Photographing an Alaskan Cruise – Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glacier

As we left Juneau for Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glacier, the weather turned cold, windy, and cloudy.  But just like at Hubbard Glacier, when we entered Tracy Arm the sky started to clear and we had partly cloudy blue skies.

Sawyer Glacier Alaska

The water in Tracy Arm is a beautiful turquoise color that is a terrific contrast to the granite walls.  Try using a circular polarizer to reduce the glare on the water. When we got to the Sawyer Glacier the Captain of the Norwegian Sun once again turned the ship completely around so both sides of the ship could observe the Sawyer Glacier. 

Photography Tips and Compositions

  • Use icebergs as your foreground when photographing landscapes.  Also try portrait layout to get the water and the sky in the frame.
  • Use an ultra wide angle lens such as a 17-40mm (full frame) or a 10-22mm (crop sensor) to photograph landscapes of the mountains, especially the around the glacier.  Using icebergs as the foreground work well for these ultra wide angle shots.
  • There are numerous waterfalls that span the entire length of the granite cliffs.  Experiment with different focal length to get the right composition.  Also try a vertical panorama.
  • Watch the icebergs for Harbor Seals.  In the area close to the glacier, I saw at least 10 seals and pups lounging on the icebergs.  Keep a pair of binoculars and a telephoto lens handy.
  • If you have two camera bodies with you, I would have lenses on both of them in some combination of wide angle, ultra wide angle, and a telephoto for the seals.

Tomorrow morning we arrive at Skagway.

Harbor Seals Sawyer Glacier Alaska

Related Posts
Photographing an Alaskan Cruise – Juneau Excursion
Photographing an Alaskan Cruise – Hubbard Glacier
Photographing an Alaskan Cruise – Icy Straight Point

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