Archive for the ‘Canada’ Category

Photos and notes from or about Canada. Particularly Western Canada. Mostly the Rockies – I do love me some Rocky Mountains.

Wildlife Photography

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Hey Folks,

Huge congratulations to all those who did so well in the recent BBC and Natural History Museum Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Overall winner Greg du Toit has a remarkable image in “Essence of Elephants”. The winners of all the various categories should be proud of some fantastic photography.

I saw an interview with Paul Souders, winner of the “Animals in their Environment” category on BBC here. Congrats to Paul for an incredible image, and a great job in the interview. Paul deserves huge kudos for getting out their, on his own, and doing the work. He doesn’t simply trek off to a well known and much favored hot spot and follow the hordes with their long lenses to do his photography. Sure, Churchill is one of the great polar bear photography meccas, but no tundra buggy and over-sized group for his trip. Just himself, his boat and hours upon hours of exploration trying to find a subject; it’s worth noting Paul spent over a week on his trip and saw only 2 polar bears, after spending 12-14 hours riding up to 30 miles a day on the ocean; the first of the 2 promptly raced off never to be seen again.

This should be inspirational to so many of us who do this work. We don’t need a dozen bears in the vicinity, and we don’t need to follow the footsteps of the masses and we don’t need to shoot gigabytes of images to make a great image. We need to be creative, diligent and persistent. And, of course, having your own boat doesn’t hurt either!

Congrats all.

Cheers

Carl

A free trip in Wrangell – St. Elias Park

Monday, January 16th, 2012
Snowshoeing and backcountry skiing in the Mentasta Mountains, winter, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Snowshoeing and backcountry skiing in the Mentasta Mountains, winter, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

I thought it’s probably about time I mentioned it on this website. I’m running an offer on Expeditions Alaska for a free trip in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park this march. All the details are here. This is a pretty sweet offer, if I have to say so myself, so do check it out. It closes Jan 17, and the winners will be drawn the morning of the 18th. 10am Alaska time. Feel free to enter, but do read the stipulations first; it just makes the sorting and collating of emails into a list for the drawing much easier that way. And if you think you know of someone else who might want to enter, either let them know pronto, or enter for them. Only one entry per household though. Don’t enter if someone has already entered for you.

Sorry about the late notice here.

Cheers

Carl

BBC – Wildlife Photography and full disclosure

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011
Coyote pup sitting beside yellow daisies, Jasper National Park, Canada.

Coyote pup sitting beside yellow daisies, Jasper National Park, Canada. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

BBC = bBS

Hey Folks,

Here’s an interesting article from the UK Telegraph; the first paragraph pretty much sums things up: “The BBC is accused of routinely faking footage in wildlife documentaries, by using studio sets, sound effects and tame animals to portray creatures in the wild.”

Now, I know what you’re thinking: yes, indeed, the UK Telegraph commenting on any media source of ‘faking’ anything is pretty sad. Let’s disregard tabloid integrity for a moment and consider what this is really about (and what’s WAY more fun); wildlife photography.

Wildlife photography does not include zoo and game farm animals; shooting captive subjects, given that some folks are perpetually going to choose to do this, should always be labelled as such, even if only via context (see Darwin Wiggett’s bear photo for an example; and notice that he captioned it regardless).

I have yet to hear anyone explain how photographing a bear in a cage is wildlife anything. The root of the word ‘wild’ is free-willed, not Free Willy. I understand, for certain, there are degrees of what that might mean. Is a zebra migrating hundreds of miles across the plains in Africa before being hemmed in by a fence really free willed? *

The fact that there are indeed myriad shades of gray, woven through every possible facet of our world, does not make charcoal black any less black. We might differ on where 18% gray is, but we know what black is.

(more…)

Updates; the drudgery at the end of summer

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011
Borwn bear in the forest, fall colors, searching for salmon in a river. Brown bear (Ursus arctos) Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Borwn bear in the forest, fall colors, searching for salmon in a river. Brown bear (Ursus arctos) Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks

A few quick updates: though nothing is ‘final’ on the interwebs, it seems; the internet goes to infinity, I suppose.

The end of every summer/fall I’m busy with office work, paper work, reports, emails, photo editing, processing, prints, website updates, website tweaks, writing, photo submissions (Oh, how I detest that word “submissions”; yet it’s so wonderfully apt, isn’t it?) and heaven knows what else. It’s not so much fun, but (apparently) it has to be done.

Lately, here’s a few of the projects I’ve been dealing with and fires I’ve put out.  Many more to come.

Caliban, Arrigetch Peaks, Gates of the Arctic

Sunday, August 28th, 2011
Caliban, Arrigetch Peaks, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska.

Caliban, Arrigetch Peaks, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Here’s a quick shot of Caliban, from the Arrigetch Peaks. Interestingly, I shot this image just minutes after I dropped my 18-70mm lens into a small pond and totally destroyed it; the lens still have grit and glacial silt inside it from the Arrigetch Peaks; I know the NPS have a rule about “take only pictures”, but I figured if my lens was busted, and I couldn’t really take pictures any more, it might be OK to take some glacial silt with me.

Cheers

Carl

eBooks and microstock

Thursday, April 14th, 2011
An early fall snow coats the peaks of Mount Edith Cavell, Edith Cavell Lake, Canadian Rockies, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

An early fall snow coats the peaks of Mount Edith Cavell, Edith Cavell Lake, Canadian Rockies, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Looking around the web recently I can’t help but notice the surge in photographers’ promoting eBooks. I wonder if eBooks aren’t the newer version of microstock photography? The hallmark of microstock sales is, IMO, an incredibly low price for (typically) royalty free sales; at best only very loosely managed rights. That seems to be the industry marketing model for eBook sales as well.

I’m not saying this is all a bad thing. One plus I see is that the bulk of eBook sales are direct from the photographer to the customer; cutting out an agency, which I think is (virtually) always a good thing.

Another plus is the quality of the material; the eBooks I’ve seen have been absolutely first class stuff. Microstock photos are often pretty sad images.

I think the above 2 positives are more than likely related.

Just wondering out loud is all.

Cheers

Carl

The Taxonomy Man; a tribute to George Harrison and Carl Linnaeus

Saturday, April 9th, 2011
Fannin Sheep ewe, Alcan Highway, Yukon Territory, Canada.

Fannin sheep ewe, lying down in the mountains, Yukon Territories; Fannin Sheep are either a color morph of Dall Sheep, or a subspecies of Dall and Bighorn Sheep, Yukon Territory, Canada. No one really knows. Their scientific name suggests they're a kind of subspecies of Dall Sheep; Ovis dalli fannini. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

hey Folks

All things Come Together;

1) I’ve been updating my website, keywording and updating some of the information in the wildlife photos gallery. Keywording means latin words, for some weird reason. The latest in technology presents information over the internet in a language so old no one even speaks it any more – ‘cept for a bunch of ole poindexter scientists. 🙂

2) We all know, full well, April 10 marks the date the Beatles officially broke up. Bummer.

3) April 15th approaches. We all know what that means. Yikes! Way total bummer.

4) Next month, May, marks the birthday of my namesake, Carl Linnaeus.

So, let’s bring those  things together; this is a tribute to George Harrison and Carl Linnaeus. See if you can finish this; gimme your best verse. (more…)

Photography; it DOES get in the way

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
Winter in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Mt. Blackburn, Alaska.

Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Wrangell Mountains and the Kuskulana River, Mount Blackburn, near Nugget Creek mine. Winter, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger versoin of this photo.

Hey Folks,

The other side of the same coin, I suppose. How many hours have I spent looking at a computer screen, sifting through snippets of html code for a closing bracket (>) or some php code for a dollar sign, etc, etc, etc. Please, don’t answer that. 🙂

How many hours have I hacked, stabbed, mauled, wrestled with and mangled some code to tweak my website/s? Days (i.e., months) fiddling with photoshop, trying to learn how to process an image. Upgrading software, learning software, relearning software, replacing software, trialling software, etc, in the interest of my photography. Those hours could’ve been spent in the woods. (more…)

How to Photograph the Canadian Rockies

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011
Evening light on the Canadian Rockies.

Evening light on the Canadian Rockies. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Some great news; photographer extraordinaire, and a man I am proud to call my friend, Darwin Wiggett has put together his excellent series, “How To Photograph the Canadian Rockies” again, this time with even more detail and information than its predecessor. In 2005 Darwin released, through Altitude Publishing company, this great book, as a small, portable handbook,a a guide to photographing the Canadian Rockies. I was lucky enough to grab a copy before the company went bust and the book’s publishing ended, leaving countless nature photographers frustrated, as they weren’t able to snare a copy. The book is absolutely fantastic; I unhesitatingly call it a “must have” for anyone heading toward the Canadian Rockies. Which is a bummer; a ‘must have‘ is now a ‘can no longer get’.

Until now. The great news; Darwin’s just set up a new website, How To Photograph the Canadian Rockies, and released all the great info in his book as ebooks. This time the ebooks go into more detail, and cover the Canadian Rockies region by region. Starting with the Icefield Parkway area, the first 2 ebooks are currently available, and soon to come are ebooks on photographing Banff and Jasper National Parks, probably the crown jewels of the Canadian Rockies.

We’ll do a quick test here. I’ll invite Darwin to check this blog out and tell me where the scene in this photograph (above) is, and where I shot it from (Darwin – if you know it, don’t post the answer just yet). The first non-Darwin who can do so, I’ll buy you any one of Darwin’s ebooks (your choice which). (more…)

Free Photos – bull elk photo

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010
Bull Elk bugling, Jasper National Park, Canada.

Bull Elk bugling, Jasper National Park, Canada.

Hey Folks,

I had another photo request for free use of my images today; they come in pretty regularly, it seems, particularly for wildlife and landscape photography. We nature lovers obviously love what we do, and so must have a desire to give our work away for free. How can we not?

I’ll be the first to admit it folks; these are tough times, for buyers and sellers alike. There’s no denying that truth. I thought I’d try to find some kind of compromise here. I always like to develop a relationship with someone who may potentially pay for my work, and I also wanted to help these people out – theirs is a just and worthwhile cause. And hey, maybe helping these folks out might provide the impetus for some real economic activity in the world? I hoped to do my bit to help the economy get rolling, my own little stimulus plan, if you will (I still can’t believe the government got away with labeling theirs a ‘stimulus package‘). At the same time, I didn’t really want to give away my work for free. What to do?

I tried to explain to the person on the phone; I listened closely, and sympathized – “yes, I realize you’re a non-profit organization, but  my business, on the other hand, is NOT a non-profit“. This didn’t clarify things, apparently.

A different tact:  “Well, you see, my rent doesn’t go down according to the charity work that your business does, and the food I eat doesn’t become free simply because I did a good deed for the day“. We got nowhere. (more…)