Photo Finishing with NIK Software Webinar July 22nd!

I’m looking forward to my upcoming webinar with NIK Software July 22nd.

See how I take my images from this…

to this…

Using NIK Creative Suite of Photoshop plug-ins and my own creative vision! Attendance is limited to the first 1000 to sign up so, don’t wait! Hope to see you there!

Adventure Mania!

With all that’s been going on lately I am way behind on my new web/blog and for that I apologize. And, I thank all of you who keep me on my toes calling and emailing about upcoming adventures. I am filling adventures that I haven’t even posted yet so, I thought I better at least give you an update on which “Excell”ent Adventures have space for 2011…

Yellowstone Fall Rut Sept 23-27 (arrive in Bozeman on Sept 22 and depart on Sept 28) $4450.00 Transportation through the park, lodging and personal photographic instruction included.
limit 5, only 1 spot left

Polar Bears of Churchill Nov 12-16 (arrive in Churchill on Nov 11 and depart on Nov 17) $8450.00 Transportation in Churchill, lodging and personal photographic instruction included.
limit 6, only 1 spot left

Bosque del Apache Nov 28- Dec 2 (arrive in Albuquerque on Nov 27 and depart on D3c 3) $2450.00 Transportation and personal photographic instruction included.
limit 5, only 1 spot left

and give you a sneak preview of what’s coming up for 2012…

Extreme Yellowstone Adventure Jan 8-11, 2012 (arrive in Bozeman on Jan 7 and depart on Jan 12) $3750.00 Transportation, lodging at Snow Camp, our own private snowcoach and personal photographic instruction included. That’s right we stay in tents (with propane heat) for four nights while concentrating on the west side of the park…Hayden Valley sunrises, Yellowstone Falls by moonlight and more. This adventure is not for the faint of heart as the temps can drop into the sub-zero range but, for those of you who dare, the photographic rewards will be plentiful!
limit 3, 2 spots available

Yellowstone Below Zero Jan 15-22, 2012 (arrive in Bozeman on Jan 14 and depart on Jan 22) $4450.00 This ever popular adventure sells out quickly so, if you want to experience the wonders of Yellowstone Below Zero sign up soon! Transportation, lodging, our own private snowcoach and personal photographic instruction included.
limit 4, 2 spots available

Oregon Winter Waves Feb 13-17 (arrive in Portland on Feb 12 and depart on Feb 18) $2450.00 Spend a week at the Southern Oregon Coast photographing winter waves, nearby waterfalls, quaint coastal towns and marinas and so much more. Transportation from PDX, lodging and personal photographic instruction included.
limit 5, 4 spots available

Adventures in Tornado Alley May 13-20, 2012 (arrive in Oklahoma City on May 12 and depart on May 21) $3850.00 Transportation, lodging, our own storm chase team and my photographic instruction included.
limit 5, 3 spots available

Alaska Brown Bears June 3-10, 2012 (arrive in Kodiak on June 2 and depart on June 10) $5950.00 Transportation, exclusive lodging at a remote wilderness lodge with gourmet meals, our own private guides and my photographic instruction included. Springtime in Alaska is a place of rebirth, beautiful vistas, bears, birds, and more!
limit 6, 5 spots available

Alaska Brown Bears Aug 12-19, 2012 (arrive in Kodiak on Aug 11 and depart on Aug 19) $7950.00 Transportation, exclusive lodging at a remote wilderness lodge with gourmet meals, our own private guides and my photographic instruction included. I have booked the entire lodge for the prime week for fishing bear activity.
limit 6, 5 spots available

TBA…I’m working on dates and prices for the following adventures in 2012 as well…

Slot Canyons and Monument Valley will be the focus of this adventure!

All Adventures will be posted on my new webblog soon! Meanwhile, if you want to join me on an Excellent Photo Adventure contact me now!

Alaska Brown Bear Adventure…A Fitting Send Off

Our departure day has arrived and it’s time to go for our last boat ride. The waders are packed as we will do all our sightseeing and shooting from the boat. It was a beautiful day for a ride so off we went right after breakfast. We found a raft of otters with a a couple cooperative fellows. I looked for a composition with more than one otter and liked the juxtaposition of these two…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

I try to capture the emotion of the moment, the gesture of the subject and the appropriate light to give an image impact so that the viewer lingers form more than a brief second over my images. When the otter rolled over, I found the emotion and gesture (Jay Maisel is the master of capturing gesture in his photographs) in the way he held his flippers in front of his face and with sun out for a change and over my shoulder, the exposure was an easy one at minus .5 to add some depth to the colors…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

And when you get lucky enough that the otter allows you approach within nearly frame filling, closeness, you’ve got to make some nice portraits with a telephoto lens as well…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

Farther down the bay we found a seal basking on a seaweed covered rock. So, the question is…do you include the awesome background to give the seal a sense of place?…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 24-120mm f4 VR

Or, do you fill the frame with a head and shoulders portrait if the seal allows you to approach within range…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

Or, do you wait for that moment when the seal reaches her flipper up to scratch her nose adding gesture to a static portrait and click the shutter…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

When we arrived two weeks ago there was a sow and cub clamming near where we landed. We simply grabbed our cameras and began shooting. Two amazing weeks have passed and when it was time to go, we headed to meet our plane and found the same sow and cub, clamming. Once again we grabbed our cameras and began shooting. How fitting that the first subjects I photographed are also the last…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

The cub is healthy and the sow is a good mom. she protects the little guy but also gives him the freedom to explore and learn to be self sufficient too. Mom would dig up clams and then leave one here and there for the cub to find and work, teaching him how to clam…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

He was a curious little guy and would pause now and then to check us out…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

And then, off he would run to be close to his mom…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

Before long we heard the drone of our plane as it arrived to take us back to Kodiak and reality…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 24-120mm f4 VR

We boarded the plane and as it took off, I made a few last images of the beautiful landscape that had been my home for the last two weeks…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 24-120mm f4 VR

It was a beautiful flight and before we knew it Kodiak was in view…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 24-120mm f4 VR

Many thanks to the folks who joined me and enjoyed my home away from home for a few weeks and a special thanks to Angela and Perry, Bob and Shawn for making our stay such an incredible adventure! See you in August!

Alaska Brown Bear Adventure…Grand Finale

I can’t believe two weeks have already passed. We had a beautiful day so, we headed off to a neighboring bay for a change of pace. Ad did we ever strike gold! It began with a sea otter hauled out on the rocks who stuck long enough to get a few images…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR and TC-14E II

Shortly after that we came across a Glaucous-winged Gull with a starfish in its mouth. It was fun watching it try to get the starfish down. It did succeed finally and then had a hugh lump in it’s throat…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR and TC-14E II

In the same cove were several Pigeon Guillemots in pairs. One amorous pair performed right in front of our lenses…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR and TC-14E II

There is also a puffin rookery nearby and they were all over the water. The puffins are quite shy and don’t let us approach too closely but, we did have a few opportunities to photograph a bird or two. This little guy is a Horned puffin. I love the reflections in the water…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR and TC-14E II

We had been shooting like crazy and still hadn’t even arrived at our destination. Upon landing on shore Perry spotted a red fox trotting through the grasses. Noel and I grabbed our cameras and along with Perry began following the fox. He was going at a pretty good clip and I didn’t think we would catch him but, nothing ventured… He finally stopped, looked at us and then lay down in the grasses totally disappearing from view. We crept closer and closer until we could barely see him, set up our tripods and waited for him to get up again. When he did he peeked at us through the grasses…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR

I thought when he saw us he would take off but, he simply moved on about his business stopping to scratch at one point…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR and TC-14E II

We had our lunch on the beach enjoying the good weather and then boarded the boat once again to see if we could catch some puffins in flight. I like the way there is a Horned puffin flying along with the Tufted puffins in this image…


Nikon D3S with AF-S 500mm f4 VR and TC-14E II

I usually bring my 600mm f4 VR with me to Alaska but, this time I brought the 500mm f4 VR to try something lighter when shooting handheld from the boat. I found that the 500mm with or without the TC-14E II worked beautifully as it is much lighter and I could handhold for longer periods of time.

With the good weather holding we decided to make it a two bay day and headed south to see what we could find. Perry spotted some Dall’s porpoises in the distance. We headed their way and when we got in the vicinity slowed down and they rode the wake off the bow of our boat. It was awesome watching them streak beneath the water and then break the surface and fall back into the water. It was a real challenge and while I didn’t get the shot I would have liked, I did manage to capture a few.


D300s with AF-S 28-300mm VR (I turned to this combo to go wider and be more mobile as I was hanging over the front of the boat)

We arrived at the next bay and Perry spotted a Ground Squirrel which he said he’d never seen in this area. He was totally unafraid of us and seemed curious to see people…


Nikon D300s with AF-S 70-200mm 2.8 VR II and TC-20E III


Nikon D300s with AF-S 70-200mm 2.8 VR II and TC-20E III

It was getting late so, we headed back towards the lodge stopping at rock near the lodge where a pair of Horned puffins were nesting. We got lucky to find them “home” and posing on the rocks…


Nikon D300s with AF-S 70-200mm 2.8 VR II and TC-20E III

While we didn’t even aim our lenses at a bear, we sure did have a wonderful day filled with a variety of subjects. What a grand finale to a grand adventure!