with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Alaska Wildlife and Scenics

Photographing in Alaska is not just a joy, in many ways, it’s a privilege. So few places are left in the world with easy access to nature, Alaska is very special.

There is one main highway that basically circles the state, passing by some of the most beautiful and wild areas left in the world. Along that highway and the few that branch off are national parks and nature preserves featuring some of the tallest mountains, smallest and largest animals, and rarest and most fragile plants.

For us, the best time to travel to Alaska for wildlife and scenic photography is spring and early summer, which ranges from May to July depending upon weather, and fall which ranges from August to September 15. Most parks and campgrounds close by September 15 or the first sign of snow.

Spring brings newborns, wildflowers, and the first blush of growth pushing up from the freezing snow and ground. Fall brings healthy fattened wildlife out and about, rut season begins as elk and deer bash heads with their great antlers, and bears snuffle through the last of the berries alongside roads. The tundra, trees, and vibrant bearberry turn golden and red, creating flames of color across the countryside.

Winter is amazing for those who can endure it and have the skills for managing camera equipment in subzero temperatures.

I’ve put together the following list of resources for learning more about photographing and visiting Alaska to help you with your next visit. We recommend that you arrive ready for any weather, good solid hiking or walking shoes, sun lotion, sun glasses, bug sprays and creams, hats, and as much camera equipment and film/storage as possible as Alaska is often a once in a lifetime visit.

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