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Misty Fjords National Monument

Rudyerd Bay, Misty Fjords National Monument, Alaska.

Rudyerd Bay, Misty Fjords National Monument, Alaska.

I suppose it was appropriate that we had “misty” weather in Misty Fjords National Monument near Ketchikan, Alaska.

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Anan Creek

Black Bear fishing in Anan Creek, Tongass National Forest, Alaska.

Black Bear fishing in Anan Creek, Tongass National Forest, Alaska.

A black bear fishing in Anan Creek.  The Anan Wildlife Viewing area in Tongass National Forest is a famous viewing bear viewing area and it did not disappoint.  The blind there puts you just a few feet above fishing black bears – a great place to hang out.  This bear was the only one who choose to fish up above the falls, and had a lot of success doing so as this pool was loaded with salmon.

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Breaching Humpback Whale

Breaching Humpback Whale, Fredrick Sound, Alaska.

Breaching Humpback Whale, Fredrick Sound, Alaska.

This humpback gave us some show very close to the yacht!

This was from this year’s Alaska bear and whale photo tour – let us know if you are interested in next year’s trip, it is already half full.

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Mendenhall Glacier Sunrise

Mendenhall Glacier, Tongass National Forest, near Juneau, Alaska.

Mendenhall Glacier, Tongass National Forest, near Juneau, Alaska.

Another photo from a beautiful morning from our campsite above the Mendenhall Glacier, Tongass National Forest, near Juneau, Alaska.

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Back from the bears!

Sea Otter off shore from Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

Sea Otter off shore from Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

Back from another Alaska bear and puffin photo tour – my sides have just now stopped hurting from laughing so much – it was such a fun group!

I know, this isn’t a bear.  It was actually one of the most cooperative Sea Otters I have photographed, taken on the day we went to the puffin rockery.  We had huge numbers of puffin, by far the most I have seen, and even a Peregrine Falcon.  Unfortunately the weather was a bit tough as this has been one of the wettest Summers in Alaska, but that didn’t detour this tough group who’s efforts were rewarded with some unique bear opportunities.

I don’t have any new bear images to share.  Along with some experienced photographers, I had a couple of somewhat new, very passionate photographers in the group, and I found it far more rewarding helping them acquire bear images then adding to my extensive collection.   Thanks again to the group for making it such a fun trip!

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2015 Photography Tours

Brown bear sow with cub from my this past June during my Alaska bear and puffin photo tour.

Brown bear sow with cub from my this past June during my Alaska bear and puffin photo tour.

I pre-scheduled this as I’m currently on another Alaska Bear photo tour – this image was from my June tour.  I wanted to get this out as we now have our 2015 Alaska Photo Tour schedule available.  My Alaska bear photo tour was one of four featured in Time Magazine, the only one of the four in North America.  These trips usually fill fairly fast, so don’t wait long.  If you have any questions, let us know by phone or email, we are more then happy to answer questions.

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Tongass Sunrise

Sunrise over the Mendenhall Glacier, Tongass National Forest, Alaska.

Sunrise over the Mendenhall Glacier, Tongass National Forest, Alaska.

This was the sunrise from our campsite this past Sunday morning – one of the most memorable sunrises I have seen in some time!  Now I’m off for another bear tour – can’t wait!

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Five Finger Lighthouse

A humpback whale in front of the Five Fingers Lighthouse, Fredrick Sound, Alaska.

A humpback whale in front of the Five Fingers Lighthouse, Fredrick Sound, Alaska.

Here is another photo from last week’s photo tour.

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Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier, Tongass National Forest, Juneau, Alaska.

Mendenhall Glacier, Tongass National Forest, Juneau, Alaska.

Back from an awesome whale and bear photo tour in Southeast Alaska!  We had lots of whales including breeching humpbacks and orcas, and even more bears!  It was a great time, but more on that in the days to come.

At the end of the trip a friend and I did a quick overnight trip into the mountains above the Mendenhall Glacier and had spectacular weather including a stunning sunrise.  This is the first of many images from that quick overnight.

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Black Bear Cub

Black Bear Cub

Black Bear Cub

Briefly have internet – trip is going great, here is a black bear cub from this morning!

 

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Heading Out!

Kayaking last Saturday at Bear Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.

Kayaking last Saturday at Bear Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.

This Summer has been busy, but it is about to get busier!  I’m hitting an exciting stretch that I have been looking forward to for some time, although I’ll only be home one day over the next three weeks!

Early this morning I’m flying to Ketchikan to begin my bear and whale yacht based photo tour.  Not only are we going to visit and see some amazing sights, but I have traveled with everybody but one person, and in most cases have done multiple trips with each person, so I know it is going to be a really fun group!  For me, the bears and whales will just be a bonus, although I don’t think they will agree.

Then a couple of days in Juneau with a friend, home for one day, then off for another Alaska Bear Photo Tour!  With all those cubs the June trip was amazing – I still have a bunch of photos I’m excited about that I haven’t had a chance to share from June!  I’m anxious to see how the cubs are doing.

So I may have internet at times, and if I have time, I’ll post some updates, but if you don’t hear from me, you will know why.

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Country Extra Article

Meltwater creates a river on the Root Glacier, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska

Meltwater creates a river on the Root Glacier, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska

Over my career I am sure I have easily had over a 1,000 photos printed in various publications, but this is a pretty proud moment – to actually see a story!  If my high school English teacher, Mrs. Foster, was still around to see this she would be shocked!  Yes, I went to a small school where I only had one English teacher.

You see, I seem to have some aptitude for photography, but when it comes to writing, it has been a long struggle.  I did not like English class in high school and frankly paid little attention.  Probably because of this, I have never enjoyed the writing process.

Well, a number of years ago I made a conscious effort to improve my written communication.  Beginning this blog around the same time I believe has also helped with my writing.  But, I never envisioned a magazine actually asking me to write a story as Country Extra did – they were looking for an article on aerial photography, something I have done a lot of!  Whoops, ended a sentence with a preposition, still improving.  :)  So I nervously went about writing and submitting my final article and was looking forward to feedback, but never heard a word.  I reminded myself that I rarely get feedback on photo submissions, it makes sense that articles would be the same – magazines are all business.  But, it must have been adequate as to my pleasant surprise, it showed up in the July issue along with a number of images!

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Going for a ride

Bear cub on mom's back, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

Bear cub on mom’s back, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

This was from my bear tour last month – very cute!  Well it looks cute, but in reality it was up there because it was afraid of a nearby male.

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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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