This past weekend we had a great workshop in California’s Joshua Tree National Park. As expected after the state’s record rainfall this winter, the wildflowers were out in force and the cacti were blooming which made for some unexpected hummingbird photography. However, it’s Joshua Tree’s eponymous yuccas and ancient granite formations that I love to explore.
You know what I loved about this latest “Winter in Japan” workshop? The Snow! Meaning snow was falling as we photographing in various locations. It made for great conditions at the snow monkey hot springs farther north in Hokkaido. It was positively magical with the iconic Japanese cranes; the world looked like a shaken snow globe. Using a faster shutter speed really emphasizes the snowflakes. Depending on the light conditions, I was using ISOs between 2000 and 4000 with my favorite 100-500mm lens.
Better late than never! With international trips and holidays, not to mention wrangling photos for my upcoming book encompassing a lifetime of wildlife photography it’s taken me longer than usual to select my favorite images from the recent calendar year – but here it is! Although I’ve been shooting feverishly for new shots to include in the wildlife book, the year started off with several trips focused on another upcoming project, which is a book on international faith and spirituality. Enjoy the photos, and stay tuned for more information on Wild Lives – preorders available soon!
Book projects lead me to all parts of the world. For an upcoming volume on the varied and fascinating faiths of the world I am working on, I ventured to Bangladesh to photograph the Bishwa Ijtemi. The World Muslim Congress has been held since 1942 in Tongi and it’s the second largest Muslim congregation in the world after the Holy Hajj. 4 million – and then some – Muslims gather here for several days of activities and devotion. Everyone arrives and departs on trains in Dhaka, resulting in a crush of humanity I’ve only ever experienced in the Kumbh Mela in India.
Bangladesh is a fascinating, gritty country full of extremely friendly and welcoming people. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many people want to take selfies with me—it’s not a country that gets a lot of tourists. In Cox’s Bazar we photographed the elegant moon boats; their crescent design aids fishermen to get across sand bars to shore. On the very real side of life, we photographed vast smoldering garbage fields, dusty brick factories, and Asia’s largest shipyard. These are hard workers, who appreciate everything they have and it shows!
2022 was a great year for bird photography! Bookended by two photo productive trips to Brazil, I photographed storks in Morocco, mergansers in Alaska, ostriches in Namibia, oxpeckers in Botswana, and dippers in Canada.
Of course, I’ve shot more than just birds over the past year. Make sure you check back here often for more new photos from my travels. Better yet, join me on a workshop and we will make some memories together.
Enjoy the photos, and most importantly – have a Happy New Year!
The Pantanal is one of my favorite places on the planet. It offers an amazing display of wildlife, landscapes, and cowboy culture. Recently I had a successful trip there, creating photos for my wildlife opus coming out in Fall 2023.
Have a look at the photos, then sign up to join me for my next trip to this incredible location full of so much to shoot! I’m headed back here at the end of June – sign up today to reserve your spot!
It’s an odd thing, but I’ve had some good wildlife sightings when just standing still and, uh, relieving myself. Mostly owls peering down at me, but just last month I was in the Great Bear Rainforest attempting to photography the Spirit Bear and just when I took a break, one ambled by.
I first photographed these white-phase black bears way back in 1990, long before this region of British Columbia’s coast was designated as global treasure. Now, working on my magnum opus wildlife book, I headed back to this rich temperate rainforest in hopes of seeing this ghostly bear again. We had only four days and the waiting was long. To pass the time I taught a quick class in how to take abstracts; after all, there is always something to photograph, especially when the main objective is proving elusive. We were visited by spawned out salmon, Steller’s jays, American dippers, and a very curious, very black, black bear. Spirit or Kermode bears are merely a color phase of the American black bear. They just happen to carry two alleles of a gene that turns them a creamy white, but they are not albinos.
So when the spirit bear appeared for the first time, I zipped up and grabbed my camera. That session lasted a total of fifteen minutes. My fellow travelers implored me hourly to pee again, but that charm wore thin as did my stream. The next day she regaled us with another 15 minute appearance. Half an hour in four days and we all felt very lucky. That is the nature of wildlife photography.
The Mala Mala Reserve in South Africa was the last stop on September’s southern African sojourn. As promised, we were able to photograph some big cats doing their big cat things. One memorable pair was a singleton cheetah and its mother. Having no siblings, he relentlessly harried his mother and had epic solo zoomies. Learning how to successfully hunt and navigate its environment is of primary importance to young cats and this guy was doing his best under tough circumstances.
This is the last batch of photos from Africa for the time being – stay tuned for photos from our fall workshops! We’ve been kicking around the PNW and this weekend we are headed down to Sedona – and then it’s on to Oaxaca, Mexico for Day of the Dead!
It has been an exceptional three months of photographic opportunities! I am feverishly finishing up work for my wildlife opus to be published in Fall 2023 as well as teaching photo and travel skills to fellow enthusiasts. Check out the new imagery from Mongolia, Madagascar, Alaska, Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa.
Enjoy the photos – looking back, I’m pretty happy with the sheer number of various critters, beasts, and birds I’ve been able to capture this year!
Now is also the time to be looking ahead to my 2023 workshops and events. Trips like our Katmai tours and abstract workshops sell out early, so If it’s something you might be interested in – lock your spot up early!
We are also just a couple of weeks away from what is going to be special treat – Day of the Dead in Oaxaca, Mexico. If you’re looking for a small-group photo retreat with experienced professionals to guide you and top-notch amenities, this is the ultimate Oaxaca experience!
Following our trip to Namibia (Photos here if you missed them!) our group moved on to Botswana to capture an abundance of wildlife. Lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, a plethora of birds, and much more! Not only was this a great opportunity to capture a wide variety of different animals – it was also a chance to explore various animal behaviors as well. Enjoy the photos!