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Glacier Photography Workshops

Matanuska Glacier Photography Workshop 

Are you looking to capture the best possible photos on your trip to Alaska?

A day on the ice with MICA Photos’ professional photographer may be perfect for you!

David Crane has spent many years photographing landscapes and adventure sports around Utah, Colorado, and Alaska, and is now here to share his knowledge and experience with you!

Whether you are a seasoned photographer or you are picking up a “real” camera for your first time, this is an excellent opportunity to learn how to get the most out of your equipment, get off of the ‘Auto’ setting, and stop worrying whether or not you’ll be ready when that perfect moment passes in front of your lens!


Who is this workshop for?

  • New DSLR or Mirrorless camera users
  • Beginning or established photographers wanting to get more out of their equipment.
  • Anyone looking to advance his or her technical photographic skills in an incredible setting!

What should I know before signing up?

  • No prior skills or experience are necessary, we will cater individual time to each participant at any level of experience!

What you can expect to see:

  • A Glacier!
  • Lots of glacial features, potentially including crevasses, moulins, dirt cones, and other features as the glacier allows.

What you shouldn’t expect to see:

  • Wildlife – the glacier is a rather inhospitable place to animals. There is no food, no shelter, and it’s cold. They don’t like being on or near the ice.
  • Ice Caves – The Matanuska Glacier has virtually no history of ice caves or tunnels in the summer. If any “walk-through” features do develop, they typically are very small and last for only a few days before melting and collapsing.
  • Sunset/Sunrise – Since the access road to the glacier is open 9am-9pm, and Alaskan Summer does not see a sunset until very late, we won’t be on the ice for sunsets or sunrises. Instead we will focus on working with the available light and learning more about the technical camera skills.

What equipment do I need to bring?

  • You’ll need a camera!
    • Any beginner or pro-level DSLR, mirrorless, or point-and-shoot camera can get the job done.
    • While cell phones often come equipped with great cameras these days, something with more control is necessary to get the most out of this clinic.
  • A backpack or camera bag – Please note, the glacier is wet, even in sunny weather anything you set down will become wet, too. A rain-cover is a great addition to a pack even if no weather is expected!
    • MICA will provide each participant with some extra glacier gear, so a little extra space is good. We also have regular backpacks to borrow, if needed.
  • Extra accessories you wish to learn more about are always welcome
  • A tripod is recommended, but not required!
    • An extra tripod might be available to borrow, please ask on the day of the trip if you require one.
  • A laptop or tablet you can view and edit photos on is recommended for our review session at the end of the day

What to expect from your day:


A full day of learning and advancing your photo skills, the Matanuska Photo Clinic will start off with getting to know each other and talk about where everyone stands on our current skills, abilities, and equipment. It is imperative that everyone be on time and present for this part of the clinic, as it will play a major roll in where we go, what we see, and what we talk about throughout the rest of the day. We will discuss some photography ‘basics’ now, and this is a great time to ask any general photography questions and learn skills that we will employ throughout our day on the glacier.


When everyone is happy wrapping up the morning session, we will drive the group out to Glacier Park for our first glances at the Matanuska. We will talk landscape photography basics and make a 5-10 minute hike to the ice where we will begin our day of exploring. Depending on ice formations, David will make a call on where the group will be spending the day, and a hike across the glacier of between 15 minutes and an hour may be required. Plenty of photo stops will be had on our way, and we will bring you to some of the current hot spots, and any off-the-beaten-track locations we can. Since the glacier is always quickly changing, no specific features can be promised, and the Matanuska has virtually no history of ice caves in the summer. Our most commonly photographed features are the picturesque icefall, and many of the smaller moulins or crevasses as the glacier and group fitness levels allow.

We will discuss some skills associated with photographing people as subjects under natural lighting, and how you can add perspective to your landscape subjects with the addition of people or objects. Sorry, no wildlife is expected on this tour as very few things live on or visit the icy glacier. There is no food for bear, moose, or other wildlife and as such they typically do not spend time on the ice. Our subjects will be limited to each other and to the ice itself, which will provide ample opportunities for captivating photographs.

There will be plenty of opportunity for one-on-one instruction and questions, as well as some down-time at locations or while your guide is establishing the best route to or options for features to photograph. An opportunity may arise for a formal lunch break, or if the group chooses we can spend ‘lunch’ shooting and everyone can eat/snack at their own pace. The day is yours and we will customize every aspect to the group as much as possible!

In addition to being an experienced photographer, David also knows a lot about the Matanuska and other glaciers, and will be able to provide a wealth of information about glacial features, movement, and processes.


After our allotted time on the ice, we will return to the MICA base and break for a chance to change and upload photos to review. While not required, it is recommended that everyone stay for this session to critique each others work and learn some basic editing skills, as fits the needs of each individual. Please Note: this session takes place outside, so weather may dictate our time here to a large degree.

Davids Self Portrait in an Ice Tunnel on the Matanuska Glacier

About the Photographer

David Crane is a well practiced outdoor and adventure photographer from Utah with several years experience participating in and photographing ice climbing, rock climbing, skiing and mountaineering. Experienced in technical rope rigging and anchor systems, David is willing and able to go where few others can to get the shot! You can see more of his work and read the stories of his glacial adventures online at