Category Archives: nature photography

Am I doing it right, ma?

We watched this mother bear and her two cubs feasting on the grasses and sedges in the meadow for quite a while. There were so many poses and gestures and moments that we could have filled our cards just with these bears alone that day! I love this one because of the way the cub is looking up at the mother – and again, maybe anthropomorphizing, but it’s almost as if to say ‘is this how we do this, ma?’ I could actually here them tearing the grasses and yes, smacking, too – which is awesome to be close enough to experience that, safely.

In less than 2 weeks I’ll be up there again, meeting my workshop group, only this time it’s during the salmon run, and we hope to capture fishing bears, along with all the other activities. I’m looking forward to getting back there. It’s a barrel of fun and lots of laughs as you watch the cubs play, and every day provides such great photo opportunities!

Thanks for visiting,

 

 

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Expressive Nature Photography Officially on Sale TODAY

 

Expressive nature photography is about first finding what excites you in the location or scene, and then figuring out the way to communicate what you feel about what you are seeing, and that requires applying the concepts of light, composition, visual depth, and point of view, along with other technical things like the appropriate depth-of-field or shutter speed. In my latest book, I discuss all of these things and more, illustrated with new photographs, and I’m very excited about this book – 240 pages of idea and tips to help others become better at creating photographs that have more impact. SUMMER is a great time to read this and put it to good use – and keep using it into Autumn, and well, Winter, and then there’s next Spring…

This book is now available at bookstores everywhere – and on line. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Expressive Nature Photography! It always feels good to give ‘birth’ to a new project…

Signed copies are available on my site (higher price), or visit your favorite on-line or brick-and-mortar store to order a copy. 

Enjoy, and keep on photographing!

 

 

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Another excerpt from my newest book

 
Another excerpt from my newest book Expressive Nature Photography, in the chapter The Narrative Image:
 
Find the story in the landscape
Even a landscape pictures tells a story. Begin by first figuring out what inspires you in the location. What makes it unique? Try to establish what you want to express in the photograph. Then look for a point of view that brings out your vision in the strongest way….Is there a process of nature, or some detail, that will express the story strongly?”
 
In these two pictures, I found ‘story’. The drought in California is a major issue, (and it’s still not over, really). When driving through the high Sierra I encountered this pond that was drying up. The story was the parched, cracked bottom of the once-full pond. In the second picture, the story tells of a gecko digging a burrow to get out of the heat and light. There are stories in nature everywhere, we just have to become keen observers of everything around us.
 

 
Find your stories in nature this summer!
 
Enjoy,
 
 
 
 
 
Expressive Nature Photography is published by Monacelli Press, and is on sale July 25th at bookstores near you and online. Prefer a signed copy? Click here for the book sales page on my website.
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Return to Alaska’s Inside Passage

Was I dreaming? Something was tugging on my foot in my bunk aboard the Lindblad-National Geographic Expeditions’ Sea Lion. Slowly as my brain tried to sort out dream from reality, I heard someone say “we have humpback whales bubble-net feeding.” OMG!!!

My brain fully woke up with those words – never mind that it was only around 4:30 AM. I was out of the bunk, and dressed in under 5 minutes, and on deck in under 7 minutes, with camera in hand. And I wasn’t the first, lol! The second mate had gone around and woken up guests in their cabins, and even the crew, so we could all witness this spectacular event. I knew from experience that it was unpredictable and could last for just a short time, or for hours, depending on the food source and the ‘whim’ of the whales. It had already been going on for about 45 minutes, and we watched and photographed it for another 2 hours, with not one, but two groups cooperatively feeding within close proximity of our ship!

I was there as a photo instructor, and I was over-the-top excited for everyone capturing this event in photographs. Larry Hobbs, fellow staff member and cetacean specialist, lowered the hydrophone in the water, and we were able to hear the calls of the ‘singer’ that orchestrated the cooperative effort. When the singing stopped, we knew they would surface, but where was the question! We weren’t seeing the usual bubbles at the surface to clue us in, so it was pretty funny to be surprised and try to be aimed in the right place when it happened. Over the course of time we watched, most of us got it right about 50% of the time, amidst many oohs, aahhs, and  ‘darn I missed that one’ comments.

Cooperative bubble-net feeding is uncommon – although I have seen it fairly often in the past four years in the Inside Passage. Turns out, not all humpbacks do this, only about 700 according to research, so it’s a very special event to witness!

In addition to the whales, there area brown and black bears, mountain goats, harbor seals, eagles, moose, and astounding scenery. It’s a place of wonder and wonder-filled wilderness. If you haven’t been get there soon – while the glaciers are still touching the sea…

Thanks for visiting!

 

 

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