As you may have heard there has been a record salmon run in Bristol Bay this year. In Katmai there are always a lot of bears and salmon, but this year the numbers were off the charts!
Though I haven’t been in many years because of the crowds, we made the effort to go to the famous Brooks Falls and were rewarded with great light, patiently fishing bears, and leaping salmon. Elsewhere in the park we discovered some deep snow patches that were favorite play and sleep areas for the bears. It was a great place for them to cool down in T-shirt weather for humans—I can only imagine how hot they get with all that fur.
The cubs had discovered channels and tunnels in the snow and would pop up to bite their siblings only to disappear again. There was an abundance of sows with two, even three cubs. It takes a lot of salmon to fuel mothers and cubs, and the fish did not disappoint.
Overall, it was great to be back in Katmai after taking a hiatus last season, and I can’t wait to be back here next year with another group of amazing participants!
It’s been a warm and dry summer here in the Pacific northwest. Until this past week, we hadn’t seen a drop of rain in the city most famous for it in nearly two months, and more often than not the temperatures have been in the upper 80’s and low 90s.
I’ve been fortunate to get away on tours recently in Katmai, and I’m preparing this week to go with a fantastic small group to Iceland – where there is still room to join if you are the spontaneous type.
With limited trips last year and so much uncertainty, I’m looking forward to capturing the fall color once again – and cooler temperatures! It’s unfortunate that we seem to be taking a step backwards in terms of combating COVID, but executing workshops has become much easier when you know the right questions to ask and have been through it all.
If you’ve been thinking about joining a workshop, we’ve got several coming up that highlight the fall color in the Western U.S., as well as a shindig at my place in October to kick off a weekend I’ve titled The Art of Seeing. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Is print dead? Definitely not! Call me old school but nothing beats a photo in print. There is simply no substitute for bringing an image captured out of the digital realm and back into a tangible, tactile element on your wall or bookshelf.
Recently I had the pleasure of working with Tomasz Trzebiatowski who founded the gorgeous photography magazine–better to call it a quarterly photobook–FRAMES. He takes such great care in publishing a quality product that embraces a myriad of photographic styles.
Volume 3 features HUMAN CANVAS and the images looks so beautiful printed on such high quality paper. If you’re a fan of photography and high-quality products, get a subscription and support this new photographic community!
Happy Follow Friday! This week my good friend and fellow adventurer Kevin Raber was kind enough to share his thoughts on Pathways to Creativity with the community on his photography resource website PhotoPXL. Kevin also interviewed me about the series – it’s all there in the article!
There are so many places out there with information about photography that it’s hard to know which ones are authentic, and which ones are simple rabbit-holes of advertisements. Communities such as Kevin’s created out of simple passion for the medium are truly the best place to go to see what real people are doing, what they think, and where they are going.
It’s for that reason I highly recommend you hop over to PhotoPXL and add them to the favorites list on your preferred browser! Not only does Kevin give unbiased reviews of the gear he uses and shout-outs to his friends in the photography world like yours truly, there is also a growing community of photographers here sharing their photos and exchanging tips, advice and kudos in an interactive forum – check it out and get signed up today!
Short but sweet today, as our group arrives at the lodge up here in Katmai, Alaska. I missed out on visiting last summer, so I’m excited to see how things have changed in the past couple of years. My visits to this region have been so frequent that I’ve grown to recognize individual bears over the years – hopefully they haven’t grown up or changed too much in that time! Here are some of my favorite shots from this location over the years. Each time I go to this location, I have a new goal in mind. It’s interesting to look back and see how my shots and focus has changed from year to year. This time I definitely want to get some artistic shots of the beautiful vibrant salmon to illustrate many of the things I talk about when I speak of “changing the way you see”. I mean it! Stay tuned for new photos when I return!
This will be the first of two sold-out tours happening back to back – check out my events page to get your name on the list early for next year’s tours so you don’t miss out!
Happy Friday! Currently packing for a couple tours in Katmai, and I can’t wait to get out there with our group. I missed this last year, so it’ll be great to get back to it – and good to see our associates on the ground here as well that help our workshops run smoothly!
In the immediate future, there are limited spots left for both the Abstract Port Townsend and Iceland tours happening in August. Two very different experiences! Iceland has been filling up incredibly fast for being a new addition, so if it’s a trip you’ve been thinking about – now is the time!
it’s also a good time to be looking ahead to next year. I’ll be back here in Alaska – so if you missed it this year before they sold out, you’ve got another chance with lots of time to prepare, but don’t hesitate to grab your spot as these always sell out. I’ll also be heading to Japan, Africa, and Mongolia next year as well. Lets go shoot!
I’m in the midst of going through all my photos from several recent workshops – all back to back, so my editing time has been limited! I did pull a few of my favorite shots from Oregon’s Lost Lake, looking out to Mt. Hood – the tallest mountain in the state, and also a dormant stratovolcano.
I often talk about the many ways to shoot a subject, and even from essentially the same vantage point you can find ways to make even a giant mountain feel different, and tell a different story.
For starters, the environmental portrait! This is a great way to open when sharing your photos, giving context to the scene. Here the calm lake is prominent, framed by the iconic evergreens of the pacific northwest. We get a good sense of place for the looming mountain.
Here we have the same elements – the lake is still present as well as the trees, but the mountain has become front and center. The lower sun is casting warmer hues on the mountain, separating it from the background. We still get a sense of place, but the mountain has become the star!
Here, the mountain is definitely the star feature. The lakes and trees still inform a bit of the environment, but the great mountain is free of the framing branches that kept it from feeling quite as prominent.
And finally – a vertical that takes us back to the sense of place – standing under the shady limbs of the evergreens. From all these shots, you can see from the forms and patterns on it’s surface that my angle on the mountain hasn’t changed – just taken a few steps one direction or another, gotten down lower to the ground, or tried a different focal length. Small differences can completely change the results of your shot!
I took a hiatus from visiting Katmai last year; not necessarily as a consequence of the pandemic, but due to some other trips that I had to fit into my calendar. I’m as excited as ever to return this salmon season to check on on the bears I’ve observed on a regular basis for years now.
This year’s trips are already sold out – however you can guarantee your spot now to join me on this exclusive workshop photographing the denizens of Katmai National Park in 2022. Space is very limited, and while most workshops end up selling out as their dates approach, the Katmai tours often fill up very early on – don’t miss your opportunity!
As usual, there are two tours back to back happening next August. Not only is this a fantastic opportunity to photograph these animals and capture their very unique personalities and character traits – it’s also a chance to meet like-minded photographers who simply like to share in the knowledge and adventure of travel and wildlife photography.
Social engineering scams are one of the hazards of the internet. It seems a scammer has been using my name in a modeling scam. I can say unequivocally that I am NOT doing model shoots for Adidas or any other apparel company, especially those based in Russia.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year now since Parimal started Earth Is Our Witness – an opportunity to speak and connect with photographers from all around the world, whom all have a passion for the way that photography connects humanity and our planet. We’ve seen some beyond-belief photos only to heart he very real stories behind them; some tragic, many epic – but all with the overlying theme that we are connected and in the end, not so different in our dreams and aspirations.
Given the complexity of locations, schedules, and time zones it’s been no small feat for Parimal to get many of the EIOW alum together for a couple of zoom reunion parties, and you’re welcome to join!
SESSION 1 – Friday, June 25, 6 pm PST / 9 pm EST
SESSION 2 – Sunday, June 27, 10 am PST / 1 pm EST
Join the live stream at these times, or if you’re not able to make it they will be there to view later. Of course, joining live means you wont miss a thing and can also participate in the live Q&A!
If you can make it and support EIOW and all of the hard work that Parimal has put into it, we would love to see you there live – tell your friends, tell your family, check out amazing photos and hear the stories behind them.