This past week has been Polar Bear Week – observed during the fall polar bear migration to Churchill, Manitoba. Here the bears await the winter season and the cold that will freeze-over Hudson Bay, granting the bears access to hunt seals. One of the symptoms of a changing climate has been a shortened ice season. This provides an opportunity to photograph the bears with their stark white fur against darker backgrounds than the ice and snow we are used to seeing.
This was a great trip as several of the bears turned out to be real characters, mugging for the camera and putting on a show for us. Visiting Churchill is always unique experience. This is a town that exist on the fringe where the frozen north pole meets the rest of the earth, that has learned to co-exist with a local bear population that at times rivals the number of people living in the area.
Happy Friday! The Grand Teton workshop is a wrap & it was fantastic, to say the least. Never before have we had such great luck with finding wildlife, bears in particular. We were blessed by the presence of Grizzly 610 and her three second-year cubs. Not only is 610 a hero mother, she is a tough survivor—in early October she was struck by a car, but came out of it OK. Born in 2006, She is a famous bear with her own Instagram and X accounts with thousands of followers (including me). Bison abounded, moose were off foraging in the lakes and willow thickets, and birdlife was all aflutter. Of course, the landscapes were breathtaking, with robust fall color.
All-in-all, a fantastic workshop full of variety and most importantly, great company. Check out what’s coming up this spring and take a trip with us!
After eight years away (even though it’s only a 5 hour drive), I led a small group of avid photographers through the rolling hills of grain in the Palouse. This is an area of graceful landscapes shaped first by nature then by man, subtle shadows cast by passing clouds, and opportunities for challenging abstracts. We were unaffected by the recent fires in the area, much of the smoke had dissipated, but it was constantly in the backs of our minds. Many families have lost their homes in Spokane County wildfires this summer, if you would like to help please donate to Red Cross Disaster Relief.
There’s no place like Katmai, there’s no place like Katmai, there’s no place like Katmai. I wish it were that easy to be transported to this extraordinary living laboratory of Alaska’s brown bears. This year we had better than ever photographic opportunities with the bears. From afar with our 100-500mm lenses set at the upper end of the focal length we witnessed at-times violent interactions between older siblings over salmon, tender moments between protective mothers and their cubs, and diverse birdlife of the tundra and waterways. The landscapes are vast and glorious, the wildlife abundant–truly a privilege to behold!
I’ll be heading back to Katmai next summer for two workshops – take your pick and join me next year! Save a few hundred bucks with early bird pricing through October.
Summer is here! It’s been relatively cool in the Pacific Northwest recently, but I’m not complaining as it also hasn’t been overly rainy, making for good conditions to spend some time working in my garden recharging the batteries after what has been a busy 2023.
The year started off on the road in Bangladesh and Thailand, with the later providing shots of clouds of bats emerging from their tunnel colony that will be in my upcoming book Wild Lives, releasing this fall. From there it was off to Japan, and then a later engagement in the northern mountains of India in search of the elusive snow leopard for that same project.
Of course, it wouldn’t be spring without workshops here at home in our beautiful United States. Perennial favorite Abstract Astoria was once again on the agenda and if a more creative and/or abstract workshop is on your to-do list, there are plenty of upcoming events and workshops coming up on both U.S. coasts to check out.
We went coast to coast, with workshops in Joshua Tree, Moab, and the Great Smoky Mountains.
Finally, a specially mention for everyone who joined me at my home in Seattle and then for our Creative Sessions weekend. We had a great time, and I look forward to doing it again in the future. Enjoy the photos and have a fantastic summer!
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!