Recent Projects and Travel

The Canadian Rockies – Last Day Helicopter Ride

On our way out of town on the last day we took a short (15 minute) helicopter ride. Here are a few images from that ride. It was great to see the end of the Rockies geology and the start of the open plains down into the Calgary area. Hope you have enjoyed my images from this trip.  I have selected some of my best images from this trip and place them in my gallery/store.  Please feel free to take a look there you will find a variety of sizes and media with a range of prices to meet anyones budget.  I encourage to support my art and own a copy of these one of a kind photographs.  Thanks for your support !

 

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The Canadian Rockies – Lake Vermillion What a Small World

I have a great small world story to share with you. As we were nearing the mid way point of our vacation we spend 2 days in Lake Louise and then we travel down to Banff for 2 days. While we were there we explored the area called Vermillion Lakes with a backdrop of Mt. Rundle. We were traveling along a small 2 lane road that followed the shore of Lake Vermillion. We were trying to line up a shot with Mt Rundle in the background and the golden banks of the lake.

We pulled into a small 2 car sized turn out and set began to set up our camera equipment. I looked over and we were sharing this small turn out with another couple. When I looked at the people we were sharing this spot with it was my friend Summer Kozisek and her husband ! Summer works for Robi’s the camera shop I use in Tacoma and we both are members of the Rainier Hills Photography club. Talk about a small world ! She and her husband were up in the Canada Rockies, and we had crossed paths in the morning shooting the sunrise at Moraine Lake but we did not see each other then.

We had some very nice light along the lake and I captured a few nice images with Mt Rundle in the backdrop. The lighting was very contrasty and so I used a 5 shot bracketed stack to make these HDR images. Hope you enjoy these !

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The Canadian Rockies – Peyto Lake

Peyto Lake is known for its vivid colors due to high concentrations of rock flower in the water. I really like this view point from above and down into the lake valley. The blue-green color is off the charts ! What a beautiful place to visit.

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The Canadian Rockies – The Columbia Icefields

After we stayed in Lake Louise for a few days we took a tour to visit the Columbia Icefields. It was really breath taking to see the source of the active glaciation going on in the Canadian Rockies. We actually took a bus up the slopes and got out and walked around part of the glacier. The glacier activity creates the rock flower that turns the water the beautiful green-blue colors. We also walked along the glacier sky bridge, which is total made of glass and you can see the rocks and cliffs thousands of feet below you. Going out on the walkway gives you some great viewpoints showing you the whole geological system of glaciation ! These images gives you a sense of scale for these massive mountains and ice fields.

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The Canadian Rockies – Blue Hour Shots at Lake Moraine

We got up really early on Friday Sept 13 to try and catch the blue hour an sunrise on Lake Moraine. That morning we met at 5:30 am and drove up to the lake. We climbed up a pile of rocks and got a great vantage point over the lake. The air was cool but not too cold. We did have light rain off and on all morning so we never got a very good sunrise. But the blue hour shots taken came out really great and it shows you how beautiful this area is !

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The Canadian Rockies – Lake Louise

While we were here we spent 2 nights at Lake Louise. Kathy and I were dodging rain drops every time we went outside to take a walk.

Here is an image I took directly out the back doors of the Lodge. While it was cloudy and overcast, it is still beautiful to look at !

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The Canadian Rockies – Athabasca Waterfall

We spent part of the morning exploring the Athabasca Waterfall in Jasper National Park !  I loved the layering within the rocks and the way the river craved deep and very steep canyon walls

 

 

 

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The Canadian Rockies – Jasper and Maligne Lake

On our first day in Jasper National Park we went to Maligne Lake. What a beautiful area ! Most all of the surface water in the Canadian Rockies are sourced from glaciers. The movement of the glaciers creates friction that breaks and grinds up the rock to a fine powder called rock flour. The small particles of rock remain suspended is the water and they absorb all the colors but the blue and emerald greens. So the lakes, streams and rivers have a beautiful color to them.

At the lake we took a 90 minute cruise and stopped off at Spirit Island. This is were I captured one of my best images from the trip. The lake is surrounded by steep cliffs and mountains. The day we were there the weather was overcast and grey. This helped create a very moody image in the area surrounding Spirit Island. Hope you enjoy these images and you get a sense of the size,scale  and beauty of this area.

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Canadian Rockies Trip – The Train Ride In

On Wednesday of this week Kathy and I just got home from a ten day vacation to the Canadian Rockies. We took the Rocky Mountaineer train from Vancouver through Kamloops and then onto Jasper National Park. We then stayed 2 nights at each of these locations Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff. I took a total of 1300 images over the trip and I would love to share with you some of the best images from the trip.

The first few days spent on the train were really nice, we were treated like royalty and fed continually all day long. Each train car had an open vestibule in the back where I could stay outside and capture images anytime I wanted. I am just telling you it’s much harder to capture good images when shooting from a moving train. You first have to set the shutter speed pretty high ( 1/500 sec) to freeze the motion of the train lunching around. You also manually set the ISO to allow you to get a good exposure at a fast shutter speed. And finally you set your aperture to keep all objects sharp and in focus as possible.

The first stop of the train journey took us from Vancouver to Kamloops along the Fraser River valley. We stopped at Kamloops for the night and then in the morning we turned north onto the North Thompson River way. Here are a few shots from those first few days of the trip. Over the next few days I will share with you the best images I captured each day. The Canadian Rockies are just beautiful and we had a wonderful time !

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Australia and New Zealand – A Trip to the Shire

One of our most favorable stop on our recent trip to Australia and New Zealand was Rotorua. Here we board a bus and drove out to the set that served as the setting for “The Shire” home of the hobbits. This is one of the few areas where the sets used in the filming of the Lord of the Rings were left intact and now serve as a tourist destination. What a fun and fantastic setting it was. The degree of detail to make everything in the movie so real and believable was incredible. Here are some shots I would like to share with you.

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Australia and New Zealand – The Great Gannet Colony

One of the great stops we made was south of Napier, New Zealand where we saw several large colonies of Gannets. They are birds very similar in shape and size to the blue footed boobies in the Galapagos Islands. These birds were beautiful to watch and capture in flight.

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Australia and New Zealand – Cape Kidnappers

Our next stop on our vacation to Australia and New Zealand is Napier. Here we took a tour bus to Cape Kidnappers. The viewpoint from this Cape is stunning and allows one to look out over the coast land and see all the way back to the port at Hawke’s Bay. The first photo is looking down the coastline and the second photo is a view of the surrounding countryside. There are sheep everywhere and the landform reminds me of the Highlands in Scotland. I was not surprised to hear the early settlers here came from Scotland. Again I hope you enjoy these images.

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Australia and New Zealand – KaKa Bird

The next day we cruised down to the city of Wellington and visited an urban ecosanctuay called Zealandia. It was a beautiful place to visit, very green and lush, with lots of wildlife and birds. The morning we visited was very rainy and I had my camera and big lens (150 to 600 mm) stashed under my wind breaker and would pull it out and take pictures when some of the beautiful birds were well positioned. This bird in this image is called the KaKa. Hope you enjoy it !

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Australia and New Zealand – Epic Southern Alps Landscape

This image is one of my favorite images from the whole trip, taken in the same area of the Southern Alps. I love the mountains and snow, the meandering river and the broad open plains.

I was able to bring this image through post processing on my IMAC and I really like out it came out. I believe this pano crop really helps create a vision and frame for the beautiful landscape. Hope you enjoy this image !

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Australia and New Zealand – Christchurch and the Southern Alps

After crossing over the area between Australia and New Zealand and a few days at sea we arrived at Christchurch (plus a few days cruising at sea) , we drove out to the area called the “Southern Alps”.  This area was used during the filming of  the “Lord of the Rings”  produced and directed by Peter Jackson. This particular area was the location for the country of Rohan.

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Australia and New Zealand – Kangaroos and Koloas

Our next stop (after a day at sea) was Melbourne. There we stopped and visited the Serendip Open Range Sanctuary. This wildlife sanctuary contained wild kangaroos, wallabies, emus and Koala bears. We got to see the Kangaroos right at sunset by the time we saw the Koalas it was really dark and it required some tricky camera work to get clear recognizable images. Watching the Kangaroos hop past was a real treat. Hope you enjoy these images

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Australia and New Zealand – The opera house and the people

This image for me is a great combination of elements. In the harbour we see the very iconic Sydney Opera house out in the water. With the position of the camera I am shooting toward the Opera house underneath the large bridge that allow drives to cross over from one part of Sydney to the central part of the city. Right when I was taking this image a group of bridge walkers stopped in front of me and allow me to capture this photo. I really like the shadows of the people giving scale to the elements in the image. This is a cool shot and one of my favorites from this early part of the trip

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Australia and New Zealand – Abstract Sydney

The next grouping of pictures was a new growth and new experience for me. While I was in Sydney I meet up with a local photographer and he took me around downtown Sydney. We focused on abstract images, we looked for images of color, texture and structure to create works of spacial art. We focused on both new and old buildings and neighborhood to capture some great images.

 

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Australia & New Zealand – Visiting Sydney

Kathy and I have just returned home from a fantastic vacation. We spent 18 days exploring (and photographing) Australia and New Zealand. We had a fantastic time and really enjoyed ourselves. We were expecting mid summer like weather and ended only being able to wear short one day in Sydney. The rest if the time was very cool and it was rainy several days.

I personally had a great time and I challenged myself to do some creative work. So besides my usual nature and landscape shots I photographed Sydney cityscape looking for bright colors, shapes, patterns and textures. While we were in New Zealand we spent soon time shooting and photographing locations that we filmed in Peter Jackson’s movies on the The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

Over the next few I will share my adventures and best photographs with you. I hope these images help you feel you were right that with us.

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Canyons of the Southwest – 11

And now we come to the end of this photo review with my personal best shot of the trip. We got up at 3:30 am the first morning in the Grand Canyon and we drove for over 1 1/2 hours to get to a spot where you can get a fantastic view of a rock formation called Wotan’s Throne. We were in position to capture the sunrise this morning and there was a very strong amount of clouds in the sky that could either block the sun completely or create a spectacular sky and sunrise. At first we were disappointed because it remained dark and cloudy but some large holes developed in the clouds and the sun began to peak through. We played with the light for the better part of 30 minutes and it finally opened up enough to highlight the incredible rock formations and colors all the way across to the outside of the canyon. This was such a treat and I shot this beautiful image that I am very proud of. I hope you enjoy this photo also !! I am calling this image “Sunrise at Wotan’s Throne”.

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Canyons of the Southwest – 10

 

The next day the group drove down to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. After dinner we walked down to Bright Angel Point and captured another fantastic sunset. It was extremely windy that evening I need to weigh down my tripod to keep the lens as still as possible. No matter how many times you have been to the Grand Canyon it is always inspiring to walk outside and to the very edge and look out across the massive erosional canyon that has been cut and created by the Colorado river. It is one of those scenes that is felt as well as witnessed with all your senses. In this image I can feel the last ray of sunshine sweep across and land and you get a true sense of size and scale of this wondrous sight. Hope you enjoy this image !

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Canyons of the Southwest – 9

 

This is a very ionic shot for Zion National Park. The large rock cliff in the background is called the Watchman and the Virgin river runs along the valley floor. The location of this photograph was along a bridge that crosses over the Virgin River. I was there right around sunset and the photograph captures the light from the setting sun hitting the Watchman. Hope you enjoy this additional image ! The next 2 images I will post will come from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon !

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Canyons of the Southwest – 8

Later that evening we drove out to Sunset Canyon (just outside Zion Canyon and got some great photographs. This location gives you a shot straight up a parallel canyon. The lighting was really great and I attempted to incorporate some of the lighting to shine on the foreground where there were lots of cactus plants with blooming prickly pear fruit. There is great color contrast from the blue sky, soft clouds and orange/red rock ! The next image I plan to share with you is a pano I took at a location close to this image and it turned out to be one of my very most favorite images of all time. Thanks for stopping by and looking at my photos !!

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Canyons of the Southwest – 7

 

This next image was taken in the Zion valley next to the Virgin River. I think it shows the tremendous scale of these sandstone cliffs. With the sun shining directly on the cliff face you can se the glorious colors set against the deep blue sky. What an incredible experience to be able to hike along next to these inspiring cliffs. I appreciate everyone stopping by and I hope you are enjoying these images. I will post more later today !

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Canyons of the Southwest – 6

 

We entered Zion from the east side. It is hard to describe the view after you emerge from the Mt Carmel tunnel and enter the park. The sight is just spectacular, as you enter the bottom of the narrow valley there are steep cliffs rising thousands of feet into the are surrounding you. It reminds me of entering Yosemite Valley except the Zion valley is much more narrow and the vertical walls show rocks of almost every color you can image with white, pink, orange, red, tans and browns ! The scope and size of the erosional valley is truly breath taking and I when I saw it for the first time I knew I found a photographers heaven ! We had almost perfect weather with lots of puffy white clouds against a blue sky backdrop. Hope you enjoy this image, I have selected several more photos to share with you from my visit to Zion, including one of my all time favorites. So let me know what you think.

 

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Canyons of the Southwest – 5

The next day we left Bryce and drove down to Zion. We pulled off the road right before you enter the long tunnel on the east side. At the location of this image you could see in great detail the depositional patterns in the sandstone rock. This formation was deposited as a series of migrating sand dunes and so you can see numerous unconformities and changing depositional patterns. I like this image and really like the tree in the background to give some scale and perspective to the photo. I also like the rust stained color of the rocks ! Hope you enjoy this image. Much more to come later today !

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Canyons of the Southwest – 4

 

Once the sunlight begins to fill in the Bryce Canyon valleys and walkways the Hoodoo’s begin to glow with these bright almost translucent colors. This image was taken near the Bryce Canyon edge just a few minutes after sunrise. I really love the bright incredible array of colors contained within this image. Remember each of these individual Hoodoo’s are upwards of several hundred feet tall. Hope each of you enjoy this image ! This is my memory I carry with me of my time at Bryce Canyon National Park.

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Canyons of the Southwest – 3

This next image was taken just moments before the sun rose above the walls of Bryce Canyon. It is quite bright outside and you can see the thousands of Hoodoo’s across the field of vision in the camera. I was shooting with my wide angle 24 to 70 zoom lens. In this image you can see the valleys and corridors very clearly. I love the complexity of the image, but you can see a large portion of the erosional effects. The colors are very vibrant and range from wide, orange, brown, pink and red. In just a few minutes the sunlight will fill this basin and the colors from the reflected light will cause the entire color palette to go off in an amazing display of beautiful light ! It was wonderful to be able to witness this spectacle.

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Canyons of the Southwest – 2

We got up early the first morning in Bryce and boarded a helicopter for a 45 minute ride over the park. Bryce is known for it’s beautiful display of of rock pinnacles called Hoodoo’s. These rock formations were formed by erosional forces that left thousands of these standing vertical pinnacles that range in height from just a few feet to several hundred feet tall. The orange color in the rock comes from iron oxide minerals within the top 3 to 4 inches in the soil. The helicopter gave us a fantastic top down view of the geology of the canyon.

 

 

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Canyons of the Southwest – 1

 

Kathy and I have just made it home from an 8 day trip to photograph the canyons of the Southwest. The photographic workshop started at Bryce Canyon, moved to Zion Canyon and finished with a couple of days along the north rim of Grand Canyon. We had near perfect photographic and weather conditions during the workshop. Each day we got started before sunrise and we worked the landscape all day and through sunset trying to find great places to take top notch images.

Over the next postings  I will share these images with you as I work through my top tier images from the trip. Please take a few minutes to see these spectacular shots and let me know what you think. I believe these images to be some of my very best work.

This first image posted was taken at sunset at Bryce Canyon. It captures the beautiful lighting against the peaks as the last few rays of sunlight are dragged down into the shadows !

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Kauai – Ke’e Beach Mighty Wave 5

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The Mighty Waves of Ke’e Beach

 

Over the course of the time we were visiting Kauai we comeback and visited Ke’e beach several times.  Just with the beautiful location it is a spacial place to photograph with the view of the extension of the Na Pali coast.  But there is location right off the end of the beach on the south side where the combination of high surf and the topography creates these giant standing wave patterns.  It happens when the back surf flows away from the coast and collides with the standard forward moving waves.  In this area the two movements of water create the huge wave patterns that are spectacular.  To get into the proper location to shoot these waves you have to walk a ways back into the woods and climb over the first ridge then sample down to and along the rocks.  From there you can set up your camera, I was using my 70 200 mm zoom lens andI was focusing on seeing with the image the Na Pali coastline and ridge structure in the photo.  It is hard to get a scale on these images but these waves are huge measuring 20 to 40 feet high.  I hope you enjoy these images

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Sunset at Poipu

The southern part of the island is a great place to be at sunset also ! These images were taken either just before or just after the sunset.  The multi layered clouds can create a variety of colorful streaks in the sky.  Those streaks can be reflected in the water along sandy and/or rocky beach.   The first image in this sequence shows some large puffy clouds that was part of a big storm that hit the island. The sunset has introduced some pink and orange colors in the sky and the strong winds are reflected in the branches of the two main palm trees.  The second image of this sequence is one of my favorites I capture during my vacation.  You can see along way down the coastline at sunset.  The image requires long shutter speeds to get a good exposure and those long shutter speed create some interesting water motion effects.  I love the motion streaks in the water that is washing over the rocks in the foreground ! The next 2 images are examples of the color sky being reflected in the coastline rocks and standing tide pools !

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Sunset on Ke’e Beach

 One of my best and most favorable places to visit when on Kauai is Ke’e beach.  This beach is located on the northwest tip of the island and it provides you with a spectacular view of the Na Pali coast !  If you walk out along the beach to the north you can set up in a location that shoots back to the south and you can catch the coastline going back to the south.  The first image in this sequence shows the sunset on Ke’e beach you can see the coastline and multiple ridges moving away from you.  The person on the left side helps give scale and 3 dimensionality to the image and everything is bathed in the orange color of the setting sun !.  The second image highlights the waves that develop on the south-side cliffs.  In this image the key elements are the blue water of the embayment, the cliff lines heading down the south side of the island and the people on the left side giving scale to the image.  The final image in this sequence is a zoom into the heavy surf and big standing waves that develop in this area.  You can also see the multi layered cliff of the Na Pali coast going south into the image.  We will come back and spend quite a while shooting these big waves !

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Kauai Sunrise Glorious Skies !

It’s morning like these that makes it so exciting to get up early and be out in position to photograph the sunrise.  These 2 images were taken the same morning right at sunrise  at Poipu beach.  In the first image I like the the silhouette of the central main Palm tree and the color strips of clouds in the background.  In the second image you can make out the sliver moon and the transition from night to day in the sky.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Kalalau Lookout

 

One of the best places to visit when you are in Kauai is the Kalalau lookout.  This is an area past Waimea canyon and allows you to look over the western edge of the island and look across the Kalalau valley to the ocean below.  This is over a 4000 foot elevation change and the view into the valley is fantastic.

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Sunrise on the South Coast of Kauai

My wife Kathy and I were fortunate to spend a month long vacation on the southern coast of Kauai.   We stayed at an oceanfront condo in Poipu and this gave me great access to get out and explore the area for sunrise and sun set images.  These 4 images were some of my favorites . The first image captures the beauty of the first light and shows Shipwrecks beach and Sleeping Giant mountain behind.  The second image captures the warm golden light as it hits the rocky coast, you can also see the clear blue water and the waves washing over the rocks.  The 3rd image is about 15 to 20 minutes before sunrise and shows a great blue hour landscape along the rocky coast.  The last image in this sequence captures the mood of the sunshine, you can see the sun colored sky and lighted bots of lights in the foreground lights and I love how the long exposure shows the waves as mist like movement over the foreground rocks.

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Farr Law Group – Professional Poses

Just a few weeks ago I had the outstanding opportunity to work with the Farr Law Group. They are a small law group specializing in estate and family matters. They were putting together some new marketing material to promote their business and expand their reach. There were 7 people in the group and they wanted some new professional headshots for each member and some groups shots highlighting the various working teams. They also wanted to show their tie to the outdoors and the pacific northwest. I met the whole group at a local state park late in the afternoon a few weeks ago to capture some golden light portraits. Over the course of a couple of hours we shot a variety of locations and lighting conditions. I think these images came out really great and these photos will be used by this business development in the future. If any of you have the need to update your online presence give me a call and we can work up a custom plan for your business needs.

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Mariana’s Senior Portraits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of working with Mariana to capture her senior portraits. We met up at Pine Lake and spent the better part of 2 hours chasing the light. She was a natural model and she has a wonderful smile. She and her mom seemed really excited with the images that came out of the photo shot. If you are looking for a photographer to help you with professional headshots, family images or senior portraits please give me a call or send me a note. You will find my service and quality to be top notch and my prices are very reasonable !

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The Total Solar Eclipse of 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After traveling to Idaho to photograph the eclipse we settled on Ontario Sate park for our location to set up our equipment. We were the first ones to arrive at the park around 3 am on Monday morning. We were treated to a beautiful sunrise along the Snake River. I really loved the colors and layering in the clouds behind the trees and their reflections. This was just the beginning of the magical eclipse day !

I set up my equipment needed to capture the totality of the eclipse. That included my Canon 5d mark 3 and the tamron 150 to 600 mm zoom lens. In this image I really like the streaming solar gases and if you look closely some orange red solar prominences. The shooting parameters were f/8, shutter speed of 1/50 sec, ISOI -100 and the focal length of 600 mm.

It was truly a magical time to see the sun looking this way.

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Puffin Island – Photographing Something Other Than Grizzly bears – Part 10

 

Puffin Island

On the day before we left the lodge we jumped on 2 small boats and went to a small Island that is home to thousands of birds and many of them were puffins. This provided an excellent break from photographing bears and gave us new challenges.

During that excursion I shot over 500 images and here are 2 of the better ones. Hope you enjoy them.

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The Great Fish Hunt – Photographing Grizzly Bears – Part 9

The Big Fish Hunt

One of my favorite activities was watching these large bears chase and catch fish. They would wait quietly until the salmon began to move upstream during the initial surges of high tide. They would wait very patiently at the mouth of the river. The bears would listen for the sounds of the fish swimming upstream. You could hear the fishes tails strike and slap the surface of the water.

This particular morning this bears cubs were sitting near by and watching. They were hoping that mom would catch some fish and she might be willing to share with her hungry cubs. Once she heard fish noises she would stand up on her back legs and look around. When she caught sight of the fish she would race after it diving to capture her meal.

This particular morning she was successful and her cubs came over and shared some of her meal. These fish were the very early stages of the salmon runs which occur in August. It was so fun to see and capture these large animals racing around to catch fish.

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Nursing Mom and Baby – Photographing Grizzly Bears – Part 8

Mom and Baby Nursing

The bears were so comfortable around the photographers that we got to see behavior not usually seen such as nursing. When the cubs were hungry they would follow closely around mom and make all kinds of noises that they wanted to eat. When mom was ready she would lay back on her back and the cubs would come over and begin to nurse. This was such a special treat to see and capture this activity. I love the embracing paws from both mom and baby in this image !

 

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More Cute Cubs – Photographing Grizzly Bears – Part 7

More Cute Cub Photos

The bears were very relaxed and comfortable around the group of photographers. We had 2 guides who watched the bears and moved us around to give the bears lots of space and room to move and eat when ever and where ever they wanted to. One afternoon we were shooting this family of bears in the tall grasses and these two cubs kept peeking through the grass at us. These two cubs were so cute and I loved the expressions on their facesP

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The Quick Fox – Photographing the Grizzly Bears – Part 6

The Quick Fox

While the majority of our time was spent photographing the grizzly bears there are other animals that live in the habitat. One of the more elusive is the fox. One evening were were moving to the beach locations and some saw a couple of foxes streaking through the tall grass. We all got ready to try and capture a few shots and I was lucky enough to be in the perfect location. I got this tremendous image with spectacular lighting on the foxes face. This turned out to be one of the best images from the workshop

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Mom and Cub Evening Walk – Photographing Grizzly Bears – Part 5

Mom and Cub Evening Walk

Sometimes it all comes together, being in the right place at the right time. The evening sun during the golden hour time created incredible lighting and color for my images. This mom and cub were on a walk along the tidal mud flats digging for clams. I was set up in the right place to capture this great moment !

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The Cute Cubs – Photographing Grizzly bears – part 4

The cute cubs !

The young bears were so cute and playful. Here are two images I captured. I named the first one “Doing My Pilates” and the second photo I named “Mud Slingers”. These cubs were never far from their mother and she always kept a watchful eye on them. They would race around and chase each other and you would often see them mock fighting. Their are learning the skills that will be necessary to find food and stay alive. Our guide told us the mortality rate for the young cubs was 50%. The cubs we saw all seemed to be doing quite well.

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The Big Picture – Photographing Grizzly Bears – Part 3

The Big Picture !

Once you arrive at the lodge area the planes landed and took off from the beach. The attached shot is panoramic view of the mountains and marsh area we explored this past week. You can also see 2 bears in their habitat looking for food. It was truly a beautiful place to visit and many times this past week it just took my breath away.

Coming soon baby cub shots !

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Getting there is Part of the Fun – Photographing Grizzly Bears Part 2

 

Getting there was part of the fun !

The flight from Anchorage to the Silver Salmon Creek lodge lasted just over an hour but what a beautiful trip it was !

Our group was divided up and spread out over 3 separate small single engine airplanes. In each plane they packed 3 to 6 of us inside with our luggage. They told us to have our cameras ready because the views were going to be spectacular. It was a bright and sunny day with just a small amount of high clouds so an almost perfect day to fly !

We did have to shoot through the small somewhat hazy plexiglass windows but I got some fantastic high altitude shots of this part of Alaska.

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Lake Clark National Park – Photographing Grizzly Bears Part 1

I am both exhausted and excited ! Just a short while go I  returned from a trip to Clark Lake National Park in Alaska where I photographed grizzly bears. Last week I flew to Anchorage and took a bush plane flight another hour and a half to the Silver Salmon Creek Lodge.

The lodge sits on the waters edge between the Cook Inlet and the Clark Lake National Park. The park covers over 4 million acres and is larger than Yellowstone national park. The park was established in December of 1980 and there are NO roads in and out of the area. The only way in is by boat or small single engine aircraft.

The grounds around the the Silver Salmon lodge are home to 20+ grizzly bears including both adults and juveniles. They spend their time searching for food which includes various grasses, clams, berries and salmon. The Cook Inlet has one of the highest tidal ranges in the world and while we were there the high tide range was 21 feet plus. That is a huge tide and it dominates the life cycle and feeding habits of all the animals that live there.

This was an recognized photographic workshop into the wilds of Alaska led by world renown photographers Thomas Mangelsen and Bob Smith. They led a group of 10 photographers on a 5 day exploration of this beautiful and wild area. We got up close and personal with these grizzly bears and at times we were less than 20 feet away from these magnificent animals. I hope you enjoy these images I will share with you. I am extremely proud of this work and over the next week I will share some of my favorite images and comments from this fantastic trip.

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Kinderdijk and Amsterdam

During the last few days of our trip we visited Kinderdijk and Amsterdam. Kinderdijk is home to several working windmills. They use the windmill power and energy to pump water out and create buildable land that is below sea level and would be flooded. These windmills served the greater community keeping things dry and providing homes for the windmill operators. Our visit to Amsterdam was great. The down town portion of the city is a series of streets and canals, The major form of transportation is by bicycle and they have the right of way on the roads so you have to be careful and look in all directions. I have selected a series of street scenes to give people an idea what its like to live and visit there !

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The city of Cologne Germany

The next day of our trip we visited the city of Cologne Germany. Home of the 14th century Gothic Cathedral a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We went on a special behind the scenes tour of the Cathedral in the afternoon. It was called the Top of Cologne and it took up inside the great Cathedral. We were able to walk above both inside and out and went up in the south tower. The only issue was any photos taken on this special access tour can not be posted on the internet so there are 4 other photos I have that are spectacular from the after noon tour. The images selected and posted show this incredible structure and the image of everything lit up at night is spectacular. This church contains the supposed remains of the 3 wise men that can to visit the baby Jesus. Hope you enjoy these images.

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Castles Along the Middle Rhine River

One of my most favorite days was when we cruised the Middle Rhine River sonic valley. This area is designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. When you cruise this stretch of the river you are surround by steep slopes blanketed with vineyards and the highest concentration of Castles anywhere, This day we were traveling from east to west in the morning and so we had almost perfect shooting conditions for photographing these magnificent castles. This sequence of photos shows 10 castles which are my best shots captured along this stretch of the Middle Rhine River ! Hope you enjoy these images !

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Moats, Castles and Medieval Towns

On the 11th day of our cruise we signed up for a unique shore excursion. We got to visit 2 modern day estates of today’s nobility. The first place we visited was Schloss Mespelbrunn which is the home to Countess Grafin Hedwig Margarete. It was a beautiful castle surrounded by a mote. I was able to capture an image of their small private chapel on the estate. Afterward we toured the town of Miltenberg before rejoining the ship.

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Wurzburg

This last set of images came during our visit to Wurzburg. One is a photo of the fountain in front of the Bishops resident and the other 2 are shots along the river were we cruising as we left Wurzburg for the day ! Hope you are enjoying these images !

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Rothenburg ob der Tauber

We then visited Rothenburg ob der Tauber which describes itself as Germany’s most beloved Medieval City. What a great place to walk around and visit. These are some street scenes that show the cobblestone narrow streets and half timbered houses !

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Beautiful Franconian Pilgrimage Church !

One of our vacation days we travelled around the Franconian countryside and visited a beautiful Pilgrimage Church. Here are some images from that visit. What a beautifully decorated sanctuary and spectacular church !

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Visiting Regensburg

 

Here are several images from Regensburg Germany. The first of these images show the narrow cobblestone streets that make up a maze of criss crossing roads in the city center. The last image is from inside St Peter’s Cathedral. It was really cool to see the streets lined with ancient houses.

 

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Frauenkirche of Our Lady’s Church

One of my favorite places to visit was “Our Lady’s Church of FrauenKirche” in the city of Nuremberg. The construction of the church began in 1352 and was completed in 1361. Nuremberg suffered almost complete devastation during world war 2 but was completed restored later.

 

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Cruising the Wachau Valley

We had wonderful weather during most of our trip down the Danube river. On one of the days we were cruising down the river in the Wachau Valley. This was an area filled with history and beautiful castles and Cathedrals. Hope you enjoy these images !

 

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Visit to Passau Germany

The first city in Germany we visited with Passau. It is know as the city of three rivers and rests at the confluence of the Inn, Illz and the Danube rivers. It is a beautiful city to approach from the water. While we were there we were treated with a lunch time organ concert. The organ at the St Stevens cathedral is the largest in Europe with over 17,000 pipes. I was totally blow away by the beauty inside this church and the ceiling was just fantastic to see and photograph. I have posted several images I took during my visit. These images were shot handheld (no tripod) inside so I needed to push the ISO of my camera to get decent settings for exposure

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New Travels – Budapest to Amsterdam Part 1

Just got back !

Kathy and I have just returned from a 2 1/2 week river cruise in Europe where we went from Budapest to Amsterdam beginning with on Danube River. What a fantastic trip and the photo opportunities were endless. This first image was taken on the Buda side of the river looking out over the river valley. Because of its strategic position along this major river Budapest has always been a center of commerce. This city really comes alive at night because all of the major structures are lit up at night. Sitting on the upper sundeck on the first night the captain took us on a scenic cruise along this beautiful city. The balance of these images show how wonderful and beautiful this place really is. The history and development of the styles of architecture and art tell a wonderful and rich story. Hope you enjoy these first few images from this trip.

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Hilo Botanical Gardens

 

 

 

 

While these images don’t exactly fit into the category of recent trips, they were taken a few years ago when my wife and I visited the Big Island of Hawaii.  One of my most favorite places to visit is the Hilo Botanical Gardens.  I can easily spend hours here photographing images of the beautiful flowers on display.  When we were visiting this last time we arrived right at the beginning  of a big rain storm.  We sat patiently waiting for the rain to stop and within an hour it had cleared up but the flowers were covered with wonderful drops of water that added color and texture to all the plants.  If you make it to the Big Island I highly recommend you spend some time visiting this wonderful place

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Visit to Depoe Bay Oregon

 

 

Title “Morning Walk Along the Oregon Coast”. This image was taken about a year and a half ago when my wife and I were visiting places along the Oregon Coast. This particular morning was cold with temperatures in the low 30’s, but the sky were clear and crisp. The sun was just at the right point to cast lots of golden light on the rocks, water and sand. In this image I tried to capture the retreating waves as they created leading lines into the larger rock structures. I really like the color and textures in this image. The shooting parameters were f/22, 1/13 sec, ISO-100, focal length was 32 mm using my 16 to 35 mm zoom lens. Hope you enjoy this image and please feel free to let me know what you think

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Visit to Leavenworth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The image in this posting was taken late in October last fall at Enchantment Park in Leavenworth. This is a great place to spend a few days wondering around the shops and hiking in the parks along the river.  We visited this area last fall right when the change in color in the trees had just begun. We were about a week or two early for the peak of fall color. It was a bright and cold morning with a strong wind and the lighting conditions were very contrasty and difficult to manage. This image is HDR in order to handle the large dynamic range presented. The camera was set on aperture priority with the f stop at f/11. This was a three bracket exposure with shutters speeds changing to create a exposure range of -1 2/3 EV to + 1 1/3 EV. The focal length was 52 mm using my 24 to 70 zoom lens. I love the movement in the clouds and the range of colors in this image.

Hope you enjoy this image. Thanks for stopping by !

 

 

 

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Rockport Eagle Rafting Trip

In mid December last year, my good photography buddy Rick May and I attended a raft adventure down the Nooksack river to photograph bald eagles.  The Skagit valley is home to a large congregation of Bald Eagles during the winter months.  There are several companies that give river tours where you can get up close to the birds in trees and along the river banks.

The morning Rick and I went was clear and very cold.  When we arrived in the morning the outside temperature was hovering around freezing.  There was a lot of ice covering the ground and the wind was blowing 10 to 15 miles per hour.  We chose to tour in a boat called a jet sled and it allowed us to traverse up and down the river several times over the course of the few hours we were there. When the birds were up in the trees they pretty much did not mind us going back and forth in the boat.  The eagles on the river banks were a bit more skittish and we had to approach them very quietly otherwise they would fly away up into the trees.

The peak viewing season only lasts from about mid December through mid January.  The challenge in capturing great images is the movement of the boat in the water.  All of the photographers on board had large telephoto lenses.  I was shooting with my Tamron 150 to 600 mm zoom lens. The motion of the boat and trying to hold a big lens steady is tough.  Most people will adjust the exposure to have relatively fast shutter speeds above 1/400 of  second.  Usually the f stop will be set to give you a shallow depth of field.  This will soften the background and make the eagle stand out better in the image.

Attached to the blog entry are several of the images I captured during this trip.  I hope you enjoy them and they encourage you to go and try these workshops yourself.  Let me know if you have any question.

 

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Welcome to my New Website

I am excited to welcome you to my new website !

This website is designed to support the delivery of  my photographic products and services.  As you work with me I hope you see how dedicated I am to providing you with top professional quality services to meet your needs and projects.  My value proposition  is quite simple,  I seek to support my customers and clients in 3 ways

(1) The purchase of high quality photographic art.  The new website supports an improved store front to purchase a variety of  photographic images on several different print media including 5 star quality photographic paper, fine art canvas wraps and printing on metal.  I have placed my very best images in a series of galleries so please take a few minutes to look around and I hope you find some images you would like to own a copy of.

(2) Provide a place to market my skills in portrait photography.  I have included examples of various types of portrait work that I have taken.  These include professional headshots, family portraits and weddings.  I would love to work with you on your project, please fill out the inquiry form and that will alert me to contact you to discuss the details on how I can provide you with top notch products and service.

(3) Help people learn new skills through workshops and instruction. All of us are working on learning new photographic skills and techniques. I am creating some workshops and seminars where I will teach you how to take images like you see in my galleries.  These workshops would be short 1 day field trips to get outside and practice the techniques being taught.  There is nothing like time with your camera in the field to help you develop new skills.

I am also going to start keeping a running blog that documents my photographic travels around the world.  I will also share helpful hints and ideas that I learn along the way.  So I hope you enjoy this new website, please share with me your ideas or suggestions on how I can better meet your needs.

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Award Winning Photography – Fall Color in the Tetons

The image “Swiftly Go the Clouds” wins the grand prize award for the month of September from BetterPhoto.com.  There were over 5000 entries for this competition.

This image was taken in mid September during a photographic workshop geared at capturing fall colors in Grand Teton National Park.  The trip was  led by Joseph Rossbach and Mark LaRowe and  we spent several days chasing light and dodging rain drops.  This image was taken right before the morning sunlight hit the tops of the peaks of the Teton Range.  It was still pretty dark when we arrived on our shooting location and to get a reasonable exposure you needed to have a long shutter speed.  The shooting parameters for this image were f/11, shutter speed was 30 seconds, the ISO was 400 and the focal length was 27 mm using my 24 to 70 mm zoom lens.

There are multiple images taken during this workshop in my galleries.  Click on the Landscape+Nature link on the home page and then click the Landscape link and then the Grand Teton Link to see more.

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