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Silica Dome

Silica Dome, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.

Silica Dome, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.

This was last night in Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada as I get ready for two back to back weekend tours.

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Zion Fall Color Update

Fall colors, Zion National Park, Utah.

Fall colors, Zion National Park, Utah.

This was yesterday along the West Rim Trail a mile and a half past Angel’s Landing at about 6,500 feet.  This elevation is at peak right now!  Much of this trail is above 7,500 feet, and those colors are past, and most on the ground.  In the valley floor, colors are just beginning to change.  I would say at the Temple of Sinawava, maybe 20% of the leaves are now yellow, with a bit less further down the valley.  The next few weeks should be great.

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Behunin Canyon, Zion

Behunin Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.

Behunin Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah.

Looking into Behunin Canyon last night from near our campsite along the West Rim Trail.  West Rim Trail was an awesome two day hike – more to come.

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Upper Navajo Falls Photo

Janine at Upper Navajo Falls, Grand Canyon, Arizona.

Janine at Upper Navajo Falls, Grand Canyon, Arizona.

Janine last week at Upper Navajo Falls, Grand Canyon, Arizona.  This is a rare Sunday post since we were able to obtain hard to get back-country permits for the West Rim Trail in Zion!  So re-packing the backpacks, and heading back out for a couple of days in the morning!

 

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Upper Navajo Falls

Upper Navajo Falls, Grand canyon, Arizona.

Upper Navajo Falls, Grand canyon, Arizona.

A small portion of Upper Navajo Falls.  This waterfall was formed after the flooding in 2008.

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Havasu Falls Photo

Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon, Arizona.

Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon, Arizona.

Back from three awesome days camping down at Havasu Falls. Wow, what a beautiful place!  I must say, after a hot, dusty ten mile hike with camping and camera gear – jumping into these pools felt so good!  Too bad there isn’t a pool to jump into after the hike out.

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Mendenhall Camping

Camping above the Mendenhall Glacier, Tongass National Forest, Juneau, Alaska.

Camping above the Mendenhall Glacier, Tongass National Forest, Juneau, Alaska.

This was the last time I spent a night in a tent – this past August above the Mendenhall Glacier.  Tomorrow we head off to backpack and camp for a couple of nights at Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon – a place that will look very different then this, but hopefully is equally as beautiful!   I can’t wait!

 

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Puerto Penasco

Puerto Penasco, Mexico.

Puerto Penasco, Mexico.

Last weekend was the closest we have come to an actual vacation as we stayed with old Alaska friends in their beautiful place on the beach in Puerto Penasco, Mexico.

Since then, we have been taking care of business, getting work done on our RV trailer, getting broken phones fixed, etc. – nothing worth blogging about. Hopefully that will change soon.

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Thinking of June

Brown bear cub, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

Brown bear cub, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

Photographed this cute little guy last June.

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Heading Southwest

The Virgin River in the Zion Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah.

The Virgin River in the Zion Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah.

Seems I’m not home for very long these days – just a week and a half for this last stretch – but a great week and a half, Alaska can be so beautiful this time of year!

We are off today for a fun five week trip.  Planning on doing more backpacking on this trip then usual – have reservations for Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon, and hope to do the West Rim Trail and possibly East Rim in Zion if we can get the permits.  Going to spend time in  Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada where I have two sold out works, and Arizona as well.

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Fairbanks Fall

Fall colors near Fairbanks, Alaska.

Fall colors near Fairbanks, Alaska.

Fall colors near Fairbanks, Alaska.

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How to Photograph Aurora eBook Review

Aurora borealis over the Brooks Range last week, Alaska.

Aurora borealis over the Brooks Range last week, Alaska.

This was last week in the Brooks Range.

Capturing decent images of the northern lights (aurora borealis) is far more involved then most photographers anticipate.  Finding the aurora, dealing with cold, focusing and exposure are just some of the challenges – I know I made plenty of mistakes along the way when I began to photograph the aurora.

When I was learning way back in the days of slides, I know I wasted a long, cold dark night photographing a cool aurora show after manually setting the focus on my lens to infinity, only to learn later that my stars were all out of focus!  Who knew infinity isn’t always infinity!

Now you can avoid the common mistakes photographers make when photographing the northern lights, thanks to my good friend and fellow Alaska photographer Patrick Endres.  Patrick’s 280 page book on How to Photograph the Northern Lights is a real game changer!  Patrick really covers everything, even some of those hard earned, little secrets I had learned the hard way over the years.  I sure wish this book had been around 15 years ago – it would have saved me plenty of frustration!

This book goes into great detail on finding the northern lights – the when and where, techniques and exposure, gear, dealing with the cold and a whole bunch of other stuff.  It would take just one missed aurora opportunity for this book to pay for itself.   So if you plan on photographing the northern lights, I highly recommend picking up a copy of this eBook.  You can find it here:  How to Photograph the Northern Lights.

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Dalton Highway

Dalton Highway, Alaska.

Dalton Highway, Alaska.

A southbound truck begins the climb up the 12% grade of Atigun Pass, last week on the Dalton Highway.  This highway was often featured on the show Ice Road Truckers.

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Valley of Fire Photography Tour

Fire Wave, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.

Fire Wave, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.

Since our first Valley of Fire Tour Photography Tour filled so quickly, we added a second weekend, and now there is only one spot left for it.  So if you are interested, contact us soon.

This tour begins with a welcome dinner on Friday night, includes permits for night photography on Saturday night, and finishes after sunset on Sunday night.  This beautiful park contains lots of amazing scenery, and even the chance to see and photograph desert bighorn.  So far, both weekends are all people I have done trips with in the past, so I know they are going to be really fun groups!   Here are more details:  Valley of Fire Tour Photography Tour.

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Muskox

Muskox, Arctic Slope, Alaska.

Muskox, Arctic Slope, Alaska.

We spent time with a nice group of Muskox last week – very cool, prehistoric looking animals!

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Polar Bear

Polar Bear, Barter Island, Alaska.

Polar Bear, Barter Island, Alaska.

I’m back from a wonderful trip to the Arctic!  We had lots of polar bears, muskox, aurora and beautiful scenery – and, plenty of laughs thanks to a really fun group!

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Autumn in Denali

Denali National Park, Alaska.

Denali National Park, Alaska.

Turns out I have a bit of internet – here is a image from Denali National Park – got here just before last light last night.

 

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Heading North – Way North!

Caribou, Denali National Park, Alaska.

Caribou, Denali National Park, Alaska.

Heading off for a week and a half, and likely won’t have much in the way of internet access.  Spending the night in Denali tonight, then off to Fairbanks where I join a friend to help him co-lead his photo tour into the Brooks Range for amazing landscapes and northern lights, then on to the coast for polar bears!  Should be a blast!  Here are the details:  Northern Lights and Polar Bear photo tour.

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Seward Waterfront Campground

Seward Waterfront Campground, Seward, Alaska.

Seward Waterfront Campground, Seward, Alaska.

The campground along the waterfront last week – Seward, Alaska.

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Bear Glacier Surfing

Bear Glacier Lagoon, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.

Bear Glacier Lagoon, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.

I can’t believe how much this place has changed in a month!  When we camped at Bear Glacier earlier this Summer, we kayaked along this stretch of river.  Back then it flowed entirely behind this berm and exited into the ocean almost a mile to the right of the frame.  But, after some substantial flooding last month, the river has breached the berm and now flows straight into the ocean.

This change, has made a well know Alaska surfing spot even that much better!  I was there Saturday scouting for a client and watched head high wave after wave roll in!  I think this area is about to become even better known as word spreads. [click to continue…]

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Seward Alaska Aerial

Seward, Alaska.

Seward, Alaska.

Doing some recent scouting for a client means helicopter charter with the doors off – love it!  This is my home town of Seward, Alaska.

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Mendenhall Glacier Sunrise

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

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

Andy working an amazing morning looking down on Mendenhall Glacier, Tongass National Forest, near Juneau, Alaska.

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Mount Wrather

Mount Wrather, Tongass National Forest, near Juneau, Alaska.

Mount Wrather, Tongass National Forest, near Juneau, Alaska.

This is the view of the Mendenhall Towers from across the Mendenhall Glacier on Mt. Stroller White from this past August.

Correction:  Thanks to a friend, those peaks are actually the Mendenhall Towers.

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Brown Bear Reflections

A brown bear walking along a slough, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

A brown bear walking along a slough, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

A brown bear walking along a slough this past July, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

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Mendenhall Trees

Mendenhall Glacier, Tongass National Forest, Alaska.

Mendenhall Glacier, Tongass National Forest, Alaska.

Looking down on the Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau, Alaska.  Some serious geological transformation taking place here!

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