BALD EAGLE WORKSHOP IN HOMER, ALASKA.
Winter is a great time to visit Homer for bald eagle photography. While there are usually a few opportunities to get close to some of Jean Keene’s eagles to snap closeups, the fishing shots alone make the trip to Alaska a memorable one. The weather is more moderate than other parts of Alaska due to the fact that Homer is positioned nicely between Kachemak Bay and the Cook Inlet. Travel costs are diminished due to the fact that tourist season peaks in the summer.
the shot list
You want to capture some great photographs. I can help.
Light can be variable but with any luck, the potential for sunshine and higher shutter speeds can help you stop the action. As the bald eagles approach, they often ride the wind with minimal effort, providing ample opportunities to capture images that show off their massive wing span.
BALD EAGLE PORTRAITS
Some of the most famous bald eagle photos ever produced have come from the Kenai Peninsula, simply because of the fact that the photographer could get so close. While a high-powered lens always helps, an effective focal length of around 300mm is usually enough to get great shots. If Mother Nature cooperates by providing clear skies, you’ll have enough light to reduce ISO to help minimize noise without post production. Witness what makes Homer one of the best locations in the world for bald eagle photography.
SUPER CLOSE UPS
While not all of the inhabitants in the Kenai Peninsula will allow you to photograph them from 10 feet away, when it works, it’s totally worth the trip. Again, sunlight plays a big role when it comes to maximizing the potential of your images, often placing a nice catch light in the eagle’s eye. Detail in the feathers is also enhanced by the directional light. Many of the most famous bald eagle closeup shots have come from Homer and the surrounding Kenai Peninsula.
Bald eagles are wild and unpredictable. If you spend enough time around them, they will provide opportunities that we don’t often anticipate. The bald eagles of the Kenai Peninsula are no exception.
CAPTURE THE LANDSCAPE
Snow capped mountains can be seen on a clear day in this location, providing some of the most picturesque backgrounds you’ll ever witness. Making the eagle part of the landscape helps to provide scale and adding depth to the scene.
As winter winds down, Homer becomes one of the best places in the world to photograph bald eagles snatching fish from the water. This alone has lured many photographers to the area over the last 25 years.
tour dates & pricing
NOTE: THIS TOUR HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL 2023 DUE TO COVID-19
2.27.2024 - 3.2.2024
Attend a workshop with us before? You can take another $200 off of this one!
WATCH MY LATEST FOOTAGE FROM Homer
CAPTURE BREATHTAKING PHOTOS.
IMPROVE YOUR TECHNIQUE.
HAVE A GREAT TIME.
While our main focus for this tour is to send you home with dynamite images of bald eagles for your portfolio, we have other goals in mind for each client. Sending you home with great photos might not improve your ability to capture them in the future unless we deliver the information in a way that helps you retain the information. During his 20+ years as a corporate trainer and director, AJ was fortunate to learn several techniques to make this happen. Whether you’re a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner, we will take advantage of each learning style to ensure that you take home more than just great photos.
The third goal is the easiest. In most cases, our clients have traded their hard earned vacation time to make the trip to the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. We simply want you to enjoy yourself. While we are heavily focused on getting each client into a position to capture outstanding images, balancing this agenda with a little relaxation is essential. Thankfully, Alaska is a great place to accomplish both.
Watching another photographer glow with the anticipation of getting a fantastic shot is tremendously rewarding. We understand that this is a once in a lifetime trip for many, and will do whatever it takes to make it both educational and fun!
Understanding shutter speed, aperture, ISO and focus settings can be daunting and has caused many to put down their cameras for good. We will cover each of these items in detail and continually review camera settings throughout the week. This will be a constant source of discussion, starting in the classroom and into the field. Putting these concepts into practice is the best way for it to stick.
BALD EAGLE BEHAVIOR
Wild animals are wild and unpredictable for the most part. What if you could tell when a bald eagle spotted a foe? What if there was a tell tale sign that they were about to take off? What if you could predict which direction they would fly? We will discuss all of these behaviors and more.
What impact can the tried and true "rules" for landscape photography have on wildlife photography? What role does wing placement, head position and perspective have on your outcome? Great shots often sit unnoticed on hard drives until we "see" them with a fresh perspective. We will discuss the image assessment process as it relates to bald eagle photography and judge our own images by a set of criteria.
IN THE FIELD
Our main focus will be in the field. While classroom discussion is extremely valuable, you won't take a wall worthy photo from a comfortable chair. That said, involvement is absolutely critical to learning, and putting your new knowledge into practice is essential for retention. We want you to take stellar photos, whether it's in Alaska or after you return home.
THE ROLE OF LIGHT
Weather isn't the only challenge in Alaska. Light is minimal and the direction can be downright brutal unless the right steps are taken. There are methods to managing this challenge and we will continually analyze and discuss it in detail. Special attention will be paid to establishing your Window of Opportunity as the conditions change, as they often do in Alaska.
VIDEO TIPS & TRICKS
Capturing video of a moving subject is a challenge for even the best photographers with the most sophisticated cameras. We will discuss several tips and tricks that have the potential to take your cinematic ability to the next level.
BIRDS IN FLIGHT
The right body movements, position and other nuances are critical for improving your chance of success. This workshop will cover all of the above and more.
IMAGES FROM PAST TOURS
MEET YOUR GUIDE
AJ Harrison has spent over 30 years working on his photographic technique. His award-winning work has been recognized by publications such as National Geographic, Popular Photography, Forbes Magazine and The National Wildlife Federation. One of his photographs went viral in 2016 with over 8 million views. To date, he has captured over 500,000 photos of bald eagles in the wild.
Serving as a corporate trainer and director for one of the largest furniture manufacturers in the United States, AJ is able to combine his experience in public speaking and training to provide instruction to other photographers in a workshop setting.
In 2017, AJ published his first book, titled The Bald Eagle Book for Kids, which he created to be as visually appealing to adults as it is educational for children. His second book, “The Photographer’s Guide to Bald Eagles”, was completed in 2020. He is currently working on two additional books that are scheduled to be published in 2021.
While bald eagle photography is his specialty, AJ has also been recognized for other subjects. He was named as a National Geographic Top Shot Award Winner in 2016 for one of his brown bear photographs. All of his photos are captured in the wild.
If you have questions about the workshop or planning your trip, don’t hesitate to contact us directly with the information below.
(319) 400 7929