IMAGE OF THE MONTH and ARCHIVES

*****Click On The Image For A Larger View*****

Beaver Swimming

October 29, 2019

IMAGE OF THE MONTH FOR NOVEMBER    "Jellyfish Explosion"

Seward Small Boat Harbor, Alaska

It’s hard to think of an animal without bones as a carnivorous predator, but jellyfish will eat almost anything that fits into their mouth, and that includes everything from zooplankton to fish eggs and small fish. Masses of them often gather at a creek mouth to feed on fish eggs.

This past summer’s extraordinary warm weather in Alaska produced an explosion of jellyfish, like this Brown Jellyfish (Northern Sea Nettle).

Canon 5D Mark IV, EF100-400mm f4-5.6 II lens at 176mm, exposure of 1/200 sec at f6.3, ISO 160, handheld.

Beaver Swimming

September 23, 2019

IMAGE OF THE MONTH FOR OCTOBER    "Swimming In Fall Colors"

Bonanza Creek Road, Dawson City, Yukon

When I drove the Bonanza Creek Road on the last day of August the fall colors were approaching their peak. Overlooking the mess of gold dredge tailings, the birches along Bonanza Creek were a mixture of both greens and golds.

In one of the tailing ponds, this beaver was cruising through colorful abstract reflections of the hillside. (Click on the image for a larger panoramic version)

Canon 5DS R, EF24-105mm f4L lens at 105mm, exposure of 1/200 sec at f7.1, ISO 320, handheld.

Red Fox

September 10, 2019

IMAGE OF THE MONTH FOR SEPTEMBER    "Looking For Lunch"

Denali Highway, Alaska

Often thought of as a carnivore only preying on other small mammals and birds, the red fox is actually an omnivore, eating mainly vegetation and insects. In other words, an oportunistic feeder.

While photographing a red fox family I was surprised when the male started turning over rocks in the road, searching for insects that might be living under them.

Canon 5D Mark IV, EF100-400mm f4.5-5.6 II lens at 182mm, exposure of 1/400 sec at f7.1, ISO 1000, handheld.

Forest Fire Smoke

July 28, 2019

IMAGE OF THE MONTH FOR AUGUST    "Forest Fire Season"

White Mountain National Recreation Area, Alaska

After a low snow winter, an early and warm spring, and a blistering hot June and July with almost no rainfall, Alaska was primed for a bad forest fire season. So far this year, 585 fires have burned over 2 million acres. Currently, over half of the wildfires in the country are in Alaska, along with 60% of the firefighters. One recent cold front produced over 10,000 lightning strikes in Interior Alaska, the most common cause of forest fires.

The White Mountains have major fires each year; in this image you can see that the foreground has burned recently, and the ground cover is slowly recovering.

Canon 5DS R, EF24-105 f4L lens at 84mm, exposure of 1/160 sec at f9, ISO 100, handheld.

Grand Canyon

July 7, 2019

IMAGE OF THE MONTH FOR JULY    "Blue Hour"

North Rim of the Grand Canyon

Probably second only to the Golden Hour (the warm light just before sunset or after sunrise), the serious landscape photographer's next favorite time is the Blue Hour--the cool, soft light before the sun rises or after it sets. When the sun is 4-8 degrees below the horizon, the ozone in the atmosphere lets the reddish wavelengths pass by into space while gathering and scattering the blues, which then illuminates the landscape. "Hour" is a misnomer, tho, since the effect lasts only 20-30 minutes.

Canon 5DS R, EF 24-105 f4L lens at 75mm, exposure of 1/5 sec at f9, ISO 800, Arca Swiss B-1 ballhead on a Feisol CT3301 tripod.

Gentoo Penguins

May 27, 2019

IMAGE OF THE MONTH FOR JUNE    "Follow The Leader"

Errera Channel, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

Gentoo Penguins aren't exactly herd animals, but sometimes when one penguin decides to slip into the water, the others will automatically follow. This group was resting on an iceberg until the lead penguin decided to go fishing for krill and other small crustaceans.

Canon 1DX Mark II, EF100-400mm f4.5-5.6 II lens at 300mm, exposure of 1/500 sec at f8, ISO 100, handheld.

Leopard Seal Yawning

May 11, 2019

IMAGE OF THE MONTH FOR MAY    "My, What Big Teeth"

Cuverville Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

The aptly named Leopard Seals, in both looks and ferocity, patrol the ice pack of Antarctica, hoping to catch a penguin or smaller seal to prey on. Their large carnivorous teeth are unique in that the molars can also clamp tightly together to filter tiny krill out of the water.

They are fairly easy to differentiate from other seals by their reptilian-shaped head and blotched skin that resembles that of the leopard. Second in size to only the Elephant Seal, their only predator is the Orca (Killer Whale).

Canon 1DX Mark II, EF100-400mm f4.5-5.6 II lens at 400mm, exposure of 1/1000 sec at f8, ISO 320, handheld.

Ferninand Magellan statue

March 26, 2019

IMAGE OF THE MONTH FOR APRIL    "Kiss My Toe"

Plaza de Armas, Punta Arenas, Chile

In the town square of Punta Arenas sits an impressive bronze statue of the Portugese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan. Below Magellan are smaller statues of natives (and a mermaid?) who Magellan encountered in his explorations, one being a Fuegian Indian.

Why the shiny foot on the Indian you ask? (Click the thumbnail image for the whole image) Presumably for good luck, people are continually rubbing or kissing it…

iPhoneX, 4mm lens, 1/4 second @ f1.8, ISO 125, handheld.

Humpback Whale

March 8, 2019

IMAGE OF THE MONTH FOR MARCH    "Half-Tail"

Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctica Peninsula

Wilhelmina Bay on the Antarctica Peninsula is known for its concentration of Humpback Whales, probably the result of favorable currents and a mix of nutrients that attract krill and small fish, and the whales that feed on them.

While watching and photographing a pod of 25-30 Humpbacks feeding all around our boat, we noticed one adult with only half of a tail—moving without any apparent difficulty. The speculation was that the loss was probably from an Orca (killer whale) attack.

Canon 1DX Mark II, EF100-400mm f4.5-5.6 II lens at 371mm, exposure of 1/1600 sec at f9, ISO 1000, handheld.

Water Reflection

January 18, 2019

IMAGE OF THE MONTH FOR FEBRUARY    "Don't Adjust Your Monitor!"

Emerald Pools Trail, Zion National Park

Don't adjust your monitor! And no, my camera hasn't gone wonky! In Zion, the Emerald Pools Trail winds upward towards towering sandstone cliffs, passing by several several shallow pools of a small stream.

Near the top this stream flows over rippled sandstone, producing warped reflections of the trees and the mountainside. To make better sense, I've turned the image upside down...

Canon 5D Mark III, EF24-105mm f4 lens at 73mm, exposure of 1/125 sec at f9, ISO 500, Arca Swiss Ball Head B-1 on a Feisol CT3301 tripod.

Brown Bear

December 29, 2018

IMAGE OF THE MONTH FOR JANUARY    "Bear In Motion"

Brown Bear Chasing Salmon, Katmai NP, Alaska

After photographing Brown Bears fishing in various streams for almost a week, one gets bored of taking the same picture, just with different backgrounds. So I decided to slow the shutter speed down to capture the motion rather than sharp reality, which better portrays the power of a half-ton bear.

This is an old male with battle scars, and yes, that is one on his back...

Canon 5D Mark IV, EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6 II lens at 300mm, exposure of 1/8 at f5.6, ISO 200, handheld.