Spring in Denali
with Chad Dutson
Spring in Denali Workshop
May 17-21, 2019
Denali National Park, Alaska
Join Wilderness Photographer, Chad Dutson, at one of the nation’s jewels, Denali National Park. Spring in Denali is a beautiful time of year to visit, with snow quickly melting, rivers running high, wildlife out on the prowl in search of new food sources, mothers rearing newborns, and quickly-changing light conditions. There is plenty of daylight in May to capture wildlife and landscapes, with sunrise around 4:30 AM and sunset after 11:00 PM.
If booking more than one person,
please contact us for a discount code
prior to signing up!
Photography Experience Level: Beginner and Novice photographers will value three sessions that will focus on fundamentals, such as the exposure triangle and composition. Photographers of all levels will value the “Meet Denali” and photography critiques.
4PM Workshop: “Meet Denali”
Evening Field Photography (on your own)
Field Photography All-Day (on your own)
1PM Workshop: “Photography Essentials”
Field Photography All-Day (on your own)
1PM Workshop: “More Essentials & Gear”
(OPTIONAL 6:40AM: Bus Tour
Denali Tundra Tour - Book Your Own)
5PM Workshop: “Image Processing”
7PM Group Dinner
Morning Field Photography (on your own)
10AM Workshop: “Critiques & Wrap-Up”
Each day includes a two to three hour classroom workshop in the lodge. The rest of the schedule is up to you, to explore Denali and share your discoveries with the group.
*Itinerary subject to change
Take your photography to the next level, learning techniques in daily group discussions led by Alaska photographer, Chad Dutson.
Travel the first 30 miles of the Denali Park Road at your own pace in your personal vehicle (through May 19). The rest of the summer, personal automobiles are restricted to the first 15 miles.
Capture Denali’s “Big 5”: bears, moose, caribou, wolves, and dall sheep. Other wildlife seen frequently in the park: eagles, owls, fox, lynx, ptarmigan , and snowshoe hares.
Lodging options, including significantly reduced rates through the workshop, are available. If you select the lodging option, breakfast is included each day.
Optional day-long bus tour to Mile 53, Toklat River on May 20. Due to commercial operation limitations, each participant will need to book their own bus tour with the National Park Service.
The workshop begins and ends at the Grand Denali Lodge near the entrance to Denali National Park. The workshop includes daily two- to three-hour group photography discussions. During instruction, Chad will demonstrate his favored techniques, including proper exposure and composition. Some advanced techniques will be discussed, too, such as HDR and focus-stacking. When is it appropriate (or required) to use these techniques, and when is it wasting your time? Basic processing in Adobe Photoshop will be included in discussions, too. Chad has used Nikon and Canon equipment professionally, and caters instruction to your photographic experience level.
Each day you are free to explore Denali National Park and the surrounding area. Most of the tourist season (May through September), personal travel is restricted to the first 15 miles of the Denali Park Road; however the workshop is scheduled just prior to the road’s closing, meaning you are free to travel the first 30 miles of the road. Take advantage of this time of year by spending your free time within this area of the Park.
May 20 marks the day the Park closes the road to public access at Mile 15 and officially begins commercial bus tour operations. The workshop is scheduled so you can take advantage of this opportunity. Be among the first visitors of the year from miles 30 to 53, as your reach into the park is extended to the Toklat River (weather-permitting), including Polychrome Pass. Miles 30 to 53 are rich in scenery and wildlife, and you will love the views. Due to National Park restrictions, each participant will be required to purchase his or her own bus tour.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is included with the workshop?
+ Daily classroom workshops held within the Grande Denali Lodge meeting room
+ Snacks during class instruction
+ Final group dinner
+ Lodging and breakfasts, for those who select the lodging option
What is not included with the workshop?
Essentially everything else: bus tour fare, national park fee, airfare, ground transportation, and daily meals.
Are gratuities included?
With the exception of the final group dinner, no, gratuities are not included. Gratuities are at your discretion.
Is guide service included within Denali National Park?
No. Guide service is heavily restricted within Denali National Park. Chad will provide general instructions on best places to visit during the first group discussion on Day 1.
Are rental cars permitted on the dirt road portion of the Denali Park Road (beyond mile 15)?
Generally, no, as mainstream car rental services do not authorize use on the Denali Park Road. Please use a rental company that expressly permits access on the Denali Park Road. One example is Alaska 4x4 Rentals, based in Anchorage. Chad Dutson has teamed up with Alaska 4x4 Rentals to provide you a 15% discount on your car rental.
How do I get to Denali National Park?
It is recommended you fly into Anchorage or Fairbanks, rent a car, and drive to the lodge. We have teamed up with Alaska Airlines, to which you will receive a 5% discount off roundtrip airfare if travel is completed between May 10 and May 24 and your destination is Anchorage. The Grande Denali Lodge is located approximately 2 hours driving-time from Fairbanks and 4 hours from Anchorage.
Does the price include workshop participation by my spouse/partner/friend who is attending with me?
No; however If you purchase the lodging option for “single occupancy,” the pricing includes lodging for two (the 2nd person is free). You will then need to purchase the “workshop only” option to add the second person. Please contact us to receive a discount code if you plan to book the workshop for two or more.
How are sleeping arrangements made for those who select the lodging option?
Double-occupancy/Shared Rooms will be occupied by participants of the same gender. If there are two of you attending, such as friend/partner/spouse, please notify us upon booking so that immediate arrangements will be made for you. You may also purchase the single-occupancy option, in which you will be provided your own personal room.
What am I responsible for during the workshop?
Airfare to/from Alaska, lodging, transportation, meals (other than final group dinner), and your personal gear. If you opt for the lodging option, your breakfasts are included, provided by the Grande Denali Lodge.
What camera gear should I bring?
For landscapes, a 24mm or slightly wider. For wildlife, recommend a lens/lenses with a range 200-500mm. You may also choose to pack a 1.4x or 2.0x extender. As for filters, two suggestions would be a graduated ND filter, to darken the bright skies, and a polarizer to emphasize dramatic, cloudy skies. A tripod/monopod is also recommended.
Why does the instructor not guide the group into Denali National Park?
Denali National Park does not permit private, guided workshops into the park beyond Mile 3.
What travel insurance do you recommend?