Natures Best Fall 2010 Cover

Nature’s Best Fall/Winter 2010 Cover

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I have consistently been part of the Nature’s Best Photography Awards the last 7 years, but each year the photography is more amazing and the competition more difficult. I am honored to have even one image accepted and especially pleased that this year it was one of my underwater images. I love photographing dramatic landscapes, but I am equally excited by underwater and wildlife photography.

My underwater portrait of a Steller sea lion had an excellent 2010. Last summer, it received 2nd Place in the 2010 International Conservation Photography Awards in the Underwater Category and was featured on the promotional poster for the event. The poster was highly visible around Seattle all summer and even made a cameo appearance in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. This image is currently Highly Honored in the Underwater Category in the 2010 Nature’s Best Windland Smith Rice International Awards and is one of 6 images featured on the cover of the current issue. I’ve also been told that it will be displayed in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.

I created this image with my Canon 5D and Canon 17-40mm f4 lens with a +2 diopter inside an Ikelite 5D underwater housing with dual Ikelite DS 160 strobes attached with ULCS arms. The image initially required minimal processing, but I spent a lot of time cloning out backscatter in Photoshop.

2010 ICPA Poster

2010 International Conservation Photography Awards

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Tonight is the awards ceremony for the 2010 International Conservation Photography Awards at the UW’s Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. The exhibit opens to the general public tomorrow. My image of a Steller sea lion underwater won 2nd Place in the Underwater category. It is featured on most of the promotional materials, including this poster that is currently displayed all around Seattle. I also received an Honorable Mention in the Landscape category for my “Badwater Salt Crust Sunrise 1″ image from Death Valley National  Park. I am really looking forward to seeing some of my friends, like Stuart Westmorland & Sean Bagshaw, and meeting a number of photographers that I only know online, including Todd Mintz, Jim Patterson, & David M Cobb.

Torres Dramatic Sunrise 1

2009 Nature’s Best International Photography Awards

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I am excited to announce that my image “Torres Dramatic Sunrise” will be a Highly Honored Landscape in the 2009 Nature’s Best Windland Smith Rice International Photography Awards!  I created this image 2 years ago while backpacking in Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile.  Most trekkers who have visited this location have done so while multi-day trekking and usually only spend 1 night before moving on.  However, my only goal during my visit was to photograph the Torres in epic light, so I spent 5 days/4 nights camping in the same location so that I could photograph the spires each day.  My last morning was the most dramatic.  You can read more about it in my previous post on the Singh-Ray filters blog.

Torres Dramatic Sunrise 1

2009 Edmonds Art Festival Juried Gallery

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I am proud to announce that my image “Torres Dramatic Sunrise” won 1st Place in the Photography category at the 2009 Edmonds Art Festival Juried Gallery! I was notified while I was in Alaska last week. The following information is from one of my previous posts.

I created this image in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park in the region of South America better known as Patagonia. I’ve been familiar with these mountains since well before I even knew what a mountain looked like. I was first introduced to the Patagonia clothing company by my Uncle Jerry way back in junior high school while growing up in Michigan. While I was very active in rock-climbing and mountaineering during the 90’s, I read a number of amazing stories about climbing the famous granite spires of the region. Even though I am no longer interested in technical climbing, I had always wanted to visit these legendary mountains and in 2007 I finally had the opportunity to do so. I loved the spectacular scenery so much, that I went back in January 2008. I did not have enough time during my first trip to backpack to the famous Los Torres viewpoint, so I made it my main objective on this second visit. It is a 16 mile roundtrip hike up to the Torres campground, so in order to photograph the mountains at sunrise you need to camp overnight.  I took enough food and equipment to spend 5 days and had uncommonly good weather. Every morning, I would get up an hour before sunrise to hike up the ridge to the famous viewpoint and wait for the sunrise. I did this 4 days in a row, and on my final day I got lucky when the clouds parted for a brief moment and the sunrise light illuminated the spires in golden light. It takes a lot of energy to travel that far for a few images, but the results are worth the effort.

Humpback Whales Bubble Feeding 59

2008 International Conservation Photography Awards

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One of my most spectacular images of humpback whales bubble-feeding in Southeast Alaska is included in the 2008 International Conservation Photography Awards exhibit at the MOHAI in Seattle, WA. The exhibit has gone by several different names over the years but it’s main sponsor has always been Art Wolfe. I’m friends with Art and talked to him the night of the exhibit about the direction the ICPA was taking in the years ahead. The next competition will not be until 2010, and it will go on display at the Burke Museum at the UW in Seattle. It is getting harder to get an image into the exhibit as the competition is getting much tougher. I still feel proud that I was able to be part of it. Please visit more of my humpback whale photography.

Welcome Pixcetera Visitors!

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My image “Wailau Beach Rainbow” from the north shore of Molokai, HI is featured on the homepage of Pixcetera as part of the 2008 Nature’s Best Ocean Views Competition.

I’d like to say thank you again to everyone who has enjoyed my photography and sent me many complimentary emails and print orders! Unfortunately, a lot of people have commented that they thought this image has been digitally manipulated and is a fake. As a professional photographer, I find it to be a sad state that we are in when people just assume that something so beautiful has to be a fraud. I spend almost 6 months each year traveling the world to capture spectacular images using professional camera equipment. I shot this image with a Pentax medium format camera using professional Fuji slide film, which I still use for all of my landscape images. Most of the time, I come back with at least 1 photo from each trip, but often I come back with nothing at all. This incredible rainbow image was just shear luck on the second day of a week long sea-kayaking trip on Molokai. Fortunately, I was able to set up and compose the image in the pouring rain fast enough that I came home with the shot. As often as I put myself out in nature, I still only witness a rainbow like this on average of every other year. If you would like to learn more about rainbows, please visit Please feel free to email me if you are interested in ordering one of my fine art prints. Thank you.

Wailau Beach Rainbow

2008 Nature’s Best Ocean Views Photography Awards

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I have 2 images in the summer issue of Nature’s Best as part of their inaugural Ocean Views competition. They are also on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC through December. This image of a spectacular early morning rainbow was taken on a sea kayaking trip on the remote north shore of Molokai and is one of my best selling Hawaii images. Please visit more of my images from Molokai.

Johns Hopkins Inlet Sunrise 6

2008 Nature’s Best Ocean Views Photography Exhibit

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I submitted several of my landscape and wildlife images from the marine environment this past January to Nature’s Best for consideration in their inaugural Ocean Views competition. This image of glacial ice in Johns Hopkins Inlet at sunrise was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Landscape category and is currently on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC through December. Please take a look at more of my images from Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska.

Lago Pehoe Fire Sunrise 2

2008 Shell/BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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I recently got my 2008 entry returned to me. I again did not have any of my wildlife or landscape images make it into the competition, however, I did have 8 out of my 12 images that I submitted make it to the Semi-Final round of judging, including this image of the spectacular Cuernos at sunrise from the shores of Lago Pegoe in Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia. Please visit more of my images from Torres del Paine National Park.

Chilkat Bald Eagle 58

2008 VIMFF Photography Exhibit

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One of my favorite new bald eagle images has been awarded 3rd Place Mountain Flora & Fauna in the 2008 Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival Photography Competition. I captured this moment while visiting the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve near Haines, Alaska last fall. I approached this eagle through the woods and got down as low as I could on the ground to capture the perfect background blur behind it just as it called out to another eagle flying overhead. Please visit my Bald Eagle Photography page to see more of my bald eagle images.