Dan Bailey – Alaska Adventure Photography
Adventure Photographer Dan Bailey shares his technics for fending off mosquito, dealing with bears and o’yea, taking amazing photos in one of the most extreme and beautiful places on Earth, Alaska!
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As we head into Winter, which for the vast majority of us will not be like an Alaska winter, any tips on how to deal with the cold from a gear perspective?
How does the cold affect batteries
Utilize a chest pocket with the battery…sometimes even in the gloves or a chemical hand warmer in a pocket. Switching batteries mid stream will allow a battery to warm up and get additional shots
Cold weather drops off when below zero degrees. A dSLR battery lasts much longer than a point and shoot
How do they affect your lenses?
Condensation – keep camera in the same temperature. Even keeping a camera inside a jacket causes an issue as the body creates a lot of heat.
If you go inside – leave the camera inside the camera bag as the bag will stay cold for a while to prevent condensation issues.
No way to power in the field, means you bring enough of everything
How do you get to your shooting locations?
Drive and own a little bush plane. Using an airplane is necessary to get to many areas.
Some of your images look like they were taking from a plane. Do you hire someone to fly you around for aerial images?
Yes, shoot aerials for many photos. The plane flys relatively straight while at altitude. I take the photos out the open window…just continue flying straight,.
Any thought of Drone Photography?
Not really anything I am interested in
Do you need to come prepared to deal with dangerous wildlife?
Need to worry more about bears…black and brown bears. You will go out wearing a bell and use “Bear Spray”…the bears will hear you and will likely leave the area before you arrive. People who see a bear are not really the brightest people.
Seasons, which ones do you like to photograph the most and least?
Springtime – Love aerials
Winter – Skiing
Summer – Backpacking / Mountain Bike Riding
Listener Question – Underwater photography?
Would love to explore more…don’t currently own a housing
Dealing with insects like mosquitoes
Swamp areas…in the summertime it can be really bad…requiring head nets, gloves, bug spray etc.
How do you make money from your images?
There are a lot of photographers here but most are landscape and assignment. There is a big draw to photography in Alaska. Many are friends of mine.
Do you use any filters?
Try not to use filters…started with Polarizer filters and stopped. Will use a Neutral Density Filter and a Split Neutral Density filter for the sky.
Set to Auto White Balance and leave it there…sometimes changes are done in Lightroom but most of the time the camera gets it done right,
Fuji X-T1 is my camera of choice. A durable little camera that produces great photos. Used to shoot with Nikon but I have been very pleased with the photos taken by the mirrorless cameras.
What gear do you bring on a shoot?
Short trips: Bring warm clothing and food / water hat could get me through a day or two
Gear – Extra batteries…don’t usually work well in cold weather
It seems some of the scenes are so vast and overwhelming, how do you capture these successfully?
Identify something in the scene you like…it can be overwhelming. What is the most important element in the scene…a rock formation, a person, wildlife. etc. Then how does the scene interact with that element.
People in the scene add scale to the image…it helps to bring people into the world of the scene
Bike riding in Alaska
Several years ago the bike stores started using bikes with bigger tires…now these bikes have huge wheels and some with studded tires. Creates an endless playground for exploring in Alaska.
Any image you have been trying to get but have not got exactly what you want yet?
Go through phases of subject matter. HAve ideas for each type of shoots I do but I don’t try to overplan and just shoot what presents itself
Tips for someone looking to take a photo vacation to Alaska?
Take one of my Alaska Photo workshops…the idea is to get people off the beaten path to see places that you wouldn’t normally see
Bring a long lens…everything is long and far away
Tripods – needed for a long lens but sometimes it gets in the way
Book Release – Spring 2015 – “Outdoor Action and Adventure Photography” by Focal Press
Do you find the lighting an advantage or disadvantage?
Tell me about Golden Hour and Blue Hour in Alaska
In the Winter the Golden Hour is all day long
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