Grizzly Bear Paw print

June 24th, 2014 by
A footprint in the mud of a grizzly bear paw and a human footprint.

A footprint in the mud of a grizzly bear paw and a human footprint side by side. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks

A recent trip to Malaspina Lake, and the Lost Coast and Icy Bay treated us to this set of prints, along the silty shores of Malaspina Lake.

So whoever saw a grizzly bear with one bear paw and one human foot? Amazing. The Malaspina Monster, evidence at least. The missing link? Who knows?

Cheers

Carl

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Harbor Seals, Icy bay – Image of the Month; June 2014

June 4th, 2014 by
A mother harbor seal and her pup rest on an iceberg in Icy Bay, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A mother harbor seal and her pup rest on an iceberg in Icy Bay, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

A tolerant female Harbor seal and her young pup watched us curiously from this iceberg. Paddling back to camp one afternoon, we snuck by her as we were weaving our way through a throng of icebergs. Quietly trying not to frighten the seal from her place of rest, we paddled by and headed back to camp. Fantastyic afternoon sea kayaking in Icy Bay.

Cheers

Carl

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Image of the Month, May 2014: Male Polar Bear

May 6th, 2014 by
Male polar bear walking on snow, Alaska.

Male Polar bear walking across the snow, in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Please click on the image above the view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

A few days late, of course. It’s May, and sunny and great weather, and I’ve been getting a few things done other than update the blog. April was really some great weather here, and that makes it hard to keep up the blog. So here’s a brief post for the Image of the Month, from last year’s Polar Bear Photo Tour. A beautiful young male polar bear walking across the snow-covered tundra of the frozen arctic, in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

This year I have 2 spaces available on the Week 1, Oct 3-9 polar bear photo tour, and have offered a great discount for that trip through the end of May. Take a look!

I love the head down, eyes closed, pose.

Cheers

Carl

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Image of the Month, April 2014; Northern lights and a backlit tent

April 7th, 2014 by
A backlit tent and the northern lights in the White Mountains, Alaska

Using my tent as a foreground subject, I lit it from behind with my headlamp, while the northern lights danced overhead. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Here’s a shot from the recent aurora borealis photo tours in March; I set up the tent for the shot, it was merely a prop. It took a few times to get the balance right with the headlamp for the exposure. Trial and error is really the only way to make this work.

Foregrounds matter when shooting the northern lights, as they do when shooting just about anything. Adding anything of interest to the foreground can really help balance the colors and dynamism of the northern lights overhead.

Cheers

Car

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Image of the Month: Wrangell St. Elias in Winter

March 3rd, 2014 by
Winter in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park.

A bluebird day in the lowlands of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Wonderful winter weather! Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

We’ve had some stupendous weather here in Alaska this last few weeks, and I was lucky enough to get out and about for some photography. Here’s a shot from my favorite park, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve one gorgeous bluebird day. It just doesn’t get much better than this!

Hopefully this weather will hold through March for the northern lights photo tours. So far the auroras have been pretty rockin’ in 2014, and I’m really looking forward to shooting them some more this coming month.

Hope you enjoy it,

Cheers

Carl

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International Polar Bear Day

February 27th, 2014 by
Polar Bear mother nursing cubs, Alaska.

A large adult female polar bear nurses her 2 cubs. Cubs will stay with their mother for 2-3 years, and nurse on and off during that time. Polar Bear, Ursus maritimus, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, ANWR, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Today is designated International Polar Bear Day; what a great day!

We were super fortunate to get this opportunity on our Polar Bear Photo Tour last fall, with the sow nursing her 2 cubs and facing us. Cameras went crazy and everyone got some really nice shots. And the cubs fed well. All in all, I think it worked out nicely for everyone involved!

This year we’ll be there 2 weeks, and I’m already looking forward to it. Few things are more fun than watching these great bears of the north in their natural habitat.

Cheers

Carl

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Polar bear walking across the frozen Arctic Ocean

February 20th, 2014 by
A curious young polar bear walks across the thin ice as the cold waters of the Beaufort Sea begin to freeze up in early Fall. Polar bear, Ursus maritimus, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska.

A curious young polar bear walks across the thin ice as the cold waters of the Beaufort Sea begin to freeze up in early Fall. Polar bear, Ursus maritimus, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

It’s probably a good time for another polar bear photo, don’t ya think?

This young fella was curious enough to venture out, albeit cautiously, over the think, newly formed ice of the Beaufort Sea, to come in for a closer look. I wanted to get a nice low angle, and give a sense of the expansive arctic setting behind him.

One tip I’ll offer wildlife photographers, and bear photographers in particular, is try as hard as you can to catch them with a front paw raised, and not the back paw. Most animals, and especially bears, just look awkward and clumsy with a back leg in the air. So rather than just keep my thumb on the hammer and fire away as a bear walks by or approaches, I tend to try to time a few short bursts to catch the pose I want.

This also helps with avoiding the dreaded “oh crap, I filled the buffer” problem as well. Just remember to shoot BEFORE you see that front paw come up – if you wait til the front paw is lifted, you’l be late. Anticipate and shoot. And practice.

Cheers

Carl

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Muh muh muh, myyyyyy Corona – Aurora borealis

February 17th, 2014 by
Corona of the aurora borealis, Alaska

The aurora borealis corona, or Coronal Aurora borealis – directly overhead, photographed with a 50mm f1.4 lens. ISO 2000, aperture 1.4, s/s 1/3 sec. Click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

“Oooh, my little pretty one, pretty one,
When ya gunna give me some,
My Corona”

Hey Folks,

What a cool tune, eh?

This image of the aurora borealis corona was taken last March on one of the aurora borealis tours. Here’s to hoping we get a night like this one again. Absolutely incredible evening, and it went on and on and on and on …. all night long. I think we got home at something like 9am this morning. I remember we nearly missed breakfast at the hotel because they were closing it up when we rocked into town. …. Read the rest of this entry » »

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Northern lights and Wrangell Mountains

February 10th, 2014 by
The northern lights fill the sky over the Wrangel Mountains and Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

The northern lights fill the sky over the Wrangell Mountains and Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

Winter in Alaska is a fun time; it’s a hard time for a photographer because we have to choose between shooting during the day time, and waiting out the nights for the northern lights. And then switching schedules back and forth as the weather and the northern lights predictions change.

So the last few nights I’ve spent mostly sitting around at night hoping to be in the right place at the right time. For the most part, instead I’ve been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Shooting the northern lights is harder than most folks expect; shooting the northern lights with very specific compositions and scenes is even harder, because everything has to be just right. There are a few areas I have in mind for some northern lights images over the Wrangell Mountains, and so far, I’ve not gotten close. Every night the potential has been there, I’ve ventured out, only to be skunked. And few places can really skunk a photographer like Alaska can. …. Read the rest of this entry » »

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Image of the Month, Feb 2014; Backlit Brown bear at dawn

February 7th, 2014 by
A backlit brown bear on the shores of a Lake,  at dawn. Brown bear (Ursus arctos) Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A backlit brown bear on the shores of a cool Alaska lake, at dawn. Brown bear (Ursus arctos) Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

A few days late, sorry. Here’s the February “Image of the Month”, a brown bear at dawn, backlit by the soft warm light of the morning, with a light mist over the water. Sometimes, I swear, the bears seem to enjoy a pretty morning as much as we do.

As I do every winter, I’m looking forward to getting back to Katmai this coming fall for some great bear photography.

Cheers

Carl

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Owner and guide Carl Donohue.

 

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