Happy Memorial Day

Take a moment today to remember those who have given their lives so that we may live in freedom.

Excellent Adventures Heads North To Alaska…

This is my eighth year in Katmai, Alaska to photograph the bears. When my friends, Ted & Joan told me about the wonderful lodge in the middle of nowhere with amazing bear photography I had to check it out and since that first visit I have made my annual pilgrimage to the last frontier where you can photograph the gentle giants of Alaska, the Coastal Brown Bears as they go about their daily lives. It’s an adventure just getting to the lodge with the weather and tides games that we have to play. There has to be a 300 foot ceiling for the float planes to fly and we have to arrive when the tides are relatively high so we can get out gear from the plane to our cabins. Well, the fine pilots at Andrews Air got us to the lodge safely in two Beavers and a 206…

Our home for the next week is a remote lodge in the Alaskan Wilderness…

But before you think we are totally roughing it, I have to disclose that we have hot running water and flush toilets in our cabins, great guides Perry and Chris who bust their butts getting us to the bears, a real sweetheart of a person, Angela, who keeps things running smoothly at the lodge and Dan, a gourmet chef who will fill our tummies with delicious food. He had home made corned beef sandwiches waiting for us when we arrived. And these weren’t just any corned beef sandwiches, he baked the bread, corned the beef (whatever that means), made the horseraddish from scratch…well you get the idea. And that was just lunch. But, I get ahead of myself…before we could even unpack and sit down to lunch we had two bears near the lodge sparring…

and watching us watch them as if to say “What, you’ve never seen a bear before?”…

All this happened in the first minutes of our arrival. The two bears which look to be a mated pair spent the afternoon appearing and disappearing around the lodge. We got settled in, photographed the bears off and on all afternoon and had a wonderful dinner of salmon, pork, polenta with Rosemary, a salad and a delicious baked apple treat that Dan “whipped” up before everyone headed off to our cabins to dream about the bears, sea otters, harbor seals, eagles, kittiwakes, puffins, and maybe whales that we will have the opportunity to aim our lenses at over the next week. I can hardly wait to see what’s in store for us. Stay tuned…

Images captured with Nikon D3X, AF-S 24-70mm, &0-200mm, TC-14E II on Lexar Digital Media.

Memories Of Moab

Moab DLWS came and went so fast if I didn’t have the photos to prove it, I would wonder if it was a dream. Yet, it can’t be a dream as I didn’t sleep enough to dream. Back home for a couple days now after a sixteen day, three event travel adventure and I’m finishing my editing and filing of my images…

As I’m going through my images from Moab I’m reminded of the film days when we didn’t get to see our images for a week or two after we had made the photographs. That’s exactly what it felt like going through my Moab images… Even though I had taken a quick peek each night to select a few blog images and to make sure there were no glaring issues to deal with, I dropped into bed with my images un-edited! Yes, you read right, I went to bed without editing my images! I figured if I’m falling asleep at the computer, I will make mistakes editing and it’s best to wait until I have a clear head…

What I found was a little treasure trove of images that I have now finished and want to share with you. Moab is a place that is rich with colorful photo opportunities of gorgeous red-rock landscapes…

But, it’s also the little treasures that you find in the nooks and crannies of an old ghost town…

It’s the “Wild-West” complete with a rustic jail…

and houses built right into the rocks…

It’s sweeping vistas with the light playing tag across the rocks too grand to capture in one click…

And the desert storms…

No DLWS is complete without Joe McNally conjuring up some comic book story line in his mind that he then brings to life with a willing subject, several VALs (voice activated light stands) and his mastery of light…available light…that would be…any *%$# light that’s available which will likely include a handful of Nikon Speedlights strategically placed…

Images made with Nikon D3X, AF 16mm Fisheye, AF-S 24-70mm, AF-S 70-200mm VR II on Lexar Digital Media

I’m off to Alaska tomorrow to photograph the bears, the birds and the beauty that is our last frontier. Stay tuned…

Countdown to Iceland…And Volcanoes!

With Eyjafjallajokull Volcano active over the last few months, I have been anxiously waiting for August when I will travel to Iceland myself to lead a workshop with Focus on Nature I can hardly wait to see the volcano and the aftermath of it’s strength and fury. (Some of the workshops have had the opportunity to see Eyjafjallajokull Volcano in person, photographing the many stages of activity.) In addition, I am looking forward to seeing the wild Icelandic Horses, the glaciers, the amazingly picturesque countryside. It’s going to be one heck of a great time. There are still a few spots open so contact Focus on Nature and sign up now if you too want to join me on an Iceland Adventure like no other.