work much better than a tripod on the bear watching platforms. There is not a lot of room on them with all of the people.

If someone could tell me how to post pictures on this site, I will post a few of my shots if you care to see them. If I can answer any questions about this trip and our experiences, please do not hesitate to ask. I will answer any photography question to the best of my ability. And any other questions posted.

Thanks again, George


Rebel xti, 70-300 mm.

  
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Grizz1
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Sep 18, 2014 22:48 |  #23

grdwyer, by all means post some photos. Never get tired of Alaska photos. So glad to hear you had a great trip, thought you would enjoy it as most do.
I have a Flickr account that I use to post photos to the site from. If you have problems PM me although I'm a poor choice for computer advice.


Steve
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skeeterbug
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Oct 02, 2014 11:00 |  #24

You guys are great to share your opinions on going to Alaska - it's so appreciated!!! Grizz1, thank you for all your info! I think we've finally decided on a land/sea tour :) I took your advice and have done a LOT of reading on Cruise Critic; wow, talk about TONS of information! Speaking of Cruise Critic, and looking through Scott M's photo gallery link above, I think I read a review of your cruise there! Pretty cool to see you on POTN! :)



  
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Equipment for a trip to Alaska
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