Archive for the ‘Trip Announcements’ Category

Any new trips announced and posted will be archived here.

Brown Bears of the Alaska Coast

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015
A brown bear sow nurses her year old cub (one of 2) on the sedge grass flats at Hallo Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska.

A brown bear sow nurses her year old cub (one of 2) on the sedge grass flats at Hallo Bay, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

Here’s an image taken this past summer at Hallo Bay, in Katmai National Park. The sow has 2 cubs, and this one was just finishing nursing from her when I made this photo. The other sibling, a male, had taken his fill already and wandered over to a nearby wood pile to explore and climb around on. There’s always plenty of action at Hallo Bay.

Brown bears will nurse for as long as 2 years, and some even longer. It’s an amazing experience to be so close to, and hear the growling and purring and moaning and all the little noises they make. I once watched 4 cubs nurse at once from their mother, and it was a symphony of different sounds coming from a tangled mess of fur. Pretty cute.

I can’t think of an animal I enjoy photographing as much as bears, be they brown, black, white or other. The grizzlies of interior Alaska, the polar bears of the arctic, the black bears of the forest and lush coastal areas, are just an amazing animal to photograph. They’re often super tolerant of us, and all our frenetic clicking and gasps of excitement over what to them is, I’m sure, often very benign daily behaviors.

Next year I’ll be at Hallo Bay in early August, running the Alaska Brown Bears and Coastal Wildlife Tour in conjunction with Greg Downing and his awesome photography instruction company, Naturescapes. Greg’s an incredible photographer, and I’m really looking forward to working with him once again.

In case you didn’t see it, here’s a video of some incredible action from the year’s tour.

 

If you’re interested in coming out next summer, hit me or Greg up and have a chat. Katmai’s always a blast and you’re never quite sure what surprises it holds.

Cheers

Carl

Lakina River Packrafting Trip

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013
PFDs, helmets, drysuits, spraydecks, gloves and more for whitewater packrafting trips.

PFDs, helmets, drysuits, spraydecks, gloves and more for whitewater packrafting trips.

Hey Folks,

Big, big fun ..  HUGE fun at the end of a recent (and very soggy) hiking trip, from the Kennicott Glacier, up hidden Creek, over the pass and down to the Lakina River. At the end of the trip, the clients flew back to McCarthy for a hot shower and dinner, while I met up with Jule (fellow guide and cook extraordinaire for our Grizzlies in the Fall Photo Tour) and 2 other folks for a packrafting adventure down the Lakina River. At high water, the river runs a solid Class II, III and a couple of III+ rapids. We bombed down the river in about 5 hours, including a couple of quick stops for bodacious snacks, bathroom breaks, etc.

Just a few moments of this made it on to my video camera, so I edited them together for this little Packrafting Trip video teaser. More info and trip details to come, but for now, enjoy the clip, and read up about Alaska Packrafting Trips – you’ll be wanting to come on a packrafting trip before you know it. Great fun stuff!

Cheers

Carl

2013 Alaska Bald Eagle Photo Tour

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013
A tight headshot portrait of an adult bald eagle near Haines, Alaska. Haliaeetus leucocephalus.

A tight headshot portrait of an adult bald eagle near Haines, Alaska. Haliaeetus leucocephalus. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Photographers, think about heading on up to Alaska in November, 2013 and join me for the bald eagle photo tour there. It’s a weeklong trip, based out of Haines, Alaska, all accommodation and ground transport included, and we’ll spend the week shooting the world famous bald eagle congregation. Every fall, as many as 3500 bald eagles may show up to the Chilkat River area to feed on a late salmon run. While most of the rivers in Alaska are freezing over by that time, warmer ground water from a couple of nearby springs keep parts of the Chilkat and neighboring rivers open, and the bald eagles drop by for a feast.

This photo tour is also, for those so inclined, a photo workshop, where I’ll teach and discuss some techniques to help improve your photography; particularly we’ll look at wildlife photography subjects, such as tracking and shooting fast moving and flying subjects. We’ll look at in the field practices that involve trying to maximize your shooting opportunities on the ground; how to be in the right place at the right time.

The bald eagles here offer us a variety of photo opportunities, from close up headshots and portraits to action shots of bald eagles fighting and fishing, soaring against spectacular mountain backdrops and trying to create some of those grand “animal in the landscape” photos. (more…)

Calendar Winners and Mount Blackburn

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013
Mt. Blackburn, the Root and Kennicott Glacier, wintertime, sunset, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Mt. Blackburn, the Root and Kennicott Glacier, wintertime, sunset, Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Just a quick post to announce the calendar winners from the recent giveaway are Natalie, David and Jason. Happy New Year to these three, and the calendars are in the mail. Congrats all, and thanks to everyone for your entries. Tons o’ fun!

The name of the mountain was Mount Blackburn, from Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve. The photo in this post was taken from the other side (east) of the mountain, winter solstice a few years ago. Mount Blackburn stands 16 391′ high, and is the 5th highest peak in the United States, the tallest in the Wrangell Mountains.

Cheers

Carl

Win a Free Calendar

Friday, December 21st, 2012
Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) male walking on fresh snow, waiting for freezeup in the arctic. Many polars come on shore in the arctic for the summer, before returning to the sea ice pack of the Arctic Ocean for the long winter. Adult male polar bear, or boar, Beaufort Sea, Alaska.

Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) male walking on fresh snow, waiting for freezeup in the arctic. Many polars come on shore in the arctic for the summer, before returning to the sea ice pack of the Arctic Ocean for the long winter. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

 

Hey Folks,

In the holiday spirit, I’m offering three 8″x12″ monthly calendars (the image at left is the cover image) as giveaways this year. All you have to do to enter is (a) be a subscriber to the “Ramblings” newsletter (you can subscribe below), and (b) correctly answer the question posed in the latest version of that newsletter.

You’ll see the information on the “Holidays 2012” newsletter here.

Please do NOT enter your answer on this blog post, but send it to me via email.

(more…)

Image of the Month, Dec 2012: Bald Eagle Take-off

Monday, December 10th, 2012
A bald eagle takes flight along the Chilkat River,  Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, Alaska.

A bald eagle takes flight along the Chilkat River, Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

Welcome back! I’ve just returned from a photo trip to Haines, Alaska, photographing bald eagles along the Chilkat River, in the famed Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. Had an awesome, awesome trip, met a lot of cool people, and got some nice images. Anyone wanna join me there next year? The bald eagles are a real spectacle, to watch and to photograph.

All the best,

Cheers

Carl

Polar Bear Photo Tour Announcement

Monday, November 5th, 2012
Polar bear, Ursus maritimus, Beaufort Sea, Alaska.

A large adult male polar bear, on the edge of the Beaufort Sea, arctic Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

Bookings are now being taken for a week long polar bear photo tour in arctic Alaska for 2013. This tour is limited to 4 myself plus photographers only; a smaller group than any other polar bear photo tour I’ve seen advertised. For one week in October it’ll be our group and as many as 50 or more polar bears; this fall there were nearly 80 bears on the island at one time.

I won’t ramble on about it here; the details are all on the site on the Polar Bear Photo Tour page (naturally enough). In short, the dates are set for oct 7-14th, 2013, and we’ll be shooting polar bears each and every day that weather permits (this is arctic Alaska, afterall). We have a chance of catching northern lights as well, but this tour is really about the polar bears; though we’ll take any opportunities we can at the aurora as well, I’m sure.

We’ll charter a small boat with a local native Inupiaq guide to take us out each day, we’ll have great accommodations (including all food) and a rental vehicle as well. Everything’s taken care of once you arrive in town.

Also, you might be interested in the polar bear photos page on the gallery section of the site. We had a great shoot this year, and we were all more than happy with the images we brought home with us. The polar bears are really so different to photograph than grizzly or brown bears.

This male above, was one of the larger boars we saw, that we were close to; and they’re an impressive creature, some of these big boys weighing up to 1200lbs and more. We also saw young first year cubs, playful and cute, and bears of all sizes in between. There were so many bears on shore this year that the hardest part of photographing them was not getting a bunch of ‘stray’ bears in the background. Talk about first world problems!

Anyway, if you’re interested in the tour, drop me a line, as space is most definitely limited.

Cheers

Carl

PS: Oh, I’ll whack this short little promo video on here as well. Hope you like it (and I know, I know, I mispelled “terrestrial”, damnit).

 

Image of the Month: Polar bear of the Arctic

Thursday, November 1st, 2012
A polar bear surfaces from the Beaufort Sea, and shakes water from his head. Arctic Ocean, Alaska.

A young and curious polar bear surfaces from the Beaufort Sea, and shakes water from his head. Arctic Ocean, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Here’s a curious young polar bear from our recent trip to the arctic. This young bear surfaced and stood in the shallow water, and shook like a dog; a 400 lb dog, but a dog nonetheless. Fortunately, the light was happening at the time, and I happened to have a camera in my hand.

I’ll be leading a small photo tour back here in 2013. Should be awesome!

Cheers

Carl

Polar Bears Playing on the Ice

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Hey Folks,

A week in arctic Alaska, photographing Nanuq, the magnificent polar bear? An awesome, awesome trip. I took 3 people up earlier this month for a fantastic week, where we were so lucky to get to spend time up close and personal with polar bears; literally, dozens and dozens of polar bears. US F&WS estimates there were nearly 80 bears in the area in sept/oct.

These 2 youngsters were an absolute treat to watch, as they tussled and wrestled and ran and frolicked on the ice. With a great local Alaska native (Inupiaq) guide, we were able to watch these bears for several hours; everyone came home with thousands of great polar bear photos. I grabbed this quick video when I had to stop shooting and change memory cards in one of my SLR cameras. The bears were so much fun to watch.

Next year, 2013, I’ll be back for another round, leading a small photo tour for a week in the arctic, photographing the polar bears. Space is limited; I’ll keep the group to a maximum of 4 photographers and myself. I’ll have full details online this week, but the dates are scheduled for Oct 7-14, 2013. Drop me a note if this is something you’re interested in, as this trip will very likely fill quickly.

Cheers

Carl

PS: Oh, someone asked about the music track; it’s a little R&B groove I recorded (on guitar) with my friend Steve F on bass years and years ago. I found a copy of it and thought it’d be a cool track for this video. Steve sounds great on bass, as always. It sounds better L-O-U-D, so turn your speakers up to 11.

Wrangell – St. Elias Trip.

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
Mt. Sanford photo, at dawn, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska.

Mt. Sanford, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Wow, what a great response to this; I so appreciate everyone taking the time to enter, and especially those who shared the offer around the web. Thanks so much.

So, to cut to the chase, I’ll announce the folks who were drawn here:

1) Adam Wolf/Christina Smith

2) Patsy Lascha/Charles Fry

 

Update: Feb 14, 2012. Unfortunately, the above folks had to cancel. I drew names again, and the following people are confirmed and heading up to visit next month:

Ryan Wright, Paul Robison, Jim Wheeler and Doug Garnhart. It should be a blast and I look forward to meeting all these folks.

It was so cool to hear from people with such a clear passion for the great outdoors and particularly for Alaska. This is definitely a special place, and it’s great to see so many people who are attuned to that.

And that’s it. I’ll try to persuade them to maybe send me a photo so I can post it here and you’ll all get to see who these people are. And we’ll definitely have some photos and videos with a full trip report posted in March.

Thanks so much, and I really wish you all a great year for 2012.

Cheers

Carl

PS: Edit, 4pm – Folks, I’ve had a few people email me and ask about an opportunity to book a trip like this as a regular trip. If anyone is interested, please let me know. If we can get a group together, 3 minimum, we can run a trip for about $1000.00 p.p.

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Owner and guide Carl Donohue.

 

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