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Kenai Fjords Kayaking

Janine in Bear Glacier Lagoon, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.

Janine in Bear Glacier Lagoon, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.

Whether in Alaska or Antarctica, I have found that grounded icebergs are by far the coolest and most interesting!

This is Janine exploring Bear Glacier Lagoon last Saturday.  The compression from the telephoto gives the appearance that I was under the overhang, but I definitely wasn’t.  It is amazing just how quickly an iceberg like this can break apart,  roll and almost implode – we saw it happen a number of times during our two days there.  It can be a dangerous place as it is in constant change and deserves a lot of respect, but that is also what makes it such a fun place!

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Bear Glacier

Bear Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.

Bear Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.

My last image was of our campsite last Friday night, was back up at 4:30 the Saturday morning and was treated to a beautiful morning!

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Kenai Fjords Camping

Camping in Bear Glacier Lagoon, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.

Camping in Bear Glacier Lagoon, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.

This is Friday nights campsite – it has been a a wonderful whirlwind week!

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Chugach Reflections

Reflections on a pond, Chugach National Forest, near Seward, Alaska.

Reflections on a pond, Chugach National Forest, near Seward, Alaska.

This was sunrise yesterday morning.  I have never seen this pretty little pond before even though it is only about 1/4 of a mile off the Lost Lake Trail – a trail I run on a couple of times a week in the Summer.  This is one of my favorite places for trail running and now photography!

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Chugach Camping

Camping near the Lost Lake Trail, Chugach National Forest, Seward, Alaska.

Camping near the Lost Lake Trail, Chugach National Forest, Seward, Alaska.

Last nights camping spot!  This is the first of what should be a few overnight trips around the area this week with a photographer friend visiting from Fairbanks.

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Looking for Clams

Looking for clams, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

Looking for clams, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

A sow and a couple of cubs on the hunt for clams last month at Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

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Iceberg Arch

Peaking through an arch in a giant iceberg, Antarctica.

Peaking through an arch in a giant iceberg, Antarctica.

Zodiac cruising – looking for seals, penguins and cool landscapes was my favorite activity in Antarctica, and I’m already getting excited to return!  Cheeseman’s tells me they still have a bit of space available on what may be the last time an extended trip of this length will be offered, so if you have ever wanted to see the South Georgia and Antarctica, this is the time!  I’m happy to answer any questions, but if you want the in-depth scope, you can read much more here:  Cheesman’s Antarctica.

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Brown Bear Pillow

Brown bear cubs, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

Brown bear cubs, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

Nothing like using your sister as a pillow!

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Second Summer Cubs

Second summer brown bear cubs, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

Second summer brown bear cubs, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

A pair of second year cubs playing on driftwood.  Few animals are as cute as first year cubs – sometimes called spring cubs, or cubs of the summer.  But, I often prefer second summer cubs – cubs that are basically a year and a half old as they are born in the den during the Winter.  Second summer cubs are almost as cute as first year, but are far more playful and entertaining to watch, as they are now brave enough to wander short distances from their mom.  But, when another bear appears nearby as one did here – they are quick to run back to mom!

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Alaska Bears!

Spring brown bear cub on its mom's back, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

Spring brown bear cub on its mom’s back, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

Wow what a great trip!  Really fun group of people, perfect weather, and get this – 5 sows each with their own set of first year cubs, and two more sows with a second year cub or cubs!  Wow!  A boat trip to view puffin, and an exploration trip up the Johnson River capped off a wonderful week!

Four of the sows with cubs were there when we arrived, and consistently gave us great photo opportunities including my long time favorite bear, Pavlov (more on her later).   One day in the middle of our trip, 3 more sows with cubs were spotted on the same day!  These new families were a bit more skittish and couldn’t always be located, including this mom with cubs.  This sow was noticeably uneasy hanging out in an area with so many other bears, and when she got nervous, one of the cubs would almost always jump on her back making for very entertaining viewing and photography.

Thanks to the mild Winter and warm Spring, I thought it could be a good year – I’m glad that prediction came true.  If you want in on this amazing year, because of a recent cancellation, I still have two spots for my August trip:  Alaska Bear Photo Tours.  I know it is last minute, but I would really prefer to bring two more passionate bear viewing photographers, and be able to refund deposits then the opposite, so if you have any questions, please let me know!

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I’m Off!

Brown Bear cubs from last June's trip, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

Brown Bear cubs from last June’s trip, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

I’m excited to be heading off on a bear tour early tomorrow morning.  I’m always excited for my bear tours, but this trip I’m extra excited for a couple of reasons.  First – I know it can change, but I’m hearing reports that 4 of the first year cubs from last June are back – hopefully these two are among them.  And, I’m hearing reports of a new set of Spring cubs!  First year (Spring) cubs are so cute because they are so small, but second Summer cubs are better photo subjects since they are still really cute, and far more active and playful.  Sounds like this year we might have the best of both worlds!  Speaking of this, due to a recent cancellation, I still have two spots for my August Alaska Bear and Puffin photo tour.

I’m also excited as I have traveled with everyone on this trip in prior years, so for me, it is going to be like getting together with old friends!

The day after I return begins a private Alaska photo tour.  Then begins the July 4th weekend, so there may not be any activity here for awhile.  See you on the backside hopefully with lots of great bear stories!

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Ice

Ice near Booth Island, Antarctica.

Ice near Booth Island, Antarctica.

Not surprising, Antarctica has some of the most amazing ice I have ever seen including this backlit berg near Booth Island.

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Seward, Alaska

Seward, Alaska.

Seward, Alaska.

Looking down on my cool little home town last Friday.  You can see why a cruise ship like the one you see here can double the size of the town.

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My before and after images were used in this PBS show on the mustard invasion in Anza-Borrego.

It will be interesting to see what happens this year – especially if it is a wet El Nino year. There was speculation in the local paper last winter claiming that the mustard can not survive 3 years of drought, and last year, being the third extremely dry year in a row may have killed off the seeds. I hope!

I like to photograph a relatively unknown spot I call the cactus garden – I see they filmed much of this in my “secret” spot.  :)

Here are more photos of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in Southern California.

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Salisbury Plain

Salisbury Plain, South Georgia.

King Penguins on the Salisbury Plain, South Georgia.

I can’t believe I haven’t shared a photo of this amazing place from last winters Antarctica trip!  This is the King Penguin colony at Salisbury Plain.  Although St Andrews was my favorite location on South Georgia, this is a close second, and extra memorable as this was our first landing site on South Georgia, and the first time I had witnessed a huge King Penguin colony in person.  Really excited to be heading back!

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Canon 600 f/4 IS For Sale

Canon 600 f/4 IS Lens.

Canon 600 f/4 IS Lens.

I’m selling my baby, my 600 f/4 IS lens – this has been an awesome lens and helped me capture most of my wildlife images over the years.  I am the original owner, and have the manual, original box, lens caps and strap.   It comes with a neoprene cover which has kept it protected over the years.  There are a few minor scratches on the barrel, and some of the paint is worn off one part of the foot.  The front of the lens coating and glass is all in great shape.  I can provide closeup images of the wear to anyone who is interested.

I’m asking $5,600 plus shipping.  I believe I can get more then this through EBay, but would rather avoid the hassles and commissions if I can sell direct.  We can take Visa, MC or Amex.

Why am I selling?  Since I photograph far more bears then birds, I don’t really need the extra reach, and shoulder pain has slowed me down a bit, so I’m looking to downgrade to the 500.

I’m also selling my carbon fiber Gitzo 1548 along with the original Whimberly Head and could do a package on all three.

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2014 Scenic California Calendar

2014 Scenic California Calendar

Seeing the cover and some of the images on this calendar was a nice surprise to come hone to after our winter travels.

The actual calendar looks better then this – unfortunately our copies sat out in the rain on our back porch and got a bit damaged.

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Seward Boat Harbor

Seward Small Boat Harbor at the head of Resurrection Bay, Seward, Alaska.

Ray’s Restaurant, Seward Small Boat Harbor, Seward, Alaska.

Fireweed around the Seward Boat Harbor last Summer.

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Alaska Railroad

Alaska Railroad, Seward, Alaska.

Alaska Railroad, Seward, Alaska.

The Alaska Railroad pulling out of Seward last Summer.

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Whale and Bear Tour Opening

Humpback whale at sunset, Frederick Sound, Alaska.

Humpback whale at sunset, Frederick Sound, Alaska.

A very unfortunate injury has just opened up a spot on my yacht based bear and whale photo tour in Southeast Alaska this July.  This trip originally filled quickly almost a year ago, so if you can travel with fairly short notice, this is a great opportunity to photograph lots of whales, bears and stunning landscapes.  Click on the link for all the details.

I also still have two spots, thanks to a last minute cancellation, on my Alaska Bear and Puffin photo tour.  I have been leading this wonderful tour for years and there is nothing like spending your days up-close with magnificent brown bears along with their cute little cubs!  Thanks to our mild winter, it is looking to be an excellent year with 13 bears already arriving at the lodge by the end of May!

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Denali Evening

Mt McKinley also known as Denali, Denali National Park, Alaska.

Mt McKinley – in Alaska known as Denali, Denali National Park, Alaska.

Hot off the press – another new one from an amazing trip into Denali National Park last summer.  Here are more photos of Denali National Park.

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Banff National Park

Fall Colors with Mount Chephren at Waterfowl Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Fall Colors with Mount Chephren at Waterfowl Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

It has been a good week – but busy with assignment work and private tours, so I haven’t had a chance to post any photos.   So I thought I would share another one from more then a decade ago from one of my favorite areas;  the Canadian Rockies.  This photo from Banff National Park.

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Holland America Oosterdam

Holland America cruise-ship the Oosterdam, Seward, Alaska.

Holland America cruise-ship the Oosterdam, Seward, Alaska.

It was a beautiful evening last night – couldn’t help but to grab a photo of the Oosterdam as it passed by the house last night on its way to Vancouver, Canada.

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Riding around the world the hard way.

Rob Landauer on day 3 of a year and a half journey.

Rob Landauer on day 3 of a year and a half journey.

Last week a few friends and I stopped at the Arctic Circle – even though I have been making my living as a photographer for many years now, I’m not immune to grabbing an occasional cheesy tourist photograph, and what better place then in front of the Arctic Circle sign.

While grabbing photos and playing games with the GPS and sunrise apps – another perfect spot for such things -  I was surprised to see someone ride up on a bike!  You see, we were a very long ways from anything, anywhere, so that has to be an interesting story.  Over the years I have meet other travelers on bikes, motorcycles and automobiles who were traveling between the Southern end of South America, to the top of North America, or vise versa, and that is what I assumed he was doing.  But no, this guy is planning on going much further.

Hi name is Rob Landaurer, and it turns out this Texan is going to effectively ride around the world.  As he explained, his route will take him around the world in more of a North / South direction as he makes his way East, not the more common East / West route – I can’t imagine either route is very “common”.  He is planning to travel from Prudhoe Bay to Ushuaia, Argentina, then will fly to the Southern end of Africa.  After riding across Africa with a flight around some dangerous areas,  he plans to fly from Morocco to Spain.  From there, he intends to ride across Europe and finally across Russia!  The entire trip is going to take a year and a half!

His bike was interesting.  It had a teflon like belt instead of a chain like you see on some motorcycles to avoid wear and rust.  The rear gears were entirely housed within a large hub to protect them from the elements.  The front hub could be engaged in order to provide power to a usb connection on the goose neck of his handlebars, so that he could charge his phone on the downhills, or power a light.

If you are interested in learning more, check out his website Self Powered Travel.  I see he is already in Beaver City, Yukon.

Rob is also doing this to raise money for World Bike Relief.  All the money he raises will go straight to the worthwhile charity – none of it will go to cover the cost of this trip which he is funding out of pocket.

Good luck Rob, you are an inspiration!

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Atigun Pass

A truck climbs Atigun Pass on the Dalton Highway, Alaska.

A truck climbs Atigun Pass on the Dalton Highway, Alaska.

Last week we made a trip far to the North – we actually made two trips well North of the Arctic Circle, first in a friends plane, and then by vehicle.  Long road trips really help put Alaska’s large size in perspective.

This truck is climbing the gravel road to the top of the 4,800 foot Atigun Pass.  At this high latitude, the effects of even the slightest increase in elevation is exaggerated, so to find a road over a 4,800 pass is amazing.  The road itself rises up from the valley you see below at a 12% grade.  This is the Dalton Highway, formally known at the Haul Road and made famous in the History Channel’s show Ice Road Truckers.

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