New photos from this year’s Katmai Bear-stravaganza! This trip posed some new challenges to navigate, but this is why we work with the best in the business as far as our on-location support is concerned – and I think in the end it also inspired some new and unique images from a location I have made a point to visit every summer for the past 5-6 years.
The most notable thought that comes to mind in reflecting on these consecutive years visiting Katmai National Park is the familiarity I now have when I see individual bears as well as their families. I can recognize particular bears from previous visits both by their physical traits as well as the varied techniques they employ to hunt for fish. Some bears might even have a unique lumber to their walk or a discernible demeanor in how they react towards other bears as well as humans.
I’m starting to recognize physical traits in the young bears and can associate them with their mothers and other family members. One thing is for certain – these bears are reproducing, and there is a healthy population to be found here. This (with caution) bodes well for both their success as a species and our opportunities to photograph them in this remote, beautiful location.
I’ll be leading two more workshops in July and August of next year, and my associate Gavriel Jecan will also be heading up his own tour next summer – sign up now, as the multiple trips indicate – they sell out fast!
Before heading to Katmai for workshops for the next couple weeks, I visited the Canadian Arctic. We had a great time with beluga whales, caribou, and polar bears. Most of the underwater shots were taken using the camera in a Nauticam housing (thank you, Backscatter Underwater Photo & Video!) suspended from an interesting contraption made from broom handles, bolts and rope, which enabled us to shoot without getting into the water. This was far more effective than when we struggled in the water to get close enough, which the belugas didn’t seem the like at all. Once we lowered the contraption into the water the whales became so curious that we had trouble keeping them from getting too close. The milky waters were so filled with sediment that sharpness became an issue. Despite the fact that the whales are largely in focus, they appear otherwise. With the polar bears I took the perspective of tiny bear in the big environment. The caribou, photographed with a 50MP Canon EOS 5DS, was a happy bonus.
I hope you enjoy checking out what I was able to capture here, and I can’t wait to see what Katmai holds for us this year!
Two months after it started, Kilauea is still erupting – even forming a new island off the east rift zone. Last week a friend and I made an all-too-quick trip to the Big Island to photograph some of the action. With the help of Bruce Omori we were able to get in the air above the eruption, as well as along side it from a boat. It is a stunning scene of earth’s power. The vog is so volatile that it creates it own weather, colorful clouds and swirling vortices that resemble nebulae of outer space.
As for the boat ride, it is not for the faint of heart. The water is extremely rough and there is always the chance that a sudden and violent explosion where the searing lava meets the cooler water (relatively speaking – it’s still over 100 degrees from our readings, about the temperature of a scalding hot tub!) will hit the boat.
Big shout out and thank-you to Bruce Omori for helping us on our trip! Check out his website and facebook page for the latest in volcano activity. If you want to see the eruption contact him – I couldn’t recommend his guidance enough!
The last eleven days have been packed full! Book-ended by two Pacific Northwest workshops, we photographed Mount Hood, Smith Rock, Crater Lake, Cape Perpetua and Yaquina Head. We started off exploring the Columbia River Gorge and after photographing the Milky Way over Crater Lake, we checked into a less-than-savory motel at 3am for some much needed shut eye before heading to the Oregon Coast.
Those who claim there is nothing left to photograph in the Columbia River Gorge because of the fires are misinformed! We photographed beautiful locations on both the Washington and Oregon side – it helps to know where to look. If you haven’t been there, the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center in Stevenson is a great place to stop and explore the history of this fabled river!
Enjoy the photos – I’m home for a few days to regroup and then it’s off to Glacier Bay!
It’s an understatement to say that New York is a great city to walk and photograph. During my recent visit to the East Coast for dates to present Photography As Art and spend time with some good friends, I was able to amble about on my reconstructed foot, in particular, photographing around The World Trade Center. I also took to the skies in a helicopter at dusk to capture the city from above. It doesn’t get much better than that – Enjoy the photos!
In anticipation of finally getting back to world travel, I’ve been easing back into the swing of things by making a few day trips to visit our neighbor to the north to photograph the birds of the region – predominantly owls in this case. Solitary and intelligent, owls are some of my favorite animals to photograph. Although stoic and not as playful as many animals, at any moment they can burst into a flash of spectacular action to make a precision strike on their prey. Featured in this set are a variety of owls – short-eared, long-eared, barn owl, and even a pygmy owl hunting voles which I was incredibly happy to find here. Enjoy!
From the freezing temperatures on Mauna Kea to the molten magma fields of Kilauea, the Big Island of Hawaii has so much to offer that even a week-long retreat with eight photographers seemed short. With local guides we traversed the island to find petroglyphs, lush fern forests, trees of extraordinary beauty, and fantastically tattooed models. Bumping down to the remote Waipio Valley, flying in helicopters, and rushing up to the MKO for sunset and then waiting for the brilliance of of the Milky Way was both exhausting and invigorating!
This trip exceeded expectations, and I look forward to offering it again in the last week of October 2018. If you would like to get on the advance notification list, please drop us a line via our contact page, or call 206.332.0993!
Greetings! I’m headed off to Hawaii today to lead a photography retreat of EPIC proportions – but before I go I wanted to share some photos from my recent trip to the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia – part of the world’s largest archipelago – where we found, after a couple of days of searching, a social group of macaque monkeys.
As you can tell from these photos these animals are friendly, outgoing and most of all, grabby! Many of you know of the controversy surrounding the macaques of Sulawesi and photographer David Slater. I post these photos so we can all appreciate the often joyful personalities of these outgoing creatures. These are curious animals whom have no fear of the camera, mug for it, and often reach for it out of curiosity – hence the appearance of ‘selfie’ type shots. Rest assured, I was not about to trust them with my expensive equipment!
Though this trip started out with such wonderful subjects (pygmy tarsier’s included!), it was unfortunately cut short due to medical concerns. You see, back in the spring I took a trip to Chad and came away great photos of elephants and some not so great sand fly bites. If you are unfortunate enough to experience such a thing, get them treated immediately! To make a long (and not particularly pretty) story short, CDC was eventually involved despite my best efforts to treat them as recommended by my doctors back in Seattle. Given that the remainder of the trip was structured around diving opportunities, we felt it best not to tempt fate with the damp and irritation of repeatedly changing in and out of a wet suit. I’m on the mend – but I can’t stress enough how important it is to address such things immediately!
The last stop on my Africa adventure took me to Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia. From Sossuvlei to Dead Vlei and the Skeleton Coast, Namibia provides an abundance of photographic opportunities that illustrate a cross-section of my work. The flowing dunes and the angular shapes of the gemsbok traversing them, along with the graphic silhouettes of acacia husks provide endless opportunities to experiment with composition.
I go into more detail of what makes this such a fascinating location in an upcoming edition of Where’s Art?. Episode 9 from Botswana is available as of Tuesday, and the edition covering Zimbabwe will be up next week!
I’ll be leading a photo journey here next year which is already sold out. If you’re interested in visiting this location with me, please fill out the wait list form in case a spot opens up.
I’ve had the fortune of spending these past few weeks traveling to several locations in Africa with great company, and I’m excited to bring you new photos from the first leg of my journey. Our first location was the Makgadikgadi pan in Botswana. Curious meerkats came to mug for the camera and the locals gathered in traditional cultural garb led by their shaman. We took to the sky for aerials of the salt pan, and photographed the ancient Baobab trees. I couldn’t have been happier with the variety to be found here, and it was a great first stop on this adventure.
Travel tip! I experienced technical difficulties with my laptop to begin this trip, and had to pick up another one on the fly. It was an inconvenience to be sure. My advice to anyone undertaking such an involved trip that keeps you in remote areas for extended periods of time is to consider bringing along a smaller less expensive backup laptop so you’re not simply out of luck when it comes to editing and organizing your photos. It would be a shame to invest the finances and time into such a trip and have a simple piece of hardware impact your productivity. Thanks only to my wonderful connections here was I able to continue to work without a hitch.
Stay tuned for upcoming photos from Namibia and Zimbabwe, as well as episodes of Where’s Art? from these locations!