I am pleased to share my latest publishing accomplishment. My “Paradise Wildflowers” image from Mount Rainier National Park is the June 2010 cover on Alaska Airlines! This is also my 2nd cover with them this year. This picture is my all-time most successful art print and has been licensed numerous times since I created it in 2003. Most of my regular readers will know that I shot all of my landscape images up until last year with a Pentax 67 system. One of the challenges of that system was that I had limited depth-of-field compared to a 35mm system. In order to overcome that limitation, I created this image with Toyo 4×5 view camera, a Rodenstock 65mm large format lens, and a Horseman 6×9 roll film back. (Did I lose you, yet?) With the large format camera, I tilted the lens so that the flowers would be close to the camera while keeping the summit of Mount Rainier in focus. I also used my Singh-Ray Warming Polarizer and 2-stop Hard Graduated Neutral Density filter with Fuji Velvia film. I think that the exposure was about 10 seconds at f32, which is a life-time when waiting for a slight breeze to stop rustling the wildflowers. Now when I photograph flower landscapes like this, I use my Canon 5DmkII with a wide-angle lens with camera settings more like f16, 1/4 second, and 200 ISO. Since this was the first image that I ever took with my 4×5, I was still learning how to use it that morning. I mentioned that I used a 6×9 roll film back. All of my images that I shot were the 6×9 format except for 1 frame that overlapped the frame before it. That image perfectly cropped itself in the camera to 6×7 which is my favorite photo that you see here. Beginners luck?
My Reflection Lake Sunrise image is featured prominently in a new Washington State tourism advertisement. This ad will be shown in markets throughout North America during the next year. If you are looking for an exciting travel destination, Washington offers an incredibly diverse experience. It is one of the few places where you can experience islands, beaches, mountains, glaciers, forests, & deserts all during the same trip. I always recommend early September to first time visitors. It has the most reliable dry weather and the summer crowds are gone. Are you ready to experiencewa?
My image “Racetrack Sunset” will be the April cover photo of Outdoor Photographer! The Racetrack is a seasonally dry lake located in the northern part of Death Valley National Park and is famous for its moving rocks. With the right combination of rain and wind, the rocks move slowly across the surface of the playa, leaving a track as they go. I photographed this amazing rock at sunset during my first visit to the Racetrack in January 2006. I was enthralled with the unusual arc that it had created as it was moving. This rock was still in the same location during my recent Death Valley National Park Tour.
I am pleased to announce that my image is featured on the cover of the February 2010 issue of Alaska Airlines magazine! Be sure to check it out if you are on an Alaska Airlines flight this month. Also, the opening double page image to the humpback whale article was photographed by my friend Brandon Cole during a previous trip that we took together. I have the exact same image, since we were next to each other in the water when we both almost got run over by a humpback whale mother & calf. Photographing whales above or below water is my favorite kind of photography. It also helps that I am comfortable swimming in the open ocean in 10,000 feet of water and enjoy staring down into the blue depths underneath my fins.
This is a great blog post to transition from my dramatic landscape photography to more of my new wildlife images from the last year. I’ve been tightly editing my image archives the last few weeks and have come across a few keepers that are worth sharing in the days ahead. If you are like me and admire these creatures, check out my gallery of available humpback whale photos.
For the third time this year, one of my images graces the cover of Backpacker magazine. The March 2010 issue’s cover shot is my image “Lago Pehoe Fiery Sunrise”. I also give tips on photographing wide-angle landscape scenes in the article “Shoot Like a Pro” on pages 36-42, and my image “Spray Park Wildflowers 1” is featured on page 37.
In other news, I am currently updating my website to make it is easier to sign up for my photography tours, purchase my fine art prints, and license my images. The overall design is going to stay the same, I just need to simplify access for my customers. I also need to add several new galleries and update my older ones with the new images that I have created during the past 16 months.
This image was created last week on the Matanuska Glacier in the Chugach National Forest in Alaska. I spent 2 nights photographing the glacier, and on the second night I caught a dramatic fiery sunset! If you followed along on my recent trip via Twitter/Facebook you might have seen some of my iPhone “sketches”, but nothing beats the “real deal” images from my Canon 5D mkII. Getting to this location on the tongue of the glacier was challenging. It involved crossing ankle-drowning silt and hopping over a few small crevasses. Once I found this precariously balanced rock for a foreground subject, I just waited for something magical to happen and it did.
My above image, taken in Denali National Park in August 2006, is the cover photo of the 2010 Sierra Club Wilderness calendar! I’d visited this pond in 2005 but I never got this kind of light, or even saw the mountain. In 2006 I tried a few times to photograph Denali from this spot, but never got the mountain itself until my perseverance paid off with this dramatic and striking image. There are hundreds of ponds near the Wonder Lake campground and I’d walked by most of them, deciding that this was the nicest one that framed the mountain. It is accessible via a strenuous 1 hour hike southwest of the campground. I missed the fall colors in Denali this year, but I am flying up to Anchorage on Monday to look for fall colors around the Chugach & Kenai for the next 10 days. Wish me luck.
I’ve been meaning to share this nice brown bear that I photographed during my visit in June to Lituya Bay on the outer coast of Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska. My buddy and I spent several hours following this gorgeous bear as it worked its way along the shore eating grass. We kept moving my inflatable to position ourselves to be able to shoot into the nicest sections of flowers, in case the bear happened to walk through them. I really like the eye contact that I got in this image. The bear was only about 15 meters away from us. I tried to keep my 15hp outboard engine idling, just in case the bear decided it did not want to be photographed. However, the engine died a few times, which made my nervous. Whenever I am around bears I am always surprised how disinterested they are in me. It is hard to convey that feeling to people who have never seen a bear in the wild. I used my Canon 5D mkII, 500mm f4 IS lens, at f4, 1/160 sec, at ISO 400. I was also hand-holding it, which gets hard with that big heavy lens.
One more note. I will be at Glazers Camera in Seattle this Saturday from 10-2 as part of their Gitzo Days promotion. I will be giving a free short presentation at 11. Please stop by and say hi.
In 2008, my image “Wailau Beach Rainbow” and “Johns Hopkins Inlet Sunrise” were part of the Nature’s Best Ocean Views exhibit at the Smithsonian that was featured on AOL’s Pixcetera website. Because of the trememdous amount of exposure that I received, I was offered the opportunity to have an entire portfolio of my images featured later in the coming year. Well, it has finally happened and my feature is now up and running on Pixcetera! Click on the link that maximizes the window and take a look. Enjoy. You can also check out the humpback whale photos main gallery, for more pictures of humpback whales bubble-net feeding, breaching, blowing, tails and swimming underwater.
The new issue of Backpacker is out, and I am pleased to announce that I have the cover image! One funny note, though, after they chose this image for the cover they asked me if they could change the yellow fall colored larch trees back to green since this would be a summer issue. If a publisher is going to pay me, I really do not mind what they need to do to my photos to make it work. Next time I might offer to make the color change for them, as I think they just grabbed the Yellow Saturation slider and moved the overall Hue towards Green. How does it compare to my original image to you?