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LSU Tigershark
South Alabama Fan
10,000 posts
Member since Dec 2007
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Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
Here was my original post prior to my trip: LINK

My dad and I made a quick bucket list trip to Alaska, with intentions of spending very little money and seeing as much as possible in 3 days. In all, with flight, hotels, rental 4x4 truck, and 4-hour Resurrection Bay cruise, we managed to keep the cost under $550 per person (not including fuel, food, or souvenirs.) We traveled about 1300 miles and took tons of pics.

Our itinerary included:
Seward, Alaska
This was about 3 hour scenic drive south to the Kenai Peninsula. We stayed at Hotel Seward, which included a pass to the Alaska SeaLife Center and a 4-hour Gray Whale Cruise in Resurrection Bay. The cruise was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

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Bear Glacier
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We then went to Alaska SeaLife Center and saw some of the local wildlife.
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Then we drove up to see Exit Glacier. During summer months, it is only a mile hike from the visitor center to the glacier itself. The road was only open to mile 7, so we only got to see it from the overlook.
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Then we drove up to Whittier to get a view of Portage Glacier. They typically get a lot of precipitation, but we got lucky and had a clear day. It was a mile hike to the top of Portage Pass Trail, with a gain of 850 ft of elevation. At the top of the trail, you can see Portage Glacier and a snow covered landscape to the south, and Prince William Sound with a greenish landscape to the north.
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We crashed in Anchorage that night. I had a complimentary night at Hilton Garden Inn. The following morning, we started our 5-hour trip to Denali National Park, in hopes of getting a glimpse of Denali (Mt McKinley) and some wildlife. We got very lucky. Here are some pics from the drive up. Denali National Park was open to Mile 30. We got to see caribou, moose, dall sheep, and beautiful landscapes. We were hoping to see some bears. All we saw was bear tracks and scat.
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That night, we stayed just north of the park in Healy, overlooking a frozen Otto Lake. The aurora forecast was looking good, the skies were clear. It was now a waiting game. We took a nap, setting the alarm to 12:00. No lights. 12:15, no lights. 12:30, jackpot. The lights were showing from 12:30-3:00, with just a little ambient sunlight on the horizon.

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Some links I used to see when would be best viewing of the lights were the Aurora Forecast and ClearDarkSky

The final day, we drove south, then east to Matanuska Glacier, because we wanted to touch a glacier. We had heard multiple people mention it and heard good reviews, so we headed that way. I was disappointed to find out it was $50 for the 2 of us to take a 15 minute unguided hike to the glacier, which nobody mentioned. Nevertheless, we drove that far, so I paid up.
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After the short hike, we headed back to Anchorage. We went by the Ulu Factory to buy Alaskan Ulu knives as gifts. We then went up to Flattop Mountain to get a view of the city from the overlook. We got luck to get another partial view of Denali, which is mostly cloud covered, but is also 123 miles away.
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Finally right before our flight, I took a quick photo of downtown Anchorage near the airport.
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Sorry for so many pics. I hope some appreciate them and are inspired to make a bucket list trip themselves.

Thanks to CuseTiger and RogerTheShrubber for help planning the trip.

This post was edited on 4/28 at 11:17 pm


CuseTiger
Syracuse Fan
Buffalo
Member since Jul 2013
5993 posts

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
quote:

Thanks to CuseTiger and RogerTheShrubber for help planning the trip.

Great pictures, it looks like it was an awesome trip. For that price I really wish I booked it/convinced a few friends to do the same.


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jmarto1
LSU Fan
Houma, LA/ Las Vegas, NV
Member since Mar 2008
24472 posts

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
Amazing pics


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BlueSharpie
Member since Nov 2015
48 posts

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
Wow, you took some amazingly gorgeous photos and I'm definitely adding this to my list. Thanks.


LSU Tigershark
South Alabama Fan
10,000 posts
Member since Dec 2007
9612 posts

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
Thanks. On a clear day, the drive to Denali is absolutely stunning. Highly recommend it if you don't mind a lengthy drive


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MLSter
USA Fan
Member since Feb 2013
3490 posts

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
quote:

Sorry for so many pics


Not enough if you ask me

what type of camera did you use, the pictures are really good


LSU Tigershark
South Alabama Fan
10,000 posts
Member since Dec 2007
9612 posts

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
I had a canon T3i and t5i. 70-200 f/2.8, 50 f/1.4, 30 f/1.4, and 10-22 f/3.5


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HoustonGumbeauxGuy
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2011
17844 posts

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
Yes! Hopefully others will follow suit, this is kick arse





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DoUrden
Tennessee Fan
UnderDark
Member since Oct 2011
22946 posts
 Online 

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
Awesome pics, I am jealous I have always wanted to the the Northern Lights.


Tigerbait46
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2005
7926 posts

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
WOW! Incredible pics. What camera do you use?

Alaska just jumped up my vacation list.


Panny Crickets
LSU Fan
Fort Worth, TX
Member since Sep 2008
4329 posts

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
WOW, amazing!


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20
REB BEER
Laffy yet
Member since Dec 2010
11255 posts

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
Awesome trip.

I can't wait to go one day.

ETA: I've been to some beautiful places and have seen how pictures don't do justice to the stunning views.

With that said...I can only imagine how awesome Alaska is in real life.
This post was edited on 4/29 at 8:25 am


LSU Tigershark
South Alabama Fan
10,000 posts
Member since Dec 2007
9612 posts

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
quote:

I've been to some beautiful places and have seen how pictures don't do justice to the stunning views.


This is 100% true. The sheer vastness of the place, one can't capture it in a picture


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00
GeauxColonels
Nicholls St. Fan
Tottenham Fan | Nicholls St Fan
Member since Oct 2009
24066 posts

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
Great pics! LOVE the shots of the auroras. That's definitely something on my bucket list...as is Alaska.


lsuaudio
New Orleans Saints Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2004
697 posts

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
Amazing pics!!!


BigB0882
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Nov 2014
3583 posts
 Online 

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
Great pics. What kind of camera did you use and how did you get those night shots? I got a new camera recently, a Nikon D3100 and if there is not enough light it won't take pictures (using the flash is obviously not an option). I worry about how I will get great night shots in a situation like you were in. Might have to buy a special lens.
This post was edited on 4/29 at 11:30 am


NewIberiaHaircut
LSU Fan
Lafayette
Member since May 2013
8991 posts

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
Awesome trip!


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LSU Tigershark
South Alabama Fan
10,000 posts
Member since Dec 2007
9612 posts

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
I could get very technical about it, but I'll try to keep it simple.

Use a tripod. When you shoot, use a remote or set it to have a 2 second delay so you don't vibrate the camera and have a blurry picture.

Shoot in manual. Try a 10 second shutter release (it will look like 10"). Use a wide open aperture. I don't know what lens you have, but you want the f/ number to be 3.5 or less. Set your iso to 400 to start. If your picture is too dark, increase iso. If too bright, decrease iso to 200. You can increase the shutter speed to be even longer or shorter to brighten or darken the picture too.

You will also want to set your focus to manual instead of autofocus. If your camera has live view, zoom in to what you want to focus on and get it sharp.

The most important thing is to try a lot, that's the only way to get better.

I shoot in RAW format (digital negative) so that I can adjust any settings afterward if needed.


BigB0882
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Nov 2014
3583 posts
 Online 

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
Thanks. I will take notes. My problem is I don't even know how to change my ISO and Aperture. I really need to learn all of this stuff but camera lingo is incredibly confusing with weird acronyms and numbers.

I don't have great lenses. I have the lens kit that came with the camera, two lenses. 18-55mm and 55-200mm
This post was edited on 4/29 at 12:02 pm


KingBarkus
Mississippi St. Fan
New Orleans
Member since Nov 2009
3569 posts

re: Follow-up on my Anchorage Trip (PIC HEAVY)
W-O-W


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