A silhouette of a bald eagle, perched in a giant Cottonwood tree, against the St. Elias Mountain Range at sunset. Chilkat Eagle Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.
One of the things I see happen most frequently in the field with groups of photographers is this kind of herd mentality that almost invariably works against the photographer. Particularly when things are not going perfectly. It’s cold, the eagles aren’t doing much, everyone’s been out for a long time, and soon enough, people start talking of packing up, of food and hot drinks, or editing images or watching TV, and before you know it, as the light ebbs, ever so slightly, people pack up and head for home/motel/town.
We all know once the light, on a gorgeous clear afternoon, goes down, the photography for the day is over, correct?
2 adult brown bears playing (Ursus arctos) together in an embrace. Hallo Bay in June/July is a great time to see and photograph bear behavior like this. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.
Another photo from this past summer when I led a photo tour to Hallo Bay and the coast of Katmai National Park and Preserve here in Alaska. I’ve been photographing brown bears for many years now, and return to the Alaskan Peninsula every summer to watch and photograph these creatures. They’re simply an awesome animal to see, whether its up close and personal like this, or from a distant ridge on a mountain hike somewhere.
I intentionally picked late June for this particular tour with the hope of catching some interaction between the bears, and especially mating behavior. Brown bear breeding season is anywhere from late May through mid-July, with some exceptions even being later. Generally, early summer is the time for brown bears’ breeding season. Continue reading →
Just to wrap up the year for 2012, here’s a quick slideshow from the year – 30 photos from various trips. Good times and good memories. I hope you all enjoy the pictures. If you like, take a quick look at my “Year in Alaska” on video, over at Expeditions Alaska – some nice clips from the past 12 months; it’s pretty cool, if I must say so myself! 🙂
Silhouetted brown bear at sunrise, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.
Timing is everything; especially for photography. Being in the “right place” at the “right time” is critical to making the “right photos”. So how, exactly, do we go about making that happen?
A million dollar question, I think.
One comment that we read and hear frequently, and I completely agree with, deals with knowing your subject. Knowing the behavior of an animal, for example, can help us predict where it might move to, what it may do, and so on. There’s no question, in my opinion anyway, that the better you know your subject, the better the photo opportunities you’ll have. Continue reading →
A brown bear (Ursus arctos) sits in long green sedge grass. The low tide provides great habitat for coastal brown bears in spring and summer, in places like Kukak Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.
Getting ready to leave soon for another trip to Katmai National Park, after a busy summer hiking and backpacking. I’m excited, as always to head to Katmai and photograph the great coastal brown bears down there.
This photo was taken in June on the Coastal Brown Bear Photo Tour. A beautiful young brown bear, maybe 4 or 5 years old, in nice, soft light.
This fall we have 2 weeks of trips, with a few returning guests, as well as a number of people coming out for their first Alaska trip. After that, I have a week scheduled to photograph in the Arctic, then the summer/fall season will be over for me, and it’ll be time to catch up on website updates, etc, and planning for 2013. The aurora borealis photo tours have generated/are generating a great deal of interest, so that should be a fun time in the spring.
Oh, that and some fun skiing/snowboarding of course.
Brown bear (Ursus arctos), at Hallo Bay, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the photo above to view a larger version of this photo.
Just returned from a week on the Katmai coast photographing brown bears. This was a new trip for me this year; I’d not been over to this specific location, or at this time of year, previously.
It was a grand trip; flying out of Kodiak, and spending a week on a boat along the coast, shooting bears in gorgeous soft summer light. My personal photography priority for the trip was bears in the landscape. I also wanted some cool “behavioral” photos, which included bears clamming at low tide, sparring with one another, and even mating. Cool stuff to shoot.
Shooting mid-summer in Alaska requires a great deal of flexibility; if the weather is clear and sunny, the best light (in this area) is at 9:30pm – 11pm, and 5:00am – 6:00am. So by the time we’d get back from a shoot, it might well be after midnight. Getting back up at 4:30am to shoot again is a rough gig. On the other hand, if the skies are overcast, we’d shift to a more routine schedule, and head out around 8am. Continue reading →
A brown bear male, ursus arctos, stands in the first light of the day, backlit by the morning sun, as he looks around for breakfast. Brown bear, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.
” What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is only related to objects, and not to individuals, or to life. That art is something which is specialized or which is done by experts who artists. But couldn’t everyone’s life become a work of art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not your life?” – Michael Foucault
What a great sentiment! Foucault wrote some great stuff.
An examination of what ‘art’ is could well be an artful endeavor itself. What are your thoughts? Is life art?
Aurora borealis, or northern lights, over spruce trees, White Mountains near Fairbanks, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.
Apologies for the long delays in getting back to the blog. I’ve been busy working on a new website (details coming soon enough, I hope), and then the last couple of weeks over in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park for a snowshoe trip, and then a week in central Alaska looking for the aurora borealis.
Now I’m back for a couple of brief days before heading out again to the park for another trip, snowshoeing and photographing. So I won’t be around much at least for another week or so.
This shot was from last night in the White Mountains, just north of Fairbanks. The aurora rocked all night long. We got back in the cabin at a little after 5, then up at 9, breakfast, and on the road back to Anchorage. I was hoping to go back out tonight, but I don’t see that happening at this point. I’m tired.
People tend to underestimate how difficult it can be to shoot the aurora. It means long nights, and often little sleep. And very often, very little good photographic fortune. But sometimes we get lucky.