July 28, 2019
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, EF 24-105 f4L lens at 84mm, exposure of 1/160 sec at f9, ISO 100, handheld.
July 7, 2019
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.
May 27, 2019
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.
May 11, 2019
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.
March 26, 2019
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.
March 8, 2019
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.
January 18, 2019
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.
December 29, 2018
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.