Brooks Range Northern Lights

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Photos, Travel 1 Comment

Northern lights in the Brooks Range, Alaska.
Northern lights in the Brooks Range, Alaska.

Here is another one from the amazing aurora show I witnessed in the Brooks Range just over a month ago.  I have been asked about the long term aurora cycle, and yes, it is true that we are at the bottom of the 12 year aurora cycle and activity will probably be down this year.   However, despite what some people may think, you can still have amazing shows even at the bottom of the 12 year cycle!   This was with my Olympus E-M1X and 8mm f/ 1.8.  

Curious Bear

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Lake Clark, Photos, Travel Leave a Comment

Brown Bear, Lake Clark National Park, Alaska.

I have been busy this last week updating some of my presentations for my Kansas trip coming up this week – it has been a fun trip down memory road as I pull images – this one is nearly 10 years old. To think, if this bear is still alive, it is now in it prime and much, much larger!

Crimps Cub?

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Lake Clark, Photos, Travel 1 Comment

Young sub-adult walking towards us.

This is one of those special moments that seem to happen throughout my bear trips – moments I’ll likely never forget, and what make each trip special and unique.

This young sub adult was feeding on the sedges in the meadow near the lodge. We decided to walk out and get a closer look and to make photographs. To avoid the heat, thanks to Alaska’s crazy hot summer this year, we decided to sit in the shade provided by a nearby “tree island”. Not long after sitting down the young bear started walking towards us, leaving any possible food source behind. That always gets your attention a little bit. The young bear reached the edge of the same tree shadow we were sitting in, and non-nonchalantly laid down in very close proximity to us. Even crossing its paws, which is a sure sign it didn’t feel threatened. The young bear then laid its head on its paws and relaxed, obviously very comfortable in our presence.

Some of my repeat guests immediately started wondering if this wasn’t one of crimps cubs. Crimp is a very popular sow who’s cubs were now on their own for the first time this summer. These are cubs I have watched grow up over the years from spring cubs, to now sub-adults out on their own for the first time. Without a specific marking like their mom’s crimped ear, there is no way of knowing if this really was one of crimps cubs, but given its behavior, I sure like to think so. 🙂

Given Crimps busy activity with the boars this spring, I would say it is very likely she will have another set of spring cubs this upcoming spring, and the amazing cycle will begin again. I’m already looking forward to the spring!

The young bear laying down just inside the tree shade.
So special to be so close to such beautiful animals.

Kenai Fjords Photo Tour

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Kenai Fjords, Photos, Travel Leave a Comment

Kayaking in Bear Glacier Lagoon, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.
Kayaking in Bear Glacier Lagoon, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska. Can you see the kayaker?

Well this is a late addition for next summer’s lineup, but one I’m really excited about. It has been many years since I have offered a photo tour into Kenai Fjords National Park – a place that has not only been my backyard for over 25 years, but also a location of many assignments and even my first book project! It is a shame I don’t have a trip here – well, now I do! This trip includes so much, and you can read all the details here: Kenai Fjords National Park Photo Tour.

I’m offering two separate tours next summer, one is already full thanks to folks from my mailing list, and one in June has two spots left. Here are the highlights:

  • Four full days and three nights an a beautiful yacht where we will by staying in Kenai Fjords! We will be anchored in beautiful bays for sunset / sunrise, instead of making the long trip back to town each day.
  • Helicopter flight with the doors off over the National Park – everyone will have a view seat. Then, an extended landing in the remote mountains.
  • Jet boat and kayaking excursion into the incredible Bear Glacier Lagoon.
  • Gold Star Service Alaska Railroad transportation between Anchorage and Seward.
  • All meals and rooms including a nice hotel in Anchorage, and a very nice hotel, and restaurants in Seward. Plus, beer and wine.
  • June trip is timed for what is historically a peak time for killer whales.
  • Limited to only 4 guests – we will have lots of room on a modern 65 foot Bertram yacht.
Sunrise at anchor, Northwestern Fjord, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.
Sunrise at anchor, Northwestern Fjord, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska.

Polar Bear Sunsets

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 A polar bear sow and cub over look the Beaufort Sea.
A polar bear sow and cub over look the Beaufort Sea.  
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Olympus E-M1X, 300 f/4 at f/4, ISO 640, shutter speed 1/400, aperture priority with +1/2/3 compensation.

A couple of polar bear photos from a beautiful evening earlier this month.

A polar bear family at sunset earlier this fall in Alaska.
A polar bear family at sunset earlier this fall in Alaska.  This was shooting straight into the setting sun with my new Olympus E-M1X plus 300 /f/4 at f/4, ISO 200, 1/125 of a second.